Archive | June 2013

Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry

Scarlet and Nora, college roommates, were attending a Masquerade Ball hosted by the college vampire fantasy group. When they reached the party, held in an old church, Scarlet disappeared quickly to mingle. Nora is left alone to find her way; she soon meets a stunning man, Alec, and is drawn to him in a way that is completely foreign to her. Soon, their interaction is interrupted by Alec’s brother, Caleb. Oddly, she finds herself drawn to him, as well.

Wanting a bit of privacy, she and Alec search for a nook in the church to get acquainted, finding none, they venture outside. The passion both feel is overwhelming, but just when Nora thinks Alec will make love to her, he pulls away, talking about “commitment” and “forever” and then he disappears.

She is frustrated, and is left with only a stinging kiss on her neck as he vanishes. She quickly becomes obsessed with this man who can make her body burn. She begins seeing him, but he continues to disappear after every meeting, never taking their sexual encounters past heated kisses and caresses, though she can tell he wants her. At last, he tells her if she wants to be with him, as she believes, she must first look up Charles Samuels, then decide.

Sarah Daltry writes with a stunning fluidity that draws the reader into her world and holds the reader willing hostage there with her until the novel ends. This book is exceptionally well-written, with characters that are riveting, and a story line that is a refreshing change from the run-of-the-mill vampire novels of society’s norm.

This is a story of mythical import and may make some readers question what they’ve always been taught and perhaps some might even search for a new version of reality.

I received this copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

 

Lost in Shadow by Cynthia Luhrs

Lost in Shadow by Cynthia Luhrs

Shadow Walkers – Book One

Colin, an ancient warrior, protects humans from evil in Edinburgh. He was betrayed by both his brother and his fiancée in the 1600s. Emily can see beyond the normal human realm into the realm of Light and Shadow. She is visiting Scotland when she sees him engaged in battle and tries to help him. By doing so, she has been involved intricately in his life; she has one week to break his curse of being a Shadow Walker. The consequences are too grim to be contemplated.

Emily was riding in a car with her then boyfriend, Charlie, as he sexted another woman. Charlie lost control of his vehicle, crashed, trapping Emily the car, under water. She was dead for about 10 minutes before being revived. She sustained many injuries, required several months’ recuperation, physical therapy, and she still felt seething anger toward men. Charlie walked away from the accident virtually unscathed, further adding to her bitterness.

Emily and her best friend, Kat, are touring Edinburgh when Emily hears the words, Beware the Day Walker…he comes for you.” Kat heard nothing. Day Walkers prey upon humanity; Shadow Walkers fight Day Walkers. They are both invisible to humans, unless they want to be seen. Then, there was Emily, able to see both fighting on Samhain’s Eve. What does this mean for the fight overall?

Cynthia Luhrs’ writing is exquisite. She creates a world of pirates, high intrigue, ancient gods, overly curious and protective policeman, evil immortals, kind and wondrous immortals, almost saintly mortals, and hope. Of course, there is also steamy passion. Luhrs understands that it is extremely important to incorporate scenes of passion into the context of the story and not to include such scenes simply for the sake of a sex scene. She is a master of plotting; her characters are divine – they almost created holograms of themselves, and walked off the page before me.

This is a must read. It is important to read this book before any others that may come out in the series. This book will provide important background information about the characters that will help if you intend to become an avid reader. This series is appropriate for both men and women but does have sex scenes, so if you’re easily offended, it’s probably not for you.

I received this copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

Desires Unleashed by D.N. Simmons

Desires Unleashed by D.N. Simmons

(Knights of the Darkness Chronicles – Book 1)

Detective Warren Davis and his partner, Detective Matthew Eric, considered the best investigators in the Supernatural Unit Investigation Team (SUIT), have been assigned a decapitation/exsanguination case by their captain. They suspect the murderer is a vampire. The two have been partners for many years, even before the creation of SUIT, so they get along with each very well, thus making an exceptional team.

Annette and Natasha, roommates and best friends become intricately connected in the story. Annette works at Desires Unleashed, a dance and strip club owned by vampires. Annette is slim, but curvy; she works five days a week at the club. Natasha has been out of work and living with Annette as she searches for employment. She is prejudiced against vampires, due to ignorance about the species, as well as supernatural forms, as the story begins.

Detective Davis is a shifter, but cannot tell anyone on the force due to continuing specie-ism. His partner knows, but overall, the police force wouldn’t want “his kind” working there, even though there is a serial killer on the loose and a supernatural officer could be very useful.

Within this story, the killer is supposed to be targeting Detective Davis but, sadly, this part of the story gets lost in the various love connections the author has going on throughout the novel. Natasha, who I am sure, is supposed to come off as a woman with free morals, who is not afraid to take what she wants, instead comes off as something of a slut. She seems to lust after everything that walks, with absolutely no control over her libido.

In spite of the plotting flaws, the novel is still quite engrossing. It included people opening up to others outside their “races”, accepting divergent cultures and species and, had some super hot sex scenes that did fit into the plot. I believe there simply wasn’t enough room to contain all that was happening in the scope of one small book. This author is definitely one paranormal lovers should check out.

I received this copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

 

Hers to Command by Patricia Knight

Hers to Command by Patricia Knight

Original settlers of the planet Verdantia discovered the planet communicated with a few select individuals while they were engaged in sexual intercourse. Those who were able to communicate with the planet were also able to manipulate energy as a result of this sexually-heightened state. This energy powered the planet.

The planet had such vast areas of inner energy flows that modern technological advances in relatively all areas were virtually useless throughout the planet; this included modern methods of warfare. Battles were fought using methods of the “old ages” – hand-to-hand combat. Of course, for many centuries, there had been nothing by peace on Verdantia.

The entire planet was run off sexual energy, but it had to be maintained through the strict performance of various rites and rituals. Some of those in charge had become lax in their duties after many centuries of peace, thereby jeopardizing the entire planet.

One tree produced a powerful aphrodisiac, highly prized throughout the galaxy, due to the foolish magisters’ (magicians) laziness, Verdantia was invaded by the Haarb, who wanted this drug. They got to work seeing that the invasion covered all the bases: the Verdantians tortured, most of its women murdered, its secrets revealed. The wall normally protecting the entire planet was sliced down to only one small tower.   

The only hope for the planet was to join three “magickally –gifted aristocrats” to create enough power to save their world. The story of finding of these three, how the joining works, and story of war makes up the rest of the novel. And oh, what a story this is. There is magic, and romance, and desire, and sex, and violence, and everything almost anyone could want in a book.

Patricia Knight has crafted a beautiful novel; one of those rare works that must be read again and again. Though this work might be classified as erotica instead of science fiction, I beg to differ. Knight has created a sentient planet that requires human interaction on a major scale in order for it or its inhabitants to thrive. Knight’s planet required significant thought and attention to detail. Additionally, this is not a sex-based novel but a character-based novel of profound insight and beauty. Her characters are stunning to behold as they grow in depth with each additional chapter. The sex is also not always for personal gratification or fulfillment but for the service of the planet’s people.   

Knight has a talent for writing that goes beyond simple categorization; she creates worlds of intrigue. The reader is transported into an alternate reality where every decision matters and the end outcome is anticipated with both anxiety and dread. Anxiety for fear that all will not work out well; dread because the novel must eventually end. All one can hope is that Knight is busy writing more for her devoted readers to devour.  

 This novel is not for those under 18 years of age, nor for those who might be easily offended by scenes outside of the social norm. It does include some graphic sexual scenes, as well as scenes including M/F, M/M, M/F/M; please do not rate the author negatively for disapproving of this material. If it offends you, please do not read.

I received this copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

   

Unfinished Business by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

Unfinished Business by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

On the day of Angela Panther’s mother’s death, instead of only grieving, as normal folks might, she is learning to deal with her mother’s ghost.

Her mother tells her that she has unfinished business and came back to help Angela. As freaked out as Angela is to see her mother’s ghost, at least Angela’s not alone in dealing with the “sight;” both her beloved dog, Gracie, and her young son, Josh, can also see Fran, Angela’s mother. What this means for the future is hard to determine.

As Angela is learning to adapt to seeing one ghost, her ability expands, and she soon finds herself seeing ghosts wherever she goes, often making for humorous encounters. However, with her expanded ability comes responsibility to those she can now see. Fran, her Italian mother of d master of both wit and mom-induced guilt, is determined to both help her and perhaps coerce her, when necessary, to do her duty to those who haven’t moved on.

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson writes with a great deal of humor. This novel is clearly the first in a serial that is sure to be engrossing, emotionally intricate, and hilarious. As with many first novels of a series, much time has to be spent explaining and setting up the background for future books, so the beginning is a trifle slow, though the pace does pick up significantly as one continues to read. In the future, the author will be able to summarize this background in a page or so, getting straight to the action.

While there wasn’t as much action as emotion in Unfinished Business, it was emotion of an engrossing nature, and included the gamut. Of course, we all should remember that laughter is good for the soul. And there was definitely laughter to spare. Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is an author to watch.

I received this unedited copy of Unfinished Business through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

Mercy Bound by Karen Plaisance

Mercy Bound by Karen Plaisance

Mercy is a Death Oracle. When she touches someone, she can tell how they are most likely to die. She is also fated: her death cannot be prevented. She knows when and how she’ll meet her death, as well as whom the killer is, but there is nothing she can do to change her fate. She can warn those who aren’t fated and they can change something in their lives (for instance, wearing a helmet if they are to die because they were too stupid to wear a helmet), but for her there is no such hope.

Mercy is nearing her time to die and wants to be near her aunt, her only remaining family member, for her remaining years. Needing a job, she travels to New Orleans (even though her aunt, a powerful witch, has forbidden her to go into the city) to apply for a job at Amaranthus, a vampire-owned night club.  Being a fated death oracle carried its own set of problems. Being a fated death oracle wanted by the “grand poobah” of New Orleans makes those problems seem almost insignificant.

Mercy’s attempt at getting a job sets off a chain of events that keep the pages turning.

Karen Plaisance has created a heroine of serious complexity, as well as of amusing false immaturity.  Mercy is fated to die, thus has learned the importance of each second. This makes her often overly inclined (it seems to those of us not knowingly fated) to help others, even when they may not deserve it. Mercy is also snarky, which provides a lot of welcome humor.

The hero, Adam, is a stand-up guy, who goes to bat for a person he doesn’t even know. Such altruistic behavior is in extremely short supply in today’s society. Adam is grim, quiet, dependable, and trustworthy.  Plaisance has created characters that become real in such a way that if there is no sequel, this reviewer will be most perturbed.

I received this unedited copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.