Archives for March 2011

Giveaway: Eternal Prey

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Holly from
 Full Moon Bites.

Welcome to my very first book giveaway at Red Hot Books. It’s Eternal Prey by Nina Bangs.

A magnificent creature, Utah wants vengeance against the bloodsuckers who murdered his brother. Once the beast within him is unleashed, he won’t rest until every vampire is destroyed. But he never expected to encounter a leader of his immortal enemies who was so beautiful, bewitching and mortal.
It is Lia’s destiny and her duty to stop the renegade vampires who are intent on annihilating the human and non-human races alike. But she never dreamed that Utah, once a deadly foe, would now become her ally and protector, or that loving him would be more dangerous than anything she’s ever faced before. For when Utah frees his predator soul, there will be no end to the carnage.
Does it sound like something you would like?  To enter, leave a comment, telling me the title of your favorite Urban Fantasy book. And if you’re not a fan of the genre, tell me why you don’t like it.

The contest is open to all of my followers in the US and Canada… so make sure you’re following before you leave your comment. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, March 28th.  Please spread the word & thanks for visiting the site!

Review: Dark Lover by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I start this review with the acknowledgement that the characters have ridiculous names.  There. I said it. But I strongly encourage you to get past that. Because the Black Dagger Brotherhood is knock-your-socks-off-sexy.  And this is the book that started it all.

In this world JR Ward has created, there are vampires. They cannot go in the sun and they drink blood, but only the blood of an opposite-sex member of their own race.  The live under the radars of humans. And they are hunted by soulless killers, known as Lessers.  The defenders of their race are a group of warrior vampires known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

As our story begins, one of the Brothers (Darius) is killed in bomb set by a Lesser. It was his dying wish for his friend Wrath to take care of his half-human daughter Beth. She has no idea Darius was her dad and knows nothing of her vampire heritage. But soon, she will reach the age of transition, where she will become truly vampire. And for that she needs the blood of a male vamp. Enter Wrath.

When the two of them meet, it’s instant fire. They jump in the sack in less time than it takes you to say “holy crap.”  It. Is. So. Hot.  Of course, their path isn’t easy.  Wrath is the leader of the Brotherhood and is the King of his people. He already has a wife, of sorts, but he has never had a sexual relationship with her. They have only met each other’s blood needs. The vampire world is new and scary to Beth. But she is no simpering whiner; She is a great leading lady: strong, loyal and smart.  And because of that –and the unbreakable connection between her and Wrath– their happy ending is a foregone conclusion.

There are several cut scenes to what is happening with the Lessers and, like many other people, I have trouble not skimming through their pages to get back to the main story.  (This is true for all the BDB books.)  Of course, this part of the story is necessary too, so try not skip it.

The book has a great band of supporting characters. Almost all are destined to have their own books.  Ward weaves all their stories together, so as a reader, I feel part of their family. And it IS a family.  If you haven’t read this book yet, now is the time.  It is amazing.

5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository

Dark Lover
by JR Ward
Release Date: September 6, 2005
Publisher: Signet

Series Reading Order: Black Dagger Brotherhood

This is the reading order for the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and the spinoff Black Dagger Legacy books by JR Ward:

Black Dagger Legacy begins chronologically after The Shadows:

*Denotes short story/novella

Review: The Darkest Secret

Reviewed by Jen

Before I started this book, I had some serious concerns about how Gena Showalter would pull this one off. I mean, the hero of the story essentially can’t speak. And the leading lady is an old-arch enemy who killed a man that he loved like a brother. But there’s a reason Gena Showalter is the best-selling author and I am the fan-girl. Not only did she pull it off, but she actually managed to give us great insight into our hero and made our heroine extremely sympathetic.

Amun shares his body with the demon Secrets. He can read minds and in extreme cases, steal memories. At the end of The Darkest Lie, his gift (curse?) opened the doorway for hundreds of crazed lower-demons to also take up residence in his head… and he has been driven to madness.  Meanwhile, Strider (a fellow Lord, possessed by Defeat) has captured Haidee. She is a Hunter, who has dedicated her life to slaying Lords. In fact, centuries ago, she managed to kill one.  But once she is in the fortress, Amun reaches out to her telepathically. It is quickly revealed that the two share some kind of bond that makes them warm and fuzzy, despite the fact that they should be enemies.  In her presence, the torment from the demons quiets inside Amun.  But the Angels who have allowed him to live while he regained his sanity, demand he return to Hell (with Haidee) to be rid of them for good.

I really enjoyed getting to know Amun. He’s been around since the beginning, but like Kane, he was kind of like a piece of furniture. He was there in the background, utilized or referred to from time to time, but never given much of a personality.  And Haidee is fleshed out wonderfully. I couldn’t imagine how her character could be redeemed, but she was… with a fantastic backstory.  Of course, we had our sexy-Showalter love scenes. They were good; though not quite as red-hot for me as in some of the previous installments.

This book also gives us some more inside into Strider. (Win!)   I find I like him more and more with each passing book. At the end of The Darkest Lie, I really thought he would be paired with Haidee, but it was interesting to see how his lust for her is dealt with.  It was resolved a little too neatly in the end. But I can get over it, now seeing who his love interest will be in The Darkest Surrender.  I can’t wait to see how it plays out. 4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by Harlequin Books

Review: The Darkest Lie

Reviewed by Jen

I have some mixed feelings about this book.  Our hero is Gideon and as one of the Lords of the Underworld, he holds the soul of a demon inside him. His demon is Lies, which makes him incapable of telling the truth without experiencing debilitating pain.  This. Is. Utterly. Annoying. Every single bit of his dialogue is in this absurd reverse-speak, followed by a translation so we can grasp his meaning.  It bugged me to such a degree that it almost ruined the book for me. And that would have been a shame, because outside of that, the book was really good.

Scarlet is the daughter of a goddess, and also carries a demon. Hers is Nightmares.  When the Lords found her back in The Darkest Passion, they imprisoned her while they tried to learn about her. She calls out to Gideon in a dream and he comes to the dungeon to meet her. That’s when she informs him that she is his long-lost wife.  Gideon feels a connection toward her and has flashes of her in his mind, but can’t remember any history together.  So the book chronicles the couple as they try to sort out their own histories and what could have made their memories so different.

Scarlet is a wounded warrior. She is strong and fearsome, but her psyche is hanging on by a thread.  The realizations that she unveils are utterly heartbreaking. I found myself crying at her memories.  And her fear of her own feelings for Gideon is so poignant.  Their love story is beautiful.

We’ve also got two side arcs in play. One where Strider takes an unexpected enemy captive. The other follows Aeron, William and Amun into Hell, where they try to rescue Legion from Lucifer.  It’s been tough to get to know Amun, since he doesn’t speak. But it was nice to get a little insight into his character as we lead up to The Darkest Secret.

So as I come to the end of the review, I’m struggling to give it a rating. The story itself was really, really good. But the Gideon-speak was really, really bad.  Grrr. 4 stars… I guess.

Book Chat With Faith Hunter

Just a reminder that TODAY Tricia, Stacy, Tori and I will all be getting together to discuss the fabulous Jane Yellowrock series! It hasn’t been that long since Mercy Blade was released and we can’t wait to chat about it with you!

Come join the fun over at Talk Shoe this Sunday, March 20th at 7pm CST (8EST)! The Discussion will last 2 hours, so if you can’t be there right from the start thats OK! Just stop on in any time you can and join us!

Phone Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 94482

Review: The Darkest Passion

Reviewed by Jen

I’m a sucker for a tortured hero.  It’s one of the reasons I loved Lucien’s book so much. But Aeron… poor, poor Aeron. He always puts the needs of his loved ones first. He rarely seeks happiness for himself, because he doesn’t really think he deserves it.  But Olivia knows better. She is angel tasked with killing him. His crime: rescuing his beloved Legion from Hell.  Olivia is given a choice… kill Aeron or lose her status as an angel.  But in the weeks she has been secretly observing Aeron, she has fallen in love with him.  So she makes the sacrifice of becoming human to give him a reprieve and to allow her a chance to meet him.  Becoming a fallen angel is excruciating. She comes to Aeron bleeding and broken.  He fights the pull he feels toward her. (Don’t they always?) But she is persistent in trying to win him.

There is a lot going on in this story. Aeron is trying to protect Olivia, the other Lords, and Legion, who he sees as the daughter he never had.  But Legion wants Aeron to love her in a very different way. It was creepy and disturbing to watch the lengths she goes to.  We’ve got great advancement of the series story arc and a solid set-up for Gideon’s story.  There is also a fantastic surprise ending that I never saw coming.

But as great as all that was, the very best part of the book was the absolutely amazing romance between Aeron and Olivia. It was both sweet and scorching. All hail Gena Showalter.

5 stars.

Follow Friday & Blog Hop

Happy Friday! Here’s our weekly opportunity for bloggers to come together and check out each others sites. Please remember to leave a comment below, along with your link so that I can check out your site, and return the favor.

If you want to participate, it’s easy. To learn more and to enter, check out: Parajunkee  and Crazy for Books!

Q. How did you come up with your blog name?

That one is pretty easy. I love dirty romance books. The best ones burn up the page and leave me fanning myself from the heat.  Granted, I also really enjoy some Urban Fantasy books that are a bit spare on the smut-factor.  But at the end of the day, I know where my bread is buttered.

Book Blogger HopQ. Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?

I read really quickly. Sometimes, I have to force myself to slow down. I usually go through about a book per day. (All of the reviews you find on my site are written by me and detail the book I read the day before.) With that in mind, I only read one book at a time.  I can’t imagine doing otherwise.

Short Story Review: The Darkest Angel

Reviewed by Jen

Gena Showalter seamlessly connects the dots between The Darkest Whisperand The Darkest Passionwith this super sexy short story.  Our heroine is Bianka, sister to Gwen, and a fellow Harpy.  As our story begins, she is kidnapped by the angel Lysander. It turns out, she is his one true temptation and he thinks to neutralize the threat she poses. Ultimately, they each prove to be more temptation than the other can resist. But can they overcome their huge differences?

The great thing about this short story is that it hyper-focuses on the romance. And by “romance,”  I mean spectacular sexual tension and payoff. –Yeah, you could skip this short story and still understand what is happening in the next book. But honestly, why would you want to? It was a great story. (I’m still fanning myself.) And unlike the other two short stories set in the LotU world, this one actually features the Lords, albeit in supporting roles.

5 stars.

*This short story can be found in the anthologies Dark Beginnings and Heart of Darkness

Review: The Darkest Whisper

Reviewed by Jen

Whenever you have an ongoing series, you always run the risk that it will grow stale. Or even worse, jump the shark.  I’m happy to say that this fourth installment in the Lords of the Underworld series, does neither. In fact, I didn’t just like Sabin’s story, I loved it.

Sabin, like all the Lords, shares his body with a demon.  His demon is Doubt. And compared to some of the other guys, he got off easy. But Doubt has done its fair share of making Sabin’s life difficult. The biggest problem is that Doubt manages to destroy every woman Sabin gets close to. Of course, our heroine is no ordinary woman.

Gwen is a Harpy. She and some other supernatural women were kidnapped by Hunters to become part of a breeding program. The Lords stumble across them one day while fighting Hunters and rescue the women.  Gwen and Sabin have an instant connection.

One of the things I love about this series, besides the uber-hot-sex, is that no two heroes or heroines are alike. Gwen manages to be both vulnerable and strong. I loved watching her grow into her Harpy-abilities as she falls harder and harder for Sabin. Perhaps even more captivating is watching him try to fight his feelings, and failing miserably.

The love story here is both sweet and sexy. And it develops as the ongoing story arc of the Lords’ battle with Galen and the Hunters continue. I hope we end up with a book for each Lord. Poor Paris needs a happy ending. 5 stars.