Archives for September 2012

Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed

Reviewed by Jen

I love a good Beauty and the Beast story –and this one delivered in every way.  My only complaint is that it’s over.

Sidonie’s sister Roberta has amassed an enormous gambling debt and the man she owes it to, is her husband’s greatest enemy, Jonas Merrick.  There is no way Roberta will be able to pay back the money, so Jonas agrees to let her repay him in trade.  What better way to get revenge on his horrible cousin, than to cuckold him?

The thing is, Roberta’s husband is violently abusive and if he were catch wind of any of this, Roberta’s life could be forfeit. So Sidonie agrees to take her place in Merrick’s bed.  When she arrives at the castle, she is expecting a monster. After all, Merrick is horribly scarred and must be a brute to have put her sister in such a position.  But she finds that she barely notices his scars. In fact, she is even drawn to him, and he, to her.

Merrick doesn’t force Sidonie into his bed.  Instead, he makes a deal with her.  She’ll give him one week to seduce her.  It will be her choice whether they make love.  And from there begins a seduction that is only partly of the flesh.  Because while Sidonie does fall captive to his body, she also ends up connecting to the broken, lonely man within.

The development of the story was a bit predictable, but I absolutely 100% did not care.  I loved watching their journey.  Merrick is so damaged both physically and emotionally.  He has been branded a bastard, which has ostracized him, and Roberta’s horrible husband –his cousin– has the title that should have been his.  The peerage rejects him, but he holds himself away as well, refusing to let them hurt him. Yet he falls so hard for Sidonie and her innocence, her goodness.  He begins to feel his broken heart growing whole again –and I just wanted to climb inside the book and give him a hug.

I liked Sidonie. She is practical and loyal.  And she has to make some tough choices, with one that you know is going to come back and bite her when it comes out.  When it all comes crashing down, it’s hard to bear, but it’s riveting. I couldn’t put it down.

Anna Campbell gave me two main characters I truly cared about and a villain easy to hate. The plot was interesting.  And the sex was just right. It was hot and plentiful, but it never overshadowed the story. I just… loved it.

Rating: A

*ARC Provided by Forever via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed
by Anna Campbell
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Forever (GCP)

Chat & Giveaway with Thea Harrison

Thea Harrison’s Elder Races books are an auto-buy for me. Her latest novella, Hunter’s Season, released this month and she is here chatting with me today.  Welcome, Thea!

Thea: Hi Jen! Thanks so much for having me on Red Hot Books. It’s a pleasure to visit with you again!

Jen: Tell us a little about Hunter’s Season.

Thea: Hunter’s Season is the fourth of the Elder Races novellas. It closes the story arc of the mysterious Tarot deck that began in True Colors (novella #1, Dec 2011, Samhain).
In Hunter’s Season, the story follows a secondary character from Devil’s Gate (novella #3, June 2012, Samhain), a Dark Fae assassin named Xanthe who works for the crown—who is Niniane Lorelle, Dark Fae Queen and the heroine of book two Storm’s Heart. More specifically, Xanthe works for Niniane’s lover and mate, Tiago, who heads Niniane’s security.

Xanthe has been in love with the Dark Fae Chancellor Aubrey Riordan for a long time. When he is severely injured in an assassination attempt, he and Xanthe are thrown together as Niniane orders her to look after and guard him while Tiago hunts down the would-be killers.

Hunter’s Season is an intimate story that focuses on two people who have each had a difficult time in their lives. It was very satisfying to give them a chance at happiness together.

Jen: You’ve said this is the last Elder Races novella. Talk to me about why you started writing these and what is prompting you to stop.

Thea: I have loved writing the Elder Races novellas because it has given me a chance to flesh out a very big world that I’ve been building, and to tell the stories of characters who wouldn’t otherwise get their own novel.

The novellas range from 26,000 – 35,000 words, which is a standard novella length for a mass market paperback collection, and I hope to see the stories distributed in print form at some point. (I’ll be sure to post about it if/when this occurs!)

The response has been really terrific, but I have noted that there have been several complaints about the novella length in readers’ reviews. Since the last thing that I want to do is foster reader frustration, I’ve decided to back off from writing more Elder Races novellas for now.

Jen: We’re getting closer to Lord’s Fall too! What made you decide to revisit Pia and Dragos?

Thea: I’m very excited at the Lord’s Fall upcoming November release. There’s so much of Pia and Dragos’s story to tell, so many unresolved issues that have built up over the last several books, AND more world building. When I pitched the idea to my editor Cindy Hwang, she was all for the idea! I hope to possibly follow Pia and Dragos again in later books as well. Hopefully I’ll get the chance!

Jen: Is it easier or more difficult to write for a couple with an established romantic history?

Thea: I don’t know that it’s easier or more difficult, but it is certainly different. When I started Lord’s Fall, putting Pia and Dragos back on felt like coming back to old friends. The characters were there and alive, and very much ready to have their moment again on center stage.

Jen: The love scenes in these books really knock it out of the park. What is your writing process like for hot sex? Is it hard to plot out the mechanics? And how do you pick your, er, terminology? LOL.

Thea: I do not know this terminology of which you speak. *blink blink*

More seriously, what I try to do with the sex scenes is the same thing that I try to do with every scene—write to the very best of my ability, infuse it with sincerity and emotion, and avoid clichés and overused terminology. I hope I manage to do that.

Sometimes plotting out the mechanics for the love scenes can be challenging. I can remember when I wrote the first love scene for Oracle’s Moon, I was quite excited at the opportunities for creativity that those two characters gave me.

Jen: How many more full length novels are you contracted for in the series? Is it still six? When would you know if we can have more?

Thea: Right now I am contracted for six, although my editor and I have talked about future story ideas. I’ll certainly post on my blog when I have any concrete news that I can share!

Jen: Which character intrigues you most in the Elder Races universe and why?

Thea: Okay, this answer is NOT a cop out, because it’s the truth. The characters that I’m writing at any given time intrigue me the most. I get to dig inside them and figure out how they tick, and share that with readers. It’s awesome fun.

Jen: Which character gets the most fan requests for his/her own book? Do you have a path for him/her in mind?

Thea: To date, the harpy Aryal has been getting the most fan requests for her book. (I’m finishing that story up now.) The runner up for fan requests is Graydon.

Jen: What is your number 1 most hated romance trope?

Thea: A hero who is such a dickhead to the heroine throughout most of the book, but then they end up together anyway. I can’t read that type of story.

Jen: Finally, who is the sexiest male PNR/UF hero (not one of yours) in your opinion? And what is the appeal?

Thea: Oh wow, there are so many great sexy heroes! I think my current favorite (I switch them out from time to time) is Lilith Saintcrow’s Tierce Japhrimel from her Dante Valentine series. Japhrimel has such power and devotion, and he shows genuine caring for the heroine.

Jen: Thanks so much for visiting the blog!!

Thea: Thank you again for having me!

~~~

For readers, who is the sexiest male PNR/UF hero (not one of mine) in your opinion?

Comment for a chance to the ebook of your choice from my Samhain backlist! If you already have the three novellas on my backlist, you can always give your prize to a friend!

Thea Harrison http://theaharrison.com/
Twitter @TheaHarrison
www.facebook.com|TheaHarrison

This contest is closed. The winner is Danielle.

Review: Sacrifice the Wicked

Reviewed by Jen

If you still have a copy of All Things Wicked sitting on your bookshelf, heed my advice and reacquaint yourself with it before you pick up this book.  I didn’t and I wish I had.  If you’ve never read a Dark Mission book before, I suggest you start with Blood of the Wicked. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea what is going on here.

This book draws heavily on the events of the previous installment and while there is a little bit of recap, there is not much.  So I spent a little too much time, straining my brain to remember who, for instance, Nadia Parrish was, and where the hero fit in to the Eve project.  The book assumes a working knowledge of the world-building and of past events.

All that being said, I think this is my favorite book in the series.  The romance was smoking hot.  Phenomenal sexual tension and sweltering bedroom action. (*fans self*)

Simon Wells is an agent for the mission, but he is also a genetically engineered witch.  He’s been placed in the mission as a spy for another sector of the Order.  There are, in fact, other witches who have been placed in similar positions.  But their DNA is degenerating. And it’s Simon’s job to take them out cleanly, before they die an ugly death and expose the program.

Parker is the Mission’s director and she takes her job seriously. She knows there is something amiss with Simon and Sector Three, but she has no idea how deep it goes.  The fact that she is wildly attracted to Simon only makes matters worse.

When Parker’s name appears on Simon’s hit list, he decides enough is enough. He won’t kill this loyal, amazing and dedicated woman, just because she is getting too close to the truth. So the two of them go on the run… trying to get one step ahead of Sector Three and the timebomb of Simon’s faulty DNA that’s ready to blow at any moment.

Parker is this amazingly put together woman, who maintains absolute control at all times. Except with Simon.  There is a sinful dominating quality about him that simply makes her melt.  (And me too!!) He reduces her to her most feminine and pliant… and he is so sexy and growly and… It’s just really hot.  She fights it and fights it, which makes it all the more satisfying when they finally get together. Rraw!

I’m not going to say too much more except to warn you that there is a big, wet, sticky cliffhanger.  None of the other books ended this way, so when I got to the last page, I was unprepared for the story to end without resolution.  Boo!!!!  Clearly, I will be reading book 5 to see what the hell happens next.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
Sacrifice the Wicked
by Karina Cooper
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Avon

Review: Turn to Darkness

Reviewed by Jen

This novella in the Offspring series serves as a companion piece to The Darkness Within.  It features the same band of characters and picks up shortly after that story left off.

Shea has recently moved out of the house she shared with a makeshift family of other Offspring, nicknamed D’Rats.  She was starting to have feelings for Greer (one of the men there) but she couldn’t deal with the mutual attraction because of a sexual assault in her past.  Now, Darius, another one of the D’Rats, is seeking her out in her new home. He wants a relationship with her, and is oblivious to the fact that she is not interested.

It turns out one of the men who raped Shea has been killed and her connection to him makes her a person of interest in the case. It also alerts her father and the others of his kind to her existence.   The otherworldly beings are trying to kill off their Offspring and now she is in danger.

In the meantime, Greer wants to protect Shea, both from Darius’s unwanted advances and from the threat to her life.  He also wants to help her heal from her rape.  The story follows their tentative relationship as both Darius and Shea’s father cause trouble.

I liked the story. Greer is sexy and patient and quite wonderful with Shea.  Darius makes a suitable creepy villain. And I liked that Shea’s dad wasn’t all bad.  The love story was tender and the sex was pretty good.  I thought Shea’s acceptance of physical love was a little abrupt, but otherwise I enjoyed the romance.

I also like how simplified the concepts of Darkness and Offspring are presented here. Sometimes, the world-building is a little confusing in this series. But in this story, I thought it worked well.

I hope we see the D’Rats again in the future.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
Turn to Darkness
by Jaime Rush
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Avon

Review: Prince, Bewitched

Reviewed by Shelly

Sylvia dreams of opening her own hair salon, but as a household maid, she has no way of being able to afford it. Until one day when she hears that Prince Xavier is not only sick, but the royal family is offering a reward of £1 million to whoever cures him. The best doctors, soothsayers and herbalists have been completely befuddled by what aches the Prince.

Sylvia is convinced that the reason for the Prince’s illness is the Faeries. Although only young children are supposed to be able to see Fae, for some unknown reason, Sylvia can still see them. So off she goes to find a cure for the Prince and gain her reward.

There were a few things that weren’t believable to me: when Sylvie breaks into the palace to go to Xavier’s room, there were no guards (it’s a palace for goodness sake); the ease with which Xavier and his sister accepted Sylvie (after a single conversation); and the big one – why would Sylvia have sex with people she neither knew or could identify their species? Even in supernatural worlds, things still have to make sense to me.

Here’s what I really liked. I thought Sylvie was a very likeable character. She was adorable and made quite a few witty references that made me giggle (and even laugh out loud). She still has a ways to go before I understand her but from what I’ve read so far, she is more than meets the eye. I thought Xavier had some redeemable qualities but he’s got a long way to go to show me he’s deserving of Sylvia. Now Xavier’s best friend, Richard, is a straight up freak who’s hiding something and I can’t wait to find out what that is in the next one (ya hear me Tula?) There were a couple of other secondary characters who also have a lot of promise to make this a good series.

Overall, while there were moments when I had to say to myself – Nah, she wouldn’t do that! Oh dang it, yes she did! I really enjoyed this story and I really liked Sylvie and I’m rooting for her to have both her Prince and her HEA.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Prince, Bewitched
by Tula Neal
Release Date: September 7, 2012

5 for Friday – September 21

A sick husband and a sick kid this week.  Plus the other kid had a birthday. Throw in a cheerleading/ football game event, various sports practices, cupcake making, and school projects –and I am desperately in need of some “me-time.” I have no idea when it will happen, but I can dream.  Let’s talk about fun stuff.

5. I have been stalking Sherrilyn Kenyon forever since I found she was planning this Styxx book.  Now she’s got more deets about him on her website. She says, in part:

…(I)n many ways, it’s another story of Acheron. You will see events that weren’t in his book and I know Styxx will win you over. In all honesty, he was done wrong and it will break your heart.  Misjudged, condemned, betrayed and abandoned… There is a whole side of him that no one knows.

I am so anxious!! Only 11 months to go.

4. Shiloh Walker, aka JC Daniels, has revealed the cover for book two in her Colbana Files series.  Take a look at Night Blade:

Kit Colbana is always biting off more than she can chew. She has a knack for finding trouble. This time, though, trouble finds her. Someone from her past drops a case into her lap that she just can’t refuse…literally.

People on the Council are dying left and right and she’s been requested to investigate the deaths. The number one suspect? Her lover, Damon. If she doesn’t clear his name, he gets a death sentence. Even if she succeeds? They still might try to execute him. Oh, and she’s not allowed to tell him about the case, either.

The stakes are high this time around, higher than they’ve ever been. Kit may be forced to pay the ultimate price to save her lover’s life…a price that could destroy her and everything she loves.

I really enjoyed Blade Song so I have high hopes for this one.

3. JR Ward is sharing tidbits on the next Fallen Angel book, Rapture. Every day, she is releasing a new little video on her Facebook page, which is evil and refuses to allow me to embed her clips. However, you can click on the pretend video player below and it will take you to the clip where she is talking about the heroine.

Rapture is out Tuesday.  Please, JR, you must fix this Eddie thing.

2. I really loved the ARC of Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell. It’s a Beauty & the Beast type of historical romance (also out Tuesday.)

Forever is giving away seven copies. You can win it before you can buy it. Check out the giveaway here.

1. And finally, Karen Marie Moning is answering some of the big questions about the next book in her Fever series, ICED.  If I wasn’t nervous before, I definitely am now. (I was totally nervous before, but now it’s worse.)

Here are some of the high points:

  • The next three books will be Fever #6-8
  • The titles are ICED, BURNED & FLAYED
  • They will be Dani POV
  • She will be 14 at the beginning of her 3 book arc and 17 when it’s over
  • Dani will have sex with one of the guys who is in ICED
  • Books #9-10 will be Mac POV
  • These are not teen fiction
  • ICED will not end in a cliffhanger

Without crossing the line into too much information, I know all too well that teens Dani’s age have sex.  But if it’s with a being who is hundreds (or thousands) of years old, I’m out.

I loved the Fever books. Loved.  But I am scared. Somebody needs to read this for me and give me the all clear.

I’ve got big news coming next week!  I can’t wait to share.  Until then… stay to the light!

XOXO,
Jen

 

Review: Sugar Rush

Reviewed by Allison

Dulcie Carter grew up tasting, creating, and surrounded by candy. So it only made sense to keep her mother’s legacy and dream alive by taking over Candy Land Confections, her mother’s homemade candy store, when she passed away. The only thing is, dreams don’t come cheap. Between rent, supplies, and lukewarm patronage, Dulcie has some hard decisions she has to make about the future of the store.

Nick Sugarman (yes, that really is his last name!) is the heir to the throne of How Sweet It Is – Dulcie’s competition. However, as much as Nick enjoys eating candy, he doesn’t feel all that inspired to make it. He prefers the complex textures and tastes of the cupcakes (where can I get one of him?!) that he loves to bake all the time. However, he feels set on taking over the family business and is willing to do what it takes to prove to his father he is worthy of the store. No matter how automated and impersonal it has become.

When Dulcie goes out for a jazz concert and drinks with her bestie, Nick catches her eye and they start to chat. It’s a crazy cute scene…until they find out just who the other is. Nick ends up baiting her about a contest, the Assembly of Chocolatiers yearly competition, something that Candy Land has always entered and done well in until the year she did it alone. In which she failed miserably. Another is coming up and he can’t help but tell her all about how amazing his entry (that he hasn’t come up with yet) is bound to be. The gauntlet is thrown! After much thought and trepidation, Dulcie decides that she’s willing to do anything to save her mother’s shop…including swallow her fear in hopes that she might have a chance at winning the prize money in the Chocolatiers competition.

I loved all the characters in this book, they were so well done. From the crazy but fun Grandma, the supportive but wacky best friend, to the savvy homeless girl out back who ends up saving the day. And Nick! He was adorably endearing – he wasn’t some cool hot guy that knew all the right things to say to get into a girls pants. He was the sexy guy who knows it, but doesn’t have a clue how to use it. He would say something out loud then curse himself silently for being the opposite of smooth. He was such a good guy! You can’t help but hope he gets the girl.

Chemistry-wise there was nothing more than a few kisses, but the plot surrounding the characters and the competition more than make up for it – I got so wrapped up in the story that I hardly noticed.

It was incredibly sweet and I’m glad I read it! When you finish the book you’ll have “I want candy” playing in your head, a smile on your face, and a hardcore itch to eat chocolate! Now to go try those recipes she tortured me with at the end…

Grade: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon
Sugar Rush
by Rachel Astor
Release Date: August 25, 2012
Publisher: Bliss

Review: The Burning Bush

Reviewed by Jen

I didn’t love every single thing about this book. But I still thought it was very, very good.  I really like the series. The world building fascinates me. It’s dark and disturbing, but very compelling.  The main character is a contradiction, but one that makes sense. She is flawed but powerful; maligned yet idolized; loyal but conflicted.  I like her. I want her to be happy. I want her to beat the odds. (I want her to be with Zulu.  –But we’ll get to that later.)

Basically, the story picks up where Fire Baptized left off.  Lanore is in a relationship with Zulu and helping him with the MFE.  MeShack is still a part of her life, as they raise little Ben together.  But he opposes how she and Zulu are fighting the war against the vampire Dante.  MFE is working with a more radical organization and they’ve bombed one of Dante’s factories.

The bombing gives a crooked cop ammunition against Lanore, to force her to help him solve a murder case.  Someone has killed a shifter and a Mixie, and hung each body on a magically burning bush. Either Lanore figures out the identity of the killer or the cop fingers her for the bombing.  The story follows Lanore as she works to solve the case.

Of course, there is much more going on. There is the dangerous feud with Dante… a wealth of strong secondary characters.  And the love triangle.  The damn love triangle is killing me.  I am firmly and completely Team Zulu.  MeShack is a whore. He is unapologetic. He doesn’t hide it. He simply blames the biology of his “season” and expects Lenore to be there waiting for him when he gets tired of humping every female in a 50 mile radius.  It bothers me tremendously that even as we see Lanore move forward with Zulu, it feels like a foregone conclusion that MeShack is the endgame.  And I DO NOT WANT that.  I could go on and on about this, but I’ll spare you.

What you can tell about my small rant is that I actually care about these characters a lot.  There is no way I could say that this book is “meh.” Even when I yelled at it (and I did,) I was completely engrossed in it. Invested.  And not just in the relationships –though that part gave me the most angst.  I was wrapped up in the murder mystery.  And the politics. And the horrible racist (species-ist?) atmosphere in which the story is set.  I can see Lenore becoming something so much more than what her society relegates her to. It all just… speaks to me. It affects me.

Then there is the ending.  To call it a cliffhanger would be kind.  I read the Epilogue and said out loud, “What the actual fuck was that?”  I don’t know what the hell happened to two of the major characters.  I think I would have preferred if there had been no Epilogue at all. We would still have the same questions unanswered, but I wouldn’t feel so confused.

That aside, this is a book (and a series) I would wholeheartedly recommend.  It’s just captivating. And different.  Worth a read.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Burning Bush
by Kenya Wright
Release Date: September 19, 2012
Publisher: Dragonfairy Press

Feature & Giveaway: Charmaine

Can romance develop between a Heavenly Light-Bearer and a Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter?

Charmeine, the First Novel in The Light-Bearer series, was released January 2012.

Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he drinks blood to survive. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone aimlessly living through many historical events.

Charmeine just came to the Earth in 1997, unable to remember anything.

When Tabbruis meets Charmeine the attraction is immediate and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a strongly romantic and dramatic way. When she meets Tabbruis, Charmeine’s powers as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered and grows exponentially.

Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfill their destinies? Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world?

Mactus is the second novel in The Light-Bearer series.

The romance and action develop and deepens between our two ill-fated lovers, Tabbruis and Charmeine.

“Mactus” means well-done in Latin, and as our Tabbruis and Charmeine proclaim their love for one another, they are reminded of the daunting task before them. However, their union is joyous and very romantic.

Tabbruis and Charmeine’s love deepens and grows stronger. However, they are both thrown when Charmeine is revealed to be the Queen of Light and Tabbruis is the King of Darkness!

Their son, Shane, brings an addition to the family, his fiancée, Sandra Gomez! She bonds with Charmeine and Tabbruis instantly. Can Charmeine and Sandra work together to defend themselves from the powerful Elder Council Blood-Hunter Pascal’s attack?

Mactus is a romantic and exciting book is a page turner from the beginning to end!

Accendo is the third novel in The Light-Bearer series.

Reality knocks our two star-crossed lovers, Tabbruis and Charmeine into the now when they have to plan to battle the Evil Blood-Hunter Elder Council.

Charmeine is cut to the core because of Tabbruis’ lack of faith in her ability to lead. Will their love survive? Will their faith in each other be tested as they begin their new life together?

Tabbruis and Charmeine find their close relationship is challenged with unbelief and lack of trust.

The battle to freedom from the Dark and Evil forces which Lucifer has let loose on the Earth is harder than Tabbruis and Charmeine ever imagined.

Their family also suffers a serious loss. Can they recover and pick up the pieces?

Accendo is a romantic and exciting book is a page turner from the beginning to end!

The fourth novel in The Light-Bearer series is Seditious. This book is the continuation of Tabbruis and Charmeine’s romantic and turbulent love story and mission on Earth to battle Lucifer’s minions!

Tabbruis and Charmeine’s life at the ‘Castle Charmeine’ is blissful until reality of the ruling the Elder Council Blood-Hunters hits them in the face.

In Seditious Tabbruis and Charmeine find that their love is tested in the most heinous way possible.

Then, as a one-two punch, Lord Cromwell, one of the most deadly and powerful Blood-Hunter ever has escaped the Elder Council Prison. Lord Cromwell sends his beautiful agent to cause trouble for Tabbruis and Charmeine and wants something that they have!

Charmeine runs away from the ‘Castle Charmeine’ to forget the betrayal of her most beloved husband Tabbruis.

Can Tabbruis win Charmeine back? How can he make her understand?

Exciting all the way to the end! Seditious will have you turning page after page in this story of passion, betrayal and seduction.

Ransom is the fifth novel in The Light-Bearer series. Can Tabbruis convince Charmeine, his love and soul-mate to take him back? Will Charmeine be able to forget the pain of the past?

Tabbruis and Charmeine take their new family on a much needed and impromptu vacation; however, there is always a twist and turn for them to recover from. The children of Dmitri are growing up fast and there is an addition to the ‘Castle Charmeine’. Lord Cromwell, plans a deadly attack on the ‘Castle Charmeine’ and he takes something precious to Charmeine. However, he wants something in exchange.

Can Charmeine and her family battle this deadly adversary? Tabbruis and Charmeine’s family bond together to fight Lord Cromwell and more surprises are in store for the star-crossed lovers, Tabbruis and Charmeine!

A must read for all who have read Charmeine, Mactus, Accendo, and Seditious in The Light-Bearer series. However, Ransom can be a stand-alone novel in its own right!

Here is an excerpt from book 1, Charmeine.

(Author’s Note: Charleen is really Charmeine… she just doesn’t know it yet)
Tabbruis stared at her mainly because he was bracing for a rejection.  He leaned on terrace doors with his arms crossed and took a big breath trying to figure out why he just made the admission to her. 

Tabbruis thought to himself, ‘We are so incompatible.  After she is safe, I should leave her and forget,’ but even so, he did not know if he could escape her magnetism.  It was as if she enchanted him by just one look at her beautiful face.   
Charleen took a deep breath trembling from the stare of his deep emerald-green eyes.  She, quite frankly, didn’t feel worthy of him.  She felt like she was a scared and lonely 15 year-old again wandering the streets outside Holbrook, Long Island, bereft of memories of friends and family… she was incredibly alone. 
Charleen wanted to run up to him and at the least, touch his troubled face before he would dismiss or reject her and send her to bed like a child.  However, she had no experience with relationships and blushed at even the thought of touching him. 
Charleen got up and walked over to the railing of the terrace looking at the New York Harbor, and her long golden blonde hair whipped around her shoulders.  Still keeping her eyes on the Harbor, she said quietly, “I was found only a few years ago, not having any memory before that.  However, I’ve been alone.” 
She turned looking at Tabbruis smiling with tears welling in her eyes and said, “I met Shane, but he was like a baby brother to me.  I took care of him,” she chuckled, “He was always getting into one mess after another.” 
Charleen wiped her eyes and turned away from Tabbruis sighed and lowered her head saying, “Loneliness… it is torture in a way.  No, it’s worse, because at the end of the torture, you have rest.” 
Charleen turned and with her tear-filled eyes looked at Tabbruis intently saying, “There is no rest from one minute of loneliness because it fills your being and wraps your heart so tight; it doesn’t want to beat because it just hurts too much to go on.” 
Not waiting for his reaction, Charleen turned toward the Harbor looking away from him.
Tabbruis closed his eyes and thought, ‘My God!  She has just described all the centuries I have been on Earth in that one sentence.’ 
Tabbruis lowered his head and put his hands up to his face while looking up thinking, ‘God, what do I do?  Please help me?’ 
Still facing the Harbor and not having the courage to turn and look at him, Charleen said wiping another tear away, “I know blood-hunters and light-bearers are supposed to destroy each other, but I am hopeful you and I are… unique.”
Now, Tabbruis is the one who looked at her intently and thought, ‘What is she saying?’ 
Charleen could feel Tabbruis’ eyes on her, but she was afraid to look him in the eye. 
Keeping her head toward the Harbor, Charleen took a big breath saying, “A blood-hunter and a light-bearer we may be, but even if you do not want to admit it… there is a link between us.” 
Tabbruis walked up beside her to look out at the Harbor also and put his hands out on the railing next to hers.  All of a sudden, he could feel a small current from her hand into his.  Tabbruis loved the feeling of it. 
Charleen looked down at her hand and thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m doing that.’  Then resolutely she thought, ‘I don’t care, I am not ashamed.’ 
Still thinking Tabbruis was going to reject her, she kept her hand still and turned to look at the Harbor saying, “Like my hand sparking next to yours, I don’t know what it is.” 
Tabbruis looked at the Harbor also and said, “It would be easier to deny there is a link…” and he looked down at her hand while it sent waves of light over to his hand, “but I have to recognize there is a link between us and admit it.” 
Tabbruis could feel her energy surging into him and let his hand linger there next to hers while they looked out over the Harbor.  He wanted to tell her that all those centuries of emptiness were washed away when he laid his eyes on her. 
Steadying his nerves, Tabbruis reached over and picked up her right hand, and they turned to each other watching the streams of light dance around their two hands.  She began to smile and so did Tabbruis. 
Charleen said softly, “This has never happened to me before.” 
Tabbruis grinned saying, “Not with anyone else?” 
Charleen said, “I’ve never seen the light until tonight. Do you think it’s because of you; maybe?” 
Tabbruis was smiling because he was so happy, this never happened to anyone but him and it made him connect to her on a whole new level of closeness. 
She said, “Does it hurt?” 
Tabbruis sighed reveling in the sensation.  With a smile, he replied dreamily, “No, it feels like tingling warmth.  It is an excellent sensation.” 
Charleen smiled saying, “So it’s not a self-defense reaction.” and she smiled wide saying, “It must be because my light likes you!” 
Tabbruis repeated in head, ‘Because her light likes me?’  Wonderment filled Tabbruis and he smiled looking down at the twirling spirals of light.  Charleen put her left hand up and he put his other hand on it.  Her hand began to send tendrils of swirling light to his hand. 
Tabbruis said, “You cannot even imagine how good it feels.” 

 

Charleen said, “It really looks like it hurts you.” 
Tabbruis said, “But I only feel warmth and tenderness.” 
They stood watching their hands which were tenderly holding each other.  Their hands were doing what they wanted to do with their bodies, to be together, holding each other.

 

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Review: Charmeine (Books 1-3)

Reviewed by Shelly

Whoosh…

This was a very interesting read. The premise of Light-Bearers (the natural enemies of Blood-Hunters and vice-versa) was refreshingly new and I couldn’t wait to read how that would play out. Tabbruis ‘Tab’ is a Blood-Hunter, while Charmeine, a Light-Bearer, is his long forgotten love.

There were a few things that I didn’t like about this story. One was the dialogue. I’m not sure why certain words in the dialogue had contractions and modern vernacular while others didn’t. For example – “Well, you can’t get your meals at the A&P, so not at all, if I eat, you must also”. Huh?? That happened quite a bit through the story and I found myself having to stop and re-read because I wasn’t sure if I understood what was going on. Another was paragraph structure. In a given paragraph there could be multiple conversations going on – between two characters and internal dialogue for each character. Again, I had to re-read to make sure I knew who was having the conversation.

What I liked about this book was the love story and growing relationship between Tab and Charmeine. These two characters had honorable traits that were admirable. I like them individually and I really wanted them to get together –and stay together– as a couple. I liked how, despite all things, they fought for each other. Now don’t get me wrong, Tab definitely had some things that he had to work out, because by nature he’s a blood hunter who kills for food. However, there’s no mention of him doing that after he had a life altering moment pretty early in his earthly existence.

There’s a lot of action that goes on, a lot of obstacles, namely the Elder Council who did not want these two together. Along with some good friends made along the way, this couple kept fighting through it all and that was the main reason why I was on their side, because who wouldn’t want to have the chance to be with their chosen one?

Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re in the mood for something different but don’t expect any sex scenes because there aren’t any.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B-

*
This review actually encompasses Books 1-3 in the Light Bearer series: Charmeine, Mactus, and Accendo.  They were provided together –as a single volume– by the author. 

Click to purchase: Amazon or Enter to Win
Charmaine
by Emily Guido
Release Date: January 12, 2012