Archives for January 2013

Review: Hostage to Pleasure

Reviewed by Jen

Poor Dorian. He’s been through so much.  The powerful changeling sentinel has never been able to shift. He carries a leopard within him, but a genetic abnormality keeps him from letting his cat come out.  Even worse, his sister was killed a couple of years ago by a sadistic Psy serial killer. It was an emotional wound that nearly destroyed him and still plagues him to this day. It’s also made him hate the Psy and see them as the enemy.

Of course, that means his mate would be Psy! Ashaya is the brilliant Psy geneticist who has been forced to work on a terrible implant project by the Council.  She struck a deal with the changelings in the last book and now the Dark River pack is coming through on its end… to get her little boy out of the Council’s clutches.  Once they do, Ashaya fakes her own death to break free and reunite with her child.

The council wants her back, but even more so, her twisted twin sister does too. Ashaya takes refuge with Dark River and finds herself twisted up with the sentinel who saved her child and haunts her dreams.

I liked this one ok, but not as much as the last two.  Dorian is really close to the edge and, at times, difficult to like.  He’s not a bad guy or anything, but I just didn’t have a strong emotional connection to him… or the romance.  I wanted them to get together, but my heart wasn’t in it the way it was for Clay and Tally … nor was I dying for the sex the way I was for Judd and Brenna.   Maybe it’s because neither Dorian nor Ashaya wanted to want the other.  Both fought the mating pull tooth and nail. And even once it was inevitable, it made Dorian feel angry and guilty… while Ashaya continued to fight against feeling anything. As for Ashaya, I didn’t feel much of anything towards her at all. She’s smart. She loves her kid. She feels responsible for her sister. And…. ?? And that’s it. I got nothing else.  She doesn’t have much in the way of personality.

The resolution was satisfying, though pretty predictable.  I did like the continuing overall storyline with the Psy council and human revolutionaries.   I am interested in what’s happening with Henry and Kaleb… and very intrigued by Vasic.  I would like more of him, please!

Rating: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon
Hostage to Pleasure
by Nalini Singh
Release Date: September 2, 2008
Publisher: Berkley Sensation

Review: Highland Heart

Reviewed by Shelly

Traveling through the land of Loch Tuinn, Rachel Brindle, her sister Isabelle, and their father William are on their way to the Munro land to do some bartering for wool. While on the road, Rachel inadvertently does something that will reveal her healing magic to those around her. Alex Munro of the Clan Munro (insert Christopher Lambert’s voice) is doing some hunting and gathering work (in his kilt only – hubbabubba) along the property when Rachel sees him and later remembers him from a childhood incident.

During a scuffle Rachel is taken by the Macbain clan who are in a long standing feud with the Munros. Not knowing how she’s going to be rescued, certainly not by her scoundrel of a father, Rachel decides to take matters in her own hands and tries for an escape.

In one of the funniest moments in the story –and there’re quite a few– Rachel asks Alex why they’re in the feud, and I literally laughed out loud with his answer. For being a very short read, roughly 50 pages, this is a surprisingly pleasant read that left me quite satisfied with the characters and the resolution.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a storyline about Rachel’s sister, Isabella, and Alex’s friend, Colin Macleod.

Sorry folks, no sexy time.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Entangled Publishing

Click to purchase: Amazon
Highland Heart
by Heather McCollom
Release Date: December 17, 2012
Publisher: Entangled

Review: A Kiss for Midwinter

Reviewed by Jen

I enjoyed this sidestory novella in Courtney Milan’s new Brothers Sinister series. It centers on Lydia , Minnie’s best friend from The Duchess War –and boy, does she have a story to tell.  She got pregnant out of wedlock at just 15 years-old by a married man who told her lies.  Then she lost the baby.  But her parents stood by her side and kept her secret.

It’s been six years since that horrible time, and Lydia refuses to ignore the good things in life.  She won’t be overcome by bitterness.  And it’s that remaining softness, that optimism, that fascinates Jonas.  He was just a doctor in training when he witnessed Lydia at her lowest. But now when he looks at her, he only sees what she has overcome, and he is captivated by her. Unfortunately, when she looks at him, she is reminded of what she went through and is convinced that he sees her as the lowest of the low.

Jonas sets out to woo her with an unconventional bet. She agrees to visit three of his patients with him. If she can still look on the world the same way after that, he’ll agree never to speak to her again. If she can’t, she owes him a kiss.

I liked Jonas. He is socially awkward and blunt.  There is no subterfuge or hidden meanings in his words or actions. He simply is who he is.  A good doctor; a good son; a good man.  Meanwhile, poor Lydia pushes her real feelings down so deep, even she can’t recognize them herself.   I empathized with both of them and wanted them together so much!  I really enjoyed watching it all fall into place.

Courtney Milan made me laugh… and made me feel for both these characters, in just a hundred pages or so.  And while the story is tied to The Duchess War, this works 100% as a standalone.  Smart, witty, engaging, and satisfying.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
A Kiss for Midwinter
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: December 18, 2012

Review: Truth’s Evil Light

Reviewed by Shelly

I don’t know where Michaela McGregor came from… I don’t really care if you’re a Zephyri or not, I’m just super glad that you wrote this story. When I got this book in the mail I was intrigued by the cover – almost simple in its design. What I can tell you folks is this, there’s nothing about this story that is simplistic (in a good way). The story is complex but told in a way that is very understandable and very easy to read and, more importantly, easy to follow. The ‘otherworld’ starts out quickly and there are some times that I started to say ‘wait, what’s that’ – there’s a glossary that helps out a ton and doesn’t allow the story to be bogged down with the same explanation over and over.

Working for the CIA, Cheveyo Oneida ‘Chevy’ Singer is an empath in a world that doesn’t understand her and unfortunately makes her a ‘freak’. An orphan since age ten when her parents died in a fire, she was found by John who turned her over to the government system. She was teamed with Tony Romano, who would become her guiding figure and more importantly – friend and family.

The story kicks off quickly and doesn’t let up, as Chevy goed on a rescue mission for Tony who was kidnapped while they were on a training exercise. During the rescue, we get a glimpse of Chevy’s powers and the potential she has if she uses her powers for good, not evil. At this point, I’m hoping this story doesn’t take a turn for the worst and turn this emerging character into a vapid, stupid heroine. My hope was not wasted – this chick rocks.

I really liked Chevy’s character. She’s tall –at six feet even– and kinda thin, so in addition to her psychic abilities she’s feeling outside the norm. But my enjoyment of her was that she was no pushover and certainly not helpless. Never once did I question her motivation or want to smack her for her silliness.

During Tony’s attempted rescue and after accidently exposing the Zephyri on national TV, Chevy’s problems exponentially increase when she has to fend-off not only the human bad guys but vampires, fairies, elves, and shifters from a whole other world. Rescued by the Zephyri, Chevy doesn’t know if she’s been saved or damned but she’ll soon find out. In the meantime, she’s got to save her friend Tony, rescue members of the Zephyri before the U.S. government kills them, save the Earth from the evils of the Zephyri, find her first boyfriend, all this while trying to save her own skin from a madman who’s intent on killing her. What’s a girl to do?!?!

I completely got caught up in the people of the Zephyri, especially Kegan McIntyre, the too-hot-for-his-own-good, day walking vampire and his student Sophia. Sophia is completely and totally bat-shit crazy and so awesome that I’m hoping she get hers somewhere along the line. There are four ruling members who make up the Council of the Zephyri: Ellarian, Queen of the fairies has the best and most justified case of Napoleon syndrome EVER. Fenion – King of the elves, Aadi – rajah of the shifters, Baldr – regent of the vampires is the biggest dude (literally a giant) around. And then there’s Tsái aka Eryx– the hottie with the most-est and oh yeah, he’s also ruler of the Zephyri.

There’s no sex in this story – but I absolutely guarantee I would have been disappointed if there was because there was no reason for it in this installment in the series. The tension of Chevy testing her wings was enough to make me pull my hair out because I just didn’t know who’s really deserving of her. She’s so young and impressionable with the guys, it’s refreshing that she doesn’t fall for their silly lines. I have no clue who she’s going to end up with and I’m totally okay with that because I want her to grow into herself more before she takes on a relationship – I’m on pins and needle to see who it’s going to be.

I really hope that the series brings it as much as this story did, because I’ll tell you folks, it’s worth the time, yes it’s just that good.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: A+

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Truth’s Evil Light
by Michaela McGregor
Release Date: September 2, 2012

Review: The Duchess War

Reviewed by Jen

Minnie is not at all the woman she seems.  To the casual observer, she seems mousy and biddable.  But her downcast eyes and quiet demeanor hide a brilliant mind and a will of steel.  She must keep up appearances, though. Her true identity is a secret, and if it ever gets out, her reputation will be destroyed.  Unfortunately, when she is falsely accused of printing seditious fliers, she realizes that all of her careful behavior may have been for naught.

A chance encounter with Robert, the Duke of Clermont, gives Minnie an opportunity to lessen the damage, however.  Once she realizes he is the true author of the fliers, she confronts him and asks him to stop. He refuses, but he is intrigued by this woman who sees the real man behind his title.  And so the two of them do battle: She is determined to prove his involvement in the fliers, while he plans to convince everyone that he is smitten with her, so that she can find the solid future his actions may deprive her of.

The more time they spend together, the more Minnie intrigues Robert.  Despite the difference in their social stations, he ends up falling for her.

I love Courtney Milan’s writing style.  It’s smart. It makes me laugh.  And she makes me understand her characters. But I can’t say this was the most engaging of her books.  The relationship was slow to take off.   Beyond that, both characters make choices that stood to obliterate the other. That’s a tough pill to swallow.  First Minnie makes a conscious decision to destroy Robert… then he does the same to her.  I understood why they each thought they “had to” do what they did, but it wilted the romantic in me a bit.

Minnie’s big secret was different than your standard born-on-the wrong-side-of-the-tracks or I’m-not-really-a-virgin fare.  But after all the build up we had for it, the reveal seemed a bit anticlimactic.

Despite my complaints, I liked the book overall. It’s hard for me not to give my heart to a hero so emotionally wounded as Robert.  The poor man is so starved for love, there were times I wanted to jump into the book and give him a hug… And there was a scene where Minnie gives him a book that brought a tear to my eye.  Plus –a stealth virgin hero!  There are good elements in there.  It just wasn’t my favorite from this author.

Rating: B-

*Book provided by author for review 

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Duchess War
by Courtney Milan
Release Date: December 8, 2012

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2013

It’s never too early to start keeping up with the amazing books of the New Year! I am sticking with the tradition I started last year of running “Best of” post, so no great book slips through the cracks.

January
by Kim Harrison

Guys. This is the best installment in the Hollows series to date.  It’s not a book for new readers to jump into Rachel Morgan’s world.  But for established fans, it’s like hitting the jackpot.  The story is more of a continuation of Pale Demon than A Perfect Blood was.  It follows Rachel as she tries to repair the damage her ley line made in the ever after a couple of books back.  Ku’Sox is trying to get her killed.  Ivy is out of town!! It’s heavy on Trent and Al –and delivers the emotional kick to the gut that this series should be known for.  Sexy, funny, heartbreaking, and action packed… this one is a can’t miss read.

Click to purchase: Ever After

March
Night Blade
by JC Daniels
There is a difference, I guess, between saying, “this was one of my favorite books of the year,” as opposed to saying, “this was one of the best books I have read this year.” I can’t really call Night Blade a favorite, as it left me gutted and hunched over, rocking in the corner of the room. But what I can say is that it will be one of the most unforgettable books of the year for me. It affected me. It made me reach out to the book community to talk about it. I couldn’t put it down, and I now look at Shiloh Walker with a combined sense of awe and horror. You don’t want to read this second installment in the series without reading Blade Song first. You’ll probably find that first book a bit Kate Daniels-ish. But this second book takes us where Kate has never been. If you’re not afraid of some angst, I definitely recommend it.

Click to purchase: Night Blade

by Anne Bishop

This is the most unique feeling Urban Fantasy book I have read in ages.  The tone is so dark.  The monsters aren’t just sexy humans with super-powers… they are beasts.  They are killers.  And humans are little more than a food source.  The heroine, Meg, is woman of beautiful spirit.  She shows the “others” the best of what it means to be human.  With her simple kindness and goodwill, she begins to change how they view her kind.  I loved how Bishop portrays the supernaturals in this world; how they are so alien and she doesn’t try to humanize them.  I picked this book up and was glued to the pages until I was done.  Very cool.

Click to purchase: Written in Red

 

by Delilah Marvelle

You may have noticed that historicals don’t feature on my favorites lists quite as often as some other genres. But I really, really enjoyed this third installment in the School of Gallantry series.  (Don’t worry; it works great as a standalone.)  This book has one of my favorite romance tropes: a tortured hero who thinks he is not good enough for his heroine.  Caldwell and Caroline have been friends since she was only 13, but now she is all grown up.  Despite his best intentions, Caldwell can’t help the attraction he feels for her, but he doesn’t want to ruin the one good relationship he has ever had by bringing sex into the picture. There is great sexual tension; characters I felt I knew and I loved; and a romance that I could really root for. Plus, a delicious dollop of angst.  Good stuff.

Click to purchase: Lady of Pleasure

April
Touch & Geauxhttp://www.dreamstime.com/-image4206965
by Abigail Roux

Just when I think I can’t get any more emotionally invested in Ty and Zane, Abigail Roux writes another book and I only fall deeper.  I should have known that this book would take me through the wringer. After all, the last installment ended with everyone so happy. I was feeling so good, I should have known it couldn’t last.  This book takes our men to New Orleans to hook up with Ty’s Sidewinder team. There is big trouble with an old nemesis of Grady’s and it leads to danger and… Who am I kidding? The heart of this book is the giant wedge that slams down the center of our beloved couple.  It’s dirty and painful and I was a sniveling mass of raw nerves when it was over. And the ending. Killed me.  If you are not reading this series, you should be.  One of my favorite romance series of any subgenre.

Click to purchase: Touch & Geaux

June
Heart of Obsidian
By Nalini Singh

heart of obsidianIt’s so rare for a book to live up to the hype.  But this one did and then some.  For a year, Psy Changeling fans made their best guesses and predictions about who this book would be about and whether we would finally discover the identity of the elusive Ghost.  It turns out that this is Kaleb’s story –and he is everything we wanted in a hero and more.  It’s a book full of passion and deep emotion, with amazingly hot sex and a romance that grabs onto your heart and doesn’t let go.  It was absolutely worth the wait and satisfying in every way. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one.  –And if you’ve never read the series, you could still enjoy it, though you are better off starting the series from the beginning.

Click to purchase: Heart of Obsidian

July
magic risesMagic Rises
By Ilona Andrews

There has yet to be an installment in this series that I didn’t enjoy, so I hesitate to call this a “comeback” book.  But I can say that this book really reinvigorated my devotion to this series.  Kate and Curran are as engaging as ever, maybe even more so, as the future of their relationship is put on the line.  What’s so awesome about it, is that I really had no idea how the conflict would be resolved –or if it even could be. That’s a tall order for a series with such an established couple.  The book is a road trip for the gang, but most of the core characters are still there.  And it continues to advance the overall arc concerning Kate and her father.  I am so excited to see where the series goes from here.

Click to purchase: Magic Rises

Rise of the Gryphon
by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

rise of the gryphonI know these books don’t have the same kind of following as Sherrilyn Keyon’s other series.  They are not PNR.  But this series is really good Urban Fantasy. It may not be for everybody. It’s complicated and you have to pay attention to the wide palate of characters, races, alliances, and feuds.  It’s totally worth it, though. This fourth installment is easily the best in the series to date.  Our heroine, Evalle, is finally learning the truth about what she is. She is moving forward in her fragile relationship with Storm.  The plot moves fast.  There is great action and ass kicking.  There is emotional resonance… good sex… and huge arc advancement. I was riveted from beginning to end. Evalle is growing so much.  And the ending left me begging for book 5.  Really good!

Click to purchase: Rise of the Gryphon

August
Guardian Demonguardian demon
by Meljean Brook

This book left me feeling so emotional. It was the perfect ending to the Guardian series.  The romance is exceptional.  Michael’s worship of Taylor is so lovely.  Meanwhile, her wariness and fear slowly morph into a tentative love, and it’s such an amazing journey to watch.  This story broke my heart and made it whole again, while keeping me on the edge of my seat with action and a fabulous master plan.  I loved it.

Click to purchase: Guardian Demon

archangels legionOctober
Archangel’s Legion
by Nalini Singh

This book got me excited for the Guild Hunter series all over again. Raphael and Elena still have so much fire.  But what I really loved about this book is the great pacing. The story just builds and builds until it explodes all over the page.

Click to purchase: Archangel’s Legion

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (historical romance)
Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (paranormal romance)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (YA urban fantasy)
Never a Hero by Marie Sexton (m/m contemporary romance)
How Beauty Loved the Beast
by Jax Garren (steampunk? sci-fi? romance)
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare (historical romance)
The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan (historical romance)
Romancing Lady Stone by Delilah Marvelle (historical romance)
Secret Unleashed by Sierra Dean (urban fantasy)
The Last Hour of Gann by R Lee Smith (sci-fi with strong romantic elements)
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn (historical romance)
Long Time Gone by SE Jakes (m/m romantic suspense)

Check out Carrie’s, Shelly’s, Jaimie’s and Janell’s top picks of 2013.

Review: Gravedigger’s Brawl

Reviewed by Jen

Well, this book was… different than I expected.  I am a huge, huge Abigail Roux fan. Her Cut & Run series is one of my favorites in any genre. I guess that my expectations were for something like that, and this most definitely is not like Cut & Run.

The story centers on an unlikely couple.  Wyatt is a museum curator whose job is in jeopardy. Ash is a fringe gaslight bartender, with a pierced tongue and a penchant for bottle tossing floor shows a la Tom Cruise in Cocktail.  The two meet when Wyatt’s friend sets them up and they end up in bed the same night. Wyatt kind of freaks, though, and sneaks out before Ash wakes up.  The connection between them remains, despite his boneheaded move, and the two strike up a tentative relationship.

Strange things have been happening in the bar where Ash works. Could it be haunted, or is it a string of coincidences and hallucinations?  That’s the big question in the book. And I’ll be honest with you, despite the frequency in which I read paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I had a very hard time accepting that real ghosts were a possible culprit.  Maybe that goes back to my expectations.

Anyway, I was more interested in the budding romance between Wyatt and Ash than the haunting storyline.  It was a little up and down for me.  I found they complimented each other at times: Ash with his quirky tongue rings and Wyatt with his stuffy historical facts.  They were also hot in the bedroom (though not as hot as in some of Abi’s other work… she sets her own bar pretty high.)  But the relationship was uneven in some points… and way too fast in others.  I believed in the sexual attraction, but the deeper feelings didn’t entirely resonate.

It was definitely creepy.  If you like your paranormal with a disturbing vibe, this delivers that in spades.  It’s full of ghastly, violent history and shudder inducing imagery.  It was cool, but not my favorite from this author.

Rating: B-

*ARC Provided by Riptide via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Gravedigger’s Brawl
by Abigail Roux
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Publisher: Riptide

Guest Post & Giveaway: Moira Rogers

THE BACKSTORY

From the time we announced the final Red Rock ebook in 2009, people have been asking us when we’d go back to the Sanctuary world and write more about werewolves and their witch rivals. In the beginning we didn’t want to return–we had our four books and our two prequel novellas, and those were the stories we had to tell. But people kept asking, and we kept saying, “Well, what if…okay, no, but maybe if…”

A watched pot never boils, and I’m starting to think a watched plot is the same way. The harder we tried to force ourselves to come up with the right story, the more they slipped away. Finally we set the idea aside for a while, reluctantly admitting that maybe it had been too long in any case. We’d missed our window. It was time to work on other–

BOOM! That was our idea, knocking us head over heels. It hit us so hard we sat down and wrote Haunted Sanctuary instead of the book we were supposed to be writing. It wasn’t the story we’d originally imagined. It takes place in a new town, with a new cast of characters, and is set several years after the end of Red Rock Pass. You don’t have to be familiar with any of the previous books to pick up Haunted Sanctuary…

…but hey. Any excuse to give away books is good for us!

THE BLOG TOUR

Thanks to the generosity of Samhain Publishing–and with the assistance of many awesome bloggers–we get to spend the next twenty days giving away 80 ebooks! Those of you who haven’t read the Red Rock Pass books will have twenty different chances to win the entire set in the ebook format of your choice.

In honor of that, we’re going to be revisiting some of our favorite scenes from each of the four books…and maybe showing a few sneaky peeks at the next chapter in the Sanctuary Universe!

TODAY’S SNIPPET

Cry Sanctuary: Meet Your Hero aka Keith Winston Will Break Your Face

Abby’s a tough heroine, but her hero, Keith Winston, isn’t much of a soft touch either. When the book starts, he’s just come home from a few years spent overseas fighting in a very messy—and secret—war between werewolves and wizards. He’s tired, he’s cranky, he doesn’t really know where he fits…

But he gets really mad when someone threatens the people who look to his pack for safety.

Really, really mad.

* * *

“Keith.” It was so short and abrupt she didn’t realize at first that it was meant to be an introduction. Keith holstered his gun and moved to the third man, the one still whimpering in pain. He nudged the man’s body over with his foot and studied him appraisingly.
The man tried to speak, but managed only incoherent moans. Abby took a deep breath. “Will he make it?”
“Probably.” Keith leaned down and searched the man with an ease that looked practiced. He pulled a cell phone from one pocket and a gun from an ankle holster. He absently checked the gun, set it on top of the car, and crushed the cell phone under one booted heel. “If he does, he can drag himself home and tell them what happens when you cross our borders to hurt someone looking for sanctuary.”
Dylan dragged in a pained breath and braced a hand against the back bumper of the car as he tried to stand. “Alan Matthews had someone attack her. He wants her, and he’s not going to just let her go.”
“Dylan.” The word came out more sharply than she intended, and she looped his arm around her shoulders to help him. “We can talk about it later.”
Keith’s dark gaze flicked back and forth between them before settling on Dylan. “Can you walk back to my Jeep, or do you need to wait here?”
“I can walk,” Dylan said, his voice stubborn. “I want to get Abby somewhere safe.”
“She is somewhere safe,” came the calm reply, and Keith smiled a little as he reached for the gun he’d set on top of the car. He checked it again and tucked it into the waistband of his jeans. “She’s with me.”

* * *
THE CONTEST

Leave a comment to if you’d like to be entered to win a set of the Red Rock Pass ebooks! (Don’t forget to include an email address.) And keep an eye open for the new book, Haunted Sanctuary, on sale January 22nd from Samhain Publishing and available to pre-order at Samhain, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, iTunes & Books on Board!

This contest is closed. The winner is Diana.

Review: The Devil’s Thief

Reviewed by Shelly

I can’t tell a lie folks, I’m a big Samantha Kane fan. I’ve read her Brothers in Arms series and thought she hit it out of the ball park with the majority of that series. I’ve also read some of her other works including sci-fi and other historicals, and I really enjoyed them. So it’s with that mindset that I started reading this story.

As the founder and source of income for a children’s home, Julianna Harte is in need of money and she needs it yesterday. Ya’ll know when it’s for the children, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Julianna figures the only way she can get the necessary funds for the back rent on the children’s home is to steal the Stewart Pearl. As the daughter of a former jewel thief, this should be relatively easy because gosh knows that she’s already learned the tricks of the trade from her father. Well, not so much. The holder of the Stewart Pearl might have something to say about that. Alasdair Sharpe, is the current keeper of the pearl and when he catches Julianna in his bedroom smack dab in the middle of the act he makes her a deal that she doesn’t refuse. One night of sex, she’s a virgin by the way, and in exchange he’ll give her the pearl in the morning. Um, sure right – that sounds about fair price for that.

I really wanted to like this story more than I did but for some reason I just didn’t get into it until the latter portion of the story. I found Julianna to be a strong character but I just didn’t understand her rationale for have sex with Alasdair the first or even the second time. I really thought she would have been smarter than that considering she had her father as her only mentor.

I didn’t think of Alasdair as a nice person, a jerk actually. One of his early lines, “she made herself available, and I had nothing better to do” in reference to one of his peer’s mistresses. When it was time for him to proclaim his love – I was over him.

Of the secondary characters, I thought that alcoholic Roger Templeton and leader of the pack Sir Hilary St. John were two of the more interesting characters. From what I read in the excerpt, I think Roger’s story is coming up next. For some strange eye-twinkling reason, I think that that back story of Julianne’s Dad would make a good read.

The sex was good, but I didn’t find them to be very emotionally attached. I did get an HEA so I was okay with it by then end.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C

*ARC provided by Random House via Net Galley

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Devil’s Thief
by Nalini Singh
Release Date: November 12, 2012
Publisher: Loveswept

Review: Mine to Possess

Reviewed by Jen

This series just gets better and better! As much as I loved Judd (in Caressed by Ice,) I enjoyed this book even more than the last. Nalini Singh breaks the mold a bit with this pairing. Where all of our previous couples were a mix of Psy and changeling, here she features a changeling/ human pair.  They have deep and troubled history with each other that has plagued each of them for years.

Clay and Talin were best friends as children.  Both were dealing with difficulties in their home lives and each found much needed solace in the other. Until Clay found out Tally was being abused by her foster father, and he proceeded to rip the man to shreds in front of her eyes.  He was sent to juvie and she was shipped off to another family to try to start over.  Traumatized by the violence, Tally convinced her social worker to tell Clay she had died, so when he got out he had no chance to find her.

Now grown, Tally needs help and she seeks Clay out.  She works with at-risk kids and someone is kidnapping and killing them.  She reaches out to Clay, knowing if anyone can track the killer and recover the surviving kids, it’s him.

Tally’s return completely blindsides him. He is thrilled that the love of his life has returned, but heartbroken at how she ran from him in the first place.  Of course, no matter what sadness and anger surface, he can’t turn his back on her.  And slowly, they rekindle the deep connection they always had between them.

The two still care deeply for each other, but there is so much to work through: what Clay did those years ago, Tally’s abuse, her rejection of him… oh yeah, and the fact that she is dying.  There is so much delicious angst.  And it IS delicious.  No matter what other feelings have Clay knotted up, ultimately, he loves Tally in a deep, constant and abiding way that is undeniable.  I loved watching his struggle between his animal and human sides… and the thawing of his frozen heart.

I didn’t love Tally quite as much. She hurt Clay a lot. But she endured a lot too.  It wasn’t really fair how much she put on his shoulders, but at the same time, she was very young and very traumatized.  I desperately wanted them to find their way to each other, because they both needed it so much!

This book wasn’t quite as sexually focused for me as the last one, but it was very, very emotionally engaging.  And there was a solid plot surrounding the kidnapping that tied in seamlessly with the larger storyline involving the Psy’s plan to create a hive mind.  The fabulous Dark River leopard pack is featured prominently, from previous couples like Lucas and Sacsha –and Faith and Vaughn– to great side characters who are itching to have their own stories told, like Dorian, Kaleb, and the mysterious Ghost.

Simply put, it was fantastic.  Bring on book 5!

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon
Mine to Possess
by Nalini Singh
Release Date: February 5, 2008
Publisher: Berkley Sensation