Review: Awaken the Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Reviewed by Jen

I always enjoy returning to the world of the Immortal Guardians. This eighth installment is an awesome gift for long time fans of the series. This is Stanislav‘s book. You read that right. One of the immortals believed to have been killed a few books back is actually alive! He has been buried alive for the past 2 1/2 years, ever since he was horribly wounded in the battle that killed his best friend, Yuri. He has been in and out of stasis this whole time and doesn’t remember who or what he is; he knows only loneliness and pain. Until Susan comes.

Susan is a Gifted One who moves in to the home above the basement where Stanislav is buried. He uses his empathetic gifts to prompt her to buy the house and eventually to dig him up. Susan is a telepath, so the two of them are able to communicate truths to each other that help get past what would be a mountain of fear and suspicion for most women. I mean, if most ladies were to dig up a body six feet underground and find him still living, at the very least they would call 911. Susan ends up letting Stan stay with her and nurses him back to health. [Read more…]

Review: Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

It seems that every time I write a review for an Ilona Andrews book, I have the same problem. How do I describe it without sounding like a fangirl who knows only the language of squee? It’s not my fault, really. The books are just that good.

And this first installment in the Iron Covenant series has so much in common with the Kate Daniels series it spun off of. The world building is extraordinary. The dialogue is witty and full of banter, with just the right amount of bite. There is action. There is romance. And there are characters which are complex and layered. People who are not all good and not all bad, but 100% captivating. [Read more…]

Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Reviewed by Jen

I have been a fan of Kelly Meding since her Dreg City days. So when I saw she had a new urban fantasy series starting, I was super excited. And I am happy to report that Stray Magic didn’t disappoint.

The heroine, Shiloh, is a US marshal who works with a special paranormal unit. She is half human, half djinn, and as the story begins, she is just looking forward to a little R&R with her boyfriend, Vincent. Unfortunately, before they can get too cozy, she is called away on a case. A group of vampires has taken a trailer park hostage. The thing is, though, it is just an entry point into a larger mystery. Someone has been snatching vampires and werewolves… and master vampire Tennyson orchestrated the hostage situation it to get the help of Shiloh’s team in finding out who is behind the kidnappings and stopping them. This, as Shiloh’s own boss goes missing. She must work with Tennyson and the remainder of her team in a race to find the bad guy as it seems he is closing in on her at the same time. [Read more…]

Review: Vampire’s Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

Reviewed by Jen

I cannot tell you how excited I was to discover Rebecca Zanetti’s return to the Dark Protector series. Though she kept one toe in the pool with her Realm Enforcers spinoff, those books never quite had the same magic for me as the original series. This one absolutely does. It completely re-captured the magic of those early books and I felt like I never left.

I knew from the blurb that the hero would be a Karys, but what I didn’t know was how he would fit in with the family I knew and loved from the previous books. Would this be a prequel? Were we jumping forward in time? I knew I had never heard of a character named Ronan before. Turns out, it’s the best scenario of all. This book pics up about seven years after the last Dark Protectors book. Ronan is an ancestor of Dage– long dead to most of the world, his existence almost erased. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Hallow’s Eve by Danielle Garrett

Reviewed by Debz

This is an urban fantasy romance with vampires (wooohooo!!!!!) The heroine here is Lacey Vaughn, basically the princess of American vampires and her love interest, Matthias Hartford.

Lady Lacey, daughter of the ‘Baron of the East’ has been summoned by her father back into the fold. After being on self imposed exile for 3 or so years, her father has commanded her to come back home and she has two options, come voluntarily or be brought back.

Upon her return, her father informs her and the court that she will be wedded on the annual Hallow’s Eve all. Not only will she be married, her husband will be chosen via a tournament of the blood. For context on the tournament of the blood, think of sweaty men, fighting each other in pairs, until one surrenders or dies until there is one victor. [Read more…]

Review: Dark Queen by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

I was completely and utterly blown away by this book. Each installment in the Jane Yellowrock series has been good, but this one took it to an entirely new level. So much is happening here. I was completely on the edge of my seat. And it was a gamechanger, guys. I had so many feels.

This is the book where we finally get the big face-off between Leo’s people and the European vamps in their long awaited Blood Duel. A huge event like that—I totally expected to take up an entire book on its own, but it doesn’t. In fact, there were so many other things happening in the first half of the story that I was sure Faith Hunter was saving it for the next book. [Read more…]

Review: The Thief by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

With her Black Dagger Brotherhood books, JR Ward has excited me, enraged me, made me fall in love, and occasionally made me scratch my head. This is the first time she has left me completely cold. The installments in the main series (less so with the spinoffs) generally have so many subplots, there is at least one that I’m interested in. Not here.

I wasn’t terribly intrigued by Assail and Sola when they were first introduced. Here, they were downright anemic. Assail had been going crazy from his withdrawals from cocaine for a while now. We could hear him screaming in the background of the past few books. As this one begins, though, he is in a coma and on the verge of death. His cousins track down Sola to talk him back from the Fade. There is nothing sexy about a man clinging to life. This was equally true in the novella which directly preceded this. The best Ward could say was that the man’s boner was undiminished by his illness. No matter that he is skin and bones; he is bald; he can’t use the bathroom or bathe himself. But his junk works and is as big as ever. Hallelujah.  [Read more…]

Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet Lyons

Reviewed by Elle

I admit, I have a soft spot for vampires. I hadn’t read a vampire romance for awhile, so when I was offered this one for review, I easily accepted, despite not reading the first book in the series. This book stands alone well, so you can definitely jump in here without reading the first of the Bite Nights series.

Mila is a bit of an adorable mess. Her last boyfriend dumped her to go back to a wife and family she knew nothing about. Down on her luck, she tries the hot new dating site V-Date. Yes, the V stands for Vampire. They’re out of the coffin, living in society and open to dating.

Mila’s night out becomes a bit of a drama, when her Vampire date tries to kill her. Lucky for her, Inspector Vincent Ferrer happens to be around to save her. One look at Vincent’s (Hemsworth look-alike) face, is almost enough to erase Mila’s near death experience from memory. Only problem is, he’s a Vampire too. Oh, and the killer isn’t giving up that easily. [Read more…]

Review: Blood Fury by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I’m almost to the point where I can just say point blank that I like these Black Dagger Legacy books more than current incarnation of the core series. Why? More focus on the romance. The main BDB books jump all over the place, from character to character, scene to scene. There have always been parts I’ve wanted to skim to get back to the romance, but with the spinoff books, it’s all romance; there’s nothing to skim.

That’s not to say there’s no jumping around here… there is. It just happens between the two romances which equally carry the book. The blurb may be all about Peyton and Novo, but this is every bit as much about Saxton and Rhun, and frankly, it’s all the better for it. The secondary romance (and I hesitate to call it that because it had equal page time) was even better for me than the headlining love story. [Read more…]

Review: Return of the Lycan King: Nicholas and Kristen by Candace Blackburn

Reviewed by Shelly

This is my first by Candace Blackburn and it’s not going to be my last. The first book in her Return of the Lycan King series is a winner. Fast paced, fun and just enough action to keep the pages turning – I found it to be a solid start to the series. I’m going to do my best to not give a spoiler because I really liked this.

When I saw the blurb for this, my eyes went big. I’m a sucker for damaged main characters and knowing it’s the heroine was the icing on the cake. The world building was good, I mean very good. Nothing over the top and all very subtle. The majority of the story is told from Kristen’s angle as the new girl on the block per se and we see the world through her eyes. It’s an interesting world. [Read more…]