Review: War Of Hearts by S. Young

WAR OF HEARTS
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: S. Young
Release Date: October 1, 2019

New York Times Bestselling author Samantha Young writing as S. Young.

Thea Quinn has no idea what she is. All she knows is that her abilities have been a plague upon her life since she was a child. After years of suffering at the hands of a megalomaniac, Thea escaped and has been on the run ever since.

The leadership and protection of his pack are of the utmost importance to Conall MacLennan, Alpha and Chief of Clan MacLennan, the last werewolf pack in Scotland. Which is why watching his sister slowly die of a lycanthropic disease is emotional torture. When Conall is approached by a businessman who offers a cure for his sister in exchange for the use of Conall’s rare tracking ability, Conall forges an unbreakable contract with him. He has to find and retrieve the key to the cure: dangerous murderer, Thea Quinn.

Thea’s attempts to evade the ruthless werewolf are not only thwarted by the Alpha, but by outside dangers. With no choice but to rely on one another for survival, truths are revealed, intensifying a passionate connection they both fight to resist. At war with themselves and each other, Conall and Thea’s journey to Scotland forces them to face a heartrending choice between love and betrayal.

War of Hearts is a standalone paranormal romance.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

 

Stepping back inside the motel room, Thea halted as Conall came out of the bathroom. His height caused a logistical problem for her next move.Although his color hadn’t fully returned to normal, the wolf was looking much stronger. She didn’t know if she could take him in a fight when he was at full strength, which was more than a little concerning. As if he’d read her mind, he cut her an expressionless look. “You should have left me to die, lass.”

“Probably. I guess I’m just going to have to take the chance you were bluffing.”

He frowned and opened his mouth to question her, but Thea had already made her move.

Before he could comprehend it, she was on the bed behind him and reaching for his head before his weakened reflexes could catch up.

The crack of his neck echoed around the room, causing a sick lurch in Thea’s stomach.

For some reason, stupid tears stung her eyes as she watched his body hit the ground with an almighty thud. Why should she care? It wasn’t like he was dead. She’d knocked him out. For … however long he took to heal.

And he had stuck her with that goddamn injection.

Speaking of …

Thea jumped off the mattress, avoiding Conall’s body. Earlier when she’d been treating his wounds, she’d spied the syringes in the first aid kit. Grabbing them, Thea hurried out of the motel room and toward the fields beyond. Quickly she dug a hole with her bare hands and buried the syringes. Hurrying back, she avoided staring at Conall because he looked very much dead.

She grabbed his wallet and as she took his money, leaving him his credit cards, a folded-up photograph caught her attention. Curiosity got the better of her and she pulled it out. Smoothing her fingers across the picture, she spotted who she thought was Conall only to realize it wasn’t. The man who looked like him was standing next to a much younger Conall, and Thea deduced it was his father. The younger Conall had his arm around the waist of a small, redheaded girl buried into his side. And beside the man she’d mistaken for Conall was a beautiful redheaded woman.

Was this Conall and his family?

They were standing on a rocky beach, a beautiful lake and mountains behind them.

Thea wondered which one of them was sick. Which of these people was he willing to sacrifice her for?

Memories of her own parents swelled in her throat, burning and screaming to get out. But Thea shoved them back down as she shoved the photograph into his wallet.

There were times she pulled those memories out and let herself swim in the pain because it was worth it to remember the happy moments.

But now was not the time.

With a ruthless supernatural sure to wake up from a broken neck wanting to kill her, and some unknown entity out there hunting her too, now was very much the time to go.


Holy…WOW. I am HOOKED. Line and sinker on all of the words. On this amazing world. On what I’m desperately now hoping will be a series. Because this book seriously blew me away.

I’m a HUGE PNR fan, and so it goes without saying I’m also ridiculously picky when it comes to the genre. But considering how much I adore Samantha Young’s contemporaries, I knew without even reading the blurb to this book that I had to have it. And when I finally read the blurb? I was frothing at the mouth to get my hands on it.

If there’s one thing that is especially hard for PNR books to do, is the world building. All too often I’ll read a PNR story that ends up being a data dump of epic proportions or there’s just not enough world building to truly grasp or understand. This was none of those things. This felt like a movie reel unraveling behind my eyes as I was turning the pages. A magic, fantastical world that I couldn’t get enough of.

Thea Quinn is on the run but she’s no weakling. As a matter of fact, she’s frightfully strong. But the most frightening thing is she has no idea what she is or where her strength comes from. She’s been on the run for years from something that threatens everything for her.

Conall MacLennan, is the Alpha and Chief of Clan MacLennan, and one of the most fearsome and strong werewolves there is. When a man comes to him and offers him a deal to save his terminally ill sister in exchange for him hunting down a dangerous fugitive, it doesn’t take him long to make up his mind. Being one of the best trackers, it doesn’t take him long to track down Thea. Unfortunately it also doesn’t take him long to figure out that neither Thea or everything else surrounding their situation is what it seems.

The story was an action packed page turner. There’s nothing I love more than a strong heroine, and boy did Thea check that box for me. The woman is fierce. At times, her power overshadows even that of Conall. But what I loved the most is that it never diminished Conall’s intensity. If anything, watching the way he handles it just added to his appeal.

The romance is a slow burn, and while it’s a little tamer that what I’m used to from this author, it was no less satisfying. I loved these two together, but I especially loved the unraveling of their unique world and learning more about many of the mysterious secondary characters. There’s enough of a hook at the end to make me think that there will be more to come in this world and I can’t wait! If you’re looking for an addicting and unique PNR, look no further. This will check all of your boxes!

Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Fight or Flight. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.

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Review: Frost and Flame by Gena Showalter

FROST AND FLAME
Series:
Gods of War #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 17, 2019

From Gena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lords of the Underworld saga, comes Frost and Flame , the second book in the scorching paranormal romance series Gods of War.

Bane of Adwaeweth is the most feared immortal warrior in All War history. Possessed by a bloodthirsty beast, he will stop at nothing to win. Then he meets irresistible Nola Lee. He hates the power she wields over him, but she alone can rain vengeance upon his wife’s killer.

Unaware of her destiny to rule as queen of beasts, Nola battles illness, addiction and vulnerability. With Bane, however, she experiences pleasure for the first time, and only wants more. But being with him comes with a terrible price.

With enemies lurking around every corner, Bane and Nola must fight to survive. But time is running out, and neither can resist the sizzling attraction blazing between them. Will their romance save the beast and his beauty, or destroy everything they’ve come to love?

AMAZON 

You are my salvation and my damnation, rolled into one beautiful package.”


Well hot diggity damn, this was great! I’m so happy I gave this series another shot after not quite connecting with the first book, because this one officially hooked me. The connection and chemistry that I found lacking in the first one was absolutely incendiary in this one. Pun intended.

I was so curious about Bane and Nola’s book from the second they appeared in Shadow and Ice. The story here runs parallel to the one in the first book. But I will say that if you haven’t read the first, you may struggle in parts. This story doesn’t go as much into depth into some of the background given in the first, so I’d definitely recommend giving that a read before diving into this one.

Bane was a hero that was impossible not to love even if his hot and cold behavior did make me want to jock punch him more often than not. A dragon shifter, he’s a fierce warrior that is bound to the command of an evil queen that he’s sworn vengeance on. Determined to win the third All War in order to achieve his goal, he knows immediately that Nola plays an intricate part in his revenge.

Nola and Vale are foster sisters and tight as thieves. And while I liked Vale’s character, I absolutely loved Nola. There’s just something so endearing about a woman that’s dealing with an opioid addiction due to her fibro and lupus yet is still fierce as hell. This is not a woman that takes her situation lying down. Her body may be weak, but not her spirit. And I absolutely loved watching her fierceness grow with each chapter. She’s definitely much more than a simple mortal.

The connection between Nola and Bane is instant, even though Bane fights it tooth an nail. Knowing what Nola’s destiny is doesn’t help this matter. Bane already loved and lost, and he’s not looking to let another soon to be evil loyal get her hooks in him. But the more time they spend together, the more he sees just how different Nola is.

As per usual Showalter fashion, the quips and zingers are on point. With a splash of her signature humor and banter, the romance was everything I needed! I loved the internal monologue and I absolutely loved the two of them together. There’s a secondary character introduced that I can’t wait to learn more about, especially with the twist you learn in the end. I’m happy to report that while I felt overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information and too many characters in the first book, this was nothing like it. There was just enough story and plenty of romance to make this an absolute page turner. I did wish we got a little more in the end there because it did feel like it wrapped up much too quick for all of the build up, but it was still satisfying. I’m thinking we’ll be getting a little more on these two in the next book, but even if we don’t, there’s still a satisfying enough conclusion.

Review: Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright

UNTAMED DELIGHTS
Series: The Phoenix Pack #8
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Suzanne Wright
Release Date: July 16, 2019

Return to the sensual and feral stirrings of the Phoenix Pack as a woman who’s already bound to one man is tempted by a wolf who’s bound only to his nightly desires.

Cat shifter Mila Devereaux can’t help but see it as a betrayal. That her one true mate imprinted himself on another female was hard enough to accept. Struggling to be at peace with her loveless fate, she doesn’t fight the suggestion of entering an arranged mating. Then she meets Dominic, a pack enforcer with a notorious reputation. It’s in his very scent. This irresistible playboy—and delicious badass wolf—is making Mila’s fantasies come alive again.

Alarming, compelling, and heady with sensual energy, Dominic is an expert at making women shed their inhibitions. Now everything about him—his killer smile, his perfectly sculpted body, and his smooth-as-honey voice—is drawing in a captivating new catch. But for the first time in his life, Dominic is feeling more than a fling. He finds himself tantalized by a female who makes him think of forever. He wants all of Mila and won’t be satisfied until he has it.

As the passion grows wild, so does the risk. They’re falling in love in the shadows and secrets of their pasts. And it’s threatening to destroy everything Mila and Dominic are fighting for. And are destined for.

AMAZON


I’ll bet you’re one of those guys who gives his cock a name.”
“I call mine ‘the truth.’”
“The truth?”
“Because women can’t handle it.”

Finally, my favorite goofball of the Phoenix Pack gets a book and he did NOT disappoint. Dom has been one of my absolute favorite secondary characters in this series. The man can deliver a cheesy pick up line like no other.

As it happens, my Alpha is considering having me committed. Especially since I keep claiming my watch is magic. But it really is.”
She gave him a droll look. “Is that so?”
“Oh yeah.” He glimpsed at his watch. “According to this, you’re not wearing underwear.”
Her brows drew together. “Actually, I am.”
“Really? Hmm.” Frowning, he tapped the watch. “Must be an hour fast.”

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was a little afraid to read his book because of this. While Dom was great in small doses, I wasn’t sure how the author would pull off an entire book that may be full of his goofball tactics. So color me surprised when I learned that Dom is easily one of the most multi-layered characters I’ve read in this series. Seriously, y’all, the man’s layers have layers, and they’re DEEP. You think you know him, but there’s a wealth of pain that he keeps hidden under the goofball facade. And if you think you know what that pain is, you couldn’t be more wrong.

If there’s one thing that I love about Suzanne Wright, it’s her ability to deliver some of the sassiest and feistiest heroines ever. And when it comes Mila, she was no exception. I love the cute and fluffy yet vicious dynamic of the pallas cats, and Mila was awesome! This woman can kick some serious a$$ and look adorable doing it.

The story definitely didn’t disappoint either. Both Mila and Dom had a super intriguing story line. First with Dom’s love em and leave em past coming back to really bite him on the butt. And Mila dealing with the fallout of meeting her true mate but after he falls in love and imprints on her cousin.

In true Wright fashion there’s plenty of sizzle in this quick paced and action packed romance. Dom and Mila together were incendiary. I loved watching him really have to work for a female for once. And Mila sure mad him work. This is a woman that doesn’t give in easily, but when she does? FIREWORKS!!!

If you’ve been eagerly anticipating Dom’s book like I have been, you definitely won’t be disappointed with this one!

Review: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

PESTILENCE
Series: The Four Horsemen #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Laura Thalassa
Release Date: September 14, 2018

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she’ll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.

AMAZON

I cannot decide if you are a toxin or a tonic,” he says, lifting a hand to my cheek. “Only that you plague my thoughts and fill my veins.”

That moment when you read a book that everyone, their mother, their dog, and their uncle Jerry recommended to you…and you don’t like it.
I’m feeling a little like the black sheep of the book community right now because I know just how much so many of my book friends loved this book. And I wanted, so badly, to love it too. I tried, guys. I really REALLY did. But alas, this was just simply not my cuppa.

I’d like to preface this by saying that PNR is my jam. It was the genre the first got me into romance and so to say that I’m incredibly picky when it comes to it, would be a mild understatement. Perhaps that was one of the main reasons why I found this book falling short for me? I dunno. But I will say this, the author clearly has some major writing chops. I can definitely see why so many people enjoyed this one. But for me, there was just too many things that I couldn’t look past that began to chip away at my enjoyment of the story after the 20% mark.

1. The world building. It was there. Kinda? Not really. You get bits and pieces of the horseman and their “purpose” but just not enough for my tastes.

2. The purple prose. Sweet baby jebus the purple prose. I can’t with it, guys, I just can’t. And this book was riddled with it.

When you ignore me, I burn with restlessness; it feels as though the sun has turned its back on the world. And when you smile at me—when you gaze at me like you can see my soul—I feel … I feel like I am lit on fire, like you have been called by God to raze my world.”

On the one hand, it’s beautifully poetic. On the other hand, when it continues on and on, it gets to be too much for this reader.

3. The very many graphic deaths. Now look, I’ve read my share of gory details. I’ve read dark romance and romantic suspense, and I’m definitely no stranger to graphic depictions of death and sickness. But when those deaths are of children and sweet elderly couples? I don’t care what they add tot eh story or how they drive the plot forward, I can’t. I just can’t.

4. The romance. It was just meh for me, guys. I hate to admit it because you can definitely see that it was there, but I just didn’t click with it. It was torture porn disguised as romance, if I’m being perfectly frank. All of the deaths and gore simply overshadowed everything else. And that’s not even bringing up all of the shit that Pestilence puts Sara through.

5. Pestilence. GAH. I would have thought I’d love him, but man did I struggle. And no, it wasn’t because he kills so many innocents in the course of the story. It’s because he was a total beta hero in my eyes. Sure, he’s a big baddie with the diseases spreading and the kidnapping of our heroine after she tries to kill him in order to make her suffer. Sure he’s all tough and weapony and all that jazz. But he’s almost childlike in his idealistic views and understanding of human nature and interactions. I felt no alpha vibes from him in the least, and that’s a must for me. This is clearly a personal preference, so take that with a grain of salt.

Ultimately I found myself growing both bored and irritated with the story and all of the meaningless gory deaths and the back and forth between Pestilence and Sara. It felt almost preachy to me in parts because of the God references, but again, that’s another personal preference. I prefer my PNR to be strictly PNR. I’ve read another series by Larissa Ione on the Four Horseman Eternal Rider and sadly this book just pales in comparison. Perhaps it was because I kept comparing them that worked against it? I dunno. But sadly, this story just fell completely flat for me. I wanted to love it, but I barely got through it.

Would I read the rest of this series? Probably not. But I’ll definitely be giving this author’s other books a try. I loved her story telling, I just didn’t love this book and the concept.

Clearly I’m the lone black sheep here, because countless others absolutely loved this story. So don’t take my word as gospel. This is just one opinion here guys, with plenty of personal biases in play. So give it a shot and see for yourself.

Review & Excerpt: The Darkest Captive by Gena Showalter


The demon possessed beast wants his beauty back, and he’ll do anything to win her. Even war with a god king.

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Gena Showalter, comes THE DARKEST CAPTIVE, a new novella in her addictive bestselling Lords of the Underworld Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights!


THE DARKEST CAPTIVE
Series: Lords of the Underworld #14.5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: December 4, 2018

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter comes a new story in her Lords of the Underworld series…

For centuries, Galen the Treacherous has been the most hated immortal in the Underworld. With good reason! This bad boy of bad boys has lied, stolen, cheated and killed with abandon. Possessed by the demons of Jealousy and False Hope, he has always lived for a single purpose: destroy everything.

Then he met her.

Former demon turned human femme fatale — Legion Honey — sought to kill Galen, but ended up parting with her virginity instead. Afraid of their sizzling connection, she ran away…and ended up trapped in hell, tortured and abused in the worst of ways. Now she’s free, and a shell of herself, afraid of her own shadow.

Galen’s hunger for Legion has only grown. Now the warrior with nothing to lose must help her rekindle the fire that once burned inside her. But as desires blaze white-hot, will Legion run again? Or will the unlikely pair succumb to love at long last?

AMAZON

Shocked to the bone, Legion performed a slow-mo 360. Galen’s kitchen had been transformed into an Arabian Nights paradise. Flickering candles filled the entire room. Multi-colored scarves cascaded from the ceiling, intermixing with strings of beads. A coffee table had replaced the kitchen table, jewel-toned pillows acting as chairs. Covered platters dominated the table’s surface, a gem-encrusted genie lamp the centerpiece.Your wish is my command…

The scent of corn dogs, chili cheese fries, and cotton candy saturated the air, and her mouth watered.

As Galen stepped past a sheer purple curtain, electric pulses awakened every nerve in her body.

He looked her over. “You are stunning, Leila.”

His husky timbre sent shivers rushing down her spine. And when he looked her over a second time, taking in the frilly dress with a cinched-in waist and mid-thigh tulle skirt paired with ballet flats, his irises heated—and so did her blood.

Galen wore a dark, perfectly tailored suit, the polished veneer only enhancing the savagery of his soul. Awareness of him eclipsed her fears, and it was nice. Better than nice. Wonderful! For a moment, she felt like the old Legion again.

“I’m guessing I am stunning, too?” he prompted.

Did she detect a thrum of uncertainty? How adorable. The saucy, ultra-confident Galen cared about her opinion. Meaning she had power over him. How delicious.

“You are,” she admitted. “I think you’ve hijacked my thoughts.” And she was glad for it. Once, she’d made a deal with the devil because she’d dreamed of falling in love, being loved in return, and discovering why humans were so obsessed with getting naked and rolling around in bed. Here, now, she realized a part of her still yearned for those things, despite everything that had happened.

Fear had put her life on pause long enough. She deserved pleasure.

If she wanted better, she had to fight for it. Had she picked the right man for the job, though? Someone who would be patient with her, who would ease her back to life, and give as much as he took?

Time would reveal the truth, one way or another, but her hopes were high. Galen was strong. He would cross any line to get what he wanted, and for some reason, what he wanted most was a chance to keep her safe.

Unless he decided to bed her, even if she said no.

 


Galen might have been created for war, but he lived for Leila.

Years. YEARS I’ve been waiting for Galen and Legion’s story. It’s been the most torturously painful foreplay right after William (and now Hades). What I’m trying to tell you here, is that I NEEDED their book. And while I was definitely disappointed we wouldn’t be getting a full novel for them, the novella was still satisfying enough to appease this reader.

She had the face of an angel and the body of a porn star, and he wanted to pray and sin at the same time.

The nice thing about this novella, is that readers that are new to the series can enjoy it as well. But if you’re like me and have read the entire series, than you’ll certainly have a different sort of appreciation to Legion and Galen’s journey.

Admittedly, I struggled with Legion as a character after Aeron’s book. I mean, an almost childlike demon turned beautiful seductress? I wasn’t sure if I bought into it. But she’s won me over with her strength and perseverance throughout the series. Her do anything for those she love attitude is what got her on Galen’s radar and I couldn’t wait to see how it all concludes.

Galen has been THE baddie for the first half of this series. And if there’s anything I love, it’s a good redemption story. After a sizzling encounter that was only supposed to be a means to an end, it ended up changing the course of things for both Galen and Legion. Legion has been trying to heal her mind after the torture she endured in hell. And Galen has been obsessed with finding and finally wooing her back into his bed once and for all.

I really loved Legion and Galen together. I did find myself wishing that it was more fleshed out into a full story, as it did feel a bit rushed at points. But at the same time, I still highly enjoyed it despite that quibble, so I can’t complain much. Now if you’ll excused me, I’m off to go rock myself in a corner until William’s book finally comes out.

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Excerpt & Review: The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter @HarlequinBooks @InkSlingerPR

 

The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, returns with THE DARKEST WARRIOR, a searing Lords of the Underworld tale featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep.


THE DARKEST WARRIOR
Series: Lords of the Underworld #14
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: June 26, 2018

He is ice…

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire…

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

Grab your copy of THE DARKEST WARRIOR here!

Amazon | Kindle | Nook | B-A-M | Kobo | Book Depository | Audio

Puck eased into the room, silent, and padded forward. Wait. Had he remembered to dress today? A quick glance down revealed his sheepskin pants had been torn so much they resembled a loincloth. No matter. Barbarian chic really made his horns pop and fit the whole romance-novel-hero mystique he’d hoped to convey. He might even pass for Prince Charming—well, a prince in need of true love’s kiss.

Puck’s pulse points spun into a wild rhythm when he reached the side of the bed and spied his future bride. He wasn’t the only fairy-tale character in the room. Sleeping beauty lies before me.

Dark ribbons of hair spilled over the pale pink of the pillow. Her eyes were closed, long black lashes throwing shadows over her cheeks. A rosy flush spread over her delicate features as she parted her lips.

Practically begging for my kiss.

Focus! Keep this short and sweet. No telling when William would return.

“Gillian,” he rasped, surprised by the husky tone of his voice.

A sweet fragrance wafted from her. Breathing in, he detected a note of poppiberries, and his head fogged. His blood heated. The butterfly tattoo sizzled on his torso, surely melting his skin.

Indifference snarled with more force and slashed at his mind. Trouble brewed.

Fortify ice. Regain control.

Gillian turned her head toward him and blinked rapidly before focusing on him. Panic filled her whiskey-colored eyes before she looked away—anywhere but Puck. Her mouth opened wide, as if she was trying to scream. Only a squeak escaped.

“There’ll be none of that now.” To prove himself harmless, he tucked the covers around her, as he’d seen William do. “I’m not here to hurt you.” Truth.

The movement caused the razors woven into his hair to clink together, drawing her attention. Her gaze darted to him and darkened with shock and dismay. He swallowed a curse. Romance novel heroes didn’t usually smuggle weapons in their hair.

Must proceed anyway. Puck wouldn’t part with his razors; they were his saving grace. Anytime he was challenged, and had no sword or dagger, he plucked a razor free and started slashing.

Tears rained down Gillian’s cheeks, and her chin trembled. So vulnerable. So broken. A pang of…something lanced his chest.

As gently as possible, he wiped her tears away. Skin as soft as silk and hotter than the sun.

The action helped relax her, even as it hardened muscle after muscle inside him. Her panic began to fade—until her gaze snagged on the loincloth. Or rather, the erection underneath the loincloth. With a whimper, she began to thrash atop the bed in a desperate bid to escape.

Thought he would take what she had not offered? Never. “Eyes up here, lass.”

Her gaze lifted up, up…she gasped, as if she’d noticed his face for the very first time. Confusion contorted her features before a deeper shade of rose spilled over her cheeks.

Did she like what she saw?

He hadn’t known it at the time, but he’d waited for her, had craved her. Only her. A woman strong enough to feel when he could not. A woman unwilling to let him shut down his own emotions, who knew the rarity of joy, who would settle for nothing less.

Before I get into my review, let’s address the pink elephant in the room, shall we? The pairing for Gillian in this book has been a polarizing one, to say the least. Many readers, myself included, were waiting for a Gillian and William book…finally…after so many books in this series that has been hinting at it. When I read the blurb for Darkest Warrior, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I mean, Gillian and Puck? What about all the relationship development that happened throughout the series that led us to believe it will be Gillian and William’s HEA. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but I decided to put my trust into Gena and reserve my ultimate judgement until I read the book. And after finishing? I’m one hundred percent #TeamPuck. Because when I thought about it, throughout the series that are hints of why William wasn’t the perfect match for her and after seeing her with Puck, I totally get why he’s a much better match for her.

Three things happened for me in this book:
1. I ended up loving Gillian even more
2. I’m completely re-hooked on this series
3. I fell head over hooves for Puck

Deep down, he had a secret, shameful desire to keep a woman all to himself, to learn every little detail about her past, all her hopes and dreams. He dreamed of spending weeks, months, years pampering her and her alone, branding himself in and on her. Being branded by her. He yearned to have a “mine.” Maybe one day he could.

I’ll admit, I struggled with the first 15% of the story. There’s a lot of inner monologue that happens and I found my interest waning in and out. Some of it may have been my own bias against anyone other than William taking up Gillian’s attention. But then somewhere around the 20% mark, something happened. Something just clicked for me and I began to fall more and more for Puck. The lethal warrior set on a quest to take back his kingdom and the host of the demon of Indifference. Let me tell you, it’s no small feat to pull off a connection like the one between Gilly and Puck with Indifference as your demon. But not only did that happen, but the chemistry between them was through the roof hot.

He kissed her as if his survival depended on it, demanding total surrender. Surrender she happily ceded.

Gillian has always been the wounded bird of the group. With her tender age and scars from her childhood, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about her as a heroine, especially compared to the typical Showalter sassy heroines. I’m happy to report that the development that happened with Gilly in this story turned her into one heck of a badass. And it felt so right. I loved and I mean loved the direction that the author took with her and I couldn’t get enough of it.

The chemistry between Gillian and Puck is instant and potent. As you read the development of their relationship, something clicks, and you just get it. You understand why Gilly couldn’t have ended up with William and why Puck is such a better match for her. Was it disappointing? Maybe in the beginning. But by the time I was finished, I totally got it, and I was wholeheartedly behind it.

He had an entire solar system in those irises, and she felt like she was the sun.

There’s a lot of story that happens here. Plenty of loose ends that get tied up and plenty of development that leave you with even more questions. A lot of the things that happened in the previous books all led to the events in this one. There’s plenty of Hades, Keely, and William developments that take place here that only serve to whet your appetite for more. And this reader couldn’t get enough of it.

The Darkest Warrior was a deliciously addicting read full of action, plot twits, and a sizzling romance. I loved every page of it. Fourteen books into this series and I’m still hooked and can’t wait for more. If you’re wondering about what happens to William, there’s a heck of a hook that we get in the development of his story by the end of this one. And I for one cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. As for this book, I’m completely satisfied with how everything resolved. While I wasn’t 100% behind this pairing at first, I simply can’t imagine Gillian with anyone other than Puck after I was done. So if you’re anything like me and find yourself unsure how you feel, I say take a chance and you just may end up loving it as much as I did!

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

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Geri’s Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

OCEAN LIGHT
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 12, 2018

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love…

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there’s a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment–taking his brain along with it.

With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he’s at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling…

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won’t hide the facts of Bo’s condition from him or herself. She’s suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine…

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back–even if it means striking a devil’s bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy…

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tautly plotted with dynamic characters and contains of the highest stakes—both romantic and plot-wise—in the series, Ocean Light will engage not just your mind but your heart as well.

Tonight was their impossible dream.

This book picks up not far from where the last book ended. Bowen Knight survived his assassination attempt but the chip in his brain is still degenerating and with time running out, his sister agrees to a deal with the Blacksea changeling clan to take Bo deep underwater to undergo an experiment that could save his life or end it.

I am so happy that this Nalini continued to build on this universe. We’ve only heard about the BlackSea changelings in previous books but in Ocean Light, they finally take the center stage. And what a fascinating world it is. Ms. Singh’s clever world building continues to fascinate and entranced. The BlackSea changelings have their own quirks that separate them from other changelings but what remains constant is their sense of belonging to a family, a pack, or a clan. This theme has been a constant from the very first Psy-Changeling book and continues with the Trinity series. It is again a huge theme here.

As I mentioned, this book has one of the highest stakes in the series. Don’t get me wrong. The stakes in these books are always high but in Ocean Light it is even more so. With Bo’s life on the line and the Trinity Accord being attacked from the inside, not to mention Kaia dealing with trauma and mental health issues, the characters are in constant state of peril in this book. There’s a sense of urgency and doom that I wasn’t exactly sure how the author was going to resolve everything but she did and did it wonderfully.

The romance between Bo and Kaia was just as satisfying as the mystery and intrigue. Singh is one of the masters of crafting a strong romantic conflict. Bowen is a human, a leader of the Alliance that wasn’t always trustworthy in the eyes of the changelings. He’s made errors in the past but his heart is always in the right place.

Promise me.” He grabbed her hand, pressed it to his cutting-edge mechanical heart that would keep going long after he fell. “If it goes wrong, you’ll walk away. Promise me.”

Kaia on the other hand is a changeling whose past made her distrustful of humans. She sees humans and the land as forces of destruction and loss. Bowen’s presence and her peculiar reaction to him puts Kaia in a very vulnerable position.

I love how the romance developed between them. There’s playfulness to their relationship that I found endearing to read. Their HEA was EARNED and it was SATISFYING.

Ocean Light delivers on the romance along with healthy sprinkling of mystery and intrigue that will hold your attention from beginning to end. This is another win for Nalini Singh, and I highly recommend that you start from the very beginning with Slave to Sensation. Yes, it’s a lot of books and you can probably start with Silver Silence and still enjoy or even love the books but I highly HIGHLY recommend starting with the original Psy-Changeling series.

Review & Excerpt: Hawkyn by Larissa Ione

HAWKYN
Series:
Demonica Underworld #5
Genre:
Paranormal Romance
Author:
Larissa Ione
Release Date:
February 27, 2018

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Larissa Ione comes a new story in her Demonica Underworld series…

As a special class of earthbound guardian angel called Memitim, Hawkyn is charged with protecting those whose lives are woven into the fabric of the future. His success is legendary, so when he’s given a serial killer to watch over, he sees no reason for that to change. But Hawkyn’s own future is jeopardized after he breaks the rules and rescues a beautiful woman from the killer’s clutches, setting off an explosive, demonic game of cat and mouse that pits brother against brother and that won’t end until someone dies.

Aurora Mercer is the half-wytch lone survivor of a psychopath who gets off on the sadistic torture of his victims. A psychopath whose obsessive psyche won’t let him move on until he kills her. Now she’s marked for death, her fate tied to that of a murderer…and to a sexy angel who makes her blood burn with desire…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 AMAZON



God, what was it going to be like to have all that intensity focused on her? Touching her? Inside her? All he had to do was look at her and she shivered with violent tingles.The cold air in this drafty castle just got warmer. “Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“You didn’t.”

“Didn’t what?”

“Warn me.”

She huffed. “When I said not to say I didn’t warn you… I was warning you.”

His lazy, lopsided smile made her groan. He was teasing her. She loved these glimpses, brief as they were, into his off-duty personality. He’d been on the go since they’d met, in a constant state of motion, and despite the shitty circumstances, it was nice to see him relax a little.

Of course, that could have something to do with the ninety-proof bottle of attitude adjuster in his hand.

She eyed her own glass of liquid bravery, but really, she didn’t need it. Even if her succubus genes weren’t already going to work, preparing her body with a hot rush of desire, she’d want Hawkyn.

And she’d want to help him.

As he gulped down another swig of vodka, she set her glass on the little end table and turned to him.

“Here’s another warning.” She pulled her shirt up over her head. “Some scenes may be too intense for young viewers.” She tossed the shirt onto the mattress and reached around to unhook her bra.

“What are you doing?” he croaked, the vodka bottle frozen a few inches from his mouth.

“Sex. That’s the fast method.” She dropped the bra on the mattress and flushed at the way he stared at her exposed breasts. “You game?”

For a long, tortured moment, he said nothing. Oh, God, what if he refused her? How embarrassing. She’d made a huge mistake, and she looked like a desperate fool.

Choking on humiliation, she lifted her hands to cover herself, but he shook his head.

“Don’t.” His voice was a low growl, sultry and dark, so resonant it hit her between her legs. “You’re beautiful.”

“Does this mean—”

He was on her before she could finish. His lips came down on hers and his body pressed her into the cold stone wall and both his hands gripped her shoulders so firmly she figured she’d have bruises later.

Awesome.

 

At this moment, he seemed to be both angel and demon, because what he was doing to her was nothing short of evil, but he was so damned good at it. 

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with all things Larissa Ione writes. Having read her entire backlist, I don’t think there’s been one book of hers that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and this one was no exception. While the story is set in her Demonica world, new readers wouldn’t feel lost. There’s plenty of background, the characters are not ones that have previously introduced, and while part of a series, it’s a solid standalone as well. Though I’d still highly recommend the rest of the Demonica series because it’s just that awesome. But I digress.

Hawkyn is a Memitim; a special breed of earthbound angel that was raised by humans. His father is the powerful ruler of the underworld, Azagoth. But that doesn’t mean that he still doesn’t need to earn his way into heaven by doing his job. His duty is to protect his Primori. Unfortunately for Hawkyn, his Primori happens to be a deranged serial killer and he can’t interfere with destiny. That is, not until his accidental interference causes his Primori to abduct a woman that he can’t stop thinking about.

Aurora Mercer is a wytch; a fascinating hybrid of witch and succubus. She doesn’t know if she can trust the handsome angel that rescued her from the hands of a monster, but she doesn’t have much of a choice when she’s still hunted by the man determined to finish his job.

The chemistry between Aurora and Hawkyn is instant and sizzling, in only a way that Larissa Ione can write. But their relationship is a delicious slow burn that keeps you at the edge of your seat. I couldn’t get enough of these two together. I love Ione’s rich world building and all the characters that she’s created. And while Hawkyn brings mention some of my past favorites, there’s also some new faces that are introduced as well. I loved getting the additional development of Azagoth and Lili’s story. If you haven’t read their book, I can’t recommend it enough: Azagoth.

As for this one? For a short novella, it was incredibly satisfying, well developed and perfectly paced. It offers plenty of action, with a dash of sizzle, and a total page turner from beginning to finish. If you’re looking for a quick and sexy PNR read, you really can’t go wrong!

Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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New Release & Review: Leap Of The Lion by Cherise Sinclair

LEAP OF THE LION 
Series: The Wild Hunt Legacy #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Release Date: November 14, 2017

She shifts for the first time on the day of her escape.

After a decade of captivity, Darcy MacCormac escapes the corrupt, clandestine organization called the Scythe, leaving family and friends behind. She must find a way to rescue them. Discovered by other shifters, the brand-new cougar gets two mentors. Blademage Gawain is an easy-going blacksmith with a steel-hard core. His brother Owen is a deadly warrior. Grumpy. Rude. And he doesn’t like her.

They aren’t the mates she’d dreamed of—they’re more.

Powerful, dominating Owen protects the clan—especially the weak—and the only remnant of an abused childhood is his avoidance of females. Now he has to mentor one? Although Gawain soon falls for the dauntless little cat, Owen knows better than to lose his head. But Darcy has a gift for repairing everything…including damaged hearts.

Love isn’t in her destiny.

In the brothers’ arms, Darcy finds safety. Comfort. And love. But however much she longs for a future with Owen and Gawain, her people need her. Somehow, she must find the courage and skills to save them, even if the attempt demands her life.

AMAZON

This was why a male lived. Why he fought. To win a female’s love and keep her safe. For this female—for Darcy—he would willingly fight the entire world.

Two things happened almost simultaneously after I finished this book. One, I was kicking myself for a good two hours for not discovering this series before now. And two, I immediately went and one clicked the rest of these books.

There’s just something so magical about Cherise Sinclair’s writing, that no matter what she writes, it never fails to grab you and suck you right into its world. And even though I started this series with book 4, I had no problem at all getting imbedded in the deeply descriptive and rich world of Sinclair’s shifters. Their language, their customs, their enemies, and their love life immediately caught my interest and kept me riveted to the pages until the end.

Darcy MacCormac is an incredible heroine. Here is a female that has seen and lived through atrocities at the hands of the evil Scythe organization during her ten years as their captive. She’s seen her friends suffer at the hands of their experiments, she’s seen friends die, and she’s left with scars both internal and external. Yet, none of that diminished her strength and will to live. So when she has the chance to escape, she grabs it, for the chance to ultimately come back and rescue the rest of the shifter females still imprisoned by the Scythe.

Her escape brings her straight into a world that she was born into but due to her imprisonment knows very little about. Owen and Gawain, two brothers that helped rescue her from being recaptured and whose only thing in common is their blood, are assigned to be her trainers. They’re to teach her to shift and control her abilities while keeping her safe and finding the Scythe compound.

Here are two men that couldn’t be more different. Suffering their own individual scars of their past and a selfish and abusive mother has left them scattered. Owen is a gruff, grumpy protector who believes all women to be inherent liars. Gawain is a sweetheart that even though has every reason to avoid love, deep down yearns for it. And in the middle of it all is a female that makes them realize that perhaps a future full of love and passion is not so foreign.

Leap of The Lion is full of so much emotion, it was almost painful at times. Everything that Owen suffered in his past and everything that Darcy has gone through give them a bond unlike any other. Darcy makes Owen see beyond his past and realize that not all women are the same. I loved the slow built passion between the two. And then with Gawain in the mix as well? FORGET ABOUT IT.

I mean, a female with not one but TWO life mates? Sign me up for that. But don’t think this is some gratuitous MFM non stop orgy. While the passion is definitely there, it’s a slow burn. There’s a lot of story that takes place, that admittedly I found slow at times. I understood the set up and the backstories needed to be told, but they did slow down the pace of the book considerably.

I loved the rest of the secondary characters and The Wild Hunt World. I really loved the romance, and I especially loved the story. There’s so much that happened here besides the romance, but the romance was definitely center stage. If you’re a fan of PNR, this is a series that simply must be read. I know I plan on going back and binging on it immediately.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER


HOUR OF THE LION (FREE) | WINTER OF THE WOLF | EVENTIDE OF THE BEAR | LEAP OF THE LION

Blog Tour, Excerpt, & Jenn’s Review: Darkest Temptation by Rachel Van Dyken

DARKEST TEMPTATION
Series: The Dark Ones Saga #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date: October 31, 2017

I’m a werewolf King who chose to step down out of grief for my mate.

For centuries I’ve been alone, choosing to live a life of modesty despite the wealth surrounding me.

I deserve to be punished.

I crave things I have no business craving.

And it is manifesting itself in a way I’m terrified I won’t be able to control any longer.

Especially since she arrived.

Vampire. Orphan. Beaten beyond recognition.

My blood calls to her in a way that makes no sense.

I’m a wolf.

She’s a vampire.

The two don’t mate.

They barely tolerate one another.

All it takes is one slip of control on my part — one taste.

And I doom us all.

Then again, I never knew what is lurking inside has the power to balance good and evil.

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The air around me thickened with a sweet-smelling fog. I inhaled and closed my eyes, allowing my baser instincts to take over.“Wolf.” She whispered my name.

I sniffed. The voice was not familiar. It was not my mate. It was… other.

“Wolf,” she beckoned again.

Branches crunched beneath my feet as I made my way closer to the sweet scent, closer to the warmth, closer to what I should have been running from.

I was already mated.

And yet — I was being pulled.

Like a siren’s song.

I hated sirens.

Every last one of them.

But only the strongest were male.

This — I sniffed the air again as ecstasy took over — this was no male.

This was all female.

The instinct to protect kicked in, forcing a surge of adrenaline through my limbs as I staggered toward the trees.

Green eyes blinked through the fog.

I stilled.

My breath caught.

Vampire.

I frowned, reaching for her.

“Kiss me, Wolf.”

Why was I tempted?

Why did I want to touch this being?

When every hair stood on end like she was foe not friend. When I had a mate back home that I loved more than life itself.

Confusion warred with disgust, and then the vampire stood on her tiptoes and pressed her cheek against mine, the way my people greeted.

But she was no wolf.

Her lips grazed the outside of my ear before she bit down onto my neck…

I jerked awake. Sweat pooled the bed like I’d just taken a shower.

And my mate, the one I was so convinced would be lying right next to me, was gone.

She’d been gone.

Over a hundred years.

And every year, like clockwork, on the anniversary of her death.

I saw my vampire.

She bit me.

And I woke up with a bruise on my neck as if it were real.

Why?! Why did I do this to myself….again?! This is the second time I’ve started in the middle of a Rachel Van Dyken series, only to be uber curious about the previous characters! Damn you, Rachel for reeling me into your series and making me go back and read all of the books before it. Ok, I actually mean Thank you, Rachel (*muah).


Biting is hot, right?! It’s not just me?! Ok, good. But I would say that I have a Vampire Standard. I’m a picky bitch when it comes to vampires, ok? But I am so glad Rachel wrote this series. I haven’t even read them all, but I know I will luuurve it, as soon as I’m done beating up my stubborn-self over not reading all of her books in order. Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson by now (*wink). There are some things that I missed because I haven’t read the previous book. There are some things that confused me. This is my own fault. BUUUUT that didn’t stop me from completely devouring and enjoying this book.

Mason has been fighting himself for too long. He is both werewolf and vampire, but no one knows. Mason had a previous mate, a human. Although, he loved her, he always thought she was fragile and couldn’t completely be himself or let loose with his desires for fear of hurting her. Serenity is his MATE. They are destined to be together and have a history together that they don’t even know about. The longer they fight it, the worse it is for them to the point of physically hurting themselves. Stuck in a house together, they must face the inevitable, and when they finally give in…..Epic….Animal….Heat.


Yes, this book was fairly predictable, but what I loved most about this book was the characters and the alpha-banter between the guys. Rachel is one of the best writers of Alpha Male Bickering, which is totally a thing. Trust me.

I’m off to read all the previous books. (*rolls eyes at myself)

Start the Series Today

The Dark Ones

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Untouchable Darkness

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo 

Dark Surrender

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

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