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.

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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!

Excerpt: Shadow & Ice by Gena Showalter

 

SHADOW AND ICE
Series: Gods of War #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: October 23, 2018

Gena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld, introduces a scorching new paranormal romance series… Gods of War.

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

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Present DaySomewhere in the Arctic Circle

“Heads are going to roll.”

Sore, tired and chilled to the bone, Vale London dropped a ten thousand pound backpack, leaned against a wall of ice and scanned her surroundings—a sea of snow broken up by mountains and seracs that made her fancy that ocean waves had flash-froze just before they’d come crashing down.

Frigid wind howled, the sound of it somehow more glacial than the below zero temp, screams of pain and helplessness seeming to echo within.

“Are we talking literally or figuratively?” Her be­loved foster sister Magnolia “Nola” Lee dropped her pack as well, sat atop it and drew a thick flannel blan­ket around her shoulders. “With you I never know.”

Vale savored the flavor of sweetened brown butter that coated her tongue. At some point in her childhood development, wires had gotten crossed in her brain, leaving her with a severe case of synesthesia. She heard sounds, just like everyone else, but she tasted them, too. Letters also registered as colors, and numbers appeared as a three-dimensional map inside her head.

The more nuanced the sound, the richer the flavor.

“Figuratively…maybe,” she replied. “The next time I see our absentee guide, he’ll be lucky to walk away. Or even crawl.” She wasn’t known as a street-tough scrap­per for nothing! And the POS had ruined what was sup­posed to be the vacation of a lifetime, so he had to pay.

Dang it, Nola hadn’t needed this kind of stress, or danger. She’d needed a break. The girl worked two full time jobs. If she wasn’t baking and selling the goods at local office buildings, she was writing How To copy for her dating column in Oklahoma Love Match magazine. And Vale… Vale had needed a break from everything. Had hoped to enjoy one last hoorah—or maybe a first hoorah—before she and Nola settled down and opened a fancy-schmancy gourmet donut shop slash catering center slash speed dating and bachelorette party hub, with Vale on paperwork duty and Nola behind the oven and the counter.

Vale’s biggest mistake? Booking each extracurric­ular activity with the cheapest company possible, in order to do more stuff on a limited budget. Quality beat quantity; she understood that now. So how about a break, world?


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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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!

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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

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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

Geri’s Review: Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews

MAGIC STRIKES
Series: Kate Daniels #3
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Author: Ilona Andrews
Release Date: February 20, 2009

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with.

And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet.

As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

 

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I was conceived, born, raised and trained with one purpose in mind: to become the best killer I could be. It’s what I do.”

There are two things that I was curious about coming into this series. One, I wanted to know why Kate Daniels is so universally beloved by readers. Two, I wanted to know why the Curran-and-Kate pairing was deemed the OTP by so many who loved the series.

It becomes readily apparent why Kate and Curran are so loved by so many as the series progress. By the third book, I’m now a certified Kate Daniels evangelist.
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Yes! I love Kate’s character. She is one of my favorite heroines ever, if not my ultimate favorite. You just can’t help but love her character! If you look up “badass” in the dictionary, her picture would be in there. She’s brave, resourceful, and so hilarious. She’s also very relatable.

I had imagined our encounter a dozen times. I had constructed long conversations in my head, full of barbs and witty comebacks.
The bastard didn’t show.

And Curran is just the perfect scary, alpha, beast Lord who matches Kate perfectly. They infuriate each other and their interaction and dialogue are so hilarious and scary cute, I can’t help but fall in love with them more and more. I really get why there are so many Tumblr posts dedicated to this couple. They are amazing as individuals and as a couple.

Every time, I think you’ve reached the limit of your arrogance, you show me new heights. Truly, your egotism is like the Universe—ever expanding.”

You sure you don’t want to kiss me goodbye, baby?”
“How about a goodbye kick to the throat?”

Magic Strikes is a high-quality adult UF. It’s not just tightly plotted, with twists and turns, and enormous stakes, it’s also very character driven. Kate Daniels, our titular heroine who now works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid is working against the clock to find the people who attacked one of her friends. Her investigation led her to the Midnight Games, an illegal fight-to-death tournament attended and participated by powerful and magical beings. And one of them are out to annihilate Kate and the people she’s come to recognize as her friends.

From the gladiator arena type battles to the intriguing and sinister plot, Magic Strikes is a book that once you start, you can’t put down until you’ve finished it. It will consume you. I was so invested in these characters and the story that I couldn’t possibly leave them while their lives hang in a balance!

I think you’re confused as to the nature of our relationship. You and I, we don’t get along. You’re a psychopathic control freak. You order me around and I want to kill you.”

 

I love how heroine-centric this series is. And it’s not just Kate, by the way. One of the things that used to frustrate me with UF is that its heroines tend to be so special that they can’t have any other female characters in the story that might take away from the specialness of the heroine. Every guy has to be in love with her, etc. etc.

Not so with Kate Daniels. There are other female characters that are as beautiful, (if not more so), intelligent and as skillful as Kate. It makes me so happy to see female characters of color in all shapes and sizes having and exercising their agency.

We need a team name.”
“Hunters,” Raphael said.
“Valiant Knights of the Fur,” Dali said.
“Justice Group.” Jim said. “Since Justice League is taken.”

I can’t say enough about this series. If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, I highly recommend you guys read this. Even if you haven’t tried UF before, this series is definitely a great way to immerse yourself in this genre. Yes, the romance may not be central but it still very strong and swoony.

His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway. And I’m not it.”
“A can-I girl?” Andrea frowned.
I leaned back. “ ‘ Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I…”
It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still. Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head.
“He’s standing behind me, isn’t he?”
Andrea nodded slowly.
“Technically it should be ‘may I,’” Curran said, his voice deeper than I remembered. “Since you’re asking permission.”

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Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army.

Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

 

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Review: Dark Swan by Gena Showalter

DARK SWAN
Series: Alien Huntress 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 25, 2017

The Alien Huntress series is back with fan favorite AIR agent Dallas Gutierrez from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling paranormal romance author Gena Showalter, who doesn’t disappoint with this sizzling hot alpha hero.

Lilica Swan isn’t quite human or otherworlder; she is the best—and worst—of both.

She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bonding her lifeforce to his by effectively marrying him.

But the bond will fade without consummation.

Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

Originally published in the Blood Red Kiss anthology.

AMAZON

I can think of three things you need right off the top of my head,” he said. “Well. Let’s hear them.”
“A spanking, a hug, and a good hard fuck.”


Firstly, this novella was originally released as part of Blood Red Kiss, so if you have that one, you’ll find this delicious little novella inside. If you haven’t read Gena’s Alien Huntress, you my dear friend, are seriously missing out. After I first discovered this author with her Lords of the Underworld, I soon found myself binging on her Alien Huntress series. Then I soon found myself completely hooked on Dallas and slowly dying a little with each year that passed and we didn’t get another book in that series. Well Gena has finally rectified that with Dallas’s story, and let me just tell you, it was worth EVERY SECOND of the wait!

…those sweet women with sweet smiles had never fully satisfied him. He’d never wanted one for more than a single night, because none had ever meant anything to him. But this woman with her carnal smile and quick wit utterly fascinated him. He couldn’t get enough of her.

Dallas has been hunting the Schon queen that’s been building her army by deceasing all that come in sexual contact with her. And let’s just say the woman has some…stamina. Uhem. While at first I was convinced that Dallas would somehow end up with the queen, Trinity, I was a little baffled by the heroine’s name here. Who in the world (pun intended) is Lilica? Oh the deliciousness of it all!

Lilica Swan is sassy, classy, and all things bad-assy!

Congrats. You’ve mastered hiding your actions from me. Now it’s my turn.” With no more warning than that, she slammed her knee between his legs. He hunched over, gasping for breath, stars winking through his vision. She smiled at him. “Sorry there’s not a tracker to help you find your balls.”

Lilica is determined to save her sister that’s in the crosshairs of AIR and especially the stranger from her dreams with the crystal blue eyes. When she finally comes face to face with Dallas, nothing can prepare either of them for what happens.

Dark Swan was everything I’ve come to love about this author; humor, snark, witty banter, sizzling romance and an addicting story. And it had my beloved Devyn (from Seduce the Darkness), so how can I not love it?

This finally brought the immensely satisfying conclusion to the Schon story line and gave the much awaited HEA to one of my favorite characters in the series. I really hope that there will be more books in this series, but even if it ends here, it couldn’t have ended with a better book.

Review: Destined To Crave by Setta Jay

DESTINED TO CRAVE
Series: Descended of Guardians #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic
Author: Setta Jay
Release Date: August 30, 2017

Fate gave them love… then tore them apart.

This standalone novella is the first spin-off from the Guardians of the Realms world!

The descendant of two almighty Gods and a Guardian of Earth, Eirykr “Rykr” is born of immense power. Yet, no amount of strength or skill can save him from the curse that tore him away from his first and only love. Turned into a shadowy assassin, he wields the demons bound to his soul with the ruthlessness of a blade. For nearly a decade, he’s searched for the key to free himself, all the while watching over and dangerously craving the beautiful mate who believes she’s driven him away.

Lucy is a born protector, a trait of her Guardian lineage. When her greatest gift was torn from her, leaving a gaping hole in her soul, she refuses to allow a young Rykr, her known mate, to suffer the same dire consequences. Her fear forces her to make a haunting decision and with a grave threat she crushes him, demanding they part for a decade. Yet, as the years pass she can feel him watching her from the shadows, conjuring wild fantasies that make her ache for him to finally end their torment.

As time ticks toward the decade mark, dark forces rush to descend. Will Rykr’s secret and relentless need to protect Lucy condemn them to a hopeless destiny of constant craving? Or will Lucy bind them for all eternity, no matter the violent threat to her very soul?

Warning: This title contains dirty talk, bad language and erotically charged scenes meant to scorch your eReader.

AMAZON

Every night, she fantasized about the sexy male he’d turned into while mourning the loss of the mischievous boy she’d loved.

Oh YUM.

Setta Jay’s Guardians of the Realms series has been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. A well crafted, erotically charged PNR that hooked me from the first and kept me riveted until the end. When I saw she’ll be coming out with a spin-off series, I was thrilled. And now that I read it, I’m already craving more!

Destined To Crave is a short, but extremely satisfying novella that sets the scene for her brand new Descended of Guardians series which, you guessed it, features the kids of the couples from the previous books. We get a well crafted set up and intro to most of the characters and a main couple that will melt your e-reader with their sizzling chemistry.

This is also a great opportunity for new readers to discover this fantastic author, because while it doesn’t hurt to read the previous series, it’s certainly not necessary to enjoy this one. You get all the back stories and the characters are unique and don’t much piggy back of the stories of their parents.

Rykr and Lucy were amazing together. This book was hot, entertaining, and addicting. My only quibble is I wished for more, but that’s always my complaint with novellas from favorite authors. I’m hooked, line and sinker and can’t wait for more in this series! If you like erotic PNR, then you definitely want to check this one out!

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Soul Redeemed by Keri Lake

 Title: Soul Redeemed
Author: Keri Lake
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Being half incubus sucks sometimes. Sure, the sex is great, but getting hounded by females gets old pretty fast. Especially when the only one Calix cares about has gone missing, propelling him into a downward spiral of depression and abstinence.

Trapped by a wannabe mad scientist inside a nightmare of her own, Ava longs to be free, even if it means going back to the only male she regrets having betrayed. All she needs is a single opportunity to lead the way.

Calix should hate Ava for the way she deceived him and his brothers. Yet, when she shows up looking like she’s been through a hell of her own, the sweet relief over her return battles the bitter sting of her betrayal, and Calix can’t bring himself to turn her away. Not to mention, an incubus who’s starved himself of sex for too long is a detriment to everyone—including his brothers—and the way Ava commands his body is exactly the release he needs.

Unfortunately, thanks to the lunatic who held her captive, she’s now a walking death trap to any male that tries to bed her. But danger is closing in, placing Ava’s life in jeopardy, and if Calix doesn’t find a way to control his virile urges, he might just be her deadliest threat.

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It was the exact moment Ava had come to realize her love for the male was deeper than she could’ve fathomed. That she’d understood what he meant had told her that not even death would change what he’d come to mean for her. For her, there would never be another.

GAH! Finally! FINALLY! To say that I’ve been waiting forever for this story may be a sliiiiiiight understatement. For fans of gritty and sexy PNR, this series is an absolute must read. I wouldn’t recommend reading it as a standalone, because there is a story arc that continues throughout the series. While each book focuses on a different couple and their individual HEA, there’s so much that happens in the story that you simply wouldn’t appreciate the complexity of it all without reading it in order. That and you get more pieces of the other Wrath brothers in each book. Calix and Ava’s really began in Soul Resurrected and I’ve been salivating for it since; especially after the events in the end of Soul Enslaved.

Imprisoned in a cold basement and stripped of her powers, desperate for escape. Ava knows there may not be a way out. Injected with the deadly Sang virus for a sick experiment of a madman, this may be the price she pays for betraying the man she loves. But she won’t stop fighting. She’ll do anything to escape. She needs to make things right. She needs to beg for forgiveness. Even if she may not survive at the end of it.

Calix never stopped searching for the woman that stole his heart. Even if she betrayed him and his brothers in the worst possible way and they may never forgive her, he can’t stop thinking about her. Starved, half crazed, he can’t accept the touch of any other woman but her. With no clues as to her whereabouts, he’s about to give into the madness of a starved Incubus demon.

When Ava appears in the Wrath mansion, Calix knows that her betrayal is not enough to make him stay away. With everything on the line, he’ll fight for the woman he loves, even if she’s convinced that her fate is already sealed.

There’s so much that happens in this book. If you’ve been missing Xander like I have, you’ll be thrilled with the pieces you get of him in this book. Then there’s Ferno. Oh dear god, my poor broken Ferno. Keri dangles one hell of a carrot in this book; I think he finally meets his potential heroine here. And let me just tell you, that was one heck of a doozy. Talk about your broken souls. DAMN.

Then there’s Zeke and Zayne, Xander, and more Zeke and Zayne. GAH! I couldn’t get enough. I love the way that Keri expertly adds in additional POVs without taking anything away from the main couple and their romance.

I have to admit, Calix was the brother I was probably the least interested in with everything going on with the others, but he completely stole my heart in this book. There was such an emotional punch to this story with everything he and Ava go through. I loved these two together. I loved how equally balanced they are; the sacrifices they make for each other and their love. It was darkly beautiful.

Keri is truly a master of her craft and creates an addicting world that you can’t help but get fully immersed in. Every time I pick up a book in this series, it’s like coming back home. I’m addicted to these characters. It’s not your typical PNR. It’s dark and gritty with the perfect amount of sexy added in. I simply can’t recommend it enough.

Keri Lake is a dark romance writer who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists. Her stories are gritty, with antiheroes that walk the line of good and bad, and feisty heroines who bring them to their knees. When not penning books, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and their rebellious Labrador (who doesn’t retrieve a damn thing). She runs on strong coffee and alternative music, loves a good red wine, and has a slight addiction to dark chocolate.
Keep up with Keri Lake’s new releases, exclusive extras and more by signing up to her VIP Email List: VIP EMAIL SIGN UP
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