Romance Reviews

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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Darkest Edge of Dawn, Book 2, The Charlie Madigan Series by Kelly Gay

Publisher:  Simon and Schuster, Pocket Books
Pages:  384

(Release Date:  8-31-10)

From the Cover:

It takes a strong woman to keep the peace in a city of endless night. . . 

Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun—one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. 

For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day’s work . . . but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear. 

Charlie Madigan has been changed, some would say enhanced, she'd say cursed.  Deep within her DNA, the life giving strands, additions were made to save her life and that of her daughter, Emma.  Now, Charbydon and Eylsian powers stir, bubbling to the surface, vying for control.  She brought the darkness that now engulfs Atlanta to save her daughter, now she's trying to bring back the light.

Hank, her partner and Eylsian Siren, understands Charlie's predicament, he has one of his own.  The Voc-Mod box has become permanently embed in his neck, forever blocking his Siren voice from reaching it's potential, a side effect demanded by powers that be, to keep the Siren from using his vocal abilities to their fullest, maybe against the will of another.  Charlie still finds him sexy as hell, but he's her partner, so what the hell's wrong with her?  She never used to act like this, he's supposed to be out of reach..... maybe....

But, for now, Charlie and Hank have other things to worry about, like who's killing the Adonai?   There's a power struggle in the Underground between Gin leader and crime boss, Grigori and The Druid/Dragon King, who has sworn exact his own measure of punishment against those he thinks are the guilty party if Charlie and Hank can't solve the mystery.  Add to that an escaped serial killer who's ever so slightly insane wanting Charlie body and soul.  Put that altogether with an awol ex-husband and Rex, the Reverent who now resides within his flesh, a pet hellhound, and Charlie's life in pretty full, if she can just keep her eyes, hands, and all other body parts off the sexy Hank.....

The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay is book two in the Charlie Madigan series and an excellent addition.  In this book, we find Charlie still trying to deal with the consequences of saving her daughter, and now, she's overprotective in the extreme.  She has her daughter warded, charmed, attempting to surround her in the perfect cocoon of magic, to keep her safe, she can't take losing her again.  She's been trying to find a way to bring the light back to Atlanta where now the city is covered with a 40 mile wide blanket of darkness.  Charlie knows the darkness is her fault, a consequence of her new DNA, Charbydon magic.  Her sister, Bryn, has also suffered by Charlie's hand, becoming addicted to the deadly drug, Ash.  Now, there are murders being committed, and it's of the angelic elite of the Eylsian population, the Adonai.  What Charlie doesn't know is that there are players behind the scenes, trying to grab a piece of the picture, and maybe no one is trustworthy.  Her partner and love interest (though she resists), Hank, would do just about anything for Charlie, the loss of his Siren's voice makes him more vulnerable and attractive, if that's possible.  Under Hank's encouragement, Charlie is starting to explore her new power, if only she can gain control.

The Darkest Edge of Dawn is a full throttle, kickass, fun filled ride; great urban fantasy with just enough paranormal romance to keep the reader wondering if Hank and Charlie are bound to be together.  Kelly Gay creates a world where magic has been the new reality, and Charlie is suck between the two vying powers, the dark and the light, Charbydon versus Eylsian.  There's a whole system of Undergroundlings that if possible, won't might taking over total control of the Earth.  I haven't read The Better Part of Darkness yet, but I've added to my wishlist and intend to pick it up soon.  Though The Darkness Edge of Dawn was Book Two in the series, I had no trouble following the story, but to get a better understand of Ms. Gay's world, I would recommend reading them in order.  If you enjoy mysteries that include mages, druids, and magic of all kinds built into a world where reality as taken a step toward fantasy, then The Darkest Edge of Dawn is for you.  I highly recommend this new series I've sampled, and can't wait to see what Ms. Gay gives us next.  My only niggle is with myself, I should have tried this series when it first came out in November 2009.

I received this book for review from Simon and Schuster/Pocket Books.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sherrilyn Kenyon's New Release "No Mercy" and Book Trailer Peek

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  352

If you enjoy Sherrilyn Kenyon's books as much as I do, then you don't make to miss No Mercy.  This is going to be one hot read!

(Release Date:  September 7, 2010)

From the Cover:

Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.

The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.

Book Trailer:  No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon (it's hot!!)

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 3

Good Morning around the blogosphere!

Guess What?  It's Monday again.....    I know, I'm sitting here, shaking my head, wondering where the heck the weekend went?  I did nothing, I mean nothing fun.  It was so bleeding hot, I didn't want to leave the house.  I did laundry, housework, grocery shopping (I was forced from the house by starvation..).  Does that sound like fun to you?  Not unless you have a warped sense of fun!! (well, that's not entirely true, in between loads of laundry, cleaning house, and shopping, I did manage to do Sassy Brit's Sunday Story Starter... that was fun)

Anyway, let's try to start the week off with a little fun!!!  It's time for the Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!!  (It's week 3 already, can you believe it?)

My good friend, Amy, choose the picture prompt this week, and it's amazing!!  I hope you enjoy working with it as much as I think I'm going to.... I love the colors, fantastic, and the theme, well take a look for yourself!  (This is Amy's first day at college, so I hope everyone stops by and wishes her Good Luck!  Sweetie, I know it's going to be a blast, open all kinds of new doors for you, and you'll get to do something for yourself.  Congrats and have fun!)

So, for week 3, this is the picture prompt....  Think you'd like to give it a try?  Hope so!

There is so many ways to use this prompt.  Whatever you see, it's time to open up your imagination, play with the image, let it become your own.

Now, the dets, as always the rules remain the same.  Should you choose to play along (and I hope you do) you have 5 days (not 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, but 5 days) to write something that brings the picture to life for you.  There's a generous 350 word count limit, well more or less is okay.  No need to be exact.  If you choose to write a story, post it to your blog, website, wherever on Friday (or whenever you can if Friday isn't good) and leave a link for Amy or me, and we'll add it the thread on our post so everyone can see what you've written!

The whole point is too have fun!  Let your imagination rule, you know, you used to be able to do it when you were a kid, so I guess another way to look at it is, let's be kids again!  LOL!  (no cracks about living a second childhood already, I'm old, but not THAT freaking old!)

I'd also like to thank Michelle and Blodeuedd for playing along, you're both quite talented you know, last weeks flash was fantastic!  I've enjoyed this so much, and I hope you're enjoying it too.  And anyone else who'd like to join us, please feel free (Ms. Moonlight is a fantastic story teller, and Lea, I know you are too!)

So, what do you think?  Are you ready?  Are you sure?  Great!!  On your mark, get set, and create!!

I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

See you soon!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sassy Sunday Story Starter.... picked up from AmyC and Sassy Brit.... (part deux)

Over at Alternative-Reads, Sassy Brit hosts a 'Sassy Sunday Story Starter'.
Thanks Angelika Devlyn for this weeks line prompt which goes something like..........

The Sword of Light
By Dottie Taylor
word count:  500

Simone opened the door to the basement and peeked through into the darkness. 'Who's down there?' she shouted, sounding more confident than she felt. When no one replied she switched on the light and tip-toed down the creaky stairs to investigate. Please let it be that damn cat from next door!

The steps creaked and groaned as she made her way toward the basement, the musty smell of old concrete surrounded her. Simone felt her heart racing as she came closer to the dimly lit space.

“Hello..?” she called from the fourth riser above the floor. Again only silence met her ears. Damn it, she thought, probably the foundation settling, but dread crawled across her skin.

Simone stepped down twice more, something brushed her ankle. She screamed and scurried up the steps again, trying to see what touched her. Shit, one of the handles of the bags stored beneath the steps!

As her heart returned to racing instead of bursting, she retraced her steps, slowly and carefully, stepping around the handle.

There was the sound again, almost a moaning. She glanced around and brought her foot to the second from the bottom of the steps. Icy fingers curled around her ankle, jerking her from feet, bringing her to her knees on the concrete floor.

Simone kicked at the hand with her other foot, screaming incoherently as she scrambled and scraped her fingernails across the cold cement floor, trying to find purchase. She cried out, begging and pleading, but the filthy fingers were like a vice, there was no escape. “No, no, no!”

“Simone...” croaked the voice that sounded more like air leaving a collapsed bag than anything else. “Simone DuBoise....” The voice gasped out.

“Let me go!” She screamed as tears streaked down her cheeks, twisting as the vice-like claw bit further into her ankle.

“Please, let me go.” Defeat rang in her ears. As Simone glanced around, she saw the shades moving. Desperate, she begin to pray. “Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done...”

The shades hissed, moving faster now, almost to their quarry. They hungered unrelentingly, falling upon her. Simone screamed, aware of the claws and the shades about to consume what they coveted.

“Please,” Simone begged, “someone... help me.” Agony was now her friend. Her body flamed, burning where the shades touched, like leeches they sucked and consumed.

Suddenly, a blinding white light greeted her eyes, and in the light, a mighty steed bearing a fierce warrior, the Sword of Light grasped in his hand.

A voice thundered with anger around the moldering cement, shaking the room, sending the shades quaking.

“Release her!” The Sword sliced like death's sickle through the air, shattering the shades. Simone was left quivering on the floor, her eyes squinted against the brightness.

“Be wary, the shades have now tasted you.” The warrior faded, not waiting for his thanks.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 2 ....... The Friday Flash Fiction Post

So far, I'm loving these flash fiction post, (Thanks to the fabulous Amy!!) because honestly, blogging was losing it's appeal.  Now, I feel a little more invigorated, motivated, and positively... encapsulated?  LOL!   I hope everyone is having fun with this image, it's a hard one, though damn sexy.... 

Okey Dokey, not so sure about this piece of flash, this one was a bit more difficult for me....  But, still I'm gonna show what I came up with so......

The Life of the Party
by Dottie Taylor
word count: 350

Vanic glanced around, head throbbing, eyes killing him. How long had he been here? He remembered the club, meeting Nessa, and drinking. God, the wine had been so intoxicating, like nothing he'd had before... and drinking with Nessa... full on exhilaration. He lowered his hand, sliding it across his thigh. Damn, tender to the touch.

Vanic heard the clicking of stilettos on the cold marble floor. Nessa smiled down at him, holding out a hand.

“Thanks, I'm not sure exactly what happened last night, but damn, my head's pounding.” Vanic took the offered hand and pulled himself up to a sitting position, grinned and pushed the hair out of his eyes. Nessa sank down on the floor beside him.

“What time is it anyway?” Vanic's boss was going to kill him if he bailed again.

“It's late, lover.” Nessa traced her fingers down his smooth chest, over his firm abs, and finally coming to rest on his thigh where she massaged gently, slowly.

“How late?” Vanic eyes' locked on Nessa, unable to move, the tenderness forgotten.

Nessa gazed back into his bloodshot eyes. “Do you remember what happened, what we did?”

“Sorry, sweetheart, what was in that wine?” Vanic put his hand on her's, guiding it lower.

“Blood, lover, mine mixed with the wine.”

Vanic groaned. His thighs flamed.

“What to you mean “blood”, like a Bloody Mary?”

“No, lover, blood like an open vein.”

“Damn, my thighs burn like fire!” He eased the leathers down.

“It's the bites, lover, soon it won't matter.”

“What're you talking about?!” Vanic pushed away.

“Aw, lover, don't be like that.” Nessa pouted, lowered her lips to his thighs, and licked the twin bites, soothing the burn, the relief immediate. “There, all better?”

“God yes, don't stop.” He caressed her satiny cheek.

“Whatever you say, lover.” And she didn't...


Daniel woke after an insane night of dancing and drinking, head aching. That new girl, Nessa, damn she was smokin. He slipped his hand over his thigh...

Anyway, that's my take. What's your's? I know it will be great!

Check out



And remember to join us again next Monday for...

Week 3, another great picture, more great flash fiction.  It wouldn't be the same without you!

See you soon!

Ciao Bella!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Velvet Cataclysm, Princes of the Underground, Book 1 by Beth Kery

Publisher:  Samhain Publishing, LTD
Pages:  221

From the Cover:

In his battle to resist, he found the impossible. His soul. Princes of the Underground, Book 1 Christina Astor's telepathic ability is an asset in her job as a psychiatric social worker. What's driving her crazy, though, is her elusive, gorgeous landlord. She senses that Saint Sevliss wants her with an all-consuming hunger that's somehow different. Just how different becomes all too clear when his dangerous world collides with hers.

For centuries, Saint's kind have been called vampire and werewolf. Even soulless. But their true nature remains a mystery. Bound by a magical mandate to control his bloodthirsty clone, Teslar, at all costs, Saint will do anything to keep Christina away. She infuses his gray universe with life and color, but his world--and his need--would destroy her. When an attack reveals the true power of Christina's gift, one thing is certain--Teslar won't rest in his underground labyrinth until he possesses her, body and soul?

Saint is an ancient, timeless being foreign to this world.  But, all the Princes are born as pairs, one clone born of conscious and the other born of darkness, but as Kavya, his maker is fond of saying, they are two sides of the same coin, each exists because there is the other.  Though he differs from the humans who populate the Earth, he's become part of this place that has now become his home.  His clone and darker half, Teslar, isn't having as much luck fitting in as Saint.  Both are blood drinkers, living off the vitessence of their human hosts and the Earth.  Only, Teslar has taken it a step further, hoping to create a Reverent Scourge army, beings that were once human, but have lost their humanity to become mindless tools for Teslar's destructive purposes.

Christina and her son, Aidan, have been living in Saint's coach house since almost since his birth.  Saint is drawn to the dynamic Christina, her essence life sustaining in itself.  What Saint doesn't realize and Christina doesn't know, is that on a long ago summer afternoon, Saint through his need to feed from Christina's vitessence became the father of Christina's son, Aidan.  Now, he is drawn to the pair, and will be everything is his power to keep them safe.

Velvet Cataclysm by Beth Kery is an erotically told tale of a different sort of vampirism.  It's the vampirism of an alien race, sustaining themselves through blood drinking and vitessence (the essence and magnetism of the energy eminating and residing deep within the Earth and soul).  Saint has a need to save Christina, and Teslar has a need to own Christina.  Saint is about the control of the inner demon, controlling his beast, Teslar is about the release of the inner demon, letting the beast drink deeply and savagely, creating fear to feed his even darker needs.  Saint hids in plain site, helping where he can to atone for his sins, Teslar hids within the bowels of the Earth, creating his army.  Saint and Teslar are both a drawn to Christina, both unable to understand her pull until Saint allows himself to feel, and through his ability, Teslar can realize a need deeper than himself and his needs.  When that feeling awakens in Teslar's being, then Saint can become whole, soul worthy.  Because, they truly are two sides of the same coin.

Velvet Cataclysm is a new twist in the vampire story.  Ms. Kery creates this new world where vampire legend meets fantasy/science fiction, and she does it so well.  This is the first book in the Prince of the Underworld Series, and I'll be checking out the future editions.  If you enjoy erotically told Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction/Fantasy, then Velvet Cataclysm maybe for you.  If sexually explicit sex scenes and sex play bothers you, try something else.  This book is rated smokin' hot, pass the fire proof mittens, hot to the touch.

Warning: This book contains some violence, smoking hot, explicit sex scenes and anal sex. In addition, there is brief M/M sexual interaction and a ménage a trois.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Allegra Fairweather, Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell

Publisher:  Carina Press
Pages:  209

From the Cover:

Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I'm the woman to call. Just don't call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.

With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I've heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what's under his kilt.

Luckily, I'm ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I'm grateful for his help—but he's also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I've got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking...

Allegra Fairweather is a paranormal investigator with family issues.  Her stepfather is a senator, so, she a little of an embarrassment to the rest of the family.  But, this doesn't stop the wily investigator, or change the attitude she has about her life.  She's a go-getter, not a wallflower, and though she gets a little heat, she doesn't let it bother or slow her down.  Besides, she has Casper to look out for her.

Casper has always watched over Allegra, he's her personal guardian Angel.  He's not allowed to help, but there's always ways to work the system, and since Allegra came into his life, has had to do a little dancing around the truth.  Though, she's grown up now, not the child she once was, he hasn't changed, no aging on Cloud 9, where he lives when not protecting Allegra from herself.

When Douglas MacGregor contacts Allegra, bringing her to Scotland to investigate the bleeding rose, the Dedfield Rose, she finds there's more going on at Loch Furness that meets the eyes.  People are being killed and their bodies suddenly go missing, Lady Justina is rumored to dance in the woods, naked, but everyone who has seen her, ends up as one of the missing, soon to be dead....  And the song of the banshee rings throughout the village, prophesying the deaths to come.  Oh, and there a nasty ghost that would mind ripping out Allegra's heart.

Allegra Fairweather, Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell is a well told 1st person POV.  Allegra's finds herself in hot water again and again, but Casper, who is redeeming himself for his wanton ways of his past as Allegra's personal guardian angel, helps to keep her safe, most of the time, well, he can't be everywhere all the time, and Allegra seems to ask for trouble.  Scotland finds Allegra investigating the bleeding rose, a rose said to bring chaos and portent death, and along with the song of the banshee, the whole town is on edge.  As Allegra investigates, she discovers what going terribly wrong at the Loch, and maybe it has something to do with the deaths and the bodies that have gone missing.  And although there a ghost of a Scottish warrior who'd like to rip out Allegra's heart, maybe the devious ghost is the answer to all their problems, if she can get him to cooperate.

Allegra Fairweather is a fun little read that I enjoyed.  There is aspects of paranormal romance, without any major romantic scenes, though there is romance bubbling under the surface.  The urban fantasy aspect is in the world building, where paranormal is the norm, and not so much the extraordinary.  There's a legend and lore surrounding the Loch and the people who exist in the village, which certainly adds to the story.  While I was reading this story, it felt more like reading a YA story than one falling outside that category, and since I have a soft spot for YA, it was all that much more enjoyable for me.  I recommend this story to lovers of YA or adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, an enjoyable little read for those genres.  I enjoyed meeting Allegra and her world, and it's another beautiful fantasy cover for Carina Press as well.

I received this ebook from Carina Press and Net Galley for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 2

Gooood Monday Morning to Everyone in the Blogosphere!!

And since it's Monday Morning.... that means it's time to revealing this week's Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge (fondly referred to as MMFFC here at Tink's Place). Amy and I have decided to make this into a weekly flash fiction challenge, well, at least we hope so, lol.

So, the prompt for this week is........

OMG, I hope this turns on your creative juices, this is the FIRST time I've ever used an anime prompt, but it such a great image!  So, open your imagination and rock our world!

If you're playing along, stop by Friday (or any time) and leave me a link, I'll add it to the thread.  I'm going to post this week's MMFFC on twitter.... Wouldn't it be cool to see someone's flash in 140 characters bites at a time, LOL!

The rules remain the same, you have 5 days (count em 5 days) in which to complete your mission.... to create, manipulate, consecrate.... in anyway you want, just tell us a story.  350 words, maybe a little more or a little less, so what are you waiting for?  On your mark, Get set, Create!

I can't wait to see what fantastic flash we get for this week!  And as always have fun!!  Remember to stop by Amy's blog too, and the more participates, the merrier!!

Ciao Bella!!

PS:  I just picked this up on twitter (as I was posting the MMFFC, lol).  Evernight, a small new publisher is have a launch contest... if you'd like to check it out, here's where you can find the dets:

Talk soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 1 ......... The Friday Flash Fiction Post

 Okay, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to present my first response to the Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge.

We all remember the image that Amy (head over an check out her flash fiction challenge post) provided for us..... scary, isn't it?

All In A Day's Work
by Dottie Taylor
word count:  350

Shel looked out of the glassless window, long since boarded up. So many years lost, he shook his head, his day of redemption had come.

He strolled to the back of the house, peering out at the bleak mossy landscape, the only evidence of life.

He headed back to the front of old house, glanced up at the long staircase, whole pieces of steps missing. He wondered at it's safety, the whole damn place looked like it was going to fall down, probably on his head. He grimaced, putting a foot on the riser, it seemed solid enough, he balanced his weight. Slowly, he climbed the moldering steps to where it all began. The curse, the promise, his life.

He reached for the bag that had became his constant companion. He gathered the stole, kissing the smooth fabric, and placed it around his collar. Next, the cross and the tiny bottles, long ago blessed.

He waited and watched from the corner of the last room, the only one with a door, the rest shredded as with maniacal claws. He had the patience of a Saint it was said by those who had once known him. He felt the floor rumble and tilt, and as he gazed into emptiness, the blackest of souls appeared.

“Ego profugus vos ex is vicis, is locus. Vomica de infusco nox noctis, tergum ut bestia adepto vos.” (I banished thee from this time, this place. Cursed of the blackest night, back to the beast get thee.)

As the soul became trapped within the room, Shel picked up the small bottles and began the ritual cleansing. With each splash, the floor shook and quaked, and he chanted louder, until the blackness spoke.

“Forgive me Father, for I am going to sin.” And with a roar of wicked laughter, it jerked Shel from the floor, swallowing him whole, in one mighty bite.

Moments later, the darkness convulsed, shimmered, then shattered into millions of shining shards.

“I hate that when it happens.” Shel smiled, shook his clothes, grabbed his bag, and left the house, promise fulfilled.

If you participated in our flash fiction challenge, and would like EVERYONE to get a chance to read it, leave me a link, send me an email (, carrier pigeon message me... and I'll add your link to the post!

Remember to come back and join us next Monday for another interesting image, another flash fiction challenge... the only question.... are you up to it??

Ciao Bella!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Iron Daughter, Book 2, The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  304

(Release Date:  7/27/10)

From the Cover:

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. 

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart. 

*****May Contain Spoilers*****

Meghan is having more problems than ever before.  Since making her deal with Prince Ash of the Winter Court and returning to face her fate, she has been abandoned to face the Winter Court alone.  Prince Ash escapes back into his solitary existence, escaping the love that's building, escaping the consequences that forbidden love could bring, exile and disinheritance.  Meghan doesn't know what to think, abandoned and alone, with only the taunts of the Court Ladies and of his evil brother, Prince Rowan to sustain her.  Queen Mab likes to keep her newest acquisition where she can see it, even if it means freezing Meghan in ice.

Ash has used escape to deal with his problems for many years, escaping Meghan and her budding love,  escaping the memories of the past that plague his existence is the only way he knows how to survive.  Something Meghan can't know or understand with her lack of knowledge about the Courts.  As much as Ash needs and wants to let Meghan capture this attention and desires, he knows the consequences, both for himself and her.  Cast away, discarded, forced into the human realm without a home, at least for him.  But, would exile be any worse than the existence he has now?  

Then, the Winter Court is attacked, taking the life of one of the Winter Court Princes, and Queen Mab is driven to rage.  And who does she hope to seek revenge against?  Even if she's wrong and one of her own sons is at the root of the evil plan?  And along with this all, Machina's minions of the Iron Court are seeking Meghan, with the most direst of consequences.  Strange alliances will have to be made if any of the Courts are to survive.

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa is the second book in the Iron Fey Series.  It picks up nicely where "Winter's Passage" and "The Iron King" left off.  Our heroine, Meghan Chase has been left in the Winter Court as the Court toy to be used and manipulated against her will.  With Ash's disappearance, she's left on her own, friendless.  Even when King Oberon comes to collect his wayward daughter, she cannot break the contract, it would only bring back the war she's been trying to avoid.  But when the Winter Court Prince is murdered, it will be up to Meghan to prove her version of the truth, even if it means wondering around the NeverNever, even if it means depending on the exiles, even if it means relying on those she once considered her darkest enemies, even if it means she'll have to prove one of Queen Mab's own sons is the perpetrator and executioner.  And it may all lead back to the Iron Court.  It seems the NeverNever is in worse shape than any could have imagined.  And the Iron Court is creeping closer and closer to it's own hideous desires, forcing Meghan to make hard decisions and stranger allies.

The Iron Daughter is an excellent addition to the Iron Fey Series.  I have to say the storyline is unique, the telling of the story of the Courts and the NeverNever is spellbinding and captivating.  I read this story in one sitting and started looking for the next in the series, only to find I was going to have a long wait ahead of me.  Ms. Kagawa has created a whole new version of MidSummer's Night, and I'm anxiously waiting to see what's in store for Meghan next.  Will she be able to love one of the Winter Court?  Or will she face forever exile from a life so recently discovered and a family she never knew existed? And what of Queen Titiana, who never wanted Meghan to take her place in the Summer Court?  What will Robbie do, Oberon as warned him time and time again not to disobey his wishes, but can he really abandoned Meghan, are these truly Oberon's wishes?  Only the next in the series will give us the answers we're searching for, and it's going to be fun finding out.

I received this ebook for Harlequin Teen and Net Galley for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

And now for a sneak peek at book three!

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages: 300

(all three covers)

(Release Date:  February 2011)
 (this is an awesomely beautiful cover, and I can't wait to take a peek at the blurb)

The third book in the Iron Fey Series is The Iron Queen will be released February 2011, Harlequin Teen has an early release of the cover art, though I have no idea as to when the blurb will be released, just thought I'd share the cover art.  I'll be eagerly waiting this addition to the series!  I have to add that I love all cover art for this series, YA is starting to be taken seriously, the cover art is growing more magnetic and attention grabbing.
You can visit Julie Kagawa @  

I'm leaning toward Team Ash, Puck is sweet and he really cares for Meghan, but there's something about the icy coolness of the Winter Prince....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Winter's Passage, Iron Fey Novella by Julie Kagawa

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  52

WINTER'S PASSAGE,a free novella in the Iron Fey series will be available for download June 1st. It takes place between THE IRON KING and THE IRON DAUGHTER and follows Meghan and Ash on their perilous journey deep into the heart of Winter. Check out for more details. 
From the Cover:

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....

An eBook exclusive story from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.

*****May Contain Spoilers*****

In "The Iron King", we discovered Meghan Chase's true identity.  She's one of the Summer Fey, lucky her.... it's just how she feels, princess though she may be.  She's escaped to the NeverNever to find and retrieve her step-brother, Ethan, but at the cost of making a contract with the Winter Court's Prince Ash.  But, when Ash comes to collect her payment, something else is waiting for them.  Her best-friend and companion, Robbie, was injured and near death while helping her search for Ethan.  She's lost so much and now, her freedom is at stake.  But, something else is waiting for her in the NeverNever, something's hunting her, something's scenting her blood.

Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa is a stepping stone story, filling in the details between "The Iron King" and "The Iron Daughter" (the next in the series).  It tells the story of what happens when Ash comes to collect his debt for helping retrieve Ethan from the clutches of the evil Iron Fey.  But, the Winter Court isn't done with Ash and Meghan, and neither is the Summer Court.  And there's no forgetting the Iron Court, who are slowly trying to take over the NeverNever.

Winter's Passage is an excellent addition to the continuing story of Robbie, Ash, and Meghan, and all the other players who want a piece of Meghan's life and her heritage.  It's unique storytelling, bringing Shakespeare a little to life for those of us not fond of the Bard's writings.  If you want to try a new series, take a peek at Winter's Passage.  It's excellent YA Urban Fantasy with a nice Pararomance brewing too.  I enjoyed it very much and happily waiting for the next in the series.

I received this ebook for review Harlequin Teen and Net Galley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Series Spotlight: The Iron King, Book 1, The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa

I've discovered a new author and a new series that I've become entranced with and can't be more please with my new discovery.

The author:  Julie Kagawa

The series:  The Iron Fey Series.

It's excellent YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.  Over the few days, I'm going to offer a review of all three books in the series.  It's one of the most unique in the genre I've found, and another that has found it's place on the coveted 'Keeper's Shelf'.  I hope you have a chance to try this wonderful series, if you're a fan of YA Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, this is not a series to miss.

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages: 368


Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

*****May Contain Spoilers*****

Meghan Chase is one of the invisible people, at least that's how she feels in her high school. She isn't one of the popular crowd, she's the step-daughter of a local pig farmer, good honest work, but not one respected by her classmates or one that will make her family rich. In one day, she'll be 16 years old and special things are supposed to happen to you at 16... you're first real kiss, learning to drive, prom... but she's having trouble believing any of that is going to happen for her. When she's asked to tutor her crush, Scott Warren, she thinks that maybe he'll finally notice her, and after a slight computer malfunction, he really does, but not in a good way.

Robbie Goodfell, Meghan's best friend, has always been there, even to watch the scary movies that keep her awake at night and afraid of the dark.  Robbie, well, he's a mischief maker, but all the teachers seem to love him. He's cute, likes Meghan for who she is, and he's always ready with a shoulder, and lately, she's needed a shoulder. When Meghan sees a strange boy hiding in the woods, Robbie assures her no one's there, even though she saw him with her own eyes, but then maybe she didn't.

But on the day before her 16th birthday, weird things start to happen.  First Beau, the family German Shephard who has always been gentle, attacks her four year old half-brother, Ethan. Though Ethan denies Beau was really attacking him (he swears it was the scary man in the closet), Meghan's Mom and Step-father gets rid of Beau anyway. On the day of her 16th birthday, weirder things start to happen, Ethan is acting strange, violent and vicious. When Robbie sees Ethan, he knows exactly what happened to him, he's been kidnapped and a fey changling has been left in his place. As Robbie begins to tell Meghan the true story of her life, it's unbelievable to her ears. Can she really be part fey? And who really is Robbie anyway?

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa is the continuation of Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream. Meghan Chase isn't who she thinks she is and Robbie isn't who he says he is, and Meghan's whole life is about to change. If you've read Midsummer's Night or seen the movie, you already know all the players in this story; King Oberon, Queen Titania, and Puck of the Summer Court as well as Queen Mab, her sons Sage, Rowan, and Ash of the Winter Court are all there as our story unfolds. Meghan as it turns out, is none other than the daughter of the Summer King, and she's destined to fall into a forbidden love with one of the Winter Court. But, Meghan doesn't know the rules of the Courts very well. And it turns out to be worse than high school. In high school, they might make fun of you, but in the Courts, they might kill you, and everyone has disdain for the half-breed. Once again, her only friend is Robbie who it turns out to be Robin Goodfellow or Puck the Trickster to his friends, that is until she dances with the Winter Prince, Ash. But she only allowed Robbie to bring her to Faery Court to find Ethan. To do so, she'll have to make bargains, deals, and contracts with some unlikely characters, as well as one with the Winter Court Prince, trading her freedom in return for Ethan's. But will the Winter Prince really help her or is he only using her to his own evil ends?

The Iron King has many twists and turns as the story of the Summer and Winter Courts takes on a new life. Iron is a long feared object of the fey, all kinds of fey. Iron kills fey if they're not careful, and if the legends of the fey are forgotten, the fey slowly fade away and die. With the advent of technology, Iron is taking over the fey world, and with the Iron age coming to the fey, a new brand of fey have proclaimed themselves, the Iron Court. Julie Kagawa builds an excellent world around the idea of an Iron Court, one that if left unchecked will take over the NeverNever, killing it as the fey fade away into oblivion, and instead of imagination and fantasy, technology is all that will be left. It's Meghan hope to not only save Ethan, but to prevent the Iron Court from killing the Summer and Winter Courts, and she might be the only one able, her human side gives her an immunity to the effects of iron. I highly recommend this series to all lovers of fantasy, especially those who enjoy a little Shakespearean reference. The new fey created in Ms. Kagawa's world are a force for the oldbloods to reckon with, and I can't wait to see where she takes this story.  Another new author for me, another new series to enjoy, and I find myself thinking it's one of the most unique in the genre so far.  I highly recommend to all fantasy lovers, old and young alike.  A quick read that doesn't let you go.

Book Trailer

(Fall for You by Secondhand Serenade, The Iron King playlist and my current ringtone!)

I received this ebook for Harlequin Teen and Net Galley for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge

Gooood Monday Morning to everyone in the blogosphere!

This Monday Morning starts a new tradition (hopefully) for Romance Book Wyrm / Tink's Place, and maybe your place too!

(Thanks AmyC for the wonderful graphic!!)

 The multi-talented AmyC and I have been talking for a bit about doing a flash fiction meme similar to what the Deadline Dames have on their blog.  With real life sucking at our souls, we kind of forget about getting this started, and lately my life as been the Mother of All Soul Suckers, so oops :-D but we're going to change our ways, and besides they say writing is GOOD for the soul.  So, here's the nitty gritty about what we proposed....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge

Every Monday Morning, we'll post a picture for anyone and everyone's consideration, and if you'd like to play along with us, please feel free, we're happy to have you!  The word count we've come up with is 350 words, not quite as tight as 250, but not as lengthy as 500.  You'll have 5 days in which to complete your mission, should you choice to accept, so Friday, we'll post our take of the prompt.  (BTW.... you can post your flash at anytime.... it doesn't have to be on Fridays, any day of the week is fine, and if you leave a link, I'll try to add it to my Friday post so everyone can read it... :)

So, are you ready? (Remember to leave comment with a link if you play, I'll make it over to read what you've brilliantly come up with as the soul sucking allows, of course...).  Regardless if you participate or not, remember to have loads of fun, release your inner creativity (mine's been a bit bottled....damn soul suckers) and let your juices a totally non-soul sucking way, I mean.  You'll never know unless you try, and at first, it may appear to be a daunting task....but oh so much fun!!  So, on your mark.... get set.... create!

This week's gorgeous picture prompt (provided again by the talented Amy) is.....

Week 1 Flash Fiction Challenge Picture

Oh, spoooky....   See you soon!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sassy Sunday Story Starter.... picked up from AmyC and Sassy Brit....

Over at Alternative-Reads, *Jedi Sassy Brit* hosts a 'Sassy Sunday Story Starter' post. Since AmyC was giving this a try, I took 30 minute out of my busy life (haha, yeah right, like I have anything else to do anyway....) and scribbled a little something of my own for 'Sassy Sunday Story Starter'! I've only written from a story prompt, never a line prompt, so of course, I had to try. If you like to see what AmyC at Romance Book Wyrm wrote, well you know the drill, clink the link.... excellent storytelling!

It was an ordinary Sunday. We were reading the papers and drinking strong coffee. And then Kate said something that changed everything.....

“I don't know why you have to be such ass! Just tell me.... For once, let me know what I'm getting myself into, what's the cost going to be... put those lying lips to good use...” Kate stormed, throwing her mug into the sink, splashing coffee and splinters of ceramic mug across the granite countertop.

“Please, baby, see it my way.” Luc eased up behind her, wrapping her in a warm embrace, letting his lips nudge her head aside to find her neck, breathing fire along the soft flesh to leave a trail that blazed down her throat, the pull was almost too great to resist.

Kate began to fall into the tender trap of his embrace before she even realized what she was doing. It was so easy to let the voice into her mind... it had been happening so often lately, to leave the decision to someone else, to open herself to possibilities that Luc offered.

She shook the cobwebs from her mind. “Damn it, stay out of my head! You know it pisses me off... go... try your wiles on the next willing soul.” She leaned into the sink, tears leaking from her eyes as she squeezed them tight. Why did it always lead back to the question of letting go of what she didn't even want? Why was it so fucking hard to do?

Luc stepped in closer, sensing capitulation. “Come on baby...” his voice sweetly lied, his goal in sight. “It's just a little prick, then we can have what we want.” He breathed as he softly whispered against her ear. “We can be together, I know you want that too.” Kate knew that was a lie too, Luc was a love 'em and leave 'em type.... But damn, he was good at so many other things. Lips pulled at her neck, sliding lower, closer to her heart.

Kate pushed back and away. No fucking way was she accepting the lie, no way... she liked her life just the way it was... Didn't she? But the possibilities.... longevity.... youth.... wealth.... what was a little prick between them? What was the use in fighting... Kate felt her head falling back against Luc's hard chest as her resolved slipped away.... giving in....and as the twin pricks pierced her flesh, just above her heart, all reason left....

Hours later, Luc bent over Kate to leave a lingering kiss on her soft lips, her scent still intoxicating. It wouldn't be long now, and he needed to be well and gone, before she awoke, before the lusting started, all were born with the desire and knowledge of those that came before, though Kate would be hard to give up. Weeks of wheedling his way in, but it had been well worth the wait, she'd been exquisite. He breathed in her scent deeply one last time, thrilling at the drunken sensation, the perfect high, before opening the door and leaving her behind. Kate had been a real challenge, but he knew it had all changed this morning when she'd uttered the words that caused his pulse to quicken, his heart to pound.

“Death only hurts a little, right?”

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Soul to Keep, Book 3, The Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  304

From the Cover:

Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.

Until something does.

Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked.

And so is someone else…

Kaylee would like to think her life is finally settling down.  Her dad has moved back from Ireland, though he's working himself crazy and he still isn't all about sharing when it comes to bean sidhe business.  Her boyfriend, Nash, is one of the hottest guys in school and he only has eyes for her.  She and her best friend, Emma, are tentatively being accepted by the popular crowd... for their boyfriends sake.  Maybe now she can relax.

But, something's wrong...  First, Emma's boyfriend and fellow football player, Doug crashes into Kaylee's car, totaling it.  And when Nash and Kaylee rush to help, he swears someone was in the car with him, and he's blasted out of his mind, only he's barely had anything to drink.  Then, one of the other football players starts acting all twitchy, paranoid, and high as a kite.  Is this a coincidence or is something going on.... something Netherworldish?  Demon's Breath has been known to cause these problems, but how could a human get something only available in the Netherworld.  And will Kaylee have to cross over to find out?  Will her soul survive another encounter with Avari?

My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent is the story of what can happen when two worlds collide, when one world and it's nasties try to find a foothold in reality.  Not only do they want a foothold, but they like to feast upon the willing souls looking for an easy escape from life, boredom, and the need to live larger.  In My Soul to Take, Kaylee, Nash and Tod traveled into the Netherworld to try to save Addison Page's soul and to do so, they sold a few balloons filled with Demon's Breath to some wayward fiends in an attempt to locate the hellion, Avari.  Kaylee knew that Demon's Breath was one of the most addictive substance in the Netherworld, after all, look at the fiends hanging out, hoping for a hit of Demon's Breath.  What she doesn't know is that one of the balloons popped, they were all exposed to the awful effects of the intoxicating bad breath.  Only one of them may not be able to handle it's effects.  Then, Demon's Breath starts showing up at their high school, Kaylee can scent it out.  When some football players starting to act weird, Kaylee needs to know what happened and who's infected?  And how could it happen?  How's the bad breath traveling from the Netherworld to her world?  What's happening and how can she make it stop before people start dying?

MSTK is another excellent addition to the Soul Screamers Series.  It deals with drug addition, acceptance, and what it's like on the outside looking in.  Nash and Kaylee appear to be the perfect couple, he's a little pushy about the whole wanting to have sex thing, but Kaylee stands her ground.  She's not about to have sex just because he expects it, hasn't had to wait for it before, it's not her.  Kaylee has had enough twists and turns in her life without making herself totally dependent on Nash and his wants and needs.  She truly does have trust issues.  But, Nash has been acting strange, trying to Influence Kaylee, making her sound crazy in front of her father, and not wanting to share what's happening to the kids at school until it's too late.  He apparently didn't learn from their last misadventure.  But, Kaylee's been feeling strange too and she has a feeling it's all related to Demon's Breath, and it may all be her own fault.  I've really enjoyed Ms. Vincent's Soul Screamers Series.  There's teenage angst (if you can't remember teenage angst, I'll let one of my kids stay with you for a week, you'll remember...) and the need to be an individual as well as fit in.  Again, I have to say the romance is appropriate for the YA community, but it keeps me coming back for more.  If you enjoy YA paranormal romance, fantasy creatures, urban fantasy, and maybe a little thriller thrown in, give this series a try.  It's pretty darn good.

I received this book from Harlequin Teen and Net Galley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sins of the Soul, Book Two, The Otherkin Series by Eve Silver

Publisher:  HQN, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages:  368

(Release Date:  9/01/10)

From the Cover:

Sworn to duty. Bound by desire.
Alastor Krayl’s world shattered when he learned that his father was the Underworld god of chaos and evil.  All that saved him from self-destruction were his newfound brothers and the bond they shared as soul reapers.  So when one of his brothers is murdered, vengeance becomes Alastor’s obsession. And the enigmatic Naphré Kurata, a witness—or is she the killer?—has the answers he seeks.

A reluctant Underworld enforcer, Naphré trusts no one, especially not a seductive soul reaper who makes her burn with lust. Torn between duty and desire, she fights to keep her secrets safe from Alastor, even as she longs to surrender.

“Sleek, dark and utterly seductive! Eve Silver’s talent always shines.”—New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

Alastor Krayl didn't know who he really was, until he was ripped from the family who raised him, Mother, Father, and sisters... all a lie.  Sutekh, Seth, the Lord of Chaos, one of  the Gods of the Underworld fathered four sons, Dagan, Alastor, Malthus, and Lokan.  This is Alastor's story, second son of the God of Chaos.

As with all Seth's sons, Alastor has no real patience for the father he never knew, although, after centuries of residing in his company, he has developed a grudging tolerance.  For too many years, he was kept at Seth's side, and when he returned to his human family, they were all gone, even the nieces and nephews he would have doted upon, all lost of the passage of time.  Now, there's no one but the brothers he has come to know, love, trust.  When Lokan is impossibly murdered, all the brothers come together to find the fiend responsible.  What they find is that Lokan led a different life, one none knew of.

When Dagan and Alastor find information of Lokan's last location, they go to investigate.....  Alastor would like nothing better than to bring Lokan's murderer to his own brand of justice.

Naphré Kurata is an underworld enforcer, a deal made with a demon to save her father's life.  Little does she know, her father was dying anyway and she's left without him and in service to a demon.  She's come to be quite good at her job, as distasteful as it is, and before she takes a life even if it's demanded of her, it has to be morally right.  

When Alastor sees Naphré, he knows she either had a hand in Lokan's death or a witness to the deed.  The only way he'll know is to use some detective skills, only in doing so, he finds that she has links to the Daughters of Aset as well as finding that someone else is watching her, and that someone may be the one responsible for Lokan's gruesome death.  Soon, he discovers she's a killer with a conscious, but, maybe she can led him to the murderer responsible... if he can keep her alive long enough.

Naphré has seen all kinds in her line of work, but the son of Seth, soul reaper, is certainly not what she's expecting.  So far, he's been kind, helpful, and damn dangerous.... to her heart.  She refuses to lose herself to another underworld being, even if he's trying to help. 

Sins of the Soul by Eve Silver is the second book in Otherkin Series, and an excellent addition to the unfolding tale.  While Naphré is warying of every living thing, she's also drawn to the one creature who could send her permanently into the Underworld, her soul already belongs to a demon, but what she doesn't know is that another Goddess has prior claim, sold by those closest to her.  When Alastor finds Naphré's name among those souls to be collect in Seth's book, he can't let it happen, he won't let Seth feast upon her soul.  But there are things in the Underworld that not even the son of the God of Chaos knows or can protect her from, and when he attempts to find the murderer of Lokan, Naphré's name keeps coming back to him.  He's forced to bring her to the Underworld, but he doesn't want to lose her, she's his only link to Lokan.  But, he soon discovers that he needs her for another reason, and if he's going to keep them both alive, he'll have to show the love he holds in his heart for the enemy, a Daughter of Aset, Naphré.

Sins of the Soul continues the story started in "Sins of the Heart" where we discovered Dagan's story and Lokan's murder unfolded.  Alastor and Dagan are Seth's two oldest sons, and share the same human mother, though Dagan was never allowed to know humanity, and Alastor is ripped from his humanity at Seth's will.  But Seth's sons share even more, their attraction to the Daughters of Aset, and that fondness is one that could get them killed.  Alastor is plunged into mystery and intrigue through his association with, his need to protect, his budding friendship and love for Naphré, Underworld enforcer for some unknown, and unlikely, demon.  When he finds out the demon isn't really a demon, and that there's a prior claim upon Naphré's soul, he has no choice but to bring she into the Underworld, because if he takes her, maybe he can save her, staking his own claim to her soul as he finds that he no longer cares for anything else.  Naphré is not one to trust easily, the one person she thought she had a grudging trust for, her mentor, attempted to take her life, and now a soul reaper wants to help her, she's heard it all.  But, she's drawn to the reaper, and soon, if she wants to stay alive, she may have no other to choice than to trust what she has always thought of as the enemy.  I recommend this book to all lovers of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Mythology, and Magic, it's excellent and a very quick read.  I can't wait to try the next in the series.

I received this ebook from Harlequin Enterprises and Net Galley for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Deadline Dames, ROD #18

It's time for the Deadline Dames, Readers on Deadline #18. This isn't the picture used as the prompt on their site, but since they ask that their pics not to be reprinted, here's one that I liked. If you'd like to see their gorgeous image, please click here.  If you'd like to try your hand, it's 250 words by August 11, 2010.  The prize this month:  A Cup of Normal by Dame Devon!

The Last of the Days

Grace stared up at the predawn sky. She turned to the east to catch the last glimpse of the sun she would ever see as it broke over the horizon.

This was never the life she had hoped to live when her marriage to Victor had been arranged, a midnight service held by candlelight. He'd been so beautiful, pale skin nearly glowing as he stood in the black of night. The ruby red stone he placed upon her finger glowed with the same eerie light.

She glanced down at her hand where the ruby still rested, all these centuries later. Soon it will be over, no more tomorrows.

It wasn't worth it, watching death come but never for her. The bloodlust was never satisfied, eating at her constantly. When Victor collapsed into death's embrace of day sleep, she slipped into her wedding gown, hidden away for all these years. The lace fragile and yellowed, but still wondrous to her eyes. The last thing her mother had given her. It was only fitting that the gown which bore her into endless night, should bear her into true death.

As the night's grip weakened, she watched the sky with sudden fascination. It turned from a deep purple to vivid pink, breathtaking. The pink bleached away to a pale blue, she'd forgotten it's beauty. Her skin tingled with the first wisps of the sun's rays. Just before the sun burst into life and she into death, she whispered, “Goodbye.”

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Soul To Save, Book 2, The Soul Screamer Series by Rachel Vincent

Publisher: Harlequin Teen, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages: 288

 From the Cover:

“If she were going to die, I’d already be screaming. I’m a banshee.  That’s what we do.”

When Kayle Cavanaugh screams, someone dies. 
So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong.  She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her boyfriend’s loyalty to the test.  But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.  Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk...

Kaylee is a soul screamer, bean sidhe, and with the help of her new boyfriend, Nash, and his mom, Harmony, she's learning to use her abilities and to control the wail that comes from her body when an imminent death is about to occur.  

But an odd thing happens, when Tod gets them back stage passes, (and you don't want to know how he got them), to one of the hottest concerts on the planet, and as Kaylee and Nash are watching, almost mesmerized... the star, Eden, drops dead on the stage.... and Kaylee doesn't wail.  She discovers a whole new part of her world.... And the fact that souls can be sold and the life taken without warning.

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent is Kaylee's continuing story.  With Harmony's help, she's starting to understand this new world she's been thrusting into, and none to soon.  Someone is selling souls, guaranteeing a lifetime of fame and fortune... they just don't say how long the lifetime is.  Dekkar Media, promoter for all the popular young artists with the help of a rogue grim reaper, has made a deal with a hellion, Avari, to trade souls replacing them with Demon's Breath, an intoxicating addictive substance that can sustain life and replace the soul.  They're pirating young souls and becoming more powerful.  When Tod's one time girlfriend, Addison Page, finds herself without a soul and her sister's is on the auction block next, she turns to her only hope, Tod.  The only trouble is that her life is set to end, and there will be no one to protect her sister.  Tod does the only thing a reaper can do, he looks to Kaylee and Nash for help.  As bean sidhes, they can call for Addison's soul and guide it back into her body.  But, to do so, they'll have to cross into the Netherworld, a big no go with Kaylee's dad.  After Kaylee gives her word to help, Nash has no choice but to help.... a hellion is possession of souls is a daunting tasks, for an experienced bean sidhe, but for the novice Kaylee, it's going to be a difficult journey.  Can they find the hellion before Addison's set death date?  Or will the Netherworld eat them alive?  

MSTS is another great addition to the Soul Screamers Series.  It continues the story from Book 1 as Kaylee's adventures of learning about her heritage, her families deepest and darkest secrets as well as those of her boyfriend, and some of which can never be shared with her evil cousin, Sophie, who without Kaylee's help would have died in the first book.  She holds Kaylee responsible for her mother's death, only those who've read the book know the real story.  And it's twisted.  Ms. Vincent's interpretation of the mythology and legends is a fresh take on Irish/Scottish traditions and creatures that we don't want to hear wailing in the dark of the night.  But what if those creatures looked like everyone else?  That's what makes reading books that involve mythology, legends, and traditions so much fun, it's the author's interpretation, continuation, and additions that keeps the story fresh.  At least that's how I feel.  Regardless, I'm enjoying the series immensely and preparing to read the next in the series, My Soul to Keep.  Again, I found the pararomance fun and YA friendly.   If you enjoy YA paranormal romances and urban fantasy as well as demons, hellions, and soul reapers, you might want to give this series a try, I'm glad I did, it's excellent.

I received this book in a contest offer by Rachel Vincent.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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