Monday, 22 April 2019

Review: Iron & Fire - Ariana Nash

Alliances are forged and broken, friendships shattered, and despite the odds stacked against them, two hearts collide in this explosive sequel to Silk & Steel.

From his mother’s cage to a human one, but Lysander’s captors are the least of his concerns. Rumors of a monstrous bronze dragon ripple through human camps, a dragon tearing great holes in the world as though searching for something… or someone.

It’s just a matter of time before the bronze chief, Dokul, finds Lysander and makes good on his promises. And should he find him, Lysander knows Dokul will not be merciful.

Amidst the greatest of elven victories, Eroan failed. Failed his people, failed himself, and failed the dragon who saved him. But he will not falter. The dragonkin are in disarray, there will never be a greater opportunity to strike. Eroan Ilanea will not fail his people again.

But when rumors of the dragon prince’s survival reach him, he must choose: Fight for his people or fight for the prince who nobody thought to save?


Contains adult themes, triggering content, a bisexual elf, and a gay dragon shifter.

Silk & Steel Series:
Sealed with a Kiss (Prequel short story)
Silk and Steel
Iron and Fire
Blood and Ice (2019)

Visit Ariana Nash's website or Pippa DaCosta's website for more information

Iron & Fire picks up the story several weeks from the end of Silk & Steel, Lysander has spent that time as a prisoner and while the humans haven't technically tortured him being stuck inside a cage hasn't been much fun. What's worse is the rumours of a giant bronze dragon that has been seen all along the coast, Lysander knows that Dokul is searching for him and he dreads what will happen when he does. Meanwhile, Eroan has returned to his people and is helping to spread the word about weapons that can be used to actually kill dragons, he's trying to convince the elves to work alongside humans so that they have a chance of destroying their enemy once and for all but after the last betrayal the elves are wary.

Eroan hasn't been able to forgive himself for Lysander's death so when he realises that the dragon may in fact be a prisoner he has a difficult decision to make. Should he risk it all to save a dragon when his entire life has been devoted to destroying as many of them as possible? It should be an obvious choice but without Lysander he wouldn't have survived his own captivity and now is his chance to return the favour. The only question is how many enemies will he make amongst his own people by doing what he knows is the right thing.

If you read the first book then you'll already know that this is a dark series, I'm going to warn you now that this book wasn't any easier to read. In fact certain scenes were incredibly difficult to get through so please take this warning seriously. There are rape scenes, both MM and MF, and I think that's important to know if it could be triggering for you. Having said that, no matter how painful parts of this book were to read it was still an excellent instalment to the series. It's not light and fluffy, instead it's gritty and raw but it also has a lot of heart and characters you'll find it easy to root for.

I love Lysander, for someone who has suffered so much he still has a huge amount of compassion for others. He takes some serious knocks in this book but in spite of that he tries to do the right thing. There were times when I really wanted to smack some sense into Eroan, I was angry with him for leaving Lysander to suffer for so long but at the same time I could understand that he was trying to do what was right for his people. Both of them have such complex histories and even when they make questionable decisions it's easy to see why they think and act the way they do. I so desperately want them both to find happiness but I have a feeling they're going to have to face a lot more hardship along the way.

Iron & Fire is a book that tore my heart out but that just proves how invested I am in these characters and this world and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happens next.

Source: Received for free from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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Monday, 15 April 2019

Review: The Reader - Traci Chee

Instant New York Times Bestseller

A stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of, perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent.

The Sea of Ink and Gold Trilogy:
The Reader
The Speaker
The Storyteller

Visit Traci Chee's website for more information

The Reader is such a fabulous and clever story that it's almost hard to believe it's Traci Chee's debut novel. It's complex, multi-layered and the writing is beautiful enough to capture you from the first page. Imagine a world where books are really magical, where the words written in them can be so dangerous that they have actually been banned. In fact, books were outlawed so long ago that most people don't even know what reading or writing is, let alone how to actually do them! It's such a fascinating and horrifying premise to a bookworm like me that I just had to find out how it all came about.

Now let's talk about our main character Sefia, she's someone who has survived some of the darkest things imaginable. She lost both her parents when she was young, barely escaping with her life when her father was tortured and murdered, and since then has only had her aunt Nin to rely on. The two are very close but Sefia has always known that dangerous people are hunting them so they have lived their lives on the fringes, always on the move and living hand to mouth. When those enemies finally catch them Nin sacrifices herself so that Sefia can get away and Sefia is determined to do whatever it takes to rescue her aunt from her captors.

The only clue Sefia has is a mysterious item that her parents always kept hidden and that Nin warned her not to touch. It turns out that item is a book and while Sefia is all alone she slowly teaches herself how to read it. Inside she finds a whole new universe opening up to her, one that's full of stories that totally change the way she looks at the world, as well as giving her some strange new magical abilities. The question is whether she can use those abilities to help rescue her aunt or whether her enemies will catch up with her first.

That's only the beginning of Sefia's adventures and I really don't want to say anything more about this story because I want you to be able to enjoy seeing everything unfold for yourself. There are several other narrators that I've not even touched upon but I'll just tell you that while each plot thread may seem totally unrelated in the beginning they are all very cleverly winding through and around each other to create a vast and complex tapestry that you'll only really be able to see at the end. There are so many characters I want to spend more time with as the series continues and I can't wait to see what happens next. The Reader really is a fantastic debut and I'm just glad that the rest of the trilogy is already available because I plan to binge read the next two books as soon as possible!

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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Sunday, 14 April 2019

Review: Kicking It - Anthology


New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine has modern-day potions witches Holly and Andrew facing off against a firebrand politician who wears literally killer boots in a Texas-sized rodeo of trouble.

Boot-loving Cadogan vampire Lindsey must team up with off-again, on-again vampire partner Luc when a woman from her past is targeted by supernaturals in New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill’s all-new adventure.

And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman features Trixa Iktomi from her Trickster series dealing with magical vengeance and magical footwear.

Taking kick-ass urban fantasy literally, USA Today bestselling authors Kalayna Price and Faith Hunter bring together the best of the genre to once again prove when you’re fighting supernatural forces, it helps to keep your feet on the ground.

For more information about any of these authors click on their names below to visit their websites:
Rachel Caine
Shannon K Butcher
Chris Marie Green
Faith Hunter
Chloe Neill
Lucienne Diver
Christina Henry
Rob Thurman
Kalayna Price

The great thing about anthologies is that they often give you a chance to try out a whole bunch of new authors. Kicking It has some big name authors from the urban fantasy genre so although I was most excited to read Chloe Neill and Kalayna Price's stories it was great to get to try some other new-to-me series too.

I'll talk briefly about each story below but my overall opinion of this book is good. With any anthology there will always be some stories that you enjoy more than others but this collection definitely contains more hits than misses and even the ones I didn't love were well written, I just believe I'd have enjoyed them more if I was already familiar with the series they belong to.

Forked Tongues by Rachel Caine:

Holly and Andrew Series:
Death Warmed Over (Short Story in the Strange Brew anthology)
Holly's Balm (Short Story in the Hex Appeal anthology)
Forked Tongues (Short Story in the Kicking It anthology)

In Forked Tongues Holly & Andy are facing off against a demon who is riling up the general public against witches. It's already led to one murder and and Holly is the demon's latest target so they need to work fast if they want their lives to get back to normal. This is the second short story that I've read about this couple and I'm really enjoying getting to know them both, I love that Holly is a resurrection witch and that Andy is someone she brought back from the dead but I really must read their first story so I can find out how they first met. I actually think it's a shame Rachel Caine hasn't written a full length book about these two because they're such interesting characters.

Stolen Goods by Shannon K Butcher:

I believe Stolen Goods is a stand alone story but it would make a great start to a series so I'd definitely read more if the author decided to expand on it. It's an action packed story starring a thief and a master craftsman who is an expert at making weapons. He has something she wants but she'll only get to keep it if she helps him pull of the heist to end all heists.

The Girl With No Name by Chris Marie Green:

Vampire Babylon Series:
Night Rising
Midnight Reign
Break of Dawn
Double the Bite (ebook novella, also in the First Blood anthology)
A Drop of Red
The Path of Razors
Deep in the Woods
Soul Stains (Short Story in the Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives anthology)
Raising the Darkness (ebook novella, also in the Dead for a Day anthology)
In Bad Spirits (ebook novella, also in the Strange Spirits anthology)
The Girl With No Name (Short Story in the Kicking It anthology)
Shadows Til Sunrise

The Girl With No Name features a character from Chris Marie Green's Vampire Babylon series and is about someone who has completely lost her memory. Imagine waking up in a strange room with no idea how you got there, or even who you are, and then trying to figure out how you got there. While this story did make me curious enough to add the first book to my to read mountain I do think I'd have enjoyed this more if I was already familiar with the world.

The Devil's Left Boot by Faith Hunter:

Jane Yellowrock Series:
Blood Cross
Mercy Blade
Raven Cursed
Golden Delicious (Short Story in the An Apple for the Creature anthology)
Death's Rival
Blood Trade
The Devil's Left Boot (Short Story in the Kicking It anthology)
Black Arts
Broken Soul
Dark Heir
Shadow Rites
Cold Reign
Dark Queen
Shattered Bonds

I feel a bit ashamed to admit I've never read the Jane Yellowrock series, its one I've heard great things about and have been meaning to read forever so now that I've enjoyed two stories set in this world I don't really have any more excuses. This story focuses on twin sisters Cia and Liz, both are witches who I believe have been side characters in the main series. When they are contacted by one of the mean kids who used to bully them in school they are reluctant to help her in any way but, once they realise her mother is missing and that blood magic may have been involved in the disappearance, they feel like they have to step in. There is only a brief appearance from Jane but I like this world and I really want to spend more time in it.

High Stakes by Chloe Neill:

Chicagoland Vampires Series:
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Twice Bitten
Hard Bitten
Drink Deep
Biting Cold
House Rules
Biting Bad
High Stakes (Novella in the Kicking It anthology)
Howling for You (Novella)
Wild Things
Blood Games
Lucky Break (Novella)
Dark Debt
Midnight Marked
Phantom Kiss (Novella)
Blade Bound
Slaying It (Novella)

Heirs of Chicagoland Series:
(Spin off set approximately 20 years on from the end of the Chicagoland Vampires series)
Wild Hunger

I honestly can't believe it's taken me this long to discover High Stakes, I absolutely love the Chicagoland Vampires series and really like both Luc and Lindsay so I'm not sure how I missed this story about them being published. I didn't even realise Chloe Neill had a story in this anthology until I picked it up to start reading (observant I am not LOL). Anyway, this was by far my favourite story in Kicking It, it was great to learn more about Lindsay's past before she moved to Chicago and it answered some questions about why she has always been so determined to keep Luc at arm's length. They're such a cute couple and I liked that Luc always had her back even when she tried to push him away. Their relationship seems much more solid by the end of the story but I'd still love to read at least another short story about them to learn more about Luc's background and just to spend more time with them. This was a lovely addition to the Chicagoland world.

The Parlor by Lucienne Diver:

Latter-Day Olympians Series:
Trickster Blood (Short Story)
Bad Blood
Crazy in the Blood
The Parlor (Short Story in the Kicking It Anthology)
Rise of the Blood
Battle for the Blood
Blood Hunt

I've not read anything by Lucienne Diver before but The Parlor definitely left me wanting to read more from the Latter-Day Olympians series. The story is about P.I. Tori who has been asked to run surveillance on a suspected cheating husband. It should be a pretty boring job but when the husband goes into a gambling den called The Parlor and doesn't come back out things get much more interesting. With hints of Greek mythology and ancient Gods roaming around in the current day this series ticks a lot of my boxes and I can't wait to carry on reading it.

Red Isn't Really My Color by Christina Henry:

Black Wings Series:
Black Wings
Black Night
Red Isn't Really My Color (Short Story in the Kicking It anthology)
Black Howl
Black Lament
Black City
Black Heart
Black Spring

Christina Henry's Black Wings series is another one that's been on my radar for years but I haven't quite got around to reading it yet. Although I'm not familiar with this world I still enjoyed the story and I'm now even more curious about the rest of the series. The main character Madeline has been sent to track down a pair of red shoes but when you're given a mission by Lucifer you know things are going to get complicated and these aren't any ordinary shoes. I liked Madeline and this was a fun read.

Snakeskin by Rob Thurman:

Trickster Series:
Snakeskin (Short Story in the Kicking It anthology)
Trick of the Light
The Grimrose Path

Snakeskin is the introduction to Rob Thurman's Trickster series and it added yet another series to my to read mountain! Main character Trixa runs a bar but also makes very good money on the side by taking on special projects for clients. I was completely hooked by this story, it totally defines the phrase "be careful what you wish for" and I loved the way Trixa went about granting her latest client's request. Sometimes the bad guys really do get what they deserve!

Ruby Red by Kalayna Price:

Alex Craft Series:
Grave Witch
Grave Dance
Ruby Red (Short Story in the Kicking It anthology)
Grave Memory
Grave Visions
Grave Ransom
Grave Destiny

The main reason I actually picked up this anthology is because I'm currently rereading the first few Alex Craft books so that I can finally catch up with the latest releases. Ruby Red introduces us to new characters Briar and Derrick, both members of the MCIB, Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau. They were supposed to be on vacation but get called back into work thanks to the outbreak of a mysterious magical virus. These characters haven't been in the first two books in the Alex Craft series but I believe they have a role to play in the third book Grave Memory (it's been a long time since I first read that book so I really can't remember now!). I liked them both so hope that they'll become series regulars and that we'll see a lot more of them in the future.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Blog Tour: Queen of Sea and Stars - Anna McKerrow

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the recent release of Queen of Sea and Stars, the second book in Anna McKerrow's Daughter of Light and Shadows fantasy series. I have an excerpt to share with you today but first let me give you a bit more information about the series.

Book 1: Daughter of Light and Shadows:

The stranger stood in the doorway, smiling as if he knew her. His blue-green eyes were transfixing: strange, luminous – like the sea on a cloudy day. Faye felt a sense of shifting, like standing on wet sand as the tide washed in, burying her deeper and deeper…

Faye Morgan – beautiful, independent and lonely – runs her family’s small shop of magical curiosities like her mother and grandmother before her. She longs for an escape, unaware of the dark power that flows through her veins…

When Faye casts a spell into the sea one cold morning, her call brings her to the attention of the wild and impulsive faerie king Finn Beatha. Finn pulls Faye into an intoxicating new world, both magical and treacherous… and as bewitching as Finn himself, who seems to command every part of her when he’s near.

As Faye’s passion for Finn grows, so does her fear that she might be there for some darker reason... and that she could be trapped in Faerie forever. Is there something in Faye’s past connecting her to this place, to Finn? And dare she find out more when every moment draws her further away from her old world?

Book 2: Queen of Sea and Stars:

As a child, Faye Morgan was always an outsider, shunned for the ancient and powerful magic that runs through her veins.

Ever since she was a little girl, growing up in the village of Abercolme on the wild coast of Scotland, Faye Morgan’s life has been steeped in the old ways – witchcraft, herbal lore and a blood connection to the dangerous and unpredictable world of Faerie.

But magic is both a gift and a burden, and Faye has more than paid the price of living between two worlds. Neither accepted by the villagers, nor welcome in the Faerie Kingdom of Murias after rebuffing the fickle and attractive Faerie warrior king, Finn Beatha, Faye runs from Abercolme, hoping to leave that life behind.

However, even in the twisted, cobbled streets of London, Faye finds her blood bond with Faerie won’t be broken. A Faerie War of the Elements is brewing and, though she doesn’t yet know it, Faye is fated to play a terrible part. If she is to survive, she must learn to embrace her own dark power and face Finn Beatha once more… but in doing so Faye will discover secrets in her own past that never should have been disturbed.

Visit Anna McKerrow's website for more information

Anna's brief description of Queen of Sea and Stars and the reason she chose to share this excerpt:

Faye Morgan, a hereditary witch, moves away from her tiny coastal village in Scotland to London to be with her new boyfriend, Rav. But though she hopes she can live a normal life in a new city, her blood bond to the realms of faerie can’t be denied. With a faerie war brewing, can Faye realise her destiny and discover who she really is? A tale of faery magic, desire and modern witchcraft.

I chose this, the first scene in the book, as an introduction to how Faye feels split between the faerie world and the ordinary one - and how the faerie world is not going to leave her alone.

Excerpt from Queen of Sea and Stars
by Anna McKerrow:

Her head against his, Faye opened her eyes to her reflection in the mirrors opposite. Some had the silvered appearance of old mirrors that had, perhaps, hung in decadent ballrooms or the powder rooms of grand houses. For a sudden moment, eyes that weren’t hers stared back at her, and she blinked; a shadow passed over the silvered glass, and a faint voice called her name. Faye Morgan, sidhe-leth. Faye, Faye. It was nothing. A trick of the light, she told herself. Your imagination.

She didn’t want the faeries here; she wanted nothing more to do with them. She’d left her shop, Mistress of Magic, and come to London to get away from the memories. You can’t haunt me here. Faye closed her eyes and murmured a protection spell. She slipped her hand into her pocket and rubbed the small mirror which she’d inscribed with a banishing sigil. Be gone, be gone, she thought fiercely.

‘You’ve really been spoiling me, since we got here.’ Faye took her seat again, cleared her throat and took a scone from the bottom tray of the cake stand, spreading it with jam and thick clotted cream. ‘I could eat cakes and tea for every meal, I think.’ She made herself enjoy its soft creaminess, seeking the grounding comfort of food. She knew that eating and drinking was one of the best ways to protect yourself against magic; to remind yourself, and the spirits that might choose to plague you, that you were blood and bone, heavy, resistant to their touch.

There had been other dreams, not only of Finn. Nightmares in which faeries dandled a baby she knew was hers in front of her, refusing her clutching hands.

‘If you want to come here every afternoon for cakes and tea, I’ll leave them my credit card details.’ Rav smiled. ‘They could reserve the Faye Morgan table for you. Near to the window and within earshot of the piano, but not too close,’

Faye was staring at the mirrors and hadn’t been listening.

‘I’m sorry. What was that?’ She made herself return to the room.

‘I was saying, you can come here any time you like. Are you okay, Faye?’ Rav’s gaze flickered to the mirrors and back at her.

‘Of course. I could be a lady who lunches. No. A lady who teas. It wouldn’t be very healthy, though, would it?’ She made herself sound chatty, smiled reassuringly at him. She didn’t want him thinking she was mad, or that she was tortured with nightmares of making a bargain with the faeries.

In the old folk tales, mothers left their ailing babies out for the faeries to take. Sometimes they would leave a fae child for the human mother to raise while they took the human child to live happily in the fae realm. It was an old exchange, fae for human, a symbol of the once-close relationship between the two realms. No-one believed in it any more, of course. But in her nightmares, faeries stole a child she didn’t yet have.


Doesn't it sound fabulous? I have to confess that I've not started this series yet but it sounds just like my kind of read so I can't wait to get started on Daughter of Light and Shadows!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops on the Queen of Sea and Stars blog tour for more excerpts and reviews:

Friday, 12 April 2019

Excerpt Reveal: Fighting the Fire - Laura Kaye

From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the next standalone title in her Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING THE FIRE. Check out Laura’s note and the scintillating excerpt below! Then join the Warrior Fight Club world today! FIGHTING THE FIRE releases everywhere April 23rd!

About FIGHTING THE FIRE (Coming 4/23/19):

The more they fight, the more desire consumes them…

There’s only one thing firefighter Sean Riddick doesn’t like about Warrior Fight Club, and that’s Daniela England, the sexiest, snarkiest, most irritating woman he’s ever known. But MMA training keeps the Navy vet grounded, so Sean’s not about to give it up, no matter how many times he goes toe to toe with Dani—or how bad he wants to take her to the mats.

A former Army nurse and the widow of a fallen soldier, Dani is done with the military and with military men. Fight club is the only thing that eases her nightmares, which means she has to put up with Riddick. He might be sex on a stick, but he’s infuriating and everything she’s vowed to avoid.

But when an accident throws Sean and Dani together, all that fight bursts into a night of red-hot passion. Now they’re addicted to the heat and must decide if the one person they’ve most resisted might be exactly what they’ve both been looking for.

Pre-order FIGHTING THE FIRE today!

Amazon – Coming soon! | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads!

Coming in ebook, paperback, and audiobook

Dear Readers,

I love enemies-to-lovers stories because they’re so much fun to write and absolutely delicious to read! And Sean Riddick and Dani England from my upcoming Fighting the Fire are absolutely incendiary together! They’re both bad asses in their own right—both veterans, both fighters, both stubborn as hell. And boy does the cover capture them so well—the intensity, the passion, the push and pull. Now check out this excerpt and let me know what you think!

If you haven’t started my wounded Warrior Fight Club series yet, you can jump in anywhere because they’re all sexy standalone romances! And here’s where you reserve your copy of Sean and Dani’s hot, hot story:

PRE-ORDER on Amazon (coming soon!) | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads!

Coming in ebook, paperback, and audiobook


“Bring it,” Sean said, giving her a wink.

Ignoring his head games, Dani got into position. Fists up, elbows close to her ribs, lead leg forward. In this drill, Sean as the kicker could only make offensive moves with his legs. While, as the puncher, she couldn’t use her legs at all. Which meant she had to get in close while defending against his strikes.

They circled. Feinted. Attacked.

Sean was strong as hell, but she was faster by a lot. Dani used that to her advantage. Blocking and dodging his kicks and then getting inside to attack his ribs and gut and kidneys in the spare seconds before he regained his footing.

Each punch she landed released a pressure valve somewhere deep in her brain. And that release was so fundamental that she barely felt the kicks that Sean landed. Not that she gave him much chance to get them in, because she kept him close, under pressure, and on the defense blocking her punches.

“Damn, girl,” he said, respect and wariness plain in his voice.

“You told me to bring it,” she said, looking for another in. He blocked a shot at his ribs and delivered a spinning side kick that landed on the side of her thigh.

“Someone has some aggression to work out today,” he said.

“Do you have to talk so much?” she asked, sweat curling down the side of her face as she attacked again. This time she drove forward, forcing him to retreat and not letting him get in a kick.

Sean blocked and covered and dodged until they were in a clinch, breathing hard and face to face with no room to punch or kick. And for no good reason, heat roared over Dani. Heat that almost incinerated her from the inside out. Maybe it was the bulk of his muscles or the slick slide of their sweat or his scent of clean soap from a recent shower that couldn’t quite remove the hint of fire from his skin and hair.

As if he sensed it, Sean’s dark eyes flashed hot and his jaw went tight. Breaking the rules, he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her in close, letting her feel his erection for one spare moment before taking her to the mats in a controlled move that showed just how freaking strong he was. She expected to get the wind knocked out of her, but he’d more laid her out than knocked her down.

A whistle blew. “Switch up,” Colby called. “And follow the damn rules, Riddick. We’re not doing ground work right now.”

Everyone laughed.

But Dani and Sean were caught in a staring contest with their faces mere inches apart.

She wanted him inside her so bad that she nearly gave voice to it.

Her brain went immediately to that night.

How they’d circled each other throughout that whole damn party. How Sean had walked her to her car, parked right in front of his, which she’d begrudgingly thought sweet despite her insistence she didn’t need a damn chaperone. How they’d started bantering about something she couldn’t even remember now—because all she could remember was how desperately aroused she’d felt. How she’d teasingly punched him and he’d caught her arm and hauled her in against him. How the shock of his erection against her hip had made her look up at him. And how he’d claimed her mouth and she’d let him.

Oh, hell yeah, she’d let him do that and so much more…

And she wanted it again.

It was that thought that finally made her brain come back online. “Get. Off.”

His brow arched. Just the tiniest bit. “You can take your aggression out on me anytime.” He spoke in a rushed whisper, but the words impacted her like a body slam, pressing her back into the floor with some unseen force. Because she’d heard that tone in his voice before, when she’d straddled his lap on the big bench of his pick-up and finally taken him deep.

“Fucking hell, Dani. Take all of me.”

“Now,” Dani said, hoping he didn’t hear that her voice was affected, too.

In a move that seemed too lithe for someone his size, Sean hopped up then extended his hand to her.

Shook as she was, Dani accepted his help, then regretted it when he didn’t immediately release her hand but instead held her right in front of him—exactly like he had that night. “Just say the word.”

Dani swallowed hard. “Hold your breath waiting for it. Please.” She glared up at him, irritated with herself for letting him see inside her for that one unguarded moment when her body had reacted so viscerally to his. It was like that night had tuned their bodies into the same wavelength, and now they could communicate whether she wanted it or not.

Amusement and challenge slid into his gaze. “You’ll not only say it, Dani. You’ll beg me for it.”

About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

Review: Purity in Death - J.D. Robb

We seek only the purity of justice. By the time this message reaches you, the first execution will have taken place.

New York, the summer of 2059, and the unbearable heat drives everyone to the very edge of madness. So when homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to a violent attack by a deranged man, she thinks she's in control. She couldn't be more wrong.

Someone is managing to spread insanity like a virus, forcing targeted criminals to lose their minds. But with a method of execution so unpredictable and brutal that even those behind it are starting to panic, Eve must act decisively.

Faced with a spiders-web of betrayal protecting those responsible, Eve is forced to fight back and fight dirty.

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Novella in the Remember When Anthology)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death (2019)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

I've been reading these books so quickly that I really am running out of different ways to say how much I've come to love this world. There has to be something special about a series when you're 15 books in and you're actually excited that you've still got about 30 more stories to read before you catch up with the rest of the world and have to start waiting for new ones to publish.

I love Eve and Roarke, they've come such a long way as a couple and Eve in particular is still growing with every book. I've really enjoyed seeing her slowly start to let not just Roarke but also people like Peabody and Mira get close to her so that she now has a small but ever growing circle of friends and people she cares about. Eve definitely isn't the easiest person to get to know but there is nobody you'd want on your side more than her if you were in any kind of trouble. She's also a pretty awesome cop and I really enjoy watching her make the bad guys sweat in an interview, she knows exactly how to press their buttons and let them know they're about to go down for a very, very long time.

I found the concept of this story really fascinating, the way that someone had created a computer virus that actually infects the computer's user causing a slow and very painful death. It was a really creepy idea and I thought it was very well written. I actually had some sympathy for the group who created the virus because the people they were going after totally deserved to die. The targets were the lowest of the low, people who were pedophiles and sex offenders who had all managed to get around the law and avoid facing criminal charges, and honestly I had no problem with those people being killed. I think even Eve would have been tempted to let the murderers get away with it if their virus wasn't harming innocent victims along with the original targets!

Anyway, this book was right up there with my favourites from the In Death series and I can't wait to see who Eve is up against in the next instalment.

Source: Purchased

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Review: The Culling Trials book 1 - Shannon Mayer & K.F. Breene

You Don’t Choose The Academy. The Academy Chooses You.

I had no idea how those words would change my life. Or how they’d changed my life already…

Until the day the most dangerous man I’ve ever met waltzed onto my farm and left us a death sentence.

In an invitation.

My younger brother has been chosen for the prestigious, secret magical school hidden within the folds of our mundane world. A place so dangerous, they don’t guarantee you’ll make it out alive.

If he doesn't go our entire family will be killed.

It’s the same invitation my older brother received three years ago—the same place he mysteriously died.

The academy has already killed one sibling. I’ll be damned if they take another.

I do the only thing an older sister can: chop off my hair, strap on two bras to flatten the girls, and take my brother’s place.

Magic and monsters are real. Assassins are coming for me, and the dead are prone to rise. What’s a girl faking it as a boy supposed to do? That’s right—beat the academy at its own game.

Or die trying.

Shadowspell Academy Series:
The Culling Trials book 1
The Culling Trials book 2 (May 2019)
The Culling Trials book 3 (June 2019)

Visit Shannon Mayer's website or K.F. Breene's website for more information

The Culling Trials is the first book in the new Shadowspell Academy series by Shannon Mayer and K.F. Breene and it's kind of a cross between Harry Potter and Maze Runner with a hint of Mulan thrown in for good measure. We're introduced to main character eighteen year old Wild who has been helping to look after her family since her mother was killed and her father was badly injured. A few years ago her brother received a mysterious invitation to the Shadowspell Academy and although he passed the trials and won himself a scholarship he died in strange circumstances not long after starting school. Now an envelope has arrived for her younger brother Billy, only this time the invitation includes threats that if Billy doesn't attend the Culling Trials the whole family will be killed.

Wild already lost one brother and there is no way she's going to stand by and wait for another to be killed so she decides to go to the trials in Billy's place. After cutting off her hair and disguising herself as a boy she heads off to the Academy but what she finds when she arrives is nothing she could ever have prepared herself for. Magic is real but failing the Culling Trials could be a death sentence, and that's before she even starts taking classes. Joined by a ragtag crew of allies she makes along the way it's going to take everything Wild has to make it through the trials in one piece.

I was already a fan of K.F. Breene's writing but Shannon Mayer is a new author to me so I wasn't too sure what to expect from this story. I'm glad to say it was a very well written, fast paced and had me hooked from the first few pages. I still have a lot of questions about the world that the authors have created but I like the way things are unfolding so far and I'm already looking forward to the next book. Wild is a great character, she's protective of her family and she will do whatever it takes to keep her younger siblings safe but she's also at a complete disadvantage in the trials because her parents haven't prepared her at all for the possibility that magic is real. There are obviously a lot of secrets in the family that I'm sure we will uncover as the series continues but I really want to know more about the circumstances of her mother's death and how her father came to be badly injured.

Wild has already started making a few allies at the trials, some who seem more trustworthy than others, but it will be interesting to see how these friendships develop across the series. These friends are thrown together in dire circumstances and I think it will be the making or breaking of all of them. If the rest of the series is fast paced as the first book then I think we're in for a heck of a ride.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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