Sunday, 28 February 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Gifts:
Ant had offered to get me an eBook reader for my birthday which isn't until April 1st but he suggested we got it early.  We're going to be on holiday over my birthday so he thought this would give me time to load some books on there so I can use it while we're away.  I chose the Sony pocket reader as it was the only one we could find that I could actually try out in store.  The one we got is a limited edition blue version that comes with 2 James Patterson books - Cross Country & Worst Case and has a matching cover.  I've never had a reader before so if anyone has any recommendations on sites for buying eBooks please let me know :o) 

Books Purchased:
  1. Percy Jackson & the Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  2. Percy Jackson & the Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  3. Percy Jackson & the Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  4. Fire - Kristin Cashore (I've not actually read Graceling yet but Ant really enjoyed it & wanted to read Fire, I will get to this series eventually though)
Competition Prizes:
I recieved the signed copy of Vampire Readings by Patricia Altner that I won from Vampire Wire.  This is an annotated bibliography of Vampire books so I'm sure I'll find this will help me add loads of new books to my wishlist!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Free eBooks from Mills & Boon

Mills & Boon is offering 10 free eBooks that can be downloaded from their website.

Here is a list of the titles available:

Diagnosis: Danger by Marie Ferrarella

No ordinary doctor

Some crave excitement, but Dr. Natalya Pulaski was enjoying her ordinary life. Then she received a chilling call from her best friend-and the line mysteriously went dead. She knew instinctively that something bad had happened. And that she had to get answers.

Detective Michael DiPalma's Friday night plans did not include working a missing person's case-or uncovering a dead body. But Natalya's vivid green eyes and killer curves demanded his immediate attention. As they teamed up, it was clear the walls around their guarded hearts were about to crumble. Were they brave enough to take the fall?

Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure by India Grey

Fast cars and glamorous socialites are everyday components of devastatingly handsome billionaire Orlando Winterton's thrilling, decadent lifestyle...

...then something changes, and Orlando closes himself off from the world. Until Rachel Campion arrives at Orlando's remote country estate, desperately in need of shelter. Orlando cannot deny the pull of her fragile beauty, and takes her with passionate fury. The next morning his demons return to haunt him, and he knows he must ask Rachel to leave...

But then a baby is found abandoned on his doorstep - allegedly his son!
To Orlando, the solution is simple: he'll hire Rachel to take care of the child - and as long as she's under his roof he'll keep on making love to her... Until he's got her out of his system!

The Rake's Unconventional Mistress by Juliet Landon

The Rake and the Spinster School-ma'am

Miss Letitia Boyce didn't begrudge her sisters their fun with the pick of London's available bachelors. She'd chosen her path and knew book-learning and marriage rarely mixed. Her proof was Lord Seton Rayne, who had made it abundantly clear that an unmarried school-ma'am was of no interest to him - no matter her good connections.

Wealthy and titled, one of the most notorious rakehells in town, Seton had every heiress hurling herself at him. So his sudden kissing of captivating, unconventional Letitia took them both by surprise...

Pleasure, Pregnancy and a Proposition by Heidi Rice

Kidnapped and forced to take a pregnancy test!
Sexy millionaire aristocrat Luke Devereaux showed up at Louisa's office, frogmarched her to a doctor and demanded she took a pregnancy test! Much to her complete shock and horror, it was positive!

Nearly three months before, Luke had shown Louisa a night of pleasure she could never have imagined - and would never be repeated. Only the dramatic consequences meant Luke was now demanding marriage - and his proposition came with a tantalising promise: more nights of untold pleasure...?

The Midwife's Little Miracle by Fiona McArthur

Tiny baby: father needed!
Finding she was pregnant was the best moment of midwife Montana's life. But days later she was widowed. Now nine months have passed, she has a tiny infant, and she knows it's time to make a fresh start.

Dr Andy Buchanan has offered Montana a job at Lyrebird Lake because it's the perfect place to build a new life. Her courage impresses him. And he just can't get the beautiful new mum out of his mind...

Every time Montana sees her baby in Andy's arms her resolve not to get involved crumbles. He's the perfect father. And he makes Montana's life feel complete once again...
Lyrebird Lake Maternity. Every day brings a miracle...
 
Father Material by Kimberly Van Meter
 
Unexpected baby...unexpected love

One night of loosened inhibitions and Natalie Simmons's world has come completely unravelled. It must have been the experience of the white-water rafting. Or maybe it was the result of being dumped and on the rebound. Either way, she let down her guard - and now she's pregnant with a stranger's baby!

A stranger who is a thrill-seeking river guide, a nomad beholden to no one. What does Evan Murphy know about settling down or being a father? They couldn't be more wrong for each other, which is why Natalie is so determined to go it alone. But Evan's got other plans.
 
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
 
London, 1886

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor...

For Lady Julia Grey, her husband's sudden death at a dinner party is extremely inconvenient, not to mention an unpardonable social gaffe. However, things take a turn for the worse when inscrutable private investigator Nicholas Brisbane reveals that the death was not due to natural causes.

Drawn away from her comfortable, conventional life, Lady Julia is exposed to threatening notes, secret societies and gypsy curses, not to mention Nicholas's charismatic unpredictability...

This sparkling, witty tale is the first in a captivating new series featuring Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane

Adopted: Outback Baby by Barbara Hannay

Their parenthood surprise...

Single, independent Nell Ruthven thought she'd missed her chance to be a mum when, aged nineteen, she was forced to give up her baby for adoption. Now, Nell's discovered she has a tiny grandson in need of care. And the baby's grandfather, cattleman Jacob Tucker, is in town...

At thirty-nine, this couple never thought they'd be parents, let alone grandparents! They never even thought they'd see each other again. But taking care of baby Sam together gives them a second chance - maybe even a second chance to fall in love?

The Player by Rhonda Nelson

There's nothing like a man in uniform...or out of it!
Especially when he's as hot as former Ranger Jamie Flanagan. After their last assignment went horribly wrong, he and his buddies needed to get out of the military for good. There was only one catch-that he and his pals promise their commanding officer one favour.

Any favour.

Now tall, dark and sexy Jamie is a top security specialist...and the ultimate ladies' man. So he's more than a little surprised when he learns the colonel has set him up to protect his granddaughter. Who would trust a player like Jamie with a gorgeous woman like Audrey? Then he learns his 'mission' is to seduce her away from another man...
 
The Billionaire's Baby Negotiation by Day Leclaire
 
Texas billionaire Joc Arnaud had triumphed over his illegitimate roots to become a business legend. And no baby of his would grow up as he had. So whether Rosalyn Oakley liked it or not, their child would bear his name. As would she. He knew Rosalyn wanted to run away, but she wasn't going anywhere with his baby.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Review: Shades of Midnight - Lara Adrian

Her sanctuary has become her darkest nightmare...

Something inhuman has let itself loose in the Alaskan tundra, leaving a wake of unspeakable carnage.  For bush pilot Alex Maguire the wreckage is especially chilling - Alaska was her refuge, the place to which she fled after the brutal murder of her family.

Alerted to the Alaskan slaughter, the Midnight Breed send Kade to quell the danger and ensure Alex does not learn the truth behind the attacks.  But Alex is soon to be tested by the threat of otherworldly evil - and by her desire for Kade, a man she should fear but who is now her seductive guide into an erotic realm of blood and darkness.

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows (Release date to be confirmed)

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness (Winter 2017)

Visit Lara Adrian's website  for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books.  Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

Review:
This is book 7 in the Midnight Breed series & although each book can be read as a stand alone story I really recommend that you read the books in order in order to get the most out of the series and follow the ongoing story.  You can read my reviews for the other books by clicking on the links above in the series list.

Alex is a pilot in Alaska who earns a living delivering supplies to remove villages.  When doing one of her usual deliveries she discovers the bodies of an entire family who have been brutally murdered.  The terrifying thing for Alex is that she has seen this kind of damage before - when her Mother & Brother were killed years ago.  She had escaped the tragedy with her Father & they fled to Alaska hoping they would be safe there.  Alex has never told anyone the truth about her past and doesn't know who to turn to now that it seems to be happening again. 

The Order becomes aware of the killings when video footage of the bodies turns up on the internet.  Suspecting that the family was killed by Rogues Lucan decides to send Kade back to his homeland to control the situation and make sure the Rogues are dealt with.  Kade left Alaska a year ago to join the Order in Boston and hasn't been home since, avoiding issues he has with his twin brother Seth.  Although Kade has made appearances in previous books we don't know much about him or his history and I really enjoyed finding out more about him.  His talent is telepathy with animals and he is able to to see through their eyes and control their actions which I found really interesting. 

The attraction between Kade and Alex is instant although he has no idea that she is a Breedmate and she struggles to understand why she finds herself so drawn to him.  I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop and really loved Kade.  There are so many things going on in this book & I couldn't put it down.  The ongoing war between the Order and the Rogues is developing really well & I can't wait to see what happens next. 

I've been a fan of this series since the first book but I honestly think it is just getting better & better with each new release.  I love the world that Lara Adrian has created - it drew me in from the beginning and has kept me hooked ever since.  The action is fast paced and building up to what I can only assume will be a spectacular finish, although I'm pleased to say we have several more books to come!  I've already re-read most of the books in the series & I know I'll be happy to read this one again in the future.  If you haven't already discovered the series then I'd highly recommend it.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Pearl's World of Romance
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.

UK YA Blogger Meet Up

Jo over at Once Upon A Bookcase is currently trying to arrange a meet up for UK YA Bloggers in and around London.  The meet up is aimed at bloggers who review YA books but your blog doesn't have to be just YA (well I hope it doesn't because mine is a mix of YA & adult LOL).  Anyone is welcome so if you're in the UK & prepared to travel to London it would be great to see you there (anyone under 18 will need to come with an adult for your safety).  There has even been some interest from YA authors who would like to come too.

Jo is currently trying to get an idea of numbers before a date & location can be decided on so if you're interested in attending please check out Jo's post and contact her as soon as you can.  I'm really looking forward to this & think it will be great fun to get to meet some of the other UK Bloggers out there!

Friday 56 - Shades of Midnight

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Storytime with Tonya and Friends

• Grab the book CLOSEST to you.
• Share the 5th sentence on the 56th page.
• Note the title & author
• Link back

 
The 5th sentence:
 
He hadn't found any surprises during his visit to the makeshift morgue.  It hadn't been either animal or humans that killed the Toms family.

Page 56, Shades of Midnight by Lara Adrian

I just finished reading this so I'll have a review posted later today.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Review: Hearts in Darkness - Keri Arthur

Life has never been so insane for Private Investigator Nikki James: a teenager is missing; a madman is kidnapping the wealthy; she's got a vampire to contend with; and her partner and best friend, Jake, is in the hospital dying.  And just when it seems like nothing else could possibly go wrong for her, Michael Kelly returns.

The last thing Michael needs is a confrontation with Nikki - especially when his control over his bloodlust is still so tenuous.  But when a kidnapper steps up his agenda to murder, they are suddenly forced into a partnership.  Soon Michael discovers the biggest danger may not be from his need to 'taste' Nikki, but from his desire to make her a permanent part of his life - a life that is sure to get her killed.  Nikki is determined to make Michael see that life apart is worse than death.  But before she can make him see the light, a spectre from Michael's past rises that could destroy any hope she has of a future with him.

The Nikki and Michael Series:
Dancing with the Devil
Hearts in Darkness
Chasing the Shadows
Kiss the Night Goodbye

For more information visit Keri Arthur's website

Review:
This is the second book in the Nikki & Michael series by Keri Arthur and continues the story about 6 months after the end of Dancing with the Devil.  I won't give spoilers for this book but I'd strongly recommend reading the series in order & not continuing to read this review if you're new to the series.

The end of the previous book saw Michael leaving Nikki in order to protecter her - both from himself and from the dangers from the life he leads - and despite his love for her he has managed to keep his distance and avoid all contact.  Nikki is devastated that he has gone & is finding it hard to deal with the fact that he left her - she doesn't understand why he didn't even say goodbye.  She is still working as a Private Investigator and when Nikki and her partner Jake came under attack when following a local teenager Jake was injured and is now critically ill in hospital.  The teenager has vanished and it is up to Nikki to find him.  Michael is asked to investigate the disappearance of several wealthy men and he finds himself in need of Nikki's help - it appears that the cases they are working on are entwined.

Michael is still determined to keep Nikki at arms length, but now that Nikki has admitted her love for him she is equally determined to be a part of his life.  In spite of this they are going to have to work together if they are going to solve the mystery and survive this latest threat.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series & was not disappointed with this second installment.  Once again the action was continuous and I didn't want to put the book down - the plot was fast paced and had plenty of twists.  I'm enjoying seeing the relationship develop between Nikki and Michael and it makes a nice change that they can both openly admit their love for each other.  It's also interesting to see how Nikki's psychic abilities are changing now that she is linked to Michael.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Source: Library

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.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Review: Romancing The Dead - Tate Hallaway

Planning a wedding can be a real pain in the neck - when you're marrying a vampire.

Especially when said vampire - the wickedly handsome Sebastian Von Traum - goes missing.  And Matyas, his half-vampire/all-attitude son, turns up.  It's not like Garnet is used to an easy life, but having recently escaped the clutches of Vatican witch-hunters and the FBI, she was quite looking forward to settling down.

No chance of that though, unless she finds Sebastian.  Plus she needs to get someone to cover her shift at the occult bookshop, make sure Micha, the sexy new member of her coven, feels welcome and ditch the stray dog which seems to be following her.  But Lilith, Garnet's inner goddess, has got other ideas...

The Garnet Lacey Series:
Tall, Dark & Dead
Dead Sexy
Romancing the Dead
Dead if I do
Honeymoon of the Dead

Visit Tate Hallaway's website for more information

Review:
This is the third book in the Garnet Lacey series & continues on a few months after the end of Dead Sexy.  I'd recommend reading the series in order - although this review won't give spoilers for Romancing the Dead it will include spoilers for previous books so I wouldn't recommend reading further if you've not read the previous books.

Sebastian and Garnet have just got engaged but with Garnet's track record that doesn't mean everything is going to go smoothly.  She is still struggling with jealousy issues, hating the fact that Sebastian has ghouls (people he feeds from) but not wanting to become his main food source.  She is also nervous about moving in with him & worried about what the future will hold - with him being an immortal vampire & her being a human who will age. 

Sebastian has talked Garnet into starting a new coven - something she has been very wary of doing since her coven was slaughtered by the Vatican witch hunters.  This introduces a whole host of interesting characters - including the gorgeous Micha.  When Sebastian disappears Garnet isn't sure what to think especially with Matyas back on the scene.  They have to team up to try and find out what has happened & form an uncomfortable truce.

I enjoyed this installment of the series & am looking forward to seeing where the story will take Garnet next.  I'd say the plot was a bit more predictable than the previous 2 books but I still enjoyed it & there were some things that took me by surprise.  I was disappointed we didn't get to see too much of Sebastian in this one but it was interesting to see the relationship between Garnet & Matyas developing and I think the coven are going to add interest to future books in the series.  Overall this wasn't my favorite book in the series but was still enjoyable & I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

Source: Library

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.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Review: The Devil Inside - Jenna Black

Possession.  Murder.  Mayhem.  Let the games begin...

Morgan Kingsley is an exorcist who precariously walks that fine line between heaven and hell.  She lives in a world in which demons co-exist with humans.  Normally hailed as heroes, these demons can heal, help, and make strong the willing hosts who gladly accept their corporeal possession ... unless a demon steps outside the boundaries of the law.  That's where Morgan comes in.  She is an expert at making rogue demons leave their unwilling hosts.

But now the unthinkable has happened: Morgan's got a demon of her very own sharing - and possibly overtaking - her body.  But this sexy beast is so enticing that he may tempt Morgan to re-evaluate her prejudice against demons - if he doesn't get her killed first.  For a war is brewing in the demon realm, and Morgan has just been forced to take sides...

Morgan Kingsley Series:
The Devil Inside
The Devil You Know
The Devil's Due
Speak of the Devil
The Devil's Playground

For more information visit Jenna Black's website

Review:
Morgan Kingsley lives in a world where people willingly volunteer to become demon hosts.  The demons take complete control of their host's body giving it extra strength & healing powers but leaving the host a silent passenger in their body for the rest of their lives.  Understandably Morgan doesn't understand why anyone would volunteer for that position - in fact the idea of becoming a host is her worst nightmare!  She became an exorcist to remove illegal demons who attach themselves to unwilling victims.

The book starts with Morgan attempting what should be a standard exorcism but when something goes wrong the demon she is exorcising attempts to use her as it's host.  She manages to fight it off but is unable to understand why it was unable to attach itself to her.  After this incident strange things start to happen, she begins to sleepwalk - waking to find strange notes written in her handwriting but that she has no memory of writing.  Disturbingly these notes tell her that the demon couldn't attach itself to her because she has already been possessed.  But that can't be right can it?

Unsure if her mind is playing tricks on her but terrified that she might be possessed she is forced to investigate.  Soon she finds her worst nightmare has become reality and she doesn't know where to turn.  People she thought she could trust are acting strangely and it seems like the only people who can help her are demons which goes against everything she believes in.

I really enjoyed the story - it was different to anything I've read before and Jenna Black has created a realistic world with interesting characters.  I wasn't so sure about the S&M and M/M aspects of the book though - the only book I've read with S&M before was JR Ward's Lover Unbound (from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series) which I enjoyed but to be honest that part of The Devil Inside didn't really appeal to me.  It's hard to say why it bothered me more in this instance but it left me feeling uncomfortable which meant I didn't enjoy the story as much as I could have.  If you removed those elements I would have loved the book - there was plenty of action and intrigue and the plot was well thought out.  I'm just not sure if I want to continue reading the series or not though.  I already have the second book from the library so I will probably give that a try before making my mind up whether to continue further or not.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
The Wayfaring Writer
Chrissie's Corner
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.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Review: Stray - Rachel Vincent

The difference between the movies and reality? In real life, I was the monster.

Faythe Sanders looks like an ordinary student, but she's hiding a dark secret: she is a werecat, a powerful supernatural predator. Yet headstrong, independent Faythe resents her power, heading to college to escape her family and her overprotective ex, Marc.

That is until a stray - a dangerous werecat without a pride or territory - catches her scent. With two werecat girls already missing, Faythe is summoned home for her own protection.

But Faythe will do whatever it takes to find her kidnapped kin. She has claws - and she's not afraid to use them.

Shifters Series:
Stray
Rogue
Pride
Prey
Shift
Alpha
Hunt (Novella)

Wildcats Series:
(This series is set in the Shifters world featuring characters we've already met but is paranormal romance rather than urban fantasy)
Lion's Share
Further titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Rachel Vincent's website for more information

Review:
Stray is a fantastic start to the Shifters series & I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books. Faythe is one of only 8 unmarried female werecats in America which makes her a very important member of her Pride. Her family are very keen to see her settled & married so she can start producing the next generation of werecats but this is the last thing Faythe wants to do. She is very independent and determined to have a life of her own outside the Pride. For the last 5 years she has been at college but when she is attacked by a stray this gives her over-protective family the perfect excuse to bring her home.

Faythe is a brilliant character - she is smart & tough but she has plenty of flaws too. She can come across as selfish but it is easy to understand the motivation behind her actions. The fact that she isn't perfect makes her easier to relate to and made her feel more real to me. Back at home Faythe discovers she isn't the only one who has been attacked - 2 of her fellow tabbies are missing and she is determined to find out what has happened to them. Her family are equally determined to keep her safe and she is practically under house arrest, under 24 hour supervision from her brothers and her ex-boyfriend Marc. I absolutely loved Marc - he is madly in love with Faythe and wants her back. He has an incredible jealous streak but apart from that is he is pretty much my ideal man!

Feeling stifled by her family & Marc, Faythe tries to find room to breathe but ends up putting herself in danger. It is going to take all her strength and cunning if she is going to save herself and her fellow tabbies. Once the main action started I couldn't put this book down although there were times when I was almost frightened to read what was going to happen next - it was like watching a horror film where you can only watch by peeking over the top of a cushion! I think I went through every emotion possible when reading this - a sure sign of a good book. I'll definitely be going back for more of this series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Ink and Paper
The Bibliophilic Book Blog
Tynga's Reviews
Story Wings
Magic Faerie's Paranormal Review
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:

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (7)

This meme was started at J. Kaye's Book Blog but has now moved to One Person's Journey Through a World of Books run by Sheila. 

Books read last week:
  1. Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
  2. Ashes of Midnight - Lara Adrian
  3. Sex and the Single Vampire - Katie MacAlister
  4. Dancing with the Devil - Keri Arthur
  5. Stray - Rachel Vincent
What I'm reading now:

What I'll be reading next:

I'm not actually going to set myself any reading goals this week.  I'm just going to work on reducing my TBR pile & see how I get on.

Challenge updates:


Contests won:

I still can't get over what a fantastic week this has been for contests - I seem to be on a real lucky streak at the moment :o)
  1. I won an eBook copy of Tangled by Karen Erickson in a Valentines contest hosted by The Blackraven's Erotic Cafe
  2. I also won eBook Dust & Moonlight by Keta Diablo at the blog Quackers & Tease.
  3. Literary Escapism had a guest post with Shelley Munro who very kindly offered a copy of her eBook Scarlet Woman which is the first book in her Middlemarch Mates series
  4. Becky from The Bookette hosted a giveaway for publisher Strident Publishing for a copy of Bad Faith by Gillian Philip & I was completely shocked to find out I'd won.  Becky wrote a fantastic review for this book & I'm really looking forward to reading it.
  5. Author Stephanie Adkins spent a day guest posting at Coffee Time Romance & I was lucky enough to win a copy of her eBook Between Heaven & Hell.
  6. Susan Hanniford Crowley did a Valentine's guest post on the blog Patricia's Vampire Notes and I won a copy of her eBook A Vampire for Christmas
Such a great selection of books - I can't wait to read them all!

What are you reading?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Gifts:
Rather than buying me chocolates & flowers for Valentine's Day my fiance Ant ordered some books for me on Amazon.  Now this is my kind of gift LOL
  1. Stray - Rachel Vincent
  2. Rogue - Rachel Vincent
  3. Pride - Rachel Vincent
  4. Prey - Rachel Vincent
  5. Naked Dragon - Annette Blair
Books Purchased:
  1. Fire In His Eyes - Stella & Audra Price
  2. Midnight Lover - Rosemary Laurey
Library Finds:
  1. Hearts in Darkness - Keri Arthur
  2. Memory Zero - Keri Arthur
Competition Prizes:
  1. I received a signed copy of Adored by Tina Donahue after taking part in a scavenger hunt at Erotic Romantic Crush Junies which I'm really looking forward to reading. 
  2. I spent the $30 Amazon voucher I won at the yahoo group Total Exposure on the 4 books in the Demonica Series by Larissa Ione - Pleasure Unbound, Desire Unchained, Passion Unleashed and Ecstasy Unveiled.
I had an amazing week for winning eBooks this week.  I don't actually own an eReader yet but Ant has promised me one for my birthday in a few weeks so I'm thrilled I'm going to have some books ready to try it out with!

  1. I received 2 eBooks from Yolanda Sfetsos that I won from her giveaway with VampChix - Heart & Soul and The Vampire Oracle: Death
  2. From Blackraven's Erotic Cafe I received Tangled by Karen Erickson
  3. Keta Diablo held a giveaway on the blog Quackers & Tease and I chose a copy of Dust & Moonlight
  4. Shelley Munro did a guest post at Literary Escapism and offered a copy of Scarlet Woman - the first book in her Middlemarch Mates series.
  5. I also received a copy of Between Heaven & Hell from author Stephanie Adkins from a giveaway she did at Coffee Time Romance.
  6. Last but not least I also won a copy of A Vampire for Christmas from author Susan Hanniford Crowley from her Valentine's day guest post on Patricia's Vampire Notes


So I had a pretty good week LOL.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you all got this week :o)

Review: Dancing with the Devil - Keri Arthur

Having grown up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst, Private Investigator Nikki James believes there is nothing left to surprise her.  That changes the night she follows teenager Monica Trevgard into the shadows and becomes a pawn caught in a war between two very different types of men.  One fills her mind with his madness; the other pushes his way into her heart.  Nikki knows how dangerous love can be but, if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in a man who might destroy her.

For three hundred years, Michael Kelly has existed in the shadows, learning to control his vampiric death cravings.  Nikki not only breaches his formidable barriers with her psychic abilities, but makes Michael believe he may finally have found a woman strong enough to walk by his side.  Will his love be enough to protect her from a madman hell-bent on revenge?  Or will the secrets they keep from each other prove to be the greatest threat of all?

The Nikki and Michael Series:
Dancing with the Devil
Hearts in Darkness
Chasing the Shadows
Kiss the Night Goodbye

For more information visit Keri Arthur's website

Review:
Nikki is a psychic Private Investigator who is smart and street wise having spent several years living on the streets as an orphaned teenager.  She has been employed to find a missing girl but soon finds the case is much more complicated than it seemed.  While tracking Monica she comes into contact with Jasper - someone who is completely crazy and obviously not human. 

Michael has been tracking Jasper for years trying to stop his ruthless killing spree.  When he realises that Jasper is intent on claiming Nikki for his own evil purposes Michael decides to use her as bait to catch him.  It doesn't take long before his feelings for Nikki start to grow and he finds himself wanting to protect her.  Both of them have secrets to hide & Nikki finds it very hard to trust Michael because of things that happened in her past.  She is also incredibly independent and resents what she sees as Michael's attempts to control her.

Despite the strong attraction between them neither Nikki or Michael are looking for love & both are determined to fight their feelings.  But with the threat of Jasper they are going to have to work together if they have any chance of coming through this in one piece.

This was the first book I've read by Keri Arthur but I will definitely be going back for more.  The story had me gripped from the first page & I couldn't put it down, in fact I stayed in the bath for 4 hours to finish reading it!  The action starts on the very first page and continues right through to the end of the book.  Although there are obviously strong feelings between Nikki & Michael their romance isn't the main focus of the book. 

The storyline was very fast paced & kept me on the edge of my seat, it was easy to get into Nikki's head & feel her fear of Jasper and I liked the fact that she was vulnerable despite her psychic abilities.  At times she is in real danger & you really can't tell how how she is going to survive until the end of the book.  Jasper was an excellent villian - he was downright creepy & probably the best villian I've come across in a long time.

I really can't recommend this book enough if you are an Urban Fantasy fan - especially if you like books that are quite dark in places.  I can't wait to read the next book Hearts in Darkness.

Source: Library

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.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Review: Sex and the Single Vampire - Katie MacAlister

Allegra's Dictionary of the Paranormal

Dark One n. [Origin Czech, also known as vampire.]  A Moravian Dark One is doomed to spend his lifetime cruising the singles' scene in search of the one woman who can redeem his soul.  You think dating is hard?  Try it when you're nine hundred years old and you've used every pick-up line in the book.  Forming a lasting relationship is even more difficult when the woman who makes your heart sing sees dead people and likes to play with demons.

Summoner n. [Origin English.]  Someone who summons ghosts, poltergeists, and demon lords.  Summoners tend to hang around cities like London that are filled with portals to Hell, haunted inns, and other locations dishy vampires might be found lurking.  Most Summoners are female, which makes for difficulties when it comes to explaining to the man who haunts your dreams and fills your soul with love why your pet ghosts can be found hovering around even in the most romantic of circumstances.

Dark Ones Series:
A Girl's Guide to Vampires
Sex and the Single Vampire
Sex, Lies and Vampires
Even Vampires get the Blues
Bring out your Dead (Novella in the Just One Sip anthology)
The Last of the Red Hot Vampires
Cat got your Tongue? (Novella in the My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon anthology)
Zen and the Art of Vampires
Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
Unleashed (Novella in the Cupid Cats anthology)
Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend
In the Company of Vampires
Much Ado About Vampires
A Tale of Two Vampires

For more information visit Katie MacAlister's Website

Review:
I absolutely loved the first book in this series (A Girl's Guide To Vampires) but I have to say that Sex and the Single Vampire surpassed my expectations and was a fantastic read.  While you could probably get away with reading this as a stand alone book I would recommend reading the books in order as this continues very nicely from the first book & has guest appearances from previous characters.  Reading this book first would give you a big clue to the ending of the first book.

Allie is a Summoner but not a very successful one - in fact she is on a warning from her boss that unless she proves herself during this trip to London she won't have a job to come back to.  When she manages to Summon the ghost of a cat she is over the moon but before long she seems to be collecting ghosts left right & centre.  This may be fantastic for her career but unless she can work out a way to Release them into the afterlife it looks like she is going to be stuck with them. 

She is also seeing visions - naked & bleeding from multiple cuts the man she sees is telling her she is the only one who can save him.  She is surprised when she bumps into Christian and realises he is the man from her visions.  He is a Moravian Dark One and he believes she is his Beloved - the only one who can save his soul.  Allie has had a bad past with men - she has escaped from an abusive relationship and has no intention of ever letting a man have any kind of control over her again.  The last thing she is looking for is a relationship & she doesn't take kindly to Christian's attempts to protect her.  There is an instant attraction between them though which leads to fireworks between them.

This book had all the hilarity of A Girl's Guide to Vampires & more.  We get to see Joy & Roxy from the previous book and the addition of the ghosts just adds to the fun and games.  There is also plenty of action - Christian's friend is missing and Allie offers to join the search to help find him - they come across enemies that seem almost impossible to beat and it will take all their combined efforts to come through this.  Allie is strong, independent & the Queen of rants and witty one-liners and I couldn't help but fall in love with Christian.  This book kept me gripped from the very first page and I didn't want it to end.  I'm just pleased that there are more books in the series & I can't wait to continue reading them.  I really can't recommend this book enough.

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.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Review: Ashes of Midnight - Lara Adrian

A woman driven by blood.  A man thirsting for vengeance.  A place where darkness and desire meet...

As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself.  Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges.  He is Andreas Reichen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance.  Caught in the cross fire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury - or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.

Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren...even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission.  Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger - and deep, unbidden desires.  For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he's ever loved.  A dangerous seduction begins - one that blurs the line between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in it's path....

The Midnight Breed Series:
A Touch of Midnight (Novella included in The Midnight Breed Series Companion, now also available separately)
Kiss of Midnight
Kiss of Crimson
Midnight Awakening
Midnight Rising
Veil of Midnight
Ashes of Midnight
Shades of Midnight
Taken by Midnight
Deeper than Midnight
A Taste of Midnight (Novella)
Darker After Midnight
The Midnight Breed Series Companion
Edge of Dawn
Marked by Midnight (Novella)
Crave the Night
Tempted by Midnight (Novella)
Bound to Darkness
Stroke of Midnight (Novella)
Defy the Dawn
Midnight Untamed (Novella)
Midnight Unbound (Novella)
Midnight Unleashed (Novella)
Claimed in Shadows (Release date to be confirmed)

Hunter Legacy Series:
(A series of standalone romances set in the Midnight Breed world)
Born of Darkness (Winter 2017)

Visit Lara Adrian's website  for more information about the Midnight Breed series you will find excerpts from each of the books.  Lara can also be found on Facebook & Twitter where she posts regular updates or you can join other fans to chat about the books over at the LAMB (Lara Adrian Midnight Breed) Forum

Review:
Ashes of Midnight is book 6 in the Midnight Breed series & I strongly recommend that you read the series in order starting at Kiss of Midnight.  While this review won't have any spoilers for Ashes of Midnight there may be things that could spoil previous books in the series so I'd recommend you don't read any further unless you are up to date with the series.

Most of the action in this book takes place in Berlin, Germany.  In Veil of Midnight we saw Andreas Richen's entire family slaughtered under the orders of Andreas' arch-enemy Wilhelm Roth.  A devestated Andreas is now determined to avenge their deaths no matter what it costs him.  His search for Wilhelm takes him to Claire Roth - Wilhelm's breedmate and the only woman Andreas has ever loved.  Andreas is unsure if Claire is aware of her breedmates's part in the slaughter of his family but he needs to use her bloodbond to find Wilhelm.

I wasn't too sure how this would work considering Claire was already mated to another Breed member but it was well written & the feelings between Andreas & Claire were believable.  I enjoyed seeing the other Warriors & their Breedmates again and there was a fantastic amount of action in this installment of the series.  Andreas' unique ability (passed to him by his mother) added an interesting dimension to the story.  If you're a fan of the Midnight Breed series then I'm sure you'll love this book.  If you are new to the series then I highly recommend it but you really do need to start at the beginning of the series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Pearl's World of Romance
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.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Sex and the Single Vampire

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!  Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

Taken from Sex and the Single Vampire  by Katie MacAlister

[Pg 15] I took an admittedly shakey breath, looking around the room.  I was alone.  By myself.  In a building that was supposed to be one of the most haunted places in London.  Sometimes I'm not very bright.

[Pg 110] I looked into his eyes and knew I was in trouble, serious, deep, fathomless trouble.  His eyes were dark wells of desire - a desire for me, something I'd never seen in a man's eyes.

Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.  I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding.  The usual.  Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher.  That's when things really started going wrong.  Now I spend my time fighting with swords, battling monsters with my friends and generally trying to stay alive.

This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I've stolen his lightning bolt - and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.


Percy Jackson Series:
The Lightning Thief
Sea of Monsters
Titan's Curse
Battle of the Labyrinth
Last Olympian

Visit Rick Riordan's website or the Percy Jackson website for more information

Review:
I'm sure that I'm not the only person who brought this book purely because I liked the look of the film trailer.  I always prefer to read the book first so I just had to pick it up.  I didn't know much about the series before I started reading so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I had a feeling that I might find it aimed at a younger audience that the usual YA books I read but as it turned out I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Percy is a 12 year old boy with dyslexia and ADHD.  At the start of the book he is on the verge of being expelled from his 6th school in as many years for behaviour problems.  He tries to be good but finds it hard to fit in & always seems to be caught in the middle of strange events. 

When on a school trip Percy ends up vaporising his teacher & things start to get really strange.  He is struggling to make sense of what is happening around him and is very surprised to discover that the father he never met is actually a Greek God.  He ends up at Camp Half Blood - a summer school for demigods and starts to understand the strange things that have happened throughout his life.

He has the usual problems associated with trying to fit in at a new school but starts to feel like he is settling in.  The last thing he wants to be is a hero, but when it becomes apparant that Zeus believes he was responsible for stealing his lightning bolt, Percy is left with no choice but to accept a quest.  Armed with a magical pen and with the assistance of his friends Grover and Annabeth, it is up to Percy to find the missing lightning bolt and return it to Zeus before the God's start a war.

This was a really great read & can be enjoyed by young and old alike.  I quickly found myself immersed in the world Rick Riordan has created and the story moved along at a fast pace.  I really enjoyed the way Greek mythology was woven into the story & I found it easy to relate to the main characters.  I know there have been comparisons to Harry Potter by other reviewers but I didn't even think of that while I was reading the book.  Yes there are similarities but you can make comparisons about many books & that doesn't take anything away from the enjoyment I got from reading this book.  I'm looking forward to continuing reading this series.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
I Swim For Oceans
Laughing Stars
Ms. Martin Teaches Media
Book Rat
A Few Good Books
Girls Without a Bookshelf
Nayu's Reading Corner
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.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Winner: Juliana Stone's Black Legacy


Thanks to random.org I can confirm that the winner of the Juliana Stone's eBook Black Legacy is....

MAR

Congratulations Mar!  I'm about to send you a message on Twitter & if you can let me know your email address I'll pass it over to Juliana so she can send you your eBook.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you again to Juliana for stopping by to visit us & offering to giveaway a copy of Black Legacy

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (6)

This meme was started at J. Kaye's Book Blog but has now moved homes to One Person's Journey Through a World of Books run by Sheila. 

Author Interview & Giveaway:

I was really excited to have Juliana Stone here with me this week to talk about her new release Black Legacy & her upcoming release His Darkest Hunger.  She very kindly offered to give on of my readers a copy of Black Legacy.  The giveaway is ending today at 8pm GMT so there is still time for any last minute entries - click here to enter & read the interview.  You can also find my review of Black Legacy here.

Books read last week:
  1. Black Legacy
  2. Nearly Departed - Rook Hastings
  3. Storm Born - Richelle Mead
  4. Thorn Queen - Richelle Mead
What I'm reading now:

What I'll be reading next:

I didn't seem to get as much time for reading this week as I usually do - Thorn Queen was due back at the library on Wednesday and I'm going to be taking it back tomorrow so that will be my first library fine of the year (& hopefully the last but I won't count on it LOL).  Hopefully I'll be more on track this week but the only reading goal I'm going to set myself is Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian - it seems like that has been on my list every week for ages!

Challenge updates:

Paranormal Reading Challenge - Read 28/50
Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge - Read 8/24

Contests won:

I was lucky enough to win 2 eBooks (Heart and Soul & The Vampire Oracle: Death) from Yolanda Sfetsos in a giveaway she did on the VampChix blog.  My other half has promised me an eBook reader for my birthday in a few weeks so I'm really excited to have some books ready to read when it arrives!  These both look great & I'm looking forward to reading them.

I also won a giveaway at Books At Midnight from author LM Preston and am really looking forward to reading Explorer X-Alpha.

What are you reading?

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