Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Review: Breathless - Brigid Kemmerer

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognise a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

Elemental Series:
Elemental (Short Story)
Storm
Fearless (Short Story)
Spark
Breathless (Short Story)
Spirit
Secret (2014)
Sacrifice (2014

Visit Brigid Kemmerer's website for more information

Review:
I'm a huge fan of the Elemental series so when the chance came up to request Breathless on Netgalley I couldn't wait to start reading it. Nick has always been the quietest of the Merrick brothers, the one who keeps the peace but mainly hangs around in the background and the one who had made the least impression on me throughout the series so far. That's not to say I didn't like him - it's more that the others have so much presence that they kind of eclipse him. Well I can tell you now that Breathless gives Nick a chance to shine and my only disappointment was that this is just a short story, I wanted more of Nick and I can't wait to read his book!

It was so nice to get to know Nick a bit better, he tries so hard to always do what is best for everyone else - he looks out for his brothers and even for Quinn and he always puts everyone else's needs before his own. He tries to deny the way he really feels because he worries about how his brothers, and especially his twin Gabe, will react so he goes along with dating girls just because it is easier. He does genuinely care for Quinn but more like a brother than a boyfriend and the last thing he wants to do his hurt her but it reaches the point where he has to be honest with her. I absolutely loved the scenes between him and Adam and I have very high hopes for their future romance! I think Nick has a tough road ahead of him but I'm sure that is going to make the ending all the sweeter.

I did find myself feeling a little sorry for Quinn, her home life is horrific and Nick has been a lifeline for her that she desperately needs but I do think that both of their feelings towards each other are more friendship than love so I don't think she's going to get her heart broken. I do hope we'll get to see her find love at some point in the series though because she deserves to get a happy ending.

Any fan of the Elemental series won't want to miss this latest short story, it's just increased my excitement for Spirit which thankfully comes out next month so there isn't too much longer to wait. I just wish that was Nick's story rather than Hunter's, although, if I'm honest I'm sure Brigid Kemmerer will have me swooning over Hunter in no time!

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley 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.

Kindle:

Cover Reveal: His Risk to Take - Tessa Bailey + Giveaway for a $50 Amazon Voucher

I really enjoyed Tessa Bailey's debut novel Protecting What's His so I'm excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for the next book in the series His Risk to Take.


How hot is that cover? Now have a look at the blurb and let me know what you think!

The greater the risk, the hotter the reward?

Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control?until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he?ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.

Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy's avoiding, but when she walks into O'Hanlon's Pub and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her risks be damned. But there's a connection between Ruby's shadowed past and a case Troy's working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?

Line of Duty Series:
Protecting What's His
His Risk to Take
Further titles & release dates to be confirmed

Visit Tessa Bailey's website for more information.

Giveaway Details:

Tessa Bailey and Entangled Publishing are offering a $50 Amazon Voucher to one winner, they will be choosing the winner and contacting them directly. You can enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 29 April 2013

Review: His Southern Temptation - Robin Covington

Some women are bad. Some women are a bad idea. The best ones are both...

A former Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has had more near-misses than a man should ever have. Now he’s out of that business and settling into the simple life in his small hometown. So the last thing he ever expected was to end up at gunpoint. Or that the woman holding the gun would be his best friend’s little sister and Lucky’s on-again/off-again lover.

Taylor Elliott is Trouble, and she likes it that way. And seeing Lucky again? Well, he’s been her dirty little secret for the past few years and everyone knows that secrets in a small town are almost impossible to keep. But Taylor has bigger problems on her plate. Like the local mob boss who wants her dead.

And right now the only thing standing between Trouble and disaster is a hottie named Lucky...

The Boys are Back in Town Series:
A Night of Southern Comfort
His Southern Temptation

Visit Robin Covington's website for more information

Review:
Lucky has spent years serving his country, first as a marine and then as a black ops specialist, he has seen and done horrific things and now he's ready to return home and take over the family farm. He is looking for peace but he also wants to settle down and marry the woman of his dreams. Taylor is his best friend's little sister and therefore should be off limits but the two of them have been secret on and off partners for years. They've always had great chemistry but the time has never been right for them to attempt to build a relationship. Taylor has returned to the family home for 3 weeks to help her mother but she can't wait to get back to the life she has built herself in Hawaii where she is planning on opening her own business. She's more than happy to have a 3 week fling with Lucky while she's in town but Lucky is determined to convince her to stay. Taylor knows she loves Lucky but she isn't prepared to give up her dreams for any man, her mother did exactly that and it ended badly and she won't make the same mistake. Can Lucky convince her that what they have is special enough to take a risk on?

His Southern Temptation is the second book in Robin Covington's The Boys are Back in Town series which revolves around four friends - Jackson, Lucky, Teague and Beck. While it isn't essential to read the first book, A Night of Southern Comfort, before you read this book I would recommend it because it is nice to follow all of the characters from the beginning. Jackson completely won my heart in the first book and I have to admit that I didn't think Lucky would be able to beat him but I'm happy to say that he swooped in and knocked me off my feet! I absolutely loved him and I thoroughly enjoyed his story.

Lucky is the perfect guy, he's protective, smart, strong, funny, caring, sexy and dynamite in bed. Taylor is one lucky girl to have captured his heart! He has spent years loving Taylor from a distance but now he's back for good and he wants them to build a life together. He is so charming I don't know how Taylor was able to hold out for so long, I know I'd have caved into his demands within minutes. I love a good friends to lovers story so while this was slightly different because they've been lovers on and off for years it was still just what I was looking for. The chemistry between them was scorching hot, seriously if you thought Jackson and Michaela's story was sexy you've not seen anything yet and these two burn up the pages. I did find myself getting slightly irritated with Taylor for holding out so long and for the way she kept changing her mind but considering her background and the way her parent's marriage has been such a bad example it wasn't too surprising she was skittish.

It was great to catch up with Jackson and Michaela and get to know both Teague and Beck a bit better. I'm not sure who's book is up next but I'm guessing Teague and I think it's going to take a special kind of woman to melt his reserved exterior. I have a feeling that when he finds the one he's going to completely lose his inhibitions though and I think he might just turn out to be the dark horse of the group. This is definitely a must buy series for me, I love the banter between the friends, the small town atmosphere full of colourful side characters and the scorching hot romances. If you're a fan of contemporary romance then this is a series you don't want to miss.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing 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.

Kindle:



Robin Covington on the Top Five Things she looks for in a Romance Hero (His Southern Temptation Blog Tour)


I'm a massive fan of Robin Covington's The Boys are Back in Town books, it's a a fab contemporary romance series revolving around four best friends - Jackson, Lucky, Teague & Beck - who grew up together and are now gradually finding the woman for them and settling down. These stories are fun to read, have a great small town atmosphere and have incredibly sexy heroes so if that sounds like your kind of thing I can't recommend them highly enough!

Anyway, to celebrate the release of the second book in the series His Southern Temptation (watch out for my review later today) I'm thrilled to welcome Robin to the blog today to talk about the things she looks for in a romance hero. Before I hand over to Robin let me give you a bit more information about the books . . .

Some women are bad. Some women are a bad idea. The best ones are both...

A former Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has had more near-misses than a man should ever have. Now he’s out of that business and settling into the simple life in his small hometown. So the last thing he ever expected was to end up at gunpoint. Or that the woman holding the gun would be his best friend’s little sister and Lucky’s on-again/off-again lover.

Taylor Elliott is Trouble, and she likes it that way. And seeing Lucky again? Well, he’s been her dirty little secret for the past few years and everyone knows that secrets in a small town are almost impossible to keep. But Taylor has bigger problems on her plate. Like the local mob boss who wants her dead.

And right now the only thing standing between Trouble and disaster is a hottie named Lucky...

The Boys are Back in Town Series:
A Night of Southern Comfort
His Southern Temptation

Visit Robin Covington's website for more information

Now please help me give a very warm welcome to Robin!!

********************

Robin Covington

Hey ya’ll – thanks for having me. As an author I get asked a lot of questions about if the heroes in my books are modeled on my husband, the Main Man, or other people in my life. The answer is always no –unless the Main Man is around and listening-and then it is a resounding yes!

Each of my characters are unique, they come to me with their own set of problems, backstory, desires and fears. They are as varied as the real people around me everyday. They don’t look alike or act the same and they react to pressures and the freefall of love in their own unique way.

But, there are things that I look for in a hero- as a reader and an author. These are things that turn me on and make me fall in love with them as the story progresses. Here’s my top five list:
  1. A hot bod. Okay – that’s a little superficial but if reading is an ideal escape then I’m going for the gusto. I’m a butt girl, so I want my hero to have a two-hand-grab-worthy behind but I also love a tall guy with a great smile. Hell, I want Joe Manganiello – can that be arranged?
  2. An avocation. I’m looking for a hero who doesn’t just have a job – I want the guy who loves what he does and is working it everyday because it gives him a buzz. Now, I think I could also fall for a hero who is currently working the evil day job as long as he striving to get to live his bliss. So, I guess what really gets me is the guy who seeking to find that thing that he was meant to do.
  3. A couple of good friends. Nothing says sexy like a loner but after a while I begin to wonder if there’s a reason that the dude has no buds. So, while he doesn’t have to be winner of a popularity contest and while he can also try to alienate people around him for whatever dark a twisted reason he has in his backstory, I like to see a couple of guys who at least have his back and his respect.
  4. A sense of humor. It can be a dark and evil sense of humor but I like a guy with a little bit of wit about him. Laughter is sexy and when he can laugh –especially at himself- that is a total hot spot for me.
  5. A bedside manner. Or should I say – a bedside, on the bed, on the couch, against the wall, etc - manner? I want a hero who is hot for my heroine because let’s face it – I’m pretending that she is me if the story is a good one. And who doesn’t want a guy who can’t keep his hands off you?
So, that’s my list of top five things I like in a romance hero. What’s on your list?

********************

Thanks for a fab post Robin! You've made some really good points (and I think we'd all like Joe Manganiello, well I know I would anyway LOL!!). One of the things I love most about your series is the bond between the boys and the banter as they tease each other. As much as I like a good looking guy I think things like a sense of humour are even more important, I want someone I can laugh and have fun with. A good bedside manner is essential though! :o)

What do you think of Robin's list? Is there anything else you'd add or any of her points that you don't agree with?

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Review: Slated - Teri Terry

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Slated Series:
Slated
Fractured

Visit Teri Terry's website for more information

Review:
Kayla has been Slated, she doesn't know what crime she committed but only the worst criminals and terrorists are Slated so she knows it must have been bad. Her memories have been completely wiped so that she can be reintegrated into society in a new town, somewhere nobody knows her and with a new family. She remembers nothing of her past but must now try to fit in and stick to the rules, she must stay under the radar because this is her one and only chance to build a new life for herself. As part of the Slating process Kayla has been fitted with a levo that monitors her emotions, her levels are regularly checked and if they fall below a certain point indicating a strong emotion like fear, hate or anger then the levo will render her unconscious or worse still brain dead. Kayla must find a way to keep her emotions in check and get to know a new family and a new life but she isn't like the other Slated which is a dangerous thing. Why was she Slated, why are so many teenagers disappearing and who can she trust to help her find the answers?

I really enjoyed Slated and am just glad that I don't have to wait before I can read the sequel Fractured because this ends on quite a cliffhanger! I enjoyed the concept of the story, it is such an interesting idea that a criminal's mind could be wiped so that they are no longer aware of the crimes they committed. If they remember nothing about their past and are given a completely fresh start in a different environment would they go on to commit further crimes in the future or would they become a productive member of society? It's an interesting take on the nature versus nurture debate and I was fascinated to see how it would play out. I think there is a lot of room to delve into that further as the series continues.

Kayla has had to relearn everything since she was Slated, she'd never seen a car before and couldn't even work out how to open the door or do the washing up without help. In many ways she starts off like a teenager sized toddler, completely unaware of the dangers around her and needing constant babysitting. She is a quick learner though and does her best to settle into her new life no matter how strange she finds everything. The trouble for poor Kayla is that the Slating process doesn't seem to have worked correctly for her, where the other Slated teenagers she knows are very laid back, relaxed and happy to just let life happen around them Kayla questions everything. She is suffering with nightmares but are they really just dreams or could they be memories from her previous life? Kayla knows that if anyone finds out just how different she is then she'll be in major trouble. She is scared of her feelings and she doesn't know who to trust or turn to, people she thinks she can rely on let her down and others who she is wary of prove to be valuable allies.

Slated is a great start to the series and a fab debut from Teri Terry. I have to mention how refreshing it was to come across a dystopian story set in the UK, and one that is scarily realistic too. So many things in this story made it feel like this could be a possible future for us and I really appreciated the little details that the author has woven throughout the story to give it that authenticity. The plot is fast paced so although this is a large book with over 400 pages I actually found it quite a quick read and it is full of twists and turns to keep you guessing. I'm looking forward to continuing the series and finding out exactly what Kayla has got herself caught up in.

Source: Received from Amazon Vine 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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Review: Reaper's Property - Joanna Wylde

Marie doesn’t need a complication like Horse. The massive, tattooed, badass biker who shows up at her brother’s house one afternoon doesn’t agree. He wants Marie on his bike and in his bed. Now.

But Marie just left her abusive jerk of an ex-husband and she’s not looking for a new man. Especially one like Horse—she doesn’t know his real name or where he lives, she’s ninety percent certain he’s a criminal and that the “business” he talks with her brother isn’t website design. She needs him out of her life, which would be a snap if he’d just stop giving her mind-blowing orgasms.

Horse is part of the Reapers Motorcycle Club, and when he wants something, he takes it. What he wants is Marie, but she’s not interested in becoming “property of”.

Then her brother steals from the club. Marie can save him by giving Horse what he wants—at home, in public, on his bike… If she’s a very, very good girl, she’ll get lots more of those orgasms only he can offer, and he’ll let her brother live.

Maybe.

Reapers MC Series:
Reaper's Property
Reaper's Legacy
Devil's Game
Reaper's Stand (October 2014)

Visit Joanna Wylde's website for more information

Review:
Marie has escaped from her abusive husband and is living with her brother until she finds her feet again. She wants to regain her independence and the last thing she is looking for is another man who wants to take control of her life. She may be attracted to sexy biker Horse but she knows nothing about the the Motorcycle Club culture and she isn't interested in becoming his property so she turns down his offer to become his old lady. Horse has never wanted anyone as much as he wants Marie and when her brother gets himself in over his head with the Reapers MC it gives Horse the perfect opportunity to claim her. Marie holds her brother's life in her hands, either she goes with Horse and gives him everything he asks for or her brother will pay for his crime with his life.

I want to start this review by saying that this is not a traditional romance, if you're looking for hearts and flowers then this probably isn't the right book for you. However, if you're looking for something that is gritty, raw and dirty then Reaper's Property will be right up your street. I have to admit I knew very little about the whole MC (Motorcycle Club) culture before I picked up this story and I found it utterly fascinating to read about. These guys have their own set of rules and a code of honour that they stick to religiously. They may be sexist and happy to break the law but they look after their own and the club is like a very large, close knit family. The men are alphas to the extreme, tattooed hard men who fight hard but play harder, they know what they want and they go out and get it. Women fall into two categories, the sweet butts who are just there to cater to the whims of anyone who wants them and the old ladies who are special, protected and cared for members of the group. Members of the MC don't take on an old lady lightly but when they do she becomes the centre of their world, she will be treated with a respect and care that is never shown to the sweet butts who hang around on the sidelines. The MC world is a misogynistic one, one that is downright disturbing at times but that doesn't make it any less compelling to read about.

Horse is a sexy, badass mofo, one who makes no apology for who and what he is. He sets his sights on Marie and nothing is going to stop him from making her his. As overbearing as he can be he also has a softer, sweeter side and the fact that this story is told from dual points of view helps the reader get inside his head and see just how much he cares for Marie. In the beginning I didn't think I was going to like him at all but I have to admit that he stole my heart by the end of the book, as much as I don't think I could live the MC lifestyle myself I could definitely see Horse's appeal! Marie starts off as quite a weak willed character, she did stand up for herself when Horse first asked her to be his old lady but apart from that she seems to accept whatever he tells her pretty quickly. Thankfully she really comes into her own once she starts to understand how the Reapers work. When she meets the other old ladies you start to realise that while the men think they hold all the power the saying that behind every great man is a great woman couldn't be more true and these women have their men twisted around their little fingers.

Reaper's Property is a dark and sometimes disturbing look at the MC lifestyle, Joanna Wylde doesn't shy away from showing the harsher side to the gang and that just makes it even more addictive to read about. At the same time she shows that at it's heart the gang is all about family, friends and brotherhood. Every member would walk through fire for each other, they have each other's backs through thick and thin and they share a lot of fun and laughter along the way. Horse and Marie may not have a conventional love story but it is still a love story. Their relationship is full of highs, lows and hot sex but it's about finding a connection with someone and overcoming your differences to make things work. I really enjoyed this story and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. While I'm waiting I'm definitely planning on checking out more MC books though so let me know if you have any recommendations!

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.

Kindle:

Friday, 26 April 2013

Review: While it Lasts - Abbi Glines

Trouble follows Cage York around. Usually his charm gets him off the hook, but this time his recklessness means he's spending his summer sweeping out barns and babysitting cows, instead of enjoying late-night hook-ups.

The only bright spot is Eva, an uptight, snarky brunette who seems immune to Cage's advances. Behind those big blue eyes and fiery temper, Eva is nursing a broken heart and the last thing she needs is a player like Cage flashing his irritating (though admittedly gorgeous) smile in her direction.

But as the humidity rises, Cage begins to crack Eva's carefully built walls as the two of them learn that what they want, and need, may be something they never expected . . .

The Sea Breeze Series:
Breathe
Because of Low
While it Lasts
Just for Now
Sometimes it Lasts
Misbehaving
Bad for You
Hold on Tight

Visit Abbi Glines' website for more information.

Review:
Playboy and party animal Cage is in trouble, getting caught drink driving was the last straw and he is at risk of losing everything - his place on the team and his college scholarship - if he doesn't turn his life around fast. His coach has given him one last chance to redeem himself, he just has to keep his head down, work hard and stay out of trouble for the whole summer to earn it. Spending his summer in the country working on a farm is Cage's idea of hell but the moment he sees Eva things start to look up. That's before he realises she's the bosses daughter and firmly off limits. Eva is the one woman who seems immune to Cage's charms and that draws him to her like nothing else but Eva has had her heart broken before and the last thing she needs is another guy in her life, especially a player like Cage. Can Cage break through Eva's defences and persuade her to take a chance on him? What will it cost him if he does succeed?

We met Cage in Because of Low, and saw that he's a total player who is happy to jump into bed with any girl who will have him and that he never lets his heart get involved. In spite of his bad boy attitude we did get to see how much he cares for his best friend Low, the two of them grew up together, they both had difficult family lives and neither of them has ever had anyone who they can rely on apart from each other. As much as I didn't like Cage's attitude towards girls I did feel for him as I started to learn more about his background and I had a feeling that when he finally met the right woman he would fall hard and fast. I knew there was a nice guy hiding under that cocky exterior and I'm so pleased Eva managed to bring him out of his shell! You can't beat a reformed bad boy and Cage is one of my favourites, he keeps his confident and cocky outer shell while managing to show an incredibly sweet and romantic side to him too and of course I loved him.

My heart absolutely broke when I learnt about Eva's past, I actually cried (in public!) when I was reading the prologue. She has lost so much and has spent the last year and a half living in a kind of limbo, her grief has changed her and she is a shell of the person she used to be. Eva was so defined by her relationship with Josh that she doesn't really know how to act now that he is no longer around and she doesn't know how to move on without him. It isn't easy for her to open up to Cage but he is patient with her and he understands that she needs to take things slowly. It was lovely to see her start to open up to him and I felt she really deserved to find some happiness. Cage and Eva both bring out the best in each other, they have both been through tough times and they come out the other side stronger than ever, especially when they are together. Their relationship is sweet and builds slowly but it is also passionate and incredibly sexy.

Without a doubt While it Lasts is my new favourite book by Abbi Glines and Cage is my favourite of her heroes. I'm really enjoying the Sea Breeze books and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, I hope that Eva's friend Jeremy gets his own story at some point because I really want to see his happy ending. Although this story doesn't end on a cliffhanger I was excited to learn that Cage and Eva are going to have a second book written about them, that one will be going straight to the top of my to buy pile when it is released because I loved both of these characters. If you're new to the series then I do think you could read this book as a standalone but I'd strongly recommend reading at least Because of Low first because it gives you a lot more background on Cage. This isn't a series to miss if you're a fan of NA contemporary romance though and it's one I'd highly recommend.

Source: Received from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Paperback / Kindle:

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Review: Archangel's Consort - Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil.

A vampire has attacked a girls' school - the assault one of sheer, vicious madness - and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to claim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed . . .

The Guild Hunter Series:
Angels' Dance (ebook novella that is also included in Angels' Flight)
Angels' Judgment (novella included in Angels' Flight and the Must Love Hellhounds anthology)
Angels' Pawn (ebook novella that is also included in Angels' Flight)
Angel's Blood
Archangel's Kiss
Archangel's Consort
Angel's Wolf (novella included in Angels' Flight and the Angel's of Darkness anthology)
Archangel's Blade
Archangel's Storm
Archangel's Legion
Archangel's Shadows
Archangel's Enigma
Archangel's Heart
Archangel's Viper

Visit Nalini Singh's website for more information

Review:
It is time for Vampire Hunter Elena to return to New York and let the world see the changes she has gone through but as nothing ever goes smoothly for the couple they soon find themselves caught up in the hunt of their lives. As more and more vampires are taken over by bloodlust they quickly realise that all is not what it seems, a powerful enemy is rising, a face from Raphael's past that he hoped never to see again and one who is determined to get Elena out of the way. Even working together this enemy may be too strong for them, their only hope is to defeat them before they regain their full power but that would mean breaking one of the most ancient angelic laws.

I'm a huge fan of this series and I really enjoyed this instalment of Elena and Raphael's adventures. Elena is still coming to grips with her immortality and the new abilities she gained when she became an angel. Although she is stronger and heals faster than she ever did as a human she is still weak compared to other angels and even the older vampires who protect Raphael. She is determined to train as hard as possible though because she doesn't want to be seen as Raphael's weakness but anyone who knows how much he cares for her automatically sees her as a target. It isn't easy for her to adjust to her new life, she is still learning the rules and learning what her body is now capable of but she is just as brave and determined as she ever was. She may be weaker than her enemies but she refuses to back down and wants to stand by Raphael. The two of them will always be stronger together than they are separately and I love that although they are both uncertain when it comes to relationships and find it difficult to trust they work together to overcome their issues.

We learn a lot more about both of their pasts in this book and discover a lot about their families that make us question things we thought we already knew. Elena has always had a very poor relationship with her father (I can't stand the man!) but although they are a long way from a close father / daughter relationship we do see a glimmer of hope that he isn't all bad. One new thing that Elena has to contend with though is the mother-in-law from hell, seriously if you think your MIL is bad she's got nothing on Caliane! Of course Elena isn't going to put up with crap from anyone and there are some really amusing moments where she stands up for both herself and Raphael. We already knew that Raphael didn't have the best relationship with his mother but what we find out about his past is heartbreaking and goes a long way to explaining why he is so closed off to the people around him. He is lucky to have his Seven to rely on but it is Elena who has really started to bring him out of himself. Raphael has changed so much from when we first met him, he is still dangerous and he still scares the crap out of me sometimes but he can also be so unbelievably sweet and protective over Elena. Their relationship has come on leaps and bounds since they first met but they still have their ups and downs, they have to work hard and find ways to compromise so that they can both be happy but they are both willing to put the effort in.

Archangel's Consort is just as sexy as the first two books in the series, there is no missing the fireworks when Raphael and Elena are in the same room, but there is also a deeper connection between them now that wasn't there in the beginning. We are also getting to learn more about Raphael's Seven and I can't wait to spend more time with each of them. Illium is a particular favourite of mine and I really hope he gets a book of his own at some point but even Dimitri and Venom are growing on me now that I know them better. Alongside the hot sex and great character development Nalini Singh has created a fast moving plot that had me gripping the pages. I didn't want the story to end and I'm just relieved that I already have the next book waiting for me to read it. This remains one of my favourite paranormal series and I don't see that changing any time soon.

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:

News: Buy Heart of Darkness by Felicity Heaton when it's on SALE!

I'm a huge fan of author Felicity Heaton and I'm slowly working my way through her back list of titles so whenever she offers one of them at a discounted price I jump at the chance of buying it. I thought I'd share the news with you that Heart of Darkness is currently on sale, see the following announcement from Felicity for more information and an extract.

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Heart of Darkness, a vampire romance book by Felicity Heaton – Just $0.99 until April 28th

Heart of Darkness, a stand alone vampire romance novel by Felicity Heaton, is on offer for just $0.99 / £0.99 / EUR 0,99 until April 28th. That’s a saving of $3 on the normal cover price of this paranormal romance ebook. This bargain deal is available at all Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Apple iBooks Stores.

Heart of Darkness was an Epic Ebook Awards 2013 finalist in the Paranormal Romance category.

Read on for the blurb and links to where you can grab this discounted novel.

Heart of Darkness
Felicity Heaton
A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister...

Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?

A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves...

Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?

This offer is available at:
Amazon Kindle Stores, including:
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Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005WK6E58/
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005WK6E58/

Apple iBooks / iTunes Stores, including:
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Australia: http://itunes.apple.com/au/book/isbn9781909306080
New Zealand: http://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/isbn9781909306080

Kobo Books:
http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=9781909306080

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Excerpt
It had been an easy kill.

Aleksandr Nemov stood over the body of the vampire hunter, their blood splattered across his black shirt and saturating the leather and metal vambraces that protected his forearms. It coated his fingers and the curved dagger they gripped, and the sweet scent of it heavily tainted the crisp night air. Strong moonlight caressed his back, throwing his shadow out long in front of him, across the hunter’s corpse.

A female.

She hadn’t been strong enough to fight his kind. Too young and inexperienced to best him. It had been foolish of her to try.

Aleksandr raised his hand and swallowed at the sight of the blood glistening on his fingers. It tempted him to taste it.

He dragged his eyes away and settled them back on the female laying on the grass of the small public space, her blood warming the frozen earth. He hadn’t fought a woman in a long time and hadn’t expected to find a hunter so soon after arriving in Prague.

The fountain nearby bubbled regardless of the frigid temperature, defiant of the frost that caused the grass around it to glitter.

Aleksandr glanced at his bloodied hands again and then closed his eyes against the temptation. He took no thrill in the hunt. Yet he found no calm in its aftermath. There was only the threat of unending darkness that beat within his chest and encroached upon his soul. It bled into his eyes. He could feel the jagged points of black that speared the red. He had too much blood on his hands but he couldn’t give up now, not when he was so close to attaining his vengeance.

With great effort, Aleksandr sheathed his dagger against his left hip and wiped the blood away.

The smell of it still permeated the air, taunting and filling him with the dark urge to feast on the hunter’s remains. He refused to obey the voice within that commanded him. His kind had fought hard against it and no Nemov had turned to the darkness. They were stronger than that, and he would die before it happened to him.

“You… what are you doing here?” A light female voice shattered the darkness within him.

Aleksandr glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. She stood with the fountain at her back, the cascade of water providing wings that completed the vision of beauty. Moonlight bathed her skin, turning her round eyes dark and her hair as black as the uniform she wore.

An angel.

The red bled from his eyes, returning his irises to grey, and he straightened to his full height, desiring to look his best even when he looked his worst.

She brought her right hand up to reveal the blade clutched tightly in her fingers, held backwards with the blunt edge tucked against her forearm, ready to slash at him if he made a wrong move.

“I won’t ask you twice.” Her strength surprised him.

Such a beautiful creature.

Before Aleksandr could find his voice, she was gone. He turned, blocked her attack with the metal covering his left vambrace around his forearm, and attempted to disarm her. She dodged his counter-attack with ease and came around behind him. He spun and blocked her again, and this time managed to get a hand on her before she leapt backwards, out of his reach, and bared her fangs.

His heart beat harder.

She attacked again, her cry piercing the silent wintry night, and brought her blade down hard. It was difficult to block it. She was strong and skilled for a female. He strafed left and right to avoid her knife, trying to find an opening that he didn’t really want to take. She was fascinating. Beautiful and deadly. Everything a vampire should be, yet there was something more to her. She turned and brought her leg around in a swift kick. The heel of her black knee-high boot smashed into the side of his head, sending him down.

Aleksandr rolled onto his feet and blocked her again. Why couldn’t he bring himself to fight her? He could barely bring himself to defend.

Her red eyes narrowed on him and she growled, exposing her extended canines again. His cheek throbbed where she’d caught him. He would bear a bruise there before the hour had passed. She lunged at him and he barely avoided her blade. If he survived the fight that was. He ducked when she swung at him and swept his leg around to take hers out. She jumped it and rewarded his effort with another hard kick to the head, sending his brain spinning out of control. The darkness threatened to return, goading him into attacking. He didn’t want to. He would not attack another vampire, especially not a female.

Definitely not her.

She huffed as though disappointed. Was it because he wasn’t fighting or wasn’t falling? Aleksandr kept his arms in front of him, blocking her swift attacks with his vambraces, and staring at her face the whole time. Fascination wasn’t the right word for what she did to him.

The warmth he felt, the intense attraction, the abject desire to look into her eyes forever, even when they only promised him a slow death. It was more than fascination.

He wanted her.

“I do not wish to fight you.” Aleksandr leapt backwards, away from her, and raised his hands.

Her grip on her blade tightened and she attacked.

He left himself open to see what she would do. Her clothing was formal—a black military-style jacket that only reached her waist and tight black trousers coupled with polished riding boots. She looked like a guard. If she were, she surely wouldn’t kill him.

If she weren’t, he was making a terrible mistake.

The moment she neared him, she sheathed the blade, threw herself forwards so her hands pressed into the dirt, twisted and launched herself at him feet first. Had he wanted to defend himself, it would have been impossible. The speed at which she locked her knees around his neck, sending him falling backwards with her momentum, and slammed him into the icy earth knocked the breath from him.

Aleksandr stared at her where she perched on his chest, straddling it with his arms trapped in the crook of her knees and her blade against his throat.

He laid beneath her, sprawled out, his back aching and freezing.

Utterly in love.

She leaned forwards. A single strand of her dark hair had fallen out of the tight bun at the back of her head and grazed her cheek. Her soft breath against his face carried the enticing scent of her blood. Her eyes went from darkness to a lighter colour that the moon stole from him. Beautiful.

Aleksandr swallowed, causing the knife to grate his Adam’s apple through his thick beard. He wished that he had cleaned up now before coming to Prague. She wasn’t exactly catching him at his best.

“You will answer for entering my bloodline’s territory.” She pressed the blade harder against his throat. “I’m taking you in.”

“No need to be rough.” Aleksandr smiled slowly. “Unless you like it that way, of course.”

She was off him in an instant, her weapon still held at the ready.

Clearly, she wasn’t into the rough stuff like so many of his kind. With the thrill of hunting denied them, they had to find excitement elsewhere. Dancing with death through sharing blood was the most intoxicating thing a vampire could do without risking their humanity and many of them did it often. He had never been into that sort of thing.

Aleksandr sat up, grazed his fingers over the silvery scars on his wrist, a reminder of why he was tracking and killing vampire hunters, risking his humanity, and then got to his feet.

The female backed off a step, but remained close enough that she could easily attack him if he tried to leave. He didn’t want to, but if he did, she wouldn’t be able to stop him. A woman was no match for him.

First a female hunter and then a female guard. Prague was a modern progressive city, or the world was changing faster than he realised. He had noticed it for a few years now and had been struggling to adjust ever since. He hadn’t expected the change to happen within vampire society too. The males had always been the ones to take care of the females. His gaze settled on her. Now there were females capable of taking care of themselves. It was both disturbing and intriguing.

Aleksandr went to move but she was in front of him before he could take a step.

“Can I at least gather my belongings?” He motioned towards the coat and bag that waited near the fountain.

She looked at them and her gaze tracked back and settled on the corpse. Her pupils narrowed and then she frowned. Had she only just noticed that he had killed someone? She sniffed and then looked at him, her pale eyes falling to his shirt and then his hands, carefully taking all of him in. He liked the assessing edge to her gaze, and the way it lingered on his body a moment before coming up to meet his. She stared into his eyes, long enough that he felt as though she was renewing the spell she had cast on him, and then nodded.

“I desire an audience with your master.” Aleksandr crossed her path and picked up his long heavy black coat. Her gaze remained on him, intent and focused.

He put his coat on, picked up his black bag and slung it over his shoulder. When he turned to face her, she was looking at the dead hunter again. The way she stared at it, studying it closely, made it clear that she hadn’t seen a fresh kill in a long time.

Or she hadn’t seen anything quite like the butchery that had happened tonight.

Aleksandr clenched his fists and reined in the dark hunger that the memory evoked. He was in control now, not his instincts. The hunt would continue until he had avenged her and had rid the world of her murderer’s progeny.

He would not surrender until then.

For four centuries, he had tracked and killed them, his anger still fresh in his heart, the pain of losing her still raw. He would not surrender until he had killed the last of the hunter’s line and protected his people.

The woman stepped forwards and his attention was back with her. The second his gaze locked with hers, the darkness inside him receded, washed away by the light in her eyes and her beauty. He had thought of nothing but the hunt for four hundred years, had closed himself off to society and focused on his duty, but the woman before him stole his attention away from it so easily. It drifted to the back of his mind with the darkness, unknown to him in this moment while her eyes held his. She wasn’t afraid of him. She had fought him without fear, and with strength and skill that he had never expected to find in a female. She enthralled him.

Looking into her eyes, Aleksandr realised something dreadful. He was too close to the edge. The feelings she evoked in him were ones he had long forgotten existed. It was strange to feel warmed inside by happiness to have met her, desire to make her belong to him, and hunger for the feel of her bare body against his. He had not felt such positive emotions in decades.

He was losing himself.

“Follow me,” the woman said and he did, using her as a distraction from his dark thoughts.

She was young. He placed her at barely over two hundred years old, her appearance somewhat of a human in their mid-twenties. She was at least six inches shorter than him, and slender. Her strength had surprised him because of those facts alone. Young females were often weak and needed protection. She had strong blood in her veins.

Aleksandr ran a hand over his matted long dark hair and then rubbed the several months’ worth of beard on his face. What did he look like? He felt like a mess now, both inside and out. She had definitely caught him at his worst. If he had looked as he had back in his days at court, he was sure she would be looking at him differently.

He was sure that she would recognise him for who he was.

She walked swiftly ahead of him, not once looking back to check if he was still there. She had mastered her senses then. He could feel them fixed on him. How strong were they? He had honed his to perfection through years of training and hunting, but he hadn’t sensed her approach. He had been too lost in the darkness.

His gaze slid down to her small backside and the way it moved as she walked mesmerised him.

He hadn’t really wanted to meet her master, but saying that he did seemed like the easiest way of remaining near to her.

Aleksandr lost track of how long they had been walking. He looked up when he sensed the presence of more vampires. Black wrought iron gates punctuated an endless grey stone wall ahead. Beyond them stood the extensive bleak façade of a mansion. Light emanated from many of the rectangular windows marking the three storeys, at least on the left side. On the right, they were mostly dark hollows. Two male guards at the gate saluted the woman and then eyed him with suspicion as he passed through.

Who was his escort? She was strong, spirited, and these men ranked lower. If she weren’t dressed as a guard, Aleksandr would have placed her as a lady of the bloodline. A female guard. He still couldn’t quite comprehend it.

He followed her up the gravel drive to the house, walking on the left side of the wide expanse of frosty grass that stretched into the distance in both directions. It was a habit of his to mask his footfalls. It had saved his life more than once. The long grey stone front of the mansion was imposing and cold even in the moonlight. The size of it told Aleksandr that this bloodline held the power in the city, or they were the only one resident.

They crossed the large parking area in front of the house, passing a fleet of identical black Mercedes-Benz limousines. This bloodline was definitely doing well for itself. Judging by the fact that the woman had been in the city whilst wearing her uniform, it had to be masquerading as a military school of some sort. Many bloodlines bought privacy from the local government by donating large sums of money and setting up such a front. The humans never questioned them. It had been the easiest way to keep their species secret for many centuries. At least some things hadn’t changed since he had left society.

The moment she entered the house, Aleksandr’s attention was back with her. She hurriedly smoothed her warm chestnut hair back into the tight knot, fixing her appearance. In his opinion, she didn’t need to fix it at all. The slight wanton edge her messy hair gave her was alluring to say the least. His gaze drifted to her throat and he frowned when he spotted her bloodline’s mark on the back of her neck. It was an elaborate black ink crest with a stag incorporated into the design.

Černý.

They passed another pair of male guards and Aleksandr glanced at the back of their necks. The mark was visible above the collar of their short black jackets. A strong bloodline.

He had forgotten who ruled Prague. Perhaps they would be able to help him after all and his coming to their master would prove beneficial in more than one way.

His grey eyes slid back to the woman. She looked over her shoulder at him, her aquamarine eyes briefly fixing on his before she turned away again.

Aleksandr quickened his pace and fell into step beside her. She glanced at him again and then looked forwards. His gaze remained on her as they walked along the elegant gallery at the front of the house, heading towards the lit area he had seen on the left of the building. She had soft features—youthful and graceful. Her oval face, pale skin, and rosy lips set his heart racing again, quick enough that it almost matched a human heart rate. A flicker of a frown wrinkled her brow and her eyes darted to him and then away. He steadied his heart, aware that she could hear the effect she had on him. Her heart was beating at a restful pace, a soothing patter in his mind.

She moved ahead, entering a large red drawing room. The vampires relaxing in it were powerful but none of them were stronger than he was. He carried on without glancing in any of their directions, following his temptress. She turned right in the room, heading towards a guarded set of dark wooden doors. When she reached them, she faced him, her expression stern.

“Wait here,” she said and the guards stationed on either side of the doors opened them for her.

Aleksandr lowered his black holdall from his shoulder. The two dark-haired male guards eyed him. He smiled but it didn’t relieve the tension. It only made it worse. The one on his left cast a glance over him and Aleksandr was thankful that his long coat hid his dagger from view. The female’s voice drifted through the open doors to him and he looked at her. She stood in the middle of a dark green room, the back of a gilt-framed green velvet couch in front of her. A male spoke to her in Czech, his voice a lazy drawl.

Tired of waiting, Aleksandr walked into the room, his knee-high boots heavy on the polished wooden floor. The woman’s blade was at his throat again in the space of a breath. Aleksandr halted and looked at the man her body had shielded from view.

He was young to be leading a bloodline, only in his late twenties in terms of appearance, meaning he was little more than four hundred. He would have been born around the time that Aleksandr had begun his hunt.

The man leaned back into the green couch opposite the one near to Aleksandr and the woman and crossed his long black-clad legs. He smiled without any trace of charm or meaning and preened his short sandy hair back.

“This man desires an audience with you, Master,” the woman said and Aleksandr glanced down into her clear blue eyes. She looked away, towards the leader of her bloodline.

“Then allow him to introduce himself so I may know with whom I speak,” the master said in English.

Aleksandr was familiar with both English and Czech. He had understood everything the master had said to the woman. He wasn’t interested in guests and wanted him gone. His opinion would change once he knew who Aleksandr was. It always did.

Aleksandr’s gaze met the guard’s again, holding it for long minutes. Whenever he set eyes on her, he was struck by her beauty as though it was the first time he had witnessed it. He willingly accepted her blade against his throat because it meant she was near him. Soon she would be this close to him without a weapon. He was sure of it. He would ask for sanctuary and the master would grant it. It would give him time to clean up his appearance and then he would start a new hunt. One for this woman.

His gaze slid across to the master and locked with his hazel one, silently showing the younger vampire that he wasn’t the most powerful in the room by a long shot.

“I am Aleksandr Nemov,” he said in a calm measured tone.

The female’s shock rippled through the knife at his throat, which was gone an instant later. She stepped back.

“You will not mind me requesting proof of that claim,” the master said.

Aleksandr smiled behind his beard. It was to be expected. He had been absent from society so long that many probably thought him dead.

With a flourish, he unsheathed and presented his bloodstained dagger. The curved silver blade caught the warm light of the fireplace to the left of the couches. That same light made the gold handle shine brightly. Only a Nemov carried such a weapon, and it had been given to him at birth, inscribed with his name so those who died by it knew who had taken their life. When the man nodded, he sheathed the blade and took hold of his black shirt above his right hip. He pulled it free of his trousers and revealed the mark he bore there on his pale skin.

The mark of royalty.

The woman’s eyes widened, fixed on the crescent moon on the shield of his bloodline.

Aleksandr lowered his shirt and she slowly raised her eyes to his. She blinked, fumbled with her own knife, and then looked away. The shy sparkle in her blue eyes added to her beauty and his desire for her, momentarily stealing his attention away from the other occupant in the room.

“You will stay a while with my bloodline. It would do us great honour.” The master stood and crossed the room to Aleksandr.

The woman stepped to one side, her eyes still downcast.

The master grinned and held his hand out. “I am Ladislav Černý, and I welcome you to my home. I hope you will be able to enjoy our hospitality for a long time.”

Aleksandr shook his hand. Ladislav was young but wise enough to see a way to gain more power when it was standing in front of him. Being favourable to a royal would grant him more leeway with the law and more privileges in court. It was a shame then that Aleksandr had long since surrendered such authority. No matter how many times he reminded society that he was no longer royalty, it still insisted on treating him that way. In this sort of situation, he usually reminded them that he had given up his title, but this time he couldn’t bring himself to mention it. He wanted to remain here and pursue the woman, and for that reason alone, he would tolerate Ladislav’s mistake.

“We will hold a ball tonight to celebrate,” Ladislav said, his English thickly accented.

This man was no fool. He would serve Aleksandr well. His gaze slid back to the woman. Her eyes were on him again but darted away when his met them. How well would she serve him?

“Then I will need to freshen up.” Aleksandr removed his hand from Ladislav’s grip.

“Any room in the guest wing you desire, and I will arrange whatever you need.” Ladislav motioned to the woman. Her expression blackened for a moment, as though escorting a guest was beneath her, and then she saluted.

Aleksandr picked up his bag and smiled at the woman. She answered it with a frown and then walked out of the room. His smile widened and his gaze raked over her.

She was going to be an interesting hunt.

But he would be the victor.

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Biography
Felicity Heaton writes passionate paranormal romance books as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. In her books she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!

If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, Felicity Heaton’s best selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series she writes as F E Heaton or any of her stand alone vampire romance books she writes as Felicity Heaton. Or if you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try Felicity Heaton’s new Vampire Erotic Theatre series.

In 2011, five of her six paranormal romance books received Top Pick awards from Night Owl Reviews, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews, and many of her releases received five star reviews from numerous websites. In 2012, she received the GraveTells Author of the Year Award and her vampire romance novel, Heart of Darkness, was selected as a 2013 Epic Ebook Awards finalist in the paranormal romance category.

If you want to know more about me, or want to get in touch, you can find me at the following places:
My website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk
My blog: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/felicityheaton
Twitter: http://twitter.com/felicityheaton
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/felicityheaton

Winner: Ticket Home - Serena Bell


With the help of Rafflecopter I am happy to announce the winner of an ebook copy of Ticket Home by Serena Bell is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations Nicole! I have forwarded your email address to Serena Bell so that she can send you your ebook. I'd like to say a massive thanks to Serena for allowing me to host this giveaway for her.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Review: With All My Soul - Rachel Vincent

Kaylee Cavanaugh's taking her final stand!

After spending the last year undead, Kaylee has had enough of the paranormal creatures who have plagued her ever since she came into her banshee powers. Now she's ready to take her school back from evil hellions, once and forever.

To protect her friends, Kaylee will need to find a way to turn the living incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another.

Yet when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realises she can't save everyone she loves without making some powerful sacrifices . . .

Soul Screamers Series:
My Soul to Lose (prequel novella)
My Soul to Take
My Soul to Save
My Soul to Keep
Reaper (novella)
My Soul to Steal
If I Die
Never to Sleep (novella)
Before I Wake
With All My Soul

For more information visit Rachel Vincent's website

Review:
I have been a massive fan of the Soul Screamers series ever since I read the first book so I have to admit I was quite nervous about picking up this final book in the series. I was sad that the story would be coming to an end and worried in case I didn't like the ending but I should have known better - Rachel Vincent has never let me down yet and With All My Soul is a fitting end to the series. I'm going to deliberately keep this review fairly short because I would absolutely hate to give away how it ends but please note that this is the seventh book in the series so my review may contain spoilers for the previous books. If you've not read the first six books then I don't recommend reading any further but I do recommend immediately dropping everything to catch up because this is a series that isn't to be missed.

Kaylee and her friends have been through so much throughout this series at the hands of Hellion of greed Avari and he isn't going to stop coming after them until he has what he wants - Kaylee's soul to torture for eternity. They have taken numerous casualties but haven't managed to find a way to hurt Avari in return and things are starting to get desperate. Kaylee just wants to protect those she cares about and she has an idea for a way to turn the three Hellions against each other in the hope that they will destroy themselves but that isn't going to be as easy as it sounds and Kaylee may have to make a sacrifice that she isn't prepared for if she has any hope of succeeding. Kaylee has always been a strong character but she excels herself in this book, she has always put the safety of her friends and family above her own and she has gone to great lengths to protect others. That doesn't change in this book, in fact she is going to have to be even smarter and braver than ever before if she has any chance of looking after the ones she loves. She is facing some fearsome enemies and that is going to mean making some incredibly hard decisions but anyone who knows her will know that she doesn't back down from a challenge.

With All My Soul ends the series with a bang, the story is fast paced, full of action and takes some very unexpected turns. Characters I've loved to hate in previous books managed to make me fall in love with them and some of the events in this book broke my heart. I laughed, I cried and I prayed for my favourites to survive until the end but I always had a fear at the back of my mind that something major would happen. I'm not going to tell you who makes it, I'm not going to tell you if they all live, I'm not actually going to tell you anything else at all apart from that this is a MUST read for fans of the series. Rachel Vincent has ended Kaylee's story on a high and as much as I'm going to miss these characters I'm happy that I'll be able to look back at this series with fond memories and without feeling disappointed by the ending. Now I'm just eager to see what the author comes up with next, I already know from experience that I love both her adult and young adult books so whatever it is she writes it will automatically be added to my must buy list.

Source: Received from Mira Ink 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.

Paperback / Kindle:

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Review: Extreme Love - Abby Niles

New body. New clothes. New men.

Used to the average Joe, Caitlyn Moore is overwhelmed when the supremely masculine Dante Jones walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. At first she pushes him away, refusing to encourage the attention of a cage fighter. Then she learns Dante has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation. What better way to fine-tune her non-existent flirting skills than with a male who won’t stick around? But Dante has no intention of being a practice dummy; he’s out for all or nothing. Now Caitlyn must accept Dante - violent career and all - or let him go.

Dante “Inferno” Jones has one goal: win the Welterweight Championship. At a time when focus is crucial, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Yet Caitlyn Moore becomes a challenge he can’t resist. When the light-hearted pursuit shifts to a battle to win her heart, his focus is shot. Faced with losing the biggest match of his career, Dante must decide if his extreme life also has room for Extreme Love.

Visit Abby Niles's website for more information

Review:
It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication for Caitlyn to loose 80lbs but even though she has dropped from a size 22 to a size 12 she still feels fat. She is insecure about her body and has continued to hide behind her baggy clothes. When her best friend introduces her to Dante, a sexy MMA fighter with a perfect body and a whole heap of female fans, she can't believe that he is interested in her. Why would he possibly want her when he could have one of the size zero real life barbie dolls who hang around the MMA circuit? Dante knows straight away that there is something special about Cait, she is beautiful both inside and out and he finds her curvaceous figure sexy as hell. He isn't used to being turned down by women but he is used to fighting for what he wants, now he has set his sights on Cait he will do whatever it takes to win her over. But with the most important fight of his career looming Dante can't afford to lose focus, can he win over the girl of his dreams and win the Welterweight Championship?

As someone who has struggled with my weight for my whole life I have to start this by saying that overweight heroines / heroines who have lost a lot of weight can be a bit hit and miss for me. I didn't realise that Extreme Love would focus so much on Cait's weight loss journey and how it has effected her emotionally when I picked it up and I have to admit I probably would have been a bit put off if I had done. I'm glad now that I didn't have that information before hand because I really enjoyed Cait's story and I would hate to have missed it. Cait isn't the perfect heroine, she is insecure and neurotic and that causes her to make stupid decisions at times. There were a few occasions where I wanted to throttle her BUT that made her feel so much more realistic. I've been in the position she was in, where having lost a huge amount of weight you should feel fantastic about yourself but you still find yourself worrying about your figure and feeling unattractive. Unless you've gone through a similar journey you might not find it so easy to identify with Cait but the way she thinks and feels at times were so like my own experiences that the author could have interviewed me before she created her. You have to admire Cait for her determination to lose the weight and for the way she is now working so hard to make a difference to others who are in the same position she was. She may have low self esteem when it comes to her own figure but that doesn't stop her standing up for others and I really respected her for that.

Now any good romance book needs a fantastic hero and that is exactly what we get with Dante. Not only is he one gorgeous specimen - muscular, fit and powerful with a body to die for - but he is also a genuinely nice guy. He is protective, caring and so, so patient with Cait when I think many guys would have just given up and walked away. He works hard to help Cait see just how beautiful she really is and I loved watching her start to gain confidence with the help of Dante and her friends. If there was one thing that bugged me about the story it was the fact that other characters were constantly putting Cait down because of her weight. I couldn't see why anyone would look at a woman who is a size 12 and immediately start calling her Miss Piggy or make Oinking noises at her. I know full well that that kind of thing happens, I've experienced it first hand, but I would have found that more believable if she still had more weight to lose rather than being so close to target. I get that this was to feed into her insecurities and to annoy Dante but I think that if they had come up with some other kind of insults I would have found it more believable.

Overall I found Extreme Love a really enjoyable read though, I loved both main characters (in spite of Cait's flaws) and I also really found myself liking some of the side characters. I actually contacted the author and she has confirmed that this is the start of a new series and I'm excited to read more about the other MMA fighters (Julie and Tommy's story, Fighting Love, is up next and due for release in December). I also hope we'll get to see glimpses of Dante and Cait as the series continues. I'm definitely adding the next book to my wish list and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read a story about a normal girl who wins the heart of the hero of her dreams.

Source: Received via Netgalley 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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Extreme Love Blog Tour: Abby Niles's Top Ten Romance Heroes!


I'm thrilled to welcome author Abby Niles to the blog today to celebrate the release of her latest book Extreme Love. I'll be posting my full review of Extreme Love later today but if you're looking for a hot contemporary romance staring a super sexy MMA fighter and the normal, insecure girl that he falls for then this is a must read! Now before I hand you over to Abby who is here to talk about her favourite romance heroes let me give you a little more information about the book:

New body. New clothes. New men.

Used to the average Joe, Caitlyn Moore is overwhelmed when the supremely masculine Dante Jones walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. At first she pushes him away, refusing to encourage the attention of a cage fighter. Then she learns Dante has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation. What better way to fine-tune her non-existent flirting skills than with a male who won’t stick around? But Dante has no intention of being a practice dummy; he’s out for all or nothing. Now Caitlyn must accept Dante - violent career and all - or let him go.

Dante “Inferno” Jones has one goal: win the Welterweight Championship. At a time when focus is crucial, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Yet Caitlyn Moore becomes a challenge he can’t resist. When the light-hearted pursuit shifts to a battle to win her heart, his focus is shot. Faced with losing the biggest match of his career, Dante must decide if his extreme life also has room for Extreme Love.

Visit Abby Niles's website for more information

About the author:
Abby Niles has always loved to read. After having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. She didn’t plan for writing to become an obsession, but it did. Today, she juggles work, home life, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?

When Abby’s not writing, you can find her playing ‘Just Dance’ with her kids or trying to catch up on her never-ending to-be-read list. She also loves Zumba, and refuses to admit she looks more like Animal doing his Muppet flail than a sensual Latin dancer.

Now please give a very warm welcome to Abby Niles . . .

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Top 10 Favorite Romance Heroes
by Abby Niles

As romance readers, we all have those heroes who swoop in and steal our hearts. I’m no exception. Over the years, I’ve had plenty of book boyfriends, ranging from the dominating alpha to the geeky best friend. So who are my top ten? You guys ready for this?

I’m going to start with my all-time favorite hero ever! I think I’ll have a lot of women nodding eagerly in agreement with this one.

Jericho Barrons. Do I need to say more? Okay, okay. Maybe you haven’t heard of him. If you haven’t, all I’m going to say is you’re soooooo missing out. Jericho Barrons, or Barrons for the Fever fans, is Karen Marie Moning’s drool-worthy creation from her Fever series. We are only in this man’s POV a few times throughout the first five books, but you don’t need to be in his head for him to leave an impression! He comes storming into Mac’s life in book one and takes over.

Gavrael McIllioch, a.k.a. Grimm Roderick from To Tame a Highland Warrior. Yet, another Karen Marie Moning hero. Grimm was my introduction to KMM and I haven’t looked back since. In fact, until Barrons came along, Grimm held the number one spot on my list. I loved everything about Grimm. He was a strong, kilt-wearing warrior, who helped a nearly blind little boy learn to ride a horse. If that’s not enough, he was also a berserker and was terrified that the bloodlust would one day cause him to kill the woman he loved, so he did everything in his power to push her away. I pull this book out at least once a year to re-read.

Drustan MacKelter. I swear he’s the last of the KMM heroes. I adore all her heroes, but these three have always stood out above the others for me. Drustan is from Kiss of the Highlander. What I loved about him was the contrast from the Drustan who wakes up in today’s Scotland from the one he is when he returns to sixteenth century Scotland. He was so adorable picking out clothes (purple being his favorite color) and riding in a car for the first time. But when he returns to his time, he is all Highland laird.

Rhage. I may start a riot by mentioning any of the hot vampires from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’m sure there are a lot of opinions on who is the best hero from the series. Lover Eternal was the first book of the series I read, and Rhage stole my heart. He was a man who hated a very dangerous part of himself, a part that had the other brothers running in the opposite direction when it made an appearance. His struggles, his worry over Mary, his love for Mary, made me melt. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love another one of her heroes more until…

Zsadist. Hands down the BEST tortured hero ever written. I became enthralled by Zsadist in Lover Eternal. He was so dark and menacing, so…tortured. I wasn’t sure how J.R. Ward was going to bring him back from it. The vampire was damaged beyond repair. I devoured Lover Awakened, and I loved watching Zsadist begin to live again.

Julian Hampton. The best beta hero ever written from Madeline Hunter’s The Romantic. No, he wasn’t one to flex his muscles or pursue his lady-love, but I loved being in this man’s head. The love letters he wrote to Penelope, the ones he never sent to her, because he knew she could never find out how he felt…just..*dreamy sigh*

Jacob Jankowski. I loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Jacob went up against great odds to save the woman he loved from a brutal husband. Add in an elephant named Rosie, and you have a beautiful love story.

Peeta Mellark. The male tribute from District 12 completely won me over with his determination to keep Katniss safe inside The Hunger Games. Besides, what’s not to love about the boy with the bread?

Daemon Black. Daemon is an alien from Jennifer Armentrout’s A Lux Novel series. Now, Daemon was a cocky SOB at first, and I wanted to punch him a couple of times, but let me tell you, when he stops fighting his feelings for Katy, whew boy! Let’s just say, the fourth book can’t get here quick enough. I can’t get enough of Daemon Black.

Elvis Zimmerman. Elvis isn’t the actual hero of Julie Moffett’s Lexi Carmichael Mystery series (though I’m counting on an Elvis/Lexi hook-up soon!). These books mostly follow Lexi and her adventures. Elvis is Lexi’s hacker friend. I fell in love with Elvis in No One Lives Twice. Yes, he’s a geek, he’s pasty white, and he’s surrounded by the likes of Finn the drop-dead gorgeous lawyer and Italian secret agent Slash, but even with those panty-dropping men surrounding him, I was/am pulling for Elvis. I adore this character. Adore him!

Sarah, thank you so much for having me at Feeling Fictional. It’s been a pleasure to be here!
Abby

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Thanks for a fabulous guest post Abby, you have definitely included some of my favourite heroes in your list! I LOVE Barrons, but haven't actually read any of KMM's Highlander books yet - it looks like I need to do that asap since two of them made your list LOL. Zsadist and Rhage are two of my favourite brothers and I really like Daemon too. I have to say I'm team Gale after reading The Hunger Games but as I still haven't read Catching Fire and Mockingjay that could change. You've definitely given me some books to add to my wish list though and I'm looking forward to meeting these heroes.

What do you think of Abby's list? Has she included your favourites? Who else would you add to the list?

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