Wednesday 31 December 2014

Review: Beyond Possession - Kit Rocha

Tatiana Stone has worked hard to establish herself as one of Sector Four's most skilled crafters. All she wants is peace--but the sins of her father haunt her. He ruled the sector as a petty tyrant before the O'Kane takeover, and plenty of people harbor bitter memories of his cruelty. Especially now that Tatiana's beloved baby sister has fallen in with a man who wants to start a revolution.

Zan failed his boss once, and it won't happen again. So when Dallas O'Kane asks him to defuse the rebellion brewing in the sector, he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done--including seduce Tatiana. It's the perfect opportunity to get closer to the pretty crafter and complete his mission. But what he discovers is a fiery, passionate woman--and an affair that could destroy them both.

Beyond Series:
Beyond Shame
Beyond Control
Beyond Denial (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Pain
Flash (Free short story)
Beyond Temptation (Novella in the Marked Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Jealousy
Beyond Solitude (Novella in the Alpha's After Dark Anthology or as a separate ebook)
Beyond Addiction
Beyond Possession (Novella)
Beyond Innocence
Closed Doors (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Blank Canvas (A Beyond Happily Ever After free short story)
Beyond Ruin
Beyond Ecstasy
Beyond Surrender
Creative Incentives (Free short story)
Beyond Doubt (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Cravings (Free short story)
Beyond Forever (An O'Kane for Life novella)
Dessert (Free short story)
Ravished (Free short story)
Efficient (Free short story)
Memorial (Free short story)
Fierce Protector (Free short story)
A Little Bit Bad (Free short story)
Diplomacy (Free short story)

Gideon's Riders Series:
(Spin off series)
Makhai (Free short story)
6th Sense (Free short story)
High Priestess (Free short story)
Girls' Night Out (Free short story)

Visit Kit Rocha's website for more information.

I'm the biggest fan of the Beyond series, I'm a little obsessed with the world but most of all with the characters and I can't get enough of them. I think it's great that Donna and Bree (the ladies behind the Kit Rocha name) write these little novellas to give us more about some of the minor characters, the ones we see on the sidelines but who don't necessarily have a major role to play in the ongoing storyline. Although the novellas give us a glimpse on the world and often let us catch up with some of the other characters we're crazy about they are also more tightly focused on the main couple and the romance so while they're shorter they're most definitely not lacking in heat.

Beyond Possession is the story of Tatiana and Zan, we've met both of these characters previously but didn't know a huge amount about them so I was excited to get to know them better. Tatiana's father used to be the leader of Sector Four but unlike Dallas O'Kane he was neither liked or respected, he was a thug who ruled by fear and even though he is long gone he left quite a mark on the sector. Tatiana is a skilled craftswoman but she is stuck between the people who hated her father and love Dallas and those who resent the O'Kane way of life and want to see a return to the old days. Tatiana has spent years trying to protect herself and her sister Catalina, she doesn't want trouble and she knows the best way to avoid it is to keep her head down and remain neutral but that isn't easy when Catalina has started dating a guy who is very outspoken about his hatred of the O'Kanes. Tatiana has tried to keep Catalina away from Wallace but that just pushed the two of them together and now Wallace is attempting to use his connection to the Stone sisters to push his agenda.

Zan is loyal to Dallas but feels he let his boss down when he was injured in an ambush. He will do anything to make up for his failure and right now that means keeping on top of the unrest amongst the market traders and trying to smooth things over. He has always wanted Tatiana but understands her need to remain under the radar and has respected her wishes but now is the perfect opportunity for him to get closer and show her just how important she is to him. Can Tatiana continue to resist Zan's charms or will he finally get past her defences?

I loved this couple, I love how Tatiana is so independent and so protective over her sister. She has worked so hard for everything she has achieved and she isn't going to give it up easily. Zan admires her for her spirit and the last thing he wants to do is crush her dreams, he knows she needs to be able to stand on her own two feet and would never do anything to jeopardise that. Zan really is a great guy, one who may want to protect Tatiana but who would never try to stifle her and who has a tight leash on his caveman tendencies. They fit together really well and I enjoyed seeing them realise how special they could be together. Beyond Possession is a fabulous addition to the series and Tatiana and Zan are another new favourite couple. I don't know how I'm going to survive the wait for the next book - I just wish we could have a new book every month!

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

Other Reviews:
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Review: East of Ecstasy - Laura Kaye

Annalise Fallston made peace with postponing her big-city dreams to care for her ill father, but lately she’s been filled with a restlessness not even her beloved painting dispels. Worse, the colors don’t speak to her as they always have, and all her efforts produce dark, foreboding images of a dangerous man and a terrifying future.

Devlin Eston, black-souled son of the evil Anemoi Eurus, is the only one who can thwart his father’s plan to overthrow the Supreme God of Wind and Storms. But first, Dev must master the unstable powers he’s been given. Distrusted and shunned by his own divine family, he never expected to find kindness and passion in the arms of a mortal.

But Devlin’s love puts Annalise in the path of a catastrophic storm, and in the final Armageddon showdown between the Anemoi and Eurus, sacrifices will be made, hearts broken, and lives changed forever . . . or lost.

Hearts of the Anemoi Series:
North of Need
West of Want
South of Surrender
East of Ecstasy

Visit Laura Kaye's website for more information

As the son of the rogue god Eurus Devlin hasn't had much love from the rest of his family. All he really wants is to be able to fit in, he has worked hard to put a stop to his father's actions but Eurus has a way of controlling him and making it look like they're working together even though it is completely against Devlin's will. Devlin knows that time is running out though and it's clear that the rest of the Anemoi will need his help if they're going to have any chance of stopping Eurus's destructive plans. When he meets artist Anna Devlin finds himself immediately drawn to the beautiful human but it's when he sees her paintings that he realises she may hold the key to stopping Eurus once and for all. Can Devlin keep Anna safe and work alongside his uncles and cousin to stop his father or will they be too late?

I've been a fan of this series ever since I picked up North of Need over two years ago and I really have enjoyed each new instalment, I put off starting East of Ecstasy for ages though because I didn't want the journey to come to an end. This was a bitter sweet story for me, I loved the romance between Devlin and Anna and I loved the chance to catch up with the previous couples but there were some absolutely heartbreaking moments that I really wasn't expecting and I was moved to tears more than once. Laura Kaye did manage to end the series on a high note though and I'm so happy with the way things turned out.

I don't want to say too much about what everyone is getting up to now but I will say that if you've read the previous books you're going to love seeing everyone working together to stop Eurus. I felt so badly for Devlin seeing how little everyone trusted him, I could understand why they were wary of him because he'd pretty much been set up by Eurus for a long time now but knowing everything he had suffered trying to help the others was heartbreaking. I loved seeing Anna stand up for her man though, she isn't afraid to face off against the other gods and put them straight about things and I was cheering her along from the sidelines. Like most of the heroines in this series there is a lot more to Anna than there first appears and she has a few interesting abilities of her own that turn out to be vital in the battle they are about to fight. As much as I loved Anna it was Devlin who completely stole my heart though, he is such a sweet guy but he never sees the good in himself. It takes Anna to show him that he's worthy of affection and she really helps him come out of his shell around his family, watching them finally start to trust him and show him affection was beautiful.

East of Ecstasy is full of intense action and heart stopping scenes. It had me on the edge of my seat one moment, smiling or laughing the next and then back to stunned silence within a few more pages. I went through so many different emotions and never knew quite what Laura Kaye would throw at me next but I loved every minute of it. This was a fabulous end to the series and although I'm sad that the journey is over I'm glad I didn't miss it. If you haven't started this series yet then I'd definitely recommend checking out North of Need, it's a brilliant story and perfect for these cold winter nights.

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Monday 29 December 2014

Review: The Highest Bid - Joey W. Hill

To understand her customers’ desires at her lingerie store, Naughty Bits, Madison has been exploring her own deep yearnings with the help of neighboring store owner—and oh-so-sexy Dominant—Logan. After overcoming her fears and allowing herself to truly submit, Madison is ready for her ultimate sexual adventure: an auction where she’ll be offered up to the highest bidding Master.

But when her fantasy brings her face-to-face with her true feelings for Logan, she’ll have to figure out if she’s ready to trust her heart as well as her body to him forever . . .

Naughty Bits Series:
The Lingerie Shop
The Training Session
Bound to Please
The Highest Bid

Visit Joey W. Hill's website for more information.

This is the final instalment to the Naughty Bits serialised novel and I loved every minute of it. Madison has had time to explore her submissive side, she's even had a go at taking control of the situation and acting like a Dom, but now it's time for her to step up and decide if what she really wants is a life with Logan as his collared submissive.

I have been dying for Madison to take that leap and I'm just going to say it was well worth the wait! This is undoubtedly the hottest instalment yet and Logan takes Madison on a thrilling ride as he guides her through her deepest, darkest fantasy. I loved every minute of this instalment and I'm so glad that I stuck with this story after the first instalment which I have to confess I wasn't a fan of. The series really has got better and better with each new part and I'm definitely planning on reading more from Joey W. Hill now I know what she's really capable of. If you've liked the previous instalments you're going to LOVE The Highest Bid!

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Review: Bound to Please - Joey W. Hill

Thanks to her new Dom’s exquisitely special set of skills, Madison is discovering how delicious it can be to lose control. Logan is committed to awakening Madison’s long buried desires, and after he shows her the depths of ecstasy they can reach with a little bit of roleplay, he’s ready to take her to the next level.

But when Madison’s old fears resurface, Logan grows wary of pushing her too far too fast. He can sense just how deeply she longs for release from past regrets, but what surprises him the most is the intense yearning his innocent new sub is awakening in him. Now Logan must decide to what lengths he’ll go to convince Madison to give herself over completely . . .

Naughty Bits Series:
The Lingerie Shop
The Training Session
Bound to Please
The Highest Bid

Visit Joey W. Hill's website for more information.

I'm enjoying this serialised novel so much more now that I waited until all the parts were available so I could read them all quite close together. This story is getting hotter and hotter and I'm desperate for Madison to give in to her desire to let Logan claim her!

Madison has come such a long way since the first book, she is growing in confidence daily and it's clear that her sister really did know what was best for her all along. I loved Logan from the beginning and I've enjoyed seeing him introduce Madison to the BDSM lifestyle. It's something that has intrigued her for such a long time but because of a few disastrous experiences with previous boyfriends she became afraid of her desires and felt that there was something wrong with her. Logan is giving her the information she needs to make an informed decision about what she wants, she gets to see the truth of the lifestyle not just from him but also from Troy and Shay (another couple I adore and would love to spend more time with!) and has started to understand that even though subs give up control they still have a lot of power in their relationships.

I love that Logan encourages Madison to explore her sexuality. He makes it quite clear what he hopes they will become to each other but he knows that she needs to take things slowly and he's willing to wait as long as it takes. He has a lot more patience than I do because I'm desperate to see her finally make the decision to put her trust completely in Logan!

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
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Review: The Training Session - Joey W. Hill

Madison may have ditched her well-ordered Boston life to run Naughty Bits, her sister’s North Carolina lingerie shop, but she didn’t expect to throw herself into such chaos—or to become intimate with the sexiest man she’s ever had the pleasure of meeting. After spending a night observing a submissive’s training session, Madison is ready for Logan to teach her how to feed her own deep fantasies—and get rid of all her lingering fears . . .

Madison’s aching desire to submit is unlike anything Logan’s ever experienced before, and he’s determined to be the man to make her relinquish control. Still, Logan’s unsure if Madison is ready to take that first step to becoming his—until she shows up at his door ready to be commanded. Luckily for them both, Logan’s got more than a few surprises up his sleeve that he knows she’ll enjoy . . .

Naughty Bits Series:
The Lingerie Shop
The Training Session
Bound to Please
The Highest Bid

Visit Joey W. Hill's website for more information.

So if you read my review of the first instalment to this series you'll already know that I'm not a huge fan of the serialised novel format. It's something that we're seeing more and more frequently and I'll say right now that it isn't a trend I'm happy with. I much prefer to be able to read the whole story in one go and that way I'm more likely to enjoy the experience. So I decided to wait until all 4 parts of the Naughty Bits series were available and give it another chance. After rereading The Lingerie Shop I was able to dive straight into The Training Session and I have to say I enjoyed it much more because of that. I think I'm going to keep my reviews for each of the remaining segments fairly short so that I can dive back into the important business of reading the next part of the story!

I mentioned in my previous review that I found Madison really hard to relate to because she was so incredibly naive and sexually repressed. I had hope that she would grow and become easier to connect with as the series continued and I'm happy to say I liked her much more in The Training Session. She's starting to really come out of her shell, she isn't so embarrassed to admit that she is a woman with sexual desires and she is settling into her role as the new owner of the Naughty Bits lingerie shop. She is also more willing to give into the desire that she feels for her sister's best friend Logan and I'm happy to see how much her confidence is growing.

Logan was the main reason I wanted to carry on reading this story and he didn't disappoint me here, he is sexy as hell and I'm definitely looking forward to spending more time with him. Logan has been helping to train male submissive Troy for his mistress and when he offers Madison the chance to help him with a training session she finds it impossible to resist. Holy hell, that is one hot session and Logan really opens Madison's eyes to what it is really like to submit to a Master. Troy isn't the only one in training and Madison certainly learns a lot over the course of this story. She also starts to understand that although the Dom is the one who is in control it's actually the submissive who is completely in control and she is finally able to admit to herself that having submissive tendencies isn't a bad thing, especially not when you're with the right Dom. I think I fell more than a little in love with Logan in this instalment of the series and I can't wait to dive into Bound to Please to see more of the fantastic chemistry between him and Madison.

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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Sunday 28 December 2014

Review: Golem in My Glovebox - R.L. Naquin

In her role as Aegis, Zoey Donovan has rescued and cared for hundreds of monsters and mythical creatures. Now humans are the ones in need of her help. Someone with a personal vendetta against the Board of Hidden Affairs has kidnapped all the other Aegises in the country--including Zoey's mother.

With the Hidden government in shambles and a string of deadly clues to follow, Zoey and her reaper boyfriend set out on a cross-country chase to stop the kidnapper from killing the captured Aegises. Along the way, they pick up a miniature golem who's on a quest to find his humanity . . . and may be the key to solving the grisly clues.

If Zoey succeeds in defeating this new evil, she'll finally be reunited with the mother she lost over twenty years ago. But if she fails, she'll become the final victim.

Monster Haven Series:
Monster in My Closet
Ill-Conceived Magic (Short Story)
Pooka in My Pantry
Hidden Holidays (Short Story)
Fairies in My Fireplace
What Zoey Doesn't Know (Short Story)
Golem in My Glovebox
Demons in My Driveway
Transmonstrified (Short Story Collection)
Phoenix in My Fortune

Djinn Haven series:
(Spin off from the Monster Haven series but can be read separately)
To Catch A Stolen Soul
To Seize a Wayward Spirit
To Free a Captured Heart

Visit R.L. Naquin's website for more information

I've been a huge fan of this series since I first discovered it, it's perfect light hearted and funny urban fantasy and I know I can pick up any book in the series when I'm in the mood for something that's going to make me giggle. I absolutely love the number of different Hidden creatures that R.L. Naquin has included in the series, she always manages to introduce us to something new with each book and this instalment brings golem, Griswald, who is accompanying Zoey and Riley on a road trip as they hunt the person who kidnapped the missing Ageises. Zoey is desperate to find out what happened to her mother and find a way to bring her home but their enemy is always more than one step ahead of them and they aren't going to make it easy for her.

As much as I love this series and enjoyed Golem in My Glovebox for some reason that I'm having trouble putting my finger on I didn't love it as much as I'd expected to. It's still a fun story and has all the humour you would expect from this series, we get to catch up with a few of our favourite characters and we get to see Zoey once again out of her comfort zone so I'm not quite sure what was missing. I think it just didn't have quite the same level of tension as the previous instalments and I have to admit I found a lot of the driving around America was a little on the boring side. The various stops they make, along with the people they meet, were great but in between there were some slower times and I also felt that the ending was a bit of a let down. I think I just missed the rest of the gang, characters who normally play a big part in the story were left back at Zoey's house and it just wasn't the same without them.

In spite of my minor niggles this is still a solid story, there is a lot going on and I enjoyed seeing Zoey and Riley get the chance to spend some quality time together. Even when they're out and about they still have plenty of interruptions though, I guess that's the hazard of being the only Ageis left - Zoey is constantly on call for all kinds of Hidden problems. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to the couple next in Demons in My Driveway.

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

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Review: Devil May Cry - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Ever since the moment his status as a god was revoked by Artemis, Sin has done nothing but plot his revenge. He kidnaps a woman he believes to be the goddess, but she is Artemis's servant, Katra. And instead of imprisoning her, Katra captures him and refuses to release him until he promises not to seek vengeance on her mistress.

Despite himself, Sin finds himself intrigued by Katra, who is nothing like the goddess she serves. She's fierce, true, but she's also compassionate and loyal. However, Sin is not the only enemy Artemis has and it quickly becomes apparent that he must help Katra save her mistress or the world as we know it will end.

The Dark-Hunters Series:
The Beginning (Short Story)
Fantasy Lover
Dragonswan (Novella) (Were-Hunter 0.5)
Night Pleasures
Night Embrace
Dance with the Devil
Kiss of the Night
Night Play (Were-Hunter 1)
Seize the Night
Sins of the Night
Unleash the Night (Were-Hunter 2)
Dark Side of the Moon (Were-Hunter 3)
The Dream-Hunter (Dream-Hunter 1)
Fear the Darkness (Short Story)
Devil May Cry
Upon the Midnight Clear (Dream-Hunter 2)
Dream Chaser (Dream-Hunter 3)
One Silent Night
Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter 4)
Bad Moon Rising (Hellchaser 1, Were-Hunter 4)
Dark-Hunter: An Insider's Guide (Hellchaser 2)
No Mercy (Were-Hunter 5)
The Guardian (Dream-Hunter 5, Were-Hunter 6, Hellchaser 3)
Time Untime (Were-Hunter 7, Hellchaser 4)
Dark Bites (Short Story Anthology)
Son of No One (Were-Hunter 8, Hellchaser 5)
Dragonbane (Were-Hunter 9, Hellchaser 6)
Dragonmark (2016)

Chronicles of Nick Series:
(This is a YA spin off from Sherrilyn Kenyon's adult Dark-Hunters series)
Invasion (2016)
Intensity (2017)

Visit Sherrilyn Kenyon's website for more information

I was excited when I found out that Katra was the heroine of Devil May Cry, I've always liked her character and was very intrigued to find out more about her connection to Artemis and why she is so willing to serve such a horrible goddess. I have to say I loved finding out more about Kat's background, there were so many surprises in her past and finding out who her parents were just blew my mind! Some major reveals right there and they're going to have a knock on effect throughout the series. There is a lot going on in this story, we get a lot of background on upcoming major characters, we get answers to some of the questions we've been asking for the last few books and my anticipation is definitely higher than ever when it comes to carrying on with the series.

I love that Kat is such a fierce heroine, she has her own powers and she has a strong sense of justice. We've seen her protecting others in previous books, even when she has to go against Artemis to do it and I knew she would be a heroine I'd enjoy reading about. Sin has every reason to hate Kat, just for her connection to Artemis since Artemis is the one who stole his powers and made him lose his god status but although he captures Kat just to get revenge he quickly realises that she's as much a victim as he is. I loved seeing him come to terms with the fact that he'd have to choose between his revenge and keeping Kat in his life, it isn't easy for him to put something he has dreamed of for so long to one side but he knows that Kat is worth any price. Kat feels terrible about what happened to Sin, especially when she realises that she played a role in his misfortune thanks to the lies Artemis told her. She is determined to make things right even if it means losing Sin forever.

I loved getting to see more of Simi and her sister Xirena in this story, the two of them never fail to make me laugh and I loved seeing them so protective of Kat. I also really enjoyed seeing a further glimpse into Ash's life, things that have been kept secret from him for such a long time are suddenly revealed and I can't wait to see how he responds to those revelations. He seemed to take the news quite calmly but I have a feeling we're going to see more of his angry side once he's had time to take it all in.

Sherrilyn Kenyon adds even more to her world building in this book, we learn about the Gallu demons who Sin has spent so many years fighting, we get to see more of both The Destroyer and Artemis and we are also introduced to a whole new set of enemies who are plotting to end the world. Things seem to be gearing up towards an epic showdown and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review

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Saturday 27 December 2014

Review: Roman Holiday: The Complete Adventure - Ruthie Knox

The wait is over with this eBook bundle that includes all ten episodes of Ruthie Knox’s steamy, irresistible serial, Roman Holiday. Like all the greatest road trips, Ashley and Roman’s journey is full of unforgettable twists and turns. But what’s their final destination?


Ashley Bowman has always been impetuous, but even she is a little shocked when she chains herself to a palm tree in the Florida Keys hours before a hurricane is due to blow in. It’s all with the hope of saving her childhood home from a heartless Miami developer. But the moment she meets Roman Díaz she realizes he does have a heart—it’s just encased in ice. Ashley’s determined to get Roman to crack . . . even if she has to drag him all over the eastern seaboard to do it.

Roman can hardly believe he’s been talked into driving across the country with this brazen wild child in a skimpy bikini. He tells himself he had no choice—Ashley insists he meets the elderly snowbirds whose community will be displaced by his career-making development deal. But in truth he knows that there’s something about Ashley that makes him want to get a little wild himself . . . and the closer they get, the more tempted he becomes.

Roman Holiday:
Chained (Episode 1)
Hitched (Episode 2)
Blindsided (Episode 3)
Ravaged (Episode 4)
Ignited (Episode 5)
Roman Holiday: The Adventure Begins (Bind up of episodes 1-5)
Roman Holiday: The Adventure Continues (Bind up of episodes 5-10)
Roman Holiday: The Complete Adventure (Bind up of episodes 1-10)

Visit Ruthie Knox's website for more information.

I read the first five episodes of Roman Holiday last year when they were first released as individual ebooks but even though I really enjoyed them for some reason I never quite got around to reading the second half of the story. I think it's probably because there was a gap between the ebook releases and by the time the second half of the story had published it had been dropped down on my to read pile thanks to all the new books I'd discovered during the break. I'm glad that I decided to come back to the story though because I always love Ruthie Knox's writing and this story is no exception. I actually started the story from the beginning again which is a good thing because there was so much I'd forgotten about both Roman and Ashley.

These two characters are complete opposites, Ashley is a free spirit who spends her time flitting from one job to the next, travelling the world and collecting friends along the way. She never had much of a relationship with either of her parents and her grandmother was the only person who was ever there for her so she is shocked and horrified to discover after her grandmother's death that her grandmother planned to close the apartment complex that Ashley has always considered home and that she actually sold the plot to Roman so he could develop the land. Ashley doesn't want to see her home destroyed and she will do whatever it takes to change Roman's mind.

Roman is a very buttoned up and straight laced type of guy, he likes order and routine, hates being out of control and he also has a lot of time and money riding on the development of a major new complex on the Florida Keys. Roman has spent years trying to become "respectable" and is terrified that Ashley is going to come along and ruin all his plans.

On the surface the pair are a match made in hell, they have hardly anything in common and they both have completely different hopes and dreams for their futures. However that saying "opposites attract" is perfect on this occasion. The attraction between them is pretty much instant despite the fact they're on opposite sides of a war over the apartment complex and once they start to get to know each other they realise that they aren't quite so different when it comes to the important things. I love the way this couple balance each other out. Ashley teaches Roman to loosen up a bit, he's far too serious without her and probably heading for an ulcer or a heart attack if he doesn't learn to have a bit more fun. Ashley on the other hand has a far too haphazard approach to life, she needs to settle down just a little and start planning for the future rather than just flying by the seat of her pants from one mess into the next. Together they bring out each other's best qualities and tone down some of the worst and they make a surprisingly well matched couple. I really enjoyed seeing their relationship blossom and it happened slowly enough that it was completely believable.

This is another great story from Ruthie Knox, she's an auto-buy author for me when it comes to sweet and sexy contemporary romances - her stories never fail to make me laugh out loud and she has a knack for writing about slightly unusual and messed up characters. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Review: Dirty Distractions - Cari Quinn

She wants a fling, and he wants forever . . .

Zoologist Sara Carmichael’s active social life is the envy of all her friends, but she has a secret. She’s bored senseless. If she has to go to one more bird sanctuary fundraiser with some guy who thinks his little sports car makes him “hip,” she'll scream.

Enter Brad O’Halloran, her best friend Kim’s much younger brother. A guy who’s picking up the pieces after a quickie marriage and even quicker divorce. A guy so hot he makes her body scream with frustration.

Until Sara’s apartment is renovated, they’re all living at Kim’s place. Despite her determination to not to salivate at glimpses of Brad’s finer-than-fine body in nothing but a low-slung towel, flirtation escalates to the brink of something more.

Now one of them has to back down . . . or ante up for some good, dirty fun with the unspoken understanding that when the time comes, they’ll make a clean break. Neither anticipated they’d make the most complicated connection of all—love.

Warning: This book contains a hero who knows how to make engines— and women—purr, seduction while on cold meds, and a heroine who might be a little older but still enjoys learning a few naughty new tricks.

Afternoon Delight Series:
Dirty Distractions
Drawn Deep

Visit Cari Quinn's website for more information

Sara is staying with her best friend Kim and Kim's younger brother Brad while her apartment is having work done. She loves spending time with her best friend and she has more in common with Brad than she could have imagined but she is shocked when he starts to flirt with her. After all, not only is she much older than him but he's also just come through a messy divorce. She doesn't want to ruin her friendship with Kim by making a move on her brother but Brad is a temptation she's finding very hard to resist. Surely a quick fling couldn't hurt though? Especially if they can keep it a secret from Kim. What Sara doesn't realise is that Brad has no intention of letting Sara go after a fling, he is determined to win her heart and make their relationship permanent.

Dirty Distractions is a hot and spicy read from Cari Quinn and I enjoyed every minute of it. It makes a nice change to read about an older woman and a younger man, especially since the naive young girl / older billionaire trope is so common at the moment. I loved that Sara is so experienced, she knows what she likes and isn't ashamed to ask for it which makes the chemistry between her and Brad even hotter. Brad is just a great, normal guy, the kind of that we all know and love. He has wanted Sara for a long time and now he's made his move he's determined to show her just how good they could be together. I loved that he didn't care about the age difference and wasn't embarrassed about their relationship - he wanted to shout about it from the rooftops. Sara was actually the one who wanted to keep things under wraps and I have to admit that although I could see where she was coming from I did want to shake some sense into her at times.

This is a fairly short read but it's hot as hell, has a cute and believable romance and will definitely leave you in need of a cold shower. I love Cari Quinn's writing and she definitley has another hit on her hands with Dirty Distractions. I'm looking forward to reading Kim's story in Drawn Deep.

Source: Purchased

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Friday 26 December 2014

Review: Rumour Has It - Jill Shalvis

He'll help unleash the new woman in her . . .

Special Ops solider Griffin Reid doesn't exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. But when he returns to recover from a war injury, he finds comfort in the last person he'd expect.

Teacher Kate Evans harbours dreams of graduate school and a happily-ever-after, desperate to break out of the memory of Sunshine. Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life.

Until now, Griffin has seen Kate as simply little sister's friend. But as they both attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection can turn into something more lasting . . .

Animal Magnetism Series:
Animal Magnetism
Animal Attraction
Rescue My Heart
Rumour Has It
Then Came You
Still the One
All I Want

Visit Jill Shalvis' website for more information.

Kate has spent her whole life putting everyone else first, she may live on her own but she is constantly round at her Dad's house taking care of him and her younger siblings and even though she has been offered a scholarship to the graduate training course of her dreams for several years in a row she's never felt able to go and leave her family behind to take care of themselves. For once she wants to do something just for herself and the return of her best friend's sexy older brother Griffin gives her the perfect opportunity. Kate has had a crush on Griffin for as long as she can remember but he's never looked at her in that way. It's about time she figured out a way to change his mind, he may not be looking for a happily ever after but Kate is willing to settle for a hot fling before he leaves her and the town behind him once again. Griffin has no idea what's about to hit him but once he's had a taste of Kate he may not find it easy to let her go.

Jill Shalvis never fails to deliver a humorous story with a sweet romance, plenty of laughs along the way and Rumour Has It was no exception. I think it was actually my favourite story in the Animal Magnetism series so far! Kate and Griffin are a great couple, they have a lot of fun together but they also care deeply about each other and encourage each other to follow their dreams. Griffin had no intention of returning to Sunshine permanently, he's been retired from the military due to injuries though so he's come home to lick his wounds and decide what he wants to do with his life. It's also time for him to start building bridges with his father, they've always had a difficult relationship but they need to put the past behind them and find a way to reconnect with each other.

Kate is a really down to earth girl, she's willing to do anything for anyone and she always puts her own dreams at the bottom of the list. She's a bit of a geek and she has a tendency to blurt out random facts when she's nervous which was hilarious. I just loved her character, she's so easy to relate to and the kind of girl I can easily imagine being friends with. I loved seeing Griffin encourage her to put herself first for a change though, he is the one who pushes her into thinking about what she really wants from her future and I enjoyed seeing her spread her wings a little and learn to let her family stand on their own two feet. The couple both have their issues but over all their relationship is fairly drama free and runs quite smoothly which makes it a really fun and light hearted story. I read the whole book with smile on my face and enjoyed every minute of it. I can't get enough of this series, or anything that Jill Shalivs writes really, she is the queen of small town contemporary romances and will always be a go to author for me.

Source: Received from Headline Eternal in exchange for an honest review

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Monday 22 December 2014

Review: Sea Glass - Maria V. Snyder

A Game of Magic

Student magician Opal Cowan's newfound ability to steal others' powers makes her too powerful.

Trapped under house arrest, Opal dares to defy her imprisonment, searching for Ulrick, the man she thinks she loves. Thinks because she is sure another man - now her prisoner - has switched souls with Ulrick.

In hostile territory, without proof or allies, Opal isn't sure whom to trust. She doesn't know the real Ulrick's whereabouts and can't forget Kade, the handsome Stormdancer who doesn't want to let her get too close.

And now everyone is after Opal's special powers for their own deadly gain . . .

The Chronicles of Ixia:
Poison Study
Assassin Study (Short Story)
Magic Study
Fire Study
Power Study (Short Story)
Ice Study (Short Story)
Storm Glass
Sea Glass
Spy Glass
Shadow Study
Night Study
Shattered Glass (Novella)
Dawn Study

Visit Maria V. Snyder's website for more information

Now that the Council have found out about Opal's ability to steal other magician's powers they immediately see her as a threat. No matter how much she has done for them in the past it is all worth nothing now and they now want her under house arrest inside the Citadel where they can monitor her activities and decide what to do with her. The worst thing of all is that nobody believes her when she tells them that Devlen and Ulrick have swapped bodies so now Devlen has free reign of the Citadel and is as trusted as Ulrick would have been. Opal doesn't know what his goals are but she knows that nothing good can possibly come of them and since she's the only one who knows what's going on it's up to her to stop him. First she needs to find Ulrick and figure out a way to put his soul back in his own body but what if Ulrick wasn't quite the innocent victim in all this? Will he even want Opal's help?

While I think I prefer the Study series I'm still really enjoying the Glass books and I love being able to dive back into the world of Ixia. Although this is Opal's story we still get to see some familiar faces along the way and Janco in particular has a starring role in this story but I also loved catching up with Leif and of course Yelena too. Opal has always seemed much more innocent than Yelena, she is younger, more trusting and less able to stand up for herself, particularly in Storm Glass and during the beginning of this book. I was really pleased to see how much progress she makes in this novel though, she still has her moments but it was great to see her starting to gain confidence now that she's beginning to understand how her magic works and I was glad that she is standing up for herself more now. In fact by the end of the book she'd become pretty impressive. I actually like the fact that Opal and Yelena are so different and it's always fun to see how the two of them interact with each other.

There is a lot going on in Sea Glass, Opal finds herself in a whole heap of trouble and she has more than one enemy to deal with. We get to see more of the different Sitian clans which was interesting but at times it did feel like there was a little too much travelling going on. I would have liked to spend more time with some of the clans seeing Opal making use of her new found magical abilities. That's a fairly minor niggle though because there was so much going on that I was certainly never bored and I could happily have devoured the whole book in one sitting if only there were more hours in the day. One thing Opal really has to learn throughout this story is not to blindly trust people, even those who she feels closest to. There are a lot of people who aren't quite what they seem and that doesn't make it easy for her to figure out who are allies and who are enemies but that is something she is starting to get better at. She needs to learn to trust her gut instincts a little more and that is definitely something she is improving at.

There are some revelations at the end of Sea Glass that are going to make things very interesting for Opal in the future and I can't wait to read Spy Glass to see what happens to her next.

Source: Received from Mira Ink in exchange for an honest review

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Sunday 21 December 2014

Review: Dangerous Territory - Emmy Curtis


Flirting with danger is reporter Grace Grainger’s modus operandi. But she’s learned the hard way not to grow attached to the soldiers she’s embedded with in Afghanistan. To escape from her pain and loneliness, she fantasizes about the hot night she spent with a gorgeous stranger three years before in D.C. Grace never thought she’d see him again—let alone need him to rescue her . . .


Air Force Master Sergeant Josh Travers knows journalists are nothing but trouble. So when he has to risk his team’s lives to save some reporter who’s been separated from her patrol, he’s not happy—until he recognizes her stunning eyes and delicious curves. Josh has never wanted a woman like he wants Grace. He needs her—even in an Afghan cave with a sandstorm and enemy troops closing in. This might be the end for both of them—or one hell of a beginning.

Alpha Ops Series:
Dangerous Territory (Novella)
Over the Line
Pushing the Limit

Visit Emmy Curtis's website for more information.

The first time Grace and Josh met they were strangers in a hotel bar both looking for a night of passion to help them forget their troubles, they share an intense night but with no expectations of ever seeing each other again and both walk away happy afterwards. Three years later and they both still remember that night fondly and wonder if their paths will ever cross again. Reporter Grace is now embedded with a military unit in Afghanistan reporting the realities of war, when a routine patrol goes horribly wrong she finds herself stranded alone and defenceless behind enemy lines. Josh is part of the pararescue team sent to rescue her and he's not happy about risking his life for a reporter who had no business being out in the field in the first place. It isn't until he arrives that he realises who Grace is and no matter how much he hates reporters the chemistry between them is still burning as hot as the night they met. Can he get her to safety and if he does will he be able to let her walk away from him a second time?

Dangerous Territory is Emmy Curtis's debut and a great introduction to her new Alpha Ops series. The story has just the right blend of action, suspense and danger combined with a nice amount of romance and a couple of hot sex scenes. I have to admit that as hot as the first sex scene was I did find it a little unbelievable that they'd get down and dirty in a cave when the Taliban are outside searching from them and that did reduce my rating a little, however their second encounter was much more appropriate and therefore more enjoyable.

I liked both of the main characters, I enjoyed seeing Josh get over his prejudice against reporters and realise that Grace wasn't just trying to make money by writing sleezy tabloid pieces. He had good reason to be suspicious because of the actions of others but he was quick to realise that he couldn't accuse her of the same thing. Although the romance develops fairly quickly I can forgive that in a novella and it didn't worry me too much in this case. I have to say if this is what Emmy Curtis can achieve in a novella I can't wait to see what she does with a full length book and I have very high expectations for the next story Over the Line.

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

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Review: Hard Knocks - Lori Foster

In the stunning prequel novella to her new mixed martial arts series, New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster brings together an elite fighter and the woman he’s determined to win.

Power. Brute strength. Unforgettable moves. It’s no wonder Harper Gates hasn’t been able to get her fling with Gage “Savage” Ringer out of her head. Months have passed since she laid eyes—or any other body parts—on him. Months without a word of contact… until, sidelined by injury, he comes back to town.

Staying focused on his training seemed like a smart move to Gage, even if he thought about Harper every day. Seeing her again only makes it clear how much is at stake. He’s got one night to earn back her trust. One night to show her that behind his breathtaking skill and ripped body is a man who’ll give her everything she needs.

Don’t miss No Limits, the first novel in Lori Foster’s Ultimate series.

Ultimate Series:
Hard Knocks (Novella)
No Limits
Holding Strong (March 2015)

Visit Lori Foster's website for more information.

Hard Knocks is the prequel novella to Lori Foster's Ultimate series and it was definitely enough to make me want to spend more time with this group of characters. The story introduces us to a group of fighters who all train at the same gym, most of them are in different weight ranges so rarely compete against each other and there is a great bond between them all. The fighters are very supportive of each other and I enjoyed the banter between them.

This particular story is about Gage and Harper, the couple have known each other for a long time and they were on the verge of beginning a relationship when Gage moved to America to train for an upcoming fight. Harper spent weeks waiting for him to contact her and was hurt that he was able to forget her so easily. Thanks to an injury Gage is back in the country and now he's not focused on the fight he plans to dedicate himself to Harper so they can finally get their relationship started.

This is a fairly short story (around 100 pages) so there isn't a lot of time to focus on the romance but because there is obviously so much history between Gage and Harper things didn't feel rushed or forced. They have great chemistry and I enjoyed the banter between them both as well as seeing the other fighters teasing them. It seemed like everyone else had seen their relationship coming and the only ones who weren't sure of the other's feelings were the couple in question. I liked what we've seen of the gym and the way the fighters go out of their way to give back to the community by helping troubled teens and I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know each of the guys better. I already have a feeling that Armie is going to be my favourite but I guess I'll have to wait and see if that's right or not.

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

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Saturday 20 December 2014

Review: The Longest Night - Alyxandra Harvey

Since the Blood Moon battle six years ago, Lucy, and her hot vampire boyfriend Nicholas Drake, have kept the peace between the vampires of Violet Hill and the Helios-Ra hunters. But breaking up fights between rogue hunter Aggie and irresistible rebel Callahan is proving a big challenge; Aggie just can't accept that behind Cal's burning blue eyes, he is in control of his bloodlust. As Lucy's best friend and Nicholas's sister, Solange, return home for the group's Winter Solstice celebrations, Aggie struggles to admit the real reason she finds Cal a threat – and risks far more than her heart . . .

An action-packed tale of dark romance from the author of the bestselling Drake Chronicles series. The perfect way for fans of Stephenie Meyer, L.J. Smith and Rachel Caine to enjoy the long winter nights.

The Drake Chronicles:
Corsets and Crossbows (Novella)
Lost Girls (Novella included in the UK paperback of Blood Moon)
My Love Lies Bleeding (released in the US with the title Hearts at Stake)
Blood Feud
Out for Blood
A Killer First Date (Novella)
Bleeding Hearts
A Field Guide to Vampires: Annotated by Lucy Hamilton (Novella)
Blood Moon
Sound and Fury (Novella included in the UK paperback of Blood Prophecy)
Blood Prophecy
A Tithe of Blood and Ashes (Novella)
The Longest Night (Novella)

Visit Alyxandra Harvey's website for more information

The Longest Night is a short novella that is set about 6 years on from events in Blood Prophecy and it was absolutely fantastic to catch up with a 23 year old Lucy now she's out of school and doing her own thing.

Never one to settle for an easy life Lucy and Nicholas have opened up their home to take in troubled teenagers, both Helios-Ra and vampires alike. They have spent the last few years building cooperation between the vampires and the Helios-Ra but there will always be some who don't want to abide by the truce and those are the teenagers that Lucy is determined to help no matter how difficult they make her job. One particular teenager is really giving her grief - Aggie is a young girl who lost the sister who raised her in the Blood Moon massacre. She finds it impossible to trust any vampire and is convinced that they are all evil monsters who are just waiting for any chance to attack and she's more than willing to hurt them before they get a chance. Can Lucy persuade her that some vampires are good and sometimes it's the humans who are the monsters?

I loved getting the chance to catch up with older versions of Lucy and Nicholas along with some of the other characters like Solange, Kieran, Hunter and Quinn. I have to admit I wasn't so sure about the newer characters to start with though, Aggie in particular irritated me to start with but she really grows up throughout the story and I liked her by the end. I do think that the events in Blood Prophecy would have a long term effect on all the people who were caught on the sidelines so I enjoyed seeing that side of things explored. It made me sad that there was still so much bad blood between the Helios-Ra and the Drakes though, I had hoped the hunters would have learned their lesson and moved forward a little more.

The Longest Night was a nice addition to the series though, it's not a good place to start if you haven't read the books but if, like me, you're missing the Drakes and looking for another fix then I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Source: Purchased

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Review: A Tithe of Blood and Ashes - Alyxandra Harvey

Lucy has survived her vampire best friend's mysterious illness, her first term at the Helios-Ra vampire hunting academy, dating one of the Drake brothers, and an all out vampire-human war.

She considers herself lucky.

But what if something - or someone - else is behind it?

The Drake Chronicles:
Corsets and Crossbows (Novella)
Lost Girls (Novella included in the UK paperback of Blood Moon)
My Love Lies Bleeding (released in the US with the title Hearts at Stake)
Blood Feud
Out for Blood
A Killer First Date (Novella)
Bleeding Hearts
A Field Guide to Vampires: Annotated by Lucy Hamilton (Novella)
Blood Moon
Sound and Fury (Novella included in the UK paperback of Blood Prophecy)
Blood Prophecy
A Tithe of Blood and Ashes (Novella)
The Longest Night (Novella)

Visit Alyxandra Harvey's website for more information

I love these little novellas that Alyxandra Harvey has written allowing us to revisit the characters from her Drake Chronicles series. Lucy has always been a particular favourite character of mine so I will devour any book or story written from her point of view. A Tithe of Blood and Ashes is set about 2 months on from events in Blood Prophecy so this story will contain spoilers if you're not completely up to date with all the full length novels in the series but it's well worth picking up if you're a fan of this world.

Lucy is in the middle of her exams and more than a little stressed out but things are about to get worse when she discovers she has suddenly become a homing beacon for every Hel-Blar vampire in the area. What she can't work out is why they are being drawn to her and nobody else. Something strange is going on and Lucy won't stop until she's figured out exactly what is going on - and why her parents are keeping secrets from her.

This may only be a short story (around 50 pages) but it has everything I've come to expect from this series, Lucy's trademark snark and sarcasm, plenty of action, the hot Drake brothers (Nicholas in particular!) and of course the Helios-Ra members who are all too ready to fight any vampire, not just the bad ones. I don't want to say too much about the story because it's far to easy to give spoilers for such a short novella but this is a fun read and one I'd definitely recommend to fans of the series.

Source: Purchased

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Review: Shield of Winter - Nalini Singh

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he's done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch - if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life:

If the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake . . .

Having rebuilt her life after medical 'treatment' that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption.

But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy's fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness . . .

Psy-Changeling Series:
(Season One in the Psy-Changeling World)
Beat of Temptation (Novella included in Wild Invitation and the An Enchanted Season anthology)
Whisper of Sin (Novella included in the Burning Up anthology or as a separate ebook)
Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Echo of Silence (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Caressed by Ice
Stroke of Enticement (Novella included in Wild Invitation and The Magical Christmas Cat anthology)
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Dorian (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Declaration of Courtship (Novella included in Wild Invitation)
Kiss of Snow
Texture of Intimacy (Novella included in Wild Invitation)
Tangle of Need
Partners in Persuasion (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Heart of Obsidian
Flirtation of Fate (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Secrets at Midnight (Novella included in the Night Shift anthology)
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honour

Psy-Changeling Trinity Series:
(Season two in the Psy-Changeling World)
Silver Silence
Ocean Light
Wolf Rain

Visit Nalini Singh's website for more information

Nalini Singh has done it again and Shield of Winter is a FANTASTIC instalment to the Psy-Changeling series. Every time I think it can't possibly get better she works her magic and blows my mind with her amazing characters! I have been dying to read Vasic's book for ages now and I loved every minute of it.

It's been painful watching Vasic's deterioration over the last few books, he has come closer and closer to the edge and you could feel how tired he was of living with the things he'd been forced to do since childhood. Although we've seen for ourselves how much Vasic has to offer he never sees the good in himself, all he can think about is the lives he has taken in his role as an Arrow and how much he regrets his past. The fact that he feels so much guilt shows us that his conditioning isn't quite what it should be, even at the height of Silence he was obviously showing signs of fracture and the symptoms are only getting worse.

Aden is like a brother to Vasic, they have been friends since childhood and always did their best to protect each other but being raised by a man like Ming was never going to be easy and we all know how rough the Arrow's have had it. I absolutely love the bond between these characters though, Aden is determined to do whatever it takes to stop Vasic from self destructing and he is making sure to send him on jobs that aren't going to make him suffer even more. I think this is a really interesting time for the Arrows, we're getting to see them making their own minds up about a lot of things, Silence included, and they're starting to see that there are other options open to them.

To give Vasic something positive to focus on Aden puts him in charge of protecting a group of E designation Psy, these empaths may just hold the cure for the rot that is spreading across the Psy-Net and it is vital that they succeed or it could be the end for the entire Psy race. Vasic has always had strong protective instincts but Ivy is like no one else he's ever met before and spending time with her changes him in ways he could never have imagined. Their relationship is one of the sweetest Psy/Psy relationships we've seen and I loved every minute of it. Ivy is a fantastic character, as an empath she was never able to successfully hold onto Silence so she is used to feeling deeply and isn't as cold as some of the previous characters were in the beginning. It was wonderful to see how Ivy instantly warmed not just to Vasic and Aden but also to all of the other Arrows, she is a real beacon of hope for them and I think she's going to be the one who shows them all what it is like to have a proper family. I don't want to give spoilers so I'll just say that things get extremely interesting (and very, very funny) when the passion starts to build between Vasic and Ivy. There was a particular conversation when Vasic askes Judd for advice that was absolutely priceless. You've got to give these Psy guys credit - they like to do their research and it more than pays off for the lucky ladies in their lives.

Shield of Winter was an emotional roller coaster, one minute I'd be laughing out loud and the next I would be heartbroken and crying for everything that both Vasic and Ivy have been through. This was a really heart wrenching read so it needed the humour to lighten it up but Nalini Singh got the balance just right. I loved seeing how things are progressing in the world since the major changes in the last book, a lot of things are happening and it's sure to be a bumpy ride but I'm pleased with the direction things are taking. My only worry is that I've now got to somehow survive the wait for Shards of Hope next summer, write faster Nalini please, please, please write faster!!

Source: Purchased

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