Category Archives: Fantasy

New Release! Cronin’s Key III (Cronin’s Key #3) by N.R. Walker *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Cronin’s Key III (Cronin’s Key #3)
by N.R. Walker

 

An M/M Fantasy Romance
From BlueHeart Press
Release Date: September 18

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History isn’t always what it seems…

Twelve months after his change, Alec MacAidan is still getting used to his many vampire talents. While most vampires would give anything to have more than one supernatural power, Alec craves nothing more than peace and time alone with Cronin. But when Alec meets entities from outside this realm, he’s left powerless in their presence.

Zoan are half-lycan, half-dragon creatures that have slipped through time and reality, seemingly undetected by man and vampire. Or have they? They bear an uncanny resemblance to gargoyles, leaving Alec’s view on all things weird to get a whole lot weirder.

This new quest leads Alec, Cronin, and their band of friends to Paris, Rome, and Moscow, where they learn that gargoyles aren’t simply statues on walls. In the underground pits beneath churches all over the world, Alec discovers the Key’s true destiny. Facing the Zoan might take every talent he has. And he may need help from the dead to get them all out alive.

 

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Alec sat back in the chair and held in a sigh, feeling every bit the lab rat he’d become. Since he’d become a vampire a year ago, he’d been put through test after test, so each and every one of his unending list of talents could be explored and documented.

He’d agreed to this, and he knew it was the right thing to do, but in that very moment, he wished to be doing anything else.

And with talents for making errant thoughts an instant reality—like setting fire to sofas and making Xbox controllers explode in Eiji’s hand because he’d somehow won—it wasn’t a good frame of mind to be in.

He loved Jodis. He really did. She had become one of his best friends. But she’d also taken it upon herself to document his talents, and he’d just about had enough for one day. If replicating wasn’t a talent so frowned upon in the vampire world, he’d make a copy of himself to endure Jodis’ tests while he and Cronin hid out in their bedroom. He’d replicated himself a few times, experimentally of course, and found it too taxing on himself anyway.

“Can you do it again?” she asked, notepad and pen in hand.

Alec had found a certain talent he’d dubbed the chameleon, for obvious reasons, because he could make things change color. It was absurd, really, and probably of no better use than a party trick. But he could, if he concentrated, turn a red pen blue or a white shirt black. The talent could only manifest by touch, and it lasted only a few minutes before returning to its original color, but Jodis was rather intrigued.

Alec, on the other hand, had passed bored like it was standing still and was well on his way to irate. “Jodis, I’ve kinda had enough of this today.”

“Last one, I promise.”

For Alec, it wasn’t so much as reining in a temper anymore, where the most damage done was a cutting remark. Now it was keeping a lid on a few dozen talents that reacted poorly to anger. He only had to get really pissed off and a rage would barrel out of him like nuclear fallout, literally knocking humans and vampires off their feet. Or he could burst eardrums with a furious roar, or maybe he could turn them to stone, or dust. Or maybe, just maybe, he could rip an earthquake through the apartment so he didn’t have to do any more of these stupid fucking tests.

“Alec,” Eleanor cautioned from the next room.

“I wasn’t actually going to do that,” he replied petulantly. He knew Eleanor, with the gift of foresight, saw possible outcomes of decisions made, and that did nothing to quell his frustration. “Jesus, now my thoughts aren’t even my own.” Standing up, he snatched the purple notebook off the desk, holding it for half a second and slamming it back down. It was now black, as was every page inside it, and it was smoldering as though it almost caught fire.

Cronin was suddenly in front of him, a hand cupped to his face. “He’s had enough,” he said to Jodis, and they disappeared.

* * * *

As soon as Alec’s feet hit the soft earth, he took a deep breath of fresh air and reveled in the silence.

His life hadn’t exactly been quiet in the last twelve months.

He felt the warmth of Cronin’s hand in his, smelled the sweet aromas of heath and moss from both the vampire beside him and the cool air of the long-abandoned battlefield, and Alec exhaled loudly.

Cronin had somehow learned to quiet his mind a little and it gave Alec the silence he so desperately needed. In the last twelve months, Cronin had taken Alec on more time-outs than he could count. Knowing when he’d had enough and was reaching breaking point, Cronin would simply remove Alec from the situation, leaping him somewhere quiet where his mind could have some much needed solitude.  But with a gentle squeeze of his hand, Cronin reassured him he was there.

“I’m sorry,” Alec said.

“Don’t apologize,” Cronin said adamantly. “I can’t begin to imagine your frustrations.”

“Jodis is only trying to help. I behaved badly.” He could very well speak words directly into Jodis’ mind and tell her privately that he was sorry. But he’d prefer not invade the thoughts of others, preferring to apologize in person.

“She understands,” Cronin said, trying to pacify him.

Alec sighed loudly and allowed the quiet to envelope him. “I love it here,” he said eventually.

The field at Dunadd, Scotland, had become a sanctuary for Alec. No voices in his head, no city of millions with flurrying thoughts unbidden through his mind, no politics of vampire councils, no meetings, no one hovering.

Just Cronin.

“It affords you a great privacy,” Cronin said. His Scottish accent and formal tone still made Alec smile. “Your talents as a vampire are a burdensome gift.”

Alec had learned very early on to block out the voices and thoughts of those around him, but living in a city of millions made it a constant effort, and his display of anger at Jodis just minutes ago bothered him. “These talents are a pain in my ass.”

Cronin laughed quietly. “Your control over them still astounds us all.”

“The control you keep talking about is a talent in itself. It’s like casting a net over a thousand different fish.” Alec sighed loudly. “I’ve told you that before.”

“I know. Though it amazes me still.” Cronin squeezed Alec’s hand again and looked out across the field of long grass to the line of trees that fronted the river. “Lie down with me.”

Cronin simply lay flat on his back in the middle of the field and when Alec lay down next to him, Cronin snatched up Alec’s hand again. And together in the mind-clearing silence, they watched the blanket of stars glide across the sky.

It was a clear autumn night in Scotland, cold and dark. Neither of those things impeded a vampire of course, and Alec would never tire of the simple changes he’d gone through when he became a vampire. It was the complex changes he was beginning to struggle with. The talents he’d been given made him unique: the only vampire ever to have all vampire talents, some he was still discovering a year after his change. It was these talents that made his life hectic, his obligations as the key to the vampire world that gave him a great responsibility, and as Cronin had said, it was becoming a great burden.

Alec loved that Cronin would leap them to the very field where his human life had ended. The old battlefield in Scotland was also where they’d first made love, where they came to talk, to be by themselves. Like now.

“Thank you for bringing me here,” Alec whispered, his anger and frustration from before almost gone. “I feel like I can breathe here.”

“Is that not what husbands do?” Cronin asked with a smile. “Save the other from the myriad of madness?”

“Husbands,” Alec said, bringing Cronin’s knuckles up to his lips and kissing them softly. “Now that is something I’ll never tire of.”

 

About the Author

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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New Release: Stepping Through by CJane Elliott

 

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Stepping Through
by CJane Elliott

An M/M Fantasy Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released August 20th 2014

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Cameron Wheeler’s life is all mapped out: he’ll finish business school, return home to Vermont, get a job, and marry his high-school girlfriend. He’s packed away what he really wants—a career as a musician—because he knows it’s never going to happen. But Cameron’s well-planned life is turned upside down when he walks into a musty jewelry shop in LA and meets the mysterious Apollo, who tells him to “follow his soul, not his past.” Apollo’s magical presence spurs Cameron to discover and follow his true path, in life and in love.

 

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Excerpt

“May I help you?”

When Cameron turned, he forgot to speak. Standing there was a man—a beautiful creature, whispered a voice in Cameron’s head. He didn’t quite look of this world. He was tall with dark hair swept off his face, its highlights of turquoise and green reminding Cameron of the peacock feathers he’d been

looking at earlier. Dressed all in black, he was adorned with silver earrings, necklace, and rings, and his eyes were lined with purple. And what amazing eyes they were: sea green, ocean gray, ancient, wise, and warmly regarding Cameron as if the man knew him well. His generous mouth curved in a small smile. He looked to Cameron like some fantastic nobleman from the eighteenth century.

 

About the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of gay equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop. You can contact CJane at cjaneelliott@gmail.com.

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Blog tour: Disturbed Connections by Kia Zi Shiru

Welcome to the blog tour for Kia Zi Shiru’s new release Disturbed Connections

Below you will find all the information regarding the new release of author Kia Zi Shiru. Disturbed Connections is the second book in the Otherkin Spirits series, a series of gay Urban Fantasy novels.

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Available at: Smashwords, Amazon (US) (UK) (CA), Kobo, ARe

Synopsis: A werewolf and a vampire, forbidden love. What could go wrong?

CHRIS, a werewolf on the run from his abusive clan, hides in a vampire house. ALEC, a vampire who has comfortably lived in the house for years, has no intentions to ever leave it.

Their connection is obvious from the first time they meet. But the house rules are strict, werewolves and vampires can not date. Unable to fight their attraction and unwilling to leave, they instead choose to hide their love.

Then Chris’ old clan finds him and takes him back. Will Alec ever see Chris again?

 

Excerpt:

On impulse Chris unlocked his door, opened it a fraction and sat on his bed with a book. He hoped he could catch a glimpse of Alec without seeming too obvious. He started reading the book though he kept glancing up at the door. Anything to not seem too stalkerish, because that would be a bad first impression to make. He heard the door to the bathroom open and footsteps in the hallway. Travis had told him that after taking a shower they usually didn’t use the doors directly to their own rooms since it would fill up the rooms with steam—annoying maybe on other days, but lucky for Chris today.

He caught a glimpse of Alec as he walked through his line of sight. Then the footsteps stopped. Chris quickly looked at his book, acting as if he hadn’t opened the door on purpose.

He heard Alec come over to his door and knock on it.

“Hey, you settling in okay?” Alec’s voice was light, not as deep as he expected it, but it was melodic, happy even.

“Yeah, everything is fine.” As Chris answered, Alec pushed the door open and leaned against the frame. Chris swallowed as Alec dried his long black dreadlocks and stood there, all innocent and open, in just a towel. He seemed to be unaware of his staring and Chris got enough courage to look him up and down.

Alec looked even better than the last time he had seen him. Not too bulky, a slim frame with strongly defined muscles. His chest and arm muscles moved gracefully under his tanned skin as he dried his hair. The moving stopped and Chris looked up, catching the sly smile in Alec’s eyes.

“Very well, I see.” The guy grinned. “I’m Alec.”

“I’m Chris. You’re Travis’ sparring partner, right?” Chris acted like he didn’t know much about him, though he probably knew more about Alec than he himself did.

“Yeah. How do you know him? You don’t seem like the type he normally hangs out with.” Alec walked into the room a bit further, one towel now fastened around his huge bundle of dreadlocks and the other still around his well-defined hips.

“We went to the same school.” Huge understatement, but Chris knew that there were parts of himself that Travis would rather not talk about. His past before he awoke as a vampire was one of them.

“Cool. So what do you think about the rest of the house, have you met them yet?”

“They seem nice, especially Jasper.” Chris grinned.

Alec reflected that same grin. “Nice doesn’t really cut it with him, but he is okay. He’s a good guy under all that scary muscle.”

“Good to know.” Chris looked away from Alec, trying to keep himself under control and not pull the towel off of him.

“Hey, um, I’m getting dressed. Do you wanna go to the party downstairs after? They seem to be having a great time.” Alec turned around and Chris got a good look at his back before he found his voice.

“Yeah, sure. I’ll join you.”

“Great, I’ll be back in a bit then.” Alec shot him one last glance over his shoulder before he closed the door behind him.

Chris sighed. Damn, Alec was even sexier than he remembered. Chris didn’t get why Travis didn’t want him—Alec was way hotter than that Nick Travis was dating now.

About the author:

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Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).

And if you want to keep up to date you can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/vvShb.

Places she can be found:

Blog tour: Disturbed Fate by Kia Zi Shiru

Welcome to the blog tour for Kia Zi Shiru’s new release Disturbed

Below you will find all the information regarding the new release of author Kia Zi Shiru. Disturbed is the first book in the Otherkin Spirits series, a series of gay Urban Fantasy novels.

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Publisher: Smashwords (July 4th 2013)

Available at: Smashwords, Amazon (US) (UK) (CA), Kobo

Synopsis: Marc, a small pet shop owner and seer, needs help with his store, but his new employee, Galen, brings with him more trouble than expected. Marc tries to keep their relationship professional even if Galen seems insistent on taking it to the next level. And then there is the problem of Galen’s past.

Keiran, a hard working medical student and Marc’s best friend, has a small problem, a stalker. One night he confronts the man and finds that his stalker vampire, Devlan, is too alluring to turn down. But Devlan isn’t who he seems to be.

When the four men meet up for a night out their lives fall apart. Marc’s premonitions turn out to be wrong and everything points towards one autumn night a couple of years ago. Now they need to figure out what happened that night, before someone dies, again.

Time is running out. The visions might be false, but they don’t paint a pretty picture, not about their futures and, especially, not about their pasts. They need to reverse the change before it is too late.

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About the author:

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Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).

And if you want to keep up to date you can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/vvShb.

Places she can be found:

Scorpion (Memory of Scorpions #1) by Aleksandr Voinov

ScorpionRating: 5 stars

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (2nd edition, May 27th 2013)

Available at: Riptide

Synopsis: You learn your wisest lessons from your enemies. Assuming, of course, you survive the encounter.

Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he’s ever known—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed stranger offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret task, Kendras has no choice but to accept. He is a Scorpion; he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.

But his true goal is to rebuild the Scorpions. Neither Steel’s possessive nature nor Kendras’s shattered foot can keep him from finding the last of his brothers… or the mysterious leader of the Scorpions, a man who held Kendras’s heart long before Steel tried to take it for himself. The goal is simple, the situation anything but. To rescue his leader and escape from Steel for good, Kendras must fight through a morass of politics and intrigue, where enemies are allies and even allies have hidden agendas.

Review: I’m not usually a reader of Fantasy, especially in the M/M genre, but come on, this is Aleksandr Voinov. If someone can bring about my change of heart it was him.

I won’t even attempt to summarize the story for you because I will fail miserably at it. There were too many details, so many great scenes and awesome characters for me to do it justice.

In typical Voinov fashion, the character development was exceptional. Complex, flawed characters that drew you into the story, not only because they were violent, harsh men but because underneath all that you could glimpse the honor, the loyalty and the fierceness of  their will. I enjoyed getting to know these men – warts and all. Kendras, especially. His determination to find his fellow Scorpions, the struggles he surpassed along the way, all this made for a formidable character. I do look forward to reading more from him.

The world building along was spectacular. This is what brought about my change of heart. Many authors have tried to lure me away from my little contemporary world, but only few have succeeded. Voinov is among them. With great attention to detail, Voinov took me in a journey through a conflict-torn world. Every gritty detail, every war torn inch of it was there for me to lose myself in it. I even found myself jumping to the little map at the beginning, as if I was truly in the midst of it all.

I loved it!

Scorpion is dark, riveting story about political conflict, alliances, betrayal and loyalty. Add in a cast of complex characters in a ruthless world and sex in many forms and you got yourself another winner from Aleksandr Voinoiv.

I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

First Frost by Liz DeJesus

First FrostRating: 4 stars

Publisher: Mesa Publishing (June 22nd 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Review: Bianca doesn’t understand why she has to spend her time working at her family’s museum and it isn’t until she witnesses her mother fighting off an evil witch that she discovers her family’s history and her legacy.

Author Liz DeJesus draws you into Bianca’s journey from the beginning and holds your attention all throughout the story. I enjoyed reading about Bianca’s family, their history and the legacy that has been left for her. I liked that the author not only mentioned different fairy tales and how they related to the items in the museum, but that she did this in a way that was entertaining, engaging and didn’t make me feel overwhelmed by it all.

At first, I was hesitant in how the author would bring all the elements of the story together, but she did a great job in making all the concepts flow together along with the conflict of the story. She managed to achieve this while still developing Bianca’s character from a normal teenage girl to a young woman who has to prove herself in order to save her friends and family.

Once Bianca sets off in her adventure, the story truly takes on a life of its own. The setting, the characters and the world of Everafter came alive with every page I turned, which truly added to my enjoyment of the story. In addition, the secondary characters added to the story nicely and were interesting in their own right. Ming, Bianca’s best friend, was funny and loyal and Prince Ferdinand was hilarious – he was charming indeed! Of course, I adored Terrance and Bianca’s father, David.

All in all, First Frost is a wonderful, all-encompassing modern take on fairy tales.

I received this title from the author in exchange of my honest opinion.

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About the author:

Liz DeJesus5Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico.  She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi’er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011) First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 22nd 2012) and Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, COMING SOON).
She is also a member of The Written Remains Writers Guild  http://www.writtenremains.org/.
Liz is currently working on a new novel.
Feel free to email her at lizdejesus23@yahoo.com

Need by Todd Gregory

NeedPublished: October 30, 2012

Publisher: Kensington Books

Available at: Kensington Publishing Corp (print), Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: On the sultry streets of New Orleans, you can indulge every desire. Even when what you crave is blood.

As far as the mortal world knows, Cord Logan died two years ago. In reality, he stalks the French Quarter, searching for victims. Cord knew that coming back to New Orleans would be risky now that he’s broken with the fraternity of vampires who first claimed him. But a chance encounter with an old friend triggers unexpected desire, and reveals a lethal curse that endangers not just his kind, but all of humanity.

Cord’s quest to break the curse leads him on a journey of carnal self-discovery and deep into the bayous. Here, where magic reigns unchecked, Cord must tap into his dark, unpredictable abilities and all his seductive powers. And if he fails, he’ll have all eternity to regret it…

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: First, I love, love, love the cover. It’s essentially what drew me to the book in the first place. However, I am sadden to say that this time it did not work as well as so many times before. This was a hard book to get through and I am sorry to say that I even considered shelving it as ‘Did Not Finish’. What really saved it from my ‘DNF’ shelf was the addition of some new characters and a very interesting ending saved it from a 1 star rating.

I will go a different route on this one and just make a list of the Pros and Cons, since I don’t want to give too much away and there are some things that are best kept quiet:

Pros:

1. A very interesting storyline that involved a fairly new made vampire who struggles with his place on his new world and distances himself from his maker and the discovery and journey into the breaking of a curse.

2. The addition of Nightwatchers Rachel and Nigel who come in to help Cord out and point out that he is cursed.

3. Great supernatural world of witches and curses at work in New Orleans.

4. Cord’s characters develops from a young, naive vampire to a more matured one at the end of the book.

5. Very interesting ending that has the potential for a series. There were events that gave me the idea that there will be more books.

Cons:

1. Cord’s voice can be too much at times. He goes on and on to the point where I wanted to skip ahead.

2. This is not a Romance, although it it categorized as such. Which is why I picked it in the first place.

3. There is A LOT of sex. Much of it was unnecessary since I didn’t think it added to the story of Cord’s journey into the breaking of the curse.

4. Cord comes off as very immature. He makes rash decisions and thinks about the consequences after the fact. That is why his development made a difference to me.

5. The narration constantly shifts from present day to past events without a clear distinction between the two. I tried to keep up but it became too overwhelming at times.

6. A lot of my confusion could have been avoided if the blurb would have mentioned that this book is based on a previous short story of the author, Todd Gregory, where Sebastian makes his appearance and from where some of the backstory came from.

The book was not a total loss, actually it had a lot going for it. I am curious to see if there will be more books to come. I have read many a series where the first book was good enough to pique my interest and then the others were great follow-ups. I hope that is the case with this one. The writing was good, even if the pace and some of the narrative dragged in places. There was action and a very interesting world of witches and curses that made up for the romance I was expecting. Like I said before, the sex was excessive but at least it was hot. I just missed the connection of the participants.

I think that without my expectations of romance and my lack of knowledge that this was based on a short story I could have enjoyed it more. But all in all, an okay paranormal read with enough of an interesting storyline to keep you guessing and a good ending to pick up another book if there were more to come.

I received this title through NetGalley from Kensington Books in exchange of an honest review.

Amor Prohibido by Ellis Carrington

Amor ProhibidoSynopsis: Jacob Freehan has no job, no man, and no motivation. In pain both from ending a long-term abusive relationship and a severe back injury, he escapes to the sunny seaside town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico for a little yoga, a little R&R, and possibly a place to quietly end his own life.

Pakal is a centuries-old immortal Mayan spirit guide who has been charged with getting Jacob on the path toward healing. Romantic involvement with a spirit charge is strictly forbidden, and it has never been a problem…until now. Pakal sees something special in Jacob, but failure to keep a rapidly growing attraction at bay could result in Jacob losing his life and Pakal being condemned to the Underworld forever…

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I truly enjoyed this book. I’ve always enjoyed Paranormal books and this one was no different.

What I liked the most was the originality of it. The whole Mayan mythology references really added that special touch to the story about a spirit guide and its charge. The world described within the story was well written and developed and the characters were well rounded and complemented each other.

I’m not usually crazy about ‘insta-love’ stories, but I feel it worked here.

All in all, a great, fast read with an interesting conclusion. I hope I get to read more of Pakal’s and Jake’s story.

The Scarlet Dagger (The Red Sector Chronicles #1) by Krystle Jones

The Scarlet Dagger (The Red Sector Chronicles, #1)Synopsis: The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.

After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.

When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will, and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life. But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. The city is harboring a devastating secret, one that could change the tide of the war and threaten to destroy everything Sloane has come to believe in.

Heart-stopping action and scorching romance collide in this dystopian, urban fantasy thriller.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I read this book as part of the R2R (Read to Review) program in the group Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fanatics! And I must say that I was surprised by it.

The synopsis is clear enough, so I won’t summarize the book. What I truly enjoyed about this book was how fully the author developed the dystopian world throughout the book. It was detailed from top to bottom, leaving you with a good idea of where the story was taking place and how their lives were lived.

The characters were amazing, both the principal and the secondary. Sloan was great – strong, independent and not afraid of challenges even though she was vulnerable inside, like any girl her age. Aden was a perfect match for her, strong, confident, mysterious with enough sweetness to melt your heart.

The plot was different from any other I have read, which was a plus. I truly could not put the book down once I started because I did not have a clue of who was the villain, who was an accomplice or who was innocent. It kept me guessing all throughout. The ending was not what I was hoping, since I don’t like cliffhangers, but it won’t stop me from reading the next one.

All in all, a great, exciting read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dystopians, urban fantasies.

Something Witchy This Way Comes: A Jolie Wilkins Novel (Jolie Wilkins #5) by H.P. Mallory

Something Witchy This Way Comes (Jolie Wilkins, #5)Synopsis: A witch’s work is never done, and in bestselling author H. P. Mallory’s mesmerizing new novel, Jolie Wilkins finds that the real magic is only just beginning.
 
For smart and sexy witch Jolie Wilkins, being Queen of the Underworld is a royal pain. Back from a round of time travel, Jolie must now protect her realm from the sinister Lurkers—a powerful breed of half-humans bent on conquering the undead. And if there’s one thing she knows, it’s that the supernatural never go down without a fight.

At least Jolie has her soul mate (and finally official boyfriend), warlock Rand Balfour, by her side. Honorable, brave, and unbelievably handsome, Rand is everything Jolie wants in a man. So why can’t she forget the dangerously alluring vampire, Sinjin Sinclair? With her private life heating up and a battle boiling over, Jolie sets out to prove that in matters of love and war, the fairer hex has its own set of charms.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Books-a-Million and other book retailers.

Review: I have followed this series from its beginning and I have to say that I have some issues about this last installment. I will give a recap of my thoughts along the way, so that maybe it will shed some light on my rating.

In the first book, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, I enjoyed Jolie’s inner musings. They were witty and made her seem very real to me considering the world H.P. Mallory set her in. I also enjoyed her new found obsession with Rand. In Toil and Trouble, the author did a great job in presenting the full cast of characters and in fully developing her world.  I even enjoyed her flirting with Sinjin. I thought the time traveling finally brought some resolution to the whole Rand and Jolie affair, so when I picked up Witchful Thinking I was ready to delve into Rand and Jolie’s relationship and see any new adventures they were going to be thrown in.  When it ended so abruptly I overlooked it because I knew there was going to be another book and it would all be explained. But when I picked up The Witch Is Back I was disappointed to be going back in time. I really did not see the point behind it all but I had invested a lot of time on these characters and I wanted to know what happened next, but I really did not enjoyed the book as much as the others.

So when I requested and received the ARC for this book from NetGalley, I have to admit I was very hesitant to start it. I did not want this to be a total failure. It was not a disappointment to the point that I did not like it, but I found it lacked some of the elements that made this series special to me.

First, I found that the start of the book dragged a bit. It centered too much on the whole Rand, Jolie, Sinjin triangle and I thought that was left behind in book 4. As I kept on reading I found that the writing lacked some of the humor the other books brought. I could not overlook this easily since it was what really kept me coming back to the series. This is turn made Jolie’s inner musings lack interest. She kept second guessing her decisions and having conversations with herself that added nothing to the story and spoiled my enjoyment of her thoughts and reactions. As I mentioned earlier, I had found Jolie’s voice to be very enjoyable, but on this book I found it at times to be both annoying and repetitive.

That aside, I have to say that the book did have its entertaining moments. What I liked the most was that the author took me to that place I was on book two, where I could not stop reading because I really wanted to see where she was taking me with the new turn of events she brought to the page. Some were handled very well, others could have been presented better but the story behind them was interesting enough to me that I could overlook it easily.

Once again, all the characters were great and I enjoyed what each one brought to the story. Even the newly introduced characters were developed fully and added to the resolution of the plot. As always, the writing although it lacked some of its humor, was very good and besides the slow pace at the beginning, the author developed the story very well. There was action and excitement and I thought some of the revelations were excellent. I could tell you more about it, but I would love for you to be as expectant as I was while reading and come to your own conclusions as to how it was presented and how the resolution was achieved.

All in all, I am very glad I stuck around to see this series to the end. I would have loved an Epilogue to really see how it all played out in the future, but it was a very enjoyable read regardless. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.