Category Archives: Vampires

Wolf Unbound by Lauren Dane

With her anchor not an option and done mourning the mate she lost, Cascadia enforcer Tegan Warden’s ready to leave the protective shelter of her family and her pack. Tegan knows she needs someone specific for her sexual needs as she re-enters the dating world. Detective Ben Stoner’s not a wolf but she’s howled since their erotic encounter at Club DeSade where their needs were definitely met.

Over coffee, they realized they’d known of each other for two years but hadn’t met, Ben worked with her brothers and had been to the house and she was on Cade’s personal detail. Making a date, Ben rushed to make a meeting with Cade and Lex, and both immediately noticed Tegan’s scent on Ben. With an accidental mating by the end of their first date Ben and Tegan have the Warden’s up in arms.

While the primary thread was Tegan and Ben’s relationship and everything it entailed, all things Pellini, the threat, thugs, tricks, plots and plans owned the secondary thread. Before packs could spring their meticulous trap designed to completely ensnare and neutralize Pellini loosed a multi-pronged attack shaking Cascadia and the wolf community to its core, leading Cade to declare open war!
Rating:4stars

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The Carver’s Problem by B.L. Brooklyn

 

***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by the author in exchange for an unbiased review***
After ten years of captivity and constant torture, an almost feral Cort shows specks of civility thanks to his roommate, Theya. Trading surreptitious glances and accidental touches skirts the edges of their platonic relationship. Their domesticity is marred by fairies and carvers trying to arrest Theya and Jeri’s determination to force Cort into the pack Alpha role Jeri abandoned.

While Dar hosts a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Jeri, Trish and Mikhail make decisions about their relationship as our intrepid rebel species pack plan a rescue mission when Theya is captured causing Cort to surge toward his humanity. A glimpse in Fairyland and a visit to the traditional carver camp leads to someone valuable ending up with the rebels and insinuates battles to come.

Meanwhile pack member Mikhail’s familial issues are highlighted after he locates his missing younger brother, Soren. Rescued by alone in the world earth carver, Trish, Soren’s been living as her pet. Returning to pack land, Mikhail, Soren and Trish’s reception mirrors Dar and Beth’s giving this reader a sense of deja vu and a wonder on the quick resolution of some conflicts.

For this reader’s taste this outing had a case of sophomore slump. Lacking was a sense of urgency tying the installments and seamless transitions between two sets of major characters smoothing the flow. However, easily accessible characters, rapid pacing and the battles quickly exposed blatant bigotry and power mongers along with their insidious betrayals as a bit more this corrupt world is revealed.
Rating: 3.5stars

The Carver’s Magic by B.L. Brooklyn

***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by the author in exchange for an unbiased review***
The supernatural community wasn’t very fond of the unique powerful, multi-blooded Carvers, but they’d defeated them once, changing their fates and would do it again. Carvers were forced to give up their children to be raised by humans until they were 18 in hopes that delay in learning their magic would keep them from realizing the full potential of their power.

When young Carvers Shane and Beth were taken to spend time with their biological families neither were receptive to hearing that they were the future of Carver domination and should seek out their carver mates and join the fight. Having learned bits of magic on their own, Beth and Shane decided on tamping down their powers and masquerading as human in the world they knew.

Bartender Shane looked forward to seeing a shy, tiny, dainty, human every Friday at the Amber Line but not her take no prisoners sister, Beth. Uncomfortable that Cory’s drawn the attention of a swaggering wolf and Beth has drawn his ire. With a clientele of fairies, werewolves, witches, vampire and a smattering of humans, Shane’s even less pleased when the sisters become his new workmates.

Beth is annoyed at having to bartend weekends at the Amber Line to protect Cory, Beth had pledged her heart to high school crush, werewolf Dar, while he healed from an accident. Afterward, Dar acted like Beth didn’t exist and the years hadn’t brought change. Dar still acted like Beth didn’t exist even while forcing the wolf’s attention from Cory and ignoring her.

Their human boss and customers are oblivious to the supernatural influx during sisters first weekend. Dar upsets Beth’s equilibrium by coming both nights, Cory’s infatuation with Shane may be coming to an end as she’s assigned to work the closed door vampire area and Shane’s off-kilter after seeing the fae police, his father’s emissary, an obsessed werewolf and learns Beth’s a carver too.

Readers will find an intriguing tale of supernaturals positioning for a species war, where enemies stand shoulder to shoulder, secrets and deception reign and no one can stand on the sidelines. The characters and the well paced story are easy to invest in and the multi-layered, exciting world had this reader saluting this author’s heady debut.
Rating: 4.5stars

Midnight Unbound by Lara Adrian

Breed Hunter Scythe fell hard for widowed breedmate Chiara Genova when he sheltered and defended her family six weeks ago. Since then he’s thought of little else. Hearing from a fellow Breed that he was needed to keep Chiara safe, Scythe was on his way almost before the call ended. While thankful for Scythe’s help previously, Chiara wasn’t keen to leave her son or to be alone with Scythe.

Determined not to give in to his growing blood and sexual frustration for Chiara, Scythe became more surly and broody. Chiara couldn’t stop thinking of the swirling emotions or the heat that zinged through her body when he was near. Soon the storm outside matches the one raging between them. Chiara’s vengeful stalker arrives in time to spoil their coupled afterglow and aims true when he shoots.
Rating:4stars

The Vampire King by Heather Killough-Walden

Vampire Charles Alexander Ward hates his king, Roman D’Angelo, and vows vengeance for the death of his magic mentor. Through magical help, Charles learns vampire secrets to use against Roman and the perfect tool for the king’s downfall would be paranormal author Evelynne ‘Evie’ Farrow. Charles would ensure Roman never forgot he’d been bested him whenever he saw his Queen.

Two days ago, Evie was in the coffee shop scribbling notes and hoping to be inspired enough for another best seller when he came over, looking and acting like one of the heroes she never tired of writing, A sultry, sexy, smoldering vampire even his name, Roman, conjured ideas of vampires. Evie decides lust time is over since Roman thinks he is a vampire and she needs to be protected from his enemies.

While the many tried and true tropes used and fairly good characters gaining powers supported a solid outline of a paranormal King finding his Queen, for this reader’s taste the pacing, multiple POV’s and storylines plus too much explanation did not. Sometimes confused and unable to connect to the characters wasn’t the outing was not this reader’s idea of a good time.

Perhaps its foundation story jitters urging caution on a second helping of the series for this reader. (Overwritten to the point of confusion on the too many threads, also the foundation story read like the series bible.) Perhaps it isn’t jitters. (There was intrigue, a good heroine and the hero wasn’t too stupid. Also the foundation laid out the direction, rules and parameters of this series world.)
Rating: 3.5stars

Building From Ashes by Elizabeth Hunter

It’s highly recommended Elemental Mysteries is read before digging into the back stories of fan favorite, Carwyn and new character Brigid. Though it brackets A Hidden Fire, what could be confusing here is thoroughly explained in the previous series.

After years of alternating abuse and neglect, Brigid Connor showed no surprise or alarm when big, shaggy earth vampire priest Carwyn ap Bryn’s came into her bedroom and saved her. Carwyn’s belief is one loves and protects family first and last every time and there was no question Brigid needed a better family. Carwyn helped her into one but knew he couldn’t help with what Brigid had to face next.

While 1000 year old Carwyn, lover of American wrestling, bad jokes and Hawaiian print shirts was a lonely and an intermittent fixture in her life, Brigid had the hard part of growing up and through emotional damage and rebellion as a very sheltered human in a vampire world as she ripened to be a full character to appreciate.

This reader had difficulty releasing Carwyn and Brigid’s combined past through changing times and situations (possibly affecting the rating). To this reader’s taste, the author can be counted on to ignore a casual, steamy, sex-riddled hookup in favor of a fumbling, bumbling old fashioned ROMANCE between fully fleshed characters. The intrinsic humor and wit of the characters ensure a fun read.
Rating: 4.25stars

Furbidden Mate by Jessica Snow

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Though family duty demands a mating between their packs, when disillusioned wolf shifter Liam Greyson even thinks of his betrothed touching him he’s filled with revulsion and loathing. As the alpha’s son and only heir of one of the area’s most lucrative businesses it’s up to him to lead and teach. He’d prefer a fuller figured woman that sees things the way his pack does, not working opposite his leadership.

There’s nothing like a new man to make the old one a memory and Katerina Headley’s bolstering her ego before she sets out to prove the adage right. Her father and teen sister Mackenzie are supportive about Kat’s hefty curves but notice her strength increase and her meat craving. She doesn’t tell her father and says little to her sister about her new short temper, extra hair and odd dreams.

Kat’s annoyed she’s not having the usual fun at the club and is more than willing to dance with the first man that asks. She’s even willing to go with him for ‘fresh air’ but when he’s looking for more than air with her, Liam breaks from the swarm of women surrounding him to rescue Kat. Though Kat and Liam enjoy the night out, they’re both disappointed when Liam tells her he’s committed to another.

Kat’s changes lead her to a new job working for Liam’s family business. Though still attracted there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid the looming deadline for Liam to mate the rival alpha’s repulsive daughter. Watching Kat whenever he can, Liam’s convinced he knows her secret and reveals he’s a wolf and could mate her. Kat’s speechless. They’re dumbfounded to discover Kat’s actually a bear shifter.

Liam and Kat were likable enough but didn’t have enough chemistry for this reader’s taste. Also likeable was the secondary characters and their random threads with little impact vaguely associating them to Liam and Kat. Overall, this outing is much too busy to be the marshmallow read the title suggests and while not a bad read some trimming would not have been out of place.
Rating: 3.5stars

The Seeker: Ember by Ditter Kellen

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***This read is the compilation of five serialized installments***

Photojournalist Ember Wells year of terror ends with promotion. The highs and lows of the first day of her new job fade quickly when Ember meets her sexy, breathtaking new neighbor, Angelo ‘call me Angel’ Dimitrov. Later Ember would think about making plans with Clay the cute cop that handled her case, a new janitor creeping her out and uncertainty about her stalker, the infamous Watcher.

The Watcher’s return seems undeniable when notes and photos are delivered to Ember and her best friend Laura. After raising Ember’s temperature then her suspicions Angel mysteriously asks for her trust. Clay and Laura meet at Ember’s apartment and Clay’s unhappy Ember looked to Angel for support when he and Laura had interrupted a quarrel. Angel doesn’t want another man close to Ember.

After Clay and Laura leave, Angel unwinds a tale of vampires and forbidden love ending with the Watcher being a vampire hunter intent on luring a pure blood vampire to Ember’s side. Shocked but lucid, Ember decides to trust. Ember’s determined to avoid another rash of murdered women trying to lure Angel when another note is delivered to her threatening to kill her friend unless Ember surrenders.

This straight reprint combines the separate installment for convenience and each dovetails into the next as an exciting chapter break in this fast paced read. . For my taste the pace was a double edged sword as niceties like logic were quickly skimmed or ignored. Even with multiple recognizable clichés, statements and acts this outing is an enjoyable read if the reader doesn’t pick them out.
Rating:3stars

Marked by the Vampire by Cynthia Eden

marked-by-the-vampire

Criminal psychologist Dr. Olivia Maddox has wanted to know why for a long time. Being attacked by werewolves left her with the question of why some werewolves and vampires go bad. The question drove her so strongly she finagled her way to an assignment at Purgatory. Pate reluctantly agreed to one month with close oversight while Olivia pondered if Pate himself was human.

Few people knew FBI Agent Shane August was a centuries old vampire on his way to an undercover assignment at Purgatory. The armed escort on the ferry certainly didn’t. Shane had been preparing to infiltrate and stop a rogue vampire uprising in the prison for weeks and having heard about Olivia thought he was prepared. But he wasn’t and he certainly wasn’t prepared for the desire she ignited.

As Shane and Olivia finished their first professional meeting she turned his cryptic responses and Pate’s parting comment in her mind. The sadistic new Purgatory warden hoped Olivia would be gone before she remembered they’d met as he salivated over using newly devised tortures on the inmates. The warden was a problem and though he didn’t know it, the warden’s actions helped Shane’s plan.

Though Olivia was drawn to Purgatory for answers, she now knows there’s much more than meets the eye. The guards are slow to react when a werewolf attacks Olivia but Shane is not. After tasting Olivia’s blood the alpha predators ratchet up their psyches to possess her while the warden is in a hurry for Olivia to leave. Before she can someone thinks it would be clever to give the werewolves a snack.

Shane was as good a hero as promised and Pate’s machinations were apparently far reaching. This reader resisted accepting Olivia at the outset as she seemed to be made in the falsely independent female prone to TSTL moments but she did burst from that mold and was ultimately a strong character. Also, the pacing seemed to be off in this sophomore effort but the story was solid throughout.
Rating:4.25stars

Devoured by Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

devoured-by-darkness

Vampire hunter Tane thinks hunting half-breeds is a waste of a self-respecting Charon’s skills but the Commission’s policy is clear. Capture all half-breeds encountered and bring them to the Commission for execution, so breaking off the chase for Salvatore and Levet was a no-brainer. But the closer Tane got to the female the more he wanted to know what or who she was protecting and why.

Half jinn Laylah knew the vampire was following her and she could probably guess why as she led him away from Caine’s estate. Weakened from hunger and staying ahead of the vampire, Laylah challenges him to appear and kill her. Laylah’s surprised Tane appears so quickly and unprepared for him to guesses her secretly, she also wasn’t prepared to be so attracted to him. Neither was he.

While Tane was busy fighting vampires with a vendetta, Laylah escapes. Just when Laylah thinks she’s put enough distance between them, Tane’s back for what he really wants and it has nothing to do with the Commission. Laylah and Tane bounce around time and space looking for answers about her heritage and a magical infant she’s responsible for as they prove irresistible to each other.

This outing was extremely busy but felt like filler and lacked that certain something, perhaps it was urgency from the thinly written characters. Overall, this reader thought the bland installment was paranormal light, supernatural beings without all that spicy, pesky otherworldliness.
Rating:3stars

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