Monday, 7 April 2014

Dark Spirit (Spirit Wild Series 2) by Kate Douglas

 Romy Sarika has spent much of her life suffering at the hands of a sadistic cult leader. Twenty years earlier she watched him kill her mother, and now she awaits the same fate. But when the self-proclaimed prophet orders Romy killed, the wolf part of her rises up and for the first time she shifts. Managing to save herself, she leaves death and chaos in her wake.

Alone in the woods and badly injured, Romy is found by Jace Wolf and Gabe Cheval, two powerful and striking Chanku who help her heal and simultaneously unleash sensual desires in her that are as new and intense as her wolf-like abilities. But just as Romy’s opening herself to this new erotic world and the passionate connections she’s forming with both men, danger is closing in.

Bent on revenge and driven by bloodlust, cult members are pursuing the trio. Discovery could mean not just Romy’s death but destruction of the Chanku way of life. With their lives at stake and the Chanku race in jeopardy, the three must fight to save themselves and the future of their proud race. Book description

I really enjoyed the first in this series, Dark Wolf, so was excited to see this up for review. Its a continuation of the series, this time focusing on Chanku pack members and lovers Jace and Gabe. They find Romy in the woods escaping from the horrific life she's had in the religious cult into which she was born. She's near to death, but they manage to save her, and need to help her keep free from the cult members who are out to find and kill her. She knows nothing about Chanku, and has only just realized she can shift to wolf. The men explain to her how she's also Chanku, and offer for her to come back to their pack with them, but to accompany them while they finish their annual wild wolf survey first.

Romy learns so much about herself, not least that the Chanku are a very sexual group, and both healing and shifting create a strong sexual urge that's perfectly natural. They form a close connection with Romy, both sexual and friendly, and Jace feels sure she's his Mate, though he's treading slowly as she's been through so much, and had such a lot of new information thrust at her.

Meeting the two isn't the end of the danger for Romy, the cult members hate shifters and are determined to kill her, and are tracking her, Jace and Gabe with a view to capturing or killing them all. Even though hunting wolves is forbidden on the land they're on, that hasn't stopped them from shooting a wild wolf, and they seem to feel that they are above any law, quoting God as their excuse.

As with book one I really enjoyed this, but with one big, huge, massive stumbling block though. Once again there was some hot and steamy sex scenes both m/f, m/m, and m/f/m so only read if these won't offend you. It’s a good story surrounding the sex scenes too, and I like the way it joins on to the first book, shedding further light on the Chanku and their origins and what they plan to do now humans know about them.

Now for that stumbling block :( I get that there are religious cults that abuse women and children, and I’ve no problem with fiction including that – what I did find hard to take was the fact that Romy was so very, very young when her abuse took place. I'm not saying we should ignore things like this, that's wrong and it’s up to everyone to stand out against it where they can but – I don't like extremes of it cropping up in my fiction. I don't want sanitized, restricted fiction, but there has to be some stop lines and this is one for me. Romy's age when it started was mentioned again, and again, and again and each time it made me feel very uncomfortable even though its fiction. I'm sure this won't bother many people, but for me it was a real factor in bringing down the overall enjoyment of an excellent story. If she'd been 12 or so I could have coped – that's still wrong of course, but I’d have been able to accept it as part of the story more easily. Younger than that just made me feel very uneasy about its inclusion in the story. It's excellent value at £1.86 for 234 pages.

Stars: three and a half. Without that stumbling block I’d have given this four and a half so bear that in mind if you feel differently to me about issues like that.

Reviewed by Midnight Ruby 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

 Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. Book description.

I bought this book back in March 2011, totally by mistake... I very rarely buy hardbacks, and certainly not from an author new to me, but I am SO GLAD I made this error as it's still one of my top reads of all time. Then came the kindle – ironically in April 11, Him Indoors kept pushing me to get one, fed up of piles of dusty books....I love it. (am on kindle no three now..) I’ve long wanted to replace my favorite reads with kindle editions, as I find print books really hard to read now due to eye problems. So when I saw this for review I had to request it :) I did a quick review after I’d bought it in mar 11, but that was before my blog/reviewer hobby got started...

So, re reading it brought me back into that fabulous world of shadowy creatures, puzzles to be solved, fabulous characters and houses that have a mind of their own....

Diana is a powerful witch but refuses to train in or use her magic, except for a few occasions, repairing washing machine for example and preventing damage to neighbors flat...then she's researching in the Bodleian one day and can't quite reach the book she needs. It’s getting late, no one is around so she calls for it with magic. Then gets a massive shock when she sees/feels it's spelled, and she's been able to open it. She takes a brief look before returning it, worried about the consequences. Her opening it hasn't gone unnoticed though, it’s a book thought to be lost for hundreds of years, and witches, vampires and daemons all want to get to it, so they start trailing Diana round thinking she'll recall it. Then danger begins from those impatient to stop another group getting their hands on it. Vampire Matthew is curious, he's known about the book, but like others unsure if it was real or not. When he sees Diana recall it he's curious, watches her closely the next few days, and gradually finds himself drawn to her, despite the rules forbidding creatures mixing with each other, and witches and vampires having a long held hatred and mistrust. He protects Diana several times, and gradually she starts to trust him and they fall in love. They decide the only way to stop the danger is to find the book, but when she tries to request it again its gone....lost again supposedly.

Diana is great, I understood her stance on magic, but as she grows more powerful with her magic taking over and causing problems, it’s clear she needs help. Matthew is very old, hundreds of years, so he's seen and done much, and yet he's a very quiet, unassuming vampire on the surface, though his reputation is fearsome. I loved him right from the start, somehow he's so gentlemanly outwardly, but the vampire traits show through, and we see he's so much more than he seems. He's not afraid for himself, but when it comes to his family – and now to Diana – he's incredibly protective, and will take any measures necessary to protect them, even killing should it be needed, and he won't have second thoughts about it. Its that blend of kindness, protectiveness and ruthlessness that makes him so fascinating to me. He's also been researching into gene research among other things, as all the Creatures populations are declining, with births being more and scarce. It’s rumored the missing book holds information on this, and also how to kill vampires, so the vampires are of course very keen not to let others get it.

As always there are good and bad in all segments of creature, and there are some creel and fearsome witches and vampires out to capture Diana, and through her the book. Her parents were killed many years before, and she discovers that their death was not as innocent as she thought, and that humans were not behind it as she'd believed. The search for the book takes them from UK to France and back, and then to Diana's home; along the journey meeting Matthews family, and Diana's aunts who brought her up. There are many other interesting people that join them along the way, and some incredible dangerous ones too, and as Matthew feels more and more protective of Diana, unusual for a vampire and witch, they discover they have feelings for each other and their love story begins. Though the book is mainly their story, and the search for the missing tome, its a fabulous read, introducing some incredible characters, magical – in both ways – story-lines, and of course The House. That's where Diana was brought up and her aunts still live, and it’s an amazing building having a life of its own, adding on rooms and furniture when it thinks visitors coming, and hiding and revealing all manner of things.

It’s not a quick read, took me two-three days - and I read quickly - as it’s so intense and packed with detail. Its 608 pages on kindle for £3.99, and I feel it’s a real bargain and it's one I will (and have) re read over and over. I'm going to re-read the second book which I have in hardback (but may buy kindle version instead, so much easier for me to read on kindle) prior to release of the final part of the trilogy this summer. I'm so looking forward to how the story ends :) It amazes me just how much detail and information Deborah has managed to get into this book, without it becoming at any time dull, boring, an info dump, as so often happens. My brain can only cope with so much before shouting “enough now” and that didn't happen once in this novel (or in book two). She's a really talented author to be able to do this, and still create such a readable, riveting and complex story IMO.

Stars: Five, one that is in my top all time reads.

                                    Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

 You may purchase " A Discovery of Witches" here : DarkissReads Bookstore

Arash: Vol 1. Shadow Hunt by Elke Schuster

You may have met one without even noticing. You may have kissed one and been disappointed that he or she never called you. They may have been Arash. Livia is the black sheep of her family, self-conscious and underachieving. That is, until she meets her new friends: the exuberant Natalie, her brother Rupert, the sculptor, intelligent librarian Will, stunning interior designer Ruth, and arrogant horse breeder Cassius. The group of mismatched friends makes Livia feel as if she may fit in somewhere for the first time in her life. Then she begins to suspect that her so-called friends are not who they claim to be. They hold a secret that could change Livia’s life forever. Will her great love for one of them survive the challenges of becoming an immortal Arash? Will Livia herself manage to survive? Book Description.

I love fantasy books especially those with a romantic element. Of course the genre is swamped with vampires and shape-shifters so something new is always a treat. Elke gives us the Arash, beings who begin as humans and become Arash through careful selection – no bloodsucking and biting involved! Just those who fit certain criteria. Once Arash they can live among humans unnoticed if they are careful not to be seen, and are almost immortal. They can be killed by other Arash but I'm not certain if humans can kill them, certainly there don't seem to be hunters as is usual with vampires and shape-shifters.

This book involves a group of six Arash, who call themselves family and are in close contact. Their selection procedures have shown another suitable candidate is around and they search for him or her. Natalie, the youngest one, befriends Livia thinking she may be the person they seek. Livia has an unhappy background, her mother killed herself when she was a baby and her stepmother and stepsister don't really feel like family. Livia always feels inferior and slightly isolated from both family and her few friends. She is drawn in by Natalie instantly, they seem to get on so well and she can't help liking the vivacious and friendly girl, and the story goes on from there.

It’s a fabulous group of “people” Elke has created, and they have their own very strict rules and laws about how they can behave to each other, and to humans to keep themselves hidden. I really love the concept, it’s fresh and unusual, something different in the well-worn fantasy genre. Elke people are so well drawn they feel real and I immediately felt that I was among them and understood them as real characters, I empathized with poor Livia for feeling at odds with her family and was upset over her relationship breakup – dumped by face-book, sadly this is becoming a modern concept :( Natalie, well who couldn't like her, and her family, the delicious Rupert – attractive but in some ways a bit of a flake, a fence-sitter, then there's Will, he's special, super intelligent and so kind to everyone. Ruth – super-bitch in some ways, she's very anti Natalie and out to prevent her joining the family if she can but in ways that won't be attributed to her, and then Cassius. I loved him from the start, he seems outwardly quite cold but I suspect much of it is self-protective. Of course there's the two others Randolph and Augustus (think that's the names) – we don't see so much of them, they seem to be the “older” generation and though the whole family meet often this book is centered around the younger group mainly. All have their odd quirks but feel real, not cardboard characters but people you could chat to, enjoy a drink or meal with.

The story starts with Livia in some kind of mental institution and I had the horrible feeling it was going to end that way too :( and be one of those “it was all a dream” creations. I hate those, I feel cheated by that as a plot so I was really really glad to be proved wrong. We then meet Livia just before she's contacted by Natalie and slowly the story unfolds. My heart was up sometimes and other times down, as the way Elke writes had me feeling emotions along with the characters, what they felt I felt and I was hoping for things to turn out a certain way. The beginning scenes shows context later in the book and I understood what was happening then and how it fitted the plot.

It’s great that although this is vol one and a scene setter it has a real plot and story-lines, and ends what I call Properly, not a horrible cliffhanger ending but one that ties up neatly although clearly hints at next book. There's a sample of how the next book starts at the end, and that and the content of this one certainly has me drooling with anticipation for what looks to be a fantastic series. Elke, I hope you write quickly as I need more NOW!! :)

Well written and edited and at £3.35 for 288 pages it’s a bargain and definitely one that bears reading over again. One for my keeper files.

Stars: full five, I simply loved this book and devoured it in one long sitting (I am a quick reader and it is the main way I pass the day...). Roll on book two- please :)

                 Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

You may purchase "Arash :Vol 1. here : DarkissReads Bookstore

Monday, 20 January 2014

An Artist's Eye by Clive S. Johnson

Clive S. Johnson
Book 5 of the Dica Series. 
On the day Prescinda leaves the fishing village of Grayden, and her marriage to a man she’s never loved, her return to the old family home of Blisteraising Farm is interrupted. A surprise visit by Nephril brings with it a strange request that he seems reluctant to explain. 
“I know thou hath heard talk of a distant city,” was how he broached it, which seemed more benign than his last request that she "scare someone almost to death". This time she was asked to help Falmeard spy out a rare sight, but one which could very well foretell the end of the realm of Dica, and thereby of existence itself. 
There begins a most strange journey that turns into a race to a discovery that should never have been possible. What finally comes to light places Dica and its people in their true perspective, and reveals an enemy within, an enemy they must defeat. 
But even if Prescinda and her friends succeed, has Dica already been taken too far awry for the damage to be undone? Can they find a way to bring the realm back onto the path to a safe new future, and so keep true to the artist’s eye? Book Description

Mr Johnson forwarded me an advance copy to give an honest review. This I have done, and its as good a review as I have given before for other Titles in the Dica Series. I was surprised in some ways, as there are only a few Authors that have been as consistent as this, and what more could the Dica world offer? Well I was very pleasantly surprised.

The characters are as good as ever, well described, with individual personalities which keep surprising. As with all of the previous books, the writing just leaps off the page, the intricate story addictive, characters both old and new absorbing. This story shows areas of Dica previously undiscovered to us the reader, and some that I would never have thought of. It’s as though a microscope has been used to show layers previously not thought of, and to great effect. I find it hard to say anything that I haven't said before, so just to say highly recommended, a series that should be a must to read, and I look forward to whatever springs from this Authors imagination.

                  Reviewed by Cardmon 

You may purchase " An Artist's Eye " here : DarkissReads Bookstore

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Fire & Shadow ( A Hand of Kali Novel) by T. G. Ayer.

Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her. 

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he's telling.

Maya doesn't believe the gods are real, doesn't waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhounds become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes. 

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn't normal to be ...

The Hand of Kali.

A new Paranormal coming of age series delving in the fantasy and magic of Hindu mythology and its plethora of gods, demons, legends & mythology. Book Description.

 This novel has a bit of everything, romance, demons, mythology, gods and goddesses, and is written in terms that make the reader feel they are there, and part of the scene. I'm not usually a young adult fan, but sometimes dip into the genre when the premise of a book appeals as this one did. Its full of details and drama, excitement and the angst of being a teen and not fitting in. It has the does he/doesn't he worry about whether a boy likes a girl down to a T....that anxiety that  dominates the thoughts of young adults, when what a boy/girl/ friends think about you is the whole world. So it is for Maya, Indian teen trying to fit in, crushing on new boy Nik, and being with her two best friends. There are the typical teen actions of sneaking out to a party but for Maya the consequences have a huge impact on her life and future, and lead to a world filled with legends that are real, Gods and Goddesses that aren't just words on a page or stories, and revelations about her own place in the world. She faces terrible danger, needs to re shake all her current beliefs and all while trying to keep her family and friends out of danger.

There's so much in this tale that I'm sure young adults will love it – still, for me it was just a bit too “young adult” to become a keeper. It was OK for a one off read, but sadly not more. I'm maybe just the wrong age, though I have enjoyed other YA books. This is beautifully written but the actual plots just didn't resonate with me :( Priced at £2.69 for 262 pages/539kb it's around the average for length and genre.

Stars: three – though I’m sure younger readers will rate it higher than I have.

                                Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

You may purchase "Fire : A Hand of Kali" here : DarkissReads Bookstore

The Final Formula By Becca Andre

To a master alchemist like Addie, impossible is just another word for challenge. When a fiery explosion destroys the Alchemica, the premier alchemy institute in the United States, she’s left with nothing. No home, no colleagues, and no memory. Learning what happened seems impossible, but she still has one strength, and in her opinion, it’s the only one she needs. She hasn’t forgotten a thing about alchemy. 

Addie brews a potion to restore her lost past, but remembers only the flames of the Alchemica’s destruction—and a man among the ashes. A man with the elemental power of fire, who just happens to be the leader of the magical community. He might know what happened, but getting him to tell her will require some…creativity. The magical aren’t fond of alchemists. Some say it borders on hatred, but Addie isn’t one to back down from a challenge, even if that challenge happens to be a man who can turn her to ash with a thought. 

I've had this a few months from the last time I was looking around various sites, and finally I thought that it was about to give it a go.

It started off well, introducing the main character, a mystery & alchemical magic set within our modern world. The story moved along at a good pace, which stayed for the whole book, but it was in keeping with the plot, so it did not feel wrong. You were soon introduced to more surprises, more forms of magic, and a larger mystery than I initially thought. I was a bit surprised, but definitely a good surprised. The writing is good it draws you in, and before you realise you’re hooked.

The characters were well described, main characters quite complex as the story unfolded, with interesting relationships forming. These were made more intriguing as they involved the various different magical disciplines, who do not normally mix with each other, in-fact distrust would be the norm. This on top of the main mystery, which threw up a few surprises has made an explosive, but excellent story.

The Author has made for me a new take on magic, it's various disciplines (elemental, alchemical & old magic) & how they interact. Setting this in our current world is a master stroke, one that could have back fired but in this case not. That I feel is down to the Author and her writing style, as well as producing a story that is fresh, and with potential to continue and grow. There are definitely relationships to pursue, and new storyline's a plenty.

This was so fresh to me, the different twist on magic very well imagined and with characters that you could relate to. Quite happily recommend this & hopefully more to come.

5 stars

                                              Reviewed by Cardmon

You may purchase "The Final Formula" here  :DarkissReads Bookstore

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Blood Moon (The Moonlight Trilogy) by Teri Harman

A hand slowly reaches out a crack in the window to feel the light sprinkles of rain. The hand, cemented with dirt, sweat, and blood, trembles like a withered leaf clinging to a dead branch. Although filthy, the hand emits a history of grace and elegance long lost to the evils of torture and imprisonment . . . 

From what Willa recalls, seeing this pitiful hand, and, eventually, the person connected to it, was the catalyst to the discovery of her true self. Willa is a witch, and it turns out her boyfriend, Simon, is a witch, too. Soon after Willa first sees the reaching hand, Simon and her embark on a rescue mission, only to find themselves catapulted into the alluring, but dangerous world of witches and witchcraft. 

Answers to all of Willa and Simon's questions are now within reach, but they've also stepped into the middle of a deadly war where many will stop at nothing to control the magic of The Six Gifts. Willa and Simon must now learn to harness their powers to protect their lives and the lives of their newfound friends before the blood moon arrives, or all will be lost. Book Description.

 This is a YA trilogy. I'm not usually a YA reader but there are some such as Stephanie Meyer, Samantha Young, Kelly Armstrong and Kim Harrison that I've enjoyed and reading the sample of Blood Moon it had that same well written and not “dumbed down” feel that those authors works do.
Its set in the town of Twelve Aces which has in the past been home to a coven of witches who practiced Light magic. Now however its ostensibly full of “normal” people, although Willa has always felt slightly outside the other kids with her special abilities, and trying to hide them. No one wants to be different as a teen. She's still at school and can see ghosts, and has dreams that are often prophetic. She meets Simon and discovers via the rescue of a puppy, that he has healing abilities and can sense emotions in others. When they first met there was an immediate attraction, and they were very soon together, feeling they are Soul-mates. Just as well because they are facing some terrific dangers with a battle between some Dark forces. Willa dreams about a captive witch in the town, and when she and Simon rescue her Wynter tells them she was captured by a Dark witch, who tortured her and is out to use his powers to join together two dark covens into a Dark Covenant. This will be disastrous and the three need to join forces with what remains of the Light coven to stop that from happening. Wynter tells them they are witches too and the history of the town also comes into play with Amelia Plate, descendent of town founder Ruby Plate, and who has fought the Dark Forces before, helping them and Willa's ghost seeing abilities are critical to the story. The tale jumps from past to present several times, but its not disorientating and it weaves together the towns present occupants and those from its history to an amazing climax of dangerous events for Simon and Willa.

 It’s a fairly basic plot of Light v Dark magic, but Teri manages to weave lots of excitement into it, with danger and adventure round every corner it seems. It seems like Willa and Simon barely have time to breathe between one outcome and the next event to occur!! I'm sure it will appeal well to the Young Adult market. I did enjoy it but as a one off read, but then I'm older :( and don't often re read YA books, though I enjoy them as a one off. Its very well written for a début novel, having all the elements that appeal to teens. Teen romance, mystery, witch-craft, danger and excitement. At least that’s what I loved as an avid teen reader, and I'm sure it's still the same!
It’s a good long read too (hurrah) at 354 pages for £4.58, so reasonably priced. It'll be interesting to see how Teri develops the story next.

Stars: a well-deserved four.

                               Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

You may purchase "Blood Moon" here : DarkissReads Bookstore

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Breaking the Storm by Sedona Venez

Breaking the Storm Sedona Venez.
I wanted Knox. There was no need to deny that fact. 

Knox was the type of guy you gravitated to, who stood out in the crowd. It wasn't just his classically good-looking features and perpetual five o'clock shadow. It was his raw energy that entranced me, that made me feel like a giggly, fumbling high school girl, happy to be in his presence.

Yes, there's no denying it, front man Knox Gunner was a sexy badass.

It didn't matter that he initially thought I was some bored, rich girl trying to live out some wild fantasy of being with a starving musician. It was uncomplicated and that's what we both wanted. At least that's what I convinced myself. I wasn't ready to admit to myself that my feelings for Knox were getting dangerously deep--waiting to lay siege on my heart. I was falling for him... and this was dangerous. The rules were clear: falling in love would obligate me to expose what I truly was, setting in motion his slow march to death.

I'd read the sample of this book and was hooked, and on starting the actual novel was convinced I'd hit a five star read. Sadly though it's not quite that.

I loved the quality of the writing to begin with; felt invested in the characters and the plot and was hoping for more of the same. Then...met the aunts/mums of Storm and Light and we seemed to have pages and pages of what I can only describe as waffle, using them to tell us the background to the curse and the history of the Credence business, but we'd already grasped that, and these endless phone conversations and musings between the characters was just dull, added nothing IMO and I skipped in the end as I was bored...I think that section could have been left out and it dropped the previous high standard of the novel.

Anyway once back on track the plot picked up with break-ins, flashbacks, mysteries from the past that affected the present and the conundrum of how to bring an old romance into the present. I loved Knox, but the hints about him were pretty obvious...and Storm gave in to him far too quickly I felt. She's a strong person, and would have put up more of a fight – cut that waffle with the aunts/mum and expand this part and I feel it would have read better – for me anyway :) I was puzzled by the sex part – first we are told that the Credence family can't have sex with humans, then Storm agrees to have sex with Knox, then we're told the Credence business doesn't let escorts have sex...but Storm plans sex with Knox...I was a bit confused by that. Still the sex scenes were hot, erotic, and sensual and fitted the tone of the book perfectly. I didn't guess the whole ending, though I had an inkling of some parts and overall I really enjoyed this book.

 Priced at £2.02 for 234 pages/426kb its good value on my VFM scale.

Stars: four, almost a five and I’m looking forward to more from the Credence women.

                  Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

 You may purchase "Breaking the Storm" here : DarkissReads Bookstore

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Rogue's Pawn (Covenant of Thorns) by Jeffe Kennedy

 This is no fairy tale…

Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mind-numbing career and heart-numbing fiancé, I impulsively walked out of my life—and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can't control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price—my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself…

With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils—including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to…  Book Description.

Well, saw this recommended and it sounded like one I’d enjoy so bought it. (despite getting lots of free review books I still buy too many !) Anyway its something really unusual and magical.
Gwynn is at a party and bored, walks out and by a series of co incidences ends up in another world. She can't believe what's happening at first, then she's attacked by the Black Dog that's been haunting her dreams recently, and wakes up chained in what seems like a medieval castle. She needs healing and the Lord of the castle, Rogue, has arranged it for her. Its nothing like here though with bandages, stitches and creams, but based around magical healing where the lady healer is aided by a cat familiar...Welcome to the land of Fae. Then she learns everything comes at a cost and she has to pay for her healing with servitude arranged by the seductive and mysterious Rogue. By a strange exchange between different parties she has to undergo paying that debt by way of training to use her magic. She didn't know she had any. Now she needs to learn to control it as everything she thinks of appears in reality...and it could prove dangerous if she has no control.

The way the Fae speak too is interesting, a sort of telepathy which she can hear inside her mind, they talk and her mind translates the gist of what they say into something she can understand – there are times though when the translation leaves much to be desired. They all say she's shouting as she projects her thoughts so loudly, that's lesson one, how to be quieter.
She owes a debt to Rogue too – and he wants as his payment her first-born child, sired by him....but first she has to undergo the training.... and that’s pretty horrific testing her both physically and mentally by the cruel couple that are in charge of it. They want to break and remake her but Gwynn tries hard to keep some of herself inside. She blames Rogue all the while for sending her there, and not explaining more earlier, but later finds out that idyllic though everything look there's a darker side and even high Lords like him are constrained by, and afraid of, some-one above them.

I loved Rogue, even though he seemed not to help Gwynn it was still clear he wanted her. Fae lives are very long so what seems like a long time to us is just a blink for them. Gwynn has much to learn, about magic and about the rules governing the place she's in. She doesn't want to get pregnant either, that's not been in her plans, and though Rogue is sensual and seductive, and invading her dreams with erotic fantasies, she keeps reminding herself he's at fault for where she is now, and she won't be a party to creating a child with him, especially as she'd have to give it up and she has no idea of why its wanted. Learning the cost to things as she has, she knows there would be nothing good for the child in store.

A magical book, and I was really keen to get book two – got that yesterday and have read it – and its perfect but now I want book three :)

Priced at just £2.11 for 261 pages its a bargain and will definitely join my keepers file to be re read.

Stars: cracking book – full five.


         Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

You  may purchase "Rouge's Pawn" here : DarkissReads Bookstore

Monday, 18 November 2013

Don't Bite the Bridesmaid (Sons of Kane #1) by Tiffany Allee

Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister's wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancé rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business. 

Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he's never met. And Alice's offer comes at just the right time. 

What could possibly go wrong? Book Description

I love a good romance and to add a vampire edge to it – well that sounded fun. Sometimes you want to read something deep and engrossing, sometimes you just want something light and humorous to relax your mind. Don't Bit the bridesmaid is perfect for that.

I really took to Alice – her penchant for bracing her courage with Appletinis, her way of seeing the best in everything and everyone, and her loyalty to her family. Then there's Noah...hottie neighbour who sends Alice into a sort of mind jello stupor when she sees him. This time she needs his help – the description covers why – and of course as always things do not go smoothly.

Noah is lovely, a real gentleman but he’s a vampire – and the scent of Alice is driving him crazy and making him work to keep control of his behavior. That's something he's unused to having to do as a two hundred year old vampire. Of course having persuaded him on the cruise celebrating her sister's wedding, aided by the fact he needs to hide for a week, Alice omits to tell him they'll be sharing a room. That's goes down well, Noah is struggling but can't tell Alice why, and of course she thinks its because he doesn't want to get that close to her in case she's going to jump him. That doesn't help her low self-esteem.

The cruise goes on, and its full of things that test Noah, Alice desperately wants to show her ex Brent, who's the best man, that she's moved on. She and Noah get closer and the obnoxious Brent keeps hanging round her much to Noah's irritation. Noah tells himself its only for a week and that he can go back to normal with Alice but slowly he realizes it’s not going to be that easy.

Alice mum Edna is a terrific lady, full of fun and joie de vivre, and is accompanied by her current much younger boyfriend. Cindy the sister getting married loves Alice and knows who Noah really is but is keeping the secret – she hated Brent. Brent – he's the nasty every good romance needs. He sneers and belittles Alice, then apologizes and tries to get round her. It’s all wrapped up with big doses of humor and cheer, some steamy hot sex and lots of love. Lasagna – I'll always think of Noah and Alice now when I have that! Great kitchen scene....

 It’s a real fun read, light-hearted and full of humor and a lovely HEA though not without some drama first. It’s not an in-depth, heavy read but one for when you want to feel good and happy after enjoying a few hours break from real life.

Well written and edited, and priced at £2.63 for around 209 pages its fairly priced and for lovers of humors romance with a HEA its perfect.

 Stars: four and a half, just not quite a five for me.

                             Reviewed by Midnight Ruby

You may purchase "Don't bite the Bite the Bridesmaid" here : DarkissReads Bookstore