Review: Blood Deep (Blackthorn, Book 4) by Lindsay J. Pryor

blood deepReviewed by Sharon S.

Blurb: Blood Deep (Blackthorn #4) by Lindsay J. Pryor

Bad can feel good, Jessie. Bad can feel as good as it can get.

The tattoos covering Eden Reece’s arm tell the tale of a con with an appetite for danger. Even so, arriving at The Circus – the criminal heart of Blackthorn – and demanding an audience with the notorious Pummel, is the sign of a death wish.

Jessie knows that Eden is trouble. Serious trouble. Held captive by Pummel, despite her powers, she also knows how dangerous a game Eden is playing. Yet she can’t ignore a connection far deeper than the physical spark between them – because Jessie has seen Eden before…

Jessie is the only one who can help Eden save those he loves. But as he uncovers her secrets one by one, he can’t ignore the emotions she stirs in him – feelings neither of them dare face. He risks death. If she trusts him, she risks a fate far worse.

As Pummel’s twisted plans become clear, there’s no doubt all hell risks breaking out in Blackthorn. With time running out, together Jessie and Eden might be the only ones that can stop it.

In a thrillingly sensual novel, the stakes in the dark world of Blackthorn just got higher.

I picked this series up at book #3 and was surprised by the emotional intensity and sexual tension, along with some fabulous world building set in a dark world. I was expecting the same type of read with book four Blood Deep. I was disappointed to find the first ¾ of the book was only about the romance between Jessie and Eden. I like a good PNR with a sexy alpha, but it went a little overboard with the back and forth internal lamenting about how they shouldn’t get involved. The last ¼ of the book was exactly what I was looking for, with all the world building and series story arc progress. I was glued to this part.

This book would have been a 4 star read for me if the series story arc had been evenly distributed throughout the whole book instead of crammed into the end. The romance would have been more tolerable for me if it was diluted out a bit. I liked Jessie’s character and the fact her species of “other” was unknown to the reader and hero until near the end. Her presence adds a whole new twist to the world Pryor has created.

I’m torn about how to rate this book because my problem with it was distribution of the story elements. If you are following this series then you will want to read this book for the great story twists. If you love heavy romance in your urban fantasy then you will also enjoy this. I’m going to give this a solid 3 because the ending was strong.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Blood Deep (Blackthorn Book 4)

The Politics of Being Shifter

shifterwars4 cover digital compressedGuest blog by AE Jones, author of Shifter Wars

Thank you for having me today on Love Romance Passion. I write paranormal romances and urban fantasy. The series I am writing now has all kinds of paranormal characters playing a part. Vampires, demons, angels and shifters living harmoniously or not so harmoniously with each other. I just released the first two books in my Mind Sweeper Series. The series centers on Kyle, a woman with the ability to erase memories, and her paranormal teammates who work at stopping humans from finding out the truth about the supernatural.

I was asked to share today about the shifters in my world since my third book, Shifter Wars is releasing November 17th and it centers on their interesting and somewhat secluded world.

Shifters in my Mind Sweeper series can change into different animals. They are not limited to wolves. And they are not always ‘scary’ or ‘powerful’ animals either. So a rabbit, or collie are just a few examples of what a shifter can turn into. I decided to do this because even within the shifter culture there should be differences that make their relationships challenging. How do these animal characteristics play into the dynamics and ultimately shifter politics?

And trust me when I say that politics play a large role in the world of shifters. Shifters are pack animals and their political system is what I like to call a ‘business monarchy’. One leader (given the role by birth) oversees the other pack leaders. And all of the packs work toward protecting their members and providing for them through business. And this is where I give a little ‘shout out’ to my love for historical romance. Because Griffin, the enigmatic leader of the shifters, is in certain respects a paranormal version of a British lord. He has a responsibility to the people under his rule and he takes his job seriously, but sometimes he just wishes he could leave it all behind and be his own person without the pomp and circumstance.

Since my book is titled Shifter Wars, it probably clues you into the fact that there is a little bit of tension going on in the shifter universe. Shifters are private and don’t trust outsiders. And they do not share what their animal side is since it is sacred to them. This isolated thinking causes all kinds of issues in the packs when Griffin decides to include humans in their businesses. And of course, there is all the alpha posturing that happens between strong shifter males. Each thinking they can do a better job leading the pack. You can imagine that pandemonium ensues. Enter Kyle and her team to help with the pending brouhaha.

Not to worry though because along the way there is romance. Did you think I wasn’t going to talk about the good stuff? In my opinion, you always need romance to balance the scales. Interestingly enough, romance can be fraught with its own politics. Is there an agenda behind the relationship? Can a cat shifter fall in love with a dog shifter? Is there room in their reclusive world for a shifter to fall in love with a human? All fun things to explore and tangle into the story.

So in many ways, shifter politics (and romance) are similar to what we humans face every day. And that’s what makes them relatable to the reader and fun to write for the author!

SHIFTER WARS

Why did the demon cross the road? Apparently to escape from Kyle McKinley. Which is more than fine with her.

The last thing she wants is to be dragged into another supernatural crisis, but the Fates have something more interesting in store for her. Since the tricky wenches love to mess with people, Kyle isn’t really surprised. And once she learns Trina, the young shifter girl whose memory she erased, is being stalked again, Kyle will do whatever it takes to protect her.

Normally a secretive group, the shifters reluctantly agree to allow Kyle and her vampire and demon teammates to investigate. Are the poachers who kidnapped Trina back for revenge? But when other shifters are also targeted, Kyle becomes convinced there is more to the attacks than vengeance. And when the violence escalates and Griffin, the enigmatic leader of the shifters, ends up in the crosshairs, the team braces for a bloodbath.

Scrambling to identify the mysterious group bent on destroying the shifters, and why, Kyle is also haunted by dreams and painful flashes from the prophesied Key of Knowledge which has taken up residence in her brain. In typical Kyle fashion, she decides to ignore it, but the more she ignores it, the more it digs its claws into her consciousness. If she can’t learn to embrace the Key and ask for help from those closest to her, she could lose her sanity before she’s able to prevent a shifter civil war.

Buy: Shifter Wars (Mind Sweeper Series Book 3)

ae jones pic 180 x 270AE Jones

Growing up a TV junkie, award winning author AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural—their angst and their humor. After all life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

AE lives in Ohio with her eclectic family and friends who in no way resembles any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

Website:  http://www.aejonesauthor.com/

Twitter:  @aejonesauthor

https://twitter.com/AEJonesAuthor

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/aejones.author1

Buy: Shifter Wars (Mind Sweeper Series Book 3)

Review: Burning At Last by Crystal Rister

burning at lastReviewed by Fleur, of A Daily Romance

I expect ‘True Blood’ fans will enjoy the author Crystal’s world of heartless, rough cut vampires, one sexy, smooth shape shifter and an independent gal who may have met her match.

The story starts with the heroine in a scene of childhood bliss that is immediately followed by trauma; the loss of her parents and home by murder and arson. To escape the danger she is made to run from her home by her long time friend Jarroth Denton, who she will part from for 13 long years.

As it turns out, Jarroth is a shape shifter and after trying to track down his lost love over a decade later, he seems to be about to explode from raw primal sexual energy.

Excerpt:

“This is called the burning, love. It’s where life mates have not consummated their union, and it nearly takes over their entire being. Once we find our mate, the need to join is like consuming fire that cannot be denied. Having you ripped from me and then getting you back has reignited the burn to a scorching level. You are now a woman, no longer a girl, and my wolf wants you. Bad.”

But if that isn’t enough, you will believe ‘there is no aphrodisiac like escaping death by vampire’ after reading this novella……to describe the ensuing sex scenes as steamy is an understatement at best.

I’m wondering how much hotter can things get between the two protagonists in book 2?!?

The author has made a huge effort to make the life and relationship between a shapeshifter and a normal human seem realistic and I appreciated that. There are some scenes in this book that are more violent than I am use to, but taking into account that I am way more squeamish than most people, I think this is a great book and I quite liked it.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Burning At Last

Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

better homes and hauntingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nina Linden is in one of the areas of the country that I love to visit – this would be a great book to take with you when you go to visit. She’s trying to come back after having someone try to discredit her. She’s just one of those characters that you want to root for and that all will be right in the world for her.

Deacon Whitney is a law unto himself and has brought some people, Nina included, to help him restore his ancestral home. The attraction between them is muted compared to the ghostly mystery that is afoot. I found that I was more interested in what is going on with the house then any type of romance.

This author introduces you to a character named Dotty. She’s a relative of Deacon’s and she appears to be the comic relief in this story. There’s one scene in this book that just solidified my awe in Dotty. You will understand when you read the scene where she talks about how she reads a book – that used to be me before I broke that bad habit.

This is one of those books that I would read more than once. The author does a great job in building the momentum that carries the reader from beginning to end and leaves you wanting more. I can picture having this around come Halloween. What a perfect time to set the mood, add the perfect music, the perfect drink and sit back and relax. And speaking of setting the mood, I had to laugh to myself when some music is referenced in the book–I just happened to be listening to that music as I was reading.

Now I’m anxious to see what Molly has in store for her readers now that this book has come out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Better Homes and Hauntings

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Review: Queen’s Wings (Emerging Queen, Book 1) by Jamie K. Schmidt

queen's wingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is told in the first person. If you’re are on that is on the fence whether you want to try this book because it is told in the first person, please give it a try. You just might surprise yourself. One thing that is different about this book is that each chapter starts with a dragon rule.

There are dragons in New England – who knew! I’ll have to take a better look at my neighbors. Carolyn Donovan hears a song in her head by one of my favorite groups. If you like to listen to music as you read, you might want to play yourself some Queen. Carolyn knows what she is but has a hard time convincing anyone else.

Reed and Jack come to where Carolyn works. Jack is an experience to savor – and I’m not going to give you any hints. But if you need a reference – I can picture him with a very sexy drawl. If you want an actor reference – I think of him as Johnny Depp. There was one scene between Carolyn and Jack that had me glad that there was a strong breeze coming through the window. Reed to seems to be a man that broods a lot. But he also knows how to protect.

This was a very addicting book. With the descriptions Jamie uses, you will have no trouble picturing everything as each scene unfolds. I was happy that there was a thundershower going on at the time. The computer stayed off and I could get lost in this book. I was also glad that my dad watches TV with headphones on – I could laugh in peace. There are a lot of references that you may recognize and there was one that I hope I didn’t misinterpret. If I’m not mistaken there’s a reference to the Brady Bunch – you’ll just have to read the book and see if you can find it. It was a truly mesmerizing tale.

The only reason I gave this a rating of 4 ½ is because I want to enjoy the rest of the series. And then once the series is complete, and if the other books are as great as this one I can give the group a rating of 5. If you are a paranormal junkie then this is a book for you. If you were planning on traveling, depending on what your destination is, I would take this book with you.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Queen’s Wings: The Emerging Queens (Entangled Edge)

Review: Demon Creed (Demon Outlaw, Book 3) by Paula Altenburg

demon creedReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.

Creed is on a Demon mission and that mission takes him to the ranch where Nieve is working. This is a world that has prejudices against those that are different – they are different through no fault of their own. It reminds me of our own history where slaves were considered expendable. There’s also hate for what people don’t understand and that includes the lack of compassion.

Willow has revenge on her mind as well as something more sinister. Nieve may be a woman who doesn’t appear to have much on the outside but on the inside she is very strong. And seeing this world she lives in, she needs to be. There is a point where the light goes on for Nieve – too bad more people couldn’t be that enlightened.

There are some scenes where the descriptions are a little gross in the details. It’s not too bad but it is enough that you don’t want to be eating at the time. This is a book that comes with some lessons if you’re willing to listen and Paula makes it a great way to get those lessons across to the reader. She takes a paranormal story and makes it so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it made me realize that I need to go back and read the first two books. I wasn’t lost by not having read them, and I don’t think you had to read them in order to enjoy this one, but just for the pleasure of reading the complete series is why I want to make sure to read The Demon’s Daughter and Black Widow Demon.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Demon Creed (A Demon Outlaws Novel)

Author Sherry Soule’s Dream Cast

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Today bestselling author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new Upper YA / Sci-Fi romance series: the “Starlight Saga” with scorching-hot character chemistry, exciting suspense, and epic romance on June 26, 2014.

To help promote this interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this guest post to share the news with fellow booklovers.

So without further ado here are Sherry’s top actor picks…

Lucy-Hale_Pretty_Little_Liars

For my tough heroine, Sloane Masterson, I think this lovely and brilliant actress:  Lucy Hale (just imagine her with purple hair!) would be perfect.

Tough talking, girl reporter, Sloane is not your typical heroine. She’s a feisty, disarming, and a fiercely independent seventeen-year-old. But she’s not flawlessly beautiful, or super thin, or extremely intelligent like some YA protagonists. Sloane has very real and relatable body issues and insecurities like most teen girls do. She favors the dark-side in clothes and music, loves to watch scary movies, and likes hanging out in graveyards. She uses her wits to cover her emotional scars, and if you can break through her tough exterior, you’ll have a fearless, loyal friend for life.

Luke_Mitchell_Tomorrow_People

For the part of the stoic and brooding, Hayden Lancaster, I think this dynamic actor would be great, Luke Mitchell.

At first glance, it seems that eighteen-year-old Haydenhas a detached, unemotional exterior, but what lies beneath is a kindhearted individual that will go out of their way to help another. Although he’s self-assured, he does have a tendency to emotionally distance himself from those around him, and this can make Hayden an unpredictable and confusing companion at times.

camilla belle

For Sloane’s best friend, Viola Saks, this remarkable actress would be fantastic: Camilla Belle.

Outgoing and feisty, Viola’sa fun-loving spiritgirl, who loves to read. Never lacking in optimism, Viola is frequently seen as a crusader for the rights of others and a defender of lost causes. Popularity makes no difference to her as long as she believes in the cause.

Ed Westwick

For Devin Greenspan, Editor of the school paper, I like this gifted actor best: Ed Westwick.

Devin has had a crush on Sloane for years and never gave the hope of one day hooking up with her. But when Hayden becomes her best friend, he feels threatened by the newcomer.

Paul-Wesley- The Vampire Diaries

Only one actor comes to mind that could portray Hayden’s younger brother, Zach Lancaster, and it is actor, Paul Wesley.

Zach and his brother grew up in a close-knit family where outside friends are discouraged. So when Hayden becomes good friends with Sloane, Zach tries to sabotage the friendship and strongly opposes the relationship.

Daniel Andrew Sharman Erica Hubbard

For Sloane’s good friends, Tanisha and Raymond, I like both of these talented actors: Erica Hubbard and Daniel Andrew Sharman:

Tanisha and Raymond are loyal friends that hang in Sloan’s crew. Tanisha dresses sort of Goth, and she’s really into Wicca and alternative bands. Raymond is more punk rock, and plays the role of the tortured musician to perfection.

Book_Cover_Lost_in_StarlightPlease mark your calendars to buy your copy of LOST IN STARLIGHT on June 26th 2014!

Read the first 3 chapters on wattpad.

VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga

Is a star-crossed romance worth sacrificing your own life?

High school senior Sloane Masterson lives a quiet existence. She has awesome friends, gets excellent grades, and writes a column for the Haven Gazette. But her life goes from dullsville to bizarro when she witnesses mysterious loner Hayden Lancaster performing some freaky superhuman feats.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, and she’s not above stalking. But one look into Hayden’s remarkable eyes, and she’s crushing hard.

Even at the swoonworthy hunk’s insistence that hanging out with girls like Sloane is “off limits” by his strange family, she can’t resist him or wanting to solve the mystery.

Things get really complicated when a beautiful alien sets her sights on Hayden—and this devious girl’s not looking for a green card!

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, über snobby extraterrestrials, and getting a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating. As their diverse worlds collide and the romantic sparks fly, Sloane must decide if Hayden’s secrets are worth risking her life to protect.

Buy: LOST IN STARLIGHT

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Official Blog: http://www.sherrysoule.blogspot.com/

Twitter @SherrySoule: http://twitter.com/SherrySoule
 

Review: Blood Torn (Blackthorn, Book 3) by Lindsay J. Pryor

blood tornReviewed by Sharon S.

‘Vampires might bite, honey, but lycans tear.’

Jask Tao, lycan leader, rules his pack with absolute dedication and demands the same loyalty in return. In the world of Blackthorn, where respect is a rare commodity, Jask has earned his – few dare to cross him, and fewer survive to tell the tale.

When he captures Sophia, a rare serryn witch – whose blood is lethal to vampires – Jask knows just how valuable she can be. Despite her fiery nature, he also can’t shake the feelings that she rouses in him – feelings that he thought died along with Ellen, his mate.

Sophia knows she has to escape from Jask’s lycan compound – and fast. Inheriting her sister’s serryn powers can only mean one thing – that her family is at risk. She’ll have to get past the dangerously attractive Jask first but, scarred by memories of her mother’s murder, Sophia won’t ever give up.

Sparks fly between Jask and Sophia but, as both her family and the pack come under threat, they might just need each other if they, and their loved ones, are going to stay alive…

In this thrillingly sensual novel, Lindsay J. Pryor returns to the shadowy dystopian world of Blackthorn, where tensions are rising, the risks are high, and the most powerful loves are formed in the face of great danger.

This is the third book in the sexy action filled series Blackthorn. I am surprised I hadn’t heard of it since it has every thing I love. It is one of those fun series that blends the world building and grittiness of urban fantasy with the sexy love story found in paranormal romances. Even though this is book three I was able to understand and enjoy Jask and Sophia’s love story, but I felt a little lost with the series arc. Only because there were so many other characters involved from the first two books. I will be checking out the other books so I can find out what happened with those couples.

I am pretty hard to impress in the paranormal romance department. I need some meat to my story (heehee, that kind too) and strong over bearing personalities. Blood Torn contained my two favorite romance tropes, forbidden love and enemy to lovers. Jask is a tortured werewolf alpha in the best possible way (swoon). The mythos Pryor created for the werewolves in her world is full of danger and heartbreak. Turning isn’t something they want to do and this fact is being used against them. Sophia is a witch, but still human, and has a destiny forced on her that she didn’t know about. They are both alphas and broken on the inside. I loved watching them one up each other even cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Even though I couldn’t get enough of them, the author went over the top occasionally.

It is the dark world Pryor created that really draws me to the series as a whole. You could even call it a dystopian. Vampires decided to make their presence known to humans 80 years prior and they brought the werewolves with them against their will. The “others” have been segregated into an inner city by a scared human race. How close to the inner city a human lives in dependent on their money and social status. The elite living gated off in the suburbs.

Definitely a series I will be following and one urban fantasy fans and paranormal fans can enjoy.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Blood Torn (Blackthorn)