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:3]

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:4]

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:4.5]

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:4.5]

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