Review: Dark Cravings (Dark Series, Book 1) by Madeline Pryce

dark cavingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is told in the first person.

Micah McGregor and Ella Grey are Shadow Hunters and they have issues about working together. At our first introduction, they seem more like bickering teenagers than badass vampire hunters. And isn’t that what we love, when our couple don’t seem to like each other.

Madeline is a very wicked author. She has included a character that our couple has identified as a succubus. And this is the point where the story gets interesting. Our author uses words that can be graphic at times so it’s not hard to picture in your mind what’s going on. You can feel the craving and can do nothing but read to see where it takes you.

When our couple comes together, it’s one hot and erotic ride. The author shows the reader how bad an addiction can be. It might be really good at the time but you feel worse and worse as time goes by until you get your next fix. It also shows the reader how the personality of the addict can change.


You can tell how creative an author is when they can take a serious situation and put in a conversation that will have the reader laughing. And the reader gets plenty of action. But make sure you pay attention because there’s a lot of twists and turns.

Madeline may not like me saying this but this is not a beach or vacation book. It’s a great book though if you’re stuck inside. You will find that this book sucks you in and everything around you just disappears. A great way to relieve some stress is to get comfortable, put on your favorite music, have a nice tall drink of something and maybe something to nibble on as you sit back and enjoy this book.

Prepare for the forbidden where our couple is concerned – it takes the hot level up a notch. This is an erotic addiction that I hope has no cure. Just like in music, the story builds into a crescendo and just a word of warning that if you have a weak stomach you might get a little queasy – one word, blood.

As you get toward the end of this story, you may pose the question “what would I do in the same circumstance?” It’s also not a book to read when you have to go to work – it could make you late. The good news is that there is another book out now titled Dark Innocence. Once you finish that book you will be ready for this summer when Dark Secrets comes out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Dark Cravings

Review: The Demon Lover (Fairwick Chronicles, Book 1) by Juliet Dark

demon lover juliet darkReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is written in the first person.

Dr. Cailleach Fay seems to enjoy writing about all types of demon lovers. She doesn’t just teach the classics but also watches episodes of Dark Shadows and reads the works of Anne Rice. Callie is vying for a teaching position at Fairwick College. A college where we find out that everyone isn’t as they seem.

Juliet does a great job of describing the town where Fairwick College is located. It sounds like a quaint little town that any romantic would love to visit. Callie is staying at an Inn in town while waiting to see if she got the job. She then falls in love with a house across the street called Honeysuckle House.

Callie starts to get nightly visits from a mystery man. Is he just a man of her dreams or is he something more? We have a little mystery going on and some of it revolves around Callie’s house and the woods that are just behind. The College also seems something of a mystery.

Callie’s house used to belong to a romance novelist. Part of what the novelist wrote is located in the attic. Callie is very interested in learning more about the novelist that lived in Honeysuckle House as well as reading her works. Will Dahlia LaMotte’s stories, journals, and letters connect these two ladies?

I did love how Juliet gives us a story within a story. We get to read parts of the stories that Dahlia created. Juliet also gives her readers some pretty hot dream scenes. Not overly sexual but hot, and very descriptive, all the same. But there were times that I thought things were moving to slow. And that there were parts that could have been left out and probably would not change the storyline.

I think that Juliet knew what she was doing by creating a mystery around Callie’s house. It will hold your attention and make you question as to what is going on. We need to keep reading in order to see if the mystery gets solved. But then she surprised me by who she hooked Callie up with. I never would have guessed that one in a million years.

The story will make you turn the pages but if you’re looking for a romance, this may not be the kind you are looking for. To me it’s more of a paranormal mystery. But since this is book one, maybe the storyline will continue in book 2. Maybe this is the hook that Juliet wants to use to have us follow the series. I would say that if you want to read this book, check it out at your local library.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Demon Lover

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Review: Demons Like It Hot by Sidney Ayers

This is book 2 of the “Demons Unleashed” series.

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Matthias Ambrose is a demon. He’s also a paid mercenary. His latest mission is to protect Serah, Seraphina, SanGermano from the Infernati. In his circle Serah is known as a Pure-Blood.

Serah is having problems at her catering business. It’s an ongoing issue that you will have to read to find out if the problems get taken care of. Does Matthias save her in the end? She’s a strong woman so maybe she is able to take care of herself.

Serah’s best friend, Lucia Anne Gregory, is half succubus and daughter to a Sexub King. Lucy’s fiancée, Rafael Deleon, has a connection to Matthias. We also see that Rafael doesn’t trust Matt. Now why would that be?

Serah wants to try out for a cooking show and Matt gets all “commando” on her. They go shopping and as they get to the mall, we see her two cats attach Matt. How many of you out there are able to talk to your cats telepathically? The shopping trip is interesting to say the least. I have to tell you, the way Sidney wrote the shopping scene made me wish that I was in Serah’s shoes. You definitely cannot miss this scene.

Matthias finds out that his old friend and mentor is also after Serah. She does ok for herself in knowing when demons are in the area. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a little of that when our supervisors were entering the work area. But why would Serah need to know when they’re in the area – keep reading!

Matt tries something to get her to believe that she is more than just a mere human. Bad news is, it gets a little out of hand. But wouldn’t that be a normal reaction. It just doesn’t happen – it only happens in the stories that we read.

Sidney does a great job of keeping our attention. We want to know what’s going to happen next. If we don’t turn the page we’ll never know what happens next. She does a great job of describing the heat that pulses between her two main characters- can we say hot!

Then, Daniel Blackburn enters the picture. He’s got everything – a real hunk and his own TV series. You want to continue reading to find out what happens to the main characters. You don’t want to be half asleep when you’re reading this book.

Sidney certainly has a way with words. She puts the reader on a rollercoaster and as soon as we get to the top, she puts the breaks on. But you’ll have to keep reading in order to finish this great ride. As we finally come to the end of this ride you’ll say “ah”. Then you say, “when can we go again”.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Demons Like It Hot

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Review: Luck of the Devil (Speak of the Devil, Book 1) by Patricia Eimer

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is written in the first person.

We see that Faith Bettincourt and her friends are not exactly human. But she has a human job working in a hospital. She’s a charge nurse in the Children’s ICU unit. Her friend Lisa is a succubus who’s also a nurse. Faith is also the youngest daughter of the devil.

As you read, you’ll notice that as a succubus Lisa isn’t very good at it. If you’re a fan of the series Drop Dead Diva, you can almost picture April Browlby (character: Stacy Barrett) as Lisa – it seems to be a perfect fit. Lisa is just as “dippy” as Stacy is.

Faith isn’t your typical looking girl either – she’s a demon off the old block. She can also do some things that we can’t do like teleport from one place to another. She also has a crush on her next door neighbor, Matt. As you read, you will see that they start a relationship. But even Matt is not all that he seems.

Faith’s brother Tolliver is a major pain. He’s also the one that made Lisa into a succubus. But Faith is different from most demons – she has a conscience. Not your typical demon. Although Patricia has made all her characters different from what I thought they would be – in a good way.

Faith is coming out of a coffee shop and who should she bump into but none other than her sister, Hope. Hope isn’t any better than the brother. As I continue reading, I can definitely see the actors from “Drop Dead Diva” playing the characters in Patricia’s book. It would make a great Lifetime movie or series. I would definitely watch.

If I could cast the part of the devil, I would love to see Steve Martin in the part. For the mother, I could see Diane Keaton. And of course Faith would have to be Brooke Elliot (character: Jane Bingum). Jane’s demeanor would fit Faith’s perfectly.

Patricia also gives us some mystery and suspense. This is all a great mix. It’s what keeps us reading from the beginning of the story all the way to the end. You have no choice but to read the whole story – it’s that good. As I was reading, there were parts that I just had to laugh.

Don’t let the title of this story fool you. It’s definitely not a dark story with some sex thrown in. It’s a very funny tale with romance thrown into the mix. This is definitely a story that you may want to read more than once. I went into reading this thinking this would be a book to read around Halloween – boy was I wrong!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Luck of the Devil

Review: Midnight Brunch (Casa Dracula Book 2) by Marta Acosta

In the second installment of the Casa Dracula series, Milagro meets many more vampires as they come to celebrate the naming ceremony of Sam and Winnie’s baby, an event she just so happens to be excluded from which irks her to no end. Why must Oswald and the Grants always keep her out of the loop?

When Oswald takes off to perform cosmetic surgery for underprivileged children with clef palates, Milagro attends Nancy’s wedding to Toad Todd. She asks Ian to be her escort so she won’t be ignored the whole evening and together they end up hijacking the attentions of society queen Gigi Barton of Barton’s facial tissues (It’s nothing to sneeze at if it isn’t Barton’s!)

The evening ends in disaster when Milagro saves Ian from a faceless thug and is slashed deeply through an arm. The blood loss is devastating and Ian acts quickly transfusing some of his blood with hers and giving Milagro the vampire infection for the second time. It heals her but also brings about some dire consequences. Every time she touches somebody, be they vampire or human, she gets bloody and gory visions of their insides and the urge to attack (and drink) overwhelms her.

Not willing to put the baby or anyone else at risk from the ranch, Millie takes up a job offer from a Fancy University acquaintance, Skip Taylor, in the desert to rewrite the script Teeth of Sharpness. When famous Thomas Cook, a Latino actor, takes over her room and blackmails her into being his assistant, Milagro folds like a deck of cards. It doesn’t hurt that Thomas seems to be the only one who doesn’t bring about the scary visions.

When tabloid writer for the Weekly Exposition, Bernie, tries to tell her that the hotel Paragon has some sneaky and suspicious dealings, Milagro laughs him off. Then he leaks pictures and a story about her and Thomas and a flying goat eating monkey, irking Milagro to know end, but she has to admit the flying monkey is suspicious and so is the hotel’s Diamond Club members… and the crazy vampire Silas and his New Vampire Century who might be behind her hiring for script rewriting.

Concerned about Milagro, Edna shows up at the Paragon Hotel demanding answers and even Oswald cuts his trip and humanitarian efforts short. He’s determined to get to the bottom of Milagro’s behavior and she’s equally determined to figure out what’s going on in La Garbage, California.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: Midnight Brunch (Casa Dracula Series, Book 2)

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6 Reasons Why the Paranormal Character is Always Male

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This post is in response to a little nugget that I read in Heather’s article at the Galaxy Express entitled Does Science Fiction Romance Need More Alpha Heroes? The specific section that caught my eye was this:

In response to the My Paranormal Malaise post at Dear Author, Lisa Paitz Spindler asked:

“Why is it the paranormal character is so often the hero and not the heroine?”

Yeah, what’s up with that?

I can tell you exactly what is up with that as I am a fan of paranormal romance and fiction. So here it goes… six reasons why the paranormal character is always the hero!

  1. We like our heroes mysterious. What is more mysterious than a mythological creature, be he vampire or lycanthrope or other?
  2. Strong powerful hero + average heroine = swoon. When an extraordinary specimen of the male gender sits up and takes notice of a rather ordinary female it is easier to place ourselves in the heroine’s shoes. That’s not because we think of ourselves as unworthy, this formula just makes it more accessible for readers. This scenario also tends to fill the tenderness and protectiveness side of the fantasy.
  3. Strong powerful hero + kickass heroine = hell yeah. When number two’s formula just doesn’t cut it there are the novels about strong heroes and stronger heroines. In this scenario the reader and heroine tend to dominate over the situation. The hero must work around the heroine to get in her good graces and who hasn’t imagine upon at least one occasion a strong sexy male groveling at your feet?
  4. Angel, Spike, Jean-Claude, Asher, Edward Cullen, Jasper Cullen, Eric Northman, and Bill Compton. Do I really need to go on with this point? I think this pretty much brings it home. Otherworldly men are downright sexy! Especially vampires!
  5. The desires of the paranormal fit better on a hero. The act of drinking blood is considered highly sexual in vampire romances. It’s become part of the erotic fantasy. Sometimes the heroine likes to pretend to be helpless and the hero’s act of feeding gives her a thrilling rush. Besides, I think I pretty much covered how icky it can be to read a heroine drinking blood.
  6. Redemption always looks better on a man. Many paranormal stories involve the preternatural lead repenting his past acts dictated by his nature, circumstances, and misinformed beliefs due to change. This makes him now a brooding hero and occasionally puts the heroine in the middle of the path toward his salvation or as his savior.

So there you go—six reasons paranormal stories always feature preternatural heroes.

Review: Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

So guess what… I actually like Richard Zeeman. I never ever thought it would be possible! I hated him on sight that first time he was introduced in the book series. He only became an angry whiny blackhole of lethal emotions and suckitude later on but in Bullet – he man’s up! He’s likeable. He does things for the good of the triumvirate. It’s amazing. It’s unexpected. It makes me want to reread all the books and try to like him in each one. Call me crazy, but wow! Talk about a 180 flip.

How is this possible you might ask? Well the guy doesn’t hold a chunk of Anita’s vast amount of pure rage and anger anymore. He’s doing therapy. He owns that he’s got sexual kinks and he’s willing to explore them instead of blowing his top off because he and everyone around him isn’t lilywhite. It’s a relief. It’s also very hot…love the four-way between him, Jean-Claude, Anita, and Asher. Yummy.

I so much enjoyed Bullet for a variety of reasons:

  • I was right about the Mother of All Darkness. Say what? I’m not telling, read it! Bwuahaha!
  • Haven is dealt with and he’s no longer an issue on the physical front. Richard helps Anita on the emotional. Hurrah!
  • Belle Morte might prove to be an ally in the future if you can imagine that.
  • American Vampire council – hell yeah! Let’s go.
  • While it’s more emotional untangling than mystery busting, there is a bunch of paranormal crazy happening. I liked both. I also liked seeing Anita work a case peripherally.
  • Anita, Micah, and Nathaniel’s life at the Circus. Very neat.
  • Devil. He’s a gold weretiger and he’s new, but he looks to be an interesting character.

Things I’m kind of tired of:

  • Asher’s moodiness. Why is Asher always shunted to the side? Seriously. Thank goodness Anita shows some sense. I do not want Asher gone and I’d like him to go back to being the hottie he was not the new Richard he’s becoming.
  • Anita with girls, especially since she herself likes men not women. First it was Belle Morte kissing Anita. Now Anita is kissing and humping against some super powerful weretiger female?

Oh no!!!

  • Why did Jean-Claude and Richard get to do another girl? Who might be permanent?! The whole reason all these guys work is because I can pretend all of them belong in my secret man harem… I mean, because Anita gets to be possessive in a flip on traditional relationship setups… cough yeah… innocent grin. :)

There’s more but I don’t want to get too much more spoilery than I have. Suffice it to say – fabulous addition to the series (even with the parts I didn’t like) because it gave me so much that I did and have been waiting to see.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)

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Review: Magic University Book Three: The Incubus and the Angel by Cecilia Tan

by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer

If Tarot cards are your thing, you might like this one as they are, in part responsible for one man investigating some strange goings on with a female friend he knows. She is having nightmares when she shouldn’t have, and doesn’t know the reason for them until she discovers she has an incubus who visits her nightly and gives her very sexual dreams.

Alex and Kyle are both friends who see what goes on around them, and know all about the occult, the benefits of it, and the down side to knowing more than they should. As an apology for something he’s done before, Alex tells his fortune by spreading the cards for him one night, even if he does think he’s no good at being able to predict anyone’s fortune. Kyle thinks different though, as he has already proved he can do it – his predictions so far have been spot on, and he wonders what the next spread have in store for him.

The cards can tell a person anything, love life, the possibility of wealth, even a new start for the one involved, but in Kyle’s spread there are quite a few negative cards, the positive ones meaning he could be in store for a new relationship if he’s lucky, but he doesn’t see the future even if he does believe what he has told him. Kyle has nightmares, and he feels for Lindy who is not in control of what the incubus is doing to her nightly. He discovers the only way he can help her is to use sexual magic to ward the demon off her.

I liked the fact Cecilia had Kyle as a moderately bisexual male in the novel, one who had a touch of femininity to him that could make him relate to the women he meets, especially Jeannie and Lindy. After his relationship with Frost, he wants to discuss other things with him that do concern him as he tends to jump between guys and girls, and doesn’t have any stability.

Cecilia’s use of Circe’s Tit as a retort reminded me of Arthur Weasley’s utterance of Merlin’s Beard when he sees Harry Potter. It’s funny and gets the point across.

Kyle has had his fair share of romances, but wants to find his true soulmate, not just feel that the sex is right – he wants to feel for the other person, have a connection with someone that goes beyond sex. He has never felt that close to a girl or boy who took his fancy, and thinks that someday he will find the one who is right for him, even if it is a girly notion for him to have.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Magic University: The Incubus and the Angel