Review: A Vampire’s Passion (A Romance In Central City, Book 3) by Jordan K. Rose

a vampire's passionReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Brandt is aware of homeless going missing and an evil army vowing to take control of the city, but if he has anything to do with it, they won’t get the chance. Brandt has enough trouble on a reconnaissance mission to find out more on Menhadens, a restaurant in Central City. There he meets Rachel a waitress working there who takes his fancy almost in an instant with her amazing blue eyes.

Review: We first meet Brandt when he’s busy scoping Menhadens for the kind of people who enter the establishment. Brandt doesn’t like having a sidekick, and certainly not one he labels as the world’s most irritating vampire, Garrison. After being on Earth for a hundred years, he still can’t get on with people the way he hopes. He always gets ribbed about being anti-social by his sidekick and anyone else who knows him. When he meets Rachel she’s the most stubborn woman he has ever met, but there is something about her he can’t resist, even being a vampire.

He and Garrison are looking into the dangerous and cruel experiments that Panthera Laboratories are getting up to, and he is afraid that Rachel might also be getting caught up in them. Raymond Tyrone is the kingpin and things could get bad if anyone finds out. Rachel might have an attitude that offends the ones who eat at Menhadens, yet out of work she’s a caring person who feeds a street guy affectionately called “Hank.” She remembers growing up poor as a kid, and doesn’t mind sneaking food out of the work’s kitchens if it means saving someone from starving. Brandt begins to question his standing as a vampire when she has the ability to resist him, even though he is more than interested in her being the one for him. Rachel compliments Brandt’s lack of human warmth toward the men he works with, as she is compassionate even if she is stubborn.

Good Bits:

  • The humour that runs through the whole novel.
  • Brandt is a very well thought out character and proves it.
  • A place called Crap Alley and who coined the name.

Summary: This is a vampire cop mystery that will interest those interested in supernatural romance, and though it might seem that Brandt and Rachel aren’t made for each other, it could be said readers might change their minds half way through.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: A Vampire’s Passion: A Romance In Central City, Novella Three

Review: Romancing the Dead by Tate Halloway

romancing the deadReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Garnet is planning a wedding with a vampire, but when he goes missing, she is left with Sebastian’s half-vampire / all attitude son, Matyas giving her grief and having to explain what happened.

Review: Garnet can’t believe she was going to marry Sebastian Von Traum – yet she’s going to have all she desires even if she has her reservations as she suspects he has a roving eye for other ghouls, I mean girls, and his apparent attraction to Blythe causes her to think that he might not be taking their marriage seriously enough. It’s not easy running her own shop, Mercury Crossing, and covers where Sebastian helps her out – even though none of them gel with him being an undead blood-sucker.

Good bits:

  • Her friend, William’s reference to the 80’s movie Highlander, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore – ’nuff said.
  • Marge lying to Garnet about the Anubis pendant around her neck – bad idea.

Bad bits:

  • None

Summary: I would say this one would be on my keeper shelf as it’s got several good characters in it, it’s funny and I do like reading comedy vampire novels, stories etc. What gripped me about this one was the other characters reaction to Sebastian’s being a vampire, the one-liners and jokes that came out of the dialogue kept me in hysterics. I would like to read a lot more from this writer as I enjoyed this one.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Romancing the Dead (Garnet Lacey)

Review: Bloodmoon Cove Spirits (Bound Spirits, Book 1) by Karen Wiesner

Karen Wiesner bound spiritsReviewed by Sandra Scholes

The cover of this book is quite a spooky one, as it contains all the hurt, anger, and fear that one woman had in her past, and still has later on in her life as Esme Dumas. Esme is a woman who has escaped being imprisoned in a basement without heat and light which are normal, everyday things most people take for granted. In those days she only had books to keep her occupied, and since her escape, she never thought she would find someone who was like her.

Esme comes to Bloodmoon Cove to shed her past, and find work. She sees it as peaceful and picturesque, and if she can get rid of the troubles her past had given her, she feels she can make a new start for herself. John Kotter, the Park Ranger of Bloodmoon Cove takes an interest in her and senses she has a terrible secret past in the same way he has.

Like a lot of Karen’s novels, this one contains the aspects of human cruelty, such as murder, bullying, and hatred. Esme has been a victim of kidnapping when she was young and her isolation had made it difficult for her to make friends with others and trust people in general. John is a lot like her and understands what she has been going through as his parents past wasn’t exactly a good one either. John feels like a failure, and had once decided to move away from Bloodmoon Cove to start a new life away from it all, hoping to forget his old life. The problem is, the people in Bloodmoon Cove have their own ideas about what residents should do, and how they should live, which doesn’t exactly make John want to stay, yet he doesn’t want to abandon the work his father and grandfathers did for the Cove.

The way John discovers Esme is quite touching, and as she is a mix of scared and relieved at the sight of John, he can only bring himself to help her rather than tell her to leave – he has been brought up to be a better man than to tell a frightened young woman to leave. They both see in each other a need, and their love arises from that.

Likes:

  • The urban legend of Harrity Skaritty and his Demon Dog.
  • The love between Esme and John starts out slow but their love is true and precious.
  • Readers will like the paranormal element that runs through the story as it’s scary enough.
  • John discovers Esme in the most unusual of circumstances, and instantly wants to give her a chance at a new life.

Dislikes:

  • Its a bit slow moving, but overall a good read.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: Bound Spirits, Book 1 of the Bloodmoon Cove Spirits Series (Volume 1)

Get into Bed with Aria Kane (Author Interview)

Blog Tour ButtonKeira: In a zombie apocalypse, what three items do you grab and what’s the first thing you do after grabbing them?

Aria Kane: 1 – Water filter. In an apocalypse, even a zombie one, lack of potable water is going to kill more city folk than just about anything else. I have one designed for hiking, that’s light weight and will filter out most danger organisms.

2 – A crowbar, baseball bat, whatever you have that’s good for decapitation. If I’m at my parents, I’m going straight for the gun cabinet.

3 – My dog. No, seriously. Watch I Am Legend. A dog will save your ass more times than you can possibly count. My booboo’s not normally fierce, but he is protective of me.

Keira: Your new release, Once Upon a Darkness, features zombies. What do we, the readers, need to know? Do we bring along our zombie survival kit?

Aria: I will say that hardcore zombie fans might be a little disappointed. Once Upon a Darkness reads more like an action adventure than a horror and the zombies are only up close a few times. But if you have guys like Clint, Hank, and Erik backing you up, you’re golden.

Keira: In your opinion, what is more dangerous: zombies attacking or humans attacking and why?

Aria: On the one hand, zombies are incapable of reasoning. On the other hand, humans are capable of reasoning. Zombies are relentless, but they’re not very smart. Humans are effing smart – and cruel. You only have to look at things like the atom bomb to answer this question: zombies just want to find dinner, humans want to watch the world burn.

Keira: Do you plan to go see World War Z? And if you are, is it for the zombies or Brad Pitt?

Aria: Heck yes! As soon as I can convince someone to spend the night with me afterward – funny enough, I’m a HUGE scaredy-cat when it comes to zombies.

Keira: What’s next on your plate? More zombies? (Brains!)

Aria: I’m currently working on something new for me – a contemporary romance. I’m working on a sexy continuity with a few author friends of mine and – I think that’s all I’m allowed to tell you about it right now!

OnceUponADarkness_v2Blurb:

Gretchen and her twin brother, Hank, were abandoned to a zombie horde when they were five years old. Intended to be a sacrifice by their zealot parents, they were instead rescued by The Company. Raised to become soldiers in the war against zombies, they now provide safe passage through danger zones, one contract at a time.

Clint’s only skill is war, but he’s weary of killing other men. When his contract with the Marines runs out, he takes a job on Gretchen’s team, hoping that the search-and-rescue life will suit him better.

On Clint’s second day, their four-man team is attacked, drugged, and taken to a prison full of frightened civilians. The only way in or out is by helicopter and, here, their enemies are human. One by one, the captives are culled from the holding area. Rumors say the facility director uses the prisoners as experimental subjects for the testing of a zombie cure.

When Hank is culled, Clint and Gretchen must put aside their personal feelings and find a way out of the prison, surrounded by thousands of starving zombies, before Hank becomes just one more disposable guinea pig in the hands of a twisted mad woman.

Buy: Once Upon a Darkness

Excerpt:

“Can we try something else?” Clint swung the practice sword in a wide sweep. “I think I got this motion down.”

“When you’re facing a crowd of zombies, there’s no time to think,” a woman’s voice said behind him.

He spun, sword in hand. She lunged at him. He had enough time to register pale skin and straight white-blonde hair atop a lithe frame before her arms crashed into his shoulders with shocking force. Air rushed painfully from his lungs as his back hit the ground. His sword rattled out of reach. She crouched on top of him, somehow holding him down with not much more than a hundred pounds to her. Eyes the color of ice on an Alaskan glacier stared back at him.

“If I were a zombie, you’d be a three-course meal right now.” The woman, who was maybe a few years younger than him, snapped her jaw and laughed.

“Or a new zombie, yourself,” another male voice said. Clint looked over her shoulder to find the male version of his attacker standing about twenty feet back from the scene. Next to him, a mountain of a man smirked with amusement. All three of them were nuts.

She shaped her hand like a gun and pressed it to his forehead. “No, I’d kill you before I let that happen.” She said it casually, like telling someone lunch was ready.

“Thanks?” Was this some sort of weird initiation?

The woman leapt to her feet and yanked him up after her. She tapped the back of his skull. “When you’re attacked, your lizard brain takes over. You have to do something like a sword swing or a roundhouse kick thousands of times so that it becomes instinctual. Hesitation is fatal.” She punctuated her words with practiced movements; the swinging of an imaginary sword and a roundhouse kick aimed at the practice target.

“Right.” He had known this, of course, but had forgotten it in the absolute boredom of swinging the sword the same way for hours.

The woman stood there with her hands on her hips as if she were waiting for some kind of applause. He didn’t know what else to say that would keep her from jumping him again. Though, now that he got a good look at her, maybe he wouldn’t mind another roll in the dirt. She was tall, with long legs bared by khaki shorts. A tiny white tank top stretched over a black sports bra that definitely earned its keep. Lean muscle stretched along the full length of her arms, torso, and legs. Strapped to her legs and waist were weapon holsters of all varieties that – in his mind, at least – only made her sexier.

“What are you, Zombie Slayer Barbie?”

Buy: Once Upon a Darkness

Giveaway: To celebrate the release of Once Upon a Darkness, Aria Kane is giving away a Kobo Vox (Android) eReader with a red leather case to one winner (US residents only), and a choice of any Entranced ebook to another winner (international entries welcome).

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AriaKaneAbout the Author:

Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. She lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he’s a Chihuahua.

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Aria_Kane

Website: http://www.ariakane.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ariakaneauthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ariakane/

Review: Red Velvet and Absinthe by Mitzi Szereto

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

There is nothing like 15 stories of paranormal erotic romance to thrill a reader into each of them, all are different, yet all will leave them with the distinct taste of absinthe on the tongue from the sheer pleasure they bring.

A Foreword and Introduction create enough of a background to the Gothic horror story to set the scene for the stories that the reader will immerse themselves in. Kelley Armstrong goes into all the elements that make up the Gothic story, the darkness, the innocent woman, mysterious man who is interested in her, and the haunting madness that is so often the bread and butter of this genre. They don’t always work out that way, though, there are the stories that bend the rules a little, some are different in they use gay or lesbian characters instead of the usual ones everyone knows about.

Well, everyone doesn’t know about these stories – they vary from each one, and all have the distinct elements of the Gothic horror within them. They can surprise, shock, and amaze-all with the intensity of the Gothic drama and feel of the age. These stories bring out an atmosphere of intrigue, full of dark and twisted emotions we can all feel in the right light…in this case it is candle light that will inspire us.

Here are a few of the stories available and my reviews of them:

Snowlight, Moonlight by Rose De Fer

A woman on a journey is attacked and left for dead on a snowy path. The coachman did not survive and the coach itself would not be useable again. Lucky for her she has someone who can help her, a man who encounters her body one night and takes her all the way back to his mansion house. There she wakes up and wonders where she is. The kind gentleman tells her where he found her, yet she has no memory of it. Everything is a blur to her mind until he mentions one thing, the things that attacked her days ago. That is what startles her.

Of particular interest to the reader will be what the man has been studying for a while, and what she really is after the accident. It interested me when a perfect gentleman could be so out of character to tie the lady to his bed – but then again, the reader will find out why. I enjoyed the atmosphere this story conjured for me, and I found it the sort of story that I could read again and again.

Cover Him with Darkness by Janine Ashbless

A young girl remembers seeing a young man tied to a slab of limestone. She sees how handsome he is, and how strong he looks, yet also how vulnerable and unhappy he is too. As she is so young, she doesn’t know what the man has done to make her father have him bound so cruelly, but he doesn’t tell her anything – just decides to keep her in the dark as far as explanations go. She is persistent though, and soon she will discover who and what he is. When she is older, her father’s dying words are that someone has to watch over the man as he had many years ago, and it sounds like she will have to do her duty to the family.

Strangely enough, the reader might not ever find out what he is, they will have to make their own mind up as to whether he is a titan or some kind of Prometheus as Janine makes him out to be. All the reader will know is that he is a muscular and handsome man who has been imprisoned for what seems like generations.

A Rose in the Willow Garden by Elizabeth Daniels

Bierce is wandering around for that special person, but he hasn’t found her yet, and being a hunter of a man he does keep on trying until he gets to her, but it isn’t easy when he is trawling the bars and inns along the town in search of her. He always finds loose women there who want him as he is a seductive devil, but one eludes him, and whoever she is he can’t get her out of his mind.

Readers will soon find out that he is not the sort of man she should mess with even if she does think she loves him. She does have a boyfriend already which annoys him a great deal, but he understands that she will have lovers being a handsome woman. There are things she needs to know about his past and what he has done with other women before she takes the plunge and gets with him, but it’s up to her. This is an unusual story with a nice ending.

The Blood Moon Kiss by Mitzi Szereto

The Blood Moon Kiss is a vampire soap opera directed by Mark Gaitzburger and the heroine is the beautiful Christine, while the anti hero is Talen played by Kyle. He is a method actor and everyone knows how good he is at playing his part to the fullest. Christine thinks there is something wrong with him, something the other actors have missed, but she also finds him intriguing to her in a way no other man would, and that, for her…could be dangerous.

Kyle’s accent could give him away as she notices it is slightly European, and has a certain twang about it. He does get ill occasionally and tends to shut himself away from the sight of others, and it bothers her that he does this. The Blood Moon Kiss reminded me of Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, a man who finds the love of his life in the future and can’t be without her. This is the perfect Gothic romance story set in the present day in this volume.

Painted by Anna Meadows

You would never think a painting could cause jealousy, but in one woman’s wife, it does. She hates the very sight of it, but the husband likes it a great deal, and after winning it in a bet, he finds her dislike of the woman annoying for him. She mentions that the woman looks like a tart, hoping he will remove it some day. The woman in the painting has a certain something that Benjamin likes, and it entices him to keep looking at it even though it sends goose bumps on his skin.

Benjamin feels as though no one is taking his feelings into account about the painting, as he sees the woman in it as almost alive. He is the only one who has a connection with her, and one night when he is alone, he notices that the woman is gone. The rest of his family think Ben should get married, but he isn’t interested in anyone other than the woman in the painting and he wonders who she really is. I enjoyed the setting of this story, and the presence it evoked for me.

La Belle Mort by Zander Vyne

Elizabeth Morton is due to be executed, and she is with child too. She has been tried for a crime she did not commit, she did not steal a diamond necklace from the estate where she lived, and worked but she knows who has. This is a journey back in time again to when a woman could be tricked into anything, and the gentleman would get away with it. Taken to prison before this can happen, she is made open to a life of nothingness, and doesn’t expect the sorrow and pain life in jail can cause. She does have a visitor though, and he could be the answer to her dreams. When another man arrives she listens to what he has to say, mentioning that if she tells them where she has hid the necklace, they will pardon her. Unfortunately, she hasn’t stolen it, and doesn’t know where it is.

Elizabeth is the sort of woman from period dramas who was used in those days by rich lords who had affairs with nursemaids and servants when the wife was otherwise indisposed. Tales are numerous about what happens when these women are pregnant and can only do one thing – leave where they are or risk being kicked out anyway. In those days, servants were used and cast out, and this story tells the reality of what happened.

These are only a few of the stories in this book, and I picked my favourites out, but there will be the readers own favourites too and not all of the characters are so obviously monsters either – this is much more than a compilation of the unusual and the monstrous…it is deliciously Gothic.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance

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