Review: The Vampire Hunter (In the Company of Vampires, Book 2) by Michelle Hauf

vampire hunterReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: It’s Kasper’s (Kaz) sixteenth birthday and his only present is a wild, fanged beast trying to kill him – in his panic, he stakes him, killing him outright, though it takes another man, Tor to tell him that the beast he just took out was a vampire and even though he bit him, as he killed it – he would not become like him. He got lucky and, though Tor can’t offer him a place to stay as he’s also homeless, he tells him he can become one of the Knights of the Stake who live to protect the humans who walk the streets of gay Paris.

Review: Kaz has changed from what we saw in the prologue. In chapter one and onward he is a grown man who has developed martial arts skills to be able to look after himself, but the ability to be fast still evades him. Meeting Zoe in the cemetery was a chance he never thought possible, but she needed help and he as after three more vampires, longtooth they are known as, and they could have done a lot of damage to a woman like her if they had caught her. The difference is Zoe isn’t like other women he’s met she’s a witch and being with her would go against his code of ethics.

After kissing Zoe once, he wishes he could kiss her again. Strange thing is he feels drawn to her, like they are meant to be together even though he has never met her before. Kaz, like most heroes in romantic fiction is a man on a quest – to find the single-toothed vampire who killed his friends Robert and Ellen Horst. They had been on their honeymoon when the crazed vamp had a burning desire for the diamonds his wife wore that night. Rumour has it there is a new drug going around called Magic Dust and if vampires take it, it makes them crave shiny things. Other than Kaz’s need to find the killer, he wants to find the one who is creating and distributing the drug – but it he does, he might not like who it is.

Good Bits:

  • The fight Kaz has in the cemetery at the beginning.
  • The ever mysterious Vaillant.
  • The naughty things Faeries can do during sex with vampires!

Summary: Michelle tackles the subject of Faerie and other supernatural creatures living in a sort of harmony in this novel. Vampires have the sort of needs we never pondered before and are far from the Gothic, fanged predators we took them for. They have weaknesses and the Faerie tend to exploit them for their own gain. Kaz is a strong character and Zoe is equally as strong but in different ways. I liked that this story was based in Paris and had a lot of fast-paced moments, emotions and humorous moments too.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Vampire Hunter (In the Company of Vampires Book 2)

Review: Immortally Ever After (Monster M*A*S*H, Book 3) by Angie Fox

Immortally Ever AfterReviewed by Sharon S.

In The Heat Of Battle

The hard-won cease-fire between the battling immortals doesn’t last long. In the blink of an eye, human surgeon Dr. Petra Robichaud is back on the frontlines, and starring in yet another of the oracle’s prophesies. As the only healer who can talk to the dead, Petra doesn’t have much choice about her role—even when her breathtaking ex-lover shows up at exactly the wrong time…

Two Hearts Fight To Survive

Petra may have moved on when Commander Galen left her, but she never forgot him—and the passionate moments they shared. Seeing him again is a distraction she really doesn’t need with both armies honing new weapons, and wounded all over her M*A*S*H unit. But how can she resist him? It’s now or never for the demi-god Galen to become Petra’s mate…but with the fate of humanity at stake, will their desire be worth the cost?

I have been waiting for this last installment of Angie Fox’s paranormal romance trilogy Monster M.A.S.H. The beauty of a trilogy is it is like one very long story, but usually you can’t read them out of order or you risk spoiling important reveals. I suggest you start this series with Immortally Yours (book #1). I promise you won’t regret it.

Angie Fox is known for the humorous light tone you find in her PNR series Demon Slayer. Monster M.A.S.H. has a darker tone to it. It is about a war between the mythological old gods and the new, and Angie doesn’t shy away from the horrors of working in a M.A.S.H. unit. But it is tempered with some of the silly and witty writing she is known for. You can call it a dramedy.

I can’t give away too many details about the plot because this is the final installment. I can tell you it was the most action packed of the three. At first I was worried because it started out focusing on Petra’s love life instead of the story like in the first two books. It got a little too PNR for me. It did eventually change the focus back to the Petra’s role in the war and it was page turning action from then on. I really liked learning about the dragon shifters. After years of being enslaved by the old gods and used as weapons, they are ready for some payback. The female dragon shifter Leta was my favorite secondary character in this book. I was able to feel her helplessness and then empowerment as she grew strong and unleashed her furry. Gave me goosebumps!

There are so many fabulous characters in the series. Medusa (yes, that one) and Jeffe (a sphinx) add a lot of humor. Galen is our hero and he is the swoon worthy demi god you would expect him to be. The story is told in the first person POV of Petra. In the beginning of the series she already jaded by the war and has serious trust issues. Over the course of the three books she slowly and hesitantly starts to let her heart open to those around her.

If you are looking for a great balance of urban fantasy and paranormal romance with humor, mythology and unique world building, give this one a try.

Immortally Ever After Rating: ★★★★☆
Monster M.A.S.H. series: Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Immortally Ever After (Monster MASH)

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Get into Bed with Isabel Cooper (Author Interview)

Keira: How did you first come up with Lessons After Dark?

Isabel Cooper: The end of No Proper Lady was really what started it. The natural course for Simon and Joan seemed to be making sure that the world could defend itself from future threats, which meant training agents—so I was pretty sure that any sequel would involve a school. I always liked school stories, anyhow.

Gareth and Olivia, in specific, came from my desire to write a hero and heroine who started out not liking each other, and to provide a good reason for that.

Keira: What happens when a supernatural talent for healing fails to heal the supernatural?

IC: That depends a lot on the situation: how strong the healing talent is, what sort of condition the person’s trying to heal, and so on. Gareth’s particular talent tends to draw on his own life force, so he can fail to heal even a non-supernatural wound just by not having enough energy. Diseases fight back to some extent, which can be nasty—and supernatural injuries or diseases are often even worse, since some of them have some kind of primitive “mind” of their own. Failure to heal that sort of thing can have serious consequences for the would-be healer—or anything else around, sometimes.

Keira: There are elements of fake magic and real magic in Lessons After Dark, what made you decide to include both?

IC: I’d already set up a world with real magic in No Proper Lady, and I naturally wanted to continue with that. But, since not everyone knows how to do real magic, some of the people out there have to be faking it for their own reasons. I wanted to show that the real presence of something doesn’t mean fake versions aren’t out there, and vice versa—I also had learned a lot of interesting stuff about fake mediums during my research, and wanted to work with that information. Plus, working with the false information seemed like a good way to accidentally find out about the real stuff.

Keira: Do the school children bring together the Doctor and the Teacher or help drive them apart?

IC: A bit of both, sometimes!

On the one hand, having five adolescents around is going to put a damper on even the most active love life—and Englefield’s students can get into even more trouble than most teenagers, which is saying something. There are a lot of interruptions. I also don’t think Gareth would have gotten his back up quite as much over Olivia’s background if she hadn’t been working with the students: he’s got that whole Victorian thing about role models and setting a good example and so forth.

On the other hand, the aforementioned trouble that the kids cause means that Gareth and Olivia can’t avoid or ignore one another—they have to work together, which breaks down a lot of barriers over time. And after they’ve seen each other in action a few times, each of them has to admit that the other has the students’ best interest at heart, which goes a long way toward changing their initial mistrust.

Keira: How do you define (romantic) love?

IC: Just the right mix of friendship, admiration, and lust. There’s a complicated sort of alchemy here. For me personally, realizing I’m in love with someone has always been a lot like realizing I have gum in my hair—a messy situation that’s going to be hell to get out of—but I try to keep it more positive for my heroes and heroines.

Keira: What’s harder to keep alive and maintain: romance or houseplants?

IC: Romance, definitely. If guys just needed direct sun and water once a day, my college relationships would’ve lasted way longer.

Keira: What projects are you working on next?

IC: My next book is Curious Affairs at Midnight, and will be in stores in December 2012. Charlotte Woodwell—now a full-fledged Englefield agent—teams up with a government spy to track down a missing kid with unnerving powers. There are road trips, evil cultists, and a surly hedgehog.

LESSONS AFTER DARK BY ISABEL COOPER – IN STORES APRIL 2012

A woman with an unspeakable past…

Olivia Brightmore didn’t know what to expect when she took a position to teach at Englefiend School, an academy for “gifted” children. But it wasn’t having to rescue a young girl who levitated to the ceiling. Or battling a dark mystery in the surrounding woods. And nothing could have prepared her for Dr. Gareth St. John…

A man with exceptional talent…

He knew all about her history and scrutinized her every move because of it. But there was more than suspicion lurking in those luscious green eyes. Even with all the strange occurrences at the school, the most unsettling of all is the attraction pulling Olivia and Gareth together with a force that cannot be denied.

Buy: Lessons After Dark

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Critically acclaimed author Isabel Cooper lives in Boston with her boyfriend and a houseplant she’s kept alive for over a year now. She maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager working in legal publishing; all the while, she’s writing dark, edgy and magical romance novels. Her debut novel, No Proper Lady, was named a 2011 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year in the romance category, a 2011 Library Journal Best Romance of the Year and received an RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence for the month of September 2011. For more information, please visit http://www.isabelcooper.org.

GIVEAWAY: 2 copies of Lessons After Dark. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by leaving a comment or question for Isabel. Last day to enter: April 27, 2012.

Get into Bed with Ashlyn Chase (Author Interview)

This author interview with Ashlyn Chase is conducted by Sandra Scholes.

Sandra Scholes: I know you are a very busy person with your writing career, but do you get much chance to continue your painting?

Ashlyn Chase: No. I’ve lost my passion for painting. I still love both still and performance art and enjoy art museums, but I prefer to tell my stories with words rather than images.

Sandra: The Werewolf Upstairs is a fine supernatural romance novel. I have always liked reading this sort of novel that has humor in it. Tell me, were you always writing humorous novels?

Ashlyn: I began by writing romantic suspense, adding moments of comic relief. More and more reviewers and readers complimented my sense of humor. I warned them they were creating a monster, but they seemed to want more anyway. Eventually I discovered the joy of writing “light” and haven’t looked back.

Sandra: In The Werewolf Upstairs, I loved the dialogue between Konrad and Roz. Were they based on real people, or did you get a real kick out of creating these two main characters from scratch?

Ashlyn: Their personalities were not based on real people. Their looks were though. Ellora’s Cave’s gorgeous male model Ryan was someone I wanted on the cover, so I described him to a T. When the series was picked up by a different publisher, Sourcebooks, I knew Ryan wouldn’t be on the cover, but that’s okay. I adore the cute covers they made even more. They really stand out. Miracle Laurie was the actress on whom I based Roz’s description. She’s not stick thin, and I think she’s beautiful.

Sandra: Are werewolves one of your favorite horror/supernatural creatures, or are there many others who surface in your novels?

Ashlyn: My paranormal characters run the gamut.  I’ve written vampires, werewolves, “the little people” of Ireland, witches, shapeshifters of many varieties, a genie, a merman, a dragoness… If I’m forgetting one or two, I apologize.

Sandra: I have had time to do plenty of research on you. You have had quite an interesting career history; nurse, hypnotherapist, and interior designer. What was it about all these skills that made you want to write professionally?

Ashlyn: It’s humbling to know you’ve read up on me. Well, I burned out of nursing and didn’t feel like the other two jobs you mentioned were quite the right fit. I’ve wanted to write for many years. When my folks passed away and left me enough of an inheritance to follow my dream, I knew they’d want me to. I gave it my all, and I’m still working hard, but I love it so much it doesn’t feel like work.

Sandra: Does comedy romance come naturally to you or is it something you developed over time?

Ashlyn: I guess it’s both. I didn’t have much of a sense of humor growing up. It developed as I got older. The more I joked around, the more I enjoyed life. Now I’m having so much fun it should be illegal.

Sandra: How do you create your characters? Do you create them with your readers in mind?

Ashlyn: My characters tell me who they are. I may start with a general idea, but before long, I get to “know them” as you’d get to know anybody. What they think, say and do defines them. I might tweak their actions a bit, but only to keep them consistent.

Sandra: Konrad Wolfensen sounds like a rather handsome and desirable man, have you any more handsome characters in mind for the next novel, The Vampire Next Door?

Ashlyn: The vampire Sylvestro Flores, or Sly as his friends call him, is a handsome latino man. You can see a picture of him in my video for Strange Neighbors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1tt5rqxVco

Sandra: What plans have you got for future novels? I know your fans are itching to know more!

Ashlyn I’m working on two books simultaneously. One is a shapeshifting tiger and is a sequel to Vampire Vintage (Ellora’s Cave.) The other one is called Oh La La and is about a restaurant in New Orleans that used to be a brothel. It’s being haunted by the madam and two of the “working girls.” More paranormal comedy—what fun!

THE WEREWOLF UPSTAIRS BY ASHLYN CHASE – IN STORES FEBRAURY 2011

Petty Crime Never Looked So Good…

Alpha werewolf Konrad Wolfensen sees it as his duty to protect the citizens of Boston, even if it means breaking into their businesses just to prove their security systems don’t’ work. But when his unsolicited services land him in trouble with the lay, he’ll have to turn to his sexy new neighbor for help.

She Should Know Better

Attorney Roz Wells is bored. She used to have such a knack for attracting the weird and unexpected,. But ever since she took a job as a public defender, the quirky quotient is her life has taken a serious hit. Until her sexy werewolf neighbor starting coming around…

Buy: The Werewolf Upstairs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A multi-published author with Sourcebooks, Ellora’s Cave and Total-e-Bound, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has worked as a psychiatric nurse, and for the Red Cross, and has a degree in behavioral sciences. She lives with her true-life hero husband in beautiful New Hampshire, where she is working on the third book in her series, The Vampire Next Door, set to release in August 2011. For more information, please visit http://ashlynchase.com/.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of The Werewolf Upstairs for giveaway today. Open to US and Canada addresses and readers. Enter by leaving a comment below and/or ask Ashlyn a question. Last Day to Enter: March 4, 2011. Good luck!

What is the Little Mermaid Syndrome?

*This post does not deal with the medical condition; it deals with the literary condition.

littlemermaid

The Little Mermaid Syndrome is the desire to be part of another’s world.

A fictional character under the influence of LMS would go any length to become like the one they desire. This coveting is usually driven by love. In other cases the driving emotion is obsession.

Conditions:

The ripest situations for the LMS are in Fantasy and Paranormal genres where partners are more likely to be unmatched. By unmatched I mean a plain/weak human and a beautiful/strong supernatural being.

In these cases it is usually the human who wants become like their partner. Rarer is for the magical being to desire to be become human or have the means to become human. Plainly put it is a simple fact the LMS goes only one way.

Why is this?

I think it is all part of the escapism fantasy. We tire of the normal and are looking beyond our world for something better; be it vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, or selkies. The idea behind this is that being connected to one of these more exotic beings or being one makes our world that much more exciting and ripe for adventure.

Human (normal) –> Vampire (supernatural)

Human (normal) –> Lycanthrope (supernatural)

Thumblina (normal, despite being supernaturally tiny) –> Fairy (supernatural)

The exception to the rule is the Little Mermaid.

Mermaid (supernatural) –> Human (normal)

This is because the human in this tale is clueless to the existence of the preternatural world. The mermaid must make herself known because their interaction would never happen otherwise as they do not exist in the same habitat. One lives on land and the other in water. It’s not like with vampires or werewolves which appear completely human and can intermingle in the same locations.

Witches and wizards are to my knowledge the only magical beings that could instill the LMS in their partner and do nothing about it. You’re either born with magic or you’re not. There’s no gray area.

Books featuring LMS:

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Win a Copy of Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition) DVD!

New Moon will officially be underway soon and that means it’s time for a little celebration and a contest. Goody! As you know preternatural romance on the rise and not just for vampires and werewolves, though they seem to get most of the attention. For this contest it’s time to visit paranormal romance covers. Your mission is to create a slinky sexy cover featuring some supernatural hotness. Pick your poison by focusing on werewolves or vampires.

Vampire Covers Must Include:

  • fangs
  • a composition of dark colors
  • a red object
  • full or partial chest and stomach

Werewolf Covers Must Include:

  • a wolf
  • a composition of dark colors
  • the moon
  • bare chest and stomach

Both Types of Covers Must Meet the Following Requirements:

  • male model is someone you know personally
  • all elements used must be your own or available under the Creative Commons license
  • final image is 468 x 420
  • original title (on image) and accompanying summary of book (not on image)

Prize:

Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

I will hand select the winner from entries received on or before March 21. You have limited time – so get started! Winner will be announced March 22nd-24th depending on the number of submissions. Contest is open to all!

By submitting you agree that the work is your own and that Love Romance Passion has the right to share it on the blog.

Turn your submissions into Keira at reviewromancenovel@yahoo.com