Fated (Dark Protectors, #1)
by Rebecca Zanetti
Marry Me! Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she's used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But "whatever it takes" has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem.
Or Else! Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he's there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he's a three-hundred-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he's had that long to practice. . .
Blood on Silk (Awakened by Blood, #1) by Marie Treanor
While in Romania researching historical superstitions, Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk comes upon the folk tale of Saloman, a seductive prince staked centuries ago, legend's most powerful vampire. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers supernatural legends that have come alive. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger, and it's going to unite them in ways neither could have imagined.
Half Past Dead: The Undying Heart / Simon Says (The Blades of the Rose, #0.5; Guardians of the Dark, #1)
There are good guys, there are bad boys, and then there are men with a danger all their own—these are the ones who take you places you never imagined…and will never forget.
“The Undying Heart” by Zoe Archer
Samuel Reed had no idea magic existed, until it almost destroyed him. Thirsting for vengeance against the enemy who made him something less than human, Sam returns to England and crosses paths with Cassandra Fielding. His best friend’s little sister has become a fearless woman on a dangerous mission of her own. And against all odds, she sees past what he’s become, and stirs a desire he thought he’d lost forever…
“Simon Says” by Bianca D’Arc
Special Forces soldier Simon Blackwell ended his affair with Mariana Daniels three years ago, but he hasn’t stopped protecting her. Mariana has no knowledge of the dark, deadly creatures that lurk in the forest surrounding her clinic, or of the mysterious powers that make Simon the only one who can defeat them. But soon he’ll have no choice but to reveal the truth, and urge her to trust in an explosive passion that never faded…
|MY REVIEW: "Half Past Dead" is quite an appropriate title for this paranormal romance anthology from authors Zoe Archer and Bianca D'Arc. In each of the stories the zombified hero is not really human, but not really dead. Both "men" retain enough of their humanity to not only be heroic, but romantic as well. Actually, they are intensely erotic. Who knew? Zoe Archer's story, "The Undying Heart", is the prequel for her "Blades of the Rose" series, and it takes place in the Post-Civil War Era. Samuel Reed served valiantly in the War Between the States, only to be betrayed, murdered, and made one of the living dead by his own villainous commanding officer. After years of struggle, he is able to control his own will and seeks to destroy the man who defiled his existence along with the lives of so many of his fellow soldiers. His search brings him face-to-face with Cassandra Fielding, the sister of his best friend, Charlie, whose battle injuries were too severe for his body to be reborn as undead. Cassie does not turn away from Sam, even though she fully realizes that he is no longer a living, breathing man--he has no heartbeat. She is also on a mission, working for a select, secretive society, and she and Sam are after the same man. As they work together to bring an end to a heinous evil, feelings from their youth bloom and mature into a powerful passion. If they succeed in their quest, will they find a way to let love win its own war? Bianca D'Arc's contemporary story, "Simon Says", features a special ops superman, Simon Blackwell, who was bitten by a zombie and lived to tell the tale. Not only lived, but did not lose his humanity. After being quite ill from the bite, he bounced back stronger than ever with unusual physical abilities and the capability to quickly heal from injuries. His unique resistance to the zombie virus makes him unequaled as a hunter of the undead, and it also brings him back in contact with Dr. Mariana Daniels, the woman he turned away from after he was stricken. The explosive chemistry between them is just as hot, and the love they had never acknowledged is as deep as it is unspoken. When the threat of the undead comes too close to Mariana, Simon goes into overdrive when it comes to protecting his woman. She is only too glad to have Simon back in her life, even if he is now a different man. Together, they must eliminate the zombie warriors that threaten their community. If they survive, will they have a future together? "Half Past Dead" is the first book that I have ever read which features zombies as romantic heroes. Zombies--intensely erotic--who knew?|
Cast a Lover's Spell by Claire Thompson
Paul Windsor has a secret-he's a warlock. Weaving his passion spells, he takes what pleasure he desires from mortal women, leaving them breathless and longing for more. Yet Anne, a young widow he meets by chance, seems impervious to his considerable charms. Something about Anne touches Paul's heart, speaking to a secret part of him he didn't know existed. In a turn of the tables, the warlock finds himself falling hopelessly, absurdly in love with a mortal woman! Desperate for the ethereal beauty, Paul will stop at nothing to possess not only her body, but her heart and soul as well. Anne, in the grip of a magic she doesn't understand, must find the courage to love again. Passion, sensual surrender and magic weave together to create a fiery love story. Drawn into his secret world, Anne learns a few simple spells, never dreaming her newfound magic will help to save her from a stalker intent on holding her hostage. Paul learns there is a price to be paid when magic masquerades as love. Together Anne and Paul learn life without risk, and most especially without love, is no life at all.
MY REVIEW: "Cast a Lover's Spell" is a captivating paranormal romance in which the tables are turned on a spell-casting warlock. This book features a lovely and surprising heroine in the young widow, Anne. However, it is Paul, the debonair warlock who enthralls the reader with the depth of his love for Anne. Claire Thompson is a skilled storyteller with an eye for memorable romantic details. I will definitely read more works by Ms. Thompson.
Must Love Vampires by Heidi Betts
Nightclub dancer Chloe Lamoureaux just met the man of her dreams: Adrian Raines is charming, considerate, rich, and hot. Of course, he's a little mysterious about his age. And his favourite drink. And he's not much for sunlight. But he's asked her to marry him, and she's sure ready to do it.
MY REVIEW: "Must Love Vampires", by Heidi Betts, is wicked, wild, wanton, and wonderfully wacky! It's a fabulous fun feast for lovers of hunky vampires with irresistible charm. Sebastian and Aidan Raines are two tall, dark and delicious brothers who live the undead life in Las Vegas. That's right--Vegas. The perfect city for two vampire entrepreneurs to take advantage of nightlife extraordinaire! Sebastian is the brother in charge, and Aidan is the brother who lives large. Neither of them expects to be captivated and captured by a gorgeous woman who has inherited the looks and legs of her showgirl mother. However, that's exactly what happens to each brother when they meet identical twin beauties Charlotte "aka Chuck" and Chloe Lamoreaux. Chloe is a dancer at a club owned by Sebastian, and Chuck is a writer for a tattle-sheet tabloid. One fateful night, Chuck impersonates Chloe in the chorus line as part of an undercover report investigation of the successful, secretive, and oh-so-sexy Sebastian. While Chuck is shaking her booty on stage, Chloe elopes with Aidan, whom she has been dating for only a short time. Mistaken identities, scorching erotic romps, hilarious chaos and poignant secrets are all a part of this marvelous mix of mayhem and paranormal passion! Prepare to alternate between laughing out loud and furiously fanning yourself as those two lucky lady twins discover the delight of the bite!
Book Copy Gratis Author
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey by Paula Brackston
From Paula Brackston, a young artist goes to the Welsh mountains in search of love, but is faced with ancient legends and a mysterious man from the past - Merlin himself.
Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.
She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and will give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey tells both Laura's story and Merlin's. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his renowned career as a magician, but when he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who may pay the price.
From New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is an enchanting tale of love and magic featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, an intriguing historical backdrop, and a relatable heroine that readers are sure to fall in love with.
MY REVIEW: Lyrical descriptive writing, a compelling blend of history and mythology, and the unmatched beauty of Wales all combine for a richly atmospheric tale in "Lamp Black, Wolf Grey". Author Paula Brackston has a way with words and a definite talent for spinning bewitching romantic stories. Contemporary life blends with elements from ancient days as a young married couple's move to the Welsh mountains unearths many truths, both old and new. Laura Matthews hopes that a life-changing move will bring about a renewal of her creativity as an artist and bring to life her greatest wish--a child of her own. As she and her husband, Dan, begin to acclimate themselves to their surroundings, an unexpected awareness seeps into Laura's consciousness. With Dan working several hours away, and coming home just on weekends, Laura mostly has her new home to herself--or does she? The land she now claims home was once the realm of Merlin, himself, and his presence is inescapable. As Laura becomes more involved with the history of the area, the past becomes her present, and her involvement with her neighbor, Rhys, adds an unsettling excitement to her existence. Will Laura find all that she has longed for, or are there powerful forces at work with a mysterious agenda all their own?
Book Copy Gratis Amazon Vine
The Beauty's Beast (Beauty's Beast #2) by E.D. Walker
Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and disinterested doesn't bode well for her success. Bored by the petty intrigues of court, her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn't realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.
The beast’s uncanny intelligence and human-like behavior convince Kathryn that he is more than what he seems. Resolving to help him, she doesn't count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.
Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when the one who betrayed him returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?
THE BEAUTY’S BEAST contains elements of the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale mixed with some of the charming medieval fables of Marie de France. This book is part of THE BEAUTY’S BEAST FANTASY SERIES, a set of adventurous and romantic fairy tale retellings. All books in this series take place in the same world of true love and grand fantasy adventures. You can read them back to back, or as individual, stand-alone books.
MY REVIEW: An imaginative retelling of a favorite fairy tale, "The Beauty's Beast" is both compelling and entertaining. Author E.D. Walker tells her take on the tale in a descriptive manner, yet somehow leads the reader to also ponder what she is not saying, thus adding to the intrigue of the story line. Lady Kathryn de Remere's neglectful father sends her to the king's court to find a suitably plump-in-purse husband. Seeking to ease his gambling-induced financial burdens, her father cares little for the happiness of his own daughter. A fateful encounter with a strange wolf will change Kathryn's life forever. Spared during a hunt by the good king, the wolf with the soulful eyes and knowing, human expressions has deep, unexpected ties to the royal lineage. Is there enough of the nobleman left in the noble beast to save his very humanity? Will Kathryn's friendship and tender attentions keep the man from losing himself to the darker side of his nature? Can happiness be found where hope was almost lost? I look forward to reading more works from the talented E.D. Walker, who also writes as Beth Matthews.
Book Copy Gratis Author
Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass, #1) by Kira Brady
In the first of a dazzling romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…
Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.
MY REVIEW: "Hearts of Darkness", from author Kira Brady, is a whip-cracking wild ride which blurs genres between urban fantasy and paranormal romance and creates something shockingly new. The bleak, black depths of alternate reality Seattle, WA are the battlegrounds of two powerful shapeshifter clans: the Kivati, whose animal shifters seem to leap from Native American totems, and the Drekar, whose wings are given flight from ancient Norse legends. This parallel universe Seattle is home to the gate between the real world and the other world, a gate which holds back the dead from the land of the living. Into this world comes Kayla Friday, on the heartbreaking mission to identify and claim the body of her dead sister, Desi, who supposedly died from a drug overdose. Kayla is a nurse, and once she sees her sister's body, she knows the death was not due to drugs. Kayla's tragic reunion with her sister is forcefully interrupted, first by sexy wolf shifter Hart, who claims Desi stole a valuable item from his boss and demands its return. Hot on Hart's heels are a group of goons also desperate to recover the missing artifact. Hart needs Kayla's trust so that he can recover the stolen goods and gain his freedom from enslavement by Norgard, the ruthless, soulless ruler of the Drekar. What Hart never imagined was that his own hardened heart would start to thaw from the genuine warmth and spirit of this lovely human woman, and now he must choose between a free life...or the love of a lifetime. Can a were shifter have both? Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance is based on a harsher, darker world with escalated drama and violence. The heightened tension leads to more intense sensual situations. All of these elements combine for a knockout punch, but they have to handled just right to avoid overkill and remain readable. As far as "dark or light" goes, it all depends on the story line and the personality that the author builds within each character. Thanks to talented and imaginative authors, Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi, and Urban Fantasy genres continue to cross boundaries and merge storytelling elements in an increasingly delightful feast for fiction lovers! My interest in the subject will draw me to the work, be it light and humorous or dark and compelling. The skill of the author as a storyteller is what will hold my interest in the work. Since Urban Fantasy is futuristic fiction, it's pretty much wide open to speculation. I think it is great fun to take our present reality and amp it up into a decidedly darker view of things to come. "Hearts of Darkness" is the first book in Kira Brady's "Deadglass" series.
Book Copy Gratis Zebra Books
From the winner of the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, this mesmerizing, suspenseful, and richly atmospheric tale of time travel draws us into the heart of a heroine we won't soon forget...
The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.
As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.
Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past...until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.
MY REVIEW: I am not a great fan of time-travel tales, but "MARIANA", by Susanna Kearsley, got better and better as the story developed. I am now a great fan of Susanna Kearsley! I was involved with the characters and could have continued to read more about how their lives unfolded. The strong first-person narrative propelled the reincarnated romance to a nicely twisted ending. A very good read.