Review: Soulbound by Mahalia Levey

Soulbound

by Mahalia Levey

***Note: This book is not available for purchase anywhere at this time. When it’s up for re release again with a new publisher and cover, we will put a note on the website.

Upon finishing the first semester of college three child hood friends meet up again at their familiar haunting ground. Fantasies never acted out, have the chance to happen for one night. Addie, Galen and Teagan find in each other’s arms an affinity for each other that has never evaporated but grown stronger during the length of their long lived friendship.

Returning to the town she grew up in Addison Westley wonders if the boys she grew up with have grown or changed as much as she has.  Addie also wonders if her boys, Teagan and Galen, have feeling for her like she does for them.  Ready to explore Addie hopes that the boys are ready for the challenge she wants to put in front of them.  She also hopes that the fact that she and Galen used to be lovers doesn’t come between them.

The story does have its erotic moments and tries to have some plot, which is good because reading a story without any plot is frustrating, and not in a good way.  The character of Addie, however, starts out strong and then seems to get lost after the first chapter.  I would have preferred it if she had stayed the main narrator, and if she had stayed strong because after the first chapter she seems to become a meek little girl unsure of what or who she really wants.

The book then becomes more about the relationship between Galen and Teagan and the reader just totally loses who the narrator is.  This at times is frustrating only because there were times when I wasn’t sure who was even talking.  This was evident in some of the odd transitions which actually jarred me out of the story and made me wonder what the heck was going on.  The most evident example was when Teagan began thinking about an incident that happened in the past…as the reader I didn’t know who was thinking or what was going on as it appeared very suddenly in the story.

As erotica this novella has the wording right, but the story and the narration is too distracting and draws the reader away from the sexy desire that should be building up in the readers loins and just ends up leaving them frustrated with no real orgasm.

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Review: Demon King and I by Candace Havens

The Demon King and I is the first book to be released in the Guardian series,from Candace Havens, the author of the Charmed books. It’s a terrificly witty new series featuring wealthy party girls with an interesting side job of being Guardians of portal to other worlds.

The Caruthers sisters are heiresses with privilege, wealth, beauty, and brains. But these party girls have something extra. As the Guardian Keys, possessors of an ancient family secret, they hold the fate of the world in their hands.

Gillian, the eldest, is a sensation in the art world– this world, that is. In her other world, she’s the Assassin, a knockout who snuffs out dimension-jumpers who foul up her personal space. She never expected to join forces with one. But when a plague of murderous demons plunges the earth in darkness, she has no choice but to get a little help from a being who knows his stuff.

I really liked this book. It was funny in all the right places, it had spunk and it inspired an emotional connection as you get to know the characters. And I only have three words for Candace Haven, YOU. ARE. AWESOME. I an now a gun toting, yellow Jimi Choo show wearing fan of her’s. Well maybe not really but if I could afford it. I recommend it to anyone to read this one. Its light on the sex, heavy on the action and reaction. It is an absolute treat. If you liked this one you will love her next one called Dragons Prefer Blondes, which releases July 7, 2009.

Also Reviewed By:
Literary Escapism

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Review: Green-eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Green Eyed Demon

Third book in the Sabina Kane series

Jaye Wells

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. She has to save her sister from her mysterious captors. And in order to do that, she has to broker a deal between the mages and the vampires before all hell breaks loose.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won’t be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about, she’s got to save herself from the ghosts of her past. Because the past is haunting her. Literally

 

When Ms Wells handed me one of her books at RT, I was gob smacked.  Here’s this amazingly funny, extremely snarky, very much reluctant adult author (seriously I need to borrow you to come to Australia) handing a book to little ole me.  Now before any of you out there get jealous a word to the wise.  It’s a huge responsibility to be handed a book by the author to review.  Seriously HUGE.  I got to know Ms Wells before reading her books and man did I feel the pressure wanting to review her babies in a good light.

I don’t know what I was worried about.  I have to say it was the best new to me series I started last now and I hunger for more.  The series stared with Red Headed Step Child, there was a short prequel Vampsploitation in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance vol 2 then The Mage in Black.  Once I finished Mage, I found myself hungering for more.  I started looking at my cat and wondering if by sheer dint of will I can transform her into my own Giguhl (note while said cat hasn’t morphed into a demon, I can say she has morphed into the demon cat lol) I pouted when I read that Green Eyed Demon wouldn’t be out until March 2011 then,,,, I was lucky to get a copy to review.  That squeee you heard two nights ago was me.  I promptly cleared my review schedule, tasked my husband and son to fend for themselves and dove right in.

 

Ms Wells has the same sort of snarky humor that I do and I knew I was in for a treat.  This book didn’t disappoint.  I do have to drop a tiny spoiler but a line on page 40 jumped out at me and had hubby yelling from the bedroom “SHUT UP ITS 1AM!!”  The line is about Hollywood and their take on vampires… “Hollywood has been getting vampires wrong for decades. Don’t get me started on the soulless undead thing….or the godsdamned sparkling”

 

For those of you who have read the earlier books and fallen for Giguhl (see above) you are going to love the amount of page time he has in this book.  This book is not really about growth of an individual character even though there is some of it happening but more about the revelations and realizations that characters have about themselves.

 

The fight scenes are intense and action packed and as a reader you are never quite sure of the outcome.  The suspense builds gradually and makes you sit forward on your chair, bite your nails and clench your butt cheeks while not once becoming so overpowering that you want to skip to the end to see how it all works out

 

We are introduced to some great new characters such as Brookes aka PW and Zen but I won’t say anything more because I want to you go out and buy this book yourself.  More branches of magic users come to light and you begin to see that magic isn’t good or bad, or black and white.  Its more the intent of the user that makes it one or the other.  There are heart stuttering moments when I found myself debating about turning the page because I was unsure of the outcome but I just had to turn them.

All in all this is a great book.  The ending………… well let’s just say “Ms Wells you are EVIL I say EVILL!!!!!  Look out for the next book in this series Silver Tongued Devil due out hopefully the end of this year

 

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Review: Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day

Eve of Darkness

by S. J. Day

1st of the Marked Series

Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel… All in a day’s work.

For Evangeline Hollis, a long ago fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks just became a disaster of biblical proportions. One night with a leather-clad man of mystery has led to a divine punishment: the Mark of Cain.

Thrust into a world where sinners are drafted into service to kill demons, Eve’s learning curve is short. A longtime agnostic, she begrudgingly maneuvers through a celestial bureaucracy where she is a valuable but ill-treated pawn. She’s also become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history…

But she’ll worry about all that later. Right now she’s more concerned with learning to kill while staying alive. And saving the soul she’d never believed she had.

Eve is an interesting character in a subgenre where heroines often seem to be all cut from the same cloth only with an interchangeable name. Just like most of us out there she has a strained relationship with her parents. But she has a good friend in her next door neighbor who is a widowed older lady.  She has a career she loves and the only thing missing is a man.  Unfortunately all the men she has met have failed to capture her heart like the one who left her ten years earlier without a word.

Eve had an experience ten years prior to the start of this book which started a chain of events that culminates in a tryst in a stairwell and becoming marked with the “Mark of Cain”.  Coming from the chosen life on an agnostic, she is suddenly right in the middle of the battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, angel’s and demons.  Everything she has believed is turned on its head.  What is up could be down or could be sideways or even back to front.  One minute she is an up and coming designer the next she is learning that the things that go bump in the night are out there and she is tasked with the charge of working off her penance by hunting down the bad guys and removing them.

A major point of difference with this book as opposed to most other books in the paranormal/urban fantasy area is that this book is about angels.  After reaching a near saturation level of vampires, werewolves and demons it’s great to see this branching out. The twist on the biblical story of Cain and Abel makes us challenge the knowledge we grew up with and as a reader you begin to question if the Bible is the equivalent of today’s modern media.  It’s also good to see that with this series, S J Day has got the jump on one of the stars of the paranormal world, JR Ward whose angel series doesn’t come out until later this year.

This book is the first in the trilogy with Eve of Destruction released  June 2nd 2009 and Eve of Chaos to be released on June 30th 209

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Review: Lessons from a Courtesan by Jenna Petersen

Lessons from a Courtesan

by Jenna Petersen

Lesson #1: Every man loves a mystery.

A scandalous siren called “Ria” has electrified the ton. Every gentleman in London desires her; every woman envies her. And they are all desperate to know the secrets of the tantalizing, seductively beautiful courtesan. All except Justin, the Earl of Baybary. He knows all about Ria. He learned every inch of her tender skin, every taste of her luscious lips . . . on their wedding night.

Lesson #2: No man can make you lose control . . . unless you let him.

Though theirs was an arranged marrige, still Victoria surrendered to passion and gave herself to Justin completely. When he left her alone the next morning, she swore she would never again let him into her bed. Now, though she has other reasons for returning to the city, she enjoys tormenting Justin, letting him see the way other men lust for her. But keeping herself from him is such exquisite torture . . . and forgiveness will lead to an ecstasy unbelievably divine.

The twenty-two lessons from the book Lessons from a Courtesan are actually as relevant for today’s society as they were in the 1800’s. I found myself studying each chapter heading and realizing the common sense significance of each lesson.

I was torn between rooting for the heroine to reunite with her husband and wanting her to diss him as badly has he had done her three years prior. It’s an emotional roller coaster story of highs and lows.

Jenna Petersen has a vivid way of writing that is insightful as well as entertaining. I will definitely look for more of her books to read.

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Review: Marianne! by Simon Lowrie

Marianne!: A Journey Round A Golden Sun

by Simon Lowrie

ISBN:9781449521479


Marianne and Simon have been more than friends since they were kids, but when she meets Mark, her whole life changes. It’s not easy being spanked when you’re not used to it, but although the two men in her life are rivals, the one thing they firmly agree on is Marianne needs her wild side tamed. Once she’s had a taste of that kind of life, she’s not sure she wants to argue. She loves them both, but Mark is not the kind of man to share. When he breaks the triangle, he makes her choose, at a cost to everyone. Can Sophie, the quiet girl who accepts Simon’s discipline with absolute humility and never one word of complaint, save the day? She isn’t beautiful and dazzling like Marianne, and the special qualities she has aren’t on the surface, but her love for Simon goes past all limits. Shy and gentle though she is, perhaps Sophie’s resolve to heal two broken hearts will prove to be more powerful than all Mark’s dominance and strength…

Marianne! is a interesting read. Mr. Lowrie paints a picture of the perfect woman … as long as she keeps her mouth shut. When I first read this book I was kinda put off by the arrogant, vain, selfish little twit named Marianne. She was in essence a spoiled child, but an adult. I could not see what Simon, her male best friend saw in her. I still don’t see her qualities expect she is pretty. On the other hand, Sophie, a co-worker of Simon’s, is a great girl. She does everything to her best and is nice and friendly. She is a complete opposite of Marianne. In the first chapter I was itching to spank Marianne. All I could think of was SHUT UP YOU DISRESPECTFUL BITCH!

Yeah well as you can see I kept reading. I wanted to know what the hell where Simon and now Mark, the new boyfriend, going to do about her behavior. What ever it was it needed to be painful for her to really get it.

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Review: Believing is Trusting by Corrine Davies

Believing is Trusting

by Corrine Davies

Siren Publishing

Buy Siren  or Amazon

Hazel Cooke is a single mom, leading a quiet life working as a librarian. She doesn’t think she’ll ever find the right man, but then she meets Bacchus Krastos. Bach is gorgeous, charismatic and makes her feel like a true goddess. He’s an ideal lover, but she worries their relationship won’t be anything more.

Bach, Olympus’ original party animal, has fallen hard for the shy librarian. He wants Hazel for a lifetime, but first he has to convince her that not only is he a god, but she can help him stop the Titans from wiping out the universe. She’ll need to accompany him to a Bacchanalia, a sexual ritual in which Orpheus Dark, a powerful god and Bach’s longtime friend, will endow Bach with his power with Hazel’s help.

I won this book from Ms. Davies in a contest. Read it that same day and I absolutely love it. I liked it so much I just bought the first one, Believing is Seeing.

It presents a strong single mother whom is very protective of her son. Ms. Davies does a very good job of portraying her as not an overprotected anxious mother but a down to earth mom with very real cravings. I firmly believe that just because you’re a mom the sex drive does not just vanish. (I hate how some people just forget that mothers are women too).  I also liked the idea that the Greek gods are fallible and have a great sense of humor. Plus, Ms. Davies doesn’t over-sex the book either, she adds enough of the sex to make the story and weaves the plot throughout the book, dropping hints of what is to come from future books. I am waiting with baited breath. You have created a dedicated fan. Thank you.

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Review: Skin Trade by Laurell K Hamilton

Skin Trade

Anita Blake, Vampire Executioner series

by Laurell K Hamilton

Skin Trade is the 17th book in the Anita Blake vampire hunter series. In this latest installment:

When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City’s local authorities what they’re dealing with. Only it’s worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where’s she’s joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It’s a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses tiger too strongly to ignore it. The were-tigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.

And “higher” it did. She pissed off everyone she met; cops, witches, tigers, vampires, vampire lovers, SWAT Teams, demons and a tiger Queen. I wish I could get more into why she does what she does, but it would be giving away the story and what is left of the plot to you. We also see the re-entry of Edward, I love Edward. (He needs his own storyline.) Together they do absolutely nothing. Anita actually takes a backseat and lets cops do their job. She how ever gets under foot when she thinks she is helping. Lots of action out of scene and lots of “soul searching” going on for Anita. I don’t think she actually had to fire a bullet during the entire book.

Do you remember in the beginning of the series when Anita had a clear since of who was good and who was bad? Well, I think now she is starting to realize that she may not be the good guy she thought she was? This latest epiphany did not hinder her from having sex with more people and doing other bad things under the guise of “I didn’t know!” As a mother, I consider one of the worst things an author can do, is commit a grossly offensive and illegal act in a book against a child and write about it as it were another day. Again I can’t go in to any detail without giving away the book, but I can say this, Anita is dead to me. This character has gone down a path that she cannot redeem herself from no matter what LKH does. It goes against all that I know and love. This is my last book for that series that I am willing to pay for. It was not edgy or right.

I can’t wait until Flirt comes out. I hear LKH is going back to raising the dead. Its supposed to be a small book like Micah was. Basically a novella at paperback price. *sigh* sometimes it pays to buy eBooks.

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Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever

by Karen Marie Moning

(Last book in the Fever Series)

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

Okay so Jennifer, Bek and I all read this book. I decided we should have add to it the commentary we had at different times. But I will start off with Jennifer’s review first. Then after that are spoilers. So if you have not read it or any of the other books stop and go away until you have.

Jennifer’s review:

First, let me say that if you have not read the other books in this series you should stop reading this review now.  Not because I am going to give away any spoilers but because you are wasting valuable time reading this when you SHOULD be calling in sick to work for the next week, shipping the kids off to grandma’s and probably your husband too so that you can have quality time alone with this series.  Also, if you read this book without reading the others… you will enjoy it but you will never “get it” or understand how truly amazing it is.

Onto the book…  Where to START?!  I guess at the beginning…  Shadowfever picks up right where the last book, Dreamfever, left off.  And boy does it start with a bang.  KMM (Karen Marie Moning) has always been amazing at shifting all your senses around and making poetry out of tragedy.  Even if the character’s reactions to situations would not be yours, she guides you through the process of their thinking and shows how they arrived at their pattern of behavior.  She shoves you face first into the deepest darkest shadows of a person’s soul and makes you really ask yourself ‘what WOULD I do?’  She always adds a little self effacing humor to our main girl, Ms. Mackayla Lane, but there is a bare bones grittiness to her work.  And this one is grittier than most.  As always there is beauty to her prose, but it is raw.  You make an emotional investment in these characters and the outcome of their story.  You laugh with them, want to scream at them, and make no mistake, you will cry with them and for them.

So hard to write this without giving away anything so I will just say this:  Ms. Moning makes you pay a heavy price for the journey, but the destination is worth it in the end.

Bek’s review:

Well what can I say? I personally thought this was great.  I loved the twists and turns.  I cant say it’s a fitting end to the series because I don’t know about the rest of you but did you catch the line “The End……. for now”?

I loved the way the book ended but I’m not sure that MS KMM has finished the series.  There are lots of unanswered questions about some of the secondary characters that I could see spinning off into new series.

I paced myself when reading this book.  All too often I get a “must read” book and race through it and finish it too quickly.  Because this book is the last of a series I’ve heavily invested in, I wanted to savour each and every page.  I spread the reading out over 3 days and boy was I glad I did.  I gave myself time to mull over everything that had happened and be prepared for possible outcomes. I loved the twists and turns and how one minute you were thinking one thing, then some thing happened and your thoughts were turned 180 degrees

If I had to pick one thing that made this book/series stand out for me, it’s the growth of Mac.  From a somewhat ditsy airhead to a lean mean fighting machine. Throughout this book, her reactions were believable and realistic.  There are scenes where I’d stop reading just so I could sit there and imagine myself in the place of the character.  I believe that Ms. Moning has infused each page with real human emotions.  Life isn’t always a bunch of roses.  Its messy and painful and even revengeful and well as all the nice light and fluffy stuff.

I have to add one tiny spoiler “I love Adam Black!!!!”

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S…ahead Captain. Turn about if you don’t want to read. Otherwise All AHEAD FULL. Balls to the walls Gentlemen.

Rayna’s commentary (minutes after finishing book): WTH!!!!

Rayna’s commentary (one hour after finishing the book): There has got to more to this effin story. What is she on? Crack? Who would end a book like that? We are not done DAMNIT!. ARGHHH! (Husband shouts on his side of the bed at 12am “Its just a damn book, go to sleep!”

Rayna’s commentary (the next day in an email to Jennifer):

OK OMG!!! What happened to Dani, are they going to write the world or not. I don’t think I could live with the walls down and a THIRD of the population dead. WTH was that with Rowena? And the “Queen” what is going to happen there? So now that Christian is an Unseelie Prince, Does that also make Mac an Seelie Princess or a copy of himself with a spare book in the brain. And OMG what is with the guy that has not said anything for a  THOUSAND YEARS. Holy hell batman.  Is Christian going to get his book too and Dani? Who the hell is Dancer? What is going to happen with the fae and the world now? So many unanswered questions. *sigh*I am just waiting for Dr. Who to say Allazei and off in the Tartus we go. I need a drink.

Casually talking to Bek via IM:

Bek: why wasn’t there more Adam Black lol & what happened to Dani
rayna: well he is still hunted evidently but i dont remember him be hunted
rayna: I think Kmm is going to do a young adult book
rayna: she stressed Dani’s birthday enough then dropped it
Bek: can Christian be restored to what he was
rayna: I have no clue
rayna: he is an unseelie prince now
Bek: I wish there was more about the McKelters
rayna: and is immortal
Bek: I thought he was on his way to being one.  Not that he had completely changed
rayna: she did hint to faery making new princes and princesses


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Review: Spirit Dances by C.E. Murphy

Spirit Dances

by C.E.Murphy

6th book in the Walker Papers Series

Release Date 29th March 2011

ONE DATE WITH THE BOSS CAN GET COYOTE UGLY.

For Seattle detective Joanne Walker, spring is about new beginnings. She’s mastered her shamanic abilities (mostly), survived a cannibalistic serial killer (barely) and now she’s facing the biggest challenge of her career – attending a dance concert with her sexy boss, Captain Michael Morrison. But when the performance – billed as transformative – actually changes her into a COYOTE, she and Morrison have bigger things to deal with.

And there’s more. Homeless people are disappearing, a mystical murder puts Joanne way out of her jurisdiction and with the full moon coming on, it’s looking like the killer is a creature that can’t possibly exist.

But Jo could probably handle all that, if one ordinary homicide hadn’t pushed her to the VERY EDGE…

COP OR SHAMAN? THE CHOICE ISN’T EASY. BUT IT’S ONE SHE JUST MIGHT HAVE TO MAKE…

Having only recently discovered this author via her book/novel Truth seeker, I jumped at the chance to review this book.  Also having read none of the previous books in this series, I was interested to see if this book could be a standalone read.

Whilst it would have been better to have read the previous books to get a handle on the time line and back story after the first two to three chapters I found it easy to slip into the world this author has created.

The balance between the characters was just right. Joanne Walker comes across as a believable and like-able character.  Some one that if you met them in real life that you wouldn’t be overawed by them.  This book is a credit to the author who creates such wonderful and well rounded characters that are also believable.  Ms Murphy handles the paranormal elements in a matter of fact way that neither overwhelms the story line nor detracts the reader off onto tangents.

I will be making sure I catch up on the previous books in this series to fill in the blanks and look forward to the book Raven Calls.

Evidently also reviewed here.

 

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