zondag 25 maart 2012

Rachel Firasek - The Last Beginning

Title : The Last Beginning
Series : Curse of the Phoenix # 3
Release date : February 7, 2012
Publisher : Entangled Publishing
Genre : Paranormal Romance

Though she’s always hated being a phoenix, Sadie has to admit immortality has its advantages. She’s seen and done more in the last 150 years than she’d ever dreamed of, but she can’t get past the fact that Osiris has done nothing but manipulate her and her fellow phoenixes.

Or that, when her last incarnation as a phoenix comes to a fiery end, the fire slowly begins to consume her body.

Sun god Osiris is ashamed of his role as ruler of the Underworld, but he unless he can figure out how to save Sadie, that’s exactly where she’s going to end up. Permanently. Terrified he’s going to lose her, he takes her on a hunt for The Book of the Dead, which is the only way he knows he can save her—even if it means she’ll hate him forever.

The Last Beginning by Rachel Firasek is the last novella in the Curse of the Phoenix Series and a fabulous ending to this Trilogy.

Sadie is the last of the remaining curse phoenixes and really wants to know why Osiris won’t let her go like Ice and Ari. Even though she is the youngest of the phoenixes, her body is already giving up on her. Lately when she gets too emotional her body roams with flames and it has weakened her. The only man who can help her is the very one who turns her into this mess in the first place.

Osiris knows time is running out to save Sadie and he will do anything in his power to save her, even if that means breaking some rules. In order to save her soul from burning, he has to get the Book of the Dead and the help of Ice and Ari to do it. But will they be in time?

From the first novella you can sense that Osiris has a soft spot for Sadie and that there is more behind this Egyptian God of the Underworld. I have to say that I had mixed feelings about him and his selfish acts to have Sadie from the moment he laid eyes on her. He turned her into a phoenix simply because he wanted her. I do believe he has true feelings for her, but he could have showed her that in a normal way. Luckily for him he changed for the better good and Sadie made him see that.

Rachel Firasek has again written a great story with fabulous characters. I loved the fact that all the characters from the three novellas are woven into each other’s lives. Ice and Ari both didn’t hesitate when Osiris got them back to save Sadie’s soul.

I have to say that this short series was definitely worth to read and I’m curious to see what other books this author have to show me.

Thanks Netgalley for providing me with this ARC eBook.

Rachel Firasek - The Last Awakening

Title : The Last Awakening
Series : Curse of the Phoenix # 2
Release date : December 6, 2011
Publisher : Entangled Publishing
Genre : Paranormal Romance

For three hundred years, Arabella’s life has been one meaningless death after another. In a cruel twist of fate, Osiris–god of the Underworld–gifts the phoenix her mortality and returns her voodoo magic. If she fails to harness her wayward magic and save a man worthy of a second chance, she’ll forfeit her power and her soul–forever.

Ex-soldier Greyson Meadows desperately wants to be freed from the nightmares and guilt that haunt him after the tragedy that brought him and Ari together. Confronted by the waif of a woman who forces him to face his worst fears, he resists, fighting the need to keep his personal demons hidden instead of setting them free.

When Ari becomes the target of her own magical blunder, it’s not just her life in danger, but now the one of the man she loves.

The Last Awakening by Rachel Firasek is the second novel in her Curse of the Phoenix Series and just like the first one it’s only around 100 pages, but definitely worth your time.

Arabella “Ari” is a cursed phoenix and is on an assignment when her phoenix power lures her to a small town grocery store. It appears her unknown target is in there and she have to figure out who it is and save him or her before it is too late. She is in for a surprise when her target is Greyson Meadows, a handsome ex-soldier.

Greyson “Grey” Meadows is an old war veteran and has been hiding his pain in loneliness and liquor. The only bright spot in his life is this beautiful angel, who just walks into the grocery store. But after a shooting where she saved his life, she just vanished. Will he ever see her again?

Ari and Grey are a great match; both have suffered in the past and are dealing with it on their own way. After Ari saved Grey’s soul and returns back to Osiris, the Egyptian God of the Underworld she begs him to send her back to Grey. But it is unusual to go back to the same target, but Osiris finally gives on one conditions….she has to find a way to deal with her past once and for all.

After reading the first novella I knew I had to read both stories about the two other curse phoenix Ari and Sadie too. If those stories were anything like the first one, I knew I would have a great time. The connection between Ari and Grey was amazing, two lost souls finding their way back into society.

Rachel Firasek has written another amazing novella. When you start reading you will fall in love with the characters and hope for their happy ending.

Rachel Firasek - The Last Rising

Title : The Last Rising
Series : Curse of the Phoenix # 1
Release date : September 6, 2011
Publisher : Entangled Publishing
Genre : Paranormal Romance

After paying two millennia’s penance to Osiris, world-weary phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn’t how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last.

But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great…or that she’ll end up back in his life for her next assignment.

Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she’s the one—but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.

The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek is the first novel in her Curse of the Phoenix Series and it’s a short story. But I have to say it was definitely worth to read, this story has all the right tools to make this a successful novella.

Ice is a cursed phoenix for a very long time, saving people by dying in their place which most of the time it’s a horrible experience and she is tired of the job. So she has made her decision to step out of it no matter what and since Osiris probably won’t set her free, she has to find a way on her own.

Turner is the one of her latest rescues and she falls for him, which is very bad because it’s forbidden to get involved with the humans you saved. But when her last unknown assignment throws her back into Turner’s life, she will fight for her place in Turner and his son Brodie’s life.

I loved Turner and Ice; they are a great couple and the fact that Turner easily accepts Ice for what she is and what had happened in her past, only made me love him more.

Rachel Firasek is a new author to me, but she definitely has my attention. She has written a fabulous novella with great characters, a fabulous storyline and some steamy scenes.

I am definitely going to check out her other work; because if they are anything like this book I know I will be in for a ride.

C.J. Ellisson - Vampire Vacation

Title : Vampire Vacation
Series : VV Inn # 1
Release date : October 10, 2010
Publisher : Red Hot Publishing
Genre : Paranormal Romance

Meet Vivian. She's a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot -- a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true.

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body; convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests.

Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn't easy. Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect?

Vampire Vacation by C.J. Ellisson is the first novel in the VV Inn Series and a fabulous first book. I’ve been dying to read this book for ages and I was very pleased that this book was exactly what I thought it would be; great storyline, fabulous characters and some very steamy scenes.

Vivian is an ancient vampire and runs a vampire Inn with her human husband Rafe. He has been her bonded mate for more than eighty years. Through the blood exchange, Rafe is as strong as any other vampire and the only thing Vivian is prepared to die for.

The Inn is a place where vampires, their mates and servants can come together, relax and enjoy each other’s company. Vivian’s power to manipulate others and their thoughts come in handy to seduce her guests, but it is also a power to fear. Every other manipulator has been exterminated before her, so she has kept her secret for many centuries.

When a human turns up dead in one of her hotel rooms, she knows they have to find the killer fast, even if that means asking her vampire guests for help.

Miss Ellisson didn’t disappoint me with this book, she has written a fabulous, steamy, funny and mysterious story. The chemistry between Vivian and her husband Rafe is amazing; those two are so right for each other. Their relationship with their employees is another great thing to see, even though Vivian doesn’t drink from her employees and doesn’t have a bond with them, she will do anything to protect those humans.

I am definitely going to read the next novel soon. This is one of those books that you have to see how it continues.

zondag 18 maart 2012

Portia Da Costa - Intimate Exposure

Title : Intimate Exposure
Release date : February 6, 2011
Publisher : Carina Press
Genre : Erotica Romance

From the moment Red Webster arrived at executive Vicki Renard's firm, sparks flew between them. The photographer is supposed to create a company profile for its new owner, but he spends most of his time flirting with her. His sexy teasing infuriates Vicki...and piques a desire to submit to him. His hypnotic eyes promise what she's been secretly craving: a sexually dominant master, like the ones in her favorite erotic novels.

Investigating his new business incognito, billionaire F. W. Shanley--aka Red--is turned on by Vicki's fiery personality and undeniable beauty. When he discovers her reading a BDSM novel on her eReader, he knows he's found a woman who shares his desires and promises to be a challenging submissive.

When Red arranges a weekend at a secluded hotel, Vicki agrees to indulge in no-strings-attached erotic fun. But can she commit to this kind of life with Red when he realizes they can have so much more?

Intimate Exposure by Portia Da Costa is a great erotica novel. The length of this novel is not huge, but it is definitely not too short to tell this great storyline.

The attraction between main characters Vicki and Red is slow at first, because Vicki doesn’t really trust Red and for a good reason. Red appears to be the new owner of the company she works for and is working undercover to see everything from the employees point of view.

Vicki is a young woman who is intrigued by the BDSM scene and that shows through her reading genre. But she’s kept this a secret from everyone around her, never in her life has she ever experience something like this, but of course secretly dreams about it. Then she meets Red, who is a photographer at her company, she knows he is not exactly what he shows everyone. But ever since he took a glimpse on her e-reader and the genre she reads, she imagines him in every scene she reads.

Red is a great character, even though he is undercover in the company he just bought, he is an honest man. Red is really interested in Vicki, especially when he found out her secret desires to the BDSM scene. He knows she will be the perfect submissive for him and he knows he will be the right man to introduce her into this world.

This novel is well written and very enjoyable to read. Lovers of the erotica and beginning BDSM scene will have a blast reading this novel. It has all the right ingredients to make a wonderful storyline with some great characters.

zondag 4 maart 2012

Marie Kenward - Dark Whisper

Title : Dark Whispers
Series : MacCumail Bloodlines # 2
Release date : October 15, 2010
Publisher : Black Rose
Genre : Paranormal Romance

Sometimes, trusting your inner voice can be fatal...

He is Mikael macCumail, leader of a vampire clan. The oldest of his kind, he is considered invincible. Deadly. Most fear him, and he's lived unchallenged for over a millennia. Until the night he loses it all.

Stripped of his memory, stalked by vampires and vampire hunters alike, Mikael finds an unlikely ally in young hunter Emily Davenport. On the run with no one to turn to and no one to trust, the line between predator and prey begins to blur. In a world of unfamiliar shadows, Emily becomes his only light. Her beauty tempts him, her innocence disarms him. Mikael has waited centuries to find a woman like Emily, but when his past catches up with him and he discovers why his memory was taken, he must prepare to face an enemy he doesn't know how to defeat. An enemy with no physical body, a life form--an entity--that lives inside vampire blood, moving from one body to the next, killing.

And now it wants Mikael.

Dark Whispers by Marie Kenward is the second novel in her MacCumail Bloodlines series and another fabulous read. Just like the first novel in the series, I wasn’t able to put the book down for long. There is something in the way she creates the world, the characters and the storyline that just draw me into this book and held me there.

The main characters, Mikael macCumail and Emily Davenport are just great. He is the leader of the macCumail clan, powerful and very old because he is one of the first vampires ever created. But he never sired anyone, except Sarah Hennessy, who’s the mate of Alexi Dugas, one of his clan member. She is a very young, determined vampire hunter. She has joined her brothers in the fight against all vampires, but when she’s facing Mikael, who teaches her that not all vampires are bad, she puts everything she believes on the line for him. They personify the opposites attracts cliché.

What I love about this author is the way she lets readers into the world she created, to experience the power, the revenge, hatred, friendship and loyalty for themselves. She isn’t afraid to let the readers truly see what this can do to a person and what the outcome will be.

The slowly growing relationship between Mikael en the very young Emily is great to follow, first fighting him with everything she got, but slowly loses her heart to him. I loved the fact that she doesn’t change her perspective of vampires just because she loves Mikael. Yes, she accepts Sarah and Alexi but she keeps her distance and suspicion towards the others near Mikael.

It was good to see that Sarah and Alexi were part of this book too and to see that Sarah has grown into her powers in the year she is a vampire now. Because she is the only vampire Mikael turned, the bond between the two of them is tight.

Marie Kenward has written another amazing addition in this series, which already has become one of my favourite series of 2012. I’m curious to see who will be the main character in the following book, because I know this story isn’t finished…hopefully there will be novels about the two remaining brothers in the near future.

donderdag 1 maart 2012

Heather Beck - Whispers in the Shadows

Title : Whispers in the Shadows
Series : Legends Unleashed # 5-9
Release date : January 1, 2012
Publisher : Diamond Dust Book
Genre : Paranormal Romance / Fantasy

Fall in love, if you dare…

Inside these pages are jilted ghosts who seek revenge, a sexy tour guide with deadly secrets, cunning mermen who emerge from the ocean, a magical forest where love truly can last for eternity, and a new breed of men who are too good to be true.

Filled with chills, twists and boundless passion, Whispers In The Shadows explores the beauty of love along with its darker side.

Whispers in the Shadows by Heather Beck is a book that contains five short stories that are part of the Legends Unleashed Series. Ms. Beck is a new author to me and when she asked me for an honest review and read the book description I had to read the book.

In “Where feelings go to die”, Ashleigh is at Black Heart Lake to write a story for the small regional magazine she is working for, but also to be far away from her ex-boyfriend Drake. Never could she imagine being part of an old legend that includes three ghosts.

In “Hot Egyptian Nights”, Hailey meets Zade during her tour in Egypt, from the first moment she is attracted to this stranger. But her journey takes an awful turning when she receives a pendant and a mystery card.

In “Rival to Survival”, Scarlet meets her boyfriend Harv when she is still in a relationship with Trevor. She likes Trevor but cannot ignore her attraction towards Harv, but Harv has a secret and isn’t sure she can handle it. But Scarlett is determined to stay with Harv, even if that means return with him to the Dark Forest and face his secrets.

In “The Truth about Fairy Tales”, Destiny and Lila are tired dating the wrong men, so they decide to give this “Find Your Prince Charming” a change. Never in a million years could they expect that Philip and Christopher could their prince charming....it’s almost too good to be true...

In “Lure of the Merman”, Bree is drawn to the sea on her jogging trip and when a storm appears, she tries to shelter against a rock, but falls into quicksand. Then she hears a men’s voice in her head and believe he’s trying to help her, but before she knows it Sandy guides her into the sea. The question is...has he saved her or doomed her to a life in the sea?

All the stories are well written with fabulous characters, great world building and a storyline to be drawn into. I definitely recommend this book to readers who love to read a collection of short stories with some amazing paranormal creatures that you will fall in love with.

I have to say that some of the stories are a little strange, but definitely enjoyable. Sometimes I wanted the story to be a little longer just to enjoy the great characters. I’m definitely going to check out some of Ms. Beck’s other books.

Tara Maya - Initiate

Title : Initiate
Series : The Unfinished Song # 1
Release date : December 22, 2010
Publisher : Misque Press
Genre : Fantasy


Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

Initiate by Tara Maya is the first novel in the Unfinished Song Series and I have to say I liked it. She created a fantasy world where pixies, faeries and humans live among each other; of course the difference between the species is huge.

Dindi is a girl from the Lost Swan tribe and dreams about becoming a Tavaedi, a member of a secret society of magical dancers. But in order to become one she has to pass the Initiation tests. The first step has come; she and several others are taken from their home and are on their way to the tribe where the tests will start.

Kavio is a young warrior, a Tavaedi, but is exiled after found guilty of using his powers when he should have. But his conviction was not exactly fair and he is determined to prove his innocent, hopefully with the help of the other tribes.

I have to say that this novel is well written and very enjoyable to read. At first I was a little sceptic because some of the main characters are very young, but the storyline is so well written that it makes sense why they are so young.

Dindi, Gwenika and Kavio are definitely my favourite characters, probably because those three characters are the outsiders of the group and the ones who have lots to loose in their journey.

I wasn’t too happy with the little spoiler at the end of the book, but luckily for me I have the next novel waiting for me to read. Hopefully it will give me some answers I seek.
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