Guest Review Times Two…

Snowday!  Today is my first day off because of a snow storm in something like 2 years (and I live in Atlantic Canada, so that means I have drug my ass to work in some god-awful weather).  I will pay for it tomorrow, but today I am happier than an 11 year old not having to go to school!  Ok.  Squealing over.

Doug Meeks has been busy.  Very busy.  He has sent over quite a few reviews lately, so I decided to to a double header post.  For this round, Doug has spotlighted the Cursed by Blood saga from Marianne Morea, and Wait for Me from Elisabeth Naughton.  I am still amazed by just how many books Doug can read, and review (which took me forever), and still manage to keep things straight.  Not a talent I have, for sure.  First up, Cursed by Blood.

cursed by bloodWhat Doug said…

Cursed by Blood Saga

by

Marianne Morea

These are  the first 2 books in this series so far and while I am not sure when book 3 will be released these two comprise the complete opening story so there is no requirement to read more but I am sure I will be looking for book 3 in the future,  but the books so far are :

Hunter’s Blood Special Edition (Cursed byBlood Saga)

Twice Cursed (Cursed by Blood Saga)

Summary:

Revenge. It’s a way of life for psychic, Lily Saburi. Haunted since the brutal murder of her best friend and partner, she’s obsessed with retribution—a vigilante bent on striking a blow for humanity against the shadowed world of the supernatural. Prey turned predator she aims to even the score—one bullet at a time starting with the beast that changed her life forever.

Prepared for Armageddon she’s in for the fight of her life. But when mortally wounded by a diseased and insane Were, Lily is rescued by a most unlikely savior—Were-hunter, Sean Leighton. Sexy and powerful, Leighton is charged with destroying anything infected with the deadly pathogen threatening the survival of his pack, and that includes Lily. But their immediate attraction leaves them both breathless and confused. As Lily grapples with truth about herself, Leighton is faced with the looming reality that he will most likely have to kill the woman he’s falling in love with. Only time will tell if they are destined to be together or if they’ll fall victim to the Hunter’s Blood.

Psychic investigator, Lily Saburi is no stranger to the supernatural. Tough as nails, she’s a hunter in her own right, a once self-proclaimed vigilante that has joined forces with the man she once sought to kill, Sexy, Sean Leighton, Alpha of the Brethren of Weres.  In the wake of a mysterious virus threatening everyone they love, they are embroiled in an unforgiving scheme of political double dealing, hidden agendas and assassination, with Lily and Sean as primary targets. But treachery follows hard on Lily’s heels when she returns home, to find New York City bathed in a series of bloodbaths. Baffled, the police have no leads, so they call in their last line of defense to work the case. Lily.
Thrown together with homicide detective, Ryan Martinez, dangerous sparks fly as the two uncover the undead truth behind the killings. Long hidden secrets are revealed, as are truths too unbelievable to accept when Lily is kidnapped, and Sean and Ryan have to work together to find her.
Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

Review:

This was a story I stumbled into after reading a bit about Hunter’s Blood on a forum and let it be known right up front, book 1 ends with a bit of cliffhanger which you MUST have book 2 (Twice Cursed) to avoid death from frustration.  The combination of these 2 book is one continuous story that grabs you and draws you into a world of Weres and eventually Vampires.  There are some other things mentioned and I can hardly wait until she writes more in this series as I see huge potential to it.

The story revolves around Lily who is a bit of psychic plus a bit more powers that seem to be unknown even to her, then add in the requisite hunk Sean Leighton (Alpha of the Brethren of Weres) and you have a perfect storm of intrigue, passion, mystery and action.  Someone is seemingly trying to kill off most if not all of the supernatural species via a biological agent and the search to figure it out while dealing with personal demons is riveting.  This story has a bit of everything, villain that is easy to hate (motivations are unclear until almost the shocking end), main couple that you can’t figure out if they are in lust or love for about half the story, good secondary supporting cast although the vampires are painted a bit too vicious in some respects but pretty much line up with the ones in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniel series in motivations and personality (totally unlike in powers).

I was a bit disappointed in the lack of romantic buildup but this is more of an mix of PNR and UF with the main thrust being the urban fantasy story with the romance as a good motivation and keeps the story interesting and multifaceted.  This is a story that will stay with you and characters that are memorable.  I give this about a 4.5/5 Star rating in entertainment, the only complaints is my revenge junkie was not fed as well as it could have been (but not ignored either) and a romance that fell closer to the old “MINE!” than a true meeting of minds until much later in the story.  All things considered I highly recommend the 2 books together and hope I see more.

This second review is for an author that I have building on Mount TBR.  Elisabeth Naughton is another one I am determined to get to, since I have her Eternal Guardians series staring at me right now.  Sigh.  Well, for this review, Doug has read Wait for Me which falls more in the romantic thriller/mystery category.

wait for meWhat Doug said…

Wait For Me

by

Elisabeth Naughton

A 2013 Bookie Award Nominee – Best eBook Novel of the year!
A 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards finalist!

Summary:

A woman without a past…

After a tragic accident left her with no memory, Kate Alexander struggled to fit in with a husband and world that didn’t feel right. She’s had no reason to question what friends and family have told her, not until her husband is suddenly killed and she finds a photo of a young girl in his office. A girl who can’t be anyone but a daughter Kate didn’t know she had.

A man desperate for a reason to live…

Ryan Harrison lost his wife in a plane crash five years ago. To cope with the pain of her loss, he dedicated himself to his job and to raising their daughter. Now a successful pharmaceutical executive, Ryan has everything a man could want—money, fame and power—but he’d give it all up in a heartbeat for just one more day with the woman he still loves.

Two lives about to converge.

As Kate begins to dig into a past she doesn’t remember, evidence leads her to San Francisco and puts her on the path toward Ryan, a man who sees in her the woman he loved and lost. Kate feels a draw to Ryan, one she can’t explain, but is that feeling enough to convince her this is where she’s supposed to be? As Ryan and Kate search for answers, they uncover lies long buried, a passion hotter than either expected and a danger that threatens…even now…when the second chance they’ve both been searching for is finally within reach.

Review:

Occasionally,  when you read as much PNR/UF/Fantasy as I do you need a break to “cleanse the palate” so to speak.  This was one of those excursions and since it was FREE on Amazon by an author already known for writing skills (she also does a 5 Star PNR/UF series Eternal Guardians) it was an easy choice.  The summary made me think this was a light read with a soaring HEA ……  wrong again, great authors don’t take the easy way out very often.  This turns into a romantic mystery/thriller that borders in places like a SCI-FI murder mystery.  Make no mistake, the main thrust of this novel is still the heroine with no memory of her past and the hero millionaire neither of whom are cut from the usual pairings we see in so many paperbacks and their totally messed up relationship (can’t say too much without spoiling things).  Let me just say that almost nothing went the way I thought it was going to go from reading the cover info.  This was a great book, the way it starts grabs you and then moves along a line and just when you think it is going to go “just the I thought” …… nope, not gonna happen.  The summary above gives you enough information to get you hooked (or it should) and most people that have read this agree this is 4-5 Star reading.  Take a break from the usual and grab this book for free in a Kindle format on Amazon and enjoy an exceptional reading experience with a great ending (one of the very few things that came close to what I thought/hoped).  I am always amazed by authors that can out-think me and take a novel off into a direction I had not seen without making me wish I had not read the book (I hate authors who use a “shock-jock mentality to be different or unique)  This is dang near 5 Star reading for me and the fact that I paid ZERO for it just adds to the pleasure of it, get this book even if you have to pay for it, its worth it.

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