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.

Cover Lover – 8 New Titles

Well, I have been a good girl and gotten all of the monthly releases updated and formatted, and all under the correct release dates (as of yesterday).  There are quite a few that switched around, so take a peek if there was a book you had your heart set on getting on a certain day.  Tonight I will get the yearly summary matched up, so all will be well by tomorrow.  While updating, I came across a few new covers to share, as well.

The first one is from the third book author Joy Preble‘s Dreaming Anastasia series, called Anastasia Forever.  It is due out on August 2st.

The second one is from the upcoming rebooted Sarah Dearly series from Michelle RowenBlood Bath and Beyond is due out on August 7th.

I was sure I had upped this one a while back, but I can’t seem to find it.  Enslaved is the next book from Elisabeth Naughton‘s Eternal Guardians series, which should be out on November 1st.

Next up is Eternal Beast, the next book in Laura Wright‘s Mark of the Vampire series.  Look for it on August 7th.

Barb Hendee‘s Vampire Memories series continues this October with the release of Ghosts of Memories.

Sophie Littlefield‘s next release is called Hanging by a Thread, and it is scheduled for release on September 11th.

The second book in Gina Damico‘s new Croak series, called Scorch, now has a cover.  It will be out on September 25th.

The final one is from Caitlin Kittredge and her Black London series.  Soul Trade is due out on August 28th.

Random Updates…

Well, this blog still looks like a bomb went off, but there are signs of progress.  All of the monthly new release pages are done for 2011 – and I finished right around the time I realized that 2011 is almost done and I should have just started for 2012.  Huh.  Soooo, in the process of adding new info to the reading lists, I found a few new listings for upcoming books.

  • Michelle Rowen will debut a new series of at least two books next June called Nightwatchers.  The first book will be called Dark Kiss, and will be followed by Wicked Kiss in 2013.
  • July 24th is the release date for the 13th Women of the Otherworld book from Kelley Armstrong, aptly titled Thirteen.
  • The sixth book from Nancy Gideon‘s Moonlight series will be called Seeker of Shadows.  It should be available next June.
  • Juliana Stone will have a new series coming out starting next February.  An e-book prequel called Shades of Gray will be released first, and that will be followed by Wicked Road to Hell in April, and King of the Damned later next year.
  • Good news – there will be at least two more Charlie Davidson books.  No release dates have been stated, but Darynda Jones does have tentative titles for the next two.  They will be called Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, and Fifth Grave off the Beaten Path.
  • The Eternal Guardians series from Elisabeth Naughton will continue into late next year with the release of Enslaved next November.  It will be the fifth book of the series.
  • The in-progress House of Comarre trilogy from author Kristen Painter will now be at least five books.  Out for Blood will release next August, and Last Blood will follow in 2013.
  • Kathy Love‘s upcoming Devilishly Hot will be followed next May by Devilishly Sexy.
  • In a different move, the third book of Carolyn Crane‘s Disillusionists series (called Head Rush) will be released in audio and e-book format this coming December, but will only follow in print format sometime next year.
  • May 1st will be the release date for the third book from Sidney Ayers‘ Demons Unleashed series, called Demon to Die For.
  • and on June 5th, the second book from Tami Dane‘s Sloan Skye series will be hitting the shelves, this one called Blood of Innocence.

I just found quite a few new listings, so don’t be surprised if I do up another Random Updates page tomorrow.

Cover Lover – 3 New Titles

Well, didn’t manage to find much this go round, but I do know I was excited to find the cover for the second book in Richelle Mead‘s Vampire Academy spin off series.  The Golden Lily is part of the Bloodlines series, and will be out on May 1st.  Ah, Adrian…can’t wait.

I always say this, but I can’t believe it when a series is heading into the fourth book and the first one is STILL sitting on Mount TBR.   Anyhow, Enraptured will be the fourth title in Elisabeth Naughton‘s Eternal Guardians series.

And the third one is a bit different.  Kimberly Frost will start a new series, the Etherlin, this January.  The cover for the first book, All That Bleeds, was recently released on the authors website…

Random Updates

Hard to believe, but there is some concrete info starting to come out about the 2012 releases…man, I am still writing 2010 on everything.  Looks like I need to get caught up.

  • November 1st, Christine Feehan will have a sort of new release.  Darkest at Dawn is a trade-paperback size re-release of two previous Dark series stories – Dark Secret and Dark Hunger (from the Hot Blooded anthology).
  • from what I can gather, Nancy Gideon starts a new series this November with the release of Hunter of Shadows.
  • the second book in Linda Howard and Linda Jones‘ Blood Born series seems to have been pushed back yet again.  Warrior Rising is now looking like an April 2012 release.
  • Lothaire it is.  The preorder links for the Kresley Cole Immortal After Dark release have gone up at Amazon, so it looks like the title is a done deal.  The official release date is now January 10th.
  • Lydia Dare adds to her Regency Vampire series this September 1st with the release of Never Been Bit.  It is the third book in the series.
  • Rachel Caine‘s Morganville Vampires book number 11 will be called Last Breath.  Look for it on November 1st.
  • The third book from Sophie Renwick‘s The Chronicles of Annwyn now has a title.  Velvet Moon will be released on December 6th.
  • A new one from Rachel Vincent will be available on August 23rd.  Blood Bound is an adult release, the first book in her new Unbound series.
  • After a very long delay, it looks like the third book from Elisabeth Naughton‘s Eternal Guardians series will finally be coming out.  Tempted now has a September 1st release date.
  • It’s All Greek To Me is the name of the early December release from Katie MacAlister.
  • Amanda Ashley will follow up August’s Bound by Night with Bound by Blood.  It is scheduled for the end of September.
  • Donna Grant‘s Dark Sword series will be getting a spin-off.  The Dark Warriors series (set in the same world) will have four releases in 2012.  Midnight’s Master will be out in June, followed by Midnight’s Lover in July.  Midnight’s Seduction will be available in November, and Midnight’s Warrior will round things off in December.
  • January 1st is the date for the next Linda Wisdom book, A Demon Does it Better.
  • Stephanie Rowe‘s third Soulfire book, Hold Me if You Can, will be out January 1st, 2012.
  • December 1st will be the release date for the next Terry Spear Wolf series book, this one called Dreaming of the Wolf.
  • The second Forgotten Goddesses series book from Stephanie Julian will be called How to Worship a Goddess.  It should be out on December 1st.
  • Sidney Ayers will follow up Demons Prefer Blondes with Icing on the Demon, available on December 1st.
  • Shadow City will be the title of the third Horngate Witches series from Diana Pharaoh Francis, due out on December 27th.
  • December 27th will also be the date for the next Persephone Alcmedi book, Wicked Circle, from Linda Robertson.
  • Virtual Virgin is the title of the next Delilah Street book from Carole Nelson Douglas, due out on November 29th.
  • and finally, it looks like Kim Harrison will be releasing a reference book, The Hollows Insider, at the end of October.

Cover Lover – 3 New Titles

All Things Urban Fantasy upped the cover for the next book from Erin KellisonShadowman is due out on September 6th, and it is the third book in her Shadow Series.

This one has been around a while, but I am just getting to up it now.  Elizabeth Naughton will have the third book of her Eternal Guardians series, Tempted, come out in this fall.

The third title is from a new series from Caridad PineiroThe Lost is the first book from The Sin Hunters series, and is due out on July 26th.

New Series Spotlight…Eternal Guardians

Elisabeth Naughton, the author of the Romance-Adventure “Stolen” series (Stolen Fury, Stolen Heat, and Stolen Seduction) will be debuting  a brand-new series starting this April.  The series is called Eternal Guardians, and so far there are to be at least five books.  I haven’t heard much in the way of hoopla over this one yet, but I thought it looked interesting.  The Eternal Guardians Series is centered around seven warrors who protect their realm from threats of the Underworld, and each of the guardians are descended from the seven strongest heroes in all of Greek mythology.  This is the run down for the first two books…

First up is Marked, due out on April 27th, 2010.

THERON – Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something.  Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendent of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Book two is Entwined, coming on July 27th, 2010.

The only immortal Argonaut and a descendent of Achilles, Zander’s rage is unparalleled.

As lies and betrayals from the past and present twist together, only one woman holds the key to sooth his fury. To save their world, he’ll have to decide if she’s enough to keep him from unleashing his wrath for good.

After that, Tempted is due in February of 2011, and the TBA book four should hit the shelves in August of 2011.  Book five is scheduled for sometime in 2012.