4.5 Stars, Dark Hollows Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Jennifer, Victoria Sue

Review: Broken Circle by Victoria Sue

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TitleBroken Circle (Sirius Wolves: Book Two)

Author:  Victoria Sue

Publisher: Dark Hollows Press

Pages/Word Count: 202 Pages

At a Glance: So, is this book good? Yeah. Any book that can make me care that much about characters and cry so hard is awesome.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Blaze, the most powerful werewolf on the planet has found his omega, Aden. Together with Conner and Darric they finally become true mates, fulfilling an ancient prophecy by the goddess Sirius and forming Orion’s Circle. The battle against the terrorist group, the Winter Circle, has begun.

Blaze, however, is fighting his own battle. Aden is due to birth a child, and despite Blaze’s six hundred years of being an Alpha, nothing has prepared him for his hardest challenge yet — how to become a father. His struggles are hurting the people he loves the most and threatening their bond.

The madman who kidnapped and tortured Aden still hasn’t been caught, and when the worst happens and their circle is broken, Blaze has to fight his biggest threat yet – his own inner weakness – an enemy against which his Alpha strength will be useless. Blaze has to learn that true strength is only found in forgiveness, and sometimes the most powerful weapon is love.

Dividers

Review: A few months ago I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, and I was absolutely delighted by the world Victoria Sue set up. The mythology, the characters, the storyline…all of it was so fresh in a shifter-saturated market. This second book continues the story started in the first, and follows Aden, Blaze, Conner, and Darric as they discover the joys of fatherhood and navigate an increasingly dangerous world.

Seven months have passed since the first book, and Aden is ready to give birth to a baby. Yes, he is male, for readers just tuning in, so this book does have mpreg. The logistics are explained in the first book, and I found it fascinating as Aden and his alphas dote on their child. But there’s a lot at stake. Orion’s Circle is getting more powerful, but Aden and Blaze have not finished their bonding ceremony, and there are new threats to contend with. The villain, Madden (from the first book has disappeared), and a terrorist group that seems to be made of wolves is threatening wolf/human relations.

I can’t say much without giving too much away, but I will say a few things. First, you absolutely must read the first book to get the full story. The author does a decent job of catching readers up, but not everything is explained. Second, this book is devastating. There is a major character death and I sobbed in bed, reading to the end through wet lashes. That’s how much I was affected. I honestly didn’t think it would bother me as much as it did, and I had to eventually take my glasses off because they were so blurred with tears.

So, is this book good? Yeah. Any book that can make me care that much about characters and cry so hard is awesome. That’s not to say there aren’t issues, however. Like the first book, there are some inconsistencies. The baby’s name is mentioned before Aden and Blaze decide on it, which is frustrating. There are also instances of repetition that could have been cut. I started skimming at one point because it got to be just too much, but in the end, the author’s character building really brought me in and kept me engrossed in the story. I just really wish more attention had been payed to the editing.

Now, there is a third book, and I currently hold it in my hands. I’m afraid to read it, though. Why? I don’t think my heart can handle another blow like it did with this one. And I’m all out of tissues. Any more tears and I might need to start using the towels in my bathroom to sop up the mess.

TNA_Signature_Jennifer

 

 

 

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Charlie Cochet, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue by Charlie Cochet

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Hello all! Thank you so much for joining me today at The Novel Approach to celebrate the release of Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue from Dreamspinner press! I’m very excited to be sharing this short novella with you. It has a little bit of everything, from sweet romance, humor, sexy-times, mystery, suspense, and a dash of horror. Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue may not be specifically a Halloween story, but it has several elements that makes Halloween a perfect release day!

I remember when Halloween was almost as exciting as Christmas. My mom was a seamstress and used to make my Halloween costumes, so the possibilities were endless. Pirate, princess, Care Bear, favorite cartoon character, you name it. One year I dressed up as a pumpkin. I have no idea what that was about or why, but there you go. Kids.

Then there was the promise of a plastic pumpkin full of chocolates, candies, and sometimes even quarters. Hey, a quarter could get you plenty of one penny sweets in the eighties. Remember Swedish Fish? I do. Used to love those things. Still do. I lived on a block filled with kids, so on Halloween a few of the parents would take a big group of us door to door. The parents would chat and gossip while we did our Trick-or-treating.

Once we had our pumpkins or bags full, we’d run back home and bask in our bounties, or head for the front steps of a friend’s house where the bartering would begin. Everyone would scour for the good candy, and pawn off their boring candy on their younger siblings who had no idea Ring Pops were way more awesome than a Werthers Original.

It was all about the good stuff. Fun Dip, Blow Pops, Melody Pops, Bonkers, Bubble Tape, and everyone wanted the Candy Cigarettes. It sounds kind of insane now when you think about. Candy Cigarettes for kids. But then when I was a kid, falling off the jungle gym most often resulted in serious bodily injury involving blood and possibly stitches. You were lucky if you hit sand or wood chips instead of concrete, and heaven help the poor soul who tried to go down the slide at noon in the middle of a hot summer day. Ah, the eighties.

What’s your fondest Halloween memory? Don’t celebrate Halloween, what’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Between the Devil and the Pacific BlueFS500

BOOK DETAILS

Genre: M/M Other Paranormal
Length: Novella
Published: October 31st, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634766296

BDPB About

For the last six months, Detective James Ralston has worked the nightshift as security for the Pacific Blue Hotel, and every night at 2 a.m. his rounds lead him to the radio room where the handsome and mysterious Franklin Fairchild sits listening to waltzes as old as the hotel itself. James is drawn to Franklin, but Franklin is a man at the end of his rope, and James has no intention of getting caught up in whatever trouble Franklin is in. A heated encounter late one night sends James down a disturbing path and has him questioning everything around him, including his very sanity.

READ CHAPTER ONE HERE.

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RELEASED OCTOBER 31ST

BDPB Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon Kindle | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

BDPB About the Author

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Charlie’s Newsletter

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, SJD Peterson

Review: Innocence to the Max by SJD Peterson

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Title: Innocence to the Max

Author: SJD Peterson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

At a Glance: Do you love vampires?  I love vampires, and I loved Innocence to the Max!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: On his sixteenth birthday, Francisco “Cisco” Aguilar first sets eyes on Maximilian De Ferrari, owner of Wicked Grounds, an exclusive BDSM club. Cisco has been lost, unsure of what is missing in his life. Over a century old, Max leads a vampire clan, and Cisco is drawn to him in a way he can’t explain. The moment he sees Max he knows his quest isn’t about what he’s been missing, but who.

Five years’ wait seems more than Cisco can bear, but he perseveres and on his twenty-first birthday he walks into Wicked Ground. He’s unafraid to meet the vampire he’s sure is his destiny. Max has been waiting for him, too.

What Max has known all these years, and what Cisco soon discovers, is that more than fate is drawing them together. Iunctio Copula is a powerful binding link capable of restoring cold, dead hearts. With Max and Cisco bound, Cisco will be Max’s greatest weakness. Unable to let Max go, Cisco is thrust into a dark world, where he’s nearly powerless, left to fight for his life and his future with Max. Worse, he’s at the mercy of those who will use him—and hurt him—just to get to the powerful vampire.

Dividers

Review: SJD Peterson is one of my go-to writers whenever I need a really well written book, and Innocence to the Max falls right in line. Is this a new series?  Gosh, I hope so. There are so many incredible characters in this book that deserve their own story.

Max is a centuries old vampire, and the head of his clan, searching for something he doesn’t even believe exists, not really. And then one night, he is taking a quiet break from his club. Cisco is in a car, driving down the street in front of him, and his path is forever changed. Cisco is celebrating his sixteenth birthday, looks down an alley, and his body lights up with recognition of a man he cannot see for the shadows, and cannot pursue because of his age. Five years later, and Cisco is out to claim the man from the shadows, knowing he is a vampire and his Master—Cisco wants nothing more than to serve the man who stole his heart from a street corner.

This book does have some disturbing scenes of violence and rape, so be warned, but it is not the point of the story, merely an aspect of it. This is a story about two men struggling hard to be the men they need to be for themselves as well as for each other. It is a happy-for-now tale, with the promise for more. As well written as the main characters are, the secondary characters carry the story forward with wit and fortitude, and I really want a book for Benny!

I highly recommend this story. If you are into hot vampires, with some light BDSM and soul mates, then this is a book you will definitely enjoy.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

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5 Stars, Dark Hollows Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Jennifer, Victoria Sue

Review: Eternal Circle by Victoria Sue

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TitleEternal Circle (Sirius Wolves: Book Three)

Author:  Victoria Sue

Publisher: Dark Hollows Press

Pages/Word Count: 143 Pages

At a GlanceThis book in the series is by far my favorite.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: How can you repair something that should have been unbreakable? Darric, Blaze and Conner had been together for centuries, and their bond, like their love, should have been eternal. Blaze is trying not only to hold his family together, but stop himself falling apart.

The fragile relationship between the werewolves and the humans is at risk once more, and the goddess Sirius seems to have deserted them. Inexplicable changes are taking place to their little Omega, and while Aden’s powers are increasing, Conner seems to be losing his.

The terrorist group, The Winter Circle, is getting bolder and placing everyone in danger. Worse, there is a traitor among them, perhaps someone a lot closer than they want to admit. Just when Blaze thought the worst that could have happened is behind them, the traitor is revealed, and Blaze realizes that their circle is not only broken, but in danger of being irreparably torn apart.

Dividers

Review: I’ll admit it. I read this book the same night I finished the second one because I’m clearly a masochist and like being in pain. I just couldn’t leave the wounds alone and had to find out what happened next to Aden, Blaze, Conner, and Darric. I’m happy to say that after even more crying, I was happy with the ending I got.

 

This book in the series is by far my favorite. Characters reach new depths, more of the legend of the wolves is told, and an even more evil villain shows up. And it’s someone I never expected. I was completely blown away, and right before it was revealed, I literally proclaimed, “NO WAY!” and could hardly read fast enough.

Well played, Victoria Sue. Well played. I did NOT see that coming. Holy cow.

This third book follows the boys as everything gets more intense. Conner is losing his empathic abilities, and Aden is struggling with this second pregnancy following so soon on the heels of the first. Blaze struggles to keep it together and be strong for this mates, but there’s still a traitor to unearth, wolves making trouble, and revealing their presence to humans.

Kellan, a former pack member of Aden’s, is causing trouble, and Conner finally gets to the bottom of it, but his inability to accurately sense emotions could doom them all. Again, I was not expecting the resolution to this one, either. Wow.

Just as in the first two books there are inconsistencies and some discrepancies with the other books that could be fixed with stronger editing. However, either I’ve gotten used to it or they weren’t as prevalent in the other books, because I didn’t mind nearly as much, and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

This book cannot be read as a standalone. You absolutely must read the first two, because the events in this book directly follow what happens in the first two. Could you get away with it? Probably, because the author did a good job of getting the readers caught up to speed, but why would you want to? Go back to the first two books and enjoy the ride.

Now, can I please have the next book? I want to know more about Ricoh and his mate(s) and the young snow white shifter from the beginning of the book. Oh, and I’d like to see more of Kellan as well.

TNA_Signature_Jennifer

 

 

 

You can buy Eternal Circle here:

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4 Stars, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Maryann, Self-Published, Thianna Durston

Review: Discovery by Thianna Durston

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Title: Discovery (Drakyl Ranch: Book One)

Author: Thianna Durston

Publisher: NQWYE Press

Pages/Word Count: 154 Pages

At a Glance: Discovery is a good beginning to the Drakyl Ranch series.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Living in Montana and working the ranch is all Aaron wants to do for the rest of his life. Diagnosed as allergic to the sun thirteen years previous, every day is a struggle to get out of bed. Having to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and even material to cover his face from the effects of the sun, just makes it all worse. Now, in his thirty-second year, he is sure this will be his last summer. While he hates it, he knows he needs to come to terms with the truth and put things in order for his younger cousins. Before he does so, he heads out for one night of pleasure before facing what’s coming.

Jaret loves excitement and new adventures. For over five hundred years, he has sought them out. In Montana on a whim, he comes across someone he doesn’t expect, someone who makes him feel things he does not understand and does not want to give up. In no time at all, he feels like he cannot live without Aaron. The only problem is Aaron doesn’t know who he is, what he is, nor that he isn’t going to die. Not on Jaret’s watch. With a plan to help the other man discover who he is in place, he only has one thing to worry about: whether an ancient enemy will come and destroy everything he now holds dear.

Dividers Review: Discovery is the first book in the new Drakyl Ranch series by Thianna Durston. The lore and mythology of this story is a different concept for me in regards to drakyl versus vampyre. The word “vampire” has a totally different meaning in this –verse, and no relationship to what this story is all about. We find that the vampyre are smelly and just plain evil all around, and that drakyl are a genetic link between vampyre and drakyl. Ms. Durston provides a scientific theory on how they came about.

Drakyl is actually the last name of the family that lives on the Montana ranch. We find cousins Aaron, Adam, Stephan, Jeffery, and Conner working the Drakyl Ranch with their elderly uncle, Davis. Everyone gets along great, but Uncle Davis and the boys worry about Aaron. He is the oldest and is suffering from an illness. He has come to realize he doesn’t have long to live, so he decides to go into town and have one last fling. There he meets up with Jaret, the mysterious stranger who has been a drakyl for many years.  Once Aaron and Jaret start learning about each other, we find that they don’t necessarily agree on everything.

I thought it odd that Uncle Davis hadn’t shared his knowledge with Aaron sooner, as Aaron was suffering. The reaction of the cousins when they find out what their destiny is, is without fear and they accept it calmly. Maybe they had that reaction because they were sort of abandoned by their families and sent to live with their uncle because they were considered different. There is also an abundance of past history about the drakyl that Aaron and Jaret will be discovering as the series progresses. They also have to face danger as they take up the battle against the vampyre.

Discovery is a good beginning to the Drakyl Ranch series. Ms. Durston has created enough characters and history to keep me curious. Since we get a little glimpse of the second book, I’m looking forward to this new paranormal adventure.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

You can buy Discovery here:

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Cover Reveal, Eli Easton, Giveaways, Self-Published

Cover Reveal, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway: How to Walk Like a Man by Eli Easton

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BLURB: Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.

Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If the town doesn’t kill him, sexual frustration just might.

The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?

BUY LINK: AMAZON

Dividers

EXCERPT: “Now Roman, remember. You’re going to have to stay very conscious about not exhibiting any… er, dog like behavior during this meeting. We can’t afford to raise suspicion.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll be on my guard.”

Roman didn’t need to be reminded how important it was that humans remain blissfully unaware that quickened–dog-human shifters–existed. But he could tell Lance was anxious and his chatter was down to nerves. Sweat beaded on Sheriff Lance Beaufort ‘s upper lip as he steered the car and–Roman sniffed as subtly as he could–Lance smelled wary, suspicious. Roman’s inner dog wanted to whine at the unease of his pack leader, but Roman swallowed it. No dog behavior.

They were driving to Fresno in Lance’s white Sheriff’s department SUV for a big regional law enforcement meeting. The DEA was giving a presentation, and Lance had asked Roman to go along. It was probably because he wanted company on the long drive, but Roman had been thrilled. Since he’d become a full-time deputy with the Mad Creek’s Sheriff’s office, he had a purpose in life again, and he liked being included in Lance’s plans. Besides, he loved to ride in cars! It was even better when you didn’t have to drive and could roll down the window and stick your hand out, feel the wind buffet your skin.

With the window rolled down, a scent caught Roman’s nose on the warm September air. He turned his head as they zipped past endless pine trees. There was something dead out in the woods–something small, like a groundhog. If he were on foot he’d go find it just for the fun of it. But not today. Not today.

He smiled and looked at his hand as he tried to catch the wind. Today he was a man, and it was still amazing. Hands were amazing. Lately he’d been finding his own body more fascinating. He’d been quickened for two years now, but sometimes he felt like he was just now wakening from a dream–only to find it wasn’t a dream at all.

“I think it’s very different,” he said, wiggling his fingers. “Being quickened from birth, like you were, and getting it later in life. Living as a dog first.”

“I’m sure it is,” Lance agreed. “Incredibly different.”

“I’m glad I was who I was. That I had that time in Army K-9. With James.” Lance said nothing and Roman felt a pang of self-doubt. Maybe he was being too open in an ‘un-human’ like way. Lance was pack, but he was also Roman’s boss. He cleared his throat and rolled up the window. He’d better stick to talking about work. “So. What do you expect to happen at this meeting today?”

“I don’t know.” Lance frowned at the windshield. “I’m hoping it’ll be good news, but–”

“We haven’t had any trouble. Not since that night those drug dealers shot up Tim’s house.”

Lance’s frown deepened. “I know. But I have a sense something’s coming, like… a prickling on my neck. I’ve had a bad feeling for days.”

Roman didn’t have any such ‘bad feeling’, but he didn’t say it out loud. As a border collie shifter, Lance worried about his territory obsessively, more than Roman or any other quickened. So if Lance sensed something, he was probably right.

Roman’s heart beat a little faster. “Do you want me to carry my weapon, sir?”

Lance laughed. “No, I don’t mean I expect trouble at this meeting. Coffee and donuts and a lot of ass-kissing is probably as dangerous as it’ll get. But the DEA’s presentation… This is the first time they’ve called us all together for something like this. I’m assuming it’s not going to be good news on the war-on-drugs front. I just hope, whatever’s brewing out there, it has nothing to do with Mad Creek.”

“Because that would be bad.” Roman knew Lance’s philosophy: fly as under-the-radar and away from things as possible. Mad Creek was in the middle of nowhere for a reason.

“Yes, Roman. Because that would be very bad,” Lance said darkly.

Dividers

THE GIVEAWAY

Thanks for joining us for Eli Easton’s How to Walk Like a Man cover reveal! To add to the celebration of the book’s upcoming release, Eli’s offering the chance for one lucky reader to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

All you need to do to enter is click on the Rafflecopter widget, easy as that.

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3 Stars, Elizabeth Coldwell, Paranormal Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Into the Arena by Elizabeth Coldwell

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TitleInto the Arena (Lionhearts: Book Four)

Author:  Elizabeth Coldwell

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 146 Pages

At a Glance: The book starts off strong, but some parts were too much of a stretch.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: He will fight for the one he loves, no matter what it takes.
Cesare Bianco is a shifter without a pride. Exiled from his home town of Padua after losing a leadership fight to his corrupt, self-serving uncle, he travels to Rome in search of a new beginning. A chance meeting sees him taking a job on the catering crew of a Hollywood blockbuster. When he meets the movie’s handsome lead actor, Hayden, he knows he’s in the presence of his mate. But Hayden is human. Even though he offers the possibility of lasting love, Cesare must fight all his instincts to make it happen.
Hayden Skarz is on the verge of the big time. Landing the lead in sci-fi adventure Thrown to the Lions has put him on the road to stardom. Filming in Rome is a difficult new challenge for him, though being around Cesare, the hunk who works in the catering truck, makes his job much sweeter. Sex between them is passionate and wildly inventive. But Hayden has a stalker, who’s tired of being ignored in favor of other men. When what started as a crush turns into murderous obsession, can Cesare help Hayden make it off the film set alive?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and bondage.

Dividers

Review: So far I have really enjoyed the Lionhearts series by Elizabeth Coldwell, and I was looking forward to this next installment. And while it is a good book, it did not live up to the other books in the series. It started off strong, but by the time the big reveal came for Cesare, I was pretty incredulous.

You do not need to read the other books in the series to enjoy this book. They all work as standalones, even if other characters are briefly mentioned. The main character from Vintage Pride is mentioned in about two sentences in this book, and then never is brought up again. Cesare and Hayden are new, as is the location. When Cesare is forced to leave his pride after a failed attempt at taking over, he travels to Rome where he helps Gail feed actors on a movie set. When he meets Hayden, he knows he’s met his mate.

I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, for the most part, but there didn’t seem to be much at stake for them. Yes, if they got caught together they’d be the talk of the set, but Hayden is already out as an actor, so it’s really not that big a deal. And while he has a stalker, it doesn’t turn really dangerous until the end. I never felt the tension I did during the other books. What bothered me the most was Cesare’s reveal to Hayden that he’s a shifter. Hayden mentions in passing that he felt a connection to the lion that was on set (Cesare after a forced shift), and when Cesare reveals it was him, there’s a page, maybe two, of Hayden not believing him, and then he’s suddenly accepting and, “Hey, I guess it makes sense.” Reading that threw me off. It just didn’t feel right, and I even backtracked a bit to see if I had missed pages. Likewise, the danger at the end was over so quickly, and easily resolved. I never felt that Hayden and Cesare were really in danger.

As a final note, the publisher warns of violence and bondage. Is there violence? Yes, but I’ve read worse in books without a warning. Is there bondage? Yes, to a small extent, but with a warning on it, I was expecting much more. Do I honestly think it was necessary to put either there? No.

If you’re a fan of the series, I’d be interested in seeing what you think of the book after reading it. If you’re new to the series, I recommend reading one of the first three books prior to reading this one.

TNA_Signature_Jennifer

 

 

 

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Thianna D

Guest Post: Discovery (Drakyl Ranch: Book One) by Thianna Durston

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Cowboys, Drakyl, Vampyr…and Things That Go Bump in the Night

In Montana there’s a ranch you might want to steer clear of. The men there are nice enough, especially the younger cousins, but these cowboys have a bit of a secret. They aren’t quite human. Have your attention? Humans, see, live blissfully unaware of a paranormal realm that exists beside our own. The cowboys at Drakyl Ranch did too. Once. Until they started to change. And gained a taste for human blood.

Welcome to my world where cowboys and vampires collide in interesting ways. To be honest, when I first even heard the idea of writing a vampire/cowboy romance, I giggled myself silly. Until the Plot Bunny hit five seconds later. The character Aaron began chatting in my head about being tired of his sickness, so tired of being allergic to the sun. And that’s how it all started.

I knew, of course, of the basic rules of vampirism:

  1. Can’t go into the sun or they fry
  2. They drink human blood
  3. Deathly pale
  4. Wooden stake to the heart can kill them
  5. Depending on which lore you look at either silver is deadly to them, or it’s the fact the silver is in the shape of a cross that is deadly to them.

But beside those rules, vampire lore goes a bit crazy. You have some people in history that would actually bury bodies face down with the belief that if the dead had been infected as a vampire, that they wouldn’t realize they were digging their way deeper underground when they tried to get out of their casket. You also have some of the newest lore – like Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight vamps who sparkle in the sun.

Let me set this straight. Neither my vampyr nor my drakyl sparkle. And yes, I have two different types. Why? When you’re creating a new set of vampires, you have to think of the wheres, the whats, and the whys. Where can they go, what happens when they get there, and why does this new lore work? My drakyl, once they begin to turn are slaves to the moon. The sun, even before they turn completely, can give them a third degree burn. In many ways, they are allergic to the sun’s rays. This fits into the first vampire lore that mostly seems to have come from the beginning. Plus, it made sense to me that drakyl, vampyr-like creatures that are born human and through a strand of DNA turn into drakyl at around 20 years of age, might be a little more humane, more adept at acting human, though they have to also adapt to having some vampyric traits.

Do they drink blood? Yes. And they aren’t embarrassed about it. Well, Aaron tries to fight his desire for it – thank goodness for blood banks.

Their skin is incredibly pale, but if well fed (human blood especially), their skin can be a pale ivory.

Now, as for the wooden stake to the heart… I have never been able to buy into that one. The undead, it seems to me, would have hardy skin that would be hard to punch a stake through. Besides, the whole sleep in a casket thing is very much for old-lore vampirism wherein the vampire has to sleep in the dirt they were buried in during the day or they would poof and die. My drakyl sleep in beds. Their skin does harden, but especially their veins when they change. The only thing that can bust through their veins is iron and the only thing that can kill them besides the sun is silver.

I love the juxtaposition of creatures who have to live off the blood of others still being quite humane as the drakyl at Drakyl Ranch are.

But for those who are disappointed I left the evilness of vampire behind. Never fear. The drakyl have an enemy, the vampyr. True vampire-like creatures, they are made through death and poison, tortured into their undead state. They reek and have lost their teeth over time, their entire bodies stinking of rot. Vampyr live for three things: to drink blood, to attack and take over, and to murder drakyl.

Welcome to Drakyl Ranch where my drakyl cowboys somehow manage to find their Joined, their forever companion, even with vampyr attacking any chance they can get.

~Thianna Durston

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Discovery-Customdesign-Jayaheer2015-smallpreviewBlurbAaron thought he was dying, Jaret showed him how to live.
Now the only thing standing between them and forever
is an ancient enemy set on their annihilation.

Living in Montana and working the ranch is all Aaron wants to do for the rest of his life. Diagnosed as allergic to the sun thirteen years previous, every day is a struggle to get out of bed. Having to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and even material to cover his face from the effects of the sun, just makes it all worse. Now, in his thirty-second year, he is sure this will be his last summer. While he hates it, he knows he needs to come to terms with the truth and put things in order for his younger cousins. Before he does so, he heads out for one night of pleasure before facing what’s coming.

Jaret loves excitement and new adventures. For over five hundred years, he has sought them out. In Montana on a whim, he comes across someone he doesn’t expect, someone who makes him feel things he does not understand and does not want to give up. In no time at all, he feels like he cannot live without Aaron. The only problem is Aaron doesn’t know who he is, what he is, nor that he isn’t going to die. Not on Jaret’s watch. With a plan to help the other man discover who he is in place, he only has one thing to worry about: whether an ancient enemy will come and destroy everything he now holds dear.

Warning: This book is a paranormal m/m romance with some horror elements. It also crosses cowboy and vampire genres. If you don’t think cowboys look hot with fangs, you’re missing out.

Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble

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Author BioAuthor Bio: Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

You can find her at: Thianna’s Website || Thianna’s Blog || Facebook Author Page || Twitter || Google+ || Goodreads

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Grace R. Duncan, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lana

Review: Devotion by Grace R. Duncan

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Devotion (Forbes Mates: Book One

Author: Grace R. Duncan

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

At a Glance: Devotion is a solid story that shows us the connection between destined mates, not just the lust but also the love.

Reviewed By: Lana

Blurb: Finley Cooper is tired of waiting for his destined mate to be ready to claim him. In deference to human laws, he’s already agreed to wait until he’s eighteen. But now his birthday has come and gone—and his mate has a new set of excuses. Finley doesn’t understand it any more than his wolf does, and he’s beginning to wonder if fate made a mistake.

Tanner Pearce wants nothing more than to claim his mate, but he worries that Finley is too young. Tanner will never forget what happened when his best friend mated at Finley’s age, only to have that mate end up feeling trapped and breaking their bond. While rare, it can happen, and the fallout Tanner witnessed as his best friend tried to deal with the break has haunted him for years.

When Finley finally has enough, he threatens to find someone who will claim him if Tanner doesn’t, and Tanner realizes he needs to come to terms with his fears or risk losing his mate forever.

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Review: Devotion is an entertaining shifter story that follows two destined mates who must overcome some obstacles to be together. I enjoyed it but thought it was a little bit longwinded and needed a better edit.

I love my shifter stories, and I have read enough to know from the first couple of pages whether I’m going to like a book. Tanner and Finley are destined mates. They have known this from the first moment they met. There’s an age difference, with Tanner being older and wanting to wait to mate until Finley turns twenty-one. Tanner wants to give Finley some time to grow up and to grow into his own man. Well, Finley is not happy and he’ll do anything in his power to provoke Tanner, including going out dancing, which drives his mate crazy. Tanner has his reasons for waiting, and they are cute and funny. As a couple, Tanner and Finley meshed! As the future alpha, Tanner was a little dominating, and Finley was much more carefree. They had a few funny scenes that I enjoyed and, overall, when they were both on the page, that’s when the story got interesting and flowed. And to throw some tension into the mix, they butt heads about their mating, and Finley takes off to his grandparents to think and get some space from Tanner.

Here is where it gets longwinded—the constant repetition of why they can’t mate, and the unending inner monologues of both Tanner and Finley. I just felt like the same points were repeated over and over, and it got tedious to read. I wanted the story to move a little bit faster.

Another love interest is introduced, Jamie, who is instantly attracted to Finley, and they even try to fool around, but Finley’s wolf will have nothing to do with Jamie because Jamie is not his mate. The scenes between Jamie and Finley were pretty good, and I can’t wait to read Jamie’s story. The break leads both boys to think more on why they are apart, and finally, events come to a head, and Finley gets a reaction from Tanner. Tanner races across country to get to Finley, and their reunion is very sweet. They do resolve their issues and the truth comes out about why Tanner wanted to wait. They finally have their claiming ceremony. The sex scenes were really good, and numerous! There was definitely good chemistry between the two.

Devotion is a solid story that shows us the connection between destined mates, not just the lust but also the love, a fulfilling ending and a setup for the next installment, which I can’t wait to read.

TNA_Signature_Lana

 

 

 

You can buy Devotion here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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4 Stars, Bailey Bradford, Paranormal Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Angel

Release Day Review: Sunshine Is Overrated by Bailey Bradford

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Sunshine is Overrated (The Vamp for Me Series #3)

Author: Bailey Bradford

PublisherPride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 112 Pages

At a GlanceAn excellent addition to a fun and sweet series.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Life with vamps is never easy.

Abernathy Meyers is already mated to a vamp, Zebulon. It’s just too bad that Zebulon doesn’t give a darn about him. Abbie’s stuck with the man for eternity—or until they die. Some days, Abbie thinks that can’t happen soon enough. He’s tired of being treated badly, yet he doesn’t really want to make his earthly exit yet.

Because he’s longed for another man—another vampire—for years. Forbidden love—is anything more compelling, or more heart-breaking?

There’s a twisted past, a hidden story linking Abbie, Zebulon and the coven leader, Claude.

Claude lives with a fear of turning to dust at any moment. It isn’t reasonable, but he can’t shake it. He’s let his own fears impede his potential happiness, and instead he puts the needs of his coven first, ignoring his own. But if he’s deliberately blind to one particular human’s needs because that human is a mate to another vampire, then is Claude truly leading to the best of his ability?

It’s a tough question for him to answer and soon, he’ll have to make a choice that will affect him and Abbie, forever.

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Review:  Bailey Bradford is a comfort author for me. I love reading her always happy, everyone is gay, and sometimes silly stories. The Vamp for Me series is classic Bradford, and I have loved seeing it evolve. I feel a bit guilty jumping on one particular author’s books when they come up for review on the site, and I try to give others a chance to try them first, but it’s like a guilty pleasure compulsion I can’t resist.

Sunshine Is Overrated is Abernathy Meyer’s and Claude’s story, and the blurb tells you everything you need to know without spoiling it for the reader. I was thoroughly intrigued by Abernathy from the beginning book, My Life Without Garlic, when he warned the protagonist about being mated to a vampire. I read and enjoyed the sequel, despite there being very little to do with Abernathy. Still, I waited, albeit a bit impatiently, for Abernathy’s tale, and finally it arrived. Can I just say I love being able to review books like this before they are out to the public and opinions and spoilers hit the internet?

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. I loved Abernathy and Claude’s story when I finally was able to get my greedy little hands on it. Oh, the pining and the drama! I live for Bradford’s version of it because it’s fun, and sometimes you just need that in a story. Not real fond of the nicknames used, but meh, it’s a minor thing for me, and it adds realism, I think, because almost everyone has a nickname they use with a loved one, whether they want to admit to it or not. And, Bradford’s vampires are real, to an extent, in this verse—not undead nightmare savages, but also they aren’t overly brooding, sparkling antiheroes either. Just regular ‘people’ who happen to need to drink blood to survive.

The backstory of these two men is riddled with longing, desire and miscommunication, and like typical men, these vampires know how to mess up a relationship good. Bradford is known for her happy endings, and I love how she winds up a tale. In Sunshine Is Overrated, she takes the typical tropes of men in romance and adds her own supernatural flair to them. I have mentioned before that Bradford twists the normal genre staples for her verses, and I really enjoyed that. She also has real consequences for her characters that normally aren’t hand-waved or brushed off to get their happily-ever-after, and I adore her all the more for this particular brand of writing.

Sunshine Is Overrated also expands the world Bradford has created by introducing other supernatural creatures to this verse. Vampires and their mates are a given in Bradford’s world, but demons, and zombies are added in this tale, both with Bradford’s individual spin on each. This book is a complete tale, with an explosive conclusion, and I highly recommend you read the other two books before starting this one just to get the full-on experience of the series. Bradford also leaves an opening for herself to continue this series, and I hope there will be more to come.

Thank you for sharing another sweet and fun tale!

TNA_Signature_Angel

 

 

 

You can buy Sunshine Is Overrated here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Pride Publishing

Pride Publishing

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Cover Reveal, Giveaways, Kenzie Cade, Piper Vaughn

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Prickly By Nature by Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade

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Hi, everyone! Thanks to The Novel Approach for hosting us today. Kenzie Cade and I are thrilled to share the cover for our upcoming release, Prickly By Nature. As with the first cover for Prickly Business, book one in our Portland Pack Chronicles series, this one was designed by the fabulous Reese Dante. We love the covers she’s made for us and can’t wait to see what she comes up with once we finish book three, but in the meantime, check this one out! We hope you love this cover as much as we do!

~Piper

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Blurb: In the four months since hedgehog shifter Avery Babineaux started investigating the disappearance of a young female werewolf from the Portland Pack, he’s discovered his life’s passion. Now he’s apprenticing under established PI Corbin Reid. Avery hopes his training with Reid will help him finally bring Lacey home, but detective work isn’t without its perils, and the potential dangers strain his relationship with his new mate, Dylan.

Dylan Green would be perfectly content with his mating and his motorcycle shop if it wasn’t for his constant worry about Avery’s safety and the fact that Avery’s never home. Proud as he might be of Avery’s determination to prove his worth and fulfill his promise to Lacey’s father, Dylan can’t stand the thought of Avery being hurt. Yet what right does he have to demand Avery give up his job when it’s clear Avery’s found his true purpose? Still, Dylan wishes he could, and the appearance of a new police detective who sets his sights on Avery only adds to the tension.

Something has to give, but stubbornness runs in both their veins, and it might take a catastrophe for them to find a compromise they can live with.

Pre-Order Links: Dreamspinner Ebook || Dreamspinner Paperback

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Excerpt: Running naked through the woods was exactly what Dylan Green needed. Thank the weather gods they’d held back the rain for the past few days. At least the ground was drier. Although wet forest floors didn’t matter to Dylan’s wolf. He was ready to stretch all four legs. It had been too long. Even longer since he’d run with his mate.

“Can you not get this heap to move any faster?” Avery practically vibrated off the seat next to him. Good thing he’d chosen the Firebird over his bike today.

“Hey now. Phoenix is not a heap.” Dylan patted the pristine dash, brushing over the treated wood with love. After glancing at the speedometer, he said, “We’re going the speed limit.” Which, yes, he knew was an anomaly for him, but only when he was on his bike. Phoenix required more finesse.

Before he could say anything else, Avery snorted and cut him off. “Phoenix?”

Unabashed, Dylan kept his focus on the road. “Firebird. Phoenix. Phe and I have been through a lot together. She’s pa—”

“Did you just nickname the car you call Phoenix? And dear God”—Dylan grinned at Avery’s pronunciation of God. It came out more like “Gawd.” He loved how Avery’s accent took over when he was teasing or passionate or angry—“please don’t tell me you’re about to say this mash of metal, oil, and leather is part of your family, our family. I do not, nor will I ever, claim a hunk of junk as a child. You can bet your ass I won’t be wiping its behind.”

That, in fact, was exactly what Dylan was going to say, but thinking about it at the moment, he had to admit how ridiculous it sounded out loud. Though he’d never say so to Avery.

Avery continued, “And let me guess, you talk to your baby.” Dylan could practically hear the giggle Avery was working so hard to suppress. “Does Phe talk back?”

The road up to Forest Park was narrow and curvy, so turning to look at Avery would have to wait. However, he did roll his eyes and reach over to pinch Avery’s thigh. “Don’t be ridiculous,” he said. “Cars don’t have verbal skills.” And, yes, he did talk to Phoenix, because until Avery came along, Phe had been the one thing in his life he’d pampered and taken care of that had never let him down. So what if he talked aimlessly to a vehicle? He’d worked hard to build her. That bond was unbreakable.

He thought of Avery, then amended himself. Almost unbreakable.

Phoenix was his baby. She had seen him through many tough times, and he had done the same for her, but there was no connection stronger than what linked Dylan and Avery. Sitting only inches away and not touching, Dylan still felt Avery like a second skin. So much so that, as he turned off the road to park near one of the forest trails, he felt Avery’s mirth in his bones. Without looking, he knew his mate would have a sparkle in his earthy hazel eyes and a smirk on the lips Dylan craved so much.

He even knew Avery would chuckle before he did, but that had more to do with knowing the man than an actual feeling.

“So what you’re saying is Phoenix doesn’t talk back when you ask how her day went?”

Dylan pulled into an available spot, turned off the engine, and opened his door. “You’re such a pain in the ass,” he replied with a wink and unfolded himself from the front seat.

“Aww”—Avery chased him from the car—“you say the nicest things.”

The brush of Avery’s palm over his ass had the ever-smoldering embers of need inside Dylan blazing to life, completely trumping the lighthearted teasing. How was it possible he wanted Avery more every day?

“You know,” Avery said in a low but conversational tone as they walked to where Lucas, Sawyer, and Kirk were parking their bikes. “I like it when you’re a pain in my ass. What do you say we blow this run and….” He trailed off, quirking his brow at the obvious.

Dylan groaned. Temptation had nothing on Avery Babineaux, and Dylan’s first instinct was to give in to the suggestion, but then he remembered why they were there in the first place.

In the months following Avery’s rescue from the warehouse and Melnyk’s entry into protective custody, Avery stayed true to his word. With help from one of Lucas’s ex-flings, Avery was currently a proud PI’s apprentice. It would still take months—many of them—for Avery to complete the hours of training needed to gain his own license, but he was well on his way. Corbin Reid, Lucas’s ex’s cousin, had taken Avery under his wing and in turn consumed most of his downtime. Dylan had only rare moments with his mate, depending on Avery’s busy work schedule—honeymoon phase or not. Visits to Wolfhound and even nightclubs with Avery were few and far between. Avery spent long hours immersing himself in the world of investigation and soaking up every little thing Reid was willing to teach. And when he wasn’t working, he was searching for Lacey.

By the time they’d broken the first link in the chain of the trafficking ring, Lacey had been missing four months. They had just crossed over into February, which made it six months, and from what they’d heard, the police were no closer to finding Lacey than Avery was. It didn’t help that Wallace, the shifter detective they’d been getting updates from, had gone silent once he transferred into the Human Trafficking Task Force.

While days turned into weeks and weeks into months, Avery hunted the dregs of every single lead he could scrounge up. Dylan watched helplessly as the effects of dead end after dead end weighed heavily on his mate. To say he felt useless was an understatement.

Then Mother Nature smiled down on them, with cloudless skies and sunshine in the middle of the wet season. It gave Dylan and Avery the opportunity for the one thing they both needed. Fun.

Dylan hadn’t enjoyed a run in weeks, and it had been longer since he’d played with Avery in the woods. A run was long overdue, and as great as a long hard fuck sounded right then, Dylan knew Avery’s hedgehog had to be aching for freedom too. Besides, having his mate naked and writhing under him was always a possibility when they got home.

Or in the car before they left the park. Dylan smiled, thankful he’d driven Phoenix, even on such a beautiful day. It was an inspired decision. He could definitely see some hot and dirty backseat action in his future.

Looking down, Dylan’s heart filled at the contented look on Avery’s face. All signs of worry and stress were vanquished for the moment. Dylan wondered, not for the first time, if they would ever have a break, ever have time to enjoy their new mating, or whether it would be a never-ending struggle, with outside forces constantly interfering.

“What?” Avery squinted, perplexed. Knowing Avery felt his concern warmed him.

Damn, Dylan didn’t think he’d ever get enough of his mate.

Avery’s nostrils flared, and Dylan knew he sensed his arousal as much as smelled it. He pulled Avery to him and brushed their lips together. As with most things between him and Avery, the kiss quickly deepened. Avery slipped his hand from Dylan’s hip to his chest and tweaked his nipple. Dylan groaned and pushed his tongue into Avery’s mouth, claiming what was already his. It was a battle of wills Dylan knew all too well as Avery’s perfectly orchestrated dance of want and desire balanced on a thin thread Dylan threatened to tear down each time. All of Avery’s taunting and flirting—it was foreplay, and Dylan could hardly wait for the fireworks. It was always worth the wait with Avery. Always.

“For the love of God, could you two get a room?” Lucas complained as he walked up. “Is it impossible to go five minutes without mauling each other?”

Dylan’s only response was a chuckle into Avery’s mouth as he pushed his fingers through Avery’s hair, holding him in place to prolong the kiss. He didn’t have to look to know Avery flipped off Lucas, mostly because he heard the laughter coming from their other friends.

When he pulled his mouth away, Dylan rested his forehead on Avery’s, breathing heavily. Christ, he loved the dazed, sated look Avery got when he was ready to drop to his knees, his cheeks flushed, and his lips swollen. All because of Dylan. Maybe Dylan should kick his own ass for not taking Avery up on his offer.

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Author BioBios:

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book. 

Visit Piper at: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Google+

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Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/Long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes the fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.

Contact Kenzie at kenziecade.author@gmail.com. You can also find her online at her blog: kenziecade.wordpress.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kenziecade.author; and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thekenziecade.

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THE GIVEAWAY

An E-copy of Prickly By Nature and $10 Gift Card to ARe, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon (Winner’s Choice)

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Annabelle Jacobs, Giveaways

Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Altered 3 by Annabelle Jacobs

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Annabelle Jacobs to share a bit of her new book The Altered 3 with us. Enjoy Annabelle’s post and excerpt, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of a book from her BACKLIST (excl. The Altered 3).

Good luck!

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Firstly, thanks, Lisa, for having me on your blog today.

My latest book, The Altered 3, was released on October 1st and is the final instalment in the Lycanaeris series.  Each of the three books focuses on a different character pairing, and this story is about Matt and the newest addition to the group, Thomas.

The majority of The Altered 3 is set in Cornwall, which has some of the most beautiful countryside and beaches.  I was lucky enough to go on holiday there in August this year, to the same place mentioned in this book.  The car park at the top of the hill gives you a great view of the sea and the beach, and the surrounding countryside, but is not so much fun when you have to walk back up after a day of swimming and running around.

When I describe Matt’s home in my book, this is what I’m picturing, (with a few less houses)

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And this is the beach below it.

pic 2 

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The Altered 3Blurb: Matt is a single shifter living in a house full of couples. It’s not that he begrudges his friends their happiness—especially after everything they’ve been through—but he wants someone for himself. He wants a mate. Living out in the Cornish countryside there seems little chance of him finding one.

Thomas’s life has recently been changed for ever. Newly altered, he finds himself in danger as his mother, a prominent politician, works to put a stop to the mistreatment of altereds and bring those responsible to justice.

To keep him safe, Thomas is sent to Cornwall where Matt and his friends offer him refuge until he can return to his home in London. Despite the circumstances surrounding his arrival, Thomas and Matt bond in a way neither of them were expecting. They struggle to come to terms with what this might mean for their future once the threat is eliminated.

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Excerpt: “Daniel?” He strained to hear anything but the whole farmhouse seemed quiet. His senses were a little overwhelmed after being effectively dampened for the last three hours, but after thirty seconds or so he could hear the tread of footsteps outside and a car approaching the farmhouse.

Jordan’s black Volkswagen T5 pulled up onto the gravel drive at the same time as Matt opened the kitchen door. Daniel walked over to meet him as he got out of the van, holding his phone out for Jordan to see. Whatever was on there had Jordan tensing up immediately.

“What’s wrong?” Matt called out, making Daniel jump, but Jordan didn’t even flinch already fully aware of his presence. He walked over to them, and looked pointedly at Daniel.

Daniel motioned for Jordan to give him his phone back and handed it straight over to Matt. “I got an email from Shaw.”

It took Matt a good few seconds to recognise the name. And when he did, his chest tightened at the memories it invoked. It wasn’t that anyone had forgotten what happened at the facility, but it wasn’t exactly a popular topic of conversation either. Shaw, along with Ash and a Dr Adams, had been injected with the serum by Chambers and had ended up a partial altered. Whatever he had to say, Matt doubted it would be anything good.

The email was short and to the point. Shaw hadn’t bothered with pleasantries, and Matt felt oddly pleased by that. They weren’t friends, and he was glad no one pretended otherwise. He read it again to make sure he hadn’t missed anything and handed the phone back to Daniel.

“So.” Matt glanced up at the sky, knowing their peaceful existence was about to change. But he asked the question anyway. “Are we going to take them?”

Buy links: Amazon US || Amazon UK || All Romance ebooks || Smashwords

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Annabelle_Jacobs_logoAuthor Bio: Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Author Links: Twitter || Website || Email || Facebook

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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4 Stars, Annabelle Jacobs, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: The Altered 3 by Annabelle Jacobs

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: The Altered 3

Author: Annabelle Jacobs

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 166 Pages

At a Glance: The Altered 3 is a suspenseful and romantic end to this series.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Matt is a single shifter living in a house full of couples. It’s not that he begrudges his friends their happiness—especially after everything they’ve been through—but he wants someone for himself. He wants a mate. Living out in the Cornish countryside there seems little chance of him finding one.

Thomas’s life has recently been changed forever. Newly altered, he finds himself in danger as his mother, a prominent politician, works to put a stop to the mistreatment of altereds and bring those responsible to justice.

To keep him safe, Thomas is sent to Cornwall where Matt and his friends offer him refuge until he can return to his home in London. Despite the circumstances surrounding his arrival, Thomas and Matt bond in a way neither of them were expecting. They struggle to come to terms with what this might mean for their future once the threat is eliminated.

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Review: I’ve so enjoyed The Altered series and some of the fresh concepts Annabelle Jacobs has brought to the paranormal world her characters reside in. The shifters in the series aren’t the product of supernatural mysticism or the result of being bitten by another infected. The shifters in this series are the product of a bit of science fiction and government corruption, which adds a layer of intrigue and danger to the storyline, as the altered are stigmatized and ostracized by society’s prejudices and irrational fears, forcing them to hide their shifter status.

While shifter families aren’t designated as packs, nor are the more dominant members of those families technically considered the alphas, there is definitely the inference that Jordan and Daniel, Keira and Charlie, Sam and Ash—the mated pairs—and the lone single, Matt, are at least pack-like. They fight for each other, protect each other and, while Keira is definitely a dominant personality and a force to be reckoned with, there’s little doubt that Jordan would be the alpha if such a thing existed. What is also prevalent, though it’s never specifically called a fated mate bond, is the serum triggering the mating instinct in these human/shifter hybrids. It may not be fated, it may have nothing to do with magick, but there’s no doubt it’s potent and, from what we see, it’s an impulse that must be obeyed.

This series begins with the world-building and fulfills our romance needs at the same time in the relationship that evolves between Jordan and Daniel in book one. Their story is a great blend of action set against their resistance to the idea that there’s something calling them at a soul-deep level to be together. As the story arc progresses in book two, the overtones become decidedly more romantic as Ash and Sam resolve not only their feelings for each other but the challenges from Sam’s past, as well as the difficult transition for Ash to his status as a newly turned altered.

The end of this trilogy brings all the action and political intrigue and danger to a head, with Matt’s story and the disheartening reality that he is the lone partial shifter in a family of mated pairs—five full shifters and Daniel, a seer. His status as what he sees as the weakest link in the altered chain, not to mention the odd man out as the only one who doesn’t have a significant other to share his life with, started the story off with me immediately wanting to wrap him up in hugs and reassuring him everything would be okay. In other words, the author plays on our empathy, and it works. At least, it did for me. The surprise isn’t that Matt finally meets his mate, but the surprise for Matt is that his mate turns out to be a man, Thomas Knight, the son of a prominent government official—who also happens to be the woman determined to blow a plot to create a shifter army wide open.

In retaliation of his mother’s interference, Thomas is kidnapped and infected, forcing him into hiding not only to escape danger but to protect him until Teresa Knight can ensure a safer world for all altereds. The horrible miscalculation on the part of the villains in this story is that their plan to subdue Ms. Knight served only to infuriate and give her more motivation. Never underestimate the power of a mother when her child is being threatened. Lesson. Learned.

The building of Matt and Thomas’s relationship happens quickly, as is the norm in this sub-genre of romance, and even though Matt had never explored his attraction to men, his attraction to Thomas was handled well. I believed they were meant for each other, and in the end, that’s what all good stories do—make us believe in the impossible, the improbable, and the great mystery that is the chemistry of a physical, mental, and emotional attraction between two people.

While there may not have been any great twists or surprises leading up to the climax of the story, or in the way Annabelle Jacobs wound things down to the book’s happy ending, it moves along at a brisk pace with some really good suspense thrown in as the danger ratchets up toward the end. This series is a fun way to escape reality for a while and spend some time with hot, sexy shifters.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

You can buy The Altered 3 here:

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3.5 Stars, Bailey Bradford, Paranormal Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Karen

Review: A Subtle Breeze by Bailey Bradford

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Title:  A Subtle Breeze

Author:  Bailey Bradford

Publisher:  Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count:  94 Pages

At a Glance: For me, there just wasn’t a whole lot that stood out one way or the other in this book.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: Ezekiel Matthers and Brendon Shanahan are about to find out that sometimes all it takes is a subtle breeze to shift the winds of fate.

Ezekiel Matthers is a reclusive man, forcing himself into the exile of his ranch after a violent assault left him wounded. While the scars on the outside have faded, the damage inside is much harder to conquer. Zeke resigns himself to a solitary existence, aside from his sister Enessa and, of course, his mama’s occasional visits.

Brendon Shanahan has a very meddling cousin, Gloria, who is best buds with Enessa Matthers. When the two women convince Brendon that he should hook-up with the reclusive Zeke, a plan is hatched that sets a series of events into motion – with potentially deadly consequences.

Can Ezekiel conquer his fears and accept what Brendon is offering? Or will Brendon walk away, giving up on the love he has waited for? And will the visits from Zeke’s mama – deceased for four years now – help the two men find their way to each other?

Only time will tell, and that may be the one thing the lovers don’t have, because someone is out to destroy everything Zeke and Brendon hold dear – and this time, the bad guy just might succeed.

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Review:  Alright…so, this book wasn’t great for me. It was good, it was alright, I was entertained, and now, this is me struggling a little with the review because for me, there just wasn’t a whole lot that stood out one way or the other in this book. I finished it and was just kind of like, “Eh, okay, it was alright.”

If you don’t like the whole insta-love thing (that doesn’t really bother me much, so no issue there for me), then this book will definitely not be for you.  There is a lot of sex, like from two-and-a-half minutes after they meet, through the rest of the book…again not really an issue for me. Sometimes that’s exactly what I am looking for, and the sex was good.  The issue was that I don’t think we got enough background on the characters, especially Brendon, so I never really felt like I got to know him.

There were also a couple of things that came up that we don’t get answers for – like Zeke’s sister. She’s married to the preacher and is crazy. Okay, that works for me, but then her harassing the other sister her whole life, to the point she had to leave town…but harassing her about what? Was this to just point out that the sister has always been crazy and evil? It just left me confused.  And then there is the spirit, I thought it was done well, it isn’t crazy and over the top, but I guess I just expected that to be a bigger part of the story than it was.

With all that said, will I continue reading the series? I’ll probably give the second book a shot and see if it does a little more for me, but, unfortunately, I am just not as excited about it as I was before going into A Subtle Breeze.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy A Subtle Breeze here:

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A.F. Henley, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Wolf, WY Blog Tour with AF Henley

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Join us in welcoming author AF Henley back to The Novel Approach today, on the Wolf, WY blog tour. Enjoy Henley’s guest post and the tiny teaser from the book, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win some great prizes (details to follow).

Good luck!

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If I told you that I wasn’t terrified about this release, I’d be lying. The Wolf series is the first time in my life that I’ve committed to writing a series for publication and (just between you and me) it’s hard. Like, really hard. There’s the setting in place the foreshadowing for upcoming events, the remembering to include bits and pieces of previous novels in the next ones… the recalling of your own character’s names. It’s okay, though. I’ve made a list. I’m even doing character summaries these days. Considering I’ve always been an ‘I’ll-see-where-the-story-takes-me’ kind of writer, setting up a story that keeps on keeping on for three or four novels down the road is new territory for me. Especially when there still has to be a conclusive story within each of the novels themselves. (It’s two, two, two mints in one! for those of us old enough to catch that reference.)

The fun part, however, comes in creating a world that continues – in not having to leave the characters behind when one writes ‘The End.’ There’s a whole lot of pride that can be garnered from creating your own world. These guys and this community really do feel like my own children. (God complex much?)

I can’t wait to share them with you and that’s exactly what I’m hoping to do with this blog tour. Using ‘tiny teasers’ directly from the novel, I’d like to take you on a journey through their environment and introduce you to the place and the people that live between Wolf, WY’s beautiful cover… and what better place to start than with Wolf, WY itself? So here’s a little sample of Wolf, WY as seen through the eyes of Randy Connor (Wolf, WY’s MC) during a moment of introspection:

Don’t forget to read through to the end for details on the giveaway!

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Tiny Teaser: Introducing – Wolf, WY

Randy leaned against the pillar on his front porch, his eyelids at half-mast, and his entire body at peace. There was something so very relaxing about watching snow clouds in a night sky. During quiet stretches, black and purple masses hung so low in the atmosphere that they created the illusion of a horizon of mountain peaks. Then, as though rousing themselves, the clouds would shift and roll across the sky, coming together to fold themselves around the moon. With a change so sudden that it was startling, the surroundings would fall into the icy grip of darkness. The imprisoned moon would then respond, piercing through the stronghold, dauntless in the battle for superiority. Brilliantly backlit by moonbeams, the clouds would tremble, huddle, and sidestep. En garde the clouds and moon advanced and parried, trading control.

In Wolf, however, Randy found that he could only remain transfixed in early December’s night for so long. Nature had her ways of reminding him that he was a warm blooded animal without benefit of fur or down. The cold air forced breath into steam engine plumes, turning every inhale and exhale into high-pressured cannons of smoke. With each breath he drew, his lungs became more chilled, until it felt as though frost was forming on his body from the inside out. At the same time, the air was crisp, clear, and energizing, like a shot of pure, natural ephedrine.

It wasn’t only the cold that kept Randy close to the house, though. The howling carried a deeper chill than winter air ever could. From a distance, the sound was, if not beautiful, at least melancholy. Up close, however, the sound could make the bravest man skittish, and Randy would be the first to admit that he didn’t rank high on the he-who-is-the-bravest list.

Randy pulled his hands into his sleeves, and scanned the property with a lazy, unfocused gaze. Everything seemed so bare—the Big-Toothed Maple, the Black Ash, and the American Dwarf Birch—all skeletal and leafless…

Wolf, WY Excerpt

© AF Henley, 2015

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Wolf, WY CoverBlurb: Wolf, WY

There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.

Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.

But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…

Word Count: 70,000

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Notes: Wolf, WY contains some explicit content

Book 1 in the Wolf series

Purchasing Link: Less Than Three Press

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The Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a ‘Wind & Fire’ paw print charm bangle (a portion of the sales from this “Charms For Charity Bangle” goes directly to Guiding Eyes For The Blind), a $20 Gift Certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market (free books!), and a signed, print copy of Wolf, WY. For all the tiny-whiny terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

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ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

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My thanks to Novel Approach Reviews for having me today… I could never do these blog tours without sites like this and my gratitude goes beyond the mere, “thank you” that I have to offer. And a huge thanks to you, my friends, for reading and joining me. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley <3

DividersAF Henley_Avatar croppedAbout the Author: Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica. A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since—an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.

For more information please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

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2 Stars, Extasy Books, Melody Lane, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lana

Review: Midnight Passion by Melody Lane

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Title: Midnight Passion (City Shifters: Book One)

Author: Melody Lane

Publisher: eXtasy Books

Pages/Word Count: 98 Pages

At a Glance: Midnight Passion left me disappointed beyond belief.

Reviewed By: Lana

Blurb: Dr. Ryan Collen detests being a vampire although there is hope on the horizon in the form of a monthly infusion. Not only does Ryan hunger for the light of day but the touch of the man who might save him from his demons.

Eric Beck is a shapeshifting recovery agent by day and Muay Thai kickboxer by night. While assisting at the aftermath of a vampire convention attack, he meets his old high school flame Ryan who ignites a craving inside him like he’s never known. Can Eric help crush the evil that threatens to destroy many lives and lose his heart at the same time?

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Review: My love of vampires knows no bounds, but Midnight Passion left me disappointed beyond belief. The story did have an interesting plot, but the author did not develop it at all. I’m guessing here, but I think humans turned into vampires through some DNA mutation. There are shifters and other paranormals, too, but there’s no info or backstory on them, so we are left in the dark.

Ryan, the vamp, runs into his high school crush, Eric, who happens to be a shifter. There is nothing I love more than a hot vamp and shifter getting it on, but here the characters were just mediocre. I think the biggest issue I had was the dialogue. I can only describe it as amateurish and cringe-worthy. It didn’t convey passion or sadness, so I was not interested in the leads or in what they were doing.

The writing can also be described as only so-so. The descriptive language should paint a three dimensional picture, but here it was one dimensional, boring, and not interesting.

At the end of the day, Midnight Passion left me cold and unsatisfied.

TNA_Signature_Lana

 

 

 

You can buy Midnight Passion here:

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Giveaways, Ingela Bohm

Guest Post and Giveaway: Last Communion by Ingela Bohm

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Ingela Bohm to The Novel Approach on the tour for her new novel Last Communion. Enjoy Ingela’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Rhythm Is a Writer

I tried to turn his head, but was stuck. The metal is pressed so hard against my aching teeth that I finally need clearing them. Lightning quick drove mom in stages so far that it bumped against the palate.

“What are you doing?”

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What are you doing, indeed…

Ever considered using a translation engine to churn out a book in another language? Think again. The above is an example of what can happen. The original is a perfectly ordinary paragraph in Swedish, but once it’s been through the grinder, it’s basically gibberish.

Why is this? Why can’t I feed a Swedish novel into a translation engine and have it spit out an English version at a moment’s notice?

Because a text always needs the human touch. Language isn’t a rational system of words that correspond neatly to words in other languages. There are nuances that make the word ‘wet’ different from the Swedish ‘våt’ – even the two English synonyms ‘wet’ and ‘soaking’ don’t mean exactly the same thing.

Other times, one word can mean two things, and the translation engine has no idea which one to pick. For example, consider the word ‘stages’ above. Taken out of context, it’s a correct translation. But the Swedish word for ‘stages’ also means ‘the spoon.’ To decide which word is appropriate, you need to understand the whole passage.

Also, there are grammatical differences between languages, such that in English, you need to specify whose head is turning – as in ‘I tried to turn my head.’ In Swedish, you can say ‘I tried to turn the head,’ and everyone still knows that it’s my own head I’m turning (unless we’re talking about some kind of horror story). But faced with a phrase like ‘I tried to turn the head,’ a translation engine just makes a wild guess about whose head is turning. This can result in men suddenly becoming women, or people turning other people’s heads – and not in a good way.

But quite apart from all these technical differences, there are also issues like the author’s voice, the tone of the text, and the appropriate use of metaphor. A computer can’t convey mood like a human can. Also, if I use local phenomena to add color, it may be meaningless to someone from another country. For example, ‘it tasted like cloudberries.’ Does that give you an instant feel for what I mean? No? Unless you’ve eaten cloudberries and know their peculiar, swampy taste, that simile is worthless. In such cases, I may want to change it into something more culturally appropriate.

Last Communion was first written in Swedish, and when I embarked on the journey of translating it, I had no idea how long it would take. I knew that it would require a lot of hard work, but not that it would take six months rather than a couple of weeks. I actually tried sending it through a translation engine, just to see if it could give me a useful template to start with, but of course it couldn’t. Most of the text turned out so weird that I didn’t even understand what it meant any longer – even though I was the one who had written it.

In the end, I rewrote the whole thing from scratch, because it was easier that way. Above all, it helped me find an appropriate rhythm. One of my role models once said that writing song lyrics is a lot like creating drum parts, and it stayed with me because I really agree. Sometimes you may have to cut or add words in a sentence, purely for the sake of the rhythm. I often see advice about deleting adjectives and adverbs, but sometimes they need to be added, too. A text is like music. Sometimes it’s not so much about the meaning, but about the ebb and flow of syllables.

While trying to find the right rhythm for Last Communion, I listened to the same album over and over again – Termination Bliss by Deathstars. It’s what I like to call “hum-along death music” (sounds better in Swedish, I promise…). On the surface, it’s harsh and heavy, but the melodies are nothing short of sweet. It was the perfect accompaniment to a romance that was played out against a backdrop of death and decay.

In contrast, when I edited the story, I couldn’t listen to music at all. At that stage, I wanted to feel the text swell and surge like a symphony, and I couldn’t have someone else’s rhythm distracting me. I had to listen to the words on the page, and for that, I needed absolute silence.

And yet even now, a year after I finished the first draft, I still hear my story in the Deathstars’ music. I can’t listen to those songs without seeing my nameless hero, hanging from a platform above a giant turbine, holding on for dear life. It’s part of the music, like a drumbeat at the back of my mind.

The music of the vampires.

The steady pulse of blood.

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Last CommunionBlurb: A worldwide disease has all but wiped out humankind. Only a few people survive, the doctor’s son among them. But there’s something wrong with him: he no longer wants to eat. Is he finally dying too?

The answer is as unexpected as it is horrible: one night, he discovers a new hunger – a mindless craving for blood. Horrified at himself, he flees into the night, but when he tries to find sanctuary, he almost ends up killed. Just as he starts to realize that even a predator can become prey, he runs into Garangjas – another man who drinks blood. Irresistibly drawn, he follows Garangjas to his flock of ‘Confirmands,’ a weird group of people who might just be his ticket to survival.

There’s just one problem: how can the Confirmands stay alive if the rest of humanity dies out?

Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || iBooks || Smashwords || All Romance eBooks

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Watch the Trailer:

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Ingela BohmAbout the Author: Ingela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.

Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters. Recent works include the twisted online love thriller #Not Safe For Work, Shakespeare/Marlowe litslash Rival Poet and the third instalment about seventies rock band Pax Cymrica.

Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. Her favorite tool is the crowbar. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 1200 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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5 Stars, Hank Edwards, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Wilde City Press

Review: Terror by Moonlight by Hank Edwards

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Title: Terror by Moonlight (Critter Catchers: Book One)

Author: Hank Edwards

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Pages/Word Count: 150 Pages

At a Glance: A fun and funny romp with two best friends and the paranormal showing up in a small town.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Cody Bower and Demetrius Singleton have been friends for over twenty years even though they are polar opposites. Cody is tall, handsome, athletic, and straight, and Demetrius is average height, more of a thinker, and gay. They have started an animal control business together and have to figure out how to be business partners without letting it affect their friendship, but that’s the least of their problems. When one of their first clients ends up brutally murdered in what appears to be an animal attack, the two realize something big and dangerous is stalking their tiny town of Parson’s Hollow, and it’s up to them to catch it before it kills again.

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Review: Hank Edwards is a new to me author, and I loved my first go round with him. I opened up Terror by Moonlight and then couldn’t put it down, reading the entire novel in one sitting. The fast paced story revolves around two men, who are best friends, and the new business they have just started.

Cody Bowers is fun loving and out of control, and Demetrius is his gay best friend. I loved the snark between the two, and the UST (unresolved sexual tension) is so thick it permeated the pages. These two attract more trouble just trying to do their job than seems humanly possible. I loved how the supernatural was just accepted as if it was an everyday occurrence—very little disbelief among the characters, and it was great. I’ve never watched Supernatural, but I want to now because of the references made in the book.

Terror by Moonlight was fast and funny, incorporating puns and digs at popular culture and the beloved tropes of the paranormal genre. It went by so fast that I missed the characters when it ended, and wanted more.

Thank you, Hank Edwards, for a fantastically fun read! I look forward to reading more of your stories.

TNA_Signature_Angel

 

 

 

You can buy Terror by Midnight here:

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3.5 Stars, Kathryn Sparrow, Loose Id, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Karen

Review: Alpha Coder by Kathryn Sparrow

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Title:  Alpha Coder (Geek Pack: Book One) 

Author:  Kathryn Sparrow

Publisher:  Loose Id

Page/Word Count:  251 Pages

At a Glance:  A lot of side-stories happening alongside the main plot were a bit too much.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: As the second son, Liam Reed never expected to be a werewolf Alpha. He preferred to develop software for Soft Corp, but when his brother Jason died in a car accident, their father forced Liam to assume leadership of the pack. Liam plans to govern with compassion, instead of ruling through fear, but pack member Bradley Karr undermines Liam’s leadership, biding his time before challenging for Alpha. Tired of pack politics, all Liam wants is to program and find his mate, but he fears that neither is in his future.

When his mate, werewolf Cody Jones, starts working at Soft Corp as Liam’s intern, sparks fly. However, a relationship with Cody could get them both fired for fraternization. And, that’s not the worst problem. Cody doesn’t seem to accept Liam as his mate.

Liam’s only chance at happiness is to win Cody over while keeping their relationship a secret. But really, Cody would never stay with an introverted geek like him, an ineffectual Alpha failing to live up to his brother’s legacy. Would he?

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Review: Alpha Coder was a pretty good story. I got through it quickly, and it held my interest from beginning to end. I thought Liam was great, definitely not what I would have thought of when they mention that he is a geek—with the exception that he does coding, he didn’t come off as all that geeky to me, but regardless, I liked him. I liked him even more once he got together with Cody, who was so sweet.  I think the two complemented each other, and I liked how the relationship between the two developed.

The issue I had with the book was that there were so many things happening as side-stories.  There was Alice, and there was Julie; there was Bradley and issues with Liam’s dad and brother; and, of course, the Tiger HR guy.  I thought it was all just a bit too much. I find this is has been happening more and more lately with the books I’ve been reading, though, so it is possible it’s just me and that I’m happier with a simpler story.

Alpha Coder was good, and I will definitely read more from this author, but it just wasn’t great for me.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Alpha Coder here:

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4 Stars, N.R. Walker, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Sadonna, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Book Blast Review and Giveaway: Cronin’s Key III by N.R. Walker

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Title: Cronin’s Key III

Author: N.R. Walker

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 193 Pages

At a Glance: Another gripping and wild ride for Alec, Cronin and their friends that has them hopping around the globe to once again save the world from the creatures that go bump in the night. :)

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: History isn’t always what it seems…

Twelve months after his change, Alec MacAidan is still getting used to his many vampire talents. While most vampires would give anything to have more than one supernatural power, Alec craves nothing more than peace and time alone with Cronin. But when Alec meets entities from outside this realm, he’s left powerless in their presence.

Zoan are half-lycan, half-dragon creatures that have slipped through time and reality, seemingly undetected by man and vampire. Or have they? They bear an uncanny resemblance to gargoyles, leaving Alec’s view on all things weird to get a whole lot weirder.

This new quest leads Alec, Cronin, and their band of friends to Paris, Rome, and Moscow, where they learn that gargoyles aren’t simply statues on walls. In the underground pits beneath churches all over the world, Alec discovers the Key’s true destiny. Facing the Zoan might take every talent he has. And he may need help from the dead to get them all out alive.

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Note: This is the third book in a series, and, as such, pretty much the whole book is spoilers for the previous installments. Not recommended to read these out of order.

Review: This story begins about a year after the events of Cronin’s Key II, and Alec, now the most powerful vampire ever in existence, is still trying to come to terms with all of his amazing powers that seem to manifest themselves. While cataloguing his many talents is getting pretty tedious, he understands the need to do so. He just wishes he could have some peace and quiet and more time on his own with Cronin – which he manages every once in a while. :) Everything seems to be going smoothly – until it isn’t.

In the midst of his own home, Alec is suddenly visited by 5 creatures who call themselves Zoan. But they are able to stop time, and no one besides Alec can see them because they are also frozen in time. This is very disconcerting for everyone, especially Cronin, because he perceives this as a great danger to Alec, particularly when the Zoan declare Alec to be their enemy.

Alec now has many gifts that come in handy – especially since he seems to be the only one who is able to see the Zoan when they stop time. But, by projecting what he sees to his friends, they are better able to help him formulate a plan to try to discover what and who the Zoan are, and, perhaps, how to stop them.

As usual, we have globe-hopping vampires who visit a number of historical places that may or may not have meaning and importance to the appearance of the Zoan. We hit Paris and Rome and Moscow, and my favorite place, Turkey! Turns out there are a lot of magical places on earth covered up by other things so that most of the humans are unaware of the deeper levels. And these levels seem to be portals that allow these creatures to emerge.

We also get a lot of mythology/history explained as remnants of old stories that are based in the earlier encounters with these monsters. They have wreaked havoc before and are back to somehow use Alec to claim a final victory. But our intrepid friends have a devil of a time trying to figure out how and why and where this will take place. Luckily, with his merry band of vampire friends – as well as some new friends – Alec and company race to the final confrontation with the Zoan, in a battle for control that is not to be missed.

I have to say that I for one am sad to see this series end, and I’m hoping we at least get some little visits along the way with Alec and Cronin – and their friends – because they are a great couple and I will miss them. The way the author has woven history and mythology together throughout the series, along with creating such an interesting cast of characters in these vampires (with a couple of humans thrown in), it has been really fascinating. I still think these would make great movies, with Alex O’Loughlin playing Alec. :)

Once again, well done and highly recommended for a guaranteed great time reading a fun, interesting and exciting story.

 

 

 

You can buy Cronin’s Key III here:

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About the author: N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

Where to find the author: Website || Facebook || Facebook Author Page || Facebook Fan Page || Twitter

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A Rafflecopter Giveaway

One e-book from backlist, including Cronin’s Key III

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Just Love Romance, Divine Magazine, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, My Fiction Nook, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Full Moon Dreaming, Bayou Book Junkie, MM Good Book Reviews, SA McAuley, The Blogger Girls, V’s Reads, The Jena Wade, BFD Book Blog, Carly’s Book Reviews, Reviews by Jessewave, Nephylim, Inked Rainbow Reads, Jessie G. Books, Iyana Jenna, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Amanda C. Stone, Prism Book Alliance, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Kimi-chan, Up All Night, Read All Day, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Charley Descoteaux, Multitasking Mommas, Ogitchida Book Blog, The Novel Approach, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Velvet Panic

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified

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Brad Vance, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Werewolves of Brooklyn Blog Tour with Brad Vance

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Please join us in welcoming author Brad Vance to The Novel Approach today, as he makes the round to tell readers a bit about his new novel Werewolves of Brooklyn. Brad took the opportunity to answer a few interview questions from Will Parkinson, so enjoy, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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WP: Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Brad Vance, author of Werewolves of Brooklyn. Hi, Brad, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Brad: Thanks for the opportunity!

Q: Talk to us about your characters in this book. What makes them unique?

Brad: I really set out to make my werewolves unlike any others. I’ve resisted doing “shifter” stories my whole career, even though I know they’re lucrative, because the genre felt tapped out, creatively. But my werewolves aren’t cursed, they aren’t slaves of their natures, the full moon has nothing to do with it. I researched the lives and habits of actual wolves, and based my story on that.

Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in getting your book from start to publish?

Brad: Darien’s journey from the time he’s first exposed to his “wolf nature” is one of burgeoning self-confidence, energy, sexuality, joy. I realized how much I’d changed myself since I started writing, especially since I went full-time. I’d gone from a passive participant in my own life to having full agency, and as I wrote Darien, I realized in a lot of ways I was writing my own story.

Q: Have you ever gone to a convention? If so, how was it? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to do in the future?

Brad: I haven’t been. I’d like to someday, but right now I’m struggling financially, especially with the new Kindle Unlimited compensation system. My travel’s been limited to research trips and total decompression vacations!

Q: How do you like being a full-time writer?

Brad: I love it. It’s stressful, since your income can be five figures one month and barely four in another. But I’m my own boss, and I’m finally paid for my labor and not my time – nobody is making me warm a chair and punch a clock to prove how much I’m working. When my work is done, I’m done. Even on my worst days I think, what would you be doing right now if you still lived in Cubicle City? And that adjusts my attitude!

WP: Design the ultimate pizza.

Brad: I gotta say, right now I’m addicted to the Round Table garlic chicken pizza. Extra garlic, extra chicken. I’d have a hard time beating that.

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Werewolves of Brooklyn CoverBlurb: Darien Mackey wasn’t looking for an adventure. For ten years, he’d been happy living in Brooklyn, working as a butcher in the same job, living in the same apartment, dating some “nothing-special” guys. Until one night his buddy Jacob talked him into taking ayahuasca, the soul-changing drug. And Darien had a vision…of a wolf, its all-too-human eyes on him, its paws on his chest, its enquiring mind in his own…

Darien Mackey is changing. He’s more confident, more assertive, hungrier, hornier. And his world is changing around him – his job, his home, his beloved Mechanic’s Library all falling victim to the predations of unscrupulous developers, bent on demolishing the old Brooklyn he loves and replacing it with a forest of condos. But he’s no longer a passive observer of his own life, and as this thing, this power, grows inside of him, he resolves to fight back, to preserve the way of life he loves.

And he’s not alone in the fight. The Lipsius Preservation Society of Brooklyn stands ready to assist in the battle, even though it seems like a bit of a joke to Darien, with its King and its Duke, Marquess, Earl and Viscount.

But there’s nothing funny about his growing attraction to Albeus Finley, King of this mysterious Court. And when slumlords and condo-mongers start to die mysterious, violent deaths at the hands of savage animals, Darien begins to realize that something is afoot in Brooklyn – something supernatural.

And it’s afoot in him, too…

Buy the book: Amazon

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Author BioAbout the author: Brad Vance writes gay romance, erotica and paranormal stories and novels, including the breakout hits “A Little Too Broken” and “Given the Circumstances.” Keep up with Brad at BradVanceErotica.wordpress.com, email him at BradVanceErotica@gmail.com, and friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/brad.vance.10.

Where to find the author: Blog || Facebook || Pinterest || BradVanceErotica on Google+ || @BradVanceAuthor on Twitter || Email

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A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified

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5 Stars, Larissa Ione, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Base Instincts by Larissa Ione

Title: Base Instincts (A Demonica Story)

Author: Larissa Ione

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 150 Pages

At a Glance: Larissa Ione has once again turned our ideas of good and evil on an axis and challenged our thinking about what love means.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: As a Seminus demon, Raze’s life literally depends on having sex with females. The problem is that he doesn’t desire females, and it’s physically impossible for him to be with males. Thankfully, he and his best friend, Fayle, have an arrangement that keeps him alive . . . if lonely. He finds some solace in his work as a medic at Thirst, a vampire club known for its rough clientele. But his carefully structured world turns upside down when he meets a mysterious male who makes him want what he can never have.

Slake is an assassin used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is Raze. But he also wants to earn back the soul he sold when he was a much different demon. All he has to do is capture a runaway succubus named Fayle and hand her over to her family. What he doesn’t count on is being caught himself by a web of lies—and his attraction to Raze.

Raze and Slake must navigate a dangerous world to be together. But as Fayle’s jealousy of their relationship turns deadly, they find themselves embroiled in a battle not only for their love, but their lives and souls.

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Review: Raze is a Seminus demon – which means he has to have sex to survive – but only with females. For a gay male this can be extremely hard. He has lived a solitary existence inside his own hell, forming a relationship with a succubus named Fayle, who feeds off his sexual energy as much as he uses her for the sexual release. But Fayle is not all she seems, and she keeps Raze tethered to her for her own selfish desires, never letting Raze form friendships or stay in one place for long.

Slake is a Duosos class of demon. Beginning life as a female, when he came of age he chose to undergo a spiritual ritual which changed his physical body into a male. Female Duosos demons are essentially slaves, and that was something that Slake could never be. Unfortunately for him – his rebirth did not change his desire for males. Knowing he would be dead shortly, he escaped his clan and has been on his own ever since. Charged with bringing Fayle back to her family, he never expected to be faced with Raze and the attraction they feel for each other.

If you have never read a M/M novel before, then Base Instincts is for you, especially if you love Larissa Ione’s Demonica universe. This book has cameo appearances with characters from Underworld General and frankly, Revenant steals the show. The forward to this book says that it is, “For the rule-breakers. Life, like imagination, has no limits, so find the loopholes and write your story the way YOU want it to go.” This is what Larissa Ione has done with Raze and Slake. The Demonica Series begins with Pleasure Unbound and has two installments in the 1001 Dark Nights novellas also. Base Instincts is a story written within this series of novels and is the only M/M addition so far.

I highly recommend Larissa Ione. She is an auto-buy for me and this story is no different. I highly recommend this book and this series—the writing is sharp and the characters are so well done, and the men are always wicked hot!

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

You can buy Base Instincts here:

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5 Stars, Dirk Greyson, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel

Review: Challenge the Darkness by Dirk Greyson

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Title: Challenge the Darkness

Author: Dirk Greyson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 234 Pages

At a Glance: An excellent twist on the shifter genre!

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: When alpha shifter Mikael Volokov is called to witness a challenge, he learns the evil and power-hungry Anton Gregor will stop at nothing to attain victory. Knowing he will need alliances to keep his pack together, Mikael requests a congress with the nearby Evergreen pack and meets Denton Arguson, Evergreen alpha, to ask for his help. Fate has a strange twist for both of them, though, and Mikael and Denton soon realize they’re destined mates.

Denton resists the pull between them—he has his own pack and his own responsibilities. But Mikael isn’t willing to give up. The Mother has promised Mikael his mate, told him he must fight for him, and that only together can they defeat the coming darkness. When Anton casts his sights on Denton’s pack, attacks and sabotage follow, pulling Denton and Mikael together to defeat a common enemy. But Anton’s threats sow seeds of destruction enough to break any bond, and the mates’ determination to challenge the darkness may be their only saving grace.

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Review: Dirk Greyson writes a hell of a story, no matter what name or genre he chooses. I enjoy the sweetness from an Andrew Grey story, as well as the grittiness of Dirk Greyson one, and this book has both. Once I began this novel, I couldn’t put it down and stayed up long past my bedtime to finish it.

Greyson has taken the tried and true tropes of the werewolf shifter genre and turned them on their ear. And it was fantastic! I loved seeing the clichés switched about and worked from a new angle, while still remaining recognizable. Greyson also added a rich backstory and history to his wolves, and this was just as interesting to me as the romance was.

I have read alpha/alpha pairings before, but none quite like this. Greyson’s alphas work hard for their romance and while not quite insta-love, it is insta-lust. And instant respect. I liked that Mikael and Denton have a chance to work things out between them on an equal standing. Mikael respected Denton as an alpha, without turning into a jerk about it, in spite of him being the super alpha type. Denton and Mikael learn to compromise for the good of their packs without either one overbearingly alpha or losing that alpha male quality.

Anton was an excellent villain, and I would love to have more on how he became the way he was. The side characters introduced were also just as mesmerizing as the MCs. Karl and Kiawa, Mikael and Denton’s betas, respectively, were interesting and supporting. Catherine, Mikeal’s sister and the pack enforcer, was portrayed as a strong, dominate women without turning her into the token bitch female in the story.

Challenge the Darkness is a complete story on its own, and I would love to have more. I also hope Greyson returns to this magical verse! Thank you for another fantastic tale!

TNA_Signature_Angel

 

 

 

You Can Buy Challenge the Darkness here:

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3.5 Stars, Paranormal Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, T.A. Chase

Review: Bulls & Blood by T.A. Chase

Title: Bulls & Blood (Blood and Thorn Ranch: Book One)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 101 Pages

At a Glance: I do think this particular story could have been a bit more polished, as you do have to read between the lines a bit, and, of course, not take it at all too seriously.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Breaking the rules has never been Wesley’s way…until he meets Mino.

Rule Number Two that the Thorn brothers live by is that employees of the ranch are off-limits. Wesley has always followed that rule, never stepping out of his comfort zone to do more than talk to one of the cowhands that help run his family’s ranch. Being a vampire makes it easier, since he doesn’t go out during the day.

Mino’s been interested in the youngest Thorn brother since he began working at The Blood & Thorn Ranch. It’s those stupid rules that hold him back from making the first move. Well, those and the fact that Wesley could kill him in a blink of his eye. Being human in a world of supernatural creatures makes living difficult, since he’s considered prey.

These two males, from different species and societies, must find a way to meet in the middle of their worlds if they have a chance at love.

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Review: Bulls & Blood introduces us to modern day, business minded, ranch running vampires, where we meet the five Thorn (not blood related) brothers—Wesley, Phineas, Loman, Amadeus, and Reginald—who own the Blood & Thorn Ranch, and also happen to be the most powerful of all the vampires, or of any species, for that matter.

Wesley is the youngest (though still hundreds of years old) of the brothers. He keeps track of all the ranch’s finances, and tries to keep his brothers in line. Wesley is the enforcer whenever punishments need to be handed out, and he doesn’t blink an eye when doing what’s necessary. He also doesn’t like to break the rules that are in place, but here is where I found there to be a slight contradiction. Wesley thinks being involved with a human is not worth it because they don’t live as long as vampires; however, he’s hot for Mino…who is a human and a pretty good guy. He gets along with everyone.

Now, some might say that Wesley and Mino fall into bed just a little too fast, but Mino’s been a cowhand on the ranch for five years, so I assumed they’ve been skirting around the idea of being together for a while. Wesley and Mino do have some friction between them, Mino knows how dangerous Wesley can be, and I got the idea he had some uncomfortable feelings about that.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a vampire/shifter/human story, and T.A. Chase used some ideas in this book that worked okay for me. The brothers get their blood from a bottle—no feeding from humans because of a parasite that could end a vampire. All the ranch employees are protected—whether human, shifter, or a different species. And, besides dealing in cattle, there are contracted hunts that take place on the ranch, for those vampires who want to pursue their prey and feed the old way; though the prey are not forced. In fact, they’re paid to participate in these hunts, but none are killed or turned. Then, there’s also the big, bad Council that would like more power over the Thorns.

If you are a big vampire/human/shifter fan, Bulls & Blood is probably something you’ll want to check out. There are enough brothers and ideas to get some decent mileage out of the Blood & Thorn Ranch series, but I do think this particular story could have been a bit more polished, as you do have to read between the lines a bit, and, of course, not take it at all too seriously.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

You can buy Bulls & Blood here:

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