mlsimmons

I'm Melanie and I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. I will read contemporary romance on occasion, but not often. I will occasionally throw in a biography, usually autobiographies of people that I find interesting. Listening to autobiographies that are narrated by the author have been great in my experience.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Martian - Andy Weir

Highly recommended, especially on audio. The narration is wonderful.

Audiobook Review: Total Surrender (Sin Brothers #4) by Rebecca Zanetti

Total Surrender (Sin Brothers) - Rebecca Zanetti

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

The Sin Brothers has been a whirlwind for me. I won an audiobook of book one last year and I’ve flown through the series very quickly. This series is packed full of adrenaline. I fell in love with all three of the Dean brothers in the first book and really enjoyed getting to know each of them. Reading each of their stories was a real treat. I quickly fell in love with each of the brother’s love interest as well. I love the women, even though the brothers are the main focus of the series. In the fourth and final book, we finally get to meet Jory, the youngest brother. It was well worth the weight.

 

For the the first three books, Zanetti has led us to believe that there was a very large possibility that Jory is no longer alive. His brothers saw him get shot, and didn’t hear from him again. We start this book with Jory back in the hands of the Commander. He has recently woken up from a two year coma. He has a chip in his neck, set to severe his spine within a week, just like his brothers. The difference, his is damaged and the computers can’t talk to it to deactivate it.

 

I was very surprised by the heroine, Piper. She is the daughter of the Commander. I can’t believe he has a daughter. She is a genius computer hacker. She was brought in to try to access Jory’s chip. She has a hard time knowing who to trust, her father, who she barely knows, or this prisoner, who she has been told has committed treason.

 

Total Surrender is a very fast paced story. All the books in this series have been quick, but this one is the fastest pace yet. There are tons of twists and turns, so we never know what is going to happen. Also, Zanetti really took this one to the wire. You really feel like you are holding your breath the entire time. The romance is hot. Jory gives new meaning to sexy.

 

I felt that the first three books of the series could be read out of order without missing out too much. This one is different, I would read last. I think you would miss something without knowing the full story going into this one. Total Surrender really wraps up the story of the Dean brothers. I will miss my time with the brothers and their females. This is a series that I will revisit again, that is for sure.

 

Narration
Karen White nails the narration of this series. There are a bunch of characters in this final book of the series. Zanetti gives all the characters we’ve met at least a little page time, so White had to keep all the characters straight and clearly defined with each having their own voices. The emotion that is delivered throughout the series is great, but it is ratcheted up several notches in this final story.

 

I like to thank Hachette Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/total-surrender-audiobook-by-rebecca-zanetti-review

Reading progress update: I've listened 647 out of 1328 minutes.

The Shadows: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood - J.R. Ward

I'm not feeling it right now. With all the drama and spoilers going around right now, I just can't get into this story. I'm going to set it aside for a little bit. I'm more in the mood for humor anyway, which could be part of the problem.

Review: Replica (Replica Trilogy, #1) by Jenna Black

Replica - Jenna Black

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Young Adult Science Fiction Murder Mystery

 
It is a known fact that I don’t read many young adult novels. However, there are some authors that I’ll try. Jenna Black is one of those authors. I’ve read her adult novels and even her other YA trilogy, The Faeriewalker Series. I’ve always enjoyed her books, so I thought I would give this one a try.

 

The world that is built here is very interesting. It takes place in the future and the government as we know has collapsed. This story takes place in what was once New York City. There is technology to not only clone humans, but also replicate their memories into that clone. If you die, they can bring you back. You will remember everything since the last time you were scanned.

 

We have two main characters in this book. Nate (18) and Nadia (16). They are engaged to be married, as arranged by their parents. Nate’s father is the chairman of Paxco, the largest corporation in this city. Nate is his father’s only son and heir. He is also gay, but is friends with Nadia. Nate has fallen in love with another boy from Basement, which is the really bad part of town. Nate is hiding his sexual preferences to prevent being “reprogrammed”. Nadia is the second daughter in her family, so she isn’t really heir to anything.

 

At the very beginning of Replica, Nate is murdered while at a party. The murder is pinned on Kurt Bishop, Nate’s lover and valet. Nadia is the last person who saw him alive. Nate is brought back as a Replica. His last scan was two weeks prior, so he doesn’t remember anything of the past two weeks when he wakes up. Nate and Nadia both agree that Kurt Bishop is not the real killer. They set out together to solve this murder. Can you imagine trying to be a detective in your own murder case??

 

In this world, status is very important and being heir to a great family can determine a lot about your life. There are Executives, Employees and Basement Dwellers. The majority of our characters are Executives or part of the family. We do meet some Basement Dwellers, but very few of the middle of the road Employees.

 

The characters in this story are not perfect. Nate and Nadia are both raised in an elitist society. They have always gotten what they’ve wanted, but have also lived a very sheltered life. While Nate is gay, he isn’t a stereotypical gay man. He is just a guy who likes other guys. He is a bit of a brat in the fact that he has always had everyone bow down to him as he will likely become the next Chairman of Paxco Industries. He doesn’t take things well when things don’t go his way.

 

Nadia is a girl who was raised in a society where she is just meant to be a pretty sidekick to her future husband. She isn’t a Kardashian though. She befriended the only black girl in her school, whose family just barely makes into Executive ranks. She abhors the other more traditional society girls.

 

Replica is very well written with a lot of twists and turns. There isn’t much of a love interest. There is the relationship between the two boys, but that isn’t pretty down played. There is also a potential love interest between Nadia and Dante, an employee that is assigned as a personal assistant, but is really a spy for the Chairman. I liked that this book didn’t have typical YA tropes of love triangles and teenage angst. I’ve very interested to see how book two of the series goes.
 

 


The Replica Trilogy

  

 

Melanie Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2015/04/review-replica-by-jenna-black.html

Dont forget

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

to enter or re-enter in my giveaway that Im having to celebrate my 1 year on Booklikes :) 

Well on the 4th but close enough and the giveaway run till the 7th :) 

You could win a $ 20 Amazon Gift Card 

 

Good Luck and happy reading :) 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Source: http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/march-2015-with-giveaway

#FitReaders April 2015

 

I track my steps using a FitBit. If you have a FitBit and want to be friends, here is my profile: https://www.fitbit.com/user/28YSVY.

 

I'm getting back on this bandwagon. This has not been a great year for me. I was sick for most of January. I had the death of one of my horses (my first horse and a friend of 22 years) in February. I had a project at work that ate up all my time and energy in March. All of that is now behind me and I'm hoping that I can get myself back into gear in April.

 

I've signed up for DailyBurn, so I will be doing that several days a week. I will also be doing some walking, but at the moment, I'm having issues with my FitBit. I might need a new one, but that was an expense I was not expecting. :-( I also hope that by the end of the month, I will be riding my horse, but that is weather dependent. Right now, it is too muddy.

 

4/3 - Well, my Fitbit is dead. Support is wonderful and sending me a new one. I hope it gets here soon.

 

  1. 8,514 steps
  2. 3,940 steps
  3. broken Fitbit no steps tracked.
  4. 30 minutes of Daily Burn Core training (forgot to get the calories)
  5. broken Fitbit no steps tracked, but cleaned a lot of the house.
  6. 26 minutes of Daily Burn Strength and Cardio - 456 calories
  7. 4,987 steps + 18 minute Daily Burn Core Training
  8. 7,831 steps
  9. 4,346 steps
  10. didn't realize Fitbit battery was dead, so no steps counted

Audiobook Review: The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston

The Unleashing - Shelly Laurenston

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

The Unleashing is a the first book in a brand new series by Shelly Laurenston. I’ve been listening and reading Shelly Laurenston shifter books for a while now. I’ve always found her work very funny. This series is based loosely on Norse mythology.

 

Our heroine, Kera, is a former marine who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is stabbed while trying to protect an innocent person. One of her customers from the coffee shop she works at finds her. He calls on Skuld, one of the Norns, to save her. Skuld has the ability to give her a second life as a Crow. Kera refuses the second life if she can’t bring her dog, a battered pit bull stray named Brody Hawaii. Kera has a tough time with her second life.

 

Our hero in this story, Vig, is a Raven. He was born a Raven and his sister is a Valkyrie. He is a bit of a recluse and also makes weapons for the different clans. He really takes Kera under his wing (no pun intended) to help her through her new life. Crows are a sink or swim group, they aren’t great at helping ease people into their new lives, even though they all went through the same thing. Kera has a hard time with her transition and Vig makes it his mission to make it easier for her.

 

The story was fun and full of chaos. The crows are hilarious. I love the dog, Brody. If you want a story that falls in line with true mythology, I don’t know that this is the story for you. I’m not real familiar with the mythologies of the Norse, but I know enough to know that liberties are taken with the story. That didn’t make the story any less entertaining. I just took it all with a grain of salt and enjoyed the story that was being told. I’m excited to see who will be the next story told in this series.

 

There is a serious part to this story. It talks about war veterans and their struggle with PTSD. I love how this story brings this to life without making these former soldiers looks like broken individuals. Kera finds that she needs a new job to go with her new life and finds it in starting a charity that brings homeless dogs with veterans who need a companion. There are several of these charities around the states now. I’ve been supporting one in Florida for a few years.

 

I love that you are saving two lives in the dog and the soldier.

 

Narration

Johanna Parker has quickly become one of my favorite narrators, especially for stories with a lot of humor. She has to do a ton of different accents in this book. Some of the crows are pretty ditsy sounding in the fact that they play dumber than they actually are. The Ravens have some pretty strong accents too. For me, she adds a lot to the story. I’m always excited to see her listed as a narrator, especially for a series that is high in humor.

 

I like to thank Tantor Media for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/the-unleashing-audiobook-by-shelly-laurenston-review

Review: Go Fetch! (Magnus Pack #2) by Shelly Laurenston

Go Fetch! - Shelly Laurenston

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Smart & Funny Howling Good Library Book

 

 

I read the first book in this series, Pack Challenge, last summer when I picked it up as a free read on Kindle. I had already been listening to the Pride series by Laurenston, so I knew I would enjoy the story. I was not disappointed. It took me entirely too long before I picked up book two of the series. Go Fetch! picks up about six months after Pack Challenge ends.

 

Go Fetch! features Miki, who was probably my favorite character in book one. She is a no holds barred human woman who tells it how it is. As much as I loved her in Pack Challenge, I like her even more as the star of her own story. We get to learn a lot more about her. Not only is she snarky, take no crap from no one type of girl; she is also extremely smart. She is working on her doctoral thesis. We also get to see a different side to her when she goes to a gamer party with her friends.

 

Conall Vga-Feilan, aka the Viking, is a werewolf and best friends with the Magnus Pack alpha. He gets smitten with the tiny, foul-mouthed black girl in the first book. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her since he met her. He can hardly wait for her to come for her visit on the way to give her dissertation.

 

This is a fun series with a lot quotable, make you chuckle lines. The characters are fun and well developed. There is even a cameo from a Van Holtz from the Pride series. The only issue is with some parts of the plot. There are some things that were left unexplained. I don’t know if these are wrapped up in the next book or not. I guess I will have to pick it up and find out.

 

“Good boy.” He could hear the condescension in Miki’s voice. “Now sit pretty.”

 

Sara slapped her hand over Miki’s mouth and shoved her back with the rest of the Pack. It amazed him Miki had lived this long.

“There are these fascinating places with books in them. They’re called libraries. When you’re not chasing your tail or balancing a ball on your nose, you should think about going to one.”

“Well, so you don’t get too cocky, I myself often complete the TV Guide crossword puzzle.” He puffed out his chest. “In pen.”

 

 


Magnus Pack Series

 

 

Melanie Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2015/03/review-go-fetch-by-shelly-laurenston.html

Review: Odin's Ravens (The Blackwell Pages #2) by K.L. Armstrong, M.A. Marr

Odin's Ravens  - K.L.  Armstrong, M.A. Marr

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Middle Grade Page Turner Library Book

 

 

As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of young adult books, so I was really surprised when I decided to pick up Loki’s Wolves back in 2013. I’m a huge Kelley Armstrong fan, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve never read Melissa Marr, who is the other author on this series. I also liked the idea of the Norse mythology. While it is written for younger children, I still found the story interesting. We have a group of thirteen year old kids from South Dakota who are standing in for the Norse gods, Thor, Loki, Balder, Odin, Frey and Freya. They are all working together to stop Ragnarok. They are even getting powers of the gods.

 

In Odin’s Ravens, we pick up basically where Loki’s Wolves left off. Baldwin, the descendant of Balder, has been poisoned and Matt Thorsen, descendant of Thor, along with Fen and Laurie, who are cousins and descendants of Loki all make a trip to Hel to bring Baldwin back from the dead. While there, they must face monsters and convenience Fen and Laurie’s “Aunt Helen” the guardian of Hel, to let them leave with Baldwin. After that, they meet with the Valkyries (I so wish these Valkyries were more like Kresley Cole’s, but then I guess this wouldn’t be a middle grade book anymore then would it?) and are put on a quest to find Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer.

 

The characters in this story are well written, as if with Kelley Armstrong there was ever any doubt. The kids make mistakes that kids their age would make. They get upset with themselves for making the mistakes when they figure out what happened. There is a lot on these kids shoulders, but overall they do handle things really well, while still being young teenagers.

 

This story is a typical quest type story. As soon as they complete one task, they are set up another. The mythology is great. I don’t know a lot about Norse mythology (outside of the comic books), but it seems to researched extremely well. It is also told in a way that explains the stories really well, especially for the age group for which it is written.

 

I think the storyline is really good, if you can get over the idea of thirteen-year-old kids as stand-ins for gods and are forced to fight to stop the apocalypse. It is a book written for middle school kids and they want to read about kids their age, so it makes sense. I believe that this is a trilogy and that the last book, Thor’s Serpents will wrap of the story. I can’t wait to see how it ends. I would highly recommend this book for kids, boys and girls alike. I do recommend that you start at the beginning of the series with Loki’s Wolves.

 

 


The Blackwell Pages Series

 


 

 

Melanie Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2015/03/review-odins-ravens-by-k-l-armstrong-and-m-a-marr.html

Review: Love the Way You Lie (Stripped #1) by Skye Warren

Love the Way You Lie (Stripped Book 1) - Skye Warren

This book starts off with Honor, a.k.a. "Honey", in a seedy strip club.  She is the daughter of a mafia don.  She ran away from her fiancée, Byron, who was to take over the business. Byron was not a nice guy and did not treat Honor with any dignity.  She dealt with her treatment okay, but when Bryon wanted to force Honor's little sister to marry one of his smuck friends, that was the final straw.

 

If you've ever read Skye Warren, you know she writes some pretty power and dark stories.  This one starts out just as good as I as I've ever read. When I first opened this book, the first few paragraphs really hit me.  I knew this was going to be a good one.

 

I used to think there were things I'd never do. Never take my clothes off for money. Never sell my body. Never f*ck a stranger just to survive. I'd never sink that low.

 

I'd rather die.

 

But it's hard to die, to lie down and let it happen. Not to fight. Not to reach for the surface for air when you're drowning. It's almost impossible. I'm proof of that. I'm a living example of how low a person would go, if they have to. If they're desperate enough.

 

While at the strip club, one customer takes quite the interest into Honey. Kip pays for a "private dance", but as you can imagine, the private dances in this club were more than just dances.  They offered a wide array of other "services". Kip gives off the vibe of a really bad guy, but never really does anything wrong to Honey. He always pays her for her services.

 

Love the Way You Lie is a story full of intrigue as try to figure out who the good guys and who the bad guys are. There are bad guys and really bad guys. The story is hot. If you've read Skye Warren before, this story is fairly tame, but that doesn't make the story any less of a good story.  

 

There are some great secondary characters in this story (my weakness).  There are two other strippers that we meet have a story that I hope will be told. The bouncer is another great character. He is one of the not so bad, bad guys. There is a prequel, Tough Love (free at time of this posting), about Honor's little sister, Clara. I hope that she gets her full story told.

 

This story can be read before reading the prequel (I did). I actually liked reading the prequel after this book.  I already knew the entire story, which I enjoyed with the prequel being short and sweet.

 

**Book was provided to me by the author. This review is my opinion and was not requested or provoked in anyway by the author.

 

Audiobook Review: The Accidental Demon Slayer (Demon Slayer #1) by Angie Fox

The Accidental Demon Slayer: Demon Slayer, Book 1 - Angie Fox, Tavia Gilbert

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a long time now. I picked it up as a freebie and always thought it looked interesting, but never moved it up to the top of the TBR pile. Then I won the audiobook in a contest fromThe Audiobook Reviewer and the author, Angie Fox. Seeing that Tavia Gilbert was the narrator, peaked my interest even more. I’ve been a fan of hers, as she does the Night Huntress World books for Jeaniene Frost. This is the first non-Frost book I’ve listen to by Gilbert and I have to say, I still loved it.

 

The Accidental Demon Slayer is a funny story about a preschool teacher who is just coming into her witches powers. She was raised by adoptive parents because her mother decided she was better off not living the witch life. Her biological grandmother shows up at her door right when her powers come online and Lizzie is forced to fight a demon in her own bathroom. Lizzie isn’t just a witch, she is a demon slayer, so she has powers that the witches don’t have. She has to help the witches fight a fifth level demon to prevent him from taking over the Earth.

 

There are many funny aspects to this story, that I’m sure carry on throughout the series. Lizzie is a preschool teacher, so you have the “preschool” version of cursing that I find humorous at times. Lizzie’s grandma, Gertie, is an elderly woman who is part of the “Red Skulls” biker club coven. They hang out in a heavy metal bar. They have names like, Ant Eater and Sidecar Bob, for a man in a wheelchair. Oh, and once Lizzie came into her powers, she can now understand what her Jack Russell terrier, Pirate, is saying to her. Pirate is very chatty.

 

There is also a love interest in Dimitri, a griffin. He has come along to to be Lizzie’s protector and teacher. He is pretty hot. This isn’t a romance novel, it is a humor filled urban fantasy. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t some hot scenes. I see this as something that will progress throughout the series.

 

Overall, I found this to be a fun, lighthearted read. Some humor was a little over the top silly, but I found the overall humor to be just what I needed at the time. There is some action and suspense to keep the story moving along. I see the relationship between Dimitri and Lizzie to really move somewhere. I will be continuing the series to see what happens next. I just hope that they continue to produce them on audio.

 

Narration

Tavia Gilbert is a narration I have enjoyed since I listened to her narrate the first Cat & Bones book. This is the first book I’ve listen to her narrate that wasn’t one of Jeaniene Frost’s books. I still really enjoyed the narration. I really feel that Gilbert did a great job bringing out the humor that was critical to The Accidental Demon Slayer. She did a great job with the many different old biker babe voices, which I thought was a considerable achievement. I never would’ve thought you would need four to five different elderly biker babe voices in one story.

 

From what I understand, book two of the series on audio is in the works. You can bet I will wait for the audio. I hope that the entire series will be on audio, if so, it will be an audio only series for me.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/the-accidental-demon-slayer-audiobook-review

TAKEN BY A DRAGON by Felicity Heaton Blog Tour with Excerpt

Taken by a Dragon Blog Barrage - Felicity Heaton

Taken by a Dragon, the seventh book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website and sharing sneak peeks of the book.

 

Find out how to enter the Taken by a Dragon international giveaway (ends March 22nd) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 5 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/taken-by-a-dragon-paranormal-romance-novel.php

 

Here’s more about Taken by a Dragon, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.

 

Taken by a Dragon by Felicity Heaton

Possessed by a need to save a beautiful Amazon warrior from the vision he witnessed, Loke snatched her from the midst of the battle between the Third and Fifth realm of the demons, and carried her to his home deep in the black mountains of Hell to protect her. But as the fierce little female awakens, he finds she’s anything but grateful, and his dragon instincts roar to life to warn she might be more to him than an enemy—she might be his fated female.

 

Anais remembers meeting a handsome warrior in the heat of battle, a man who was her enemy but who looked at her with eyes that held dark heat and wicked promises. When she wakes to find that same dragon shifter has taken her captive, desire is the last thing on her mind, but escaping him to return to Archangel, the hunter organisation she works for, sounds less than appealing when he reveals the reason he took her—to stop her from dying.

 

Can Loke protect Anais from the dangers of his realm and how far will he go to save her from the future he keeps witnessing? Can Anais resist the fierce attraction that burns between them as hot as fire and stay true to Archangel or will her heart be taken by the dragon?

 

Taken by a Dragon is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/taken-by-a-dragon-paranormal-romance-novel.php

 

Excerpt

 

“What do they call you?” Loke said, his voice distant to his ears as he stared deep into her eyes, picking out every fleck of black that marred deepest blue.

 

Would the skies of her world look like that? Would they be so deep and rich, or lighter?

 

Was she really mortal?

 

Could she answer his countless questions about her world and sate his desire to know more about the land his people had left behind, never to return?

 

“Anais.” She offered it with a slight smile that barely curved her rosy lips but added a touch of warmth to her expression, softening the harder edges of her eyes and entrancing him.

 

Not a trace of fear touched her gaze or her scent now. She flitted from afraid to calm, dancing between the emotions so quickly that he couldn’t keep up. He wasn’t sure how long this calm phase would last, but he meant to do all in his power to make it remain. He wanted her to feel at ease and to begin to trust him.

 

“They call me Loke.” He offered it with a smile of his own, one that felt foreign to him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had smiled.

 

“Like the mischievous Norse god?”

 

His smile stretched a little wider and he shook his head. “My name ends with an E in your tongue.”

 

She raked her eyes up him, from his bare feet, over his legs to his torso. It slowed from there, drifting at a leisurely pace, one that stirred heat within him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had experienced that either. What was it about this female that had him quick to smile and even quicker to hunger for her touch?

 

Her gaze finally reached his face and narrowed. “You are definitely mischievous.”

 

Before he could gather his wits to respond by saying that if he was mischievous then she was mysterious because he couldn’t get a firm grasp on her when she bounced so swiftly between polar emotions, she turned away and headed towards the back of the cave, her boots loud on the black rocky ground.

 

“Where do you go?” He started to follow her when she made it past the fire and didn’t stop walking.

 

She looked back over her slender shoulder at him, a wicked twinkle in her eyes. “You only forbade me from going near the mouth of the cave. You didn’t set out any ground rules about the back of it. I’m going to see where the tunnel goes.”

 

“It goes to chambers. Some where I store meats and things I have gathered, others where I bathe, and some go deep into the mountain to places where dangerous things lurk.” He frowned when she pouted, as if he had spoiled her fun.

 

Perhaps he had.

 

Perhaps he had also ruined a chance for her to become more comfortable in his home, and around him.

 

Would she like to see the rest of the cave?

 

He could join her in her adventure, although he supposed that would make it more like a tour. He didn’t want her to go alone though. He hadn’t lied about the dangerous things that lurked in the tunnels. They ran deep into the mountain and sometimes fissures opened where creatures could get into them. He had disturbed a nest of Hell beasts down one of the paths before and had barely come away with his life. The tunnels were too small for him to transform in, placing him at a disadvantage against the vicious creatures in close quarters combat.

 

“So none lead to a big hoard of treasure then?” The wickedness was back in her blue eyes and she flicked her blonde ponytail over her other shoulder as she came to face him.

 

She toyed with the ends of her hair as he frowned at her, trying to unravel the riddle of her, distracting him with a sudden desire to do that. He wanted to feel the strands wrapping around his fingers before slipping from them. Would they feel silky? He bit back a groan at the jolt of pleasure that ran through him as he imagined they would and brought his focus back to her and what she had said.

 

She meant to mock him again.

 

Loke huffed and grudgingly admitted it. “I have a little gold.”

 

He didn’t like how she smiled, as if he was predictable and she knew him. She knew nothing about him.

 

“Can I see it?” she said.

 

He shook his head, flatly refusing her.

 

Her smile dropped off her face. “Why not?”

 

“I have decided it is off limits.” Mostly because he had weapons there too. She still eyed his knife from time to time when she thought he wasn’t paying attention to her. She wanted a weapon she could use against him. He wasn’t about to show her where he kept his, issuing an open invite to her to take one and try to stick him with it.

 

She crossed her arms over her breasts again. “You can’t add rules now. I make no promises that I won’t go back there while you’re sleeping.”

 

Loke cursed himself. She had just pointed out a major flaw in his plan to keep her safe. She was liable to move around while he was resting and might even attack him, or attempt to leave. She was a warrior. A little Amazon. One of a legendary race known for their cunning. She would take whatever chances he gave to her, whether it was kill him and escape, or just escape.

 

But she kept telling him that she wasn’t an Amazon, and the longer he was around her, the more he believed she was telling the truth, even when it seemed impossible. He would try to force a confession from her again. If she stayed true to her story, then he would somehow convince himself that she was mortal, even when all the evidence suggested otherwise.

 

“Are all Amazons as strong as you are?”

 

She rolled her eyes at him. “I’m not an Amazon.”

 

She lifted the right sleeve of her black top, revealing a thick red gash across her upper arm. The scent of her blood hit him and he took a step towards her, his eyebrows dipping low as he stared at the wound darting across her pale skin.

 

“You are hurt.” He realised that she had flinched when he had grabbed her because he had pressed down on the wound, not because he had used too much of his strength on her and his grip had been too tight.

 

How had he failed to notice her injury?

 

Loke was closing in on her before he was aware of what he was doing. She didn’t back away. She stood her ground and it pleased him. She was beginning to trust him.

 

He slowly reached for her arm, giving her time to adjust to his proximity, and she didn’t resist as he carefully curled his fingers around the underside of her upper arm. He gently raised it and frowned at the deep gash. It required attention, but he wasn’t sure how she would react.

 

This close to her, it would be easy for her to land another blow on his balls if she didn’t like what he was about to suggest.

 

“It requires healing.” He lifted his gaze to hers.

 

She seemed so small when he was close to her, standing almost a foot shorter than he was and her frame tiny in comparison. It ramped up his need to protect her. Such a small female shouldn’t be on a battlefield. It was suicide.

 

She surprised him by nodding and lowering her eyes to the wound.

 

He dipped his head and swiftly ran his tongue across the wound. She gasped and pulled free of his grip, her shock rippling through him and mingling with his own.

 

“Your blood is weak.” He stared at her as it sank in. “You are mortal.”

 

She threw her hands up in the air. “Hallelujah! He finally gets it. I’m mortal. Mortal! This cut might get infected. It’s ragged and I’m filthy. Heaven only knows I’m behind on my tetanus shots. If it doesn’t get proper medical attention, it could kill me.”

 

Loke wasn’t sure what tetanus or shots were, or what hallelujah meant, but he knew what infected and death were.

 

“Die?” A vision of her splattered with blood and gasping for air as she stared at him with wide fearful eyes blasted across his mind and he growled as he shoved it away and shook it off. “It is merely a scratch.”

 

“I’m not like you, or any of the insane things that live in this world. Where I come from, even a scratch can turn septic. A scratch can kill me.”

 

His lips flattened as he took that in. He had heard mortals were weak but he hadn’t known just how weak they were. She seemed so strong, but perhaps he was mistaken. Perhaps she was weak and this cut was the reason he kept seeing her death on repeat. He needed to heal it, and not only to see if it would halt the visions.

 

Her confession that mortals were weak enough to die from a mere scratch had cranked up his need to protect her. While she was in his care, he would ensure that she didn’t gain another scratch. Not even a prick on a sharp rock.

 

Loke gently took hold of her arm and marched her over to the furs. He piled them in a way that would stop any rocks from jabbing her and pressed on her left shoulder until she huffed and sat down in the centre of them. Satisfied that she couldn’t pick up another injury, he set about tending to the one she had already gained.

 

He kneeled before her, keeping hold of her right arm as she wriggled and tried to escape him.

 

“Be still. You want the injury seen to and that is what I will do.” He grabbed the hem of her black top and pulled it up.

 

Her fist connected hard with his right cheek, knocking his head around and making his teeth clack together.

 

He growled at her, flashing those teeth. “What was that for?”

 

“Keep your damned paws to yourself, Buddy,” she snapped and shoved at his other hand, trying to get it off her top.

 

He released it and sat back, waiting for her to calm down. When she switched to attacking the hand he had kept on her arm, he realised he would be waiting a long time and gave up.

 

“I only desire to help you. I need to heal the wound… and your garment appears to be flammable.” He pointed to it and her eyes shot wide at the same time as the scent of her fear swept over him.

 

“I don’t like the sound of that.” She began clawing at his hand again, attempting to prise his fingers off her. “You’re bloody well not going to breathe fire on me!”

 

A reasonable assumption, but wrong again. Well, he was going to attempt to not breathe fire on her anyway. There was a slim chance he might accidentally do it. It was difficult to control and there was such a fine line between heat and fire.

 

He wouldn’t tell her that though. “Only a little heat. No fire. I swear. It will kill any bad things that might be at the wound site.”

 

She stilled and stared at the cut on her arm, her expression shifting constantly. He couldn’t decipher what she was thinking, but he guessed she was considering the pros and cons of his offer.

 

Finally, she pulled her gaze away from the cut and looked right at him again. She didn’t speak or nod. She just grabbed the hem of her top and began pulling it up, flashing a toned flat stomach.

 

He released her arm so she could remove the garment, doing his best to keep his eyes off what she was revealing to him. He could understand her reluctance to strip. It placed her in what she probably imagined to be a precarious position, and that was the reason he was going to keep his eyes off her body.

 

And the fascinating garment she wore over her breasts.

 

He had never seen anything like it.

 

She laid her black top across the equally dark garment, covering herself, and held it there with her good arm.

 

“Do it.” Her voice was steel and determination, confidence that he couldn’t sense in her. He could only detect fear.

 

She was good at concealing her feelings in her voice and expression, but she couldn’t hide them from him when his senses were so acute and her scent gave them away.

 

Loke leaned in and focused on the gash on her arm, refusing to let his gaze stray to her body. He licked the cut and then drew in a deep breath. She tensed, the scent of her fear growing stronger. He murmured a quiet reassurance in his native tongue and then pursed his lips and blew on the wound, careful to hold back the fire and give only enough heat to seal the cut.

 

She cried out, the sharp sound echoing around the cave and stabbing through him. He whispered softly to her, driven to comfort and soothe her, and then blew another wave of heat along the length of the cut. It drew a whimper from her that hurt him worse than her cry of pain. It made him want to stop and he had to battle that urge, forcing himself to continue. It was for her own good. Just one more and he would be done.

 

She reached for him and made it as far as grabbing his bare shoulder to shove him back when he blew on the cut again and she clutched him instead, digging her short nails into his flesh. She grunted and tensed, every inch of her stiffening. Her top fell away from her breasts and he had to close his eyes to keep himself from looking at them.

 

He swiftly licked the wound to cool it and then pulled back, breaking free of her grip and settling on his heels.

 

She breathed hard, her chest rising and falling, tempting his gaze. He kept it pinned on her face, trying to discern whether she was angry with him, or afraid, or perhaps both. He wasn’t sure he would ever come to understand her when the rapid shifting of her emotions had him constantly on his toes, but he studied her anyway, attempting to decipher her mood. He wanted to learn about her. He wanted to understand her.

 

He felt sure that if he gained that understanding of her that he would finally be able to set her mind at ease and make her feel more comfortable around him.

 

She scowled at him and then looked down at the cut.

 

After a full minute’s silence, a flicker of gratitude coloured her eyes and sent an unsettling sensation through him, and she opened her mouth to speak.

 

He looked away from her, not wanting her to thank him, because he didn’t deserve it. She’d had no injuries he could see or smell when he had met her on the battlefield, which meant he must have caused her wound when he had grabbed her or during their flight to his home.

 

He had vowed he wouldn’t hurt her, but he already had, without even knowing it.

 

He would have to be more careful if he was going to keep his promises.

 

The heat of her gaze burned into the side of his face, the softness of her skin was branded on his, and the taste of her coated his tongue. He had a sinking feeling that he had to be more careful in general when around her. She was temptation incarnate, a beauty who stole his breath and had him thinking dangerous things, the sort that would only give her more reason to believe him a monster capable of hurting her.

 

She roused the deepest dragon instincts he held, the most primal of needs.

 

The need to protect her.

 

The need to possess her.

 

 

Taken by a Dragon is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

 

Find all the links, a fantastic 6 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/taken-by-a-dragon-paranormal-romance-novel.php

 

Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:

 

 

Author Bio

Felicity Heaton

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

 

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

 

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

 

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tsu | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon

 

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Review: Dead Man's Hand (Sin City Collectors #4) by Kristen Painter

Dead Man's Hand: A Sin City Collectors Novella - Kristen Painter

Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.

 

Unique Paranormal Romance

 

This is the last book in the Sin City Collectors series (of all the novellas published as of this posting, anyway). I read this book out of order. I had the later books in the series already, so I went ahead and read them first. While the heroine for Double or Nothing is introduced in this book, I didn’t feel like I missed anything by reading out of order.

 

In Dead Man’s Hand, we have our hero, Ares, who is a wraith. In this world, wraiths are half reapers and half vampires. He is pretty much used by the Collectors for just one thing, his touch will kill anyone he touches with his bare skin. This had lead him to live a very lonely life.

 

The heroine, Seraphina, is a muse, or well, part muse. Her mother is a full muse and is a goddess,which makes Seraphina a demi-goddess. Seraphina knows little of her father and her mother has left her life. She now taken up residence with the artist that she works for and inspires. Her life is pretty lonely too. She never knows if it is her magic that is making someone drawn to her or if the person truly likes her.

 

These two are brought together to find the artist’s daughter after she had been kidnapped. They are very quickly drawn together. Ares constantly pushes her away, afraid that he would kill her if he touched her. While trying to find out if Seraphina is immortal, the story kind of takes a side trip. While, I didn’t love this side aspect to the story, there was a very interesting twist that comes up.

 

Dead Man’s Hand was another great addition to this series. The thing I like the most about this series are the unique species of supernaturals that appear in the stories. Yes there is a vampire and werewolf in the series, but mostly, it is mostly species you don’t see in other paranormal romance novels or even urban fantasy stories. They have all been quick and fun reads. They can each be read in any order you choose, as the stories are truly as stand alone set in the same world. I really hope that more stories come up in this series.

 

 

Sin City Collectors Series

My Review

My Review
Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2015/02/double-or-nothing-by-kristen-painter.html

Caged (Caged, #1) by Amber Lynn Natusch

Caged - Amber Lynn Natusch

Just couldn't stand the heroine of this story. She gives new meaning to "too stupid to live".

Tavia Gilbert did a great job with the narration.

Audiobook Review: Kodiak's Claim (Kodiak Point #1) by Eve Langlais

Kodiak's Claim - Eve Langlais

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

I read Kodiak's Claim when it first came out in ebook format in 2014.  I'm a fan of Eve Langlais and have read her books in the past.  I'm also a fan of shifters.  When I heard that this series was available on audio, I jumped at the chance to revisit book one in this series on audio (note, I had just finished reading the last book in this series).

 

Reid is former military and is now acting as alpha of Kodiak Point, a small town in rural Alaska.  This town is filled with a group of mixed species of shifters. Many of the guys are from Reid's former military unit, a unit made up entirely of shifters.

 

Recently, the town's shipping business has had a run of bad luck.  Many of their trucks have gone missing.  When the insurance company sends newly single Tammy to investigate, things are heated up to a new level.

 

There are many things I love about this series and this book.  I love that Tammy is an overweight woman who loves food and is okay with her extra pounds.  I love how she leaves her boyfriend at the start of the book, using his possessions as fuel to grill herself a steak. She is a tough city girl who isn't going to let the wilds of Alaska scare her. She even goes after a Kodiak bear with a cast iron skillet, little does she know that the bear is actually Reid.

 

Reid is not one of my favorite heros of the series, but he isn't bad.  He falls for Tammy and not once does he mention her weight as a bad thing.  He even mentions a few times that he isn't interested in twigs.  We do meet a few of the other characters and future heros and heroines of the series.  Outfoxed by Love, book two, features Boris, a moose shifter who has quite a fascination with his rack.  Jan, is a wiley artic fox with a love of firearms.

 

Narration

As much as I love this Kodiak's Claim, the narration leaved something to be desired.  I don't think that Chandra Skyye was the right narrator for this series.  I felt like her narration really left a lot of the humor hanging.  Some narrators can really pull off the snarkiness of characters and Skyye just wasn't that narrator. I thought that the voices were okay. Travis, who is in his early twenties, sounded like he was closer to fifteen.  This does bother me a little, as he is the last hero of the series. I don't know that I will enjoy listening to a hero who sounds so young.  The pacing was fine, but the tone could've used some work.  I'm going to try the audiobook for Outfoxed by Love, which is one of my favorites to see if she gets better as the series go on.


I like to thank Tantor Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/kodiaks-claim-audiobook-by-eve-langlais

Audiobook Review: Wulfe Untamed (Feral Warriors #8) by Pamela Palmer

Wulfe Untamed - Pamela Palmer

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

 

This is the final book in the Feral Warriors series. It has been an interesting ride so far and the ending was exactly what I expected from the series.  In this final story, we have Wulfe, probably the most damaged of all the feral warriors.  Not only is his scarred physically, he was also left emotionally scarred when his mate and the former radiant died.

 

The heroine of Wulfe Untamed is Natalie, who we met in a previous book when her, her friends and her blind brother, Xavier, were attacked by demons. She lost three of her friends that day. One friend is still alive and her brother is missing and never returned back to the mortal world (he has to stay with the ferals because they couldn't take his memories). Her and her surviving friend are missing a week of their life.  She is not the same person from before this incident and her fiance has noticed.

 

The warriors are still fighting the mages and the daemons.  The ferals are slowly becoming mortal and losing their ability to shift.  Kara is in bad physical shape from bringing all the bad ferals into their animals. Things look really bad for the warriors. I don't want to give away too much of the plot because I don't want to give away any spoilers.  Just know that this book is just as action packed as the rest of the series.

 

The story arc for this series wrapped up pretty well. From the way Pamela Palmer talked at a signing I was at early 2014, I don't think this is the last we will see of the characters of the Feral Warriors series. She wouldn't give details at that time, but I'm expecting to see them again.  Plus, there are characters that are just begging to have their story told. It will be interesting to see how she handles them, spinoff maybe??

 

Narration

Once again, Rob Shapiro continues to do a great job with the narration of this series. I never once questioned which character was speaking.  The men and women's voices were both done well.  He has made listening to this entire series very enjoyable.


I like to thank Tantor Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.hotlistens.com/wulfe-untamed-audiobook-by-pamela-palmer

Currently reading

Unleashing the Storm
Sydney Croft
The Shadows: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
J.R. Ward
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