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 listened 1048 out of 1048 minutes.

The Witch with No Name (Hollows) - Kim Harrison

I can't believe it is over. What a great ending! Review to come.

Reading progress update: I've listened 883 out of 1048 minutes.

The Witch with No Name (Hollows) - Kim Harrison

I wish I could keep listening.  Why does life have to get in the way??

Reading progress update: I've listened 163 out of 1048 minutes.

The Witch with No Name (Hollows) - Kim Harrison

I can't believe this will be the last one.  I need more time with Jenks.

Cover Reveal: Her Avenging Angel (Her Angel Romance Series Book 7)

 

Once a proud angel of Heaven, Nevar is now a servant of Hell, bound to a new master—the King of Demons. Consumed by darkness and driven to seek revenge, he set in motion a series of events that awakened the Great Destroyer, a force that will bring about the apocalypse. Now, he is the creature’s master and the fate of our world rests in the hands of an angel with only darkness in his heart.

 

Lost in the mortal realm without any recollection of how she came to be there, Lysia is only aware that she has survived a great battle. When she stumbles into a demon bar, she finds more than a chance to discover what happened to her—she finds a dark and deadly angel warrior who stirs fire in her veins and awakens soul-searing passion she cannot deny.

 

With the mounting threat of the Great Destroyer, the forces of Heaven and Hell against him, and a band of dangerous angels intent on capturing Lysia on his heels, can Nevar protect the beautiful woman who is light to his darkness and find the strength to save the world?

 

 

Read on for a sneak preview of Her Avenging Angel!

 

Her Avenging Angel is due for release in ebook and paperback on October 11th 2014 and will be available from all major online book retailers. Pre-order links available soon at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/her-avenging-angel-romance-book.php

 

Join Felicity’s mailing list to receive a notification when Her Avenging Angel is released, PLUS a sneak preview of the first 6 chapters of the book and chances to WIN a signed paperback copy: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/newsletter.php

 

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20940849-her-avenging-angel

 

Books in the Her Angel paranormal romance series:
Book 1: Her Dark Angel – FREE in ebook at selected retailers
Book 2: Her Fallen Angel
Book 3: Her Warrior Angel
Book 4: Her Guardian Angel
Book 5: Her Demonic Angel
Book 6: Her Wicked Angel
Book 7: Her Avenging Angel

 

 

 

EXCERPT
Lysia hovered by the entrance of the inn, unsure whether to enter or leave. Her stomach gurgled again, making her decision for her. She had to stay. There were colourful glass bottles lining the wall to her right and demons there were serving drinks to people who lined a long black bar. If they had mead and other liquids then perhaps they had food for her.

 

She moved deeper into the room and everyone turned to stare at her, their eyes wide. She frowned at them all. Why did they stare? She thought them all strange but she wasn’t being rude by staring at them. If she hadn’t been so hungry, she would have asked them, or forced them to tell her the reason.

 

She pushed through a group of male demons, all of which were wearing their human forms, and they turned on her. Their growls died as their eyes fell on her and they parted, staring as she passed.

 

Lysia leaned against the tacky black bar top.

 

A man walked over to her, tossed a rag over his shoulder, and smiled.

 

“What’ll it be?”

 

“I require sustenance.”

 

He frowned, a puzzled edge to his dark eyes, and shook his head.

 

Lysia tried again. “I must eat.”

 

He waved his right hand and another man joined him, a blond with pale eyes.

 

“Problem?” the blond said.

 

“Not getting this one,” the brunet responded.

 

The blond raked his eyes over her, his right brow quirking. “Taking things a bit far, aren’t we? You want something?”

 

She nodded. “I need sustenance.”

 

He looked at his friend and shrugged. “I don’t understand her.”

 

What was there to understand? She only wanted food.

 

Blood.

 

The two men walked away, serving others who seemed to have no problem ordering what they desired and receiving it. She cursed them and everyone who communicated with them with ease. While she could understand many languages, she could write and speak only one. Without being able to speak to the serving staff, she had no chance of getting blood.

 

A woman beside her cast a glance her way, looked down at herself, and slipped off her seat and walked away, disappearing into the heavy crowd.

 

Lysia sighed, perched herself on the seat, and leaned on the bar with her forehead resting on her arms. She was warmer inside this noisy inn but still hungry, and still tired. She needed to feed. How?

 

A male stopped to her left.

 

She turned her head towards him and ran her eyes up from the waist of his impeccable crisp black suit to his shoulders and then his face. Vampire. She knew his kind and could see through his façade to the wretched monster beneath. He smiled, his fangs on show to her and his pale blue eyes swirling with ill intentions.

 

“Having trouble?” The dark-haired vampire leaned his left elbow on the bar beside her and she sat up.

 

She nodded. “I need to order blood.”

 

He frowned at her and her heart sank. He didn’t understand her either.

 

“What language is that? I’m afraid I’m not familiar with it. Can you mime what you want?” He shifted closer and she focused hard on every word he said, listening closely so she could grasp the words he used and use them too.

 

He smiled a little wider, and shifted a little closer. His gaze drifted down to her chest and back up again.

 

“Mime?” He made a show of using his hands to make shapes.

 

She was about to do as he asked when he danced his fingers over her left shoulder.

 

A cold shiver ran over her flesh and skated down her spine.

 

Lysia flicked her right wrist and hurled him across the room, scattering the crowd and ripping a few shocked gasps from them.

 

A male further along the bar looked her way.

 

She froze as her eyes met his, heat pulsing through her, a visceral throb that reached right down to her bones.

 

The male was handsome, but darkness clung to him, danger that called to her and lured her to him. There was evil in him.

 

He would know her tongue.

 

He raised a glass filled with green liquid and tipped his head, causing threads of his silver-white hair to fall and brush his brow. He swept them back and she caught a brief glimpse of tiny horns above his ears. Her belly flipped and heated.

 

“Kudos for giving Villandry hell,” he said above the thumping music, his deep rumbling voice doing funny things to her insides and turning her knees to rubber.

 

She presumed Villandry was the name of the vampire now picking himself up off the floor across the busy room. She wasn’t sure what kudos meant though.

 

Lysia swallowed her trembling heart, slipped off her seat and approached the pale-haired male with all the confidence she could muster when he was staring at her, his jade eyes burning into her body and setting her aflame.

 

Rousing strange feelings within her.

 

She halted beside him.

 

He swivelled to face her, set his drink down on the bar but kept his left hand on the stem of the elegant glass, and raised an eyebrow.

 

“Why are you naked?”

 

He held his right hand out and black material appeared in it. He offered it to her.

 

Lysia took it and stared at it, unsure what to do with it.

 

The male huffed, released his drink and stood, managing to tower over her despite the fact she was taller than the other females present. He moved closer to her and took the material back, but she didn’t notice it leaving her hands. The heat radiating from his big body washed over her, cocooning her in warmth and strengthening the feelings stirring in the pit of her belly.

 

She stared down at the strip of cut, hard muscles visible between the armoured plates around his hips and his breastplate. A warrior. Her heart accelerated. Her breathing quickened. She dragged her eyes back up to his face and found he wasn’t looking at her. He busied himself with slipping her arms into the garment he had made for her and she busied herself with memorising every sculpted plane of his face, from his straight nose and strong jaw, to his firm lips as they compressed into a mulish line.

 

She inched her gaze up higher, to the stunning jade eyes that were focused on their work with an intensity that made her ache inside with a desire to have them locked on hers with the same ferocity.

 

They shifted to meet hers and then dropped, a fascinating glimmer of shyness in them that lasted only a heartbeat before coldness swept in to wash it away.

 

He tugged the material closed over her front and tied a belt around her waist, fastening the garment in place.

 

“There,” he murmured, “now people will stop looking at you funnily, and you can stop looking at me funnily.”

 

He stepped back, a scowl darkening his striking eyes. She hadn’t been looking at him strangely. She was merely fascinated by him. Now that she was close to him, she could sense the depth of the darkness within him but something else countered it, something she could only describe as good. There was more to the male before her than she had anticipated, and it made the pull she felt towards him grow stronger.

 

She looked herself over. The sleeves were too long, concealing her hands, and the material reached her ankles. The garment covered all of her, leaving nothing on show. Had that been his intention?

 

“What do you want?” he said, bringing her focus back to him.

 

She lifted her eyes to meet his. “Blood.”

 

He back peddled, almost falling over his seat, a flicker of something dark crossing his handsome face. His eyes shone pure violet.

 

He had eyes like hers.

 

And he understood her.

 

“Leave me alone,” he barked and snatched up his drink with a shaky hand. He downed it, slammed the glass back onto the bar top, and shoved it forwards, away from him. “I’m not interested.”

 

Lysia frowned and shrank back. Why was he rejecting her company? He had given her something to wear, had seemed concerned about her, and now he was pushing her away. She clutched the robe over her chest in both hands and risked a step closer to him instead.

 

“I only desire blood… but I cannot order it.”

 

His violet gaze darted to her and away again. A shadow settled on his troubled features, turning them grim. He looked down into her eyes for long seconds, stealing all of her attention, sucking it away from the room and her surroundings.

 

He raised his hand and she flinched away, anticipating the strike.

 

It didn’t happen.

 

She squinted, remaining held away from him, and looked up into his eyes.

 

He cocked a single pale eyebrow and waved his left hand. The brunet male behind the bar came to them. He had been signalling the serving staff.

 

Lysia grimaced.

 

She had much to learn about this realm.

 

“Blood, straight up,” the white-haired male said.

 

The servant’s expression turned wary and he shifted foot to foot. “I’m not allowed to serve you blood, remember? You made me promise.”

 

He had? She canted her head, studying both men. Why had the man asked the servant not to give him blood? Did he drink it as she did?

 

The pale-haired warrior scrubbed a hand down his face and sighed. He pressed both hands into the bar, digging his black claws into the wood, and leaned forwards, closer to the man.

 

“It is not for me. It is for the woman.”

 

The brunet shrugged. “She has to order it then.”

 

The warrior tipped his head back, screwed his eyes shut and sighed, and she felt he was searching for calm. He drew several slow deep breaths before opening his eyes again and fixing them back on the barman.

 

“I do not think she knows how,” he said.

 

“I tried, but the man didn’t understand me.” That brought his gaze back to her and she shivered under the intensity of it.

 

“That would be because you are speaking a language this man doesn’t know… one I don’t have a fucking clue about either but for some godforsaken reason I can understand you.” He shoved his fingers through his hair, clawing it back until it tugged at his forehead, smoothing the skin, and ground his teeth. He released his head, dropped his hands to his sides, and huffed as he leaned over, bringing his face close to hers. “Repeat after me if you desire… blood.”

 

She nodded, noting that it had taken a lot of effort for him to speak that final word. Why?

 

She leaned closer to him, trying to shut out the noise of the room so she could hear every syllable that left his lips.

 

She watched how they moved as he spoke. How his tongue moved. How his teeth moved.

 

Her focus shattered.

 

He had fangs.

 

Made for drinking blood.

 

Yet he had asked the man not to serve it to him.

 

And she had asked him to speak of it, something which had evidently pained him.

 

She stepped back and his pale eyebrows dipped low above his now-green eyes.

 

“I’m sorry. I have troubled you with my request.” She went to turn away but he caught her arm in a vice-like grip, holding her firm. She looked down at his black fingers around her and the claws that blended into the robe he had given her, and then up into his eyes.

 

He shook his head and spoke again, slower this time. “A glass of blood, please.”

 

Lysia swallowed to wet her parched throat and spoke the sounds he had made, repeating them several times over and growing in confidence when he smiled, making her heart flutter in her chest. He nodded and jerked his head towards the brunet behind the bar.

 

She turned to face him. “A glass of blood, puh-leeese.”

 

“We’ll work on that last bit,” the warrior muttered beside her, a touch of warmth in his deep voice.

 

The man nodded. “That’s ten quid.”

 

Ten quid?

 

What was a quid and where did she find ten of them?

 

“Money,” the brunet said.

 

She looked down at herself. As the warrior had clearly mentioned, and this man knew, she had come here naked. She had no coin.

 

The warrior huffed and slammed two pieces of reddish paper down on the bar top. “It’s on me. Plus my usual.”

 

The bartender looked displeased and Lysia feared he wouldn’t give her the blood because the warrior was paying for it, and had requested this man not serve him blood.

 

She bared her fangs and growled at the brunet, preparing to attack.

 

“Down girl.” The white-haired warrior caught hold of her arm again, wrapping long fingers around it, and heat blazed through her.

 

She looked across at him, her eyes wide. He glared at the bartender.

 

The man heaved a sigh, swiped the money off the bar, and walked away. A sharp spear shot through her heart and she tried to pull away from the warrior to follow the man, afraid he wouldn’t return.

 

The warrior’s grip on her arm tightened and he pulled her closer, until her backside bumped against his thighs. An achy shiver bolted through her and she spun to face him, catching the shock in his eyes before he covered it. He had felt it too.

 

“He will be back with your drink and then you can leave me alone,” he said in a gruff tone, released her and sat back on his seat, turning his profile to her.

 

Lysia’s heartbeat began to climb, awareness of the people around her creeping back in. The vampire was on his feet again and glaring at her. Others stared her way too. Some of them not mortal. She didn’t like how they watched her, not when she was weak.

 

Only the warrior felt as if he wasn’t a threat to her and that he would protect her rather than seek to harm her.

 

She didn’t want to leave his side.

 

The brunet returned as the warrior had said, bringing an elegant glass of green liquid for him and one filled with dark liquid. He set that one down in front of her and moved off to serve another patron.

 

The warrior eyed her expectantly.

 

He wanted her to leave.

 

Lysia sucked down a breath for courage and reminded herself that she was a warrior too and as powerful as any of these beings on her best day. Today was not her best day though and it was wreaking havoc on her courage, leaving her feeling vulnerable. She was injured, starving, and everything around her felt so alien and unfamiliar.

 

Except for him.

 

He made her feel safe.

 

She made sure she had all of his attention before she whispered, “Allow me to stay. The men here mean me harm.”

 

His face darkened, his jade eyes swirling into blazing violet, and he slid his deadly gaze towards those staring at her.

 

She felt their eyes leave her.

 

“Sit,” he growled, more a command than a request, and she obeyed.

 

She took the stool beside him, swivelled to face the bar and picked up her glass. She sipped the blood, her gums itching and fangs aching to descend. She wanted to gulp it down but it was such a small quantity and she didn’t think the warrior would buy her more.

 

It wasn’t enough to appease her hunger. It would only take the edge off it.

 

She would need more and her heart said she knew where she wanted her next meal to come from.

 

Her gaze slid to the warrior, settling on his strong neck and the pulse hammering there, powerful and steady, a beat that called to her.

 

She wanted to bite him.

 

 

 

Her Avenging Angel is due for release in ebook and paperback on October 11th 2014 and will be available from all major online book retailers. Pre-order links available soon at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/her-avenging-angel-romance-book.php

 

Join Felicity’s mailing list to receive a notification when Her Avenging Angel is released, PLUS a sneak preview of the first 6 chapters of the book and chances to WIN a signed paperback copy: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/newsletter.php

 

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20940849-her-avenging-angel

 

Books in the Her Angel paranormal romance series:
Book 1: Her Dark Angel – FREE in ebook at selected retailers
Book 2: Her Fallen Angel
Book 3: Her Warrior Angel
Book 4: Her Guardian Angel
Book 5: Her Demonic Angel
Book 6: Her Wicked Angel
Book 7: Her Avenging Angel

 

 

 

About 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: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk
Blog: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/felicityheaton
Twitter: http://twitter.com/felicityheaton
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/felicityheaton

Tantor Audio is having a HUGE audiobook Labour Day sale—today only!

Reblogged from TheBookNympho:
 
 

September #BookBlogWalkers Challenge

Book Blog Walkers 2014 #BookBlogWalkers

 

Here's to a good month!

 

August Numbers

Total of 278,880 steps for an average of 8,991.13/day

Total of 121.07 miles for an average of 3.9/day

 

September Month-to-date

Total of 151,401 steps for an average of 11,646.23/day

Total of 65.34 miles for an average of 5.03 miles/day

 

  1. 8,163 steps - 3.5 miles
  2. 10,108 steps - 4.4 miles
  3. 10,692 steps - 4.6 miles
  4. 5,836 steps - 2.5 miles
  5. 7,264 steps - 3.1 miles
  6. 6,898 steps - 3.0 miles
  7. 19,267 steps - 8.3 miles
  8. 18,331 steps - 7.9 miles
  9. 8,497 steps - 3.7 miles
  10. 10,596 steps - 4.6 miles
  11. 15,761 steps - 6.8 miles
  12. 20,639 steps - 8.9 miles
  13. 9,349 steps - 4.0 miles

 

9/14/14 - My week in Washington DC really helped me get my steps in this week. The seven days I was in DC, not counting travel days, I had an average of 14,634.29 steps/day and 6.31 miles/day.

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta Narrated by Robert Petkoff Audiobook Review

Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta

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

 

I will admit that I knew nothing about this author going into this book.  I selected to review this book based pretty much on the narrator, Robert Petkoff, who I love and list in my top five favorite narrators.  I read the synopsis and thought it sounded interesting.  Not knowing what I was getting into, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

 

We have Jace, a thirteen year old boy, who witness to a murder while outside. His parents chose to send him to a wilderness survival camp for troubled boys under a false identity instead of witness protection.  The men who are after him are good, very good.  They've never left anyone alive before and they don't plan to start with this boy.

 

Ethan agrees to take the boy at the request of a former student, who was trying to protect the boy and felt she couldn't.  She said that the men after him were too good.  She wants him off the grid and away from cell phones, cameras, etc.  Ethan couldn't say no, knowing that he might be signing the boy's death warrant.

 

The hitmen, Jack and Patrick are brothers and are a creepy pair.  When they talk to their victims, they do it by talking back and forth to each other instead of talking to the victim.  It is chilling to listen to.  They are true sociopaths and feel nothing when they kill and tortureto get the information they need.

 

There are some things that are not completely believable, but for the most part, I thought the story was real enough.  The kid was smart, too smart, I don't think so, but maybe.  My biggest thing is you don't take a person who has severe burns out of a hospital and put them on horseback in the mountains the next day.  Also, the horse hasn't been ridden in months because of a fractured leg.  You are not going to get on it and go up into the mountains, with not just one, but two riders.

 

Overall, I say that the story was extremely suspenseful and I really wanted to make time to listen.  Yes, this was a book where I was finding things to clean so I could keep listening.  I would say that the narration helped with the story some too.  I don't know if I would've liked it as much if I had read versus listening to it.

 

Narration

Did mention that Petkoff is one of my top five favorite narrators ever?  This is the first story I've listened to where he was narrating something besides Kresley's Cole Immortals After Dark series.  At first, I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing. Petkoff is great with accents and there are no accents in this story.  Then we get to the two hitmen.  He really brought their sociopathy to life.  The way he had these two talking to each other gave me goosebumps.  Once again, he does a great job with women's voices.  You could feel the fear that some of the characters felt throughout the story.  Once again, Petkoff nails it.  Still one of my top five favorite narrators.


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

Twist (Mageri #2) by Dannika Dark Audiobook Review

Twist - Dannika Dark

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

 

I'll start by saying that I enjoyed this book better than book one.  For starters, all the characters that made an appearance and then seemed to fall off the page, never to be seen again, have reappeared.  Their point to the story has finally become clear.  That was one of my biggest complaints about book one, meeting characters that disappeared. Now, with everyone back in the picture, I was much happier.

 

We meet two new species in this book.  There are Chitah, the narrator pronounced cheetah, but they never mention that he could shift.  He did have cat-like personality, with speed, enhanced smell, etc.  Chitah are also able to kill or paralyze Mage.  There is also a wolf-shifter that we meet.  He is actually able to shift into the wolf form and we do see him on page in this form.

 

There is more romance in this book than in book one.  There are two different pairs.  A pair of humans that we meet in book one and reappear in this book.  Plus, there seems to be something between Silver and the Chitah, Logan Cross.  Adam has shown some interest, but doesn't seem to be pushing really hard.  I could also see Justus becoming a love interest, but not sure that it will happen.

 

This story is a dark one, just like book one.  Silver is beaten up again.  She seems to need help a lot more than most UF heroines.  While she does get herself out of the situation, it required the help of someone else each time.  I would like to see her stand up on her own more.  She wants Justus to treat her like a grownup and let her go out on her own, well, she needs to learn how to take herself.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this story much more than book one.  I will look forward to looking at the next book.  To see what happens with Silver, Justus, Logan and the rest of the gang.

 

Narration

Once again, I think Nicole Poole is not a bad choice for this series.  While, I don't think she will ever be one of my favorite narrators, I think she does an okay job.  I still think the men could be more masculine.  Overall, not bad.  


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

Passion Untamed (Feral Warriors #3) by Pamela Palmer Audiobook Review

Passion Untamed - Pamela Palmer

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

 

This is the third book in the Feral Warriors series.  It is also the hardest and darkest so far.  This story is full of torture, rape and death.  Once you get through the darkness in the first part of the book, the story does lighten up, so it is not all despair.  It is worth going through the hard parts to get to the good parts at the end, and even makes the romance better in the long run.

 

We start this book pretty much where we left off in book two.  Paenther is looking for the woman from the convenience store.  She kidnaps him.  When he wakes up, her eyes are copper ringed mage eyes.  He goes a little crazy when he see those copper rings, which she had hidden when he first met her. Paenther's past is a dark one. He was trapped, tortured, and raped by a mage when he first became a feral.

 

Skye is a mage enchantress, she is able to call animals.  She is also able to call the feral's animals.  She travels with a group of evil mages and helps to kidnap Paenther. She also calls animals for the mage to sacrifice each night and she dances in their blood.  We quickly learn that she is as much of a victim as Paenther.

 

This is a hard story to read.  While I liked the story between Paenther and Skye, the beginning of the story is a dark one. There was rape, while not violent, was still rape.  That was not something I was expecting in this book and it caught me off guard. It was also public rape for a mage ritual.  I'm a huge animal lover and the animal sacrifices bothered me a lot.  I'm the type of person when watching a movie, you can murder people all day, but don't touch the dog, cat, etc.  Leading wild creatures and cuddling them before slitting their throat, was a hard thing to read for me.

 

All that being said, I did enjoy the romance once they leave the cave.  After they escape and we get past all the evil mage stuff, the story gets much better for me.  I like Skye and was great to see her finally getting away from the terrible situation that she has been in since she was eight. It was also nice to watch as the feral's learn to get past their prejudice of all mage.  If it were only that easy in real life to get people to change their tune after centuries of prejudice.

 

I also enjoyed the overall story arc.  We learn a lot about the mages and the dark world they live in.  We see more into the mage's plans with the demons.  Things happen with the other ferals, not just Paenther.  I don't want to say more, because I don't want to give away any spoilers.



Narration

The more I listen to Shapiro, the more I enjoy his narrator.  His voice has grown on me and now he is the voice for the warriors and even the women.  His tone and emotion in the characters voices are done well.


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

Sterling (Mageri #1) by Dannika Dark Audiobook Review

Sterling - Dannika Dark

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

 

This book had me going back and forth.  There are parts of the story that I really liked and parts that I didn't.  We start the story with Zoe going out partying with a friend.  There is a decent amount of effort into introducing you to Sunny, Zoe's best friend and even Zoe's cat, Max, only to have them both leave the story in less than twenty minutes into the book.  Zoe is attacked and left for dead after leaving the bar.  She then wakes up and runs into a guy name Adam.

 

Adam is probably my favorite secondary character in the book.  He helps Zoe after her attack, even though there is something going on with her.  She just travels with him and meets Justus, who she learns is like her.  Justus explains what she has transformed into, takes her under his wing and offers to train her.

 

After some time with Justus, the man who transformed Zoe appears and tries to claim her.  After some arguments, the council agrees that her maker has a right to her.  This does not go over well with Justus or Simon, one of Justus's Magi friends.  They plan to get her back.

 

My problem with the book is we spend time learning about Max, the cat. Then the cat leaves the story.  Then we meet Sunny, Zoe's best friend, then she is gone.  We meet Adam, who is around much longer, but then he is gone when Justus comes into the picture.  Do you see the pattern here?  I just felt like there was too much effort spent on details on minor characters that would disappear quickly.

 

What I enjoyed was the world.  I loved this world of magic, even if it a feudal system that these magical being live in.  I love the powers that these magical creatures have and the fact that they are created.  They are almost like magical vampires in the way that they are turned.  I do like the characters and want to learn to more about them.  I will be trying book two in the near future to see where things are going for Zoe/Silver.

 

Narration

Nicole Poole does an okay job.  I think her voice worked for the main character.  I think her male characters could be more masculine, but they weren't horrible.  She did a couple of different accents and they weren't bad.


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

Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14) by Kresley Cole Audiobook Review

Dark Skye - Kresley Cole

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

 

This is one of my favorite Paranormal Romance series, especially on audio.  I love the mix of action, snark and sexiness that Kresley Cole brings to the stories.  Add in Robert Petkoff's narration and you can't help but make any book from the Immortals After Dark series an autobuy on release day for me.  While I will admit that some stories are better than others, this one wasn't extremely high on my want list (for a IAD book, it was still high overall).  I like the Lycae the best and I have to say Lothaire is one of my favorite stories in the series.  Not sure how much of that is the story and how much of that is listening to Petkoff's accents.  I will say that once I got into this book, I enjoyed it way more than I thought.

 

Lanthe and Thronos have known each other since they were children. They were best friends even as their species are mortal enemies.  However, due to some miscommunication and things that were done, they had 500 years of hatred for each other.  Thronos, though, feels the pull of his fated mate and seeks Lanthe out even though he can't stand her.  He even gets himself caught by the Order to be with her.

 

As with all Immortal After Dark books, the timeline of this story somewhat overlaps with previous books.  It starts with Lanthe and Thronos breaking out of the Order run prison, which we've seen the last few books. Lanthe is trying to escape with Carrow and Ruby, but Thronos drags her off in a different direction.  Then the pair go on an Odyssey type adventure through worlds.  As they try to survive these unknown worlds and perils, they learn that things about the past are not all as they seemed.  As they overcome their differences, they learn that they were good together, just like when they were kids.  

 

There is a lot happening with the overall story arc of the series.  Cole also brings many of the characters and smaller story arcs back into the overall story, including the Dacians.  There are some major spoilers that come out in this story.  Not sure how many more books are in the series, but I'm starting to think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of this story arc.  I can't wait to see where the story goes next and who the next couple will be.  I have some ideas, but I'm not sure at this time.

 

Narration

As always, Robert Petkoff knocks it out of the park with the narration.  While this one doesn't have accents that I love, he is still amazing as he pulls of the different personalities of the characters.  He does such a great job with the large number of female characters, especially showing their attitude.  He really puts emotion in all the characters.  He really makes the sexual scenes so realistic, I have to watch the volume in my earbuds at work.

Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews :

3 The Phoenix Pack Series Books $1.99 each!

Feral Sins - Suzanne  Wright Wicked Cravings - Suzanne  Wright Carnal Secrets - Suzanne  Wright
Reblogged from Cat's Books: Romance :

Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack Series)  Suzanne Wright

Wicked Cravings Suzanne Wright

Carnal Secrets (The Phoenix Pack Series) Suzanne Wright

Book Blast + Giveaway: Sculptor's Desire by Kerry Adrienne!

Kerry Adrienne is back with another novel that'll keep you up way past your bedtime.

 

Rocco Lazzaro meets the a new age, yoga instructor Devin in SCULPTOR'S DESIRE, the second novel Kerry Adrienne's sizzling Gallant Gentlemen's Guild series, out on August 27th. 2014  from Ellora's Cave.

 

 

About SCULPTOR'S DESIRE:

Rocco Lazzaro is on a mission to find the perfect male body to sculpt. His inability to find "the one" has affected his creativity and he's frustrated by his failure. With a Guild charity auction coming up, he's expected to provide high quality sculptures, but the pieces he creates feel soulless.

 

When Devin, a yoga instructor, approaches him and offers to help, Rocco can't quit thinking about the red-hot ginger. Devin's New Age beliefs push Rocco away—he can't deal with reality, much less mysticism. No auras and rainbows for Rocco—just stone and chisel and hammer.

 

But Devin is persistent. He knows he's supposed to help Rocco find his muse—and he'll stop at nothing to show him that the line between art and skin is very thin and a true muse can provide inspiration in many ways.

 

 Goodreads | Amazon| Barnes and Noble

  

 

Also in the Gallant Gentlemen's Guildseries: ARTIST'S TOUCH by Kerry Adrienne! On sale for just .99 cents from August 25th – August 31st, 2014.

  

 

About Kerry Adrienne:

 

Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She's a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals, including a panther chameleon.

 

In addition to writing, she's a college instructor, artist, costumer, and editor. Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

STEAMINESS

 

Rocco clutched the purple fliers and stared out at the busy park from his seat. He'd posted enough of the papers for the day, not that it mattered. He'd never had luck distributing them before—the responses had never lived up to his expectations. He set his backpack on the ground and leaned back against the wooden bench. Why bother? Not like the perfect man was going to walk up, pick up the flier and actually respond. Not in this lifetime.

 

He lowered the sunglasses over his eyes. The late afternoon sunlight didn't thread through the full-summer trees in this part of Central Park, but his shades allowed him to "bulge watch" as the throngs of tourists and New Yorkers paid homage at the mosaic shrine to John Lennon. The circular black and white medallion with "Imagine" scripted across its center was a place of reverence. Disciples had outlined the medallion with a peace sign made of fresh-cut flowers, and tourists took turns posing and taking pictures in front of the makeshift altar.

 

Rocco scanned the visitors. The place was a people-watcher's dream, and for a Monday, the crowd was huge. Summer in the city always brought the tourists in droves of asinine clothing and hats and noise. Still, he had hope he'd find the one he was looking for.

 

The man who'd make his dreams come true.

 

He set the fliers on the bench beside him, then picked up one purple sheet and folded it into a fan, carefully creasing each fold. He tried to breathe out the hot air, but no doubt about it, the June day was steaming. New York was a sweltering change from the Adirondack cabin where he'd spent most of his time in the last month. Still, he was happy to be back in the city—his second home. The cabin was great as a quiet place to work, even though it was small, but its remoteness made it impossible to people-watch and gain inspiration.

 

Rocco crimped the last crease. His apartment in one of the Guild's brownstones felt like home away from home. The Guild's large studio provided the best space he'd ever had to work—tons of light and plenty of quiet. And his guildmates were like brothers, always ready to support each other through any artistic struggle, though he supposed they too were growing tired of his search for a perfect man. No one had actually voiced it, but he felt a distinct difference in the tone of the conversation when he brought the search up in conversation. With the upcoming charity auction in October, most of the artists would be working overtime and even less inclined to listen to his plight.

 

He fanned himself with the folded flier. Nothing to see at the moment. Not a single possibility in the groups of people gathered in the small courtyard. He scanned the area. The top edge of the Dakota Apartments peeked over the trees and Rocco glanced over the rows of tightly curtained windows. He'd never been inside the lavish building, though he knew several Guild members had been to private parties there. Rocco had been invited many times but had always declined. Wealth and showmanship weren't his thing. He preferred the simple life where nature set the style, not John Varvatos and Marc Jacobs.

 

Strawberry Fields was a prime tourist spot. Too bad today's mob held few specimens worthy of a glance, much less a stare. I'd think the simple math odds would warrant at least a couple prospects. Add in summer shorts, and there should be at least a good bulge or two…

 

He glanced at the stack of fliers—about fifty of them left. He'd put up as many papers as he could around the park over the last hour. Who was he kidding? After years of searching, he might as well give up on finding the ideal male. He set the fan on the bench and shoved the stack of fliers into the front pocket of his backpack and zipped it up.

 

He'd held several open calls with no luck. Something inside him pushed him to keep looking, keep trying, no matter how many times he failed. The same something kept him awake at night and tore apart his thoughts during the day. He'd find what he was looking for and he wouldn't stop until he did, no matter what it took. It didn't matter if it cost him his friends, his guildmates, his sanity. That was art, wasn't it?

 

"May I sit here?"

 

The soft, lilting voice wove through Rocco's thoughts and he paused. He looked up and his breath caught in his throat when he saw where the voice originated. Broad shoulders and a flat abdomen encased in a perfectly tight white T-shirt. Tall, but not overly so. Blue jean shorts, snug. Red cropped hair that glistened gold at the tips and fell over in a lock of bangs. Rocco gazed from top to bottom and licked his dry lips.

 

Red, white, blue, and all American.

 

"May I?" the man repeated.

 

"Sure." Rocco fumbled with his pack and slid over to make room on the wooden park bench, pushing his folded fan behind him and out of the way so the stranger could sit down.

 

"Thanks," the man said, dropping onto the bench.

 

No, thank you. But not so close. The vibrations of the man sitting raced through the wood of the bench into wood between Rocco's legs. He swallowed hard, pushing back the anxiety. "No problem," he said, half-whispering. He peeked then gazed down again. Finally, someone worth looking at. Only the man was so freaking near, Rocco felt as if he could feel the heat emanating from the man's hotness.

 

Too close. No comfort.

 

The man scooted back on the bench and stretched out his legs. "Long day. I'm exhausted. Didn't expect there to still be such a crowd here this time of day." He blew out a long breath and closed his eyes.

 

Despite the heat, a shiver raced through Rocco and he eyed the fluid line of the man's form. If he'd had a sketchpad, he'd do a quick gesture drawing of the long stroke of torso and limbs.

 

Not knowing what to say, Rocco turned away. A group of noisy teens descended on the mosaic like a swarm of bees, laughing and shouting and taking photos of themselves in stupid poses. Rocco blinked away the distraction and looked back to the man sitting beside him.

 

Not bad. "Yeah." Hell, not bad at all. "It's crowded." He squeezed his thighs together to control his body's reaction. Why couldn't the man have chosen to sit on the other side of the path where Rocco could observe without having to talk?

 

"Such a loud crowd, at that." The man opened his eyes and peered at the teen spectacle then shook his head. "They need to relax. Chill. You'd think they'd never been outside before."

 

Rocco nodded and followed his gaze. A teen had picked up one of the flowers from the medallion and was tossing it into the air and catching it. "Tourists. New York can't live with them, or without them."

 

"Tourist?" The man asked. "Aren't you? I can't place that accent, so I assumed you were. Where are you from?"

 

"Italy." Rocco sat up straight, trying to not be obvious in staring at the man's muscular legs. He must be some kind of athlete. Was this man a candidate or had the hour of staring at subpar specimens clouded Rocco's judgment? "Well, born in Italy, but I've lived in the city for several years. Many, actually. I consider myself a New Yorker now."

 

"Ah, so Italian with some city dialect. Not a tourist. What's your name?"

 

Rocco flipped his sunglasses up onto his head. "Rocco Lazzaro. Not a tourist." He forced a smile. Meeting new people in person wasn't something he was used to doing.

 

"But very Italian, I see. Nice to meet you, Rocco." The man held his hand out. "I'm Devin Johansson. Also not a tourist. I live on the East Side."

 

Rocco took Devin's hand in his own and shook it firmly, aware that his own hand was clammy with anxiety. "Good to meet you too, Devin."

 

Devin clamped down on Rocco's fingers and held on. "Oh. You have working hands," he whispered. He pulled Rocco's hand closer and rubbed Rocco's palm with long, soft fingers. "And your aura shows great creativity." He looked up. "What is it you do?"

 

The teens moved on down the park path, giggling and talking loudly as they went. Rocco glanced over at them, trying to still the shudder that played along his arm as Devin rubbed his hand. A calm, warm feeling flowed up through his arm and into his chest. Even in the summer heat, the warmth felt good. Too good. Wait, what did he say? What the hell?

 

"My what? My aura?" Rocco yanked his hand away, immediately aware of the loss of warmth. Great. The first good-looking guy he'd met this week was a fruit loop New-Ager. The city grew all types, but this was one type Rocco tried to avoid. These dopes talked too much and thought too much about weird things instead of reality.

 

Devin leaned back and clasped his hands behind his head. He stared up into the trees, smiling. "Yeah, I can tell you are creative by your aura. So, what is it you do?"

 

Rocco scowled. "I'm a sculptor." He wasn't sure why he was telling Devin, or why he was even talking to the man in the first place. Am I that desperate? Do I look like a pity case? He straightened his sunglasses on top of his head and smoothed back his hair.

 

"I knew it." Devin looked at Rocco, his eyes sparkling. "You work with your hands, I can tell. Your hands hold lots of kindness and feeling and warmth. I knew you were an artist of some kind."

 

Rocco made eye contact. He nearly sighed aloud at the deep green in Devin's gaze. A perfect offset to his red-gold hair and pale skin, which, oddly enough, seemed devoid of the freckles that redheads often sported. If Rocco were a painter, Devin would be a divine palette to experiment with.

 

"Good g-guess." Rocco looked away. Something about intense men always caused him to lose his confidence, like maybe the men were peering into the innermost part of him and not running away. Like the fruit loop cast a spell.

 

"No, it's really obvious." Devin chuckled. "If you're sensitive to reading people, you're rarely wrong. It happens, but not often." A look of doubt crossed his face and was gone in an instant.

 

A warm breeze pushed through the park, sweeping a few dry leaves across the trail in a crackle and rustling Rocco's hair. He smoothed it down and settled the glasses back on his head.

 

How am I supposed to respond to that? Rocco fidgeted. Is he trying to get me to ask him something? "Well, okay. It's obvious I'm an artist." He had to get the conversation away from himself. Now. Not only was it uncomfortable, but Devin was in his personal space. "So what do you do, Devin? Besides tell people about their auras?" Magician? Fortuneteller? Horse Whisperer? He hoped Devin would notice the skepticism in his tone and lay off the hoodoo talk. Seeing colors around people? He'd heard of it before, sure. It was about as stupid as believing ancient aliens built the pyramids.

 

If Devin felt made fun of, he didn't show it. "I'm a yoga instructor and meditation coach," he said. "I meet clients here in the park and we embrace the movement of the sun and the moon and the seasons of nature. Here's my card." He pulled a neat stack of cards out of his shorts pocket and slid one off the top.

 

Rocco took the dark blue card. Embossed in gold lettering:

 

Devin Johansson, owner of City Dreams. Yoga, meditation, and spiritual healing—on my schedule or yours.

 

And quack. Rocco scooted forward on the bench. "Meditation, huh? Like being still for a really long time and breathing and not thinking?" He raised his eyebrows. This was going to be interesting.

 

"Yeah, I do group meditation classes on the Great Lawn on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at seven. Free. You should join us. We had a great crowd today. Summer sessions are always well attended."

 

"Thank you, but I don't meditate. I sleep. That's being still enough for me." Rocco rubbed his palms on his jeans. "I do try and breathe every day though." He held back a smirk. Something about being uncomfortable made him sarcastic, a smartass. He knew it but just couldn't help himself. He looked out over the park. Why was he even embarrassed?

 

A noisy group of tourists wearing matching lime green T-shirts circled the medallion. Their guide spoke loudly about John Lennon and the crowd ooohed and ahhed. One woman sobbed.

 

Maybe Strawberry Fields wasn't the best choice today. Too many weirdoes congregating. He should've checked the planetary alignment or star charts before he came because something was amiss. He smiled at his own cleverness.

 

"Well, maybe you should consider trying meditation. Your aura looks pretty blocked." Devin scooted closer and lowered his voice. "Maybe I can help you find what you're looking for. If you'll let me."

 

Rocco cleared his throat and stared at the woman crying, unable to look Devin in the eye. Was the fruit loop coming on to him? Rocco certainly wasn't looking for a quick fuck, though there were plenty of opportunities in Central Park. So he'd heard, anyway. But if he wanted a quickie, the last place he'd pick was a dirty bathroom or out in public behind a butterfly bush just off the path. Being stung in the ass wasn't worth it.

 

"Well, think about it," Devin pushed. "I'd love to help you out. It's what I do. I don't know exactly what you're looking for, but maybe I can help you. Us meeting here today wasn't by chance."

 

The hell it wasn't. "Thanks. I'll check out your website later." When I have nothing else to do.

 

"Great. Please do." Devin slid even closer until his leg brushed Rocco's. "I don't bite, Rocco. I help people."

 

Rocco's heart thudded and he yanked his leg away. How one man had gotten to him so quickly then left him scattered just as quickly was frightening. He had to get out of the park and back to the safety of what he knew. His work. His privacy. His studio.

 

The Guild auction was only a few months away and Rocco hadn't even begun to sculpt his main piece. At this rate, he'd have to work in clay only. He shoved the card into the small front part of his backpack and zipped the pocket closed. "I gotta get back to work. Nice chatting with you, Devin."

 

"Maybe I'll see you around another time." Devin closed his eyes. "I'm in the park most days for one thing or another. Just call me. I'll meet you here any time you want. One-on-one assistance, if you prefer."

 

Now for the Tourwide Giveaway!

 

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Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson - Patricia Briggs

I loved the glimpses into secondary character's lives and their POVs.  Full review to come.

Reading progress update: I've read 88%.

Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson - Patricia Briggs

Oh, Ben.  What are we going to do with you?

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