Weekly Funny

I was actually thinking this past weekend because the gym I work for on the weekends has the radio on.  I started to believe that there are only 5 songs they were allowed to play. 🙂

Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

I finally finished my number 1 on my TBR list.  I have been waiting quite a while for this sequel and it was completely worth the wait.  Deborah Harkness’ second book in her All Saints trilogy was an outstanding follow-up to her first book, A Discovery of Witches.   It is truly going to be a difficult wait for the final book in the trilogy.

Shadow of Night begins where A Discovery of Witches left off.  Matthew and Diana have taken a step and landed at the Old Lodge in 1590.  It is the Elizabethan era.  A time of Shakespeare and Marlowe, witch hunts and religious strife between Catholics and Protestants.  No running water, no technology other than horseback and carriages and illness due to vermin infestation.  This is a long way from Diana’s 21st Century.  Not long after Diana and Matthew enter the 16th Century they run into Kit Marlowe, Sir Walter Raliegh and Henry Percy among other historically significant creatures.  What seemed like a quick job of jumping to the past, picking up Ashmole 782 and helping Diana become a proper witch soon becomes a daunting task.  Not long after being in Oxford and trying to find a witch to help Diana is accused of witchcraft and a timely summons by Matthew’s father Phillipe forces them to take an unscheduled journey to Sept-Tours.  At Sept-Tours, many significant events occur and many of Matthew’s secrets are discovered.  One of which is Diana’s discovery of Matthew’s Blood Rage.  A rage that few vampires have when deprived from blood.  Though many secrets are revealed at Sept-Tours, many more still linger.

After spending some time at Sept-Tours Diana and Matthew are forced to flee yet again.  They go to London where Queen Elizabeth is awaiting them.  Queen Elizabeth is in quite a mood since one of her top spies has been doing things that she has not approved of.  It is in London that Diana finally finds witches willing to help her.  She finally discovers what she is and the witches have agreed to help her learn how to be a witch and use the craft.  Again, this peace is short-lived and soon Queen Elizabeth is forcing Matthew to go to Prague to see the Holy Roman Emperor and retrieve something that is hers.  It is in Prague that Diana and Matthew finally find Ashmole 782.  Diana becomes a focal point of the Holy Roman Emperor’s attentions and learns that a protective, jealous vampire is not one you want around a powerful and significant figure.  Yet again, Matthew and Diana must flee and find themselves back in London.  It is this final journey to London that Diana comes across someone very significant in her own history.  Diana and Matthew finally have some answers, more questions and have impacted history more than they should.  They finally take a step back to the present landing them back in the Bishop House.  Diana and Matthew work their way back to Sept-Tours where their family awaits their return.

This was an absolutely phenomenal book.  I will have to read it again soon just to pick up details I know I missed.  Deborah Harkness’s ability to bring you right back to the 16th century is awe-inspiring.  The characters and significant historical figures are fantastic.  I am a sucker for a love story and Matthew and Diana’s is awesome.  They have ups and downs and many losses that they bear together.  I loved the peripheral characters of Gallowglass, Pierre, Annie and Jack to name a few.  I loved to hate Kit Marlowe.  I really wished ill will on him.  The scenes in London, France, Prague and Oxford allow for backdrop of a familiar yet different world.  This book takes you with Matthew and Diana as they navigate the court intrigues, witch hunts and nefarious acts of would be friends.

I totally and completely recommend this book.  But, you will want to read A Discovery of Witches first.  If you are interested in that book I have reviewed that one also. You can check it out here:  http://wp.me/p2is8i-3N .  If you want more information regarding either Shadow of Night or A Discovery of Witches you can also go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

Cover Reveal: Star Child by Stephanie Keyes

Check out the cover of Stephanie Keyes debut novel and enter to win an antiqued Celtic bookmark. Star Child hits bookstores on September 21st, 2012.

The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role. 

 Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?

Enter to win a beautiful antiqued Celtic bookmark.  Click the link below to enter. Giveaway available for US and International entries.  Good Luck!

http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/1/post/2012/07/star-child-cover-reveal.html

About The Author:

Stephanie Keyes was born in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania and has worked for the past twelve years as a corporate educator and curriculum designer in the Telecommunications industry. She holds a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Instructional Technology from Duquesne University and a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University. She is a classically trained clarinetist, but also plays the saxophone and sings. When she’s not writing, she is a wife to a wonderfully supportive husband and mother to two little boys whom she cites as her inspiration for all things writing. The Star Child is Mrs. Keyes’ debut novel.

Website: http://www.stephaniekeyes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stephaniekeyes

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Keyes/150860604966160

Thank you Inkspell Publishing and Stephanie Keyes for allowing me to host Star Child’s cover reveal.


Review: Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning

Ok…so this is my first ever graphic novel.  I was a bit reluctant because it’s not normally my kind of thing, but I just had to read this since it was part of the fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

This story takes place sometime during the last book, Shadowfever.  In this book, Mac finds herself being targeted.  But, she is not the outright target.  This Unseelie, the Fear Dorche, is targeting those who are important to her.  The Fear Dorcha does not have a face of his own so he must take pieces from 15 different people.  This leaves the people in a state of coma.  It is up to Mac, who then also drags in Barrons, to find and kill the Fear Dorche.

Fever Moon was very well written and it highlighted all of the characters we know and love from the fever series.  With that being said, this was not my favorite in the fever series.  It felt kinda disjointed at times.  I kept feeling like I was getting lost in parts that I have previous knowledge about.  I couldn’t quite pin down when this happened in the books and that really bothered me.  I finally decided it must be a time within the final book because she already knew what Barrons was and she wasn’t fighting with Dani.  Another, disconcerting part was the images in the book.  I know that comics and graphic novels always go over the top with the character designs, but I felt kinda let down.  I really didn’t like the images of Mac or Barrons.  In general the scenes looked good like Chester’s and the streets of Dublin, but overall the characters definitely were not what I thought they would look like.  The first time I saw the image of Mac I thought ” Whoa! Huge boobs”.  That was quite off-putting and kinda detracted from the story.  Overall, I thought it was good, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be a graphic novel girl.  I totally get the interest in them, but for me it distracted from the series instead of enhancing it.

For more information regarding Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and any other book retailer.

Author Profile: Jeaniene Frost

This week’s author profile is Jeaniene Frost.  I was introduced to her books when I came across Halfway to the Grave, the first book in her Night Huntress Series.  I have been hooked on her books ever since.

Jeaniene Frost is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of her Night Huntress series and her Night Huntress World series. When Jeaniene is not writing bestselling paranormal romance she enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling by car.   She is currently living in North Carolina with her husband.

As a child Ms. Frost was drawn to the strange.  She would sneak to see horror movies to her parents dismay.  She began writing poetry at the age of 12.  Not long after discovering poetry she read her first romance novel.  She immediately fell in love with the genre.  Ms. Frost realized that she wanted to write her own book someday, but figured she had plenty of time to think about that.  Well, as things always go life gets in the way and before she knew it she was almost thirty and had to make a decision.  Was she going to attempt to write a novel or just put that idea away for good.  Thankfully for us she decided to write her novel.

Jeaniene Frost is clearly deserving in the description of bestselling author.  Not only the numbers to prove it but the fans to back it.  Her storytelling abilities are bar none and her characters are unique and well-developed.  I first fell in love with Jeaniene Frost’s writing when I read Halfway to the Grave.  I was hooked on Cat and Bones.  Like many series’ this one has its ups and downs, but Ms. Frost still manages to pull the stories together.  Her newest book/ series is Once Burned in the Night Prince series.

Here is the blurb about Jeaniene Frost’s newest book, Once Burned:

She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred  her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a  person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of  solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out  with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest  vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most  feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against  him – a beautiful mortal with powers to  match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them,  threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop  an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

This book is definitely on my TBR list and I can’t wait.  It’s just unfortunate that it has to wait at all.  I would definitely recommend any of Jeaniene Frost’s books.  The first on my list is Halfway to the Grave the first book in her Night Huntress series.  If you don’t fall for Bones and Cat then you shouldn’t be reading paranormal romance.  They are definitely a power couple in this genre.  Go out and get them today!

For more information about Jeaniene Frost you can visit her website at http://www.jeanienefrost.com.  For more information about Once Burned, Halfway to the Grave or the Night Huntress series you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

Weekly Funny

I have made this list before. 🙂

Review and Promo: The Gates by Rachael Wade

The Gates by Rachael Wade was a surprisingly good read.  This is the second installment in her Resistance Trilogy.  The first book, which I recommend reading first, is Amaranth.

The Gates begins with Gavin and Camille prepared to elope after leaving Arianna with the devastating news about Joel.  It is Camille who is insisting but Gavin is reluctant because of the upcoming uprising they are planning.  They soon decide that it is unwise to marry right now when they are unsure of the success of the elaborate plan to get rid of Samira and free those in Amaranth including their friends.  Gavin and Camille return to France to Arianna’s apartment and find a group of fellow resisters who are ready to plan the attack on Samira.  It is at this gathering that Camille first meets Scarlet.  Scarlet, she soon learns, is a former lover of Gavin’s.  Immediately Camille doesn’t have a good feeling regarding her, but that is pushed aside due to the importance of the mission ahead of them.  This one-act has incredible implications for the rest of the mission.  One act no matter how small effects the outcome of the rebellion and forces it to look at different aspects never thought of before now.

Rachael Wade does an outstanding job continuing the story of the resistance and the love story of Gavin and Camille.  I was quite impressed with how smooth the writing was and how many surprises that were packed into this book.  This book was short in comparison to others that I read, but it didn’t lack any of the punch.  I can’t wait for the third and final book, The Tragedy of Knowledge.  I definitely recommend this book, but would suggest reading Amaranth first.  You won’t regret picking up this excellent summer read.

Since I am lucky enough to be a stop on Rachael Wade’s blog tour I am privileged to offer up two excerpts.  I hope you enjoy.

This first excerpt is right before a small group of resisters go back to Amaranth.  This is one of more important scenes in the book.

The twelve vampires all joined together in a circle, waiting for Gavin’s direction, flashlights in hand, game faces on. Scarlet leaned back toward the magic oak, draped her arms across the rugged branch that held the key to our entry, sultry and comfortable in tight-fitting pants and a revealing halter top. Hussy.Must have read the wrong dress code. We weren’t headed for Studio 54, for crying out loud.

“As discussed, it’s imperative to keep your mojo bag on you, as close to your skin as possible, at all times. Keep it out of sight, under your clothes, and be sure to feed it with the oils I gave you intermittently, or the spells will wear out and we can’t have that.” Gavin spoke loud and authoritative. It was a tone I wasn’t used to hearing him take: one full of power, possession, and most of all, determination. He was such a leader. It was … hot. I smiled to myself, mesmerized as I watched him speak, dagger in hand, dressed in black jeans and a faded gray shirt, tousled brown hair as perfect as ever.

As I admired him, I noticed Scarlet staring intently, too, her eyes catching mine. There was a glint in them, an unspoken challenge that made me furious. Her coy smile made me even more agitated. Where was my jealousy coming from? It was so strong, so urgent, getting harder to contain by the second. Gavin had already assured me she was nothing to worry about. But something about her seared my skin, sank into my bones and settled there, leaving me on edge. I looked away, focusing again on Gavin’s pep talk.

“We’ve had an advantage, an extra defense against humans, against those who practice hoodoo—the ability to be unaffected by their magic. And yet, we can use their magic among our own kind. Their magic isn’t limited to Samira and Gérard’s use, although they love for us to think that. An original conjurer, a good friend of ours, has gone out of her way to help create these protection spells for us. They are just as strong as Samira’s magic, and will keep us safe when we approach her. They’ll also give us copious amounts of energy to thrive.”

My thoughts trailed to Vivienne and her haint blue shop behind the pizzeria, her cautious eyes and generous heart. She really wanted to help us, even though she wasn’t sure what it would mean for her people, and even though the frozen souls had disrespected her magic, her faith, for all of these years. I smiled at the thought, thankful for the sweet, wise old woman.

Gavin began meandering around the inside of the circle, locking vision with each vampire. “Samira has no idea we have a conjurer’s help, and no idea we’ve acquired this amount of energy. Even if she doesn’t reveal it, she’ll be surprised that our magic is able to withstand her own. Stand strong, and stand tall. Do not falter, because the time is coming, and her kingdom will fall. Remember to be on guard within the villages. We don’t know for certain the conditions we face. We must gain the peoples’ trust, even as we show Samira that she can trust us to restore her order. Our obedience is the only thing that will keep her unaware until the rest of the resistance arrives to help us.”

“What if we don’t make it past the moat?” one of the twelve stammered, shaking in obvious fear.

Gavin stopped in the middle of the circle and turned to him. “The moat? We will make it through the gates.”

The nervous vampire reluctantly shook his head, taking a deep breath.

“Of this, I am certain.” Gavin gave the vampire a firm nod, then shouted, “To strong will and sweet freedom!” He waved his hands to encourage his people. Everyone took the cue, shouting in unison, repeating his words, chanting them. He stormed toward me, eyes blazing, his fiery gaze taking me by surprise. It made me melt, witnessing him take such control, but then I  shivered as I felt the bayou’s temperature begin to drop, calling us toward the portal, tempting us to pull the branch and unlock the gateway.

“You’re really ready for this, aren’t you?” I asked him as he grabbed his bag.

“This is going to work. I know it. My parents will finally have peace.” He reached up and ran his fingers over his mother’s locket around my neck, then gave me a breathtaking smile and pulled me into his embrace, kissed me hard and desperately.

The group’s energy buzzed, everyone chattering and pumping one another up. When Gavin let go of me, I surveyed the bayou and swallowed, realizing this was it. I’d somehow managed to entangle myself in the beginning of a vampire war. I was no longer that book-nerd loner girl from Louisiana, no longer the damaged girl from Seattle who once put up with so much abuse from men.

I was now Gavin’s support, love and future, and he was mine. Better yet, he encouraged my personal dreams despite his all-consuming lifestyle. He didn’t want me to give myself up, even though I was lost in all of his madness. My new path was suddenly tangible beneath my feet, although I couldn’t quite see it brick for brick yet. Hope bloomed in me, and the same energy that now possessed Gavin filled me too. I was ready for this, ready to do anything for this man, for these people, for our friends. Purpose panged my stomach and I was overwhelmed with the need for justice.

“Scarlet,” Gavin called to her while taking my hand. She raised her eyebrows and smiled at him, slowly, lasciviously, keeping her eyes on his as she snapped the oak’s branch. My green envy flared at the sight.

The gorgeous violet light over the bayou began to illuminate the murky water, lighting up our surroundings more and more, the wind dancing around us with fury. The water churned, and it was time.

This second excerpt is one of my favorite parts of the book.  Gavin and Camille have some alone time and get to use it to their own devises.

He clutched me in his arms and his fiery gaze danced across my body. “Can we talk about it after?”

“What? Gav, we need to talk about it now. What are we going to do—? And after what exactly?”

“After I taste you.” He dipped his mouth down to mine, letting his tongue slip between my lips. The panic I felt passed through me and a soft moan replaced the tension. I melted in his arms and slipped my hands around his neck, pressed my body harder to his, pulling down on his cloak to peel it over his shoulders.

He spun me around and pushed me up against the door, leaning his weight against my back to pin me to it with his hips. Angling my chin to the side so he could see my mouth, his other hand clasped the side of my waist and his breath flickered hot in my hair. “You don’t know how good you taste,” he breathed, finding my elbow and gently rubbing his thumb across my thick bandage. “This feeling okay? I’ll be gentle with it, I promise.”

Mhhmm. It’s better.” I welcomed his soft strokes over the crease of my elbow and swiveled my head farther back, to bring my lips closer to his.

He leaned in and looked at my lips with wonder before he kissed them hungrily again, his hands gliding down the sides of my hips to clutch my rear. “I can’t promise the same for this delicious backside, though.”

“No safety pin today,” I whispered against his jaw.

He snatched up my skirt, tore it straight down the middle and gathered it near my waist. “Won’t be needing it.”

“Gavin! What’ll I wear home?”

“Cloak.” His voice roughened and he ripped harder, tossing the material to the ground. I felt his smile when he kissed my neck, and shivers ran down my back at the sound of his low growl.

“I made that! I don’t have many of those, you know.”

“Cam,” he snaked one hand around my stomach and made his way north, slipping one hand into my corset top to grope my chest. “You won’t be thinking about it when I’m inside you.” His hips shifted off my back and he separated my legs with his knee, his breathing ragged against my shoulder. “Now forget the damn dress.” Keeping my head pressed to the side of the door, I could see him pull at his shirt collar to loosen it, which instantly made my knees shake and my pulse thump with desire. Unsure if I’d be able to hold myself up as he had his way with me from behind, I knew the image of him there would be my undoing. There was nothing sexier than seeing this normally shy, composed man morph into a voracious creature with such insatiable, starved need in his rich, chocolate eyes. And the sleeves rolled to his elbows … that wasn’t helping.

I snuck a glance at his forearms. Nope, not helping at all.

He ran his fingers down my back and licked his lips, the sensations of his fingertips over my spine making my head spin. Before I had time to muster my strength, I heard his zipper and felt him jerk my slip aside. He slid into me and leaned close again, his jaw slack at the side of my face. I palmed the door with my good hand and reached back to latch onto the side of his hip with the other, his name spilling from my lips as he drove into me.

“I adore you, do you know that?” he murmured against my ear, his panting feeding my fervor and sending my desire into an irrepressible frenzy. “I’m yours always, baby.”

I gripped the door harder for support and dug my nails into his hip to return the passion, closing my eyes when his cries seeped into my ear. They were too much. “Gavin, please …” He thrust harder, a desperate urgency in each sharp charge, stirring my release, coaxing it into a ferocious delirium, spinning it out of control. He lifted a hand and trailed fingers over my lips, tilting and crushing his mouth on mine to silence my whimpering.

“Not yet,” he sighed against my lips and wrenched my hair back, forcing me to arch against his chest, tightening his grip on my waist before running his other hand down my front to cup it between my thighs. “Ask me again.”

“Please,” my voice hummed, barely audible as he skimmed his nose over my neck, his fingers kneading in front while he buried himself in me.

“Please, what. Tell me.”

“Please, Gavin. Let me go.”

I felt him slow and readjust his stance, then slide in deeper and pick up speed, pushing me farther and farther into luscious oblivion from behind, his fingers continuing to torture in front. “Mmm. I love hearing that.”

His forehead grazed my cheek and his sweat stuck to my skin, a sweet, heady aroma that sent my knees quaking. I cried out, feeling myself quicken, his strangled moan causing my body to cave against the door as I found my release.

“Cam … damn it.…” He pulled his hand from my thighs and braced the door next to my face, his palm spreading over the dark, battered wood, his fingers close enough for me to taste. My eyes fluttered and found his, their scorching warm glow penetrating me with crazed longing. His breath hissed and he reached his climax, hauling his fingertips through my hair and over my scalp as he stilled, my name escaping his lips one last time.

I let myself slump against his shoulder while he rested his forehead on the door, one arm drawn close around my waist to hold me upright.

“Love, making it out of this place alive is the least of my worries. If you keep making me crazy like that, you’ll be the death of me.” He snickered against my neck, his lips kissing my wet skin.

“Well,” I panted, “if you ravage me like that again, there’s a very good chance you’ll take me with you.”

As you can tell this is one awesome book.  You should definitely pick it up!  For more information about Rachael Wade and her books you can go to the following links:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorRachaelWade

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RachaelWade

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4831558.Rachael_Wade

Web pagewww.RachaelWade.com

Finally a big Thank You to Bewitching Book Tours for allowing me to host one of their tour dates.

 

 

Author Profile: Kerrelyn Sparks

This week’s author profile is Kerrelyn Sparks.  She is the author of the Love at Stake paranormal romance series.  This is one of my favorite series’.  Her author profile has been long time coming.

Kerrelyn Sparks’ first book, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, was released in 2005 and immediately hit Borders Best Debut Romance of 2005.  Her popularity has grown incrementally from there.  Ms. Sparks’ books have hit the New York Times Bestseller list ever since her fourth book hit stores.  Ms. Sparks is currently living in the Houston area with her husband and children.

Ms. Sparks’ writing is phenomenal.  There is no question she deserves all the awards and accolades she has received.  The sense of humor she brings to her characters draws you in.  I have laughed out loud many times in her books.   You can easily see yourself in these characters.  Even though her most popular books are a paranormal series you can completely lose yourself and forget that these are vampires and shapeshifters that she is writing about.

I was first introduced to Ms. Sparks’s book as a Free Friday pick with Barnes and Noble.  Ever since I have had to read all the books she comes out with.  I am definitely a fan and suggest you become one too.  You will not be disappointed.  I am going to share with you an excerpt from my favorite book in her Love At Stake series.

Excerpt from my favorite in Kerrelyn Sparks’ Love At Stake series, All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire:

From chapter two…

She made a stunning cat burglar, dressed entirely in black spandex that molded to her waist and sweetly curved hips. Her golden hair hung in a ponytail down her back. The ends swished gently across her shoulder blades as she moved her head from side to side, scanning the bookshelf.

She stepped to the side, silent in her black socks. She must have left her shoes outside the window, thinking she’d move more quietly without them. He noted her slim ankles, then let his gaze wander back up to golden hair. He would have to be careful capturing her. Like any Vamp, he had super strength, and she looked a bit fragile.

He moved silently past the wingback chairs to the window. It made a swooshing sound as he shut it.

With a gasp, she turned toward him. Her eyes widened. Eyes green as the hills surrounding his home in Scotland.

A surge of desire left him speechless for a moment. She seemed equally speechless. No doubt she was busily contemplating an escape route.

He moved slowly toward her. “Ye willna escape through the window. And ye canna reach the door before me.”

She stepped back. “Who are you? Do you live here?”

“I’ll be asking the questions, once I have ye restrained.” He could hear her heart beating faster. Her face remained expressionless, except for her eyes. They flashed with defiance. They were beautiful.

She plucked a heavy book off a nearby shelf. “Did you come here to test my abilities?”

An odd question. Was he misinterpreting the situation? “Who—” He dodged to the side when she suddenly hurled the book at his face. Bugger, he’d suffered too much to get his older, more manly face, and she’d nearly smacked it.

The book flew past him and knocked over the lamp. The light flickered and went out. With his superior vision, he could see her dark form running for the door.

He zoomed after her. Just before he could grab her, she spun and landed a kick against his chest. He stumbled back. Damn, she was stronger than he’d thought. And he’d suffered too much to get his broader, more manly chest.

She advanced with a series of punches and kicks, and he blocked them all. With a desperate move, she aimed a kick at his groin. Dammit, he’d suffered too much to get his bigger, more manly balls. He jumped back, but her toes caught the hem of his kilt. Without his sporran to weigh the kilt down, it flew up past his waist.

Her gaze flitted south and stuck. Her mouth fell open. Aye, those twelve years of growth had been kind. He lunged forward and slammed her onto the carpet. She punched at him, so he caught her wrists and pinned her to the floor.

She twisted, attempting to knee him. With a growl, he blocked her with his own knee. Then slowly he lowered himself on top of her to keep her still. Her body was gloriously hot, flushed with blood and throbbing with a life force that made his body tremble with desire.

“Stop wiggling, lass.” His bigger, more manly groin was reacting in an even bigger way. “Have mercy on me.”

“Mercy?” She continued to wriggle beneath him. “I’m the one who’s captured.”

“Cease.” He pressed more heavily on her.

Her eyes widened. He had no doubt she was feeling it.

Her gaze flickered down, then back to his face. “Get off. Now.”

“I’m halfway there already,” he muttered.

“Let me go!” She strained at his grip on her wrists.

“If I release you, ye’ll knee me. And I’m rather fond of my balls.”

“The feeling isn’t mutual.”

He smiled slowly. “Ye took a long look. Ye must have liked what ye saw.”

“Ha! You made such a small impression on me, I can barely remember.”

He chuckled. She was as quick mentally as she was physically.

She looked at him curiously. “You smell like beer.”

“I’ve had a few.” He noted her dubious look. “Okay, more than a few, but I was still able to beat you.”

“If you drink beer, then that means you’re not…”

“No’ what?”

She looked at him, her eyes wide. He had a sinking feeling that she thought he was mortal. She wanted him to be mortal. And that meant she knew about Vamps.

He studied her lovely face–the high cheekbones, delicate jawline, and beguiling green eyes. Some Vamps claimed mortals had no power whatsoever. They were wrong.

Their eyes met, and he forgot to breathe. There was something hidden in those green depths. A loneliness. A wound that seemed too old for her tender age. For a moment, he felt like he was seeing a reflection of his own soul.

“Ye’re no’ a thief, are ye?” he whispered.

She shook her head slightly, still trapped in his gaze. Or maybe it was he who was trapped in hers.

“Ian.” Footsteps approached them. “Ian, what the hell are you doing?”

He dragged his gaze away from her and saw Phineas standing beside them. “What?”

Phineas gave him a confused look. “Why are you beating up on Toni?”

He blinked and glanced at the woman he’d pinned to the floor. “Ye’re…Toni?” Their new guard was a woman?

“You’re Ian?” Disappointment flickered in her eyes before she looked away. “You’re one of them.”

That hurt. For centuries he’d been judged too young, and now, after all the pain he’d endured, he was still found wanting. His jaw shifted as he ground his teeth. “Ye have something against Vamps?”

Her eyes flared with anger. “Yes. I tend to get really pissed when they attack me.”

“She’s got a point, bro,” Phineas muttered as he adjusted the tie around his purple satin bathrobe. “You shouldn’t attack her. She’s our friend.”

Ian moved his weight off her. “Friendship is earned.”

She scooted away from him and sat up. “I’m not here to be your friend. I’m your guard. That’s all.”

He stared at her. Connor had hired a woman to guard men? This was unheard of in the vampire world. A mortal woman wouldn’t have the strength…unless she was a shifter like Phil and Howard. “Are ye—” How could he put this when shape shifters were a secret? “Do ye change a bit at a certain time of the month?”

She gave him an incredulous look. “Are you asking me if I get PMS? Are you serious?”

“Nay! I dinna mean—” Ian stopped, interrupted by Phineas’s laughter.

“I know what you’re thinking, man,” Phineas said, “but she’s normal.”

“Normal?” She glared at Phineas. “I nailed your ass earlier this evening.”

He held up his hands in surrender. “Don’t hurt me, sweetness. You’re a strong, beautiful hunk of woman.”

She inclined her head. “Thank you.”

“Connor told me on the phone that he’d hired a Tony,” Ian muttered. “I thought ye would be a man.”

Her eyes narrowed. “I thought you would be somewhat intelligent.”

“Snap!” Phineas grinned. “She got you good, bro.”

Ian scowled. “It was perfectly logical to assume Tony was a man’s name.”

She lifted her chin. “Is it logical to attack people without talking to them first?”

“In this case, aye, it was. The window was open—”

“I opened it,” she interrupted. “It was as stuffy as a tomb in here, and I was hot.”

“Sweetness, you’re so hot, you’re sizzling.” Phineas made some hissing sounds.

Ian shot him an annoyed look, then resumed his explanation. “The window sensor triggered the alarm, and when I investigated the matter, I found you looking at verra expensive books, dressed like a cat burglar.”

“Yeah, you do look like a hot and sexy Catwoman,” Phineas clawed at the air. “Meow! Hiss!”

Now she gave Phineas an annoyed look. “These are my workout clothes.” She switched her green-eyed glare to Ian. “And I never heard an alarm.”

“Only Vamps and dogs can hear it.”

“Oh. Which one are you?”

“Snap!” Phineas slapped his leg. “She’s killing you, man.”

“Phineas,” Ian growled. “I’m trying to have a conversation here.” He turned to Toni. “I’m sorry, lass, but this will never work. Ye canna guard a houseful of men. Ye see how Phineas reacts to you.”

“He’s a lot nicer than you are!” Her eyes glinted with anger. “And it’s not my problem if you’re a bunch a sexist pigs. I can do this job, with or without PMS. I beat Phineas earlier, and I would have pinned you down, too, given more time.”

“Lass, ye would never pin me.” He leaned toward her. “I like to be on top.”

Her eyes flashed with green fire.

“Good one!” Phineas shook a fist in the air. “You’re making your comeback, bro. You da man!”

“He’s a pig,” Toni grumbled.

“Oink, oink,” Phineas squeaked.

“Enough, Phineas!” Ian glowered at him. “I can see why ye were murdered young.”

A laugh escaped from Toni, but she quickly squelched it and frowned at him.

She had a sense of humor? It wasn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, but Ian was suddenly taken with the challenge to make her laugh again, or at least, make her smile. Unfortunately, he couldn’t think of anything amusing to say.

He rose to his feet and executed a gallant bow. “I apologize for attacking you. I hope I dinna hurt you.”

Her frown relaxed slightly. “I’m okay.”

He offered a hand to help her up.

She regarded him suspiciously. “You’re not going to tell Connor to fire me, are you? I really can do this job.”

An uneasy feeling settled in his gut. Why on earth would a lovely mortal woman want a job guarding vampires?

The next book in Ms. Sparks’ Love at Stake series is Wild about You coming out November 27th, 2012.  For more information about Kerrelyn Sparks you can go to her website at www.kerrelynsparks.com.  For more about the Love At Stake series you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

Review: Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels Series #4) by Ilona Andrews

This is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series.  I am really enjoying this series.  Its fresh and witty.  I have yet to read the fifth installment, Magic Slays, but can’t wait.

Magic Bleeds begins where the previous book, Magic Strikes, leaves off.  Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta, is expected at Kate’s house for a dinner that he won in a bet.  Kate has everything ready, but no Curran.  After waiting for 3 and a half hours Kate leaves.  Weeks later, Kate is called to a bar where a shapeshifter has been killed and needs to investigate.  Not only was this Were killed, but there was disease all in and around the body.  This is the first of many bodies. Soon the People and the Mercenary Guild are attacked.  This leaves more questions than answers.  She begins to realize that the person doing these killings may be closer to her than she feels comfortable.  So, in between trying to solve the mystery of the people getting killed, the establishments getting attacked and the possible spread of disease, Kate must also cope with Curran’s blatant dismissal and her heartbreak.

This continuation of the Kate Daniels series is excellent.  It propels many different story lines forward and doesn’t leave you hanging.  I would suggest, however, that you read the previous books in the series so that you understand what is going on with the characters and what has brought them to this point.  Ilona Andrews’ does a fine job in expounding upon her characters and allowing for natural growth that some authors would have pushed.  I highly recommend you going out and getting the first book, Magic Bites.  You won’t regret meeting Kate or Curran.

For more information about Magic Bleeds or the Kate Daniels’ series you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other Book retailer.

Weekly Funny Thought

Has this ever happened to you?  I know I have had this happen many times.  Unfortunately there is no sure-fire cure for this.

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