Guest Review: Lord of the Runes by Sabrina Jarema

Posted October 28, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Lord of the Runes by Sabrina JaremaReviewer: Tracy
Lord of the Runes by Sabrina Jarema
Series: Viking Lords #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Vikings, Historical, Romance
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Following his father’s murder, Eirik Ivarson plunges into a maelstrom of brutal warfare. As outsiders threaten his homeland and all he holds dear, Eirik vows to maintain his focus and avenge the jarl’s death. In his quest for revenge, he will leave everything behind, all he knows, and all he loves.

Asa Sigrundsdottir, a spirited shieldmaiden with warm brown eyes, is wary of the golden-haired warrior discovered half-frozen in a storm. It is clear Eirik is a man of valor, bestowed with the gift of reading runes and destined for greatness. And despite the shadows in her past, he chooses her to help him on his journey. But when their bond is tested, it will take the strength of a hero to keep their love alive . . .

Eirik Ivarson is just back from the raiding season and has been celebrating.  Unfortunately he passes out and doesn’t hear the attack on his village right away.  A group of outcasts have attacked and are taking over the village.  Eirik sees his father die and Eirik almost dies as well when he’s pulled over a cliff.  He survives but knows he needs help.  He tries to go to his cousin’s place which is far away to get assistance but during a blizzard he almost freezes to death.  He is saved by people in a village and given shelter.  He doesn’t tell them who he is as he doesn’t trust them right away.  They don’t trust him either. He ends up having to stay the winter as the storms are too fierce to travel in.  He falls in love with Asa Sigrundsdottir who is a shieldmaiden but Asa has some issues in her past that cause her to shy from men.  Eirik is determined to free her from her fears so that they can be together but there are many more obstacles in their way then just fear and they must conquer all of them in order to be together.

I love a good Viking romance but haven’t read one in a while.  I also have a set of runes (somewhere) that I used to love to play with way back when so when I saw the title of the book I had to grab it.  I’m so happy I did as it was a good one.

Eirik is a good man who is trying to save his village.  His mother and sister are still in the village so he wants to make sure they are safe as well.  He’s frustrated that he can’t get to his cousin’s place but it ends up being a life changer when he falls for Asa.  He’s very calm and quiet with her and as big as he is she still learns to trust him and his touch.  She learns to grow and deal with her issues with Eirik’s help and realizes that she can be the true shieldmaiden she’s always dreamed of being.

Between the fighting, the love story, the rune casting and the magic in this book I couldn’t help but enjoy it.  It’s not a typical romance as Viking love stories never are, imho, but if you like them as much as I do then this one would be one that you shouldn’t miss.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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Blog Tour: LOVERS AND NEWCOMERS by Rosie Thomas

Posted October 27, 2016 by Casee in Promotions | 0 Comments


Lovers and Newcomers by Rosie Thomas
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Overlook Press
Genres: Romance

Miranda Meadowe decides a lonely widowhood in her crumbling country house is not for her. Reviving a university dream, she invites five of her oldest friends to come and join her to live, and to stave off the prospect of old age. All have their own reasons for accepting. To begin with, the omens are good. They laugh, dance, drink and behave badly, as they cling to the heritage they thought was theirs for ever: power, health, stability. They are the baby boomers; the world is theirs to change. But as old attractions resurface alongside new tensions, they discover that the clock can’t be put back. When building work reveals an Iron Age burial site of a tribal queen, the outside world descends on their idyllic retreat, and the isolation of the group is breached. The past is revealed – and the future that beckons is very different from the one they imagined.


The last few days of October trickled away, the nights lengthening dramatically and the light even at midday seeming as grey and filmy as old cobwebs. Rooks noisily debated in the bare trees.

The police withdrew from the site, leaving a sea of mud. The archaeologists returned and sadly picked over what remained. Another handful of coins was uncovered, fused amongst the frag- ments of the earthenware jar that had once contained them, but the meagreness of this remaining hoard only emphasized the imag- ined lustre of what was missing.

Katherine was in her office in London when Chris called her. He was in London too, he told her, showing the torc and the shield to interested experts. They agreed to meet for dinner that evening in an Italian restaurant. She shielded the phone handset as they spoke, conscious of her colleagues at the adjacent desks, surprised to find herself making these furtive arrangements even though she had longed for his call.

She hurried home first, to the small flat in Bloomsbury she and Amos had bought as a pied-à-terre following the move to Mead. She stood for a long time looking at herself in the bathroom mirror, won- dering how a woman in the second half of her fifties prepared for an evening like this one. Her dating days had been short-lived, and were decades in the past. Her drawers and cupboards contained what now looked like expensive camouflage – clothes to conceal ripples and bulges, to present a modest face to the world, to hide within. Plenty of taupe and black. Nothing gaudy or flamboyant or, God forbid, sexy. For a moment she played with the idea of calling Miranda for advice. But she already knew what Miranda would say.

‘No, K, not a little black dress. Much too obvious.’

She opened her lingerie drawer, then catching on to the subtext of her own imagining she slammed it shut again with her cheeks burning. This was all racing ahead of her, too fast, too eagerly. She should call him now and cancel. Definitely. She looked for her mo- bile. Hesitating, with the phone in her hand, she thought a little harder.

It was unlikely that Chris would take very precise note of what she was wearing, given that he didn’t seem to worry too much about his own clothes (North Face). It was only a dinner, and no promises had been made. Underwear was not yet and might never be relevant, so the absence of Agent Provocateur was not a crucial factor.

Besides, whatever she wore it would not make her beautiful, or sexy. Clothes were just clothing. She felt sexy tonight, therefore she was. This last wanton thought made her smile, an unaccustomed slow beat of private amusement.

She put on scent, trousers, heels, a cashmere sweater. She was just doing up her coat (camel, MaxMara) when her phone rang. She reached for it. It would be him, of course. She hadn’t changed her mind; he had.

‘Hi, Mum.’

It was Sam, her elder son. He was the one who resembled her, whereas Toby took after Amos. She was close to both her boys, but they seemed lately to have floated off into a universe of work, peopled by friends she had never met, and subcultures and private languages that in no way touched on the family world.

‘Dad told me you’re down here. I thought you might like a drink or the cinema?’

‘I would have done. But I’m having dinner with a friend.’ ‘Where are you meeting her?’

An obvious assumption. Katherine thought quickly. She’d better not mention the restaurant in case Sam breezily suggested looking in on them. Her mind went blank of any other of a million possible venues.


She mumbled that they were meeting first at the British Museum (this coming to mind because Chris had told her it was where he would be this afternoon), and then they planned to find somewhere nearby.

‘Are you all right?’ Sam asked, after a pause. It had been one tiny lie, but delivered with massive ineptitude. She was no good at this, she realized.

‘Of course I am. Just in a hurry, darling. Shall I call you tomor- row?’ She was on her way. Katherine finished doing up her coat, walked out into the street and hailed a taxi. She felt that she might as well have been wearing a sign around her neck. A Woman on the Brink of Adultery.

Rosie Thomas is the author of Lovers and Newcomers, from which this text was excerpted. Copyright © 2010 by Rosie Thomas. Published in 2016 by The Overlook Press, Peter Mayer Publishers Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the Author


Rosie Thomas


Rosie Thomas was born and grew up in a small village in north Wales.

After winning a scholarship, she became a boarder at Howell’s School. The school had a strong tradition of music and games, but unfortunately Rosie had no aptitude for hockey and no enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan choruses. She found the library instead … and read, and read. To feel an outsider and to be immersed in books was the ideal apprenticeship for a writer.

Rosie read English at St Hilda’s College Oxford, and for the first time in her life felt that she was in the right place at the right time. She still feels a debt to the remarkable women who taught her, and who encouraged her to think for herself.

After a few years of working in women’s magazines and for a publisher, and by now married to a literary agent, Rosie found herself at home with a new baby son and no job. To write a novel seemed the more promising of the options open to her.

Her first book was published in 1982, shortly after the birth of her daughter. She has been writing full time ever since, and that first novel has been followed by a score of others.

Rosie lives and writes in London, but she is also a keen traveller, mountaineer and skier. Among many adventures she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, trekked in Pakistan, Ladakh and Bhutan, followed the Silk Route through Asia, worked on a research station in Antarctica, sailed the Atlantic, explored in Chile, and competed in a classic car rally from Peking to Paris. Most recently she has sailed the southern ocean from Falklands to South Georgia and then crossed the island in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Rosie believes now that her travelling and writing are interdependent, and that one informs and enables the other.

All along the road there are stories, waiting to be told.

Among her other interests, Rosie has been a Trustee of the London Library and of the facial reconstruction charity Saving Faces. She has chaired the Betty Trask Prize.

Her work has twice been awarded the Romantic Novel the Year, and recently The Kashmir Shawl won the epic category of the prize.

She is currently at work on a new book.

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Guest Review: Immortal Defender by Lisa Hendrix

Posted October 27, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Immortal Defender by Lisa HendrixReviewer: Tracy
Immortal Defender by Lisa Hendrix
Series: Immortal Brotherhood #4
Published by Berkley, InterMix
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Medieval, Magic, Paranormal
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Return to the realm of the Immortal Brotherhood with a new paranormal romantic adventure featuring a crew of Viking warriors condemned to live out eternity as were-creatures...

In her Defender's strong arms, she has no defense...

Part of a band of Viking warriors cursed by an evil sorceress, Torvald has searched for years for a magic that can free him from his fate—to live forever as a were-creature, a man by night, a stallion by day. While studying with the alchemist to Queen Elizabeth, Torvald meets the lovely widow Josian Delamere and hopes she might be the one woman who can save him.

Unwilling to give up the independence of her widowhood, Josian expects to become merely lovers, but Torvald's tender seductions make her yearn for more. Just as she’s poised to surrender her heart, a hidden enemy reveals Torvald’s secret to her—and she flees the dark magic that surrounds him, in fear for her very soul.

The proud warrior can win any battle, but he cannot surmount the pain of losing Josian. Yet when her life is threatened, he will risk it all to come to the defense of the one woman who means more to him than his own salvation...

Torvald is a Viking warrior who was cursed long ago, alone with many others, to live a life of half man, half stallion.  By day he is man but when the sun sets he turns into a white stallion.

He is in London staying with a friend when he meets Josian Delamere.  They find a mutual desire in each other and some months later he heads to her home and they begin a tryst.  Unfortunately, not long after they begin Josian comes across Torvald and his friend Ari at sunset and sees Torvald turn into a stallion and Ari turn from a raven to a man.  She leaves her home and runs to her family’s estate.

Her brother-in-law is losing his mind and he decides to head to London to spout his ravings about the queen and his disloyalty to her.  Of course if one of the family is disloyal that means the entire family is disloyal as well, right?  So the entire family gets hauled off to the Tower – including Josian as she was staying with them.

Torvald feels responsible for her being there but he also finds himself falling for her. He works to get her freed from the Tower but once he does Josian is determined to find the papers that will prove the rest of her family is innocent of any wrong-doing and is loyal to the crown.  Torvald, Ari and two other cursed Vikings all help Josian in her quest and while they are together Josian finds herself falling in love with Torvald.  Could she be the woman who could break his curse?

I have to say I waited a darned long time for this fourth book in the Immortal Brotherhood series.  It’s been five years since book 3 was released but I really liked the series back then so thought I’d give this one a shot.  It was hard to remember all of the characters but I soon got into the story.  The first part of the book was slow for me.  I picked it up and put it down several times until I finally got into it – so be warned.

Torvald was a great hero.  He was strong and caring, conscientious and protective.  When Josian first sees Torvald changing she thinks he’s a demon and continues with her disdain through a goodly portion of the book.  I didn’t care for that but it didn’t sway Torvald or his feelings toward her.  He just did his best to help – not matter how Josian felt about him personally.

Josian was a bit much to take at some points in the book.  It was hard for her to deal with the whole changing thing but once she saw how her cousin dealt easily with the changes she opened herself to hearing what the men really were.  Imho that took too long into the story as I would have loved to have seen Torvald and Josian together for longer but that didn’t happen.

Overall it was a good story and definitely was interesting once Josian and her family were arrested.  I will definitely be reading the next in this series as I like the concept so much.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years. 😉

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Blog Tour: Of Flame and Light by Cecy Robson

Posted October 26, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment


Of Flame and Light by Cecy Robson is the seventh book in her Weird Girls series and we’re pretty stoked to be featuring this book on the blog today. Check it out!

Of Flame and Light by Cecy Robson
Series: Weird Girls #7
Release Date: October 24, 2016
Publisher: Cecy Robson
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightning. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran’s insecurities have driven them apart.

Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative.

The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don’t come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered.

Yet Taran must learn and learn fast. Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive . . .

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Son of a bitch.

I groan as I roll onto my back. I’d like to say this is the first time I’ve been knocked unconscious. I’d also like to say my boobs are the same size, but hey, such is my life.

Dirt. All I sense is that and dank heaviness that accompanies a . . . cave? Through the fog taking up residency along my brain, I make out a dim glow. It takes me a moment to realize it’s coming from my light-saber arm. I push up on my hands, grimacing when my fingers sink into the soil. Yet it’s what I see when I glance up that has me scrambling to my feet.

A lonely hand scuttles by me, chasing after a rat. Oh, but it gets better. I press my back against a dirt wall as a foot hops by, chasing after the hand, that’s chasing after the rat, with a decapitated head rolling —I shit you not—merrily behind them.

It’s like some kind of fucked up nursery rhyme. I don’t want to know the next verse, especially not with the collection of zombies gathering from all sides. These are different from the ones who pulled us onto shore. Their grisly faces are more emaciated and their bodies are in a more advance stage of decomposing. As they shuffle toward me, pieces of their skin fall in small moist clumps.

I hold out my hand. “Stay back.”

They collectively moan.

And move closer.

I grit my teeth, summoning that spark from deep in my core. The dank air seems to enclose around me, giving me a chill and snuffing out my inner heat.

Shit, shit, shit.

On wobbly legs, I slide my back against the dirt wall, my hands out. The zombies gather closer, cocking their heads, their empty sockets mesmerized by the glow of my arm. At first, I think they’re simply curious. But then their short thick tongues push forward, appearing to lick what’s left of their lips.

I jump when another hand scrambles by, its pinky brushing against my foot. My back presses against the dirt wall as I slide against it. I’m not sure where to go. I only know I can’t stay here.

I bang my fists against the wall, trying to stimulate my fire. My left hand doesn’t react, tensing uselessly. But that spark I so need triggers from my right arm, igniting flames along the path of my blue veins only to putter out.

Come on, light.



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About the Author


Cesy Robson


Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is the new adult and contemporary romance author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels, and the Carolina Beach series, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA® finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

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Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Posted October 26, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #9
Also in this series: Angels' Blood, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Angels' Blood
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

One of the hardest reviews to write is for a book that you absolutely loved. It’s being tongue-tied, not knowing where to start, not knowing when to shut up, just not knowing. Here’s my review:

Amazing. Freaking amazing.

Okay, that’s not all of it. Bear with me as I try to give this book the review it deserves.

In Archangel’s Heart, we get back to the heart of the series: Elena and Raphael. Although they are prevalent in each book, I love when Elena and Raphael are the main characters. They are what this series is about.

Since the day of Raphael’s battle with Lijuan and her subsequent retreat, no one, vampire or angel has witnessed her presence. It is for that reason that the Cadre of Ten are called to session by the one group that has the authority to do so: the Luminata. A governing body of their own, the Luminata only seek one thing. Luminescence. Think of monks seeking solitude from the world. The same is so of the Luminata. As there have never been more than ten archangels’ active in the world at once, the Luminata wish for the Cadre to decide what to do with Lijuan’s territories as well decide if she is Asleep or dead.

As Raphael’s Consort, Elena is to escort him to Lumia which is outside Morocco. Morocco is the city of her ancestors and Elena is more than pleased to accompany Raphael. Both of them are aware that Elena has a vampire in her ancestral line and Elena hopes to find answers in Morocco.

She finds much more than she expects in the place that she least expects. Lumia. At first Elena brushes her instincts off. Then she hears the whispers than can be about no one but her. That’s when she knows that she’s found the place where she can get answers about her mother’s past. She also knows that Lumia isn’t what it seems, nor is The Luminata what he seems. The Luminata is the angel in charge of all Lumia; an angel that looks at Elena in a way that displeases Raphael greatly. And no one likes a displeased Raphael (except me—I always like to see what he will do next).

We have always known about Elena’s past, but never much of her mother. In Archangel’s Heart we get glimpses of the good times Elena had with her mother and her sister. Elena’s mother loved her family deeply and without reservation. Her death shaped Elena into the hunter that she became and Raphael’s love is shaping her into the angel is now. Elena is truly my favorite heroine (yes, even over Eve Dallas).

As always, which each book we get more insight into Elena and Raphael’s relationship. With the Cascade beginning again, Elena grounds Raphael. She keeps him from becoming other, where no one and nothing can touch him. Not even Elena.

Elena and Raphael are epic. There is no other way to describe them. I always want more.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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