Tag: D.B. Reynolds

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Raphael by D.B. Reynolds

Posted August 15, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Raphael by D.B. ReynoldsReviewer: Holly
Raphael (Vampires in America, #1) by D.B. Reynolds
Series: Vampires in America #1
Publisher: Imajinn Books
Publication Date: April 15, 2009
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 248
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Series Rating: one-star

Malibu, California-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.

Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he'd give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it's too late.

Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who's tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn's happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.

Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.

For our Summer Reading Challenge, Casee, Rowena and I chose 5 books for the others to read. We tried to choose books we thought the others would enjoy, though they may not have chosen to read them on their own. Or I did, anyway. I don’t know what Casee was thinking. I did’t care for Raphael at all. Why Casee thought I’d enjoy it is beyond me. 1) It features vampires, which I hate. 2) It ends in a cliffhanger, which I hate. 3) Did I mention the vampires? Ugh.

Raphael is the Vampire Lord of the United States. Though thousands have pledged their loyalty to him, he’s still betrayed and the one who means more to him than anyone else in kidnapped. Since humans helped with the kidnapping, Raphael engages of the services of PI Cynthia Leighton. She’s a former LAPD officer who once saved a vampire. Since then she’s often given cases they need help solving. This one is more dangerous than most, but Cyn is up for the challenge. Or so she thinks. Until she realizes she’s majorly attracted to Raphael. Since nothing good can come of that, she determines to focus on the case and nothing else. The problem? Raphael is attracted to her, too. And he doesn’t want to ignore what’s between them.

Here’s the thing. Cyn was an idiot. Right from the beginning she made questionable choices, ignored her instincts and threw common sense right out the window. Multiple times throughout the book she does and says things that make no sense, put herself or others in danger, or are, in general, ridiculous. I didn’t understand her motivations or her thought process, which made it really hard to connect with her. There’s literally a point in the book where she’s like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “This is a really bad idea. I shouldn’t do this. It’s not safe and none of the things are adding up. But eh..I’m just going to do it anyway. It’ll probably be fine.” Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t fine.

Also? This book features one of my biggest pet peeves in Romantic Suspense. Now, before I go on I want to say that I’m more forgiving of PNR than straight RS, because we’re dealing with fantasy elements, you know? Vampires don’t really exist, so of course I can’t hold the actions of the characters to the same standards I would a straight contemporary. But either way, the MCs having sex in the middle of a dangerous situation? Totally kills it for me. In this case, they’re in the middle of a shootout in a warehouse. Raphael partially rips a dude’s arm off. While he’s crawling around on the floor in the actual room, they start having sex. Right there. In front of dude half missing an arm. With dead bodies littered throughout. WTAF?!?! No. Just no.

Added to that, the writing is pretty choppy. So many times they’d be talking about something and then, mid-paragraph, switch gears. It made for an awkward reading experience. I didn’t understand why Raphael wanted her, or why he acted the way he did with her. His reactions seemed so out of context.

To add insult to injury, the book ended on a cliffhanger. Between the choppy writing, ridiculous actions of both the hero and heroine and the cliffhanger, this was a complete chore to get through. I love Casee like whoa, but this was a major fail.

1 out of 5

Vampires in America


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Sunday Spotlight: The Stone Warriors: Kato by D.B. Reynolds

Posted July 2, 2017 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I discovered D.B. Reynolds a few months ago and have been devouring her books ever since. The first book I read by D.B. was The Stone Warriors: Damian. I’ve also read her Vampires in America series. One of the parts I liked best about The Stone Warriors: Damian was Damian’s relationship with Nico. They are truly brothers and their bond just pours off the pages. The time that Damian and his fellow warriors have spent in stone is about to come to an end and I can’t wait to see where this series heads to next.

The Stone Warriors: Kato by D.B. Reynolds
Series: The Stone Warriors
Also in this Series: The Stone Warriors: Damian
Genres: Paranormal
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Publisher: ImaJinn Books

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until…

Kato Amadi…born of darkest sorcery, unstoppable on the battlefield, his magic is as deadly as his blade. But not even magic could save him from vicious betrayal. Trapped for millennia in darkness and silence, he is freed at last, only to find himself in the middle of a battle against the very beasts of hell he was created to destroy.

Grace Van Allen is a scholar of ancient languages who toils in the dim recesses of a museum basement with only a beautiful stone warrior to keep her company. But when Grace calls upon her silent warrior to help her translate an obscure new language, she breaks the ancient curse holding him prisoner…and frees three deadly demons to rampage through her city.

Tracking demons is what Kato was born to do, but he’ll need Grace’s help. And when they discover that Kato’s enemy is still alive and still plotting against him, their hunt takes a dangerous turn, one that might just prove fatal for both of them…

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The curse buzzed angrily, a searing heat against his skin. The damn thing didn’t want to release him, but it was bound by the words Sotiris had spoken so long ago. Words designed to keep him locked away forever. But words change their meaning with the passage of time, and the Fates will always play their games.

Long-unused muscle and sinew flexed and burned, as his heart pumped fresh blood to storm through arteries and veins, pulsing thick and strong. It was a welcome agony, but an agony nonetheless. His gaze was drawn to a distraction, the woman. She was lovely. Tall and lithe, with flowing blond hair and eyes that were so pale a blue, they appeared silver if the light struck just right. Her skin was as smooth as that of the wealthy women of his time, the ones who’d been happy to climb into his bed, but had spurned him by the light of day. He was the dumb one, all muscle and no brain. At least that’s what everyone had thought of him.

Or not everyone. There’d been his brothers, fellow warriors who’d fought and laughed by his side. And their leader, Nicodemus. He’d been the one who brought the four of them together, made them a force like the world had never seen. No one had stood before them.

But their very skill and courage had been their downfall, because men always want what they can’t have, the very things that Nico and his warriors had stood to protect. And those same weak and greedy men have ever been drawn to evil leaders who promise the world but deliver only pain.
Grace threw her pencil down with a frustrated noise, drawing Kato’s attention once more. He focused abruptly on what she’d been writing, and fear drove his heart to work harder, to flood his muscles with blood, his nerves with energy. He needed to stop her. She could not be permitted to finish that scroll. To activate the curse it contained would be . . .

His prison split open with a thundering crack that numbed his ears. But he didn’t need his ears. Not for this. His hand clenched on his sword, his fingers stroking the grip like the first touch of a lover, remembering every rough inch of the leather wrap. He staggered as the last bit of stone fell to dust, but his warrior’s body responded instinctively, balancing with ease, his gaze never wavering from the target.

He strode down the long length of the dark room, blade raised high. Grace was on her feet, pale eyes wide with fear, her mouth open in a silent scream of shock, a scream that found its voice as the tip of his black blade came down and pierced the scroll she’d been copying . . . a fraction of a second too late.

YES. Doesn’t it sound amazing? You really need to read this series if you are a paranormal person. And even if you’re not.

The Stone Warriors

Giveaway Alert

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

D. B. Reynolds is the RT and EPIC Award-Winning author of the popular Vampires in America series of Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She holds graduate degrees in international relations and history from UCLA, and was headed for a career in academia when, in a moment of clarity, she left behind the politics of the hallowed halls for the better paying politics of Hollywood. In addition to her two Emmy nominations, D.B. was awarded an MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) Golden Reel and multiple MPSE nominations for her work in television sound.

She lives in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at www.dbreynolds.com for details on all her books, for free stories and more.

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