When I found the ancient tomb of the two most powerful vampires in history, I knew I was in for a lot of trouble….
But archaeologists like me, Moira Jameson, are ready for trouble. Okay, maybe not human-species-threatening trouble. Or the kind of trouble that arrives in the form of a sexy werewolf named Drake. Yeah. Werewolf. And I thought ancient curses and walking corpses were a joke. Um…not so much.
’Cause a walking corpse named Karn wants to reveal vampires, and all of parakind, to the humans. And everyone else thinks that’s a bad idea. Then a pyramid mysteriously appears in Broken Heart, Oklahoma, and I’m appointed to get inside, survive booby traps, and awaken two very old, very hungry vampires. Luckily, Drake has my back (and my front). Unfortunately, archaeology sometimes reveals some very nasty surprises. And I’ll have to decide between saving myself…or saving the world.
Moira and her assistant are at a dig when they are attacked by evil vampires when they get too close to opening a sleeping place for ancient vampires. They are saved by the good vampires and some lycans but then have their memories wiped clean. They go on about their lives but unfortunately they are not safe from the evil vamps.
Eventually they’re kidnapped and again saved by the good guys and then taken to Broken Heart. Moira is the key to opening the tomb of the sleeping vampires and she has help from Drake, a lycan who is madly attracted to Moira. Moira feels the same about Drake but she’s not sure what going on. She agrees to help but will the sacrifice mean her life?
The story was a good one with lots of ins and outs and secrets that get revealed. There was definitely enough going on to keep my interest and I liked how the story was laid out. The many different characters that were involved in everything kept the tempo upbeat, fun and fast-paced.
While I liked Moira and Drake my issue was their lack of romance. They just didn’t have any getting-to-know-you time and I think the romance suffered because of this. Their story was meeting, attraction, sex then love. They really didn’t know each other at all and that made me doubt the love confessions which took away from the story, imho.
Overall it was a cute book with fun, snarky characters which I love.
I’m a little behind this week – so sorry. For those of you who know I work at a church all I have to say is that it’s Holy Week. The week before Easter is a incredibly busy week for me and frankly I was so exhausted when I got home last night I couldn’t have written a coherent sentence if I wanted to! Luckily it’s a short week for me since I have Friday off so I’ll have 3 days to recover. :P)
It was a pretty exciting week at the Tracy house last week. My youngest, after 4.5 years, got her black belt in Taekwondo this past Saturday. She did a really great job and I’m just so damned proud of her I could hardly stand it. The test was 4 hours long so after she was done she was almost too exhausted to enjoy it, poor thing. A few months ago she had decided that she wasn’t going to continue after she got her black belt but now that she has it she’s reconsidering so we’ll see what comes next. I put together a video that is made up of various parts of the test so but it’s fun. She actually had to learn Korean terminology and the Korean national anthem for the test, which is on the vid (sorry it’s a bit shakey).
With her main instructors
With the Grand Master
Other than that it was a pretty quiet week so I’ll get on to what I read last week. It may seem like I read a lot but really 6 of these were either shorts or novella’s so that counts as like 1 book, right. 🙂
I started off the week with Six Years by Harlan Coben. This is a mystery about a man and a woman who fall in love and spend 3 glorious months together. Jake knows that this is the real deal – like forever – and he knows Natalie feels the same. Unfortunately after 3 months she breaks up with him and then almost immediately invites him to her wedding to another man. After the ceremony she asks him to respect their marriage and never try to contact her. He promises but after six years he sees an obituary for the guy she married, Todd, and goes to the funeral. Surprise, surprise, the wife that Todd has had for many years, and has teen kids with, isn’t Natalie and Jake is more than confused. He’s never stopped loving Natalie and he won’t give up until he finds out what happened to her. This was a really good book that I just couldn’t put down. I read it in one sitting and I couldn’t figure out what was going on – which I loved. I hate when I figure it all out before the big reveal. Anyway, really good and definitely worth the read if mystery’s are your thing. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 4 out of 5
Next up was Timeslip by Clare London. This is the story about Kevin who has the hots for his more than uptight new boss, Marcus. Kevin is really confused when Marcus starts showing up in his room. Marcus feels real but he can puff out at a moment’s notice. The reasoning behind it all was really quite clever. While the story was pretty short I really loved the whole premise and of course the way Clare wrote it I was completely involved. 4 out of 5
Next up was Light the Fire by JL Merrow. Kurt is sad and alone 2 years after his partner was killed. He gets frustrated by Matt in the gym as he just seems too…out there and perky. Kurt decides to give Matt a chance and things work out. I love Merrow’s stories and this one was no different. I could feel the pain and loneliness that Kurt was feeling, especially when he went to visit Raoul’s grave but I loved seeing him giving life a chance again and it was just a good story. 4 out of 5
Icicle by Natalie Vale was about Sean who has been in a serious relationship with Zack decides that he needs to go and do. He’s not sure what he needs but he’s got the bug and ends it with Zack, and not in a good way. Now it’s 10 months later and he gets caught in a snow storm and is close to death when he gets saved by Ezra. Ezra is a wanderer of sorts himself and he helps Sean see that sometimes home is the place you need to be. Good story with a paranormal aspect to it. 3.75 out of 5
Next was Second Son of a Duke by Gwen Hayes. This is the story of two men who force their siblings to marry. They’re more or less ambushed but they make the most of it. After a horrid wedding night they start to see each other in a different light and end up falling in love. It was a cute story but not real deep. 3 out of 5
Most Likely to Succeed by Kate Davies is the story about Kelsey who was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. Now it’s time for her high school reunion and she’s ashamed and embarrassed because she feels she’s done nothing with her life. Her old friend Nathan is there and while they become lovers he also shows her that taking care of your family is definitely something to be proud of. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5
Let it Be Me by Kate Noble is about Bridget who is an accomplished pianist who would like nothing more than to study with composer Vincenzo Carpenini. After he fails to show in England as she was told she talks her family into a vacation in Venice and goes looking for him. She ends up as his student but only because he’s in a competition to save his own skin. His companion, Oliver Merrick, thinks more of Bridget than he does the music and they end up falling in love. This was a great book. I loved the descriptions of the music and what it portrayed and how it made a person feel. Just a great story. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
My next read was Only Lycans Need Apply by Michele Bardsley. This is the story of Moira who is an archaeologist and has almost discovered the resting place of ancient vampires. She’s interrupted in her dig by Lycans and vampires both good and bad who want what’s in the tomb. Moira finds out she’s a different being than she thought and only she can open the tomb, with help from Lycan, Drake. I found this story to be entertaining and I liked the whole good vs. bad vampire and the adventure of opening the tomb but I thought the romance itself wasn’t much. It was kind of meeting, attraction, sex then love. It happened way to fast, imho and the characters really knew nothing about the other at all. A bit frustrating but the rest was pretty good. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Casual Sex Friday by Evie Kiels was next. Ben and Calvin went out a while back and Ben was bored out of his freaking mind. Now Calvin asks Ben out every Friday and Ben has to repeatedly say an adamant no. Ben thinks he’s got Calvin figured out but when Calvin finds Ben in the park watching a live feed of people having sex on a website. Calvin takes over Ben’s fun from there and Ben sees that there’s a whole other side to Calvin he’d never known existed. This was another cute story with lots of sex and not too much depth…definitely entertaining. 3 out of 5
Semper Fi by Laura B. Cooper and Christopher Cooper was my next read. Hot cover, not so hot book. (I’m gonna just copy and paste what I put on Goodreads): Mattie gets drunk dialed by her boyfriend of 7 1/2 years, Travis, and since they’re in different states he asks if he can screw someone else cuz he’s horny. She says, “hell no” and he says, “we’re done.” She heads to the airport so she can fly to where he is and see him face to face. We get the impression that she’s going to just talk to him to see what’s up but later in the book we find out that she was going to break up with him. She’s stuck at the airport all night because of a storm and meets Logan who is a Marine who is on his way back to his unit after attending his father’s funeral. The two hit it off and talk for hours. Next think you know they’re kissing AND having sex behind the ticket counter at the gate (and getting caught)! Seriously! This scene was so ridiculous I just laughed. She had “heaving breasts” and “raging nipples” and when he looked at her “steam rose from his eyes.” OMG what a crack up! I was a bit perplexed by Mattie’s insistence that Travis not sleep with anyone else and then she’s goes and does it in public with a guy she just met. Double standard or what? Logan falls hard and fast for Mattie but Mattie doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in her life and can’t decide what she wants to do about the two men. The story goes on to deal with Mattie and Travis, Mattie and Logan, Mattie and her family, Logan and the memories and demons he’s dealing with, and it kind of goes off into a weird area with Logan’s dad and his kinky sex habits. It’s a story that had a great idea but it was just written oddly, imho. What started out as a fun romp tried to become too deep and it just didn’t work. 2 out of 5
The Duke’s Tattoo by Miranda Davis is the story of Prudence who was banished by her brother after an incident with the Duke of Ainsworth. Nine years later and she has the man kidnapped, drugged and tattooed but then discovers it’s not the right Duke of Ainsworth. Jem, the current duke wants to get back at the person who did this but when he figures out who it is and then meets her he wants something completely different – her, permanently. But Prudence is an independent woman and isn’t falling into Jem’s arms. The story was cute and I loved the humor and witty banter that Jem and Prudence had going but imho things were dragged out way too much and I found myself wanting things to move along. Prudence on one had was wonderful and the other so incredibly dense I wanted to shake the woman at times. In the end it was a good story and I’m glad I read it. 3 out of 5
Last for the week was Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright. Latent shifter Taryn Warner is the healer of her pack but treated like crap – even by her father – because of her latency. She is approached (in an unorthodox way) by Trey Coleman who wants her to act like his True Mate for 3 months so that he can build an alliance with her father’s pack in order to fight his uncle’s pack. The couple have their issues but they can’t stay away from each other in the bedroom. This doesn’t make things easy as they can be mates but each of their real True Mates died previously. The story is mostly a love story with a great number of incredibly hot sex scenes involved. We got a tortured hero in Trey and a snarky, sarcastic, smart-ass heroine in Taryn and I loved them both. Taryn was awesome. I know a lot of people don’t like the snarky bitch heroine but if done right they are wonderful. Taryn kind of reminded me of Sara Morrighan in Shelly Laurenston’s Pack Challenge (another book I love to pieces) in that she was an alpha female who was underrated and pushed aside for what is thought her handicap, but doesn’t take shit from anyone. Her snappy comebacks to Trey’s grandma (who was a bitch) were wonderful and I laughed each time. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. 4 out of 5
Tormented by nightmares of a woman’s death, Sheriff Taylor Mooreland is shocked to find the woman from his visions chained to an altar in the woods. He barely knows her, but something compels Taylor to protect the mysterious Lenore Whyte no matter what. Even if it means dealing with magic.
And when an investigation into a series of suicides leads Taylor deep into the town’s past, he discovers that the key to saving Lenore and the town of Nevermore may have a surprising connection…
Taylor Mooreland loves the quiet in Nevermore but that’s about to change. He wakes up from a dream about a woman he’s never met and is a bit freaked out. He decides to go on a run and ends up following a talking white raven despite the fact that he thinks he’s losing his freakin mind. He ends up finding a woman next to an altar where it looks like she was about to be sacrificed. When he sees her face he’s a bit freaked out as it ends up that she’s the woman in his dream.
Taylor is transfixed by the woman but since he and the guardian of Nevermore, Gray, are trying to figure out where she came from and what purpose she would serve in being sacrificed he decides he needs to hold off on making his move for a while.
Besides the appearance of Norie, the woman at the altar, there are other strange things going on in Nevermore. Two people who no one thought were depressed have suddenly committed suicide and Taylor can’t figure out why. Then there is the House of Raven investigator who is supposedly looking into someone’s death but everyone knows he’s there for another reason, they just don’t know what that is.
Eventually the story plays out and it turns out that Norie is a being that can either save or destroy the world – with a little help from friends and relatives. While the town and its citizens are trying to save the planet, Taylor is getting more attached to Norie every day and wants nothing more than to make her his forever.
The second book in the Nevermore series was a good one. But let me start off with what I didn’t like about the book. The romance – there wasn’t one. Taylor and Norie felt completely attracted to each other and yes, felt like they should be together. It was probably a fated mate kind of thing but it was so undeveloped as to practically be non-existent. They claimed to themselves the love they felt for the other but being in constant contact, having feelings of lust and actually liking the other person does not a love story make. I was quite disappointed in this aspect of the book as I know that Bardsley can write some fun, funny and touching love stories.
The rest of the book was kind of a paranormal fantasy/investigation story which I actually liked. The whole issue with who Norie was, why she was in town, and what she had to do with all the other players in the book was great. I thought that the world that Bardsley written is fascinating. She’s not afraid to kill people off and I think that adds to the whole of the fantasy world. I have to admit I’m a bit peeved that we were kind of left on a cliff about a couple of aspects of the story but whatcha gonna do, right?
I’ll definitely be reading more in the Nevermore series and hopefully the next book will have a great romance as well as all the other good stuff.
On Wednesday RWA had their Literacy Signing and it was HUGE. Seriously. There were so many authors there and the ballroom was massive. I loved that the authors were given so much space to work but man, trekking that thing was exhausting. lol I got to meet and talk to a lot of great authors and get pictures with some of them. I had a handy sheet with all the authors and the table layouts and I STILL managed to miss some of the authors I wanted to talk to. Pooh. But here are some pics I got:
LB Gregg – Always beautiful with a wonderful smile on her face!
HelenKay Dimon – Such a cutie
Holly, Jodi Thomas and moi. Jodi is so very sweet and I loved listening to her accent.
Kira Brady – Haven’t seen her in years (since SF RWA). Love the hair!
Julie Anne Long – OMG total fan girl moment. I tried not to make a complete fool of myself but it wasn’t easy.
Sabrina Jeffries – Sweet and funny – she was cracking me up
Jessica Scott – So good to finally meet her after emailing back and forth. She’s adorable.
Elizabeth Hoyt – Another total fan girl gush over Elizabeth. Yes, it was embarrassing.
Sarah MacLean – We saw her right after she had her own meltdown over meeting Linda Howard. 🙂
On Friday I drove back down to RWA (after taking Thursday to recover) and the So Cal Bloggers had lunch with Thea Harrison and her agent, Amy Boggs. We had a great time talking about Thea’s books, paranormal reads in general, books that we were looking forward to releasing and just lots of great stuff. Julie James popped by near the end and we all managed to get a picture together.
I loved just hanging with my buds. I love talking books and family and just “being.” That’s almost the best part of these things.
Wendy & LB Gregg
Rosie and her drink (ok, it was only a Pellegrino)
Rowena, Holly and I had lunch with Julie James on Saturday and then dinner with Carina editor Mallory Braus and Vivian Arend. OMG talk about a roaring good time. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a darn long time. Vivian kept Rowena and I in stitches, lemme tell ya.
Me, Holly, Mallory Braus, Vivian Arend & Rowena
I of course got to see all of my wonderful blogging friends, Renee, Rowena, Holly, Rosie, Wendy and honorary So Cal blogger, Lisabea aka LB Gregg and I met new ones as well. Overall it was a really fun time and I’m so glad I went. Next year I think I’ll have to save my money and register for the conference, I think it will be worth it.
Wendy, Rosie and LB dressed to kill for the RITA’s.
While everyone was at the RITA’s, Holly Rowena and I went back up to our room where Rosie texted us to the minute info on the RITA winners (she’s such a giver, that Rosie). Somehow Holly and Wena got on a conversation about multiple partners and they started telling me about Coulter’s Woman by Maya Banks and how the men were all brothers. Now, the girls ask me, when said brothers are all doing their woman at the same time, wouldn’t one brother be tea-bagging another? And then went on to describe positioning, etc. I played dumb and they decided to reenact the scene for me, how gracious of them. Wena’s the woman, Holly is 1 brother, the pillow is another and well, the invisible one is behind Wena. Do you see the pillow tea-bagging? I gotta hand it to them, they did a fine job showing instead of telling. lolol
Wena and Holly and their teabaggin scene.
Because of all this wonderful fun I had I didn’t get much reading done but it was all good.
I started the week with Return of the Viscount by Gayle Callen. This was the story of a woman who marries an old friend of her father’s by proxy as she’s in England and he’s in India. She never thinks to see him and frankly thinks he’ll be dead soon as he’s old. Yeah, he’s not old and he shows up on her doorstep. You can read my full review here but it was a really good story. 4 out of 5
Next was Now or Never by Michele Bardsley. This is the second book in the Wizards of Nevermore series and while it was a great paranormal it had basically no romance to speak of. Yes the hero and heroine were drawn to each other and it was made to read at the end like they would be together but really, no romance. Bummer. The story of the House of Ravens trying to take over the world was really good though and that saved the book. I read this for Book Binge. 3.5 out of 5
The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe by Sabrina Darby was a short historical novella having to do with an actress and courtesan who is hired by a man’s mother to bring him out of his war induced shell. I’ll post my review for this one tomorrow.
Last for the week was Men of Smithfield: Mark & Tony by LB Gregg (previously released as Gobsmacked). Yes, the Men of Smithfield are being re-released by Carina Press and this first book comes out next Monday. I’ll post my review of this one this week.
Well that’s it for the week. I KNOW not a lot of books but it’s hard to read when you’re having so much fun! 🙂
Since the moment Damien showed up-gloriously naked-Kelsey Morningstone has been having a hard time keeping her relationship with the clinic’s latest amnesiac patient strictly professional. Even with her empathy abilities Kelsey’s not sure she can get past Damien’s anger to find the cause of his delusions. After all, falling for a patient is bad enough, but falling for a patient who thinks he’s a werewolf is a whole other kind of crazy…
Kelsey Morningstone doesn’t feel like she’s quite qualified to run an entire clinic, especially with the background she’s had but she’s doing it anyway. Of course seeing one’s patients pace naked in their cells makes for quite a nice diversion. She’s pretty impressed with the new guy’s physique but after finding out that he things he’s a werewolf she’s not sure what to think. It doesn’t stop her from going to him thought and he draws her like no one else she’s ever met.
When he breaks from his apartment to seek her out and then bites her to claim her she’s not sure what to think. After she awakens from a bout of what she thinks is the flu she’s ready to break free of the clinic and break Damien the I-think-I’m-a-werewolf guy out as well.
Damien ends up saving Kelsey instead of the other way around. He ends up taking her to Broken Heart to protect her from her boss at the clinic who also wanted to claim her. The problem is is that when Damien bit Kelsey he started the change in her – which has never happened before – werewolves are born, not made. Yet Kelsey’s boss injected her with something that is fighting the change and no one knows if she’s survive or not. There are things that can be done to save Kelsey’s life but neither Damien nor Kelsey are sure that they can be accomplished in enough time to save her life.
Let me start with Damien and Kelsey’s relationship. I really liked them together. They had a great chemistry and Damien seemed that he was a more light-hearted person when he was with her. He tended to keep people at arm’s length and I loved how Kelsey just flat out told him that he couldn’t be “statue man” with her. He just had to come clean with his thoughts and feelings.
The other parts of the book were darker than previous Broken Heart books I’ve read. There were new prophesies that had to be dealt with and the issue of Damien and his brother’s birth and coming clean about who his parents were. We also were privy to Kelsey’s volatile relationship with her mother and frankly I wasn’t too impressed with it. I felt that it was not a part of the book that furthered the story and I wasn’t sure why it was brought up. Yes, Kelsey had a history with her mother that was bad but furthering the bad blood didn’t do anything for me. There was definitely humor in the story as we’re used to from Bardsley but not quite as much.
Overall it was a good story and worth reading, especially if you’ve been reading the whole series. Hopefully we’ll get to hear more about Drake and Darrius (Damien’s brothers) in future books.