Genre: Paranormal Romance

Sunday Spotlight: Dark Song by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted August 30, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 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: Dark Song by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)Dark Song by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark #34
Also in this series: Dark Illusion
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Two Carpathians find hope in the bond that ties their souls in this passionate novel in Christine Feehan's #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Stolen from her home at a young age and tormented for centuries, Elisabeta Trigovise is scared to show herself to anyone. Even though she has been rescued and is now safe within the Carpathian compound, she has lived in fear for so long she has no idea how to survive without it. She wants to answer the siren call of her lifemate--but the very thought terrifies her.

Before he found Elisabeta, Ferro Arany was an ancient warrior without emotion. Now that his senses have come alive, he knows it will take more than kind words and soft touches to convince the fractured woman that they are partners, not master and prisoner. For now, he will give her his strength until she finds hers, allowing the steady rhythm of his heart to soothe Elisabeta's fragile soul.

But even as she learns to stand on her own, the vampire who kept her captive is desperate to claim her again, threatening the song Elisabeta and Ferro are writing together.

Excerpt

Elisabeta huddled into herself, retreating further and further into her mind. She seemed light, almost insubstantial in his arms. He knew immediately it had been a mistake to have her be present for the discussion on how Sergey might have accomplished reaching out to her while she was safeguarded in the healing grounds. There had been an attack on her once, using one of the children. Now, it seemed, there had to be a second breach in security.

Talk with Julija and pay no attention to those coming to discuss this security matter, Ferro advised his lifemate as gently as possible.

He didn’t want to draw any more attention than necessary to his very frightened woman. She had curled up so small in his lap that he doubted she was barely visible in the dim lighting of the room, although all Carpathians could easily see in the dark. If her trembling got any worse, he feared she might really shake apart.

He kept his hand curled around the nape of her neck and his gaze fixed on Tariq, as if he wasn’t in the least concerned with his lifemate huddling on his lap. His fingers gently massaged in an attempt to ease the tension out of her. He knew that Elisabeta hadn’t been exposed to so many people in centuries. It had to be a terrifying experience for her. This rising was proving to be far worse than he had expected for her.

Seven men had come with Tariq. Ferro knew they had come as guards because he was considered dangerous and he had never sworn his allegiance to the reigning prince. Tomas, Matias and Lojos, the triplets always together and had been for centuries, had been sent by the prince to help guard Tariq whether the man wanted it or not. They took their job very seriously. Ferro knew they were a force to be reckoned with.

The seventh man who had come to protect Tariq Asenguard was Afanasiv Balan. Most of the Carpathians simply called him Siv. Like the brethren, he was a true ancient and he was considered extremely dangerous. He had thick, long blond hair and strange eyes that by turns could be green or blue. More than once, Siv had sought respite in the monastery when demons had been too close, but he left to hunt vampires and eventually ended up in the United States, guarding Tariq. He had the creed of the ancients inked onto his back, just as the brethren did. If he turned on them, he would be forever branded a traitor among them. Ferro had no idea whether or not he had sworn allegiance to the prince.

“After what you’ve told us,” Tariq said, his voice soft but carrying, “there is very little choice but to have our healer examine Elisabeta for signs Sergey has left behind that would allow him access to her.”

Ferro had known the moment he revealed to the others that Sergey had tormented Elisabeta even while she was in the protected, sacred healing grounds until Ferro had woven his own safeguards for her, that Tariq would insist that she be subjected to their examination. He didn’t blame them. There were children to protect. All along, many had speculated that she could have been used as a spy by the master vampire. Even his own brethren had considered the possibility. He also knew Gary wanted to examine her. He just didn’t know why.

Elisabeta heard Tariq’s soft declaration and her instant rejection was immediate and visceral. She made no sound but he knew if she could have run, she would have. The thought of strangers violating her mind, seeing the cruelties Sergey had subjected her to over the centuries, was humiliating to her. She was Ferro’s lifemate. Already, she felt she was embarrassing him by not being a warrior woman, a fitting mate for a man like him. To have the others see what the master vampire had done to her, keeping her in a cage, forcing her to beg him for everything—it was too much for her to bear.

Dark Series

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: August 2020

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 Christine Feehan

I live on the beautiful Northern California coast and draw much inspiration from the beauty around me. I've always been a writer, for as long as I remember. My sisters were forced to read all of my books from the time I could write a story on paper.

I love family. I love my brothers and sisters, my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. My home was always full of kids and children give me so much joy.

I also love my "sisters of the heart", those friends who have supported me through my life, laughed with me, cried with me and loved me regardless of how crazy my life got. I am a strong supporter of women helping each other which is why I became a third degree black belt and taught self-defense to women who'd been abused.

I love people and dogs, good books and great coffee and I'm lucky to know just how blessed I am.


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Throwback Thursday Review: Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan

Posted August 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Dangerous Tides by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan
Series: Drake Sisters #4
Also in this series: Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Hidden Currents
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 354
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

With her sensual blend of paranormal romance and breathless suspense, New York Times bestselling author “Christine Feehan boldly goes where no writer has ever gone”*. Now she introduces Libby Drake, of the magical Drake sisters—each mysterious, gifted, and enchanted by prophecies of love…
Dr. Libby Drake is sensible and practical. To her more adventurous sisters, she’s always been the “good girl”. Certainly not the kind to attract the attention of a genius like Ty Derrick—until a tragic accident leaves the handsome biochemist at her mercy.
Acting on her uncanny ability to heal, she stirs in the reawakened Ty his own long-suppressed desires for the woman who saved his life. But he’s not the only man with designs on Libby Drake. Her miraculous and selfless power has also captured the attention of a dangerously influential admirer. He’s pursuing the elementally gifted beauty for his own wicked purpose. And he’s willing to go to deadly lengths to make it happen.

This review was originally posted June 11, 2020.

I think this book may be my overall favorite in the series. Though I like Libby as well as I like the other Drake sisters, it’s Ty that really does it for me in this book. I loved his analytical way of dissecting everything. Nothing he says or does is w/ malice, so the way he would come off sounding all pompous and arrogant was extremely amusing.

Ty and Libby have always been drawn to each other (they all are, aren’t they?). Ty, in his analytical way, decides that it’s time to settle down. The one he wants is Libby Drake. That almost doesn’t happen when Ty is helping with a rescue and his harness snaps, plunging him over a 100 feet to the rocks below.

When Libby knows that it’s Ty that everyone is whispering about, she can’t make herself leave. Of all the sisters, her gift is the most tangible. When Libby puts her hands on someone, she heals them. And though she’s risking the life of herself and her sisters, she can’t not heal Ty.

Ty doesn’t know how he survived and neither do his doctors. He looked at his scans and knew he should be dead. He knows Libby helped him somehow, but he’s not sure exactly what she did. He knows he doesn’t believe the gossip about the Drake sisters being magical.

What’s funny about that is that Ty doesn’t think Libby is crazy. He just thinks that she’s under the influence of her family and all he needs to do is get her away from them. He doesn’t think that the Drake’s are bad people. He just thinks they’re delusional.

Tyson took a deep breath and stopped her, swinging around so his body was directly in front of hers. His fingers tightened around her hand, threatening to crush her bones. “Here’s the thing, Libby. I’ve thought a great deal about this. I don’t believe in magic. It doesn’t make sense to anyone with a logical brain. Whatever you and your sisters do isn’t real. I don’t know if your family originally used sleight of hand to con people, but whatever the origins, I’ve observed you enough to know you believe you’re able to heal people.”

Libby opened her mouth to speak but he shook his head and pulled her hand to his chest. “Just hear me out. I think you’re experiencing psychosomatic symptoms, much like a false pregnancy, but we can work on that together. I know I can help you see that no one can really heal anyone with magic. You’re smart. You’ll see it in time.”

She could only stare dumbly, torn between wanting to laugh and to cry. He was so
earnest, his expression grave and his blue eyes holding her gaze captive. “I’ll see that I make myself ill pretending to heal people?” Obviously she could pick them. If only he would just keep his mouth closed she might get somewhere with him.

“Putting it that way sounds bad. It’s more like you’ve been brainwashed, programmed to believe it and your brain tricks your body into experiencing the symptoms. And that can be dangerous to your health.”

He tightened his fingers around hers when she tried to move away from him. “Don’t,
Libby, don’t pull away. I’ve thought this whole thing through. I want a relationship with you. You’re able to understand me, we’re interested in the same things and I think you’re an incredible woman. I’m willing to pay the price of accepting your family. It really is worth the sacrifice to be able to see you.”

Her eyebrow shot up. “How courageous of you to take on my crackpot, con-artist
family.” She tilted her head to one side. “So I don’t really heal people, but I’ve convinced myself so strongly that I can that I manifest psychosomatic symptoms of the people I think I’ve healed. That’s what you think really happens, huh?”

“Yes. If you just open your mind to the possibility, I’m certain it would make more sense to you. You’re a scientist, Libby, a doctor. You want to heal people because you’re so compassionate, but no one can really do that. Haven’t you ever watched the faith healers in the tents and realized they’re bilking the public?”

“How do you know they are?” She started walking back toward her house, this time
holding his hand so he wouldn’t let go.

“It’s been proven time and time again. The faith healers have been investigated and
debunked. Seriously, Libby, I could show you many of the reports. I looked them up over this past week and prepared them in a file for you. It’s all there in black and white.”

“You did that for me?” She smiled her sweetest smile, wandering slowly up the path to
her house. “Tyson Derrick, how considerate of you. I had no idea you were such a
thoughtful man.”

He let his breath out. “I was afraid you’d be upset, Libby. I was prepared for you to take this in a negative way, but I should have realized you’d reason it out.” He stopped on the path to their house. “You want to go home already? I’d like to spend more time with you.”

bwahahaha. That is just so Ty; coming up with a scientific explanation for it. Little does he know what he’s in for.

Still, even with Ty’s lack of belief in her magic aside, someone is still trying to kill him or at least sabotage his research. When Libby gets caught in the crossfire, Ty goes all caveman. Which is pretty hot.

For those of you that have read this series, what’s your favorite book?

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Drake Sisters

five-stars


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Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Posted August 12, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana DoidgeReviewer: Holly
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge
Series: The Dowser #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 266
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

If you’d asked me a week ago, I would have told you that the best cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate cream cheese icing, that dancing in a crowd of magic wielders — the Adept — was better than sex, and that my life was peaceful and uneventful. Just the way I liked it.

That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth.

I asked for recommendations for Paranormal/UF Romances on Twitter and this was one of the titles I received. Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic is the first book in the Dowser series by Meghan Ciana Doidge.

Jade is a witch with very little power, who owns/runs a bakery and makes trinkets that her sister sells. Her life is quiet and that’s just how she likes it. Until a vampire turns up in town, followed shortly by a Shifter Pack, thinking Jade is responsible for the murder of one of their own. Between an inconvenient crush on one of the Shifters, issues with her sister and her MIA grandma, things go from quiet to crazy in no time at all.

I really enjoyed the world Doidge created. It was easy to fall into, and the mystery of why the vampire was in town and what was up with the Shifters kept me reading. But I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of Jade or her family. Jade’s “head in the sand” mentality grated on me. She was happy to just skip through life without thinking too much about things, and that was fine. Until her life was in danger and things started going crazy. Then her refusal to face things or look into what was going on around her frustrated me. I figured out who the baddie was right from the beginning, but I hoped I’d be proven wrong. I wasn’t. I really wanted some layers there, or for something better to come of it.

There is no romance in this novel, but I liked the interpersonal relationships and I look forward to learning more about the Shifters and Vampires.

This was an interesting start to a new series. Parts of it were predictable, I figured out the villain very early on and I didn’t love the main character, but the bones of the novel were good and I’m curious enough to continue on. Plus, Lillie recommended the series and I trust her judgment.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Dowser

three-stars


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Review: When He’s Dark by Suzanne Wright

Posted July 8, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: When He’s Dark by Suzanne WrightWhen He’s Dark by Suzanne Wright
Series: The Olympus Pride #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 334
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Cat shifter Bree Dwyer doesn't fear much. Ironically, what she fears most is the person who was put on the Earth just for her. Your true mate wasn't supposed to be cruel and twisted; wasn't supposed to be someone who’d never love or want to claim you. The rumors that her true mate is dead bring her only relief. Bree's intent on moving forward with her life and building a future with someone else. Sadly, the male she wants most is one she can never have—a hot-as-sin wolverine shifter who happens to be her boss … and the cousin of her predestined mate.

Aleksandr “Alex” Devereaux detests being bullshitted, but he’s been lying to himself for years—pretending he thinks of Bree as extended family; that he doesn't want her so bad he aches with it; that he can't feel himself weakening against her pull. The night they spend together changes everything. He's done fighting himself on what he wants. Someone isn't happy about that. Possibly the same 'someone' who's playing mind games with Bree, trying to scare her. They're succeeding, because too many leads point to the possibility that the culprit could be the one person that she's determined to believe is dead.

I was sad to see the end of the Phoenix Pack and Mercury Pack series, so I’m really glad Wright is doing this off-shoot. We were introduced to characters from the Olympus Pride in previous books, but this book stands alone well.

Bree is a pretty strong Omega, which means she can help others control their emotions. There are several Omegas in the Pride, but though she isn’t Primary, she is the strongest. She’s also the one least likely to put up with other people’s crap, or sugar coat things. As a result, she and the Primary Omega butt heads. Bree knows she’ll either have to take over as Primary or leave, so she’s planning to leave.

Alex Devereaux has other ideas. He’s wanted Bree for years, but he didn’t think she was ready for him. Now it doesn’t matter, he’s determined to make her his. When strange things begin to happen to Bree and she’s almost kidnapped, Alex knows he’s made the right choice. She needs him in all the ways.

I really liked Alex and Bree. They had a fun romance. I didn’t love the external plot. These are always pretty predicable for me and I had everything figured out early on. Still, I liked the romance and the characters enough that it didn’t bother me too much.

3.5 out of 5

Olympus Pride

three-half-stars


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Review: Desolation Road by Christine Feehan

Posted July 6, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Desolation Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Desolation Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #4
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), Judgment Road, Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2), Vendetta Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Take the ride of your life with the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club in this thrilling romance novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.    Torpedo Ink is Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov’s whole life. They’re his brothers, his family—his everything. But that doesn't stop him from wanting something that only belongs to him. That’s why the tough biker has spent the last six weeks at the library, reading every book he can get his hands on and watching the prim and proper librarian who makes his blood rush.    For the past six weeks, Scarlet Foley has been fantasizing about the handsome, tattooed man whose eyes follow her every move. She senses he's dangerous. She wants him to get close enough to touch. She wishes she could let him know the real woman, not the one she pretends to be. But Scarlet has a plan to carry out, and she can’t afford any distractions.   Absinthe is well aware that Scarlet is hiding something. She’s a puzzle he intends to solve, piece by intoxicating piece….

Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov lives and breathes Torpedo Ink. He, along with his brothers and sisters, survived hell on earth to get where they are today. Absinthe thinks he only needs his family, but that changes when he decides to head to the library for some quiet time. It’s at the library that he lays eyes on her. The Librarian. For six weeks he travels between Caspar and the library, all to spend time in the same building as the woman that suddenly and irrevocably caught his eye. Absinthe knows he’s not a good man. Not even that is going to keep him away from the woman that brings his body to life, for the first time in his entire life.

Scarlet Foley has noticed Absinthe in her library. How can she not notice the gorgeous, tattooed stranger that has been coming in for six weeks. Scarlet never thought she would find a man that would intrigue her like Absinthe has. Her feelings about him are irrelevant because Scarlet has someone after her. She promised herself years ago that she would never be put in a position again where someone she loved would get hurt. Scarlet has a past that she’s hiding and she won’t let anyone get close enough to find out her secrets. Until Absinthe.

Their attraction is mutual and fiery. Scarlet never thought that she would find a man that would be her equal in all aspects of life, but that’s exactly what she’s found with Absinthe. What she doesn’t expect is the demons that he has in his past and still carries with him in the present. Absinthe doesn’t want to burden Scarlet with his past and so it seems that the relationship will not work after all. Scarlet wants an equal partner and Absinthe is apparently not going to be that person. Then he tells her everything. Well, almost everything.

As they’re getting to know each other, Absinthe knows that Scarlet isn’t as she seems. She’s not just the sexy librarian that he was first attracted to. She never lets her back face the door, she carries weapons, and she’s more than cautious about her surroundings. Of course, Torpedo Ink being who and what they are, they find out her secrets. Absinthe is appalled when he learns about her past. He would have preferred to learn it from Scarlet herself, but they can’t afford to wait to find out in their line of business. Armed with all the information he has on her, Absinthe can now protect her. And protect her he will.

This was my least favorite book of the series. To say that I hated it would be harsh, but it was so freaking close to hate. Each member of Torpedo Ink have their own horror stories about what they had to go through growing up in Russia. Absinthe had a fetish that carried over from those days. View Spoiler » Like WTAF. This book made me realize that Feehan’s writing has been subtly changing over the last few books. There are some things she won’t touch and sometimes she goes way overboard. Will the real Christine Feehan please stand up?

I always enjoy going back to the Torpedo Ink world, I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was expecting to. I really liked Absinthe in the previous books. He was incredibly intriguing and I couldn’t wait to read his book. Now I wish I hadn’t.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

two-stars


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