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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

REVIEW-THE CHILD THIEF (VICTORIA STORM #1) BY MELISSA SNARK

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

She ran because her goddess commanded it, swearing revenge in her heart because she no longer believed in justice, whether she was sworn to it or not.

~Victoria Storm

**Please note, book was gifted by the author in exchange for an honest review**

What a pleasant surprise! Ms. Snark initially contacted me about reviewing book 2 of this series, Hunger Moon (my review is coming soon!) but she also mentioned this novella, as it introduces the heroine to the reader, and that I was welcome to it as well. I am so very glad I read this first.

The Child Thief doesn't waste much time "setting the tone" and for me, that is HUGE when it comes to my entertainment level where a novella is concerned. I can be such a child when it comes to the books that I read. I'm anxious the second I turn my kindle on and quite frankly, I don't enjoy the endless rambling about the purple hued sky, rolling mountain tops, the tweedy bird in the corner...you get the gist. I want a novella to come out swinging and that's exactly what Ms. Snark did.

Victoria Storm is the newly named Alpha of her pack. She questions whether or not she is worthy and the reasoning behind her new title is heartbreaking. Not only is Victoria a were-shifter but she was gifted with spirit sight which adds to her sense of responsibilities when it comes to protecting and making things right. Unfortunately for her, her once allies are now vicious enemies because they blame her for the loss of one of their own. She has suffered great loss that in some ways has made her hard but this strong heroine has a big heart.

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you really shouldn't yet...we all know we have! I don't like this cover at all. I don't think it doesn't the book justice nor does it really capture what the book is about. I do, however, like the cover for book 2 so "YAY!" for that. I love my paranormal creatures, obviously. That being said, there are times where the "creature" is just a little too much, too over the top, for me and that was the case here. Another aspect that I'm struggling with is character development. I love how she didnt' make my head spin by introducing too many characters all at once. Aside from Victoria, there were only a handful of others mentioned. There were three standouts for me and what did the author do? She KILLED TWO OF THEM!!! So here is where I'm torn, on one hand, I'm thinking "WTF? Get me invested and snatch them right out from under me?!" but...on the other, "That's ballsy, I dig that shit." That in itself deserves a THUMBS UP in my book.

The Child Thief is a fantastic fast paced introduction to what is sure to be kick ass urban fantasy series! Stay tuned for my review of book 2, Hunger Moon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

IT'S BEEN A YEAR ALREADY?!?! (BLOG ANNIVERSARY AND GIVEAWAY!!!)

Wow. I can't believe it's been a year already! This has been so much fun and I am very thankful to all of my readers and authors who have helped along the way. I don't know what lies ahead for PRUFreads but for now, what I DO know is that I have goodies to give away!!

Winner will be announced on MONDAY, MAY 27TH

GOOD LUCK!!!





WINNER OF THE DIANNE DUVALL "IMMORTAL GUARDIANS" GIVEAWAY

AND THE WINNER IS...


***KATY***




Katy has won an autographed copy of her choice of one of the first three books in the IMMORTAL GUARDIANS series by DIANNE DUVALL along with some fun swag! Congrats Katy and thank you to all that entered and another big thanks to Ms. Duvall for dropping by and giving away such an awesome prize!









Sunday, May 19, 2013

REVIEW-TOUCH ME (ONE NIGHT WITH SOLE REGRET #4)

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

"There are three exceptional characteristics that distinguish the fingers of a guitarist."

~Owen, aka Tags, Mitchell

The above quote? Yeah...trust me on this. Wow.

Touch Me is book #4 in the One Night With Sole Regret series by Olivia Cunning. Owen is a sweet, sensitive, charming self proclaimed mama's boy from Texas who hides behind a hard, careless, womanizing exterior. When he spies a stunning, yet slightly out of place, woman at one of his favorite sex clubs in San Antonio, Owen decides right then and there to introduce her to the perks of getting tangled up with a guitarist...


Caitlyn has an ass of an ex-husband and is looking to unwind. She needs to reassure herself that she is still desirable and is more than just a 'geek'. She's successful in her field but there is something missing in her life, cheating ex-husband aside. When she decided to try her hand at a random hook up, she never in a million years expected to catch the attention of a slightly younger 'hottie' such as Owen.

I loved the dynamic between Owen and Caitlyn and that Ms. Cunning added so much heart to this story. It's no secret that I am easily sucked in when it comes to a troubled rocker. Owen, however, his skeletons are a little different from the norm, in regards to hot musicians, which I loved. His self esteem was crushed as a child and he has to work very hard (literally) to keep those fears and insecurities at bay. Kellan, Owen's best friend and fellow band mate, saw him through the hard times. There is a bond between the two men that may be hard for outsiders to really 'get'.

Why just 3.5 stars? I don't typically give novellas higher than 4 stars because I'm a greedy bitch when it comes to good reads. I always want MORE. That being said, I smiled and swooned for page after page after page. And then the ending. What. The. Fuck. You can't drop a bomb like that and then leave me hangin'! I'm sure, positive actually, that the look on my face was PRICELESS. So while I love the dirty rockers churning around inside Ms. Cunning's brain, please, PLEASE do not do that to me again. Now...when can I get my hand on Kellan's book?!

Friday, May 17, 2013

REVIEW-BEAUTIFUL MONSTER BY BELLA FORREST

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

"I thought I wanted the darkness, and I found the light instead."

~Liam

**Please note, book was gifted by author in exchange for an honest review**

Blurb via Goodreads...

Liam Swift is a young man Amy has always admired from afar.

She's seen his face a thousand times; on the screen and in magazines. He seems unstoppable as his talent and beauty send him hurtling toward becoming a Hollywood legend...

Until one day - in what appears to be a fit of madness - he stuns the world by throwing it all away. Not even the most persistent reporter can fathom the reason behind Liam's decision.

Never in Amy's wildest dreams could she have imagined this God of acting would go on to accept employment at her local boarding school. Or that he'd personally start teaching her drama lessons.

It seems life can't get much better for Amy ... until the sound of tortured weeping starts echoing through the thin walls of her dorm room each night, leading her to stumble upon a horrifying secret Liam had hoped to keep hidden forever...


Beautiful Monster by Bella Forrest presents both a surprising and refreshing lead heroine. Without spoiling, let me just say, her issues and daily struggles are much different than the typical 'oh my hair won't lay right today!' The odds were against her at birth and every day is a gift.

Liam is "Mr. Hollywood". He's gorgeous and a great talent. Unfortunately for him, he was seen as the perfect pawn, turning his world upside down. He can't bear to leave behind his passion but under his new circumstances, he made abrupt changes that no one understood.

I am a huge fan of Bella Forrest's A Shade of Vampire series and if memory serves, this book was written some time ago. The idea and plot have huge potential but as I read, I found myself wanting more. More details, more explanation, just...more. It felt a little rushed and some key information and scenes were skimmed over. Her dad's story for one, just his educational background raised many questions that were never answered.  I would catagorize this book as YA paranormal romance but with mild adult themes. Hot for teacher? Umm...yes please!

That being said, I truly feel this author has found her groove and set up book 2 quite nicely. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Forrest!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY WITH 'IMMORTAL GUARDIANS' AUTHOR DIANNE DUVALL


Immortal Guardians Character Profiles


Thank you for joining me here at Prufreads!  I’m here today to celebrate the release of PREDATORY, an anthology that contains my Immortal Guardians novella “In Still Darkness,” along with stories by fabulous authors Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, and Hannah Jayne.

 Richart d’Alençon — the hero of “In Still Darkness” — was born in the eighteenth century with the ability to teleport.  Back then, humans with special gifts simply called themselves gifted ones.  He didn’t discover until recent decades that his unusual ability is the result of extremely advanced DNA.  As an adult, he was also infected with a very rare virus, sometimes referred to as the vampiric virus, which gave him greatly enhanced strength, speed, senses, and regenerative capabilities, coupled with an unfortunate photosensitivity and a need for blood.  Since gifted ones infected with the virus are extremely difficult to kill, they often refer to themselves as immortals.  Vampires, on the other hand, are ordinary humans who have been infected with the same virus.  Without the protection provided by gifted ones’ advanced DNA, infected humans suffer progressive brain damage that rapidly drives them insane.

 Richart, therefore, spends his nights hunting and destroying psychotic vampires . . . which is how he meets charming single mother Jenna McBride.  When Richart rescues Jenna from the clutches of vampires intent on killing her, Jenna surprises him by rewarding him with a scorching kiss.  A kiss that drives him to defy all caution and attempt to carry on a traditional courtship with her, all the while keeping his vampire-hunting profession and his immortality a secret.  Needless to say, it does not go smoothly.  :-)

 If you’re new to my Immortal Guardians series, I thought I would give you a little glimpse of some of the major players you’ll find in it by composing character profiles for those who appear in “In Still Darkness”:


“In Still Darkness”

Character Profiles


Richart d’Alençon

Hero of “In Still Darkness,” PREDATORY

A French immortal, roughly two-hundred-and-thirty years old.  Born with the ability to teleport, he is one of the most daunting immortals in a battle, spawning terror and utter chaos as he appears and disappears within the enemy’s midst, slaying as he goes.  Richart is also the only immortal in recent decades who is brave enough to attempt to date a mortal woman. 

Favorite Quote:  No touching, he admonished himself.  At least no touching that might lead to more touching. ~ “In Still Darkness”

Jenna McBride

Heroine of “In Still Darkness,” PREDATORY

A single mother, struggling to put her son through college, who fears that Richart — with all of his charm and good looks — is too good to be true.  He’s smart and funny.  He cooks sumptuous meals for her.  He gets along well with her son.  He’s exceedingly easy on the eyes and makes her heart race.  Yet there is something . . . different about him.  What dark secret does he conceal?  And how will she react when she discovers it?

Favorite Quote:  “Wow, you guys really know how to make a girl feel self-conscious.” ~ “In Still Darkness”

Sheldon

Richart’s Second, or human assistant/guard.  Sheldon is unusually young for a Second  and notoriously green.  Still learning the ropes, he tends to spawn mischief wherever he goes.

Favorite Quote:  “Dude, I say go for it.  Dr. Lipton is smokin’ hot and you’re . . . you.” ~ PHANTOM SHADOWS

John McBride

Jenna’s son.  John hasn’t seen his mother date very often and doesn’t know quite what to make of Richart.  He seems like a good man.  Yet, like his mother, John fears Richart is hiding something.

Favorite Quote:  “Is this going to get weird?  Like kinky weird?” ~ “In Still Darkness”

Roland Warbrook

Hero of  DARKNESS DAWNS

A nine-hundred-and-thirty-six-year-old immortal born with the ability to heal with his hands. Betrayed one too many times in the past by those he loved, he distanced himself from relationships of any kind and trusted no one . . . until Sarah charged into his life and stole his heart.

Favorite Quote: “I'm not antisocial.  I just want to be left alone.” ~ DARKNESS DAWNS

Sarah Bingham

Heroine of  DARKNESS DAWNS

Roland’s wife.  Formerly a music theory professor at UNC Chapel Hill, she desired only rest and relaxation . . . until she found Roland staked to the ground being tortured by two others, used her trusty shovel to liberate him, and was drawn into his preternatural world.

Favorite Quote: "Oh lovely. I'm sure that went over big. Don't go home without calling firts, David. They might be having sex on your couch."    ~ DARKNESS DAWNS

Lisette d’Alençon

Richart’s sister, a French immortal and telepath.  After being infected and nearly slain by her husband, she inadvertently infected both of her brothers and still labors beneath the guilt of it.

Favorite Quote:  “Now they've gone and gotten a battering ram.  How rude.” ~ PHANTOM SHADOWS

Étienne d’Alençon

Hero of DARKNESS RISES

Richart’s twin, a French immortal and telepath.  Étienne will meet his match in the next book in the series, DARKNESS RISES (October 1, 2013).

Favorite Quote: “You may as well drop the formality.  One, I've heard your thoughts and know your concern for her extends beyond that of a work colleague.  And two, I've seen your thoughts and keep coming across her naked.” ~ PHANTOM SHADOWS

Marcus Grayden

Hero of NIGHT REIGNS

An immortal who disregards Roland’s reclusive nature and calls him friend.  He recently lost the woman he loved for eight centuries and, consumed with grief, skated the edge until Ami was named his Second and turned his world upside down.

Favorite Quote:  “What did you think I would do? Ask her if I could braid her hair 
after we gave each other facials and painted our toenails?” ~ NIGHT REIGNS

Ami (Amiriska)

Heroine of NIGHT REIGNS

Marcus’s Second.  Rescued by Seth and David (the eldest and most powerful Immortal Guardians) from a facility heavily guarded by mercenaries who brutally tortured, she sometimes questions her own sanity and still fights to overcome the fear instilled in her by her captors.

Favorite Quote:  “Do you think they’d miss us if we snuck down to the quiet room to fool around?” ~ NIGHT REIGNS


Dr. Melanie Lipton

Heroine of PHANTOM SHADOWS

A doctor with the human network who is daring enough to work hands-on with vampires as she searches for a cure for the virus or a way to prevent the madness it induces in humans. 

Favorite Quote: "If you tell me you have two gifts and one of the gifts is X-ray vision, I'm going to have to hurt you." ~ PHANTOM SHADOWS

Chris Reordon

Head of the East Coast division of the network of humans who aid the Immortal Guardians.  He is extremely protective of both the Immortal Guardians and his employees and can be quite ruthless when ensuring their safety.

Favorite Quote: " What is it with you immortals? You keep trying to hide your girlfriends from me even though you know I'm just trying to protect you."   ~ DARKNESS RISES (October 1, 2013)


Predatory


Four of today's most exciting paranormal authors take readers into the thrilling realm of vampires, immortals, and other supernatural beings with a thirst for illicit desire...

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy

Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he's actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other...

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs

Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Immortal Richart d'Alençon can't forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne

When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay's design contest rival is found dead, she's the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He's the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him--and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?


Bio


Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. Her debut novel DARKNESS DAWNS was nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance by RT Book Reviews, for Best Paranormal Romance - Vampire by The Romance Reviews, and for Best Book of 2011 by Long and Short Reviews.  NIGHT REIGNS, the second book in her Immortal Guardians series, was declared an "utterly addictive" Top Pick by RT Book Reviews.  PHANTOM SHADOWS, the third book in the series, was deemed a Top Pick by both The Romance Reviews and by Night Owl Reviews.  DARKNESS RISES, Immortal Guardians Book 4, will be released on October 1, 2013. 


When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and once even appeared onscreen as a machete-wielding maniac not unlike the vampires she so loves to create in her novels.


Find Dianne on the Internet






Youtube:  http://www.youtube




Contest


One winner will receive a signed copy of  his or her choice of one of the first three Immortal Guardians books —DARKNESS DAWNS, NIGHT REIGNS, and PHANTOM SHADOWS — plus Immortal Guardians swag.

This contest IS international. To be entered in the giveaway, the rules are as follows...

1. Be a visible PRUFreads follower.

2. Comment below.

That's it! Winner will be chosen next Tues (May 21st) via random.org. Good luck everyone and thanks again to Dianne Duvall for stopping by!

Monday, May 13, 2013

REVIEW-IMMORTAL HEALER (THE IMMORTALS #3) BY ELIZABETH FINN

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

"Play nice with the other criminals, dear."

~Quentin

***Please note, book was gifted by the author in exchange for an honest review***

A doctor and a criminal make quite the pairing. Immortal Healer is the third installment of The Immortals series. As Dr. Quentin Bremmer's story starts to unfold, Ms. Finn adds fuel the notion 'it's always the quiet ones...'.

Quentin, the lovable introvert, is driven by his work, his research and prefers to simply stay to himself. Even though he's very close to his friends, Ember especially, he's simply a man who likes to be alone with his thoughts. One of those thoughts being of a young woman that he ran into ( literally) the night Mason met his end. He's never forgotten her even though he made sure that she had no memory of him. When she lands herself in a jail cell (again), Quentin sees it as an opportunity to right the wrong that came down hard on this young woman who initially had a bright future ahead of her.

Abigail, aka Abby, is a beautiful young girl whose life has been tuned upside down. She has endured more trauma in the past few months than any one person should ever have to deal with in an entire lifetime. She's broken and scarred and the constant living in fear has turned her into an 'act now, think later' kind of girl. She's creating quite the lengthy criminal record for herself, it's one assault after another. It just happens...

Immortal Healer is a fantastic addition to this already amazing, all consuming series. Ms. Finn is quite the talent, being able to balance sensitive subjects without making light of it. Abby is neither mentally nor emotionally stable. The author doesn't just cure her cause a hot guy looks her way. Abby struggles throughout, she has created an alternate world for herself, a normal one, her 'happy place' where she is normal, living the typical everyday. She manages the best she can but it isn't an 'overnight' fix and she has even more to overcome, more than she knows.

The same goes for Quentin. This is a paranormal romance yet at the same time, he's still a doctor and has her best interests at heart regardless of the 'pull'. I think it's that steady balance that was maintained throughout that helped create such an emotion, gripping story that I couldn't tear away from. There was no ' broken girl meets perfect man, all is fixed via a little slap and tickle'. However, speaking of...

Immortal Healer is also an erotic romance. The sex scenes are raw, emotional, primal and possibly a tad taboo for some. That being said, WOW. These vamps are passionate, no cold bloods here! Why not 5 stars? I devoured this book. I mean I literally could not put it down. Without spoiling...there is a turn of events, a reveal that leads Quentin and Abby to his beach house for some much needed away time. It made perfect sense as far as the story line goes but it almost felt as though it went on a little longer than needed. I loved the pacing of this story right up until then, all of a sudden it slowed down. The same happened with a pool scene as well. Ms. Finn can write some of the most amazing sex scenes ever but I do believe there is such a thing as too much.

Overall, fantastic read, amazing talent and a world you can't help but fall into.

You can read my reviews for books 1 and 2 here (Immortal Protector #1) and here (Immortal Distraction #2)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

REVIEW-THE DARKEST LIE (LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD #6) BY GENA SHOWALTER

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

"To part is to die."

~Gideon, keeper of Lies

Hands down, my favorite book of the series to date. I'll admit, while I liked Gideon as soon as he was introduced early on, his 'riddles' grated on my nerves a bit. His inability to tell the truth, unless he's willing to suffer immobilizing pain, means those around him have to translate his 'lies' to learn his truth. It wasn't until The Darkest Lie that I began to see that 'quirk' as more of an endearing quality. The Prologue set the perfect tone and I was not disappointed.

Gideon is delish with his striking blue hair, ink an metal galore. Just...yes. Before our heroine, Scarlet, really makes her mark, the reader is introduced to Gideon, his thoughts, his quirks, his bromance with Strider and his love for fresh flowers being spread throughout the fortress. 'That shit smelled good," after all. *wink*

Scarlet is the newest resident in the Lords dungeon. Because she's also known as Shadow Girl, the Lords want answers but none as much as Gideon. Scarlet is also a demon (Nightmares) possessed immortal but more importantly, she claims to be Gideon's wife. Gideon has no memory of her whatsoever, even though there is something familiar about her. Something he can't quite put his finger on. He's determined to get the answers he seeks but it won't be easy. Scarlet is one hell of a female lead and she's got Gideon's number. She can and joyfully does, push every single button the warrior has, this coupled with her lust filled adoration for Robert Pattinson, what can I say? I love this girl~!

The Darkest Lie is filled with just that, lies of the darkest, most shocking kind. The level of betrayal and deceit knows no bounds. Just when you think you know, you don't. Gideon and Scarlet's chemistry is so perfect and effortless. I became more and more invested in the couple with each flip of the page. They both challenge and complete each other as they fight for their 'truth'. This installment is quite the emotional roller coaster. I laughed, swooned, had a couple of 'well damn.' moments. There were also tears, prepare to have your heart strings yanked on a few times!

Gideon and Scarlet's journey would have carried this book on it's own with ease. That being said, the build up of books to come and stand out scenes with other characters just brought it all together for a fantastic read. Did I mention Gideon and Cronus enjoying their odd (yet highly entertaining) little 'hot sauce free popcorn' man date? Amun broke my heart, Strider has his hands full and then there's the William bombshell...

Love this series!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

REVIEW-THE DARKEST PASSION (LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD #5) BY GENA SHOWALTER

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

"Because, if it were only you and me, and my decisions didn't affect anyone else, I would willingly die just to have another minute in your arms."

~Aeron, keeper of Wrath

Damn it all. This one brought a couple of tears. OK, so...maybe it was more than just a couple. Aeron has a lot on his shoulders. He still mourns the loss of his friend Baden, feels the guilt of Paris' sacrifice and now, to top things off, that presence, those eyes on him that he has sensed for some time now, come into view. The result being Aeron's world being turned upside down.

The bloodied beauty on the hill, calling only his name, calls to his soul as well. The problem is, she's an angel, aka demon assassin and Aeron has to decide if he can believe her words, her explanation as to why her wings have been ripped from her body. The only real female company kept by Aeron in many years is his baby Legion who he fondly sees as his demon daughter. Legion doesn't share well and hates the angel Olivia, fallen or otherwise. In the Underworld, a tempter tantrum can lead to making a deal with the devil...literally.

Darkest Passion was yet another enjoyable addition to the Lords of The Underworld series. Aeron basically felt torn in two and as the reader, you can't help but feel it right along with him. We discover why he is inked from head to toe, his fears and views on love and love lost. The hardened warrior would rather not love at all for loving only to lose later on is too much to endure. Olivia has other plans.

I love when I'm able to enjoy the female lead almost as much as the male. In this genre, I sometimes find the females maddening with their weakness and 'anything for him' mentality. I haven't loved all the females in this series but I really enjoyed Olivia. She kept her growing strength soft but put her foot down when she saw fit. It was a nice balance. She and Aeron had great chemistry and I loved that she wasn't boxed off, only having scenes with him. There is a laugh out loud moment when she and Gideon have a chat.

The side character standout for me was William. How can you not love and adore that arrogant bastard? I can't say I'm fully on board with what's brewing for him but with an open mind, I'm anxiously awaiting his book. Alongside the romance, the battle continues, the race to find the artifacts. Galen is still on the loose and we find out a bit more about Cronus and company, adding an interesting twist along the way.

I jumped straight to book 6 but after that, I need to break from the series to catch up on some other books and series. That being said, I will definitely come back around to the Lords!