Okay so I haven’t done this for a few Fridays because I had a book release last week and two revisions to turn around and another book release Tuesday – etc. But I have read a lot of truly fabulous books lately. So many I’m going to break this up – today I’ll do print books and Monday I’m going to do Ebooks (including my review of Annie Dean’s My Alibi – yes, that’s right, an ARC – ha!, Mackenzie McCade’s Take Me (another ARC, I IZ Lucky!) and NJ Walters’ Three Swords One Heart)
For today then:
Lara Adrian’s Kiss of Midnight and Kiss of Crimson
Kiss of Midnight is book one in her Midnight Breed series and sets the tone for what is proving to be a fabulous world!
Lucan is a Gen One Breed Warrior – a vampire who protects the race and humans from Rogues – the Breed who’ve given over to bloodlust and have become addicted to killing and mayhem. He’s oh so wounded and defended and alpha uber sexy too.
Gabrielle is a photographer with a haunted past and plenty of her own wounds.
Together they’re combustible but both totally afraid of love but Lucan knows she’s a breedmate, a rare human female who can be bound to them by blood forever.
Lots of emotion, angst and pain here to go with the love but it all works. Just enough but not too much to be soppy. I really enjoyed their back and forth and I loved Gabrielle as a heroine as well.
Kiss of Crimson I got this right before I left for Lori Foster’s Reader Gathering in Ohio so I read it on the plane and LOVED it.
I gave the basic world details above but Dante is one of the Warriors and when he’s on patrol he’s nearly killed and stumbles into Tess’ vet clinic and takes her blood to survive. He’s able to wipe her memory but not the fact that he’s taken blood from a woman who’s a breedmate.
He doesn’t want a mate but he can’t stop his attraction to Tess. Even when his investigation brings them together through her ex, a man more obsessed with her than she imagines.
Neither one tells the other the whole truth and you can imagine that leads to problems but this is a romance and of course you get an HEA but the way we get there is convincing and original and I think Crimson edges out Midnight as my favorite by a tiny bit, probably because Dante, the sexy Italian, is scorching hot.
Both books are wonderfully inventive and I really enjoyed them and can’t recommend them enough.
Oh and speaking of wonderfully inventive – have you all read the Crimson City series? If you haven’t and you enjoy speculative fiction/urban fantasy/paranormal romance – this series is a must read. Read in order though as the world unfolds with each new book written by a group of really excellent authors.
So I’d had Shards of Crimson – an anthology, for a while in my TBR pile and finally grabbed it and absolutely loved it.
Shards of Crimson Anthology, Liz Maverick, Patti O’Shea, Carolyn Jewel and Jade Lee One of the best things about the series is that you’ve got this world filled with humans, vampires, werewolves and the rogues that won’t fit in any camp and each author gives her voice to a different perspective. In this anthology, the strengths of the series works in novella form as well.
Maverick gives us A Time To Howl – Tajo Maddox – werewolf rogue and Gia Asprey, werewolf royalty. Fast paced action, great chemistry, tight story that fits in nicely with the series and best of all, a glimpse of the characters I’ve come to love.
Carolyn Jewel gives us DX – a demon/human I-ops officer love story. Oooh, more delicious angst and hot action from another part of the city where the demons have been let in in previous books – the Lower.
Jade Lee gives us School Bites – human schoolteacher gets bit and turned into a werewolf in a world prejudiced against them. Druid and principal John helps Toni master her wolf in the midst of some excellent lust and the brewings of love. Again, Lee echoes the larger themes of the series – differences, otherness, prejudices, and overcoming that to realize people aren’t as different as they appear.
Last but not least, Patti O’Shea contributes Dark Awakening with the long awaited uniting of Kimi and her demon crush Nic as they face off against a demon foe he’s not sure they can beat. Kimi is young and inexperienced but strong and confident. O’Shea walks a great line here. Nicely written sex scenes perfect for this couple as well.
So then – of course – I had to go back and pick up Liz Maverick’s Crimson City to re-read because I love the world so much.
Liz Maverick’s Crimson City is the opener in a multiple book, multiple author series of some of the best speculative fiction/urban fantasy/paranormal romance I’ve ever read. Crimson City gives readers the groundwork for the rest of the books and although you can read the Shards anthology as a standalone, it’s nice to re-visit characters you’ve come to know and love.
CC gives us the story of primary vampire Fleur Dumont and human B-ops cop Dain Reston. Both have wonderfully tortured pasts and theirs is the “they should SO not be together” story that in the right hands is deliciously angsty and dark. Luckily, Maverick has those hands.
Big themes dominate – forgiveness, overcoming mistakes, courage, honor, loyalty, and love. Fleur is a strong, flawed heroine and Dain is deliciously dark and wounded. The love story is marvelous, the world building is excellent and I think everyone’s shelves should have it.
There were more books – I re-read Rhyannon Byrd’s Triple Play. Man I’d forgotten what a dirty/hot book this was! If anyone actually cares, I do the Harlequin 10K book Challenge and keep a review blog there. The complete blog listing has a wonderful group of readers with all tastes to check out. My TBR pile is already larger because of the blogs I read there, LOL.