Anne Reviews: All the World’s An Undead Stage by Angel Martinez

TITLE: All The World’s An Undead Stage

Author: Angel Martinez

Publisher:  Pride Publishing

Pages: 151

Characters: Carrington/Erasmus

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy, Series

Kisses: 5

Blurb: 

Carrington Loveless III, skim-blood vampire and senior officer of Philly’s paranormal police department, has long suspected that someone’s targeting his squad. The increasingly bizarre and dangerous entities invading their city can’t be a coincidence. So when a walking corpse spouting Oscar Wilde attacks one of his officers, Carrington’s determined to uncover the evil mind behind it all.

As a rare books librarian, Erasmus Graham thought he understood some of the stranger things in life. Sharing a life with Carrington’s shown him he didn’t know the half of it. They’ve survived attack books and deadly dust bunnies together and got through mostly unscathed. Now his world and his vampires appear ready to collide again. Books are missing from the rare books’ collection—old tomes of magic containing dangerous summonings and necromancy. He’s certain whoever’s been stalking the Seventy-Seventh is composing their end game. It’s going to take a consolidated effort from paranormal police, librarians, and some not-quite-authorized civilians to head off the impending catastrophe.

Review: 

This series has been on my radar for some time, and it didn’t disappoint.  Although I started with the latest book—and am planning to go back to the beginning and work my way forward—it didn’t detract.  Given the number of characters, it did take me a while to work out who was who, but I think the author does an excellent job in explaining everything for new readers without it becoming an info dump.

I love the world building in this story, and that the police squad is a mix of different supernaturals all working together to solve crime. I read a lot of urban fantasy and I always enjoy seeing the unique way in which authors approach supernaturals, especially vampires.  These vampires are a little different in that they see their reflection, and can walk in daylight but get sunstroke, and I’m curious as to the hints that Carrington’s relationship with Erasmus is having some interesting side effects.  I also liked the fact that Carrington has family, rather than being very old, which is a common vampire trope.  I’m looking forward to reading the series from the beginning to find out more about his background.

The relationship between Erasmus and Carrington is a real strength in the story. I loved the easy sense of humour between them, and it was obvious that they are comfortable together.  I had to smile when Erasmus referred to Carrington as ‘his vampire’, and Carrington called Erasmus ‘my librarian.’  I always love reading about librarians who kick arse, but still are very much librarians in their love of books and ability to research.  The rest of the squad are an interesting mix, both in personality and abilities, and I love Audacity—she’s adorable!  Nice Poe reference with the raven being called Edgar, and I appreciated the choice of name for the coroner. I haven’t read a story before with animated items of clothing as characters, and I thought the author pulled that off extremely well.

The author is obviously having fun writing this series, and I loved all the literary references in this story especially when someone is horrified that a zombie is mangling Wilde.  After all, that is just not on. Erasmus’s mothers being fans of Supernatural and offering advice was a hoot, and I enjoyed the way people in this world just take things in their stride. Of course, there’s a database of necromancers—I would have been disappointed if there hadn’t been one.   I had a bit of a giggle with the choice of name for one character—Ms Teecosi— and the question “To the Batcave?” which is answered by “To the library!”  This is my kind of story!  The story does get a bit crazy in places, but that added to my enjoyment of it, and I got the impression crazy is a way of life for these guys.

I’d recommend All the World’s An Undead Stage to readers who enjoy urban fantasy with a bit of humour, likeable characters who work together and feel more like family than work friends, and fabulous world building.

More please.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to purchase All the World’s An Undead Stage by Angel Martinez

 

 

 

Lydia Reviews: Misdemeanor by CF White

TITLE: Misdemeanor

Author: C F White

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages: 226

Characters: Micky O’Neill and Dan Peters

POV:  3rd

Sub-Genre:  Contemporary

Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Life isn’t always responsible…

After his mother tragically dies and his deadbeat father goes off the rails, nineteen-year-old Micky is left to care for his disabled little brother, Flynn.

Juggling college, a dead-end job and Flynn’s special needs means Micky has to put his bad-boy past behind him and be the responsible adult to keep his brother out of care. He doesn’t have time for anything else in his life.

Until he meets Dan…

Review:

I want to be up front from the beginning of this review and let you know that Misdemeanor drove be crazy and when the book ended I almost tossed my iPad.  It is not that I did not like this story, I did.  In fact, I was drawn in from the very first page.  Micky and Finn grabbed my heart from the beginning and I wanted only the best for them.  Micky is barely 19 and taking care of his little brother after the death of their mother.  It is a struggle but he is doing all he can. However, the fact that there is little money, plus he is trying to finally finish his schooling, and with Finn having special needs, it makes things hard  on Micky, especially since he is trying to keep the state authorities from finding out.

Dan is a department manager in a grocery store.  He has been working at the store since he was a teenager and even though he has a degree in education, he is comfortable where he is.  He does not really have the time to take care of another department or to interview the young man showing up for a job.  When Micky is up front about the troubles in his past, Dan cannot help but give him the job.  These two really click and it is not long before the two men and Finn have formed a family unit.  But things do not go smoothly.  While Dan may be out, Micky is not.  As you can imagine that causes a few conflicts, especially when misunderstanding cause Dan to be beaten.

If that were not enough, the authorities are really getting persistent about meeting up with Finn’s father.  This is when the book started to drive me crazy.  I did not realize that this was the first book in the author’s Responsible Adult series.   When the book ended, my first response was OMG!!  You got to be kidding me.  I hope the follow up to this book will be out soon because I need to know what happens to Micky, Dan, and Finn.

Reviewed By: Lydia

Click HERE to purchase Misdemeanor by CF White

Anne Reviews: Burning Boundaries by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham


Title: Elemental Evidence, Book 2: Burning Boundaries
Author: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 270
Characters: Mari Gale/Jake Chivis
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Their passion isn’t the only thing creating flames.

Mari Gale’s life has been a whirlwind since meeting Jake Chivis. A new job prospect and his mother’s health preoccupy him, so when Jake invites him on a date he’s ready to cut loose. Their night out turns into a nightmare when a fire breaks out in the basement of the bar and they barely escape.

Soon Jake learns that the horrific accident is being investigated as a possible homicide, and it’s not the only case. Detective Inspector Cordiline of the London Met hints at spontaneous human combustion but as far as Jake knows, SHC doesn’t exist.

When Mari looks into a group called Birthright he finds a connection to the victims of the fires and Jake risks himself to go undercover at the shadowy organization. The race is on to determine the truth before Jake becomes the next target.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a non-consensual scene.

Review:

This is the first book I’ve read by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham, and although it’s also the second in their Elemental Evidence series, I didn’t have any problems following the storyline. However, having enjoyed this story so much I am going to have to read book 1—Breathing Betrayal—now.

I love paranormal/fantasy stories, and this one didn’t disappoint. The world building is detailed, and I was quickly drawn into the elemental storyline, which I found fascinating. In this world, individuals called Elementals have powers that are linked to their bloodline, so are either earth, fire, water, or air. Jake is a fire elemental and as such has the ability to read objects and the memories of the last person to touch them AKA psychometry. Mari is an air elemental so his power is connected to gathering knowledge, and communications. I loved how he was able to interface with computers and go beyond the keyboard, following the information to the source while leaving his body behind.

I enjoyed the balance between the investigation and Mari and Jake’s relationship. There is quite a lot of sex in the story, but as Mari needs to work through a big issue in that, I felt it didn’t detract from the storyline, but advanced their relationship. I also liked how their relationship grows as they work through things. It isn’t an instant “I love you” connection, although it’s obvious they do love each other by their reactions, and the way they are around each other.

As the story progressed and the tension grew after Jake infiltrated Birthright I was on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happens next, and needing to know it now! The action scenes are well written, and very tense.

I’d recommend Burning Boundaries to readers who enjoy an action filled paranormal story, with interesting characters and a slow burn—no pun intended—romance.

Reviewed By: Anne

Click HERE to purchase Burning Boundaries

Lydia Reviews: Shards in the Sun by Trina Lane


TITLE: Shards in the Sun
Author: Trina Lane
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 251
Characters: Brandon Blackstun and Tyler Synder
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Western, Contemporary
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

The heart of Texas beats strong, fueled by the love between two men whose lives are in-terwoven like the long grass of the hill country they call home.

Brandon Blackstun has spent the last decade moving on from the hellish halls of high school. With an invitation to his reunion in hand, he plans to show his former classmates that not only did the repeated occurrences of being slammed into lockers not cause brain damage, but he’s now a successful cover artist for the very books they buy off the shelves.

Tyler Synder was determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps as head of the interna-tional corporation that bears the family name. Instead, his heart is tied to the beat of his horses’ thundering hooves. He operates a breeding program for Tennessee Walkers and a guest ranch a couple of hours from the urban luxury of Dallas where he was raised.

The two men might live very different lives, but the heat between them is hotter than any Texas sun. With the help—or meddling—of an unlikely pair of friends, the two explore a re-lationship that stirs something deep inside them. Distance and misunderstandings force Ty-ler and Brandon to consider whether the fulfillment they’ve experienced in each other’s arms is worth the sacrifice of the lives they’ve built individually.
Texas may be the second biggest state in the union, but is it large enough to embrace the love between these two men, or will their deeply hidden fears shatter the boundaries of their hearts?

Review:

Shards in the Sun is the first book in Ms. Lane’s The Heart of Texas series. This book is a contemporary western that spans over a period, however the author does such a good job with this story that it does not feel as if is dragging.

Brandon was raised by a single mother and while he’s smart he felt college was not for him. After some struggles he found himself a job at the library, which he sort of loves, and a side job designing book covers. When his ten-year high school reunion rolls around, Brandon would prefer not to go but gets talked into it. While there, two things happen. One, one of his old tormentors apologizes for what he did and explains why he behaved the way he did. Two, Brandon meets the love of his life, he just doesn’t know it yet.

Tyler was raised with everything he wanted. However, when he decides not to follow in his father’s footsteps, his parents do not approve and things between them become tense. Tyler had plans though and with an inheritance from his grandfather he buys a ranch and starts on his dream. While he doesn’t leave the ranch much, he does go out occasionally and when he’s out one night he comes across Brandon.

The two have a rocky start. There are numerous misunderstandings that lead Brandon to believe that he just imagines a connection between him and the gorgeous cowboy. After a little meddling by his friend, Jessenia, and Tyler’s brother Zach, Brandon and Tyler finally get together.

The chemistry between the two men is intense and the men really heat up the pages, however, there are so many issues between them that I could not help wondering when the two would face a separation. That eventually becomes an obstacle that they must overcome but their biggest problem is Brandon and his feelings of not being good enough.

I really liked this story. The men pull you into their story from the get go, and keep you wondering how things will play out. I loved the interaction between them even if there were some times when I wanted to shake Brandon. I did like the way he got Tyler’s parents to see that what Tyler was doing was something to be proud of. As for Tyler, I liked that he stood by Brandon, even if he should have been a little firmer with him a time or two. One of the best parts of this story for me was watching the way Brandon grows as an individual. He comes into his own professionally and realizes just what is important personally.

Shards in the Sun is also full of wonderful secondary characters that play import roles in this story. There is of course Brandon’s mother, who is a little crazy. Jessenia who is Brandon’s best friend. There is also Tyler’s parents and brother. What is a little unexpected is the role that Brandon’s former bully plays.

Javier has a connection to both main characters and while his past actions have long lasting effects in their lives, a friendship of sorts does eventually form. He’s not in the story a lot, but it is hinted at that he will be the focus of book two.

Fans of Ms. Lane’s are sure to like this new story, and while I believe this is the first of her books I have read, it will not be the last. I can’t wait to see what book two has in store.

Reviewed By: lydia

Click HERE to purchase Shards in the Sun by Trina Lane

Woo Hoo! Pride Publishing has discounted Acceptable Behavior by Jenna Byrnes for .99 cents!!


Check it out! For a limited time, Pride Publishinng is discounting the first in the Marked Men series, Acceptable Behavior by Jenna Byrnes for .99! This amazing discount is available through Pride Publishing, Amazon, Kobo and other ebook retailers!

Blurb:

Tattoos don’t define a person’s character, or make him sexy. But, if you ask Sam Madison, they sure don’t hurt.

Dr. Travis Nelson has a passion for ink but keeps his many tattoos covered by long sleeves and trousers. He’s aware that as a pediatrician he’ll be judged not only by the other physicians in his practice, but also by the parents of his young patients.

When Sam Madison takes his young nephew, Levi, to be seen for an ear infection, he’s immediately attracted to Travis and the feeling is mutual. But Sam’s sister Melanie is going through a rough time and caring for Levi, and covering her obligations, keeps Sam occupied. He feels like he’s in no position to start a relationship.

Travis sees things differently, though he’s unable to truly understand the deep bond and connection Sam shares with his twin. As Melanie’s life goes from bad to worse, Sam is forced to make difficult decisions. Is protecting Levi enough of a reason for the two men to stay together, or will fighting for the child ultimately tear them apart?

Click HERE to purchase Acceptable Behavior

Pippa Reviews: Shards in the Sun by Trina Lane


Title: Shards in the Sun (The Heart of Texas series)
Author: Trina Lane
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 251
Characters: Brandon and Tyler
POV: Third
Sub-Genre: Cowboys and western
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

The heart of Texas beats strong, fueled by the love between two men whose lives are interwoven like the long grass of the hill country they call home.
Brandon Blackstun has spent the last decade moving on from the hellish halls of high school. With an invitation to his reunion in hand, he plans to show his former classmates that not only did the repeated occurrences of being slammed into lockers not cause brain damage, but he’s now a successful cover artist for the very books they buy off the shelves.

Tyler Synder was determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps as head of the international corporation that bears the family name. Instead, his heart is tied to the beat of his horses’ thundering hooves. He operates a breeding program for Tennessee Walkers and a guest ranch a couple of hours from the urban luxury of Dallas where he was raised.

The two men might live very different lives, but the heat between them is hotter than any Texas sun. With the help—or meddling—of an unlikely pair of friends, the two explore a relationship that stirs something deep inside them. Distance and misunderstandings force Tyler and Brandon to consider whether the fulfillment they’ve experienced in each other’s arms is worth the sacrifice of the lives they’ve built individually.
Texas may be the second biggest state in the union, but is it large enough to embrace the love between these two men, or will their deeply hidden fears shatter the boundaries of their hearts?

Review:

I am a huge fan of cowboy stories, but I have to say I have mixed feelings about Shards in the Sun. Before I launch into what I liked and didn’t like, I gave the book a solid 4 kisses because of some wonderful characters and scenes.

Trina Lane has created two very likeable characters in Brandon and Tyler, and I liked their disparate backgrounds. Brandon’s job as a cover artist is close to my heart, and I love cowboys. I wasn’t so sure about some of their interactions and conversations, but I love their interactions with other people. My mixed feelings arise from the fact I was less interested in them as a couple, and more interested in the men with their friends and families.

Overall, I was more captivated by the secondary characters than the main pair, and the author took time and care to give them depth. It was well done, and kept me reading to the end. I appreciated that the author didn’t use stereotypical tropes for the wealthy family, and the family dinner made me chuckle. I also appreciate that female best friend was treated with respect, and wasn’t a Mary Sue to be used and tossed aside.

When I read a book, I don’t usually pay much attention to description and vocabulary unless it detracts from the story, but in this instance, it was evocative and spot on. Shards in the Sun has shown us a well-developed world, and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Reviewed By: Pippa Wood

Click HERE to purchase Shards in the Sun

Sophie Reviews: Dragon’s Breath by Stephani Hecht


Title: Dragon’s Soul, Book 3: Dragon’s Breath
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 77
Characters: Tommy, Nicholas
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Shifter, Fantasy, Series
Kisses: 3

Blurb:

Sometimes, to save another, you have to look at your own weaknesses first.

Ever since Nicholas saw the small Dragon in chains in the scrying bowl, he knew that he had to save him. For some reason Nicholas is drawn to the other man and he won’t rest until he knows he’s safe.

Tommy has been a captive from the day he was born. When he is rescued by Nicholas he feels an instant connection to him. But Tommy is afraid to let his guard down and let anybody get close to him.

Can Tommy overcome his abusive past? Or will it doom him and Nicholas from finding love?

Review:

Dragon’s Breath is quick and easy paranormal themed story with plenty of action, sex and a cast of characters that are all sexy within their own right.

Stephani Hecht is an author I’ve read before and for the most part, I really liked what I read. She writes heroes who are pretty damn sexy and there is usually a wit to her writing that gives me a chuckle or two.

Who wouldn’t love Tommy? He’s small and has been a slave all of his life. Unable to shift into his dragon, Tommy has some self-esteem issues but still has a zest for life that I really liked. Nicholas is the perfect man for him. He is sarcastic, funny and a general bad ass when it comes to fighting for what is right and fighting for Tommy. They were a good couple and I liked them together.

The story is a smooth read. I liked the backstory these characters told and overall, enjoyed the interesting life they lead. If you are looking for a short and sexy story this one is for you.

I wish there had been more to it. There is an instalove factor to it and because it is a shifter story, I guess I understand it, I just wish there was more to the relationship than what was given us. There really isn’t a buildup between these two men and I missed it. I’ve read many stories by this author and though I really like them, in some ways they all follow a pattern that I would love for the author to get away from, because I would love to see a fresh take on a much used formula.

I liked Dragon’s Breath. I wish it had been longer had more depth to Tommy and Nicholas’ relationship.

Dragon’s Breath is the third book in the Dragon’s Soul series by Stephani Hecht. I haven’t read the first two, Dragon’s Eye and Dragon’s Heart yet but I do plan on reading them some time in the future.

I recommend this read to those who enjoy a shifter story and crave a quick and easy read. Fans of this author will enjoy her latest installment in this series and look forward to more.

Reviewed By: Sophie

Click HERE to purchase Dragon’s Breath