- Reading level:Young Adult
- Hardcover:272 pages
- Publisher:Hyperion Book CH (May 31, 2011)
- ISBN-13: 978-1423134671
- Genre: Paranormal
“After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare – former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead – finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this – ugh “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.
Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.
Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is – ahem – willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.
Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.”
This is the second book in Stacey Kade’s Ghost & The Goth series and Will and Alona’s story continues on from the first book. I really enjoyed it. Alona is a “mean girl” who really has a good heart. I love the developing relationship between her and Will. A fun and fast paced ride through the world that the author has created with wonderfully contrasting characters who play well off each other. Great plot line, pacing, mystery, danger, paranormal elements and a totally unexpected but intriguing cliffhanger at the end!
I highly recommend this series/book to anyone who loves a fun paranormal YA read with ghosts, a goth, some ghost hunters, a developing romance and a fascinating twist to keep things exciting.
– Sidhe –
Find out more about Stacey Kade and what she’s working on at her website!
Buy The Queen Of The Dead at:
Format:Mass Market Paperbound
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN – 10:1439167923
ISBN – 13:9781439167922
Genre: Urban Fantasy
“An eye for an eye is never enough.”
Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice.
The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm-the deadliest in a century-is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart-literally.”
Black Heart Loa, the second book in Phoenix’s HooDoo Series, continues the story right from where Black Dust Mambo left off. Once again, I was blown away and totally caught up in Kallie’s story. Adrian has a way of writing very earthy characters and it always feels like you’re right there in the thick of it with them. Layne, well, what can I say about him? I want my very own Layne! 😛 But I also want my very own Dante, Lucien or Von from Adrian’s Makers Song series too, lol. Adrian has a way of writing the male leads in such a way that they just get under your skin and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading the book. Seriously, can I put at least one of them on my Christmas Wish List? Please? (I know that the female characters are written just as well and I love the relationships between them & other characters as well as their personalities, but I don’t lust after them so… lol )
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Adrian Phoenix was born and raised in the Bayou’s of Louisiana! She captures the atmosphere and the language so well with her writing. Adrian is a true master at her craft and skillfully weaves intricate stories so “life-like” that you almost believe that it could really be happening to these characters. I’m dying to read the next book in this series! I want to know more about what happens next to Kallie, Layne, Belladonna, Divinity, Jackson and all the characters. I loved the introduction of the Were’s into the series. Ahhh I need to know more, lol. Adrian, do you need a beta reader? Can you write faster? 😀 As Adrians’ writing always does, she took me on a super awesome, crazy roller coaster ride along with the characters, the circumstances, the emotions, the danger, the suspense, the supernatural elements and the romantic entanglement. I loved every minute of it!
Find out more about Adrian Phoenix and her books at her website.
Buy Black Heart Loa at:
The Girls With Games Of Blood by Alex Bledsoe
“Listen to what I tell you, son, every word is true
The sisters haunt the night, and might fight over you
Nothing can steal your soul and stamp it in the mud
Like being the new play-pretty for the girls with the games of blood…
The old song warns of the beautiful Bolade sisters, Patience and Prudence, whose undying rivalry was said to stretch even beyond the grave. But Count Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski has never heard the song. A suave Continental vampire, staked to death more than sixty years ago, he has risen to stalk the Southern nights of Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1975. Although new to the modern world, he has quickly developed a taste for its hot blood, willing women, and high-speed automobiles.
Yet the seventies are not without their perils, even for so cunning and ruthless a predator. Zginski’s insistent pursuit of a cherry 1973 Mach 1 Ford Mustang soon brings him into conflict with a legendary redneck sheriff with a short temper and a big baseball bat. His dangerous fascination with an enticing undead chanteuse and her equally seductive sister, threatens not only his own ageless existence, but that of the small group of modern-day vampires he has grudgingly taken under his wing. Zginski has already escaped limbo once, but can he free himself from the tangled web of the girls who play games of blood?
Alex Bledsoe, author of Blood Groove, returns to he world of the undead with a tale of fast cars and vengeance that never dies….”
Here’s the thing, I couldn’t finish this book. I picked it up several times and kept putting it aside again. Maybe if I had read the first book in the series, Blood Groove, I might have been able to get caught up in the story, but it just didn’t hold my interest, sadly. I was really looking forward to reading it as so many of my favorite authors liked it, but it just didn’t work for me. I made it to page 116 after a few attempts to read it and am having a difficult time trying to talk myself into continuing when I have so many other books to review. I’m choosing to just give up and move on.
It is written well with interesting characters and an intriguing plot, so I can’t say that I recommend or don’t recommend it to others. You have to judge for yourself, but for me, it just didn’t work to keep me interested. It is a different style of urban fantasy than I like.
Everlasting Desire by Amanda Ashley
“DESIRE BURNS FOREVER
The clientele at Shore’s clothing store includes some of L.A.’s sexiest bachelors. But none of them affect Megan DeLacey as deeply as the dark-eyed stranger who strides into her boutique one evening – and keeps returning, night after night. Megan is drawn to Rhys Costain even as she fears him. Because his reason for being there is clear -he wants Megan, with an intensity that’s both tempting and terrifying…
For almost five centuries, Rhys has lived alone, using women as it pleased him and never wanting more. As Master of the West Coast vampires, it’s his duty to eliminate the ancient vampire who’s draining humans on his turf, putting all of their kind at risk. But Megan’s lush beauty and vibrant warmth is blinding him to a danger that will soon engulf them both – and tear him from the only woman who can satisfy his darkest hunger.”
I’ve been a fan of Amanda Ashley for well… forever! I liked the plot, pacing and the world-building, but it pains me to say that I wasn’t a fan of the main female character in this story. (Sorry Amanda :() I loved Rhys and everyone else, but I just couldn’t lose myself in the telling of Rhys & Megan’s tale because I didn’t like Megan’s personality. I wanted to give her a good shake. (Please remember that this is just my opinion & my likes and dislikes in a main female protag. You may very well find her charming & fun). For me, she was a bit too old-fashioned or prissy and she vacillated a bit too much in her decision-making for my liking.
On to the story itself… Rhys Costain is definitely one sexy as all get out vampire and his alpha personality definitely works for him! When one of the oldest vamps in existence comes into his territory, leaving a lot of dead bodies in his wake, Rhys has to find a way to protect those he cares about and find a way to defeat Tomas Villagrande, the ancient who means to take over his domain. Tomas is truly cold and cruel. He has a disregard for humanity as well as for others of his kind who get in his way. He’s a consummate villain and Rhys has definitely met his match.
Sadly, I was more interested in the action parts of this book than in the romance because I couldn’t make myself care about Megan and what happened to her. But, lucky for me, there’s plenty of action, danger and romance to whet my appetites and did I mention that Rhys is sexy? 😉
Buy Everlasting Desire at:
Find out more about Amanda Ashley & her books at her website!
Minder by Kate Kaynak
“Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it’s not exactly a nurturing place.
Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.
A stray thought can burn a building to the ground. And people’s nightmares don’t always stay in their own heads. But it’s still better than New Jersey.
Especially once she meets the man of her dreams…”
When Kate Kaynak first asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing Minder, I was intrigued with the book premise because it sounded somewhat similar to the movie PUSH. Am I ever happy that I accepted because I LOVED it!! I was totally caught up in the story and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next to Maddie, Trevor, Drew, Rachel, Hannah and the rest of the Ganzfield kids. The romance developing between Maddie & Trevor is sweet and the premise, plotting, pacing and world building were great!
Packed with interesting concepts, action, danger, romance and the fortitude and determination of a bunch of great teens with special abilities, Minder is a terrific read for both teens and adults. I liked reading how these kids have to learn to accept and deal with their various talents, both the advantages, disadvantages and difficulties of having special abilities. I can’t wait to dive into the next book in the series, Adversary, to see what happens next! And thankfully, the third book, Legacy, will be out in January, 2010 so it’s not too long of a wait. 🙂
Buy MINDER at:
Find out more about KATE KAYNAK and The Ganzfield Series at her website.
Poison Kissed by Erica Hayes
“Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She’s beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother’s death…
When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother’s murder, fury threatens to spill out of her note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she’s not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him—or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns her blood…”
Erica writes dark, gritty and provocative Urban Fantasy that captures the imagination and takes you on a journey through the dark side of the fae. I love it! Mina’s a rich and engaging character and I loved the chemistry and conflict between her and Joey. I never thought I’d see the day that I found a snake – shifter sexy, but lo and behold, Joey comes along and he is definitely dark, dangerous and SEXY. My heart broke along with Mina’s as she relived some really bad times in her past while trying to find out who killed her mother.
I love the gritty feel of what could be the underside of Melbourne, Australia. Populated with amazingly unique and dangerous fae characters that would have me looking over my shoulder! Loyalty, passion, betrayal, danger, suspense, and an amazing cast of paranormal beings who thrive on action, emotions and truly intriguing motives. An excellent story written by a talented writer who paints pictures with her words. Though Poison Kissed is part of a series, all the books can easily be read as stand alones. I highly recommend this book/series to fans of richly detailed, dark, sexy Urban Fantasy.
Buy Poison Kissed at:
Find out more about Erica Hayes and her books at her website!
Nocturnal by Jacquelyn Frank, Kate Douglas, Jess Haines & Clare Willis
Book Description & My Thoughts:
“The Phoenix Project” by Jacquelyn Frank. Held captive, Amara is subjected to bizarre experiments that test the limits of her sanity. But nothing prepares her for being locked away – naked – with a sexy ex-cop…after they’ve been pumped full of drugs that increase their sexual appetites to animalistic intensity…”
Whew, I had to check the spine to see if this book was Erotica or just regular Paranormal Romance after reading this first story. The chemistry between these two is HOT. Nick and Amara are great characters and I absolutely loved the story. Very original and I am hoping that Ms. Frank will write more about Morphates and this world she’s created. Dark, sexy and a roller-coaster ride of danger and suspense.
“Crystal Dreams” by Kate Douglas – When Lemurian Guard Darius chases a demon spirit to Earth, he faces a lethal battle between good and evil. His ally is Mari, a breathtakingly beautiful human who unknowingly holds the key to victory. But before the war is over, Darius’ desire for his mortal companion threatens to erupt – and could cost Mari her life…”
This tale is told in the same world that Kate Douglas introduced us to in her novel, Demon Fire, her Demon Slayers series. I am in lust with Darius and want a Lemurian of my own, thanks! 😉 Mari is a sweetheart and I really enjoyed the progression of her relationship with Darius. Really cool world building paired up with interesting characters and a great plot & pacing. I know that I will be following forthcoming books in this series.
“Spark of Temptation” by Jess Haines – Blackmailed into taking a treacherous case, P.I. Sara Halloway is thrust into a demon war. Sara seeks guidance from a charismatic mage, but their hunger for one another soon becomes a deadly distraction…and the danger surrounding them only makes their urges more powerful…”
This novella happens between book one, Hunted By The Others, and book two, Taken By The Others, in Jess Haines’ H & W Investigations series. Sara is the partner of Shiarra, who is the main character in both the books. It was awesome to read a story in Sara’s P.O.V. that was filled with characters from the books. Sara takes a job from Royce, a bad-a$$ vamp, and action, danger, conflict and some romance ensues! Sara & Arnold make a great team and I was really happy to read their story!
“My Soul to Take” by Clare Willis – New Orleans native Dr. Maggie Dillon thought she left her past behind her – until she’s enraptured by a handsome patient who has been possessed by a malevolent spirit. To find a cure, Colby revisits her magical roots – and unleashes a primal lust too vital to ignore…”
Maggie Dillon meets her soul mate in a patient who truly is possessed! Derek is handsome, talented & tortured by the malevolent spirit residing in him. Maggie has to call her sister Eve, who is a Voodoo Priestess in New Orleans to come and help with Derek. A fun read with engaging characters.
Buy NOCTURNAL at:
“Sara Constantine is one of the country’s most tenacious prosecuting attorneys—and she’s just secured a well-earned promotion. At first she’s thrilled. Then she finds out her new job involves prosecuting vampires and werewolves. And nothing prepares Sara for the shock she receives when she meets the first defendant she’ll be trying to put away: Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.
When Lucius Dragos kisses the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he’s only hoping to blend into the crowd and avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he’s following…and planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss to secure his cover ignites into a fierce hunger that leads to an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows Sara will do whatever it takes to see him locked away—unless he can convince her that he’s not the monster she thinks he is. And that might mean making the greatest sacrifice a vampire can make.”
First of all, I am in love with this cover! Yes, the man is smokin, but what also works for me is the combination of colors, the crescent moon in the background, the cool glow coming from the ring, the lettering and the wisps of smoke. All together they combine to make for a really stand-out cover that really draws the eye, which is exactly what a cover should do. Mission accomplished!
Second, I could not put this book down! After having read a whole bunch of paranormal romances and urban fantasy, it’s a rare find that basically keeps me flipping pages all night, long past reasonable expectations. When Blood Calls was one of them. (Plus, Lucius Dragos is my new fictional boyfriend now, but that’s neither here nor there). I really liked the compelling characters that J.K. created and the world in which she places them. Full of plot twists and turns, romance, suspense, action and danger.
When Blood calls is the first book in J.K. Beck’s Shadow Keepers series and after reading it, I say Bring On The Shadow Keepers! I haven’t been this excited about a series since I first started Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, Phoenix’s Makers Song series or Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. It’s a wonderful blend of both paranormal romance and urban fantasy which is in itself, intriguing because of the many layers woven into it. This book will remain on my “Keeper” shelf and this series has now become an “auto-buy” one for me.
Buy When Blood Calls at:
Find out more about J.K. Beck and what she’s working on at her website!
Secrets Of Blood & Bone by Robert S. Sadler
“What if one night you discovered you were a rare breed of warrior meant to be the champion of all mankind? That you were caught in the middle of an age old war between supernatural forces and had no choice but to fight or die? And that the beautiful predator staring at you from across the room was just dying to have sex with you, or maybe eat you depending on her mood?
One night while working in a dangerous inner city emergency room, Q’s security guard duties take him into the parking lot where he attempts to diffuse a gang war in the making. Riding on the heels of the bullet-riddled gang-bangers come a squad of mercenary soldiers accompanied by a pair of supernatural monsters who leave nothing but death and destruction in their wake. As Q’s new life unfolds before him, he finds himself fighting for his life with a hell-hound, dining with an immortal shape shifter, bantering with a genius gnome, and having sex with a beautiful were-tiger all before the first night comes to a close. During his journey, Q must discover if his father is indeed a serial rapist and who was responsible for his real mother’s death while fighting for his life and his sanity in a world where sex and violence are everyday facets of normal existence.
The world of the Skira and the Rotu lends a new twist to the typical vampire vs. werewolf genre. Here vampires, shifters, trolls, and others work together or rip each other apart based on their belief systems not their species. Creatures that seldom see the limelight play major roles in this book, Ogres for instance are discovered to be noble warriors created for a purpose, not the blood thirsty baby eaters most believe. New creatures such as the small but vicious Skritek act as stead fast friends and comedy relief, while mysterious characters such as the powerful Lord Obsidian appear to be hero’s one moment and villains the next. Good and evil, friend or foe is not so clearly delineated in this world. Q, being a complex character, is full of very real human inadequacies but is forced to leave the tedium of his old life behind, in a world where he never quite belonged. Q fully embraces a new life full of sex, blood, violence and love on his way to an epic climax and a discovery that will shake not only his world but that of the entire supernatural community!”
I had a hard time putting this one down once I started reading it! Think Bruce Willis action movie mixed with some majorly cool paranormal elements. I also think that both men and women will love this book. Thankfully, it’s the first book in the Trilogy Of Q, so there’s a lot more awesome kick-a$$ery to come!
Q’s a complex and really interesting character with a strong voice and he’s dark, dangerous & sexy too. 😀 Complex plotting and sub-plotting along with an original take on several supernatural beings along with a wickedly fun story had me relishing each and every page. The book description is really detailed, so other than suggesting that EVERYONE should give this book a read, I don’t know what else to say other than I loved it and can’t wait for the next one!
Robert’s hard at work on the next book, Revelations Out Of Darkness, due out later this year.
Buy Secrets Of Blood And Bone at:
Find out more about Robert S. Sadler and what he’s working on at his website.