Showing posts with label Best of 2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of 2021. Show all posts

Review // No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

November 16, 2021

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

Sexy.
He has too much of a biological advantage.
What female could be expected to turn him away when he wanted to be inside her?

────── ♔ ──────


No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole


Standalone - Immortals After Dark #2
Release - October 31, 2006
Genre - Paranormal Romance / fated mates
Primarily Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 3.5 / several scenes
Format/Source - borrowed from the library
Length - 384 pages
Publisher - Pocket Books

A vampire soldier weary of life...

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him...

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill.

Competitors in a legendary hunt...

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Find No Rest for the Wicked here: Goodreads * Amazon


My Two Cents

4.5 "He's ever so worthy" stars

Is it wrong that I wanted to slap every fictional woman in Sebastian's fictional past who ever made this ficitional male doubt himself?

I'm a sucker for a broken hero and Sebastian more than fit the bill. Once a fierce human warrior, when he was at death's door, he refused his brother's help. He didn't want to become a vampire. He didn't want to live that way. He didn't really have a choice and hundreds of years later, he wasn't really living. No wonder he was so ready for Kaderin to end him.

And yet she couldn't.

Kaderin the Coldhearted found her heart. It was beating outside of her. And no matter how hard she tried to fight it, to deny it, Sebastian was her destiny.

I loved the push and pull of their relationship. He knew that she was his 'Bride'. She knew that she could never be with a vampire. Wanting and needing aside, her family would never accept him. But who cares, right?! The heart wants what the heart wants and when she finally just gave in... so beautiful!

Even the adventure aspect of the Hie gave me some cheap thrills. Is Bowen okay? I felt so sorry for the wolf who was devastated by the loss of his life mate and was so desperate to find a way to be with her again.

I'm still as fascinated as always with all of these characters, especially the ones with stories to come. Regin and Nix crack me up! Once again, the writing was on point, the plot was entertaining, and the characters were amazing. This was my favorite one of the series so far! I loved seeing Wroth and Myst again and I'm looking forward to the next book.

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

Excerpt

Chapter 1


Castle Gornyi, Russia

Present day


For the second time in her life, Kaderin the Coldhearted hesitated to kill a vampire.

In the last instant of a silent, lethal swing, she stayed her sword an inch above the neck of her prey -- because she'd found him holding his head in his hands.

She saw his big body tense. As a vampire, he could easily trace away, disappearing. Instead, he remained, raising his face to gaze up at her with dark gray eyes, the color of a storm about to be unleashed. Surprisingly, they were clear not red -- which meant the vampire had never drunk a being to death. Yet.

He pleaded with those eyes, and she realized he hungered for an end. He wanted the death blow she'd come to his decrepit castle to deliver.

She'd stalked him soundlessly, primed for battle with a vicious predator. Kaderin had been in Scotland with other Valkyrie when they'd received the call about a "vampire haunting a castle and terrorizing a village in Russia." She had gladly volunteered to destroy it. She was her Valkyrie coven's most prolific killer, her life given over to ridding the earth of leeches.

In Scotland, on that trip alone, she'd killed three.

So why was she hesitating now? Why was she even now easing her sword back to raise it before her? He would be merely one among thousands of her kills, his fangs collected and strung together with the others she'd taken.

The last time she'd stayed her hand had resulted in a tragedy so great her heart had been broken forever by it.

In a deep, gravelly voice, the vampire asked, "Why do you wait?" He seemed startled by the sound of his own words.

I don't know why. Unfamiliar physical sensations wracked her. Her stomach knotted. As though a band had tightened around her chest, her lungs were desperate for breath. I can't comprehend why.

The wind blew outside, sliding over the mountain, making this high room in the vampire's darkened lair groan. Unseen gaps in the walls allowed the chill morning breeze in. As he stood, rising to his full, towering height, her blade caught the wavering light from a cluster of candles and reflected on him.

His grave face was lean with harsh planes, and other females would consider it handsome. His black shirt was threadbare and unbuttoned, displaying much of his chest and sculpted torso, and his worn jeans were slung low at his narrow waist. The wind tugged at the tail of his shirt and stirred his thick black hair. Very handsome. But then, the vampires I kill often are.

His gaze focused on the tip of her sword. Then, as if the threat of her weapon were forgotten, he studied her face, his eyes lingering on each of her features. His blatant appreciation unsettled her, and she clutched the hilt tightly, something she never did.

Honed to masterly sharpness with her diamond file, her sword cut through bone and muscle with little effort. It swung perfectly from her loose wrist as though it were an extension of her arm. She'd never needed to hold it tightly.

Take his head. One less vampire. The species checked in the tiniest way.

"What is your name?" His speech was clipped like an aristocrat's, but held a familiar accent. Estonian. Though Estonia bordered Russia to the west and its inhabitants were considered a Nordic breed of Russian, she recognized the difference and wondered what he was doing away from his own country.

She tilted her head. "Why do you want to know?"

"I would like to know the name of the woman who will deliver me from this."

He wanted to die. After all she'd suffered from his kind, the last thing she wanted to do was oblige the vampire in any way. "You assume I'll deliver your death blow?"

"Will you not?" His lips curled at the corners, but it was a sad smile.

Another tightening on the sword. She would. Of course, she would. Killing was her only purpose in life. She didn't care if his eyes were clear of the red that marked a vampire's bloodlust. Ultimately, he would drink to kill, and he would turn.

They always did.

He stepped around a stack of hard-bound books -- some of the hundreds of texts throughout the room with titles imprinted in Russian and, yes, Estonian -- and leaned his massive frame against the crumbling wall. He truly wasn't going to raise a hand in defense.

"Before you do, speak again. Your voice is beautiful. As beautiful as your stunning face."

She swallowed, startled to feel her cheeks heating. "Who do you align with . . . ?" She trailed off when he closed his eyes as though listening to her were bliss. "The Forbearers?"

That got him to open his eyes. They were full of anger. "I align with no one. Especially not them."

"But you were once human, weren't you?" The Forbearers were an army, or order, of turned humans. They eschewed taking blood straight from the flesh because they believed that act caused bloodlust. By forbearing, they hoped to avoid becoming like crazed Horde vampires. The Valkyrie remained unoptimistic about their chances.

"Yes, but I've no interest in that order. And you? You're no human either, are you?"

She ignored his question. "Why do you linger here in this castle?" she asked. "The villagers live in terror of you."

"I won this holding on the battlefield and rightly own it, so I stay. And I've never harmed them." He turned away and murmured, "I wish that I did not frighten them."

Kaderin needed to get this killing over with. In just three days, she was to compete in the Talisman's Hie, which was basically a deadly, immortal version of The Amazing Race. Besides hunting vampires, the Hie was the only thing she lived for, and she needed to confirm transportation and secure supplies. And yet she found herself saying, "They told me you live here alone."

He faced her and gave a sharp nod. She sensed that he was embarrassed by this fact, as if he felt lacking that he didn't have a family here.

"How long?"

He hiked his broad shoulders, pretending nonchalance. "A few centuries."

To live solitary for all that time? "The people in the valley sent for me," she said, as if she had to explain herself. The inhabitants of the remote village belonged to the Lore -- a population of immortals and "mythical" creatures kept secret from humans. Many of them still worshipped the Valkyrie and provided tributes, but that wasn't what made Kaderin travel to such an isolated place.

The chance to kill even a single vampire had drawn her. "They beseeched me to destroy you."

"Then I await your leisure."

"Why not kill yourself, if that's what you want?" she asked.

"It's . . . complicated. But you save me from that end. I know you're a skilled warrior -- "

"How do you know what I am?"

He gave a nod at her sword. "I used to be a warrior, too, and your remarkable weapon speaks much."

The one thing she felt pride in -- the one thing in her life that she had left and couldn't bear to lose -- and he'd noted its excellence.

He strode closer to her and lowered his voice. "Strike your blow, creature. Know that no misfortune could come to you for killing one such as me. There is no reason to wait."

As if this were a matter of conscience! It wasn't. It couldn't be. She had no conscience. No real feelings, no raw emotions. She was coldhearted. After the tragedy, she'd prayed for oblivion, prayed for the sorrow and guilt to be numbed.

Some mysterious entity had answered her and made her heart like ash. Kaderin didn't suffer from sorrow, from lust, from anger, or from joy. Nothing got in the way of her killing.

She was a perfect killer. She had been for one thousand years, half of her interminable life.

"Did you hear that?" he asked. The eyes that had been pleading for an end now narrowed. "Are you alone?"

She quirked an eyebrow. "I do not require help from others. Especially not for a single vampire," she added, her tone growing absent. Oddly, her attention had dipped to his body once more -- to low on his torso, past his navel to the dusky trail of hair leading down. She had a flash imagining of grazing the back of one of her sharp claws along it while his massive body clenched and shuddered in reaction.

Her thoughts were making her uneasy, making her want to wind her hair up into a knot and let the chill air cool her neck --

He cleared his throat. When she jerked her gaze to his face, he raised his eyebrows.

Caught ogling the prey! The indignity! What is wrong with me? She had no more sexual urges than the walking dead vampire before her. She shook herself, forcing herself to remember the last time she'd hesitated.

On a battlefield, an age ago, she had spared and released another of this ilk, a young vampire soldier who had begged for his life.

Yet he had seemed to scorn her for her very mercy. Without delay, the soldier had found her two full-blood sisters fighting in the flatlands below them. Alerted by a shriek from another Valkyrie, Kaderin had sprinted, stumbling down a hill draped with bodies, living and dead. Just as she'd reached them, he'd cut her sisters down.

The younger, Rika, had been taken off guard, because of Kaderin's panicked approach. The vampire had smiled when Kaderin dropped to her knees.

He'd dispatched her sisters with a brutal efficiency Kaderin had since emulated. She'd like to say she started with him, but she'd kept him alive for a time.

So, why would she repeat the same mistake? She wouldn't. She would not ignore a lesson she had paid so dearly to learn.

The sooner I get this done, the sooner I can begin preparing for the Hie.

Squaring her shoulders, she steeled herself. It's all in the follow-through. Kaderin could see the swing, knew the angle she would take so that his head would remain on his neck until he fell. It was cleaner that way. Which was important.

She'd packed her suitcase lightly.

About the Author


Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances.

A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings.

Her books have been translated into 23 foreign languages, garnered 3 RITA awards, a Hall of Fame induction, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.

Cole lives in Florida with her family.

Visit http://www.kresleycole.com/ for more information

Review // Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale

November 09, 2021

Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale

The man was downright drop-dead gorgeous.
I'm talking, beautiful, not going to change my mind that he's the sexiest thing in the world, better than the hero in my favorite book, stunning.

────── ♔ ──────


Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale

Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale


Rating: ALL THE STARS!!
Standalone - Souls Chapel Revenants MC #8
Release - November 9, 2021
Genre - Contemporary Romance with suspense elements / instant connection
Dual POV - 1st person
Heat Level - 4 out of 5 / several scenes
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author (thank you Uplifting Author Services)
Page Count - 259
Publisher - Indie

Wanted: someone to hand feed me Doritos so my hands don’t get orange. No weirdos.

Belle Pena was an editor. Not a writer.

When her brothers challenge her to create a dating profile, she makes up the most random biography she can think of. She never, not ever, thought she’d find anybody to respond. But she was sorely mistaken.

Sadly, she finds that she has way more interest than she ever could’ve imagined.

But only one profile catches her eye.

Bruno never meant to take the dating app seriously. Being the last single man in his band of misfits, he’s happy being the odd man out. Women spelled trouble, and he had enough trouble in his life to last him through the next decade.

Only his newfound family doesn’t feel the same. One innocent ‘sure’ has the women of the Souls Chapel Revenants MC creating him a dating profile that is too spot on to be comfortable. And just when he decides to delete the app entirely, a particular face catches his eye.

One innocent question of ‘Belle is that you? Do you remember punching me in the throat in high school?’ has him stepping into trouble neck deep, and he doesn’t even realize it until it’s too late.

Purchase Links


Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale

My Two Cents

We're at the end of the road and it's coming like LLV saved the best for last. How could anyone resist the charms and wiles of Bruno? Especially when he wasn't trying to be charming lol. He was kinda churlish and brooding and monosyllabic... and utterly delicious!

I always feel bad objectifying these characters, but then I remind myself that they're fictional and I ain't really hurting anyone and seriously... I can't help but be honest about how I feel... and all is right in my world again.

Bruno had taken some lumps in his life. He was destined for some greatness. And how awesome was it that his happiness was with Belle Pena?!

I feel like the author delivered two great characters, both deserving of blessings, and so much more. I loved how the Pena family popped in (Hi guys!!) and I loved how Bruno's chosen family was on point each and every time he needed them. And that epilogue... I'm sad to see them all go, but the author gave one amazing send off.

Check out the other books of this series:






Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale Shakedown by Lani Lynn Vale

Excerpt

Bruno

“Why Farmers Only?” I asked, wincing when I read the website’s name.

“Bruno, you have pigs. You’re a farmer. This is perfect,” Six assured me. “It’ll work out great. You can invite your date out to meet you at your farm. Y’all can go feed all of the animals. Then you can cook her dinner.”

I looked at Six.

“I don’t want to do this,” I told her bluntly.

“If you do this, I’ll never bring up you leaving me behind again,” Six declared.

I stared at her, wondering if her words were true.

I’d do just about anything for her to never bring that up again.

A long time ago, when we were in high school, her father had given me an ultimatum.

Leave Six alone, and never contact her again, or he’d make Six’s life a living hell.

The bad thing was, I knew that he could do it.

So like any dumbass seventeen-year-old, I’d done it.

I’d left her behind, gone my own way, and had never looked back.

At least, for appearance’s sake anyway, that was what I did.

In reality, I kept an eye on her from a distance, making sure that she was always okay.

At least, until Lynn, the man that might as well be my very own father, had taken a liking to her.

Then Six had come back into my life with a vengeance, and ever since she and Lynn had married, I’d found it almost impossible to get back into her good graces.

Which, might I add, was bullshit.

I’d done it for her.

Sure, once I’d ‘grown up’ I could’ve come back into her life, but who the hell would want an ex-con in their life?

I knew that I wouldn’t want anyone like me in Six’s life.

Hell, it was bad enough that I had to allow her husband, Lynn, to have a part of her life. If anything, Lynn was worse than I was.

But at least he loved her and would protect her.

That was more than I’d done for her.

“That’s not going to matter to him, honey,” Lynn said. “He believes that he deserves your ire, so he won’t care if you stop.”

That was true.

I did deserve her ire.

I’d left her, like she’d said.

Then again, I’d left a lot of people behind in my thirty-two years. Six was just one of many.

“Fine,” she said. “Then just do it because I want you to be happy.”

My eye started to twitch.

“I’m an ex-con, Six,” I said. “No woman’s going to want anything to do with me on Farmers Only. Or any website for that matter.”

Six rolled her eyes. “Bruno, you’re hot, successful, and you’re unattached. Trust me when I say that any woman is going to go for you, ex-con status or not.”

I sighed.

“I shot and killed someone. On purpose. There was no ‘oh, I might or might not have been high on adrenaline because he beat up my sister.’ I shot and killed someone. On. Purpose. People don’t just get over that because I’m hot,” I argued.

“You shot someone because you had to.” She waved my worry away. “And trust me when I say, someone out there will understand.”

Hell, I didn’t even understand.

And I’d been the one to do the shooting.

Granted, the guy had been a piece of shit.

He’d raped three women. He’d beat up his own mother. And he’d all but maimed a two-year-old with his careless actions.

But that wasn’t my reasoning for killing the piece of shit.

Hell, I hadn’t even known about all of that other stuff.

I’d known that the motherfucker had tried to kill me because of some suspected slight, and I’d had no other choice but to shoot him and suffer the consequences. That was it. Me or him.

I’d chosen me.

And then I’d spent the next eighteen months behind bars until the parole board had learned of all the other shit that the man had done in his life. Then they’d been all, ‘Oh, no. We need heroes like you on the outside.’ Which was a bunch of shit.

I was no hero.

“Are you even listening to me?” Six snapped.

“You know he’s not listening to you.” Catori, one of my brothers’ wives, chuckled.

“Where is your cut?” another woman asked. “You can’t take a picture like that. You have to have your cut on.”

I looked over to find Swayze, Trick’s wife, staring at me with her phone in her hand.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because leather and bikers go hand in hand,” she said. “If you don’t have your cut on, nobody will know that you’re in a club. And being in a club automatically ratchets up the hotness factor.”

I rolled my eyes. “It got dirty. Had to have it dry-cleaned.”

In all honesty, it got blood on it, and I’d had to douse it down with the water hose before taking it to the dry cleaners to see if they could salvage it.

If not, I might or might not need to find a new one.

I was hoping that it came out, though.

Or, at least, when I wore it, it didn’t look like I’d tie-dyed it in blood.

“Well that’s just stupid,” Swayze grumbled as she put her phone down.

“I have one from last week,” Blaise called out, pumping her fist into the air as if she’d hit the jackpot. “And he looks good in it. He’s not even scowling!”

I rolled my eyes.

“Oh, that one’s perfect. Send it to me.” Six was still typing away at the computer. “What do you think of this biography for a profile? Hobby pig farmer by day, Souls Chapel Revenant MC by night. Thirty-two-year-old man looking for a woman that isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Anybody that can’t manage that need not reply.”

“I think we should add this…” Wyett suggested as she rattled off her idea of edits.

I sighed and sipped my beer, wondering idly how long it would take to get dinner figured out.

I was ready to go home.

Today had been long, and my fucking knuckles were aching.

Even worse, I think my back was acting up again.

I’d have to make another appointment at the chiropractor. The one that was scared of me.

Yay.

“Ohhh.” One of the ladies laughed, catching my attention.

“Oh, here’s one for you.” Six dissolved into laughter, turning the computer screen my way.

Wanted: Man to feed me Doritos so my fingers don’t get orange. No weirdos.

My ideal match: No animals, no kids, no annoying voices, doesn’t like beaches, can deal with me not talking, and doesn’t mind when I talk down to you or that I’m smarter than you. Also, it’d be ideal if you don’t like to cuddle, because my body temperature runs hot, and I don’t generally like people touching me skin to skin. Is blunt and doesn’t try to use sarcasm. Won’t try to get me to go out to places where there is a large group setting.

Again, no weirdos.

“This chick sounds like she’s perfect for you.” Six clicked on the photo, but she didn’t need to.

I’d seen the photo.

The woman was gorgeous.

Though I couldn’t see her height, I could make out other things.

She was curled up in a chair that looked like a cocoon of sorts. One with really tall sides, big, poofy cushions, and it was all hanging from a contraption from the ceiling.

She had her knees crisscrossed in front of her, and she was wearing a baggy white t-shirt, black horn-rimmed glasses, and had a book partially in front of her face.

That book happened to be one of my favorites.

Captain’s Fury by Jim Butcher.

In all honesty, that was the very first thing to catch my eye.

Her hair, which was so fuckin’ curly that I knew if I tried to run my fingers through it, they’d get caught at least a dozen times.

“She’s perfect,” Crockett declared. “Message her. But don’t make it weird. Make it… sweet.”

“Bruno’s not sweet,” one of the boys, likely Sin, called out. “Don’t make him come off as sweet. The chick will definitely know that it wasn’t him that wrote it.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Messaged her. Let’s see what she says.” Six squealed, clapping her hands.

I sighed.

“Oh, she already messaged back. Oh my God. She said, ‘Hell no.’”

My brows lifted at that.

“Oh, she’s perfect. I just know it.” Six snickered.

“Oh my God. I knew she looked familiar! That’s Belle Pena! One of my good friends! Sorry, Bruno. But there’s no way in hell that she’s going to agree to date you. She has a type,” Beckham said as she settled her son, Hiro, more firmly on her shoulder.

She looked like she was lagging, though.

I bent forward and caught the kid before Beckham, who really was interested in this whole mess, dropped her own kid.

Beckham didn’t even notice that she was giving him away to me before she was insinuating herself into the bullshit.

I tipped back the beer and settled the kid more solidly on my shoulder.

He snuggled in deep, buried his face in my neck, and promptly sneezed all down my neck.

Gross.

About the Author

Lani Lynn Vale is married to the love of her life that she met in high school. She fell in love with him because he was wearing baseball pants. Ten years later they have three perfectly crazy children and a cat named Demon who likes to wake her up at ungodly times in the night. They live in the greatest state in the world, Texas. She writes contemporary and romantic suspense, and has a love for all things romance. You can find Lani in front of her computer writing away in her fictional characters world...that is until her husband and kids demand sustenance in the form of food and drink.

Visit https://lanilynnvale.com/ for more information!

Review // The Field of Wrongdoing by Lili St. Germain

November 01, 2021

The Field of Wrong Doing by Lili St. Germain

In my rage, I find my solace.
In my rage, I vanquish my despair.

────── ♔ ──────


The Field of Wrong Doing by Lili St. Germain

The Field of Wrongdoing by Lili St. Germain


Standalone
Release - October 12, 2021
Genre - Psychological Thriller
Multiple POV - 1st person
Heat Level - 3.5 out of 5 / several scenes
Format/Source - ebook purchase from Amazon
Page Count - 337
Publisher - Level 4 Press, Inc.

How well can you really know someone?

The smallest towns hold the darkest secrets. And the people you least suspect are the ones you should fear the most.

When Cassie’s friend disappears, Cassie knows all too well the tragic end Jennifer has probably met. After all, Cassie is the one who found the last murdered girl in the field on her boyfriend Leo’s property nine years ago.

She never believed the love of her life was capable of such a brutal crime. Not even after Leo went to prison for an unrelated crime. But now he’s back, released on parole, and another girl has gone missing . . .

USA Today bestselling author Lili St. Germain delivers a terrifying, unpredictable thrill ride that explores how far one woman is willing to go to discover the truth - and the brutal betrayals she unearths along the way.

Purchase Links


The Field of Wrong Doing by Lili St. Germain
The Field of Wrong Doing by Lili St. Germain
The Field of Wrong Doing by Lili St. Germain
The Field of Wrong Doing by Lili St. Germain

My Two Cents

I pre-ordered this book because... Lili St. Germain and I love (read that: lu-uh-uh-uh-ove love) this author.

And as I was reading, I realized this story was very familiar to me. It was dirty and depraved and depressing and disgusting and oh so good... but it was familiar.

And then I found out that it used to be titled Gun Shy, which I read back in 2017. And it was just as amazing now as it was then. You can check out my review for that HERE.

So what can I offer that's new? Wouldn't it be hilarious if I was just as blind this time as I was before? Well, go ahead and laugh because I still had no clue!

I loved that!

Like stories that keep you guessing? Stories that are full of darkness and heartache? Read. This. Book!!

About the Author

Lili is a USA Today bestselling hybrid author who has sold over a million books since January 2014. After the success of her self-published Gypsy Brothers series, she was approached by HarperCollins Publishers, who signed her CARTEL series in a three-book deal. The Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released in 2015 by HarperCollins.

Aside from writing, her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram. She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Lili is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

You can reach her at lili@lilisaintgermain.com

Review // Nightshade by Keri Lake

October 29, 2021

Nightshade by Keri Lake

You belong to me, Farryn. Should another man dare to lay so much as a finger on you, I will flay his hand and shine my boots with his skin.

────── ♔ ──────


Nightshade by Keri Lake

Nightshade by Keri Lake


Hopefully book 1
Release - October 29, 2021
Genre - Dark Paranormal Gothic romance / fated mates
Multiple POV - 1st and 3rd person
Heat Level - 3.5 / slow slow slow burn and a few scenes
Format/Source - eARC provided by the author (Thank you @ Give Me Books PR)
Page Count - 664
Publisher - Indie

A love so forbidden, it would shake the heavens ...

My father called them messengers.
He once told me they walked among us, and that somewhere in this dark and godless city, there shined a faint sliver of hope. I had only to look for the signs.

Well, I’ve spent my whole life investigating the inexplicable, and all I've found are the unsettling vestiges of iniquity - the evidence of another world shrouded by the obscure. Purgatory to some, where depravity hides in shadows, and girls like me are little more than delicious bites of temptation.

Others call it Nightshade.

This peculiar place is where I first met the cold and callous recluse living in a decaying cliffside cathedral. Jericho Van Croix is the epitome of everything I’ve been told to fear. A raven-winged harbinger who wears intrigue like a warm black cloak. An enigma that I’m determined to unravel – even if it means getting closer than I should.

One touch is forbidden. Even so much as a kiss would be my demise. But the sin on his lips burns me up like a wild flame, and his growing infatuation weakens my resolve.

Giving him what he wants, though, will mean no chance for redemption, or escape. What's worse is, the signs I’ve followed yet failed to see all these years begin to unmask a terrifying reality:

That falling may be my only saving grace.

Purchase Links

Amazon CA * Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon AU
Free to read with Kindle Unlimited

Nightshade by Keri Lake

My Two Cents

This read exactly as advertised! Just hearing about this story in the Vigilante Vixens group had me hungry... and I'm still ravenous because I want more Jericho Van Croix!!

Standing across from me, with the bolts of lightning at his back, the storm that still raged around us never once ruffling the feathers of his wings, he was sublime. Chaotic. Dissonance in the flesh. Both terrifying and incredible at the same time.


Nightshade was dark and depraved. Gothic and gruesome. Dirty and a bit disgusting. Nightshade was utterly delicious!!

Who knew reading over 600 pages of gothic PNR would be just what I needed?

I can't even give you anything about the plot or characters without giving some vital piece of this story away. Know that Jericho is an immortal who would make any woman want to be deserving of him. I love my soul, but... And Farryn was as annoying as any almost virginal, somewhat pure female would be, but she had a knack for hitting all of the right notes with me. So while she frustrated me, she made me cheer her on. While she had me rolling my eyes hard, she also made me smile and hope and dream.

I could have done without the extremely slow build, but then again, this story probably wouldn't have worked as well as it did if it were any faster. The world building was seriously on point!

Guessing the truth is easy, but knowing the truth, living the truth, understanding the truth... I'm still unsure what the truth really is. I'm kinda loving this opaque bubble I'm living in right now.

I want more.
I need more.
GIVE ME MORE!!
The end?

Nightshade by Keri Lake
Nightshade by Keri Lake

Excerpt

“It’s supposed to storm tonight. I’ve been told it’s dangerous up here when there’s lightning.” Hand in his, I let him guide me up the tower’s narrow, stone stairwell, lit only by the few flickering lamps that hung from the brackets on the wall.
Grip tightening as if I might try to get away, he glanced over his shoulder at me. “You’ve nothing to worry about.”
The stairwell opened up to beams and scaffolds, moving gears and the tired sounds they made. We hit a magnificent landing en route toward the bell at the tower's pinnacle, where the back end of the clock’s enormous hands ticked off the seconds in mocking. Counting down the end of innocence. I’d heard the vague rumors of the things that happened to girls in the bell tower. The utter depravity held mostly secret by its ancient walls.
“How can you be so sure?” I asked, stalling at a window, through which a cloud of lightning gave an ominous flicker over the black sea below.
His firm hand gripped me possessively, and before I even realized he’d changed direction, he backed me into the wall. Capricious as the wind that rapped against the window, he fixed his attentions on me, the chilled stones at my back a reminder that there was no escaping him.
The gentle brush of his knuckles down my cheek belied the shadow of malice that slipped behind his otherwise cold, inscrutable eye. “Because I’m so unreasonably rapacious when it comes to you, Miss Ravenshaw, that not even a bolt of lightning should dare touch your skin without consequence.”
In that moment, the thunder seemed more distant, somehow, or perhaps it was the incessant thump of my heart drowning it out.
“You’re jealous of lightning?”
He leaned in closer, the delicious scent of bergamot and licorice as intoxicating as the warm absinthe still pulsing through my veins. His lips traced a featherlight path along my jaw. Teeth grazed my earlobe, breath hot against my neck, as he whispered, “I’m jealous of anything that occupies your mind so unremittingly when you’re with me.”

About the Author

Keri Lake is a dark romance writer who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists. Her stories are gritty, with antiheroes that walk the line of good and bad, and feisty heroines who bring them to their knees. When not penning books, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and their rebellious Labrador (who doesn’t retrieve a damn thing). She runs on strong coffee and alternative music, loves a good red wine, and has a slight addiction to dark chocolate.

Review // Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti

September 23, 2021

Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti

There was something about him she couldn't nail down, something that had never happened to her. His allure was magnetic, and the hunger to solve the puzzle he represented shocked her in its intensity.

────── ♔ ──────


Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti

Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti


Standalone - Dark Protectors #14
Release - December 7, 2021
Genre - Paranormal Romance / fated mates
Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 3.5 out of 5 / a few scenes
Format/Source - eARC provided by the publisher
Page Count - 328
Publisher - Lyrical Press

First comes danger . . .

When Vampire-Demon Sam Kyllwood discovers he’s the keeper of some mysterious circle, he laughs it off. When he finds out that his younger brother is supposed to fight to the death in said circle, he snaps right to furious. And that’s before he starts uncontrollably making things explode —it turns out it’s never too late to develop deadly new immortal abilities. But even those explosions are nothing compared to what happens when he tries to handle a very suspicious, brilliant and beyond sexy human female whose piercing eyes ignite a heat that rages deliciously outside even his unbreakable control…

Then comes desire . . .

Honor McDovall is one of the best interrogators Homeland Security has ever had. But no matter how well she appears to fit in, her mystical gifts are slowly driving her mad. She doesn't understand them, she doesn't want them, but for now, she'll use them to detect and defeat danger until she completely loses her mind. Unfortunately, her job brings her face to face with the deadliest man she's ever met—and she senses Sam is even more gifted than she is. Yet once they kiss, she realizes he's also more dangerous than the enemies suddenly coming from every direction. Good thing they both like to play with fire . . .

Purchase Links


Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti

My Two Cents

Was this book supposed to be as hilarious as I found it to be?

Immortal's Honor was Sam Kyllwood's story. Yeah, yeah. Honor was there too, but it was Sam who definitely stole the show.

As The Keeper, a title Sam absolutely hated, he and the Seven, the three keys and the lock were responsible for stopping the unstoppable. It seems that Ulric has only gotten more powerful, able to summon people to his prison world and do some pretty serious psychological (and eventually physical) damage.

And remember... not everyone wants to stop Ulric. The Kurjans believe he has served his time. You know, because killing 100 innocent women is an act you can find redemption for. The Cyst seem to be following their wayward general, Jaydon, who had his own plan — replicating the same ritual Ulric did so he could be just as untouchable. All of the 'bad guys' had their own agenda and it appeared that they all wanted to kill Sam.

Then there was Honor. This lady made me laugh so freaking much! From the moment she met Sam, she gave him a hard time. I think she was the first heroine that I've seen in this series who maimed her fated mate and basically left him for dead. How could I not find the humor in that? As an enhanced female, her power was at once powerful and mysterious. I'm still not sure exactly what she can do, but I know that what I've seen so far is amazing. That scene where she amplified the other enchanced women's powers... with her mind... such a unique touch!

It was pretty clear that the chemistry between these characters couldn't be denied, despite how hard they tried. I loved how everyone and their mama were pushing these two together. Shoot, I just loved seeing everyone up in the place. I enjoyed seeing how the shifter community had completely embraced Sam and Garrett, how devoted Bear and Nessa are to each other, how Flynn was such a great brother, how the truth has finally been shared with Sam's family... This book gave me everything!

There was plenty to love about this story and here at the end, I can't wait until the next book in this series. It's Garrett's turn!!

My Notes

When will Hope stop being so reckless and naive? This thing she has with Drake is driving me nuts, especially because we know that he isn't the good guy she makes him out to be. Dude just tried to kill her favorite uncle. WTH?! And her swinging between Pax and Drake is annoying. Oh and Pax's whole The Defenders plot has me both curious and infuriated. I'm super excited to see these kids really get their chance to shine and tell their story.

Quick Peek

"I appreciate your attempts to get to know me, so let me give you this. This challenge from you, this stubborn fight inside you, does nothing but turn me on." He waited until his words sank in and her eyes widened before continuing. "Your being pliant and obedient bores me. So you have a choice to make. Do you want to bore me or arouse me?"

She blinked. "How about I rip off your head and shove my socks down your headless corpse?"

Amusement grabbed him so quickly he couldn't help a quick bark of laughter. "Aroused it is, then." He slamed the door and crossed around the car to retake his seat. Oh, he couldn't keep her, but she was making that reality look bleak. Maybe someday when he took care of his problems, he could look her up.


About the Author

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over forty romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Upcoming series are: The Blood Brothers, The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

Visit https://rebeccazanetti.com/ for more information!

Review // No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden

September 12, 2021

No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden

There is nothing I would not do for you.
In order to keep you safe, I would like, cheat, and kill.
Know it.

────── ♔ ──────


No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden

No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden


Standalone - Trouble for Hire #1
Release - May 25, 2021
Genre - Romantic Suspense / second chance
Primarily Dual POV - 3rd person
Heat Level - 4 out of 5 / a few scenes
Format/Source - ebook provided by the publisher through Inkslinger PR
Page Count - 217
Publisher - Hocus Pocus Publishing, Inc.

Revenge. Oh, it was going to be sweet.

Warren “War” Channing finally has the chance to nail his beautiful, lying ex. And, no, he doesn’t mean “nail” in the down and dirty sexual way…War means he has the opportunity to send the lovely and infuriating Rose Shadow to jail. Turned out, the woman who had shattered his heart beneath her high heeled shoes was wanted for murder. She was on the run, and he was just the man to hunt her down and toss her into the nearest cell…War could hardly wait.

He was the last man she expected to need.

The breakup had been ugly. Painful. It had ripped out her heart and left her in a sad, crying heap as she ate her ice cream, but Rose had moved the hell on, and she had sworn to never, ever need War again. Except, well, now she did need him and his sneaky skills because Rose was in trouble up to her eyes. The kind of trouble that could wreck a woman’s life.

He’ll make her pay.

Rose has cracked the story of a lifetime. She’s uncovered a brutal serial killer who has been hiding in the shadows—only now, she is his next target. The cops think she’s involved in the string of murders because maybe her DNA had been at a crime scene and maybe she’d been spotted by witnesses at another location, but Rose is a reporter—she’d been at the scenes because she was tracking down the real killer. Now, though, because War has caught her, Rose is out of time and options. War is former special ops. He’s the best PI in town. And he’s the man who gave her more pleasure than should be legal…Too bad that he’s also the man who hates her the most.

Forty-eight hours…then jail.

They make a grudging deal—she’ll pay him anything he wants if he just gives her forty-eight hours before he turns her over to the cops. During that forty-eight hours, he will help her track the real killer. When the clock runs down, she’ll be out of his life for good. Except…a whole lot can change for two people in forty-eight hours. Hate can turn into desire. Need can rage out of control. And a love that you thought was long dead? It just might flash to life again.

Provided, of course, that the murderer hunting Rose doesn’t manage to kill her before she and War can catch him. Forty-eight hours. The countdown starts now…

Author’s note: The Trouble For Hire romance series features hot, former military heroes…and these guys truly are the best kind of trouble. All of the books are stand-alones with guaranteed happy endings. Danger, romance, action, suspense, humor…oh, it’s definitely time to find some trouble…

Purchase Links

Amazon CA * Amazon US


My Two Cents

Romance, suspense and a ton of laughs... No Escape From War gave me just what I needed.

☑ a brooding, handsome, and more than capable ex-SEAL, Alpha hero
☑ a sassy, beautiful, and fierce heroine
☑ a stalker-murderer who has our heroes in his crosshairs
☑ a sexy, second chance at love

Seriously, what more could one ask for?

Despite the fact that I guessed the identity of the killer early on, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. I loved how the author gave both characters easily relatable flaws. War found it hard to trust and the smallest things could (and did) set him off. Rose had walls and when War had hurt her, she found it hard to bring them down for him again. He was a bit of a brute and she wanted to tame him. It was an interesting dynamic that fed this story.

And although I've already met Odin, I loved getting to see him introduced in this book. And there it was. Pure Odin. The guy who would have your back in an instant even if he was pissed as hell at you. A friend straight to the core, through blood and pain and battles. You're gonna love Odin too!

Cynthia Eden has been a must-buy author for me for a long time and I rely on her for a juicy plot, demanding characters, fantastic chemistry, and must-read romance. With No Escape From War, she delivered.

About the Author

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes sexy tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over one hundred novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate. Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

Visit http://www.cynthiaeden.com/ for more information!

Review // Dark Purity by Aja James

September 10, 2021

Dark Purity by Aja James

Sorin knew that he was forever lost to this male.
This man who was his Bane, yet also not.
This man who was equal light and darkness.
Joy and pain.
An infinite myriad of experiences and emotions.
He enthralled Sorin, body, heart and soul.

────── ♔ ──────


Dark Purity by Aja James

Dark Purity by Aja James


Pure/Dark Ones #17
Release - May 15, 2021
Genre - Paranormal Romance / second chance / MM romance
Primarily Dual POV - 3rd person (with other brief POVs)
Heat Level - 5 out of 5 / several scenes
Format/Source - ebook borrowed from Kindle Unlimited
Page Count - 396
Publisher - Indie

An unlikely hero…

He was once known as the Creature. An indefinable “it.” His life had never been his own, used and abused by despicable beings. Worst of all, he never knew himself.

Despite his tortured past, despite the darkness inside him, he has chosen a brighter path. He has a name—Erebu. His first stand was to defy the Master who created him to save his son. But instead of destroying the greatest enemy of all, he himself was destroyed…

An unlikely love…

From distant lands, across fathomless seas, someone heard the Creature’s cries. He gave Ere a second chance, a miraculous rebirth that came at a steep cost, remaking Ere with his own breath, body, blood and soul.

This mysterious savior has a past of his own to face, and a future to define and embrace. Will Ere be able to find him in time? Will they forge their path together or pursue separate destinies?

An end and a beginning…

No matter their decision, one thing is certain: they must work together to unite all Kinds if they have a hope of defeating their ultimate nemesis.

The end is near…

And so is a brand new beginning.

Purchase Links

Amazon CA * Amazon US
(free to read with Kindle Unlimited)


My Two Cents

I tried to read this book very slowly, but found it so hard to pace myself because it was DELICIOUS!! Let it be said... I loved Ere and Sorin together!

Not that I'm surprised.

To love Ere is to love anyone he happens to love. The list isn't large, but those he cares for are the best of the best and Sorin definitely deserved his place.

I fell in love with Sorin right from the start. How could I not? Oh. My. Gosh! I can't get over how Ere 'waxed poetic' about each part of his physical form, such as...

But gods! That was the hottest forearm he’d ever seen in all his life! It was forearm porn as far as he was concerned. Maybe he should write to PornHub when he got home and request that they add this kink to their suite of offerings. Must be an untapped market out there if looking at a stranger’s half-naked limb could get an avowed asexual like him to perk up with reluctant, disorienting interest. It would be a public service.

and...

High, sharp, perfect cheekbones. Were there any cheekbones ever created on a man that was ever this perfect? The answer was a resounding: hell no! There never had been and never would be cheekbones this ridiculously perfect. If he was the size of an ant, he’d cliff-dive off those cheekbones and hope to be caught upon those beautiful, full lips. If they weren’t as soft as they looked and he broke upon impact, it would be a glorious, worthwhile sacrifice. Maybe he’d get lost in the beard instead. Maybe he’d root around in the thick, forest-like maze and never come out.

I was enamored by the connection these two males shared, even if Ere couldn't remember why they shared it. I couldn't get over the way his body reacted. Or the way his thoughts were obsessed with Sorin, making him feel things he's never felt before. Or the way his insatiable need for the man made him crave to be close to him. Well, I guess it went both ways.

Seriously, when I was only 16% in, I was a true goner for these males. I still can't get over how succinctly Sorin summed up everything awesome that made up Ere.

His “bane” never changed. It didn’t matter how many incarnations he’d had since Sorin first knew him. He could be incredibly thoughtful, sensitive, playful and mischievous. He could be the worst prankster there ever existed, causing no end of trouble for Sorin, but he was never purely “bad.” He’d been a child, wild and free, innocent to the ways of the world. So fearless and bright and beautiful he took Sorin’s breath away. He still did. But now, there was darkness too. Bottomless depths of it.

And how could I possibly not love how fiercely each male loved the other. Whether it was Sorin wanting to heal everything that was broken in Ere, or Ere wanting to give joy to overcome the sorrow he felt from Sorin's soul, these males gave their all to each other.

He wanted to hunt down the monsters who had hurt his bane. Tear them limb from limb and smelt them to ashes with the fury of his flames. He wanted to fix Ere’s brokenness from the inside out. Help him reclaim his true self.

and...

“Solemnity.” Before the word was fully out of his mouth, Sorin’s own covered his, swallowing the last syllable. It wasn’t a tentative kiss. There was nothing tentative about the male, Ere quickly realized. He wanted; he took. Ere suspected he only ever asked for permission with him. And that made all the difference in the world.

and...

Sorin’s kiss began as a desperate assault, his bold tongue driving into Ere’s mouth. Plundering. Staking. Taking. Ere desperately sucked on him in return, wanting to keep him inside, savoring every taste, wanting to bite him and devour him, his need was so great. And then, the male suddenly pulled his head back. Perhaps, like Ere, he simply needed to gulp in oxygen. But at the moment, Ere didn’t think he cared if he died of suffocation if this was how he went. His first real kiss! And he was fucking awesome at it! Sorin’s body didn’t lie. Couldn’t lie. He was hard enough to pound coal into diamond.

Aside from these two, there were other things that were explored with this story, such as The Dandelions. These people were the result of experiments and I was hoping to get more of them before The End. For example, Clara and her adopted daughter Annie were 'experiments'. So was Ariel. The Tech Master. Who else was there and how would they have featured in some way? What powers would they each develop?

I think my biggest shock, apart from the fact that Benji's heritage wasn't explored (I really wish my questions from the last book were answered), was the fact that Lilith/Wan'er/Fox Spirt was one of the original Twin Goddesses. What?! This evil chick was the Dark Goddess? I loved how the author created her back story, including her punishment to experience humanity as a lesser being. She obviously learned nothing, and her end was well deserved, and the author did an incredible job building and building and building to the ultimate climax of this story.

I found so much of this story simply beautiful and I adored how devoted these characters were to each other. I'm in love with the way this author captures romance and blends it so well with mythology and suspense. I'm at once thrilled and broken after experiencing this series. Thrilled that I got the chance to read it and broken because this particular journey is over. I don't want to say goodbye!!

Check out the previous books:








Quick Peek

Before he even arrived at the table, the words he’d formulated in his head to say were already spilling out of his mouth.

“Welcome to Drink of Me. May I take your—”

The words stuck in his throat and died a hasty death when the stranger turned away from the window to face him, spearing his feet into the floor with invisible stakes with those unforgettable gold eyes.

You,” Ere breathed.

The man called “Soren” merely stared at him, silent and brooding.

Well, Ere didn’t know if he was in fact brooding, but he had a “Heathcliff” look about him, all stormy and dark, filled with oceans-worth of emotions and unspoken turmoil.

Ere wanted to smack himself.

The purple prose in his mind was annoying as hell! But he just couldn’t seem to stop the melodramatic twists and turns of his fucked-up imagination.

“What are you doing here?”

He didn’t actually expect an answer, since the man hadn’t spoken a single word since their encounter yesterday. So he was knocked literally off his feet when the stranger said:

“Hungry.”

That voice!

For the love of Loki’s hairy balls, that voice!

It was fathoms deep, resonant, but smoky and husky at the same time, raspy and rough. Tinged with an erotic accent when he spoke.

(Yes, he meant erotic and exotic. Accents could be erotic, Ere was absolutely certain, because this guy’s voice conjured all kinds of carnal cravings and sinful deeds).


About the Author

Aja James just completed the Pure/ Dark Ones paranormal-fantasy romance series in 2020. If you want your heart battered, bruised, shattered and skewered, then put back together in the most glorious ways, check out the series below. Every couple gets an HEA, but they fight like hell for it on the way.

Aja is now working on her new series, Dragon Tails, because dragons are her favorite shifters of all!

Visit https://aja-james.blog/ for more information!