Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Eban (The Heckmasters Book 2) by Allison Merritt


Title: Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Published: April 7, 2015
ISBN: 9781619226340
Categories: Romance, Paranormal & Alternate Worlds, Paranormal

Blurb:
If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.

Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood…and offer it as a sacrifice.

Product Warnings
Contains a half-human, half-demon doctor who can heal anyone except himself, and a woman who’d blush if she could remember the sensuous torture she’s been inflicting on him. Could make you wonder if you should start listening to the voices in your head…

Review:


Eban (The Heckmasters, #2)Eban by Allison Merritt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in The Heckmaster's series. I absolutely loved it!

Eban Heckmaster is a fantastic character. I liked him from the first time I met him in Wystan, the first book in the series. He is the middle sibling of the three Heckmasters' and is the doctor of the family. He has always wanted to get away from Berner, the demon riddled town that he and his two half-demon brothers protect from "The Pit", a portal to and from Hell. But after meeting Beryl Brookshier, who arrived with Rhia and Sylvie Duke, he knows that the war with evil is far from over.

Beryl Brookshier is a character that I liked, but didn't really know much about when I first met her in the first book of the series. She has been extremely ill and under the care of Eban. But, she has no idea that she has a demon imp, who also happens to be a lust demon, attached to her brain like a parasite. Can she overcome it's hold, or will she be doomed to die?

This is a fantastic supernatural/paranormal romance! Set in the late 1800's, this book quickly swept me up and carried me away. The story is told through various points of view, which made it very interesting. There is excitement, danger, mystery and suspense mixed in with the hot romance. The three Heckmasters make a formidable team as they tackle the evil escaping from hell.

This story continues on from the end of Wystan, but follows Eban and Beryl as they struggle to come to terms with events after the battle with Noem, though Wystan and Rhia are now married and on their honeymoon. I also loved meeting Wystan and Tell again, as well as Rhia and Sylvie. I also found it interesting to see things through the eyes of the lust demon, Rosmar. She brings a sense of fun mixed with deadly poison to the tale. I did like her because, although she is a demon, she is trying to atone for her sins by working with the Grey Side (demons who oppose total dominion of Earth by Astaroth - the deadly demon trapped in The Pit by the Heckmasters' father). But, she also has her own agenda and is hoping to tempt Eban into unleashing his demon side to help her. But Eban is not a pushover, though he does do something rather dangerous and sets off a chain of events that could mean the end of Berner, if not Earth. This introduces us to another character, who happens to be an angel called Eliakim. What his role is or will be remains a bit of a mystery, but I really liked this enigmatic angel. He brings the might of Heaven with him, and is definitely a warrior to avoid if you're a demon.

The story is full of twists and turns, with one that I didn't see coming and I felt sorry for the Heckmaster brothers as they had to make a difficult decision regarding a loved one. I did find some of the story, especially where Eban threatened to speak Tell's real name, to be a little humorous. Okay, having a curse on your spoken name is not meant to be funny, but the way Eban taunted his brother with it reminded me of how, when my sisters and I were younger, we would call each other names just to get a rise out of them. Siblings can be cruel and I felt sorry for Tell. However, it made me curious to find out what his real name is!

The end of the story doesn't finish on a cliffhanger, but it made me feel sad because I wanted to keep reading about Berner and her inhabitants. This series has taken me on an unexpected journey, but I am loving the roller coaster ride. I guess I shall just have to wait impatiently for Tell's story now.

Allison Merritt has written a wonderful paranormal/supernatural romance. Her characters come alive on the page and her descriptions of the scenes made me see them in my mind's eye with ease. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. I also love the flow of the story; the scenes flowed seamlessly from one to another. I think this author has found another fan! I would love to read more of her books in the future.

Due to scenes of an explicit nature, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love erotic wild west type supernatural romances filled with sexy half-demons, or paranormal romances with strong, likable characters. - Lynn Worton

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Purchase Links:


            

Excerpt:

Eban Heckmaster dreamed of becoming tangled in a river of gold. Soft and silky upon entering, it turned deadly within moments. He couldn’t breathe as it filled his nose. It bound his wrists, his ankles, blocked his vision. So much and so warm, sweat broke out across his body.

He’d die cradled in a gilded nest.

And he was fine with that.

Anything was better than living with the knowledge that his brother had taken the woman Eban loved as his bride hours ago.

Eban’s lungs ached for breath and his eyes shot open. Startled by weight settling on his abdomen, he tried to sit up, but two small hands held him down. Thanks to his demon blood, it only took a moment to adjust to the dark. In the nonexistent light, he peered up at Beryl Brookshier’s angelic face. She gave him a wicked smile as long strands of wheat-blonde hair tickled his bare chest. He sucked in a breath when he realized she was naked and a sheet was the only thing separating her from his raging erection.

“What are you doing?”

The second the words were out of his mouth, Eban knew he wasn’t talking to Beryl.

“Ravish me, Ebaneezer.”

The demon used Beryl’s voice and body, but the thing talking to him was far from human. The notion of taking its head off and sparing himself a lot of trouble was tempting. If not for the real Beryl’s trusting green eyes and bashful smile.

“That stopped being funny the first time you got naked in front of me.”

She caressed his cheek. “You were dreaming. I was trying to make your dreams more pleasant.”

He slapped her hands away. “You thought you’d tempt me into bedding you and then letting some other parasite into my brain. That’s not going to happen, Rosemar.”

“You want this body. Why deny it, Heckmaster?” The lust demon glowered at him, her irritation creasing the smooth face she borrowed.

“Get off me.” He pushed her away, then grabbed the sheet as she slid off his chest. “What I want is for you to vacate it, leaving Beryl’s mind intact so I can get out of Berner.”

Her pique faded, replaced by a sultry smile. “We’ve lain awake at night imagining the coupling. This body twined around yours, the friction of skin on skin. Hard muscles meeting soft curves. Lips touching…lips.” Her green eyes brightened mischievously. “Miss Brookshier has quite an imagination.”

He tensed, flushing at her descriptions, but revulsion held his desire at bay. “She’s there with you, right now?”

Rosemar waved a hand. “She’s locked away, but she’s not as innocent as you seem to think. This body is familiar with masculine touch.”

Eban suppressed a groan. “It’s none of my business. Nothing I’m interested in exploring.”

“Your body suggests otherwise. A simple sexual escapade isn’t a lifetime commitment.” She twisted a strand of hair around her finger, pouting while she batted her eyelashes.

“It is where demons are concerned. You can’t stay in there forever, you know.” He sat against the headboard, trying to ignore the way she pressed her breasts forward.

“Can’t I?” The wicked grin returned. “You can’t get rid of me without killing her. You know that.”

“We’ll see.”

Anger sparked in Rosemar’s eyes, sharper and meaner than human emotion. “I don’t know why you care. She doesn’t mean anything to you.”

Pain stabbed Eban’s chest. He turned his face away, trying not to think about Rhia’s hazel eyes, her soft Virginia accent, or the way she laughed when he said something funny. Beryl was an attractive woman now that she was beginning to gain weight after her long illness, but she wasn’t the one he loved.

“You’re wasting time thinking about her.” Rosemar sounded bored.

“I’m not going to let you kill an innocent woman by wearing her body down to nothing.” He glowered, but nothing seemed to frighten Rosemar. Even Wystan, who’d beheaded his share of parasite demons, had no effect on this one.

“I was talking about Rhia.” She put a warm hand on Eban’s shoulder. “Seere orchestrated their meeting so the three of you could defeat Noem. Without Rhia and Wystan, there is no Berner. There’s no Heckmasters. No future.”

Eban shrugged her hand off. He closed his eyes, sifting through memories of the battle with Noem and his legion of lesser demons. Years ago, Eban had tried to make a normal life for himself in another city while getting his doctor’s degree, but his younger brother Tell had called him back to treat a vicious wound Wystan had obtained at Noem’s hand. Tell and a weather deity had run Noem out of town that time. Eban had stayed, putting his dreams away. They’d been guarding a sealed portal to Hell for as long as he could remember, but Astaroth, the reigning prince, constantly sent his minions through gaps in the seals, offering them great rewards for bringing the Heckmasters back. Their father’s redemption had doomed the three of them to remain in this cursed town forever, fighting monsters until they died.

Then when it seemed like Rhia Duke would give Eban the chance to escape, she went and fell in love with his boneheaded brother. Worse than that, she’d unwittingly allowed Noem to drive her right into Berner, where he planned to capture her and give her to Astaroth. In the fight, Wystan had been gored by a minotaur, but he’d used his demon blood to overcome death and save the day—with Seere’s help, because the normally neutral Gray Side couldn’t keep their noses out of Heckmaster business.

Rosemar claimed she was inhabiting Beryl’s body at Seere’s command, and she’d proven herself useful in a fight, but none of the Heckmasters trusted her. It was clear that no matter what her orders, she had her own motives for choosing Beryl as a host.

Angry when he should be grateful—he didn’t really want Wys dead—Eban balled the sheet in his fists. “I doubt Wystan and Rhia would be too happy to know Seere thinks he’s God now.”

Rosemar chuckled. “We all aspire to godliness, don’t we? You by playing doctor, me by manipulating feelings. That’s what makes us so perfect for each other.”

She ran her finger over her lips and rose, swaying her hips in an exaggerated manner as she left. Eban swallowed hard.

He’d always known demons would be the death of him, but he’d never imagined it would be at the hands of one who looked like Beryl.

Buy links:

About The Author:



A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.

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Book Review of Claimed by Tarah Scott



Book Title: Claimed
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 262
Author: Tarah Scott
Date Published: 27 March 2015

Synopsis:

Sometimes, the hero must be the villain...
Fourteen months ago, Lady Rhoslyn lost her husband and infant son to a fever. Now, by order of King Edward I, she is yanked from the healing tranquility of a convent to marry the king’s favored bastard knight. Rhoslyn has no intention of returning to the home where her husband and child died. Neither does she intend to hand over her fortune to the ‘Dragon’—no matter his sweet promises and warm kisses.

Talbot St. Claire tires of war. Seventeen years is enough. King Edward will never release him from service, but the king promises Talbot will find some peace in front of his own hearth. Talbot expects to find a horse-faced, hostile woman in the Scottish heiress Edward commands him to marry. Instead, he discovers a fiery Highland beauty worthy of a man’s respect...and love. Talbot determines to do anything to win his new bride’s acceptance. Anything except the one thing she demands: betray his king and embrace his Scottish heritage.

Review:


ClaimedClaimed by Tarah Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful historical romance. I loved it!

Lady Rhoslyn is a character I liked a lot, but she also annoyed me at times. She is quite headstrong and determined, but she is very much a lady of her time. She tends to go kicking and fighting into a situation, but gets nowhere fast. I love her fiery Scottish temper, but she gets points knocked off for crumbling too quickly! Scots are not generally known for backing down easily. I know I'm from a different time, but I also really wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into her at times, especially when it came to her not listening to her own intuition. It drove me crazy!

Talbot St. Claire is also a wonderful character. He is an English knight, who has faithfully served King Edward, and has been commanded to wed Lady Rhoslyn to ensure that his king's hold is tightened in Scotland. I really liked this character. He is a very honourable man, with a wit and charm that even I fell in love with. He believes in duty, but is also his own man and is not a push over. He is dangerous, most certainly, but he also has a heart that he tries to shield from the world in which he lives. He is a warrior, through and through.

Having previously read another historical romance by this author, I couldn't wait to read this one. I started the story and was quickly pulled into it. I loved the descriptions of both the scenery and the people. The imagery allowed me to picture the scenes quite clearly and the story ran like a movie in my mind's eye. I was also fascinated by the historical details that were sprinkled within the story. I think that, although the author used quite a lot of poetic licence with this story, the history into the clothes and houses/castles was also well researched. The characters' all seem well developed too. So much so, that I wouldn't have been surprised if they had walked through my door. However, I certainly wouldn't like to meet Dayton, Talbot's brother. He is a nasty piece of work! Jealousy, even between brothers, is never a good emotion and Dayton is extremely jealous and bitter about his brother. Why is he? I hear you ask. You will have to read the story yourself to find out. My lips are sealed! However, I will say that he got what was coming to him in the long run.

This story made me laugh and it made me cry. It took me on an emotional roller coaster ride and left me feeling like I had been in a riptide - pulled in different directions at once. I can't wait to read more books by this author in the future.

Tarah Scott has written a wonderful historical romance novel. I loved her fast paced writing style and the flow was absolutely wonderful. I have another one of her books, not a historical romance but a paranormal one, sitting on my "want to read" list. I am going to have to add her historical romances onto there too! She has found a fan in me!

Due to a scene of sexual abuse (implied but not shown) and some sexual scenes that are a little on the explicit side, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love historical romances with sexy men and stubborn/strong females. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


       

About The Author:



Award winning author Tarah Scott cut her teeth on authors such as Georgette Heyer, Zane Grey, and Amanda Quick. Her favorite book is a Tale of Two Cities, with Gone With the Wind as a close second. She writes modern classical romance, and paranormal and romantic suspense. Tarah grew up in Texas and currently resides in Westchester County, New York with her daughter.

Author Links:

Facebook ; Amazon Author Page ; Goodreads ; Twitter ; Website

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Raebeth Buda!

This book, for me as a reader was emotionally taxing and exhausting. Amber, our leading lady drove me nuts. The degree of her self involvement in the first half of this book was staggering and Landon. The long suffering boyfriend needed a medal in my opinion for sticking it out with her.

Even her parents is not spared her razor sharp tongue. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and scream at her WAKE UP BUTTERCUP. Life gets far worse than this.


http://www.amazon.com/Silenced-2-Overtaking-RaeBeth-McGee-Buda-ebook/dp/B00E6WWBAU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429642728&sr=8-2&keywords=Raebeth+buda

All the while during the first half of this book I was reading Ambers's story and having a mental conversation with every ex I ever had. I kept saying, boyo. You thought and told me I was high maintenance. You need to meet Amber. The scene of the funeral had me gaping. I mean you get rude then you get Amber. I was horrified and actually embarrassed on behalf of Amber.

Then at almost exactly the 50 % mark of the book Amber gets up and shapes up. This was the fun part.
Every time she relapsed I was basically screaming at her - come on girl. You can do it!  Come on. Don't get sucked in by this slip up.
And Amber did not. It was not an easy journey for her but it was a fight worth fighting.

And like magic the Amber I was so disgusted with turned into a woman with not simply a nasty attitude masquerading as strength of character but a true lady with a purpose, a plan. A future. I adored this.

As for the writing. This author has grown so much since her debut novel I am in awe. No longer do you find that stop-and-go writing style of book I but instead you have a constant ebb and flow making the reading in general a much smoother experience. In this book far more characters gets introduced and the characters previously introduced in book one gets much more flesh added and the effect on the story line is immediate and impressive.

This book has more than only a few vital themes that makes it a must read. It explores the act of cutting as a coping mechanism in all its dark gruesome truth. The author never backs down, never glosses over it. Never makes it other than it is. Even the "accidental" overdose of a best friend is out for the world to see but not judge.

I think all mothers of YA daughters (and sons) should read this series before giving the copy to their children to read.

I still have a love hate relationship with Amber but now it is set against a new deep and profound sense of respect.

Note this is Christian lit so please, if Christian lit offends you be warned. This is not a "preachy" type of read but one of Truth and practical living as a saved human.

WaAr


Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review of Connected by Simon Denman



Book Title: Connected
Genre: Science Fiction / Thriller
Pages: 354
Author: Simon Denman
Date Published: 10 June 2012

Synopsis:

CONNECTED is a speculative fiction thriller with touches of science and philosophy, which reached No.1 in Amazon UK's Bestseller lists for both Thrillers and Science Fiction within 5 days of release.

Beginning with the funeral of a renowned classical violinist in a sleepy rural hamlet in the Lake District, a former theoretical physicist tries to make sense of his brother's suicide. Across the country, a university student, enjoying the unexpected attentions of an enigmatic seductress, is disturbed when his best friend falls to his death from the thirteenth floor of a neighbouring campus tower block.

As each tries to unravel the mystery behind the apparent suicides, they are drawn into an obsessive search for a computer-generated fractal video sequence, with startling effects on human consciousness, and which might just pave the way for discovery of the ultimate Theory of Everything.

However, they are not the only ones to have seen the potential of this mind-altering video, and soon find themselves in a desperate race against time with gangsters from the shadowy worlds of sex, drugs, cyber-crime, and massively multi-player on-line gaming.

Review:


ConnectedConnected by Simon Denman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a very thought provoking and thrilling science fiction novel. I really enjoyed it!

Peter is a character I really liked. He is a physicist who is now a contract engineer. He has a very analytical mind and is determined to figure out why his brother committed suicide. His journey into discovering his brother's secrets brings him into contact with Doug, a university student, who is dealing with his own problems and secrets.

I am very sorry that I have only now managed to read this book, as it has sat on my Kindle for some time due to my rather large reading list.
This story is told through various points of view, which kept me interested from the first page. The story has a lot of musical, as well as scientific and spiritual philosophy mixed in with the mystery, suspense and danger the characters encounter. I have always been intrigued with the innermost workings of the mind and how music and light affects the brain chemistry. This story takes the reader through some of the science behind this, but doesn't befuddle the less scientific reader by using large words and scientific terms. There is also a sub-plot that lies beneath the story, but doesn't actually come into the forefront until late in the book. However, this sub-plot and the way it was woven into the main storyline sent a shiver up my back. I know that the human brain is still not fully understood and that we seem to use only a fraction of the computing power that could potentially be available to us, but what scares me is that when we unlock the full potential of our brains, will we better off knowing things, or is ignorance bliss? The author of this story explores not only the good side, but the bad as well. Could we (as a society) be controlled more or less as our brains' capacity increases? This I cannot say for certain, but the way this story twists and turns had me guessing. The characters are all well developed and they felt quite real to me. I must admit that I was completely shocked at a twist near the end that I certainly didn't see coming and I ended up in tears. This twist made me wonder if we are evolved enough yet to continue to push the boundaries of science and scientific discoveries and not become insane. Some will argue that it's a state of mind and we are all insane anyway, but if the incredible advances we make in understanding how the brain works could (and possibly has already) be turned against the populace as a weapon, then I shudder in horror. In the wrong hands, the ability and technology to control or alter the perception of the human brain is an incredibly dangerous endeavor and should never be allowed in my opinion. Men, greedy for money and power, however, will always be looking for a way to do just that. The story ends on a hopeful and happy note, which left me also feeling hopeful for the future. In any case (and I may be a little naive in thinking this), I am crossing my fingers that even if we do make giant strides in scientific discoveries (such as those explored by this author) that could potentially be used as weapons in the future, common sense will prevail and the "bad guys" (this includes any government in power who wants to keep their citizens in line) never get their hands on any of it.

Simon Denman has written an extremely thrilling and entertaining read, which took me on an amazing journey. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and exciting, and the flow is wonderful too. I would most definitely consider reading more books by this author in the future.

Due to the technical aspects, as well as the deeply philosophical nuances within this book, I do not recommend this to young readers. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love science fiction, suspense or thriller genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


         

About The Author:



Born in Eastbourne, to retired parents, Simon Denman grew up alternately on the beaches of a succession of English seaside towns, and in the historic, if somewhat austere boarding school of Christ's Hospital in Horsham, Sussex.

After graduating from the University of Essex with a degree in Electronic Engineering, he has spent longer than he likes to admit in the IT networking, communications, and Internet security industries, gradually moving from technical to marketing and management roles. During this time, he moved from the UK to Paris, back to the UK, over to Munich, across to the French Riviera, and finally back to England.

Far more importantly during this period, he was blessed with two beautiful and talented daughters, now at University themselves, and, in remarriage, the love of the most wonderful woman for whom a man could wish.

Following the publication and unexpected success of his first novel,"Connected" and, in the same year, the births of twins, he has recently moved to Cornwall with his wife and babies, where he is now working on a new novel.

While he no longer plays rugby, Simon is a moderately accomplished player of Jazz and classical trumpet, which he blows enthusiastically with any band or group that'll have him. Any remaining time is spent reading and writing.

For more information, or to make contact, please visit www.simondenman.com

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Audio/Book Review of Sacrificed (The Ignited Series Book 2) by Desni Dantone



Book Title: Sacrificed (Ignited Series Book 2)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 346
Audio Run Time: 9 Hrs 41 Mins
Author: Desni Dantone
Date Published: 1 April 2014 (Paperback/E-book)
30 July 2014 (Audio Book)

Synopsis:

Kris Young is no normal seventeen year old.

She’s the worst thing to come along since the black plague, and she will do anything to alter the destiny she was made for. Failure is not an option. But if the shadows of evil overcome her…

Only one person can stop her.

When she meets Micah, she doesn’t expect him to save her life, or to offer his help. They were born enemies after all. Though he boasts noble intentions and a belief that, together, he and Kris could swing the tide of the war to the side of good once and for all, Kris can’t help but suspect that he is hiding something.

They have a plan…

Strengthened by new allies, Kris and gang take their fight to the Skotadi. As they discover shocking secrets and grow closer to learning of the evil-doers ultimate plans, Kris worries that time has run out. Struggling with her inner demons, she does the only thing she can to protect the ones that she cares about most, even if it tears her heart in two.

Question is, where will her heart lead her?

Book two in the Ignited Series, Sacrificed continues the journey of Kris, Nathan, Alec, and Callie as they set out on an adventure to alter destiny. Lasting friendships are formed, lives are changed, romance sizzles, and hearts are broken in this exciting follow up to Desni Dantone’s debut, Ignited.

Review:


Sacrificed (Ignited Series, #2)Sacrificed by Desni Dantone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in The Ignited series. I really enjoyed it!

I downloaded this book in audiobook format, as I wanted to listen to it after listening to the first book, Ignited, not so long ago.

The audiobook is again narrated by Lisa Larsen. She did another great job in reading this story and she brought the characters to life. Her voice, I felt, suited the character of Kris and her interpretation of the story kept me hooked from beginning to end. Her reading pace was neither too fast, nor too slow, which allowed me to picture the scenes perfectly. I would definitely listen to other books narrated by her.

Kris Young is a great character. I liked her very much when I first met her. She is very level-headed but, she can be a little stubborn and gung-ho at times, which I found a bit irritating. I have enjoyed watching her come to terms with her newfound identity as a Skotadi. It's not easy finding out that you are not who you thought you were, and that you were living a lie. But now she will face an even bigger challenge. Can she control her dangerous demon, or will she let the darkness consume her?

I started to listen to the story, which continues on from the end of the first book, and was quickly drawn back into the tale. Kris, Nathan, Callie and Alec are on the hunt for the mysterious boy who haunts Kris's dreams. Their search leads them to a small town where they finally meet Micah. There is something about this character that I just couldn't like. He came across as very manipulative, secretive and arrogant, and not in a good way. There are a few other characters introduced, but they didn't seem as well developed and felt a bit one-dimensional compared to the main ones. The story is full of several twists, which kept the story entertaining. I loved getting to know the original characters better, especially Alec, as he is struggling with his own inner demon. I still think he's hotter than Nathan, but then again, what do I know? The war between the Skotadi and Culla is still heating up, with Kris as a prize. Her destiny is still shrouded in mystery, but it has been extremely enjoyable watching her grow more confident in controlling her darker side.

In my review of Ignited I said I was not fond of love triangles and this still is true. I think I can now add love squares to the equation too! It's all very nice having three guys falling for you, but it is stretching my imagination just that little bit too far! I am sorry, but I just can't understand why the author would introduce a third suitor into an already crowded romance! I really wanted to give this story top marks, because the story was exciting, dangerous and full of twists. But adding another character into the romance mix is making an already complex situation even more difficult to follow. However, other readers may not have the same reaction as I did, so I will leave it to them to decide for themselves.

I reached the end of the story, which again ends on a twist, and I am looking forward to reading/listening to the next book in the series as soon as possible.

Desni Dantone has written an exciting, pulse pounding sequel. I love her writing style, which is fast paced but not rushed. Her characters and the scenes come alive through her descriptions and they are easy to picture in the mind's eye. The flow is wonderful and each scene runs seamlessly into the next. She has mixed ancient myths of Greek gods into a modern YA paranormal romance that will completely hook you in. This is one debut novelist to keep an eye on!

There is some sexual content in this book and although I highly recommend this book to young readers who love books like the Percy Jackson series, with Demi-Gods and myths mixed in with a little romance, the scenes may be a little too explicit for those under the age of sixteen. I also recommend this book to adults who love to read YA paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

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About the Author:




I live in the quiet, middle-of-nowhere Everett, Pennsylvania with my husband, son, and our many pets.

I've been writing since I was eleven, after I swiped one of my mom's Dean Koontz books. I still remember the first one I read; it was called Darkfall, and kept me awake most of the night. Anyway, I was totally inspired when I learned that he came from the small rural town I called home (true story, I swear!), and started writing freaky little horror stories because I wanted to be just like him. I gave the stories to my mom to read. I don't think she was as impressed as I was, but she put on an encouraging face...and that was how my writing obsession started.

After years of writing for a hobby and taking creative writing courses, I've published my first novel, Ignited. My dream is for Dean Koontz to no longer be the only bestselling author from my little middle-of-nowhere hometown.

You can check out more about me, The Ignited Series, and my upcoming books as they become available at:
http://www.desnidantone.com
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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Book Review of Wystan (The Heckmasters Book 1) by Allison Merritt



Book Title: Wystan (The Heckmasters #1)
Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural Romance
Pages: 228
Author: Allison Merritt
Date Published: 21 October 2014

Synopsis:

Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.

The Heckmasters, Book 1

Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

Warning: Contains a take-no-prisoners sheriff, a woman who can’t outrun her supernatural secrets, and a dusty town where hope is as thin as dust in the wind. Author recommends keeping a glass of cool spring water at your elbow while reading.

Review:


Wystan (The Heckmasters, #1)Wystan by Allison Merritt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in The Heckmasters series. I absolutely loved it!

First off, I absolutely love the cover! It fits the story perfectly.

Rhia Duke is a wonderful character. I liked her very much. She is a schoolteacher by trade. She is a very determined woman, with a stubborn streak a mile wide. Desperate to leave her past behind, she sets off, along with her young sister and a companion they pick up en-route, to answer an advertisement in the newspaper for a job in New Mexico. But things are not all they seem and danger lurks in every corner.

Wystan Heckmaster is a fantastic character. I liked this man very much. He is quite gruff and tough, but as I got to know him a little better, realised that he hides a softer, gentler, not to mention honourable, side. He is the sheriff of a town where the citizens are reformed demons. Being a half-demon himself, his life has not been easy. However, he has taken it upon himself, along with his two brothers, to keep the earth and humans protected from the demons trying to escape through a portal called the Pit. When Rhia appears in his town, he realises that things are about to change forever.

This is a fantastic supernatural/paranormal romance! Set in the late 1800's, this book quickly swept me up and carried me away. The story is told through various points of view, which made it very interesting. There is excitement, danger, mystery and suspense mixed in with the hot romance.

I liked meeting Sylvie, Rhia's twelve year old sister. She is full of curiosity and is extremely bright. I also liked meeting Beryl Brookshier, a young woman the two sisters had befriended on their journey. However, she is also a mystery and, when her secret is revealed, it completely threw me. I certainly didn't see that twist coming! I also loved meeting Wystan's two brothers, Eban and Tell. Eban is the healer and Tell is the hunter. The three Heckmasters make a formidable team as they tackle the evil escaping from hell. We also get to meet the other residents of Berner, some of whom I liked and some not. The heat between Rhia and Wystan fairly sizzled on the page and their chemistry is extremely explosive! The story has several twists and turns, not to mention a villain that sent a shiver down my back. Noem is a vile character, but even he pales in comparison. You'll have to read the story to find out for yourself as to whom I'm talking about. However, I will say that I didn't suspect a thing and their betrayal actually brought a pang to my own heart. Although, in hindsight, I should have realised that they were up to no good. There is a battle between several demons and the Heckmasters that is quite intense, with a surprising twist that had me sitting on the edge of my seat! I finished the story and sat for a while as I contemplated and absorbed what I had just read. I love books that make you go "wow" at the end, and this is one of them. It took me on a journey that I didn't expect. I am now looking forward to reading Eban's story as soon as possible.

Allison Merritt has written a wonderful paranormal/supernatural romance. Her characters come alive on the page and her descriptions of the scenes made me see them in my mind's eye with ease. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. I also love the flow of the story, the scenes flowed seamlessly from one to another. I have never read any other books by this author, but I would definitely love to read more of them in the future.

Due to scenes of an explicit nature, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love erotic wild west type supernatural romances filled with sexy half-demons, or paranormal romances with strong characters. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



A life-long love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an indie author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.

She serves as the newsletter editor during the 2013-2014 year for Ozarks Romance Authors in Springfield, Missouri and has been a member since 2009.

Author Links:

Monday, April 06, 2015

Audio/Book Review of Ignited (The Ignited Series Book 1) by Desni Dantone



Book Title: Ignited (Ignited Series Book 1)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 344
Audio Run Time: 9 Hrs 15 Mins
Author: Desni Dantone
Date Published: 23 October 2013 (E-Book)
28 October 2013 (Audio Book)

Synopsis:

Seventeen year old Kris Young is on the run from a throng of superhuman golden-eyed freaks hell-bent on seeing her dead, and she doesn't know why. Good thing she has her guardian angel to protect her...sort of.

Kris is aided by Nathan, the mysterious man that ends up being anything but angelic when he rescues her for the fourth time in fourteen years. Even if the handsome hero illusion is shattered by his harsh treatment of her, he knows how to fight this strange enemy and is determined to keep her safe at all costs.
As the body count rises in their wake, Nathan introduces Kris to a world in which not everyone is human and the battle lines between good and evil are clearly drawn. Kris's piece in the puzzle is something neither is aware of and, as they uncover the truth, neither is prepared for what they find. Overcoming twists and revelations that shatter both of their lives, they discover that nothing is as it seems and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe.

From debut author, Desni Dantone, Ignited is the first novel in a tale of first love, mystery and adventure that will introduce you to an exciting new world as Kris discovers how she fits in it.

Review:


Ignited (Ignited Series, #1)Ignited by Desni Dantone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful YA paranormal romance. I really enjoyed it!

I was recommended this book by Audible due to my reading/listening history. The blurb sounded intriguing, so I listened to the audio sample. I decided that it would be something I would enjoy, and I was right.

The audiobook is narrated by Lisa Larsen. She did a wonderful job in reading this story. Her voice, I felt, suited the character of Kris and her interpretation of the story kept me hooked from beginning to end. Her reading pace was neither too fast, nor too slow, which allowed me to picture the scenes perfectly. I would definitely listen to other books narrated by her.

Kris Young is a great character. I liked her very much. She is a normal teen, going through the usual teenage problems, but with one difference. She has had to contend with a lot in her seventeen years - her parents' dying in an accident for one. She is very level-headed but, she can be a little stubborn and gung-ho at times, which I found a bit irritating. She joins forces with Nathan, her guardian angel, and realises that there is no such thing as "normal". Kris finds out something about herself that completely shocks and terrifies her. She is a pawn in a war that could change the balance of power between the Scotadi and Culla. These two groups have been at war for millennia.

I have read quite a few YA books over the last couple of years or so. This story is very similar to others I have read but, also completely original. This book has a unique take on good and evil that had me thinking about those concepts. There are shades of grey, rather than black and white in this story, so one never knows whose side to cheer for!

We are introduced to several different characters that come to life as the story unfolds. I really liked Nathan. He is a bit of an enigma at first, as he has always been in Kris's life but only on the periphery. He has saved her several times throughout her life, but as I got to know him better, I realised that he is a hero in more ways than one.
I also liked Callie Sanders, who has been her best friend since the sixth grade. She is fun to be with, changes her boyfriends (and her hair colours) often and loves shopping.
Alec Sierra is also a wonderful character. I liked him too, as he is a great guy. He has a wonderful sense of humour and has a warmth to him that instantly charmed me. However, he has a secret that, when it is revealed, completely threw me. I didn't see it coming and thus, my conundrum with the good and evil aspect of this book. This story is full of twists and turns, action and danger. It's exciting and enthralling. However, I am not overly fond of love triangles and this story has a definite love triangle thing going on. Both Nathan and Alec are completely opposite from each other, which is why I can understand Kris's dilemma. But, it made it extremely difficult for me to pick one to like more! It reminded me of the Edward/Jacob debates that ruled the social media sites for years, when those books first came out. However, I love a bad boy and Alec gets my vote, even if Kris disagrees with me. Or does she? Her confusion over her feelings for both of them made me empathize with her. I felt sad when I reached the end of the story, because I wanted to keep listening to it. It ends on a twist rather than a cliffhanger, so I am now looking forward to listening to the next book in the series, Sacrificed, as soon as possible.

Desni Dantone has written an exciting, pulse pounding debut novel. I loved her writing style, which is fast paced but, not rushed. Her characters and the scenes come alive through her descriptions and they are easy to picture in the mind's eye. The flow is wonderful and each scene runs seamlessly into the next. She has mixed ancient myths of Greek gods into a modern YA paranormal romance that will completely hook you in. This is one debut novelist to keep an eye on!

I highly recommend this book to readers aged thirteen up who love books like the Percy Jackson series, with Demi-gods and myths mixed in with a little romance.There is no explicit sexual content, apart from a few steamy kisses, so if you are looking for a little more heat, this book may not be for you. I also recommend this book to adults who love to read YA paranormal romances. - Lynn Worton

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