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Hell’s Chapel – Lauren Creed (Celia Kyle) Kicks ASS!!

Hell's Chapel (Shapeshifter Urban Fantasy) (Caith Morningstar Book 1)

“Be careful what you wish for
Cuz you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it

Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it”

Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up”, Courtesy of MetroLyrics

 

Caith Morningstar was there when the first brick of the Mouse’s house was laid. Order. Secrecy. That is all she asked. Orlando is her city. Her place of peace, where demons (dems), angels (gels) and tweens (‘other’) come to rest, relax, and visit her bar, Hell’s Chapel. Well, when you are the niece of “The” Morningstar, have an unending life and a very, well, let’s say ‘eclectic’ family, you deserve a little peace.

But peace isn’t in the offing tonight. Not when a thelac demon and a punk troll have decided that busting up the bar is just the ticket. Then, when her brownies don’t show up for work that night, leaving her with a total wreck to clean up before opening time, well, Caith’s week isn’t getting any better. Order, People! Is that too much to ask?

And then, to top it off, her Uncle Luc (Lucifer, to those not related to him) shows up. Then, an angel with attitude. Oh, and let’s not forget Papa Alrick, Wolf Alpha of North America, and her other four Papas as well (yes, other four papas. Don’t ask.) Things get all growly and bitey and sword slashy before Caith gets to take a breath. To make it all even worse? Green. Eyed. Zombies. Then? Green Eyed Vampires. Can a girl not catch a freakin’ break?! It’s hard enough to convince the badass Angel of Destruction, Samkiel that he is your mate and really, really should put that whole “On High” thing in the rearview and get the whole boom chicka bow bow bitey bitey life mate thing on with her.

“Be careful what you wish for . . .”

There is blood, blood everywhere. Death and destruction, and pain pain pain. And for a girl whose mother is the sister of the King of Hell, staying true to her five father’s pure ideals of right and wrong is going to turn out to be a “Hell” of a lot harder than expected.

Celia Kyle is one of my all-time favorite authors of light-and-fluffy paranormal romance. She has bridged out here, under the name Lauren Creed (why bother, Celia? We are ALL going to love you to pieces, no matter what you write!) into Urban Fantasy. The thing is, even if you, Beloved Reader, are completely convinced you “only” like Paranormal Romance, you are still going to adore this new series. The romance is there (a bit too much concentration on it, admittedly, for my UF tastes, but it works with the story, so there ya’ go) but this is still UF at its ‘first time out the gate” finest. Caith is strong, fierce, and cunning, as you would expect Lucifer’s niece to be. But when your fathers are a holy warrior from the Crusades for strength and the ability to gut a man with a knife between heartbeats, Father Earth (Mom just can’t handle birthing All them babies!) for a connection to the Earth, her unicorn papa for purity, the Alpha of every werewolf in North America for healing power, and, well, the King of the Pixies for a sense of humor and the ability to vanish at a moment’s notice, Caith also has a heart of gold and a basically sweet nature – that she will cut your heart out for if you happen to mention it.

I am desperately glad that Ms. Celia writes fast!!!! I can hardly WAIT for the next book!!!

I received “Hell’s Chapel” from the author in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and my thought is, Grab This Book Immediately. Whee!!!

 https://youtu.be/hcFlokM2CgQ

Fire Touched – Out March 8th!

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

It’s coming out March 8th. I am still hesitant after the last one (Night Broken pissed me off. . .)

Have any of you read a beta? Thoughts?

The library has it ordered on disk. I am fifth in line, so I can give it a listen without having to buy it for Penguin’s fixed price . . .

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

*Library Journal

A Human, A Ghost, A Vampire, A Witch And A Demon Walk Into A Baptist Fundamentalist Girl’s School…

It truly is darkest right around 3AM. Even the stars seem to dim, fading into the quiet of the night. The universe itself seems to sleep. But sometimes? Sometimes, not often, but often enough to keep your eyes turned to the sky in the darkest hours, a bright light flashes. Far off, and very quickly fading, a star explodes, giving off one brilliant flash before falling into the darkness, never to return.

Sometimes, I have that feeling with books. Even though my choices at that particular moment in time seem no more than dim stars, one will blast out through even the worst cover, worst blurb, the unknown (often only unknown to me, but well known to others, but not always) author, and, for whatever reason, simply take me someplace special.

It was a bit of a fluke that I picked up Juliette Harper’s Descendants of the Rose (The Selby Jensen Paranormal Mysteries Book 1). I am in no way a “Historical” lover. Long skirts and proper manners, they just don’t turn me on as they do some readers. So, when I saw the cover of this book, well, to say I was “put off” is a bit of an understatement. Although the cover is gorgeous, it screams historical romance. Or at least historical ghost story. But, for some reason, I went ahead and downloaded it (Free on Kindle!) and opened it up. Maybe it was the fates, maybe just sheer dumb luck, but I opened up a little world of wonders.

This is by no means a historical. Instead, it is a modern day jewel, filled with fascinating characters and a rich paranormal mystery (just as the title promised – imagine that).

Hi. My name is Selby Jensen. Now, unless you’re buying the coffee, get the hell out of my way.

Selby Jensen in a nutshell – the queen of snark. Of course, she has good reason for her attitude. Her life hasn’t exactly been rainbows and lollipops. Far from it. Her father was murdered by a monster, drawing her into a world she never knew existed. Then her beloved husband, Dex, met the same fate. Now, Selby spends her time with the dead, 24/7. Her vampire business partner. Her ‘died in Selby’s arms after a horrific car crash’ best friend Helen. Only, Dex apparently didn’t stick around after he died. And Selby? Well, after five long years, Selby hasn’t recovered, and it looks like she never will. So, why not face off with werewolves in filthy alleys, searching for the one who slaughtered her husband? Life as a blood bag just isn’t all that special any longer. Even though life is, well, ‘Interesting’ in the Chinese, “May you live in interesting times.” sort of interesting.

Burn all the sage you can find, but sleep with one eye open. The bogey man is real. I’ve met him. He’s from Bakersfield, and he did not have a happy childhood.

Well, the very fact that he is stuck living in Bakersfield would make anyone grumpy, just IMO.

Then, school calls. Well, “The Good News Educational and Salvation Academy” calls. One of those, “Praise God and don’t spare the Rod” sort of places (Well, their new headmistress is a bit ‘different’, but that is a part of the charm of making you wait to read it yourself) where your “embarrassing” daughters are sent away to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. You see, they have a bit of a demon problem . . .

Ugh. Talk about your understatements. Now, a human, a ghost, a vampire, a witch and a smoke demon have a bit more than a ‘bit of a kerfuffle’ on their hands. And how’s that for the New Scooby Doo Crew?

Of course, now I have to wait (Impatiently, I might add!) for the next, Lost in Room 636. I have to wonder, now that I have researched Ms. Harper’s bibliography, if the publisher was simply kowtowing to the fact that the team of Patricia Pauletti and Randa K. Williamson (writing as Juliette Harper) are apparently well-known for a series called The Lockwood Legacy, a “nine-book chronicle of the lives of three sisters who inherit a ranch in Central Texas following their father’s suicide.” Hum… well, it seems to be set in the 1960’s (?) not the 1800’s, so I guess I am off on the whole “lady in the long dress” cover style. Boo me.

Well, well. Lookie there – the first three are a free box set (Kindle Unlimited) so maybe I will have to check that story line out and see if I like their previous works, but I think I will read “Witch at Heart” first. The first in the “Jinx Hamilton Mysteries” it looks like it could be a really fun series. Looks like there are three of those in print, another three (at least) up to bat (wink wink, nudge nudge) so I will let you know what I think. WaH is free on Kindle Unlimited, so I just downloaded it. Will let you know what I think!

 

 

Review: In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler #UrbanFantasy #Werewolves

In the Company of Wolves (SWAT) - Paige Tyler“There is no life to be found in violence. Every act of violence brings us closer to death.” – bell hooks

A meth addict mother. Check. A brutal, drunken stepfather. Check. Living in a hellhole of an apartment, waiting for said stepfather to storm into her room and rape her. Double check. Jayna Winston fled into the night on the very night that nearly happened. Bloody, beaten and alone.

Fast forward to the present day, and Jayna finds herself in a hell of a mess. In Paige Tyler’s mythology, werewolves are created at times of great terror and pain, and Jayna’s change came that terrifying night. Now, her alpha, Liam, has placed his small pack into the hands of the Albanian mob, locked them into committing crimes, from theft to murder. Murder. And Liam apparently doesn’t care that his tiny pack is in danger of being killed every time they commit a crime. That right this very moment Jayna’s life is in danger. Because Liam said there were no werewolves in Dallas. Especially no alpha werewolves. But now, in a warehouse in a bad part of Dallas, Jayna and the omega wolves Liam has taken in – huge, ruthless, savage – are surrounded. Surrounded by a SWAT team composed completely of wolves. Alpha wolves.

A whole pack of alpha wolves. Toe-to-toe to one of said wolves, Jayna knows she will never survive. Until the alpha wolf dumps her into a packing crate, tells her to be very, very quiet – and then pours a shipment of very expensive perfume over the crate to block her scent.

What the . . . ?

Why did that happen? And to make it even weirder, the alpha, Eric Becker, tracks her down. But he doesn’t arrest her. He wants to help. Liam may have dropped Jayna and her tiny pack into certain death, but Becker wants to help. No one has ever offered to actually help Jayna. Now she and Megan, Moe, Joseph and Chris, three beta wolves, can no longer rely on Liam. And without Liam’s strength, they can’t leave, can’t fight back.

But Becker has a plan. First, he has to present himself as an omega, and be accepted by Frasheri, the Albanian mob boss, and his underboss, the psychopath Kostandin. And then? Well, here is what is going to happen . . .

Tyler’s mythology is interesting in its difference. Neither Jayna nor her pack members, or Becker himself, have been wolves for very long, all learning what it means. All have things to teach one another. Jayna is terrified, of course, of losing her much loved pack members, even Liam who sold them out to the mob in exchange for money and the illusion of power. To save them she will have to be stronger than she ever could have imagined. And she comes through beautifully. Becker and his people are strong, of course, but also very human in the best sort of way. A pleasant read.

I received In the Company of Wolves from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Nightshade: An Anthology Available for Preorder!

NightshadeI got an email from Sara Reine reminding me that Nightshade is coming out September 21st! The anthology has some GREAT authors on offer, including two of my favorites, Kate Danley and Deanna Chase – and of course, Sara herself! The other authors I haven’t read, and how cool is that?? I get to check out new authors!

The book is only .99 and is on preorder at Amazon.

Here’s the skinny:

17 original stories by some of today’s bestselling urban fantasy authors.

The Agency-Donna Augustine: Before Karma joins the agency, she’s just another assignment handed to Fate from the Universe. But she’s destined to become more than that.

De Facto-Annie Bellet: Verity Li’s just a bureaucratic cog, going through the motions until she interrupts a kidnapping next door, and now all the problems are hers.

Venom-Sarra Cannon: On the run from a coven of witches determined to capture and enslave him, Rend must overcome the limitations of the human world and embrace his true demon power. But will he survive?

Honeysuckle Memory-Selene Charles: Scarlett Smith’s on a mission to track down the man who sentenced her to an eternity of purgatory, but first she needs to pass the mental health assessment board of the paranormal investigative department.

Spirits of Bourbon Street-Deanna Chase: It’s Halloween and time to party, but when a spirit traps everyone in the past, white witch Jade Calhoun’s forced to forgo the cocktails in order to save those she loves.

The Ghost & Mrs. MacKay-Kate Danley: It’s Halloween and Maggie’s mother has invited all the ghosts of the neighborhood over for a party. Unfortunately, one of the ghosts is wanted by the Other Side’s finest. It’s up to Maggie and Killian to find out what caused this soul’s unrest and return him to his happy haunting ground.

Full Moon Mischief-Debra Dunbar: Getting summoned on Halloween isn’t any demon’s idea of fun especially when yanked from a rocking party into a coat closet. But rules are rules and Imp Sam must find a way to get rid of a gold-digger hussy then hope the pint-sized mage sends her back before the party’s over.

Dog Days of Summer-Hailey Edwards: When a fae boy goes missing, Thierry is called to lead the hunt for the rogue. But the closer she gets to locating the boy, the further she gets from the truth.

Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer-Colleen Gleason: Balls, beaux, dance cards….and stakes? Lady Victoria Gardella must juggle her responsibility as a debutante in 19th century London Society while fulfilling her family legacy as a vampire hunter.

Atomic-C. Gockel: Sigyn is prophesied to be the consort of a king. Instead she marries a fool. Centuries after his chaos destroys their marriage, the fallout begins .

Highland Magic-Helen Harper: The Veil has kept the Highlands of Scotland free from demons for centuries, and ensured relative peace for the Sidhe Clans. However, a strange encounter on a dark, heather-strewn hillside might mean all that is about to change.

Contents May Have Shifted-Shawntelle Madison: Return to the Coveted universe in this tale featuring werewolf Natalya Stravinsky. Two werewolf shopkeepers in a mystical flea market encounter deadly merchandise that has no intention of being sold.

Illusions-Christine Pope: Warlock Damon Wilcox is plotting to kidnap the most powerful witch in a rival clan. But Damon’s brother Connor has plans of his own.

Dying Night-SM Reine: Hell’s trying to squeeze its way onto Earth via the Grand Canyon. Elise and James, a demon hunting team, haven’t spoken about that thing that happened in Copenhagen for six months. With all the pressure boiling under the surface, something’s sure to blow.

Brea’s Tale: Arrival-Anthea Sharp: When a faerie girl is sent on a mission to the mortal world, she must learn to navigate the intricacies of life among humans – but will she survive undetected?

Angels and Demons-Colleen Vanderlinden: A mysterious woman haunts the streets of Detroit, dishing up her own version of vigilante justice. If the stories about her are true, she could end up being the city’s biggest nightmare.

Dragon’s Fury-Phaedra Weldon: A tragic part of Crwys Holliard’s past is revealed when his lover becomes a target in a serial killer’s vendetta against women who have crossed Crwys’s path. Unfortunately, this also makes Crwys the prime suspect in their deaths.

Review: Claimed By The Mate -Two Book Set: Feral Passions and The Alpha’s Mate

Claimed by the Mate is actually two books in one. “Feral Passions” by Kate Douglas, and “The Alpha’s Mate” by A. C. Arthur. I have reviewed both, one a wonderful story – the other? Not so much.

Parents can be so hateful. So cruel and full of spite, destroying the souls of their children on a whim, trying to force their will, destroying their child’s self-esteem. It never goes away. The pain of knowing that you are not enough, not good enough, not perfect enough, for your parents to love you.

Cheraza “Cherry” DuBois knows all about being unloved. She has her father’s height, his big bones, big breasts and lush hips. She isn’t out of proportion, she is just a big girl. And her parents hate her for that. While her sister got summer camp, Cherry got fat camp. And when she lost her virginity in the back of a car, while the guy took photos and spread them all over the net to humiliate her, he wasn’t punished. Oh, no. While she was kicked out of school and made a pariah by everyone who knew her, her parents made it worse. They cut all ties and threw her out of their lives like garbage. Their daughter wasn’t perfect, she was an embarrassment, and they made sure she knew it.

Now, ten years later, Cherry lives her own life as a marketing analyst, loving her work, but locking everyone but her sister, Christa, and Christa’s best friend Steph out of her life. Cissy and Steph have always been there for her. Always supported her. So when they beg Cherry to come along on a girl’s only vacation, a week at a private wolf preserve, how can she say no? A week in the northern California mountains, at a preserve and resort where only six women a week are allowed, where women can “get in touch with nature without the hassle of guys and all that testosterone-driven need to hike farther, climb higher.” Six women, the total focus of a bunch of really hot guys who are determined to make sure they enjoy their stay. Well, they do encourage you to bring along books, or knitting, or painting, or whatever other hobbies you wish to pursue. No Wi-Fi or cell phone reception, so the idea of total relaxation is quite appealing.

The landscape is gorgeous. The wolves come close, and the air is fresh and clean, just what a San Francisco girl needs to clear her head and relax. And it allowed me to relax as well as I pictured the landscape of the story in my mind. I could almost smell the air and see the wildflowers and the wolves. Kate Douglas paints a beautiful picture of the preserve. And of course, the massage that Cherry gets at her cabin made me way jealous… sigh.

Feral Passions is a lovely little paranormal romance that I truly enjoyed and will read again. I haven’t read Douglas before, but this book encourages me to check out her other works. I loved her understanding of Cherry’s pain and inability to see herself as anything other than ugly and unlovable because of what her family and others did to her. I also loved watching as she began to grow and change, beginning to believe in her own worth as a human being. Thank you, Ms. Douglas, for your eyes-open approach to Cherry’s situation and how her parents destroyed her ability to see good in herself.

The second book in this two volume set, The Alpha’s Woman by A. C. Arthur was diametrically opposed to the mindset of the first book. Honestly, it clashed so deeply with the strong woman character of the first book I found it disconcerting. Kira Radney is the daughter of an alpha wolf, and the mythology of the story is different than most paranormal romance werewolf stories. Here, the wolves came about through Zeus being Zeus, i.e., a complete and total jerk. Fast forward and the wolves have been segregated on earth, away from utopian Arcadia, and are now two warring tribes, the Hunters and the Devoted. The Hunters want to kill off all the Devoted, who wish to live in harmony and peace with humans and the other hidden creatures as well. The Hunters simply with to hunt, kill and rut. Kira is an alpha, born to the Hunters, but when her mother is murdered and her father tries to foist her off on a brutal beta so that she can be controlled, she takes off, only to find herself captured by yet another alpha. An alpha who captures her and drags her back to his home, only to mind rape her and pull the whole “you are going to take it, and not come until I allow you to” crap that some women, for some stomach twisting reason, think is ‘sexy.’ When it got to the alpha telling Kira that she was going to learn to be strong and in control, then tying her to a weight bench and raping her – well, that is when I stopped reading. That sort of cold, manipulative, demeaning savagery makes me sick, and I had to put the book down and walk away. How is rape teaching a woman that she is in control of her own life? The whole ‘out of control’ sexual content of the book, and the weak-minded female character thinking with her vagina instead of her head, was diametrically opposed to the strong female character of the first book. I wouldn’t have put these two together on a bet.

So, one beautifully done book and one bit of sickening, over-sexed savagery. Kate Douglas will get more of my attention, while Arthur will go on my “not again, even if there is nothing else left in the world to read” list.

I received Claimed by the Mate from the publisher in exchange for a realistic, honest review. As you can see, I honestly loved the first, honestly despised the second! Five stars for Feral Passions, zero stars for The Alpha’s Mate.

Review: Power Shift by Calinda B and Tina Winograd #ReadingAlley

Power Shift“Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Chia Petit wants, desperately, to keep her little corner of Alaska safe – for both shifters and humans alike. She has worked hard over the last three years to make sure that happens, setting up rules and regulations for what you can and cannot do in Charming, Alaska. So far, it is working, and most everyone loves the Charming Queen of Rules. Of course, not everyone likes that Chia has set up a safe place for shifters. And politics being politics, well, people love you, but humans are incredibly fickle . . . and that very fickle nature means that Chia’s life has suddenly turned to garbage in the last 24-hours. And it all centers around that jerk-off Hung Durand. Bounty hunter, total ass, and massive pain in Chia’s backside. She wants him dead. But first? First, she wants to do him.

There are a lot of things to like about “Power Shift.” There are lions and tigers and bears (oh, my), and a wonderful group of characters and personalities. Chia’s roommate is a very old vampire, and the two of them are hysterical with their practical jokes and interactions. Cecil Carpenter, Husky Shifter, town drifter and barhopper, is probably my favorite character. He is loyal and courageous (even though he is terrified at the things he must do to keep Chia safe when the world starts coming apart around their ears.) Dick Nighthawk (real name “White” but you can’t take advantage of the Alaskan Natives without them thinking you are one of them) and Red Mountainbear (ditto) are bad guys you love to hate. And the idea of ghosts that haunt you, literally, because you fail to face the bad things you have done in your life, was quite interesting. Overall, I would normally really enjoy this book. However, Chia herself brought down my enjoyment of the story. She has a lot of good qualities, but her obsession with sex soon became tiresome, then caused me to lose respect. The world is burning around you, you need to focus and save people’s lives, and yet all she can think of is sex – so she misses signs, misses opportunities – and gets people killed. It was both distracting and irritating, and finally dropped my rating by two full stars.

If you can overlook Chia’s irritating personality and obsession with sex, the rest of it is really good. I started skipping over the parts with Chia thinking – anything. It detracted from the book – which is a shame, because the rest of the book, without the obsessions, was quite good.
I received this book from Reading Alley in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Oh, and I really like the cover!

Pierced Is FREE!!! Grab Your Copy Now – You Will Be Hooked!

Pierced – Book 1

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo meets Betty Crocker.

pierced

Yep. That is Pierce, the girl with Mildred and Veda Pierce living in the kitchen of her mind. Well, I suppose that IS more interesting than having Betty Crocker living in your head, wouldn’t you think?

Who knows what true loneliness is – not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
Joseph Conrad

All universal moral principles are idle fancies.”
Marquis de Sade

 

This isn’t just a five-star review, ladies and gents. This is a full on, jumping up and down, screaming and squeeing and generally making an ass out of myself I am so excited about the book!

Where do I start? There is just so much HERE. . .

This is, in a way, as Mells describes it, an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, which is, as everyone knows by now, my favorite genre. However, that “title” doesn’t even begin to delve into the wonder that is Mells writing.

To be honest, when I first started the book, I was hesitant after the first couple of pages. Maybe her particular sort of “crazy” was a little too close to home for me. Memory. Obsession. Horror and fear. All living inside her head, counting steps and tiles and pain pain pain. Then, I kept turning pages. And becoming more and more engrossed into a world which includes, as I said, the UF genre, but is so very very much more.

Pierce is just a very small child when we first meet her. The daughter of an addict, living in a hell of someone else’s making, she is ‘different’ in some way she is not aware of. Different enough that her mother hands her books, and orders her to tell anyone she meets that she has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Never show anyone what you can do. Never. If you slip up and anyone questions you about it, you tell them you have Asperger’s. Do you understand me?”

Here are some books on the subject.”

Seemingly pretty strange for a child of six. But then, when that child can watch a foreign language movie and subsequently become fluent in said language with no training, that in itself is enough to worry that your child might become a pawn in someones perverted chess game. And that is only one of Pierce’s strange and wonderful abilities.

The perversions that flow through this book, and in no way do I mean that in a bad way, are horrifying, painful and yet a loud cry from the depths of the human soul. The strength of the human soul, and its ability to survive what no one should ever know exists, much less be required to survive.

You are strong, you are a fighter, he will not know this, and you will win. Men will always underestimate the supposed weaker sex, even if they suspect them to be dangerous.”

Mells takes the ‘modern fairy tale’ stories of UF and turns them on their heads, giving them a deeper and ‘truer’ view of the creatures of myth and legend. Pierced touches on the twists and turns of the mythological soul – and yet, her grasp on these creatures, no matter how perfect, is outshone by her ability to touch upon the true depth of depravity that the human soul is able to plumb.

Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, suspense, it is all here. Wonderful and completely and with a raw brutality that sucks in the reader, keeping you on the edge of your seat and drawing you into a world so very like our own, and yet so very strange. The depths of mental illness (or something similar), the terror of living on the run, hallucinations and a really good recipe for steak and kidney pie. I know, weird, right? But so very right.

I highly recommend you take a chance on Pierced. You are in for a book of depth and character I haven’t seen since, well, I can’t really remember off the top of my head. But take a pinch of Othello, throw in a heaping handful of Mildred Pierce and a big splash of Jack Kerouack. Serve with a blast of What It’s Like by Everlast. Stir well and serve with a side of desperate hope. Just read it.

Book courtesy of J. C. Mells, http://www.jcmells.com/

Escaped – Book 1.5 (Now Book 2)

Escaped (Book 2 of the Pierced Series)
Was Book 1.5 but Amazon took away the .0 listings, so now Book 2 instead of Pinked.

Oscar Alvarez de Sevilla was living the American dream. Attending a prestigious law school in New York City and madly in love with the girl downstairs, who he was pretty much going to marry as soon as he graduated. Everything was going as planned and life was good.

Twelve years later he is the centerpiece in a daring plan to help two young girls escape from the ruthless psychopath who has had them locked up for most of their lives. The same man for whom Oscar has been working for several years now.

His actions will guarantee he will be dead in less than a year, regardless of whether or not he and the girls are recaptured.

How did things go so wrong?

PINKED – Book Two

PINKED BC3Take a pinch of Othello, throw in a heaping handful of Mildred Pierce and a big splash of Jack Kerouack. Serve with a blast of What It’s Like by Everlast. Stir well and serve with a side of desperate hope. Just read it.  – Me.

These were my final words in my review of Pierced the first volume in J. C. Mells Pierced series. I raved and carried on about Pierced – it’s depth, storyline, amazing characters and creative twists. I loved it, and I hope you got a chance to love it too.

The second volume of the series, Pinked is out now, and it does not disappoint.  J. C. reaches deep in Pinked, expanding upon an already fascinating character, reaching deeper into her psyche, and twisting her life beyond anything she ever imagined it could be.  Pinked shows yet again that, though she may have lived through horrifying perversions, she still has an ability to not only survive, but to thrive in circumstances that would warp a weaker person’s soul.

Things are moving fast for Pierce, in ways she never would have expected. Life, family, tragedy, its all here with a vengeance.  As if life wasn’t hard enough for Pierce, even her DNA has changed, as Lucas has been forced to change her in order to save her life. Now, Lucas looks back at what led up to Pierce’s change, and what it means not only for Pierce, but for himself and the rest of his extended family. Can Lucas learn to get past his self-hatred, his fear of his wolf and the need of those around him for him to step up and accept his place as Alpha?

The story cranks up fast, and blasts into a race against time. Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, suspense, it is all here. Just as Pierced was, Pinked is wonderful and complete, with a raw brutality that sucks in the reader, keeping you on the edge of your seat and drawing you into a world so very like our own, and yet so very strange.  Once again, you are in for a book of depth and character I haven’t seen since, well, since Pierced!

Highly recommended with a bullet!

 

Perfect Cover 2Perfect – Book 4

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”

Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.

But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.

Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..

I received this beta from the author, a good friend. However, all opinions in the review are my own.

Napoleon – Book Five (And Final – Boo Hoo!!!)

nap
The last “Pierced” for a while… so if you haven’t read them all, start from the first and sweep right through! These books are like chocolate, you can’t get enough!

I don’t know whether to be happy – or to cry!! I just finished Napoleon, a novella in the world of the Pierced series. And this is going to be the last in the series for a while, as J.C. is going to be moving on to other writings for a while. So – one of my favorite character’s stories comes to a head – but I don’t get my Pierced now! Ah well. I can always go back and reread when I miss Pierce, Lucas, Napoleon and all the gang. And hey, if you haven’t read the series yet, you are in the enviable position of being able to start at the beginning and go straight through, so there is always that!

Napoleon is such a great character. But let’s back up a bit. When Pierce and Lucas, the main characters of the series, first meet, Lucas is wearing a pink gay-pride T-shirt while trying to kidnap her. So, through the rest of the series, she calls him “Pink” – which is hysterical as he is a huge guy, rough, tough and no nonsense. But he wears this shirt, and many others in the same theme throughout the series, to support his sister’s adopted child, Napoleon, who is gay. And of course, being a gay werewolf is pretty far outside the realm of “acceptable behavior” in the wolfie world.

Now, after all the trials and tribulations of the previous books, we pick up from the last as Napoleon and his friend, Moused, take off for the Big Apple and college.

Moused and Nap go to New York. There ought to be a movie about that, surely.

The only problem is the very hunky, very straight, and undeniably uber-arrogant and spoiled future heir to the Uppsala Pack of Sweden, the largest pack in Europe. Living in Nowhere, Nevada for the summer, the home of Napoleon’s pack, the Prince has made Nap’s life a complete misery, alternately flirting with and flinging Nap away. Thank goodness Prince Sixten Dahl is off for Oxford while Napoleon is for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Moused for Columbia. OH, but wait . . . there’s more! For Six is not headed for Oxford after all – and Nap’s life has just become a living hell once again. Crushing on the straight guy. Oy.

J.C. Mells has brought me so much joy with her Pierced series. Her Nowhere Pack is a true treat – mixing wolves, vamps and humans, straights and gays. All the things the straight-laced Packs really, really don’t comprehend. Read the series. If you follow my reviews, you will know if you like the same books I do. And this series is one of my absolute favorites! And remember, J.C. is still giving away free copies of her second in the series, Escaped for a link to your Amazon review of Pierced!

Let me know how you like the series! Bet you will . . .

Review: Bite Me (Pride Series Book 9) by Shelly Laurenston

Bite Me (Pride, #9)“Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.” – George Carlin
Poor Livy. Being a honey badger shifter is really the pits sometimes. Let’s take her father’s funeral.

“So how did it go?

“Fistfight on the casket. Poisonous snakes in the backyard. My father’s ex-girlfriend head-butted by my mother… The usual really.”

Wow. Growing up in a family known for being enemies to … well … everyone, isn’t actually all that easy. Especially when you have no interest in learning the finer skills of pickpocketing at age three or how to best break in to a safe, steal the swag and get away clean by the time you are a preteen. Huh. Livy isn’t interested in the family business of breaking every local, state, federal and international robbery law on the books – she just wants to be a photographer. And she is a really good one at that. But family business rears its ugly head, no matter how carefully Livy tries to stay away. And her father’s death will lead to a return to the family business, will she or nil she. Thank goodness she has good friends to back her up. And, believe it or not, her family as well. Of course, when her old friend Vic, a bear-tiger hybrid, shows up along with his friend and sometimes business partner Shen, the giant panda, things get even stickier.

Livy: “Your feline is showing.”
Vic: “Because you’re not being rational and there’s an eight-foot four-hundred-pound whiny baby over there begging me to claw the holy shit out of him.”

Polar Bear Hockey Player (and aforementioned whiney baby): “You are Rude!”

Livy has no interest in a ‘relationship’ with anyone – especially when said hybrid makes her insides feel funny. But sometimes what we want and what we need are very different. And having a mammoth sized hybrid on her side turns out to be rather a good thing after all.

I read the first two of Shelly Laurenston’s “Pride” series quite some time ago and remember liking them, and finding them rather funny. “Bite Me” is sooo much more! I laughed so hard all through the book I had tears running down my face. The story is great, but the characters make the book. From Tennessee hillbillies (and proud of it) to savants in everything from art to music to science, Shelly takes what could be cliché characters and make them so much more. There is tremendous humor here, but also depth – the love of family and friends, the sacrifices friends are willing to make, and a lot about love and duty, greed and egotism – and the best way to break into an unbreakable vault, of course.

Yes, the first ones were OK but Book Nine? Priceless! It is now on my “to be read immediately when feeling sad” shelf. And I am going to go back and read the rest as well. The first two were more of the typical ‘paranormal romance’ with some humor thrown in – lots of sex and not as much story. This one? LOTS of story, lots of laughs, and a tiny bit of very well-done sex – lagniappe rather than main course!

Highly recommended. Have fun! Oh, and please note. Just because Shelly’s wonderful cover artists couldn’t figure out the best way to make Vic look sexy in his hybrid form, (he really is quite terrifying in his shifted form! All. That. FUR!!) and put that gorgeous tiger on the cover instead, doesn’t mean that Shelly doesn’t respect her friends, the hybrid shifters!

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