Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Surrender the Dark by L.A. Banks

Surrender the DarkSurrender the Dark
by L.A. Banks
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
March 29th 2011 by Pocket
ISBN 1451607784 
Provided by publisher for review
Celeste Jackson has fought all her life against a fog of hallucination and substance abuse, but it’s not until she meets her protector, Azrael, an angel who has left the safety of the Light, that she learns of the evil forces that have been trying to ruin her, and why. A fierce battle for control of the mortal realm is brewing, and only Celeste—with the help of theRemnant, her half-human, half-angel brethren—can stand in the way. Together, Celeste and Azrael must gather an army of sensitives to defeat the dark powers that have ruled humanity for centuries, but time is running out. If Azrael surrenders to his growing desire for Celeste, he risks being trapped among humanity forever. But the longer he stays, the harder she is to resist. To save the world, Celeste must draw on her own dark experiences with addiction to help Azrael overcome the one temptation that could possibly make him an eternal prisoner—his obsession with her.
My Thoughts:
I’ve had L.A. Banks on my radar for a while but haven’t had the chance to read any of her work until now. Surrender the Dark really captivated me; it was a moving tale of Good vs. Evil and the Light battling the Dark for human kind.

Celeste lives with an abusive boyfriend, sees demons and has been diagnosed as mentally insane. Though her bible-toting Aunt raised her she is on the brink, contemplating the great sin of suicide just to make it all end. When Celeste is at her lowest a tall, dark and sexy man approaches her, claiming to be an angel sent to protect her.
Banks really brings the darker side of addiction and poverty to light here from the streets of Philly and NYC, capturing the essence of her character’s surroundings perfectly. I’ve never been to the northeast but I could clearly picture it with Bank’s seamless writing.

Azrael, the Angel of Death, was chosen for and accepted a great mission; to fall to the Earth, find one of the Remnant and save humanity. Little did he know, she was the key to all.
When Azrael is brought into human form it is a painful and frightening experience, and he despairs. But once he finds Celeste, she teaches him about the world around them, about clothing, food, money and even today’s politics. She also opens him up to new, unknown feelings that lead him down a dangerous path.
As he starts to explain to Celeste his mission and her destiny the story slowed down immensely and the religious beliefs, which is a main focal point of the plot, got deep but it is an essential part to the story. Though some of the discussions about energy, light and double helixes went over my head I still found it interesting.

Trust starts to develop between Celeste and Azrael but so does their attraction, and for an angel in a new, human body, desire can be a scary thing. And for us readers, it can be pretty funny.
Each of these characters is complex and I was drawn to their struggles and development immediately. Individual they are strong, but together they are a force to be reckon with. Once they become a team the action starts but the romantic tension is a continuous undercurrent throughout the story.

The secondary characters were a fun part of the novel as well, each with their own issues to cope with, you yearn to know more about them and how they can help, or hinder, the main characters quest.

Though it is not have a fast-paced, the plot remains steady and Surrender the Dark was a great read. Both heart-warming and thought provoking. With love, faith, and hope being a bright message throughout you will not want to miss this enlightening reading experience. And I for one am looking forward to it's sequel, Conquer the Dark, set to be released in October. 

Rating: 4 Wines Glasses - Loved it


I am giving away my own lightly read, looks-new-because-I'm-a-book-freak, copy to followers who have a US address
Just fill out the form below and I will choose a winner at random on April 15th. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Love at Stake author Kerrelyn Sparks

I am very excited to have author Kerrelyn Sparks joining me today for an interview!

Kerrelyn SparksWelcome Kerreyln!
Thank you for inviting me!

You write a fantastic paranormal romance series about vampires and shifters called Love at Stake. For someone who isn’t familiar with the series how would you describe it to them?
Basically, they are romantic comedies, so they appeal to anyone who loves to laugh. The last thing I want to do is bore the readers, so you can expect some suspense and adventure, along with some sizzling hot romance. To see if the series is your cup of tea, please visit my website, where you can read excerpts from each book.

Was there anything specific that inspired the series?
You mean like bills to pay? LOL I’ve always loved the funny vampire movies (like the ones with George Hamilton and Leslie Nielson), but I also loved the sexy, mysterious vampire hero like Frank Langella. If I could just mix the two together, funny and sexy, it would be the perfect world for me. So I imagined a sexy, suave, mysterious vampire—Roman Draganesti—then I imagined the silliest thing that could happen to him. Losing his fangs? Or better yet, just one fang, so he would be in danger of being a lopsided eater for all eternity! And so, the first book in the series, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, was born.

Vampire Mine, the highly anticipated story featuring the Scottish vampire Connor, was released yesterday. Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect in this installment?
Everyone who has been following the series knows that Connor has some serious issues. But no one knows why. For the first hundred pages or so while I was writing, I kept thinking “Sheesh, Connor, get a grip!” And he would respond, “Sod off.” He was a tough hero to crack, and I knew it would take a really special heroine to get past his rock-hard defenses to touch his heart. Marielle was perfect for him, and when he finally succumbed, he fell hard and fast.

Thing your heroine, Marielle, would never be caught dead saying:
Marielle, as an angel, is all about love and hope, so she would never say something like “Give up,” or “You’re not worthy of love.”

Each book in the series features one main couple, is there a character or couple that was harder to write then the others? If so who and why?
Not really harder, just different. I would say that Heather was probably the easiest heroine for me to write because she has so much in common with me. I’m a Texan and former high school teacher like her, and I was also a single divorced mom with a young child like her. You would think that a character like Vanda (in your face and angry) would be more difficult for me to write, but I really enjoyed all the yelling and throwing furniture. I guess there was a hidden spark of anger in me that enjoyed being set free. And there was a part of me that enjoyed being Caitlyn and traveling to exotic places and being loved by a were-panther. I’ve enjoyed being in the shoes (and beds) of all the heroines. And the heroes—I fall in love with all of them. I’m terribly fickle that way.

How do you come up with the right hero/heroine for your characters? Is there a process or do they just come to you while writing?
In some cases, like Phil and Vanda, I already have two characters made up, and their chemistry is already highly inflammable. But for the most part, I have a lonesome hero who needs a heroine, so I design one who will be perfect for him. I ask myself what does the hero want more than anything in the world? What does he really need? What is he the most afraid of? Then I ask the same questions about the heroine. Then I ask myself—what can the heroine give him that he needs desperately and no one else can give him? And vice versa, what can the hero give her that no one else can?

Do you have anything you are working on now that you can share with us?
I just finished revisions on book 11, titled Sexiest Vampire Alive. The hero is Gregori, and a heroine is currently top secret. The book will go on sale September 27th, 2011.

You’re running off to Gretna Green in Scotland, which of your vampires are you running off with?
LOL, I would probably pick Connor.

Night Owl or Early Bird? Night owl
Dog Ears or Bookmarks? bookmarks
Hot or Flirty? flirty
Vampire or Werewolf? Grr, that’s a tough one. Vampires.
Angels or Demons? Angels. Assuming the demon is truly demonic.
Coffee or Tea? Tea

Thank you, Kerrelyn, for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by! Do you have any last comments or words for our readers?
Thank you for all the support! Please visit me on my website forum or on Facebook or follow me on Twitter! I love to hear from readers! And good luck on winning a signed copy of How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire!

Giveaway Time!

Kerrelyn has graciously offered a signed copy of How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, the first novel in her Love at Stake series, to one lucky reader!

To enter, just answer this question: If you were running off to Gretna Green to get married to one of your favorite book boyfriends (or girlfriend), who would it be?

Open Internationally! Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on April 13th. One winner will be chosen using and contacted via email so please make sure to leave your email address with your comment. Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before a new one is chosen.
Good Luck!

Review: Destiny Divided By Leia Shaw

*Originally reviewed and posted by me on sister site, Paranormal Romance Addict

Destiny Divided (Shadows of Destiny)Destiny Divided
By Leia Shaw
Kindle Edition
Published March 15th 2011
After fleeing her native city - and nightmares of a traumatic childhood - Sage Peterson meets the overbearing, pretentious, yet haunted Professor Elias. He's the only one who knows about her mysterious powers, which seem to be spiraling out of control. When he convinces her to train with him, she finds herself thrust into a five hundred year war and on the run from vampires, werewolves, and even worse - her budding feelings for James Elias.
                                                                          James had been living a dull and empty existence for the past century and a half. When a fiery half-sorceress, half-witch with a stubborn streak and sharp wit enters his life, he sees her only as a potential weapon to use against his greatest enemy. But when he discovers the vulnerable woman beneath the angry mask, instinct screams to keep her safe. To protect and provide. And to claim her as his.
                                                                               But will it be too late? As passion and lust ignite between them, vengeance is slipping away. And when Sage is confronted with fulfilling an unexpected destiny, will she choose to trust James with her heart?

My Thoughts:

I loved every single moment of Destiny Divided!
The author did an excellent job with world building, keeping it believable and exciting while her characters were sexy and interesting. Sage is a kick ass heroine with a snarky sense of humor I adored and James a yummy and protective sorcerer with a few secrets of his own. I loved watching both of them develop and grow as individuals and a couple. There is a great balance of action and romance in this captivating. Also, mucho sexual tension that leaves you hanging by a thread for quite some time but is well worth the wait. Some funny Twilight and Harry Potter references as well; there was even a ‘Luke, I am your father’ Star Wars moment.

This was such a fun and addicting read, I couldn’t put it down and held a serious grudge against my family when I actually had to take a break to fix them dinner!
The end had me salivating for more and I can’t wait to get my hands on Destiny United, the next book in the series set to release this June.

Rating: 4.5!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks

Eat Prey Love (Love at Stake, #9)Eat Prey Love
Love at Stake Series
by Kerrelyn Sparks
Mass Market Paperback, 373 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Avon
ISBN 0061958034
Wanted: Bride. Must love children. Mortals need not apply.
 Carlos Panterra is looking for a mate, a woman who will love and care for the young orphans he's recently taken under his wing (or paw, as the case may be). When the shape shifter spies the beautiful Caitlyn, it's like sunshine amidst the darkness. At last, he's found the perfect woman, except . . .
Caitlyn Whelan is mortal. Worse, her father is the head of a CIA agency bent on hunting the undead. Still, Caitlyn knows that Carlos is the man for her, shape shifter or not. So she jumps at the chance when her sister offers her a job to work with him, determined to show Carlos their attraction is more than just animal magnetism. But danger lurks in the night, and their unleashed, untamed passion might just get them both killed . . .

My thoughts:
Another great novel in the Love at Stake series from author Kerrely Sparks! In Eat Prey Love, Sparks takes you on a thrilling adventure through the Asian jungle wrought with danger, mystery and passion.

Carlos is on the hunt for a mate and he only has one requirement; she must be a were-panther. His race is endangered and he has been traveling across the world to find more of his kind; not just for himself but also for the five orphaned were-panther children that he has taken in.
When he meets eyes with the beautiful, Caitlyn Whelan, his instincts scream ‘Mine’ but he knows with one sniff that she isn’t a panther, and being Shanna’s sister and daughter to the head guy in the CIA’s Stake-Out Team make’s her even more off-limits. But Caitlyn is determined to explore their connection and prove to Carlos that she more then makes up for being merely mortal. With some wilily matchmakers to help her along Carlos has his work cut out for him trying to resist his tempting new co-worker and keep them alive through the perils of the jungle.

I have to admit that it took me a while to pick up this book because I really wasn’t that interested in Carlos; he’s gay, he’s not gay, but he is, no he’s not. I was still skeptical at the begging but after a few pages I got sucked into the story and it wouldn’t spit me out until the very end.

Eat Prey Love had action, adventure, mystery and sensuality; with old characters I loved and new intriguing characters introduced. It follows the events of The Vampire and the Virgin but is fabulous as a standalone; following it’s own smaller plot while the larger plot continues on in the background and throughout the series.
Carlos and Caitlyn had instantaneous electrifying chemistry, complete animal magnetism despite Caitlyn being mortal. Their passion is palpable in each scene together. Although Cailtyn came off a bit crazy-stalker-lady in the beginning, you have got to give her credit for sticking to her guns and not backing down. She sees what she wants and she doesn’t give up until she has it. And when these two get together they bring down the house. There relationship doesn’t fully develop until your well into the book and even then you still have a good amount of suspense in their relationship, which kept it interesting. 

The action was continuous with several new twists that will be interesting to see how they affect the series in general and the world building written to perfection. Just what I like to see in my reads! A must read book and series all together!

Loved it!

Vampire Mine, featuring Connor Buchannan, is out today (March 29, 2011) so go pick it up! And make sure to stop by tomorrow because I will be having Kerrelyn Sparks over for an interview and giveaway! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

500 Follower Giveaway!


Howdy all, I hope that everyone is enjoying their weekend! So after much deliberation, and instead of doing my normal monthly giveaway next month, I have decided to do a 500 follower giveaway!
Yay! Woohoo! That's right, get excited! 

In celebration of hitting the big 5 0 0 and the newest Black Dagger Brotherhood book Lover Unleashed being released, I am going to give away one of three items to one lucky follower:

1. A Black Dagger Brotherhood Set, complete with PB books 1-6
2. Hard cover copy of the upcoming release, Lover Unleashed

Winner's choice. Open to where The Book Depository ships to. 

  • You must be a GFC follower 
  • Giveaway will end on my birthday, April 26th at 11:59 pm!
  • Winner will be selected using, contacted via email provided and given 48 hours to respond

Extra Entries: (I'm pullin' em' all out for this one!)
  • Being a 'top' Stalker -see right side bar
  • Following on Twitter @RBtWBC
  • 'Like' on FaceBook
  • Being my friend on GoodReads
  • Being an email subscriber 
  • Posting RBtWBC blog button on your own blog
  • Posting Giveaway button on your blog
  • Commenting on this post
  • Spread the word
  • Follow my Paranormal Romance book blog, PRA

And if by some craziness in the force we reach 1000 followers I will add another winner. All you have to do to enter is fill out the form below. Comments do not count towards entry but will give you an extra point! Good luck everyone, and may the Brothers be with you! True?

I'm over at Secrets of a Book Lover today with a TSoTG Review & Giveaway!

Secrets of a Book Lover />

Come visit me today over at my girl Kelly's book blog, Secrets of a Book Lover and see my review of Jeaneine Frost's This Side of the Grave
To celebrate her book blogging debut Kelly is also giving away one book from the Night Huntress series and I will throw in a 'Team Bones" slap bracelet to go with it! 
So come by and tell us one of your reading secrets! 

Review: This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

This Side of the Grave
Night Huntress #5
By Jeaniene Frost
Purchase now on Amazon

Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

Crystal's Review:
First line-
“The vampire pulled on the chains restraining him to the cave wall.”

To say This Side of the Grave was a highly anticipated book would be a major understatement. After waiting over a year for my favorite author to pop out the next Cat & Bones book, feeling jittery from withdrawal, I wanted to cry when I finally got it in my hands! Expecting another spectacular story from this magnificent series, author Jeaniene Frost did not disappoint.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book-It-Forward ARC Tours: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)
Witches of East End 
The Beauchamp Family, #1 
by Melissa de la Cruz 
June 21st 2011 by Disney-Hyperion
Courtesy of Book-It-Forward ARC Tours

It’s the beginning of summer in North Hampton, and beautiful Freya Beauchamp is celebrating her engagement to wealthy Bran Gardiner, the heir to Fair Haven and Gardiners Island. But Freya is drawn to Bran’s gorgeous but unreliable brother Killian, and sparks fly when the two decide to play a dangerous game, following an ancient story of love, betrayal and tragedy that harks back to the days of Valhalla.                                                                                                              Witches of East End follows the Beauchamp family—the formidable matriarch Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid. Freya, a sexy bartender, has a potion to cure every kind of heartache, while Ingrid, the local librarian, solves complicated domestic problems with her ability to tie magical knots. Joanna is the witch to see when modern medicine has no more answers; her powers can wake the dead. Everything seems to be going smoothly until a young girl, Molly Lancaster, goes missing after taking one of Freya’s irresistible cocktails. As more of the town’s residents begin disappearing, everyone seems to have the same suspects in mind: the Beauchamp women. 
My Thoughts:
Witches of East End is Melissa de la Cruz’s first foray into the adult paranormal romance genre and it is a fabulous start!

This book follows the three Beauchamp witches in a world parallel to the Blue Blood’s, who many centuries ago use to be Goddesses until the bridge between the worlds was destroyed and they were trapped on this side. After the Salem Witch Trials, which they were involved in, all witches were punished by the council to live as normal, although immortal, humans and to never use magic again.
In the small town of North Hampton when they’re friends need assistance though, Freya, Ingrid and Joanna can’t help but to use a small bit of magic to aid them. At first the town is open to their magic but when residents start disappearing and are found dead the town goes on a witch-hunt.
The Beauchamp women must find the true culprits behind these crimes while navigating the curvy roads of their own relationships. Ingrid has realized too late what she feels for the local detective and must hear daily reports on his relationship with her co-worker, while Freya finds herself in the middle of a steamy love triangle between two brothers, and Joanna must go searching for her estranged husband in hopes to save the world!

Witches of East End started out a bit slow for me but when the pace eventually picked up I wasn't be able to put it down. I read this book in about nine hours; it was glued to my hands!
It’s an exciting adventure packed with love, betrayal, Norse mythology, witches, vampires and zombies. There are also plenty of unexpected twists & turns and super sexy love scenes. Each sister is totally different from the other and their point of views are very diverse; even the mother Joanna is not anything like her daughters.
Cruz takes you through the glom, into Midgard and Asgard - the land of the Gods, and to New York with an intense plot and captivating characters. The ending was a surprise and left me craving the second book in the series, The Serpents Kiss. Which is scheduled to be released sometime next year and I can’t wait!

Mimi and Oliver from Cruz’s Y.A. Blue Bloods series make a few cameos and if you’re an adult fan of the series then I def. recommend you reading the Beauchamp books. It gives a few little hints as to what is going on in the Blue Bloods world as well.

Rating: 4 Wine Glasses - Loved it!

Review: Almost an Outlaw by Patricia Preston

Almost an Outlaw
By Patricia Preston
Courtesy of NetGalley

ebook, 74 pages
Published January 10th by Carina Press 
ISBN13 9781426891076
Rancher Austin Cade rides into Liberty looking for his old comrades, the James-Younger gang. He needs their help tracking down the horse thief who's stolen his prized mare. In town, the former gunfighter is reunited with Darcy, the first girl he ever kissed—and never forgot.Young widow Darcy Branson owns a shop full of fashionable ladies' attire, but continues to wear mourning black so she won't forget her role in her husband's death. Austin stirs a passion inside her that has long been dormant, but can Darcy learn to believe in Austin—and love—enough to let go of her tragic past?Time is rapidly running out... As a cousin to Jesse James, Darcy has attracted unwanted attention, thanks to her rumored association with the gang. Soon Austin and Darcy are faced with confronting not only their growing desire, but danger in the form of a deadly bounty hunter...

My Thoughts:

Set in the old west, the story centers on a close family member of the notorious James-Younger Gang, Darcy Branson.
He rescued her from death during the war, he was her first kiss and her first love but she never thought to see him again. Eleven years later though, the darkly handsome, Captain Austin Cade walks into her dress shop asking a favor.

He might have been known for being a war hero in the south and for running with the Boys but now Austin Cade is just a horse rancher whose prize mare, Midnight Dancer, has been stolen and he won’t stop until her finds her and makes the thief pay. But the beautiful widow distracts him from his purpose even though he knows that loving a woman whose heart belongs to another only leads to heartache; all he has to do is remember his mother’s relationship with the Marshal.

When a murder shows up seeking the large bounty on Jesse James and threatens the women the Boys hold dear Cade finds himself back in the action and falling hard for the girl he once knew.

Almost an Outlaw is a short and sweet western historical romance that was a heart warming and fun read.
I loved the historical aspects of the story following the James-Younger Gang and who doesn’t like hot gunslingers? I enjoyed the main couple Darcy and Austin, they had great chemistry and previous history that made for a fast moving relationship perfect for this short. There were two loves scenes, the first one being pretty steamy. Both characters showed development and growth. One small problem I had with the story though was that the author never gave reason to why Darcy was one minute set against jumping in the sack with Austin and then the next between the sheets with him. Also, there was some odd phrasing here and there that distracted from the story a bit, but these were few and far between.

Over all Almost an Outlaw is a charming story of second chances, the perfect lunch time read. 

Rating: 3 Wine Glasses - A Good Read

Friday, March 25, 2011

Surprise Giveaway!

I have some book swag (book marks, post cards, ect.) just lying around here so I thought it would be fun to do a surprise giveaway!
** Surprise!!! **

So I took my top ten commenter's (Remember I made a little hint about this last month?) and used to draw a name and guess who it came up with!?!

DarkBloodyVamp !!!

So Ollie girl, thanks for being such a loyal follower & commenter. Shoot me an email or DM and I'll get some stuff out to you. And hopefully it won't take weeks to get it! LoL

Friday Book Blogger Hop, Follow & Tag Along! (03/25)

Photobucket18 & Over Book Blogger Tag Along Friday is hosted by Laurie at Bitten by Paranormal Romance.

18 and over book blogger tag along is for a specific group of book bloggers. 18 and over book bloggers primarily have on their blog book reviews and posts of adult content. 
It doesn't matter what you read if it’s paranormal, suspense, historical, contemporary or mystery, along with erotic with any genre. As long as it is adult then you’re in.

Laurie's question of the week: Where is you favorite place to buy or swap books? 
There aren't any little book stores close or even used book stores so I do most of my shopping at BAM or BAM/Barnes & Noble online for my ereader. I like to get all my favorites in print as well. 
How about you? Do you go to an actual store or do you do all your shopping online?  

Have a great weekend everyone! XOXO

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Blood and Steel by Angela Knight

*Originally posted on our sister site, Paranormal Romance Addict

Blood and SteelBlood and Steel
By Angela Knight

Courtesy of NetGalley
Ebook, 46 pages
Published January 2011 by Red Sage
Elyn Castel spent 50 years as the slave of a vampire sociopath. Now, thanks to cyborg bodyguard Jarl “Blade” Bladin, Kruz is dead. But Blade is after Elyn now, and she has to do everything she can to get away from Blade. But that’s easier said than done…

My Thoughts:
A touch of sci-fi, a dash of the paranormal and a good dose of erotic romance makes Blood and Steel a great quickie.
Elyn has finally escaped her tormentor of 50 years who raped, tortured and controlled her in every way. But now she is running from the cyborg that made that happen, who also happens to be the man she had to seduce for Kruz and lost his team because of.
Knight takes you on a fast ride into the future where cyber technology and the supernatural collide. Full of action, suspense, and blistering love scenes.
There was a good balance between plot and sex. I enjoyed the main characters, Elyn and Blade, the only problem I had was I couldn't picture them in my head.
A fun, quick read!

Rating: 3 Wine Glasses!