Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#BookReview: Ante Up: Sin City Collectors Novella by Amanda Carlson - 4.5 Wine Glasses

22850265Title: Ante Up: Sin City Collectors Novella 
Series: Sin City Collectors
Author: Amanda Carlson 
Format: ebook, digital
Published: August 18th 2014 by Amanda Carlson, Inc.
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Author
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 4.5/5

Diesel Jones is a shifter who has issues with the moon, but he quickly finds that Sofia Cabrera, a clever witch who just moved in to town, is his only hope to reach his goal of becoming a Collector. When they pair up to take down an incubus, she not only saves his life, but wins his heart in the process…

"It's time to ante up..."

ANTE UP by Amanda Carlson is Amanda's second paranormal romance in the Sin City series.   All of the Sin City novellas are set in Las Vegas and revolve around tasks assigned by the SCC aka Sin City Collectors.  Collectors for the SCC are tasked with bringing offending supernaturals to their boss without asking why.  

This was a very entertaining, sexy, quick read at only 106 pages.  I really enjoyed catching up with Jake and Neve from ACES WILD in this book.   Even though ANTE UP is part of a series with interconnected characters, it can be easily read as a standalone.   This book, ANTE UP, is the story of 

Diesel Jones, a werewolf, and Sofia Cabrera, a witch. 
Diesel, our hero, is a barman/bouncer at the Hellhounds Bar which caters to supernaturals in Las Vegas.  Diesel earned his nickname because he is built like a Mack truck.  He's a sexy blonde were shifter packed with a solid six feet of muscle.  Diesel had a tortured past having witnessed his father's death at the hands of a powerful sex demon when he was just eight years old.  Ever since that tragedy, he has been afflicted with what his mother calls "lunar lusts."      

 "I have trouble controlling my base emotions when the moon is full, but anger is the hardest for me.  If I'm mad, I turn into the Hulk.  Except I'm not green."

Up till now, only Diesel's younger brother, Luke, has been able to corral Diesel when he is out of control with one of these episodes.  Diesel is strongly attracted to the new witch in town, Sofia, who has been hanging around the bar.  He's wondered if she's spelled him as his lure to her is so intense.

As the story opens, the reader learns that Diesel aspires to be a SCC collector.  To that end, he has been assigned a pseudo SCC kidnapping task to determine if he can handle a task occurring around the full moon.  If Diesel can't show that he has mastered his moonlight issues, he can't become a member of the SCC.

Sofia, our heroine,  is a very talented master witch.  She decided that Vegas was to be her new home after her employer, Neve's father, was collected in ACES WILD.  Setting down roots, Sofia has purchased a swanky residence next to the Badlands Golf Club and now she's attempting to mend fences with Neve and to become better acquainted with other supernaturals in Vegas.  She certainly enjoys bantering with Diesel at the Hellhounds bar and dreams about doing much more than talking with him.  When an out-of-control sex demon targets Sofia to be his next conquest, she will need all the friends she can muster.

I really enjoyed the bantering and juicy sex scenes between Diesel and Sofia.  Their chemistry was sheet-scorching HOT!  As a teaser, I'd like to share a couple of my favorite quotes from this tale:

"The moment this is over, you're mine," Diesel all but groaned, keeping his eyes on the road so he wouldn't pull over and take her right there.
"No, wolf, you're mine."
The look on his face went immediately from lust to yearning.
"That's right," she said with a sigh.  "We're going to finish what we started.  And then do it all over again."
"My first time with you will not be in the front seat of a truck," Sofia said...
"This is a vintage truck, lovingly restored.  What's not to like?  The front seat is plenty cozy."  He patted the space between them and winked.
"Well," Sofia said, trying not to laugh, because she was fairly certain he was serious, "for one, the front seat is limiting for what I want to do with you.  And for another, I'd like to not feel like a teenager the first time we're intimate.  I've spent way too much time thinking like a teenager around you as it is.  I want to feel like an adult."
His eyes shot to her mouth. "Run that first part by me again."

By the way, my favorite scene took part in Diesel's truck bed.  I won't post a spoiler... but I can assure you that the scene is one that you won't soon forget.  

Amanda's writing is first-class, as always.  The world and characters in this series are incredible.  I am a huge fan of Amanda's books, and she has never once disappointed me. The ending is immensely satisfying.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sizzling hot paranormal romances teeming with humorous dialogue, rowdy action sequences and hold-your-breath suspense.   I can't wait to read Amanda's next installment in this series, Luke's and Ginger's story!

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