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Archive for May, 2010

Sanctuary Unbound by Moira Rogers

* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

 New England is ideal for vampire Adam Dubois. His cozy home in the Great North Woods reminds him of a happier time when werewolves and witches were stuff of legends, and he was a simple lumberjack. 

Hiding from past failures has worked for over eighty years, but a life debt owed to the Red Rock alpha has forced him to leave his retreat–and come face to face with a woman who challenges and tempts him on every level.

Hiding secrets is a lonely business, and Cindy Shepherd is lonely with a capital L. Red Rock isn’t exactly crawling with available men, but her interest in the mystery-shrouded new vampire in town seems mutual. After all, it’s only sex–there’s no danger he’ll dig deep enough to unleash the demons of her past.

Casual flirtation turns deadly serious when Adam discovers that the vampire plaguing Red Rock is using his mistakes as a road map. When it comes to his life, he knows Cindy has his back. But in order to secure the future, they both must trust each other with more–even if it means sacrificing themselves to save everything they hold dear.

Sanctuary Unbound is the 4th book in the Red Rock series.  It has plenty of romance and action to stand on its own but the story is more powerful if read in series order.  From the beginning you are drawn into the world known as Red Rock Pass. Not only are the pack in the middle of a war, they are dealing with a crisis that hits closer to home. 

 The tale begins with Cindy, the pack doctor, telling Gavin that he is going to have to give up his place as the Alpha of Red Rock.  His body can’t take the stress and it is going to kill him if he doesn’t let go.  He agrees to step down and allow Keith to take his place as the new alpha.  

Keith is back in town and he has brought one of Gavin’s oldest friends with him, a vampire.  The first time he sees Cindy he is drawn to her, as she is to him.  She thinks they can have a casual relationship but soon learns that the heart wants what the heart wants.

Both Cindy and Adam are perfect for each other.  They are both hurt and carrying demons that will destroy them if they don’t find a way to heal.  Adam is afraid of failure after what happened with his old pack while Cindy is afraid of being loved because of her past.

The Red Rock pack are in danger of losing their territory to a vampire that is controlling another pack.  Can the big, bad lumberjack vampire save them?  Definitely with the help of a local pack, a witch and Cindy.  During the fight scene, you felt like you were right there with them.  I was definitely rooting for Adam and Cindy when he took on the vampire.

I love that Cindy is a strong capable woman who realizes that her past has made her who she is.  She’s not someone that is willing to stand by and let everyone else take care of her.  There are many appealing characters and I was touched with Sam’s softer side we saw as she cared for Gavin. 

The only thing I was disappointed in was the fact that the book ended.  I adore this series and hope there are more to come.  It’s a very fast read with just the right amount of action to offset the romance.  I love this book and give it 4 flaming hearts. 

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The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter

* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

 For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel—demon-assassin—has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn’t bear to harm him. But trusting—and falling for—Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this “mortal” with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron’s darkest passion?

Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn’t….

The Darkest Passion is the fifth book in the Lords of the Underworld series.  I have only read a couple of books in this series and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t too lost.  With that said, it is much better if you read this series in order.

I fell in love with Aeron’s character way back in The Darkest Night, the first book in this series.  He is keeper of Wrath, able to see the sins of others and punishes them in the same way.  He carries the burden of guilt with him because the pleasure he gets when he unleashes Wrath.  He cares deeply for his friends and his “demon daughter” Legion but doesn’t think he needs anyone else in his life.  When Olivia shows up, he tries to push her away while Wrath wants to keep her.

Olivia is a fallen angel.  She was ordered to kill Aeron and refused so she was cast out of Heaven and sent to Hell.  She managed to crawl her way up from Hell with sheer determination because she had to get to Aeron.  She had been watching him for awhile and along the way she fell in love with him.  She wants him to keep her even though he keeps trying to push her away.  She’s even willing to deal with Legion to stay with Aeron.

There are so many wonderful moments in this book it’s hard to pick a favorite.  It is funny and sad sometimes.  I loved seeing Olivia learn how to be human and how she grew as a person throughout the book.  She isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, even though he keeps pushing her away.  She becomes invaluable to Aeron providing him with information regarding the hunters and other Lords.  The whole time Aeron is fighting with his internal demon Wrath trying to convince him they can’t keep her.

I didn’t like Legion that much when she was first introduced but as the book progressed, she “grows up” a little bit.  She realizes that she can never have what she truly desires and regrets putting Aeron in the position she has.

It was also nice to see the other Lords and their ladies.  Gideon and Paris intrigue me and I can’t wait to see where they are going to take us. I like the story line with the Hunters but at times it distracted from the main story line.

The ending definitely surprised me but I can’t really say much without spoilers.  Let me just say it wasn’t what I was expecting.  I was also heartbroken for one of the characters at the end. 

Overall I truly enjoyed this book and thank Gena for sharing a copy with me.  It was my favorite so far in this series.  I give this book 4 flaming hearts. 

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Lover Mine – JR Ward

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown. Taken in by The Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was-or his true identity.

Xhex has long steeled herself against the attraction to John Matthew. Until fate intervenes and she discovers that love, like destiny, is inevitable.

Lover Mine is the story of  John Matthew/Darius that fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood have been waiting for since he was introduced in Lover Eternal. 

John Matthew had a rough life and had to grow up fast, not only was he mute, he was a pretrans vampire and didn’t know it.   Wrath, along with the brotherhood, took him under their wing and started his training beside other pretrans males.   Throughout the books we have seen his friendship with Blay and Qhuinn flourish, while his problems with Lash have just taken a turn for the worst.

Lover Mine takes place about a month after Lash, son of the Omega, abducted Xhex.  While John Matthew and the brotherhood search for her, Lash is holding her hostage in his brownstone with a magic spell.  Xhex can’t get out, she is invisible to everyone but Lash and she is determined not to give up without a fight.  She is growing weaker and knows that she has to find a way out soon or she will die.

John Matthew is frantic to find Xhex because she is his mate, even though he’s not ready to admit it to anyone.  He visits a tattoo artist and has her name carved in his back, in tribute to her.  He is not eating or sleeping because of his need to find her, he’s running on empty.  He can’t believe it when Rhev and the boys show up at his door with a message from her on his cell, she’s alive.

The trip down memory lane was very touching, I loved seeing John Matthew’s softer side with Xhex.  They both have tortured pasts and are good for each other.  There are several moments between them where I had to stop and catch my breath.  JM has grown so much over this series that he definitely deserves a female that is as strong as he is.  Their love scenes are very steamy but I expected nothing less after John gave her a note for her to say his name the next time in a previous book.

JM isn’t the only one with relationship issues, Blay and Qhuinn are also struggling with their feelings for each other.  Blay is in love with Qhuinn but Qhuinn’s long-term plans involve a female of worth, not Blay.  The sexual tension between them is so strong, but unanswered until Qhuinn’s cousin Saxton asks Blay out on a date.  Qhuinn is very protective of him but underneath it all, he’s jealous of Blay and Saxton. 

There are so many things I loved about this book from the tender moments between JM and Xhex, Lash getting what he deserved, and learning more about Payne and the chosen.  The next book was set up at the end with the mention of Manny and many of the pending storylines were wrapped up.  We also got to visit with the brothers and their shellans.  The war continues with the lessening society and more fighters are needed to help the brotherhood defeat the Omega. 

I was a little confused by the story about the paranormal reality show until the end.  It was slighty distracting because the breaks would come when I would be really involved in the book.  The glimpse of Darius and Tohr’s history through entries in Darius’ journal were also distracting, although the need becomes apparent at the end.

Personally, I have been waiting on this book since we met JM and I was not disappointed.  There are so many things going on that it’s hard to cover everything in one review.  Overall I loved this book and would definitely recommend it to everyone.  If you have not read the previous books in this series, you might be a little lost because they are best read in order.  I give Lover Mine 4 1/2 flaming hearts.  

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