Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Laurent and the Beast by K.A. Merikan

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 135,000 words


Cover: Natasha Snow


Blurb

Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. 


1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.

2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.


Excerpt 

Hound’s alarmed growling was coming his way, along with whines, when he reached the right door and opened it, only to have the massive Rottweiler’s body rush past him and into the corridor. Beast expected his pet to rush toward the room where the accident happened just minutes ago but Hound looked back at Beast, as if signalling he wanted to be followed, and rushed the other way, stirring the worst of feelings in Beast.

Was there an intruder somewhere in the house? With the sheer size of the former asylum that has served as the Kings of Hell Clubhouse for the last fifteen years, it was easy to overlook things happening in the disused parts of the property. They once had a bunch of teenagers who came over wanting to spy on the orgy. That thankfully didn’t end in blood, and out of the whole mess they got Jake to join their ranks.

Beast wondered whether he shouldn’t go back to the armory and get himself a gun but ultimately decided against it. There would be police and emergency services coming for Davy, and he didn’t want to run around with a firearm, no matter how good their relationship with the local police was.

Hound moved as if he were following a clear trail, but Beast couldn’t smell anything apart from dust and dampness. They were leaving behind the shouting and even the sound of the ambulance approaching, and eventually entered a corridor so disused it had a thick layer of dust on the floor. Now even Beast could see faint footprints in the dust, and next to them, dark droplets that could be blood.

Hound smelled the traces, looked back and broke into a run, which had Beast following him with the worst of expectations as to what he would eventually find. His heart beat faster as they ran down the dark hallway.

The building was a labyrinth, and this far away from where they all lived and worked, it wasn’t even wired anymore, so he breathed in the smell of mildew and followed Hound through the darkness in hope he would not stumble.

Windows in the doorless rooms on both sides of the corridor were the only source of light, now delivering a faint red and blue glow of the approaching ambulance. For all Beast knew, this could have been a gothic castle, something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with bloodthirsty monsters waiting for their next victim in one of the endless hallways, and yet he only ran faster, listening to the steady tap of Hound’s paws.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, Hound rushed inside one of the rooms and gave a growl so vicious something inside Beast mourned his decision not to take a gun with him. But no one shot at him when Hound let out a single bark. Beast pushed past the empty doorway, jumping over a fallen chair, only to see someone hiding in the shadows.

Judging by the long, wavy hair and small stature, Beast at first thought it was a woman, but then the person spoke with a distinctly male voice.

“I… I’m not certain where I am.” The stranger took half a step out of the shadow, and into the flashing light coming from outside. His accent was distinctly foreign. French maybe?

Beast took him in with a scowl. Blood covered the stranger’s face, hair, dripped from his chin, from the tips of his trembling fingers, and stained the outfit that looked as if he’d stolen it from the set of a costume drama. Knee-high boots, fitted pants, a vest worn under a tailcoat.

“What the fuck are you doing on our property, boy?” hissed Beast, watching the soft features of a very young man. “Whose blood is this?” he asked, still cautious. In his experience, a non-threatening presence could hide an adept fighter, so he was not taking any chances as he joined Hound in front of the stranger, who was so short in comparison to Beast’s own six foot five form that his red-stained head only reached Beast’s pecs.

The stranger backed away into the corner, whimpering in fear the moment Hound growled at him again and lowered his head, but Beast wasn’t having any of it and grabbed the boy’s arm. “Is the blood yours then? Someone attacked you? Where?” he asked, not hesitating to pat the intruder down, to make sure there were no weapons hiding under the fancy coat.

The boy tried to weasel out of his grip, but he didn’t seem adept at using force. “N-no. I don’t think it’s mine. I don’t know. Is this hell?”

Beast groaned, staring at the silly-looking young man, whose white shirt was completely drenched in red. Someone must have died to produce this much blood.

“You will explain yourself to King.”


 
 
Author Bio


K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

 
Giveaway
Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

The Applicant by Aidee Ladnier

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Applicant: by Aidee Ladnier
Series: Busted Labs #1
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Pages: 47 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

2nd Edition

How can something so cuddly and adorable be so destructive? The teddy bear robot decimating his lab is only the first disaster of the day for roboticist Forbes Pohle. If he can figure out how to end its rampage, he still has to interview applicants for the position of research assistant and convince the time traveler on his doorstop that they should be making their future right now.

Oliver Lennox didn’t travel back in time to have a quickie in the blast chamber—but it certainly is fun. This younger Forbes is a sweeter, more innocent version of his lover. And it will be hard to leave him behind in the past.

If you like sexy nerds, humor, plenty of action, and a love story not even time can disrupt, this romantic adventure has the perfect credentials for the job.

First Edition published as The Applicant (or Virgins, Robot Bears, and Other Disasters) by Torquere Press, 2012.

two-stars

I liked the idea behind the story more then the execution of it. This was my first read from this author, and I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I am getting into the idea of time travel tropes, and it had good bones to the story, but everything went so fast, and it was not enough background information for me to enjoy Oliver and Forbes his together. I thought the teddy bear bit was funny, and cute. It held my interest, and had me guessing what could be, but other then that I was a tad disappointed. I really do feel like it could have been so much better if it was at least 100 pages. For me because it was an established couple, I felt like they needed time and room to grow on page as well. I don’t know how to feel about each guy, well I kinda wanted more explanation out of Oliver. His reasoning on coming back didn’t sit clear to me. I did find myself kinda confused with his reason. I don’t know much about Forbes because everyone else was explaining his person instead of him. I’d like to give this author another shot in the future, but I can’t recommend this.

About Aidee Ladnier

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

A-Viking by Kiernan Kelly

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

kkA-Viking: by Kiernan Kelly
Release Date: October 19, 2016
Pages: 56 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

2nd Edition

What’s a Viking to do when he ends up on a Florida beach, surrounded by a world he doesn’t understand, with a hyperactive stockbroker as his only guide? Go back to Chase’s hotel, naturally. Chase thinks Bjorn is eccentric at best, a lunatic at worst, or just maybe the real thing: a Viking from the days of yore. It isn’t easy for Bjorn to admit, but he needs Chase’s help to navigate the confusing modern age. While Chase is trying to clean Bjorn up and help him fit in, Bjorn’s sworn enemy also makes the trek through time. Jorund is eager to plunder this new land and finish the job of killing Bjorn’s family line, all in one blow. Bjorn and Chase will have to set aside their vast differences and work together if either of them wants to survive.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2007.

three-half-stars

I enjoyed this way more then I thought I would. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and I’m certain I don’t remember the time travel tag in the blurb. I don’t like the cover, I can tell you that. I hope that is not suppose to be Bjorn because that would be a slap in his face. I think this book had potential to be longer. With Chase we know a little bit about him, and then we get into the meat and potatoes of the story. I really liked that the author showed Bjorn background and made that authentic about him. I found myself laughing at his astonishment of the new world. Sure it wasn’t accurate by most notions, but the I still liked it nevertheless.

As I stated earlier, I do think this had potential to do better. I think if the author sat down and developed the characters and storyline more then it could have rated much high. Its a pretty short story. I just wanted more from it. I would have like to see Bjorn adjusting to the world. I don’t think I’m okay with Jorund just disappearing. I feel like we gave him this much time in the story, then I could at least see him at the end.

It was pretty quick with the romance. It was hot and dirty for sure. The bathroom scene was so hottttt. Everything after that happened fast, plot was nil. The epilogue was a bit far fetched for me. I guess that’s why I say I wanted it to be longer and had a chance to develop these two. After all of that, I still enjoyed it. I think I was in a really good mood, and this wasn’t the worst.

About Kiernan Kelly

I write m/m fiction because, while one hot guy is enough to curl my toes and melt my underwear, two together leaves me drowning in a puddle of my own drool which is probably the same reason you read it! Kiernan Kelly lives in Florida among the alligators and palmetto bugs with her husband and a Shar Pei-Labrador puppy who thinks she’s a person (the dog, not Kiernan. Kiernan knows she’s a person. At least, she is after she’s had her daily dose of caffeine). Kiernan spends most of her time writing gay erotic romance while chained to a computer in the dark recesses of her office, which her children have dubbed, “The Gay Cave.”

Gideon by Ashe Barker

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

gideonGideon: by Ashe Barker
Series: Order of the Black Knights, #1
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.

Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.

As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.

three-half-stars

What happens is death people. I’m surprised that I did like this story so much. I’m not happy with the tags, because once you get passed the prologue it’s nothing but a contemporary story until the very end. I didn’t have a problem with that per say, but I wanted the fantasy element to play a major part. Without it all I’m reading is a mystery with a sociopath and a determined guy. Not that it was bad again. I liked it. I did wish it was more British. If we are going to be set there and then I would have liked for it to read like British guys instead.

Gideon Maybury is sociopath. No if and buts about it. He’s a Duke, but also part time assassin. I don’t even know how that happens. He’s cold, mean, and rich as hell. He doesn’t like people, and if you irritate him then you are probably going to end up dying. No big deal to him, he’s going to mosey right along with his life. Until Michael shows up as his chauffeur. Michael is on his personal vendetta to find out the truth about his ex’s death. He knows Gideon had something to do with it, and to prove it he has a plan. I don’t know how thought out his plan was. I mean, initially I was thinking “What can an everyday bloke like you do to someone with this much status?” What would stop Gideon from making you disappear? He didn’t mention this plan to anyone else, so if he had died then no one would know the truth about him and his actions. Of course these were my feelings while reading this story.

After I started reading, it was just a little mystery with a whole lot of smutty goodness. Somebody must have said that enemies and lovers burn up the sheets way more then friends to lovers. I don’t get Michael’s reason for jumping in bed with Gideon so soon. You had this grand plan and some way his charisma led you astray? Naw, I’m not buying that. By all rights this is a book I would normally rate like a 2.5 at best, and for some reason I’m giving it a 3.5. It wasn’t the mystery, that was pretty obvious if I do say so myself. The whole reason by the mystery didn’t even make sense. A lot of these people died for no reason.

I am disappointed in the abrupt ending. That’s all? I didn’t care about Gideon and Michael being together, I wanted the “fantasy” aspect dealt with. One of the reasons I was so happy was to see how reincarnation would work. But I felt completely let down on that aspect. I guess my rating is solely based on the cheesiness that I felt while reading this. I will definitely read book two.

About Ashe Barker

Until 2010, Ashe was a director of a regeneration company before deciding there had to be more to life and leaving to pursue a lifetime goal of self-employment.

Ashe has been an avid reader of women’s fiction for many years—erotic, historical, contemporary, fantasy, romance—you name it. Now, at last in control of her own time and working from her home in rural West Yorkshire, she has been able to realise her dream of writing erotic romance herself.

She draws on settings and anecdotes from her previous and current experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters, but her stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of her own imagination. She loves to craft strong, enigmatic men and bright, sassy women to give them a hard time—in every sense of the word.

When she’s not writing, Ashe’s time is divided between her role as resident taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises and a grumpy cockatiel.

Time Lost by C.B. Lewis

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

time-lostTime Lost by C.B. Lewis
Series: Out of Time, Book Two
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Pages:  350 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

What began with a dead intruder and a missing scientist quickly becomes the most perplexing case of Detective Inspector Jacob Ofori’s career. Nothing about it makes sense, from the incredibly advanced technology found on the intruder to the scientist’s mysterious workplace, the Temporal Research Institute. Jacob’s gut tells him the TRI is hiding something, and the questions keep piling up: Who would abduct Sanders? What is the strange gate in his basement laboratory? How does it connect to similar gates in the TRI?

TRI engineer Kit Rafferty only wanted one night with the sexy older policeman, but Kit’s mouth tends to run away with him when he gets excited, and nothing gets him more excited than cutting-edge tech—like the intruder’s cybernetic eye. Suddenly Kit is pulled into the investigation—and into a relationship that could jeopardize both of their lives. Kit hates lying to Jacob, but he cannot reveal what really goes on at the TRI—time travel. Faced with time-jumping criminals but unable to share that knowledge with Jacob, Kit turns to a man who knows time travel firsthand: Janos Nagy.

 

five-stars

 

Mind Completely Blown

This is how you write a sequel!!! It’s not even the main couple from book one, but I am blown away by how good this was. I literally could close my eyes and picture everything that is happening in the story. I think I was 25% in maybe when I realized that it was a 5 star read. I am going to need C.B. Lewis to write more!!! I need it. I liked Dieter & Janos. Their story was wicked good. Jacob & Kit’s story was mind blogging effective. That’s the highest praise from me.

I won’t say much about how good the plot is. Even writing this review is making me want to re-read it. I really enjoyed Kit as a character. To be so young, I was scared that he was going to come off just naive, and clueless. He proved himself time and time again. Jacob who didn’t want anything to do with Kit because he was investigating his company had so many different facets about himself. I loved the age-gap trope between the two. I loved seeing their relationship blossom on page. You can definitely see on page where the hookup turned into something else. The moment when you when want to comfort them and just cuddle let’s us in on how both guys were feeling.

I am getting use to Science Fiction stories, but if they are all like this, then definitely sign me up. The cast of characters were equally good. I find no faults no where in this story. I just wanted more. Lewis did a wonderful job on her knowledge of all the subjects involved here. I am excited that their will be a book three. I have no idea who is the main couple, but please can I get a novella featuring Kit & Jacob. Super excited, and giddily excited on how much I loved this. Definitely made it to my favorites of 2016 shelf.

About C.B. Lewis

A book-lover from infancy, C.B. has been writing and telling stories for as long as she can remember. Based in Edinburgh, she has diverse tastes and will quite happily attempt to write any genre, but always come back to history, fantasy, and sci-fi like an old friend. C. B. Lewis is small and Scottish and can often be spotted perched around historical monuments with her notepad and pen. She has been writing and telling tales for almost as long as she can remember, and has a brain that constantly fizzes with an abundance of ideas. If she’s not working on half a dozen things at once, it should be considered a slow day. She loves to travel and just has one continent left to complete her travel bingo card. A lot of the travel has also been research-based, and if pointed at any historical event, she will research it vociferously, just because she can. Normally, she is based in Edinburgh, where she tends toward the hermit-lifestyle, needing nothing but a kettle, a constant supply of tea, and – of course – the internet. There are no cats, no puppies, no significant others, only a lot of ideas, and an awful lot of typing. And occasionally, cake. Never forget the cake.

My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts #3) by Maeve Greyson

My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts #3) by  Maeve GreysonSeries: Highland Hearts #3
on 2016-02-23
Pages: 294
Amazon
From the author of My Highland Bride—hailed by Sandy Blair as “an entertaining time-travel story packed with spice, humor, fantasy, and nonstop adventure”—comes a sensual novel featuring a wolf-shifting chieftain who travels centuries to modern-day Scotland to tame his one and only.   Cursed to live forever with neither wife nor child, Ronan Sutherland has watched all he cherishes turn to dust—more than once. For hundreds of years, he’s been trapped behind the mists of Loch Ness, hoping to identify the one woman who is prophesied to break the spell. Now, at last, the fates have aligned, and he’s being sent into the future to fetch her. After a single glimpse, Ronan knows he’s been waiting all his life for this passionate woman.   Unlike her time-traveling sisters, Mairi Sinclair is perfectly content to remain in the present. As a hospital nurse in Edinburgh, she cherishes the opportunity to put her gift of healing powers to good use. But everything changes the morning a mysterious wolf darts in front of her car. Touching the wounded creature’s tawny coat, a tingle surges through her. Yet when she returns with aid, Mairi is shocked to find instead a man with broad shoulders and fire in his eyes—a man who tempts her to unleash the animal within.
three-half-stars

Ronan Sutherland and his family have been under a curse to be shapeshifter (wolf) and this curse can only lifted by true love. Ronan sought the help from an old sage Granny Sinclair who prophesied that her granddaughter would be the one to break Ronan’s curse. The Sinclairs were gifted with the power to time travel amongst other powers. The only problem is that Mari Sinclair, the granddaughter, time travelled to the future and refuses to return to 13th century Scotland. Thus Ronan had to time travel to 21st century Edinburgh to bring his fated mate Mairi back to 13th century.

Meanwhile, Mairi was content living a life untethered of her grandmother’s expectations and had no intention of returning despite being summoned repeatedly. While she has difficulty maintaining employment, she does use her healing gifts to aid people. Mairi and her sisters have made a life in the “future” but it didn’t include love yet. On her way to work, Mairi accidentally hits a wolf with her car, so she brings him home to heal him. Thus begins her unwitting introduction to her future love.

I struggled with both characters. At first, Mairi seemed flighty, then after she learned the “dog” she rescued was really a wolf shifter, aka a man, she turned into a harpy. I do understand that Ronan made it difficult to trust him since he chose time and time again to be less than truthful with Mairi. Ronan was a warrior and he was used to people doing what he said without being questioned. Plus, he was afraid that Mairi wouldn’t believe and he would lose his one chance to break this curse that has plagued him for 300 years. It is understandable why Ronan wouldn’t put all his cards on the table. But Mairi made it hard to like her. Mairi and Ronan made a good couple despite the back and forth. They had good chemistry and it was their inner fortitude that made them work well as a couple.

I did find the writing amusing enough that I chuckled sometimes. The characters were quirky, especially the Sinclair women. I enjoyed the plot and the writing more than the main characters. The most entertaining is having 13th century warriors having to deal with independent 20th century heroines. How fun was that! I wish I had started this series in order so I will go back and read book 1.

Special Thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley for the book given in exchange for an honest review.

Krickett Series (Books 1-3) by Amy A. Bartol

on 2015-09-08
AmazonB&NNarrator: Kate Rudd

Kricket Books 1-3:

Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago’s foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she’ll stop running and finally find her place in the world.

That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home. As danger draws close, he must protect her until she can wield the powers she cannot use on Earth…and he soon realizes that counting a galaxy of stars would be easier than losing this extraordinary girl.

Kyon knows the powerful depths of Kricket’s gifts—gifts he’ll control when he takes her for his tribe and leads the forces that will claim Ethar and destroy his enemies, starting with Trey Allairis. Now, Kricket faces the most difficult choice of her life: whether to wage a battle for survival or a fight for love.

 
four-half-stars

Under the StarsSea of StarsDarken the Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krickett Hallowell was a 17 yr old foster kid runaway trying to stay out of sight until she is 18 and out of the system. When two different groups show up claiming she’s from another planet, and insisting they were here to escort her back. Krickett ends up leaving with Trey Allairis and his companions because he was honest with her.

Krickett had a special gift to discern truth and now she was a pawn for two political factions claiming her as kin. Krickett was mixed because her mother was an Alemeeda priestess and her father is Rafe,  both groups are at war. Where would she decided to belong to?

Krickett and Trey Allaris were an immediate draw for the romantic in me. I love young love especially of the forbidden kind. I also liked the world the author created outside of earth. It was intriguing, and I found myself engaged the whole time. But at the same time, Kyon from Alemeeda was convinced that she was meant to be his. In fact, he was emphatic about his claim as it appears they were promised when they born. Now Krickett has two factions and two men vying for her for two different reasons. Politics and love are intermingled in this YA fantasy. I know people hate love triangles, but I find them entertaining when done right.

After listening to the trilogy, I enjoyed book 3 the best. I get why others didn’t but I really liked the twists. I started out hating Kyon but in the final book, the author humanized him. He was still a feral animal but he chose Krickett in a way no one, not even Trey had. Maybe Kyon had nothing of worth to lose like Trey had (his family) but Kyon never wavered on his desire for Krickett above all things and he would sacrifice her for the good of others. That’s what ultimately made me switch to Team Kyon.

I hope Krickett’s family mainly the sperm donor who begot her (he’s not worthy of honored title “father”) gets eaten by those worm things. Astrid too. They all got what they wanted by working together towards this common goal. Krickett had to make her own way. I just wished that we got a glimpse into Krickett’s world, 5 years later. Perhaps we will because it felt like this story isn’t over!

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah HarknessSeries: All Souls Trilogy
on 2012-07-10
Pages: 592
AmazonB&NNarrator: Jennifer Ikeda
In Discovery of Witches introduces reluctant witch Diana Bishop, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and the battle for a lost, enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different—and vastly more dangerous—journey.
three-half-stars

This book is like a buffet, a lot of different morsels are offered up at the same time and for me, it got a tad overwhelming. It’s just too much stuff going on and I needed it to be a little less congested. We start off with Diana and Matthew time traveling to the 1500s to find a suitable witch to help Diana learn how to use her powers and to try to locate the Ashmole 782.

We are quickly introduced to Matthew’s old crew. Obviously Matthew was well connected in his past as several historical figures like Queen Elizabeth 1 are weaved into the tale. But Elizabethan era wasn’t an easy time period for the normally independent Diana, who struggled to dress, talk and act in an appropriate manner. Also, Matthew was a controlling jerk at times and I didn’t quite get why because even though they went back in time, he still was present day Matthew, just in another place. I guess the author really wanted to drive home that Matthew was IN CHARGE as men were in charge in the 1500s.

I wanted more romance and focus on Diana and Matthew’s relationship than I got in this book 2. We also got bogged down with wild goose chase of someone to train Diana in the use of her witch powers. Towards the end, we got more Matthew and Diana and less of the others. Matthew also became more of the book 1 Matthew and they finally connected again.

The author is very well versed in her history but I think its overpowering the main story and making the book drag. I hope book 3 is a lot faster in its pace and more focused on Diana and Matthew as a couple.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)  by Deborah HarknessSeries: All Souls Trilogy #1
on 2011-02-08
Pages: 592
AmazonB&NNarrator: Jennifer Ikeda
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.
four-stars

Scholar Diana Bishop was working in the Library stacks when she unknowingly called forth a magical manuscript, the Ashmore 782, which purports to detail the origin of supernatural creatures. This manuscript had been hidden by magic and the various supernatural creatures, vampires, witches, demons and even some humans were interested in this book because the knowledge could aid in eradicating the various species.

Scholar Matthew Clairmont has been searching for the manuscript for over a century and his search has led him to Diana. What amazes Matthew is that Diana is a witch, but she refuses to acknowledge her powers and insists to live as a human. As Matthew begins to spend time around Diana, they get to know each other. Now Matthew is torn between his desire for the book, his new desire for the woman and his need to protect her from the other supernaturals hunting her for access to the Ashmore 782.

In their world, Supes don’t mix, so a witch and vampire can’t be together. However, that knowledge doesn’t stop Diana and Matthew from falling in love with each other. Now Diana cannot deny her legacy as a Bishop witch, not if she wishes to stay alive and not if she wishes to protect Matthew and their family. How far will the other witches and demons go in order to get their hands on the ancient manuscript?

I enjoyed this book but it was LONG. It also kept alternative from 1st POV to 3rd person POV, and it was a tad weird. There was a lot going on, and a lot of secrets being revealed on the back end.It felt like two books because the first half of the book had excellent world building, character building and then the second half went into more of NYA love story thing. I like Jeann’s review on Happy Indulgence, that compared the 2nd half to Twilight Breaking Dawn because that’s exactly what I thought too. It would have been better to break the books up.

I liked it, but I am hesitant to jump into book 2 right now. I will read it next book shortly.

Review: Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, Book 7) by Karen Marie Moning

Review: Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, Book 7) by Karen Marie MoningSeries: Highlander #7
on January 1st, 2005
Pages: 394 pages
Narrator: Phil Gigante
It's taken him eleven centuries to find the right woman. He's not about to lose her now.

Jessi St. James has GOT to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering INSATIABLE alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass eleven centuries ago. And when the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it. For Jessi, the sex god in the mirror is not only tantalisingly real, he's offering his protection—from exactly what, Jessi doesn't know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed....

Jessi St. James was toiling away as a grad student, working long hours, getting no sleep and being perpetually broke. Her life was turned upside down when she signed for a package for her boss & professor.

She had accepted some spelled items, in particular, a Magic Glass Mirror which had trapped a power druid Cian Mackeltar for over 11 centuries. When Jessi unknowning released Cian for a period, she involved herself in a battle between two powerful sorcerers, Cian Mackeltar versus Lucan Trevayne, former friends, now bitter enemies. The rest of the story was an adventure as Cian tried to protect Jessi and also defeat his arch nemesis once and for all.

This book was fun, passionate, funny and it brought back some of my favorite couples: Drustan & Gwen (book 4) and his twin brother, Dageus & Chloe (book 5). This book would have been the perfect ending and connection to the Fever Series. My only complaint was there wasn’t enough “tooping” language. I love hearing Phil Gigante saying “tooping a lass”.

Ezi