Between a Vamp and a Hard Place by Jessica Sims

Between a Vamp and a Hard Place by Jessica Simson December 29, 2015
Pages: 384
AmazonNarrator: Elizabeth Hart
Lindsey Hughes loves antiques and couldn’t be happier to make a living in the estate sale business. But when her assistant accidentally buys an entire estate without her approval, Lindsey is forced to clean up the mess herself.

Lindsey travels to the newly purchased, age-old house in Venice, Italy, and soon discovers more than she (never) bargained for. While digging through the hoarder’s trove that fills every floor, she finds a secret staircase behind a wall that leads to a strange coffin…with an even stranger inhabitant.

Vampire Rand FitzWulf has been in his coffin for 600 years. But now that he’s awake, he’s ravenous, and there’s a delicious-smelling woman with a rare blood type in his basement. Luckily, Lindsey has more to offer than blood: she agrees to travel throughout Europe with Rand to help him get revenge on the one who turned him. But as the unlikely pair grows closer, will the billionaire vampire be overtaken by his thirst for blood—or his thirst for love?
four-stars

This audiobook was cheeky and light hearted and amusing. It is the kind of book you want to read when you don’t want anything complex and deep. It was superficial on world building and character development but high on amusement value.

Lindsey Hughes and her best friend Gemma ran a barely in the black antiques business. As they were trying to figure out ways to infuse some cash into their business, Gemma attempted to purchase some valuable items at an estate sale. It turned out that Gemma purchased the entire estate in Venice, along with all the items it contained.

Lindsey and Gemma travelled to Venice, Italy to get an inventory of their items in hopes of finding a treasure in the midst of the items. Something of interest was a hidden staircase behind a false wall, and it was holding a really nice coffin. Instead of finding rare gems, Lindsey discovered a man asleep in the coffin.

Rand FitzWulf had been in the coffin for over 600 years before he was found by Lindsey. Now that he is awake, he is eager to find out what happened to him all those centuries ago. Thus began the friendship and adventures of Rand and Lindsey.

I chuckled a lot. I mean, it used most of the same vampire clichés: garlic, holy water, dirt from hallowed ground but I still had fun with the characters. Lindsey was likable heroine as was her friend Gemma. Rand made me laugh as he still had his old ways of life such as referred to women as wenches. The characters worked well together and it appeared didn’t take themselves too seriously.

If you are looking for a story that was sweet, simple and comical, then this one is for you.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.*

Shadow’s End (Elder Races #9) by Thea Harrison

Shadow’s End (Elder Races #9) by Thea HarrisonSeries: Elder Races #9
on 2015-12-01
Pages: 304
AmazonNarrator: Sophie Eastlake
For Beluviel, consort to the Elven High Lord, and Graydon, gryphon and First Sentinel of the Wyr, even the slightest desire for each other is forbidden. But two hundred years ago, after a desperate play to save Beluviel's stepson left them indebted to the cruel Djinn Malphas, they found their fates inexorably linked together--and the hunger between them growing too strong to ignore...  

Two centuries later, with their debt to Malphas coming due, Beluviel and Graydon realize that, if they are to stand any chance of saving their souls, they must once again work together--this time more closely than ever before. But every moment they spend with each other brings them nearer to losing something even more vital--their hearts...
five-stars

Graydon’s book was what I had hoped for. The sacrifice and enduring love theme worked for me. It was action packed, dramatic, sad, happy and most of all, it had the HEA Graydon had been denied for 200 years. Gryphon took over as Frist Sentinel as well as my favorite when Rune left to mate with Carling.
The narrator Sophie Eastlake just delivered the story with a flair that was completely riveting. I love her voice and how she tells this series. I read the first two, but the audio is so much more powerful because of the narration.

Graydon and Beluviel (Consort to the Elven High Lord) had one incredible moment together before a cruel Djinn Malphas blackmailed them into an agreement to separate. Bel’s son Ferion was indebted to Malphas for a huge gambling debt and the djinn took a lien on Ferion’s soul. Gray and Bel agreed to stay away from each other as long as Malphas didn’t kill Ferion and force him to do illegal activities. So for 200 years, Gray and Bel kept to their promise while gathering evidence that Malphas was violating their agreement.

Armed with their evidence, Gray and Bel come to their friends for aid to be free from this Djinn’s control and the friends didn’t disappoint.

There was such angst and anticipation due to the separation of the two, which made the story much more enjoyable for me. The pace was steady and exciting throughout. The chemistry between Gray and Bel was so palpable that my heart was beating fast. This book is definitely one of my favorites in the series. The author made sure to engage the prior couples in the story and the storytelling was engrossing. This series is definitely one of the best series in PNR.


Special thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook, which was given in exchange for an honest review

Marked by Midnight (Midnight Breed, Book 11.5) by Lara Adrian

Marked by Midnight (Midnight Breed, Book 11.5) by Lara AdrianSeries: Midnight Breed, Book #11.5
on 2014-04-29
Pages: 100
Amazon
 MARKED BY MIDNIGHTA Midnight Breed NovellaMidnight Breed: Book 11.5Determined to solve a string of brutal slayings in London, vampire warrior Mathias Rowan is forced to seek the help of Nova, a fiery tattoo artist who ignites an unexpected, yet undeniable, passion in the grim Order enforcer.Nova’s shadowy connections and dark talents may be Mathias’s best hope of unmasking a treacherous enemy...but falling for a woman with her dangerous past will risk both their hearts and their lives.
three-stars

Mathias Rowan has been a leader within the Order for a while. As the head of the London group, Mathias was investigating a serial killer targeting gang members who have a specific tattoo on their body.
His investigation leads him to Nova, a tattoo artist who also appears to be a breed-mate. Nova was very standoffish and cagey, and wanted nothing to do with Mathias and the Order.
But it becomes clear that Nova knows something about the killings and she may be in danger too.
Mathias is determined to protect and explore this attraction to the sassy tattoo artist. What is she hiding?

This story just wasn’t developed much as it was really short. So I didn’t have time to adjust to Mathias and Nova before they became a bonded couple. I actually enjoyed her more in the subsequent story Bound to Darkness, which I read before this one.

*Special thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook, which was given in exchange for an honest review

View all of Ezi’s reviews

On The Hunt (Anthology) by Alexandra Ivy, Rebecca Zanetti, Dianne Duvall & Hannah Jayne

On The Hunt  (Anthology) by Alexandra Ivy, Rebecca Zanetti, Dianne Duvall & Hannah JayneSeries: Immortal Guardians, Scorpius Syndrome, The Sentinels, Underworld Detection Agency
on 2015-08-25
Pages: 384
AmazonNarrator: Arika Rapson
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
ON THE HUNT (The Sentinels #2.5) by Alexandra Ivy
Mika Tanner has loved Bailey Morrell, a beautiful Healer, since childhood. But his duty as a Sentinel, a supernatural guardian of an ancient race, clashed with her rebellious spirit. Now a dangerous new anarchist group not only threatens life as they know it—but any chance of their being together again...


SCORPIUS RISING (Scorpius Syndrome prequel) by Rebecca Zanetti
While searching for a meteorite, Nora Mendina is arrested by her sheriff ex-husband—who's only gotten hotter than the Nevada desert since she last saw him. When the meteorite breaks open, the few survivors gain extraordinary powers, unleashing a crazed super genius killer. Can Nora and her ex stop the murders…while igniting a new love affair?

PHANTOM EMBRACE (Immortal Guardians #5.5) by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Yuri Sokolov was born with the ability to see spirits, yet he's never seen one as lovely as Cat Seddon, the woman who haunts his home and his dreams. But amid their star-crossed love, a new danger may have Yuri facing a different kind of eternity.

STAKE OUT (Underworld Detection Agency #2.5) by Hannah Jayne
Vampire fashion designer Nina LaShay has a lot on her plate—just two days until fashion week and the model who was flirting with her photographer boyfriend is now a corpse in her studio. But when dead turns into undead and dangerous, Nina must find out who’s responsible…before the beautiful baby vamp takes too many bites out of the Big Apple.
four-stars

3.5 stars. But my favorite read was the Dianne Duvall short. I really LOVED that story, it flowed with the series. LMAO that Yuri loves granny panties.

ON THE HUNT (The Sentinels #2.5)  by Alexandra Ivy – ★★★½. Mika and Bailey were interesting but I think I would have enjoyed this better if I had a background in the series. This story featured a second chance at love for a healer and the sentinel. I am glad that their wounded pride took a back seat to their love and they were able to deal with the issues preventing them from being together. I would like to read this series and then try this novella again.

SCORPIUS RISING (Scorpius Syndrome, prequel) by Rebecca Zanetti – ★★★½. This story would make an excellent tv show as it had all the elements for drama. Deadly disease, psychopath on the loose, a couple rediscovering love and trying to establish boundaries and political intrigue. Nora and Deacan were married but became estranged. 10 years later, they are thrown back together as a deadly bacteria has been introduced to mainstream society. This one is going to be giant series when it gets going and I am anxiously awaiting book 1.

PHANTOM EMBRACE (Immortal Guardians, #5.5) by Dianne Duvall – ★★★★★. This story was the titan of this anthology. Perhaps it stood so because I am intimately acquainted with the series and it is one of my favorites but WOW!.I will NOT admit that I cried. I will just say that it was a dusty on the train and the wind blew the dust in my eyes! But I felt this one for real!
In the last book, Night Bound, we saw Yuri and Stanislov fall to the rogue vampires who attacked the Immortal Guardians. This book was the like the last couple of episodes before that book’s finale. It was emotional, it was sweet and it continued the storyline while detailing a romance between Yuri and Cat (Bastian’s sister). If you are a fan of this series, then this book will be an excellent addition.

STAKE OUT (Underworld Detection Agency #6.5) by Hannah Jayne – ★★½. I am not familiar with this author but it was okay. I would have enjoyed it more if I had some context from the prior stories. I thought Nina and Pike were kind of entertaining. Nina was a fashion designer and a newly made vampire. Someone is murdering her models, and her boyfriend Pike helps her try to figure out who is stealing her shine. I need to read a couple of this author’s prior stories before I decide if I enjoy her writing style.

**Special thanks to Kensington via Netgalley and Tantor Audio for advance reading copy given in exchange for an honest review.

About Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti wrote her first story when she was six – a romance between a princess and neighboring prince. The princess fell out of her castle and the prince rescued her. A happily ever after was had by all.

This theme of romance has been carried through Rebecca’s works until present time. While today’s heroine may have a medical degree, black belt in Karate and her own 401K, she’s still after that happy ending. And today’s prince may have fangs and wear a black hat, but hey, a modern princess likes a guy who bites.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides there with her husband, children and extended family who inspire her every day.

Review: Archangel’s Storm (Guild Hunter, Book 5) by Nalini Singh

Review: Archangel’s Storm (Guild Hunter, Book 5) by Nalini SinghSeries: Guild Hunter #5
on September 4th 2012
Pages: 352 pages
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood
four-half-stars

This one picked up right where Archangel’s Blade left off. The eve of Dmitri & Honor’s wedding, but it was Jason’s book.
Jason was the “shadow” angel, the spymaster who was tasked in keeping Rafael informed with all the happenings behind closed doors of the other Cadre’s realms. He was the silent one because his voice was hushed after he suffered emotional trauma with the brutal death of his parents. Jason learned to be in a room but be so still that he seemingly disappeared. For that reason, when Neha’s consort was murdered in her palace, Jason was dispatched to Neha’s kingdom. Only a true shadow could slip into that situation and ferret out a murderer in their midst.

When Jason presented himself to Neha as a Rafael’s investigator, Neha insisted that he swear a blood oath to her “niece” Mahiya, requiring that Jason would be honest in his dealing with the murder investigation, on the penalty of death. The bond however developed into more. Mahiya was hated by Neha as she was sired by Neha’s consort. A visual reminder of his betrayal with Neha’s sister, Mahiya had to watch her back from everyone. Just like Jason, she learned to be present, yet invisible. As Jason & Mahiya worked to find the killer in their midst, they began to sharing their past, realizing that they understand each other in a way no one else ever could. It was a great foundation for the passion that would ignite between Jason & Mahiya.

This book is my second favorite in the series. It was a well written story, great action, great character development and really likable characters. I also enjoyed the continuation of Dmtri & Honor’s transition as a married couple. But Mahiya’s inner fortitude really made her stand out as a heroine. Anyone else would have been unable to bring back Jason’s voice. I feel reengaged with the series after the last two installments and I can honestly say I can’t wait to read Archangel’s Legion.