Monday, 21 July 2014


Title: Dark Secrets
Author: Madeline Pryce
Series: Dark #2
Release Date: July 11th 2014
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance


The worst moment of Micah’s life was when Ella nearly died in his arms. Her miraculous recovery should have been the start of their future. Unfortunately, a new demonic heritage, the Shadow Agency’s corruption and Julian, the vampire who turned Ella, are testing their relationship. Despite hotter-than-ever sex and a variety of new places and positions to explore, Micah begins to wonder if a relationship based on lust can survive for more than a few scorching-hot months.
Ella has forgiven, but not forgotten, the fact that Micah once plunged a dagger through her heart. Everything with Micah is passion, excitement and an uncontrollable desire to explore his body in a variety of very satisfying ways. But as buried secrets, ongoing lies and murderous deceptions pile up, Ella is reminded that she and Micah’s relationship was based on a curse. In order to forge a future together, Ella and Micah will have to face down their personal demons—and prove that love and trust are more than just words.
A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | B&N | Kobo

Series Reading Order
Dark Cravings (#1 Ella/Micah – 85k)  My Review
Dark Innocence (#1.5 Hannah – 45k) My Review
Dark Secrets (#2 Ella/Micah – 85k)
Dark Vengeance (#2.5 Castro – 45k) – release date coming soon!
Dark Promises (#3 Ella/Micah) – Spring 2015

Genre: review copy,paranormal,vampires,shapeshifters,hot sex,demons

Is it fair of me to compare Dark Secrets with its prequel, Dark Cravings? The first book is only one of three that I have rated with 6 hearts on my blog, All in One Place, and I hoped that I would feel as excited by this installment, but unfortunately, this wasn't the case.
Madeline Pryce's writing still flows perfectly and the secrets her paranormal world is hiding are compelling, but the story itself is full of angst, which makes reading drag at times.
I was disappointed that there is little character development, apart from in Hannah, who reveals a strong set of new talents. I wanted to see more of the badass Ella I loved in Dark Cravings, but instead she has retreated into a shell and I found the changes which happen to her later in the book disturbing. Although I understand why she acts like such, and I know that it ultimately makes her stronger, I felt some of the scenes Madeline Pryce imagines are unnecessarily shocking.
And Micah? My sexy hero is now beyond brooding and even ignoring his mating bond. The information he discovers about his familial background adds another dimension to the plot and the anger Micah experiences because of this, increases the power of his demon side.
Because of the nature of Ella and Micah's paranormal genes Madeline Pryce again writes several intense and rule-breaking sex scenes. The couple sees this as a demonstration of their love for one another and my favourite quote from Micah is still "MINE", I was unconvinced, hoping to see their relationship move on. Although I am fully aware that this an EROTIC paranormal romance and sex is a normal part of every relationship, I felt that at least one of the sex scenes was just 'there', serving no actual purpose.
I am still really interested in Eli and I think the revelations about him could easily be explored in his own story, showing him controlling his new identity, away from the alcoholic man whore he is now!
Dark Secrets is full with paranormal action and new discoveries. Madeline Pryce has a brilliant control over the plot; the reader is always one step ahead of the characters, preempting events because of the dual narration by Ella and Micah. I think in Dark Promises we will witness an explosion of incidents, which leaves me eager to read the series' climax!

About the Author

Madeline Pryce wrote her first novel when she was ten, penned with neon-pink ink in a loose-leaf binder. Captivated by romantic literature, yet intrigued by the paranormal, she continues to develop her own voice, writing the kinds of stories that inspired her as a teen.

Blitz with Giveaway: KISS ME DEAD by DALE IBITZ

Title: Kiss Me Dead
Author: Dale Ibitz
Release Date: May 28th 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance


One curse…
Christian, a nineteen-year-old reaper-human hybrid enslaved to the Other World to harvest souls, earns his freedom by making a bargain with the Goddess of Death. As part of the bargain, he’s been cursed with the kiss of death. 
One kiss…
The only way Christian can break his curse is for an angel to kiss him. Willingly. He finds Brooke, an nineteen-year-old descendant of a Naphil whose destiny is to hunt rogue reapers. But she’s hiding, suffocating in a semi-agoraphobic cocoon since witnessing a reaper steal her brother’s soul. 
Two destinies…
Christian has found the angel who can break his curse, and the seduction begins. To break her phobia’s hold, Brooke embraces her angelic role and makes it her mission to kill rogue reapers, trying to avenge her brother’s murder. Christian can break his curse by kissing Brooke dead ... but will she figure out his game and kill him first?


Christian watched the dying girl and did nothing. 
He longed to do something—anything—to save her, but it wasn’t his place, his calling, or his duty. His duty was to wait for her death, then act.
Giltine, Goddess of Death, had branded the girl for death, the mark on her cheek glowing like slick silver while wet moonlight clung to her breasts. Her flailing arms and flooded gasps forced Christian’s eyes to close and his hands to clamp over his ears.
Nothing could stop the sound of death.
He could taste the girl’s fear; blood-metallic, like pennies. Even though he yearned to run, he wouldn’t. He would stay. He’d wait for her death then reap as he was bound to do.
Inhaling, he closed his eyes, scenting Giltine’s addictive poison, a sweet nectar reapers craved. He was a slave to her and to his addiction, just as the girl was a slave to death. Neither could escape their fate.
But no matter how many times he tried to abstain and break his addiction, no matter how fervently he wished for death to claim him, to awake and find Giltine’s mark glowing silver on his cheek, he would continue to exist, if only to hunt for death.
The girl’s hands slapped the water. She slid deeper into the shadowy lake. Pulse in his neck throbbing, he swallowed, trying to remain detached and unemotional as a proper reaper should. Unfortunately, he was also human. His humanity made him suffer.
As he edged closer to the water, sweat formed along his hairline. The mark on the girl’s cheek shone brighter, sweeter.  He licked his lips. It was almost time.
Trembling with need, he rubbed his thumbs along his pants’ seams. He’d gone too long without a soul-hit, and cold rotted him from the inside. The longing for poison that tightened his stomach also made his lips twist in disgust. Not wanting to watch this beautiful girl die with hungry anticipation, he turned his head away. 
Water covered the girl’s mouth, sucking out one last, drowning breath before consuming her nose and fear-glassed eyes. She sank below the surface.
Christian sighed. It was done. The silence, however comforting, didn’t dispel the echoes of the girl’s dying breath lingering inside his head. He shuddered. 
The girl’s stillness revived the nocturnal silence: the grinding cheeps of tree frogs, an owl’s chirruping hoot. Wooden docks stretched into the water like skeletal fingers. A red fox’s tail flashed. Not willing to enter the water, he waited on the shore for the girl’s soul to emerge. The spring lake water was snow-melt frigid, and he detested both the water and the cold, as all his kind did. 
Moments later, like dust motes in a sunbeam, the girl’s soul appeared. Her skin shone with an ethereal glow, a result of Giltine’s poison, and her hair hung in damp ringlets. He could almost taste the sweet poison, so saccharine as to make his teeth ache.
He studied the drop of water that tickled the girl’s neck and trailed between her breasts. To him, her soul appeared as alive as her living form had been. He knew that once she crossed to the other side, the embodiment of her physical being would dissipate and he’d no longer be able to see her, feel her, smell her. Until then, however, she was real to him.
Realizing he was staring, he bit his lip and focused on the ground. The girl might be dead, might no longer care about decency or modesty, but he believed in dying with dignity. He scooped up her dress.
“Put it on.” His voice squeaked like an adolescent boy’s.
The girl hesitated then took the dress. He averted his gaze until she slipped it over her head. The dress was old, with a frayed hem and torn collar. Most of the buttons were missing, and it barely covered her nakedness. The loose flapper-style made her seem like a young girl, but he’d seen her nude, and her figure suggested she was one or two years older than him; maybe twenty-one. 
Unable to stop himself, he slid a fingertip along her cheek, the silver mark sweet and sticky like icing on a hot bun. When he licked his finger, Giltine’s poison shot like bathtub gin down his throat and seared his lungs. His sigh bordered on a groan.
“Who are you?” She was pretty, with cat-green eyes and hair he was sure would lighten like honey when it dried. 
He held still, watching her while sweat collected along his back. Despite the aching need, and despite the small taste he’d just sampled, he couldn’t take her soul completely. He had to wait until he took her to the Void, and for her to make the decision to cross to the Other World. If he didn’t follow the rules, there would be punishment.
Lines wrinkled her forehead. Her pain leaked fragile ribbons that looped around his chest. His Other World senses allowed him just enough information to lure her there, and he could taste the earthy flavor of her confusion. Some might consider such knowledge cheating; Christian considered it a means to an end.

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About the Author

Dale Ibitz was born in Oxford, Connecticut, grew up in the state of Washington, and then re-located back to Connecticut as an adult. Always a lover of books, she spent much of her childhood reading, visiting the library (her best friend’s mother was a librarian…how convenient), and writing. She majored in English at Central Connecticut State University, and while Dale holds a full-time day job where she’s immersed in the dry life of writing contracts, she’s been writing young adult fantasy and mid-grade contemporary for seventeen years (on the side, of course). 
If you were to visit Dale’s house, you'd meet her husband, 2 kids, their dog Lea (most people simply refer to her as The Beast...and for good reason), their kitten Luna (affectionately known as Loony Luna), a gaggle of ducks, and a flock of hens ruled by a tyrannical rooster they call The Stump, or Stumpy. How he got his name is a long story...maybe she’ll tell you sometime.

Saturday, 19 July 2014



Title: The Year We Fell Down
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #1
Release Date: March 20th 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves wants someone else.
What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead. 
Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league. 
Also, he’s taken. 
Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands. 
They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard. 
But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Genre: review copy,NA,emotional,romance

My biggest issue with the majority of New Adult Contemporary Romances is that the main characters are physically perfect; thin and beautiful with great hair and skin. In The Year We Fell Down we have not one, but two, physically impaired protagonists, and though Hartley's is only temporary, the intention is there.
Sarina Bowen ensures that despite Corey's disability we view her with no prejudice; she is still attending college and trying to participate in student life as much as she is able to. Corey has a warm personality and because she is honest about her fears we are able to empathise with here.
The Year We Fell Down is not a story in which a couple meet and immediately know that they are destined to be together, although Corey does admit an initial attraction. The romantic relationship between Hartley and Corey develops from a genuine friendship and trust for the other person. They are brought together by their mutual 'gimp' status and their shared humour for the situation. The comments they frequently make show a real understanding of their position by Sarina Bowen, and in doing so we appreciate the difficulties faced by them both.
Hartley is desperately flawed but so lovable and Sarina Bowen helps us to appreciate his insecurities, although there are many of his actions I would kick him for!
The Year We Fell Down is not only about the friendship between Corey and Hartley, but that which they share with the people around them. Both sets of friends, (with the exception of Stacia!), are supportive, loyal and eager to encourage Corey and Hartley's pairing. I especially loved Bridger, who is a character I am excited to discover more about in book two of The Ivy Years.
Sarina Bowen could have handled the issue of disability differently and written about two characters who are self-pitying, but she has struck a perfect balance between the time Corey and Hartley spend dwelling on the parts of their lives they miss, (obviously this is more true in Corey's case), enjoying the present and being positive about the future.
The Year We Fell Down is truly a beautiful story in which we are able to fully engage with the emotions of the characters and the various events of their lives. This is an ideal choice for all fans of New Adult contemporary romances but make sure you have plenty of time to complete the book in one sitting!

Blog Tour with Giveaway: THE DONOR by NIKKI RAE


Title: The Donor
Author: Nikki Rae
Series: The Donor #1
Release Date: July 14th 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Suspense

*Disclaimer: This is a serial novella that will be told in parts about the length of a short story (20-30 pages)*
Casey Williams and her family are poor. Her parents work non-stop and so does she, just so they can keep the trailer roof from leaking.
They’re getting by fine enough when the headaches start. Then there’s the nosebleeds. And the inevitable doctor’s bills.
Fortunately for Casey, there’s an exclusive, quick, and almost easy way to pay it all back before her parents even have to know.
All she has to do is give a man she’s never met whatever he wants from her body.

Purchase: Amazon

Genre: review copy,short story,NA,tense

Despite The Donor's intriguing synopsis I had doubts whether a book that was going to take me around 10 minutes to read would deliver. However, these were completely unfounded because Nikki Rae's first installment of The Donor series completely grips the reader.
Nikki Rae's technique is to allow us to make assumptions about the story, but she then shocks us by allowing the plot to develop in the opposite direction.
It would be unfair of me to go into detail about the story because I may unintentionally give away a spoiler, but the author does not attempt to introduce a huge variety if characters, instead we have Jonah, Casey and the catalyst for their meeting, Gina.
Normally I would prefer to read a full-length novel, but by delivering this series in these short stories we become gripped and our interest is piqued, ready for Nikki Rae's next release.

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About the Author

Nikki Rae is a writer who lives in New Jersey. As an independent author, she has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists and she concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. Nikki writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter

Friday, 18 July 2014


Title: Phantom’s Dance 
Author: Lesa Howard
Publication date: March 1st 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Retelling


Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.
Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.
Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Genre: review copy,romance,tense,YA

This is embarrassing to admit this to you all, but I had a complete 'DOH' moment with this book. I read on Goodreads that people had added this to their 'retelling' shelf and I asked myself what this story was a retelling of . . .Errrr . . Phantom? Raoul? Christine? Erik?  . . .And, yes I did eventually realise! In my defence though I had only read a third of the book at this point!
Phantom's Dance is a romance, using ballet as a central focus, only the light and hopeful atmosphere created by Raoul and Christine's fledgeling relationship turns foreboding and chilling on Erik's introduction.
Christine is not the strongest female protagonist I have met in Young Adult literature, but she is talented and has a vulnerable naivety which is one of the main reasons why we are so interested in her choices.
Lesa Howard shows an extensive knowledge of ballet, although her author's notes reveal that she has never danced, but this adds to the authenticity of Phantom's Dance.
Apart from Erik's psychological state altering the mood of the book, it gives us a contrast to the genuine romance between Raoul and Christine. Raoul clearly cares for the ballerina and though their actions whilst alone prove an intense desire between them, he also wants to protect her and be an equal partner in their relationship.
However, Erik wants to dominate Christine, evident by assuming the role of her 'teacher', and in later scenes we see the full force of his controlling personality. Lesa Howard times her plot twists perfectly, drawing us in and then shocking us. Even the ending leaves the reader stunned.
Phantom's Dance is not the first ballet story I have read, and neither is it the first retelling of Phantom of the Opera I have come across, but Lesa Howard is able to add her own touch of originality. I think this is a book which will appeal to a wide range of readers.

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About the Author

I'm not the typical author. I didn't always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I'd just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I'd written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

Links: Goodreads



Title: Paranoia
Author: J R Johansson
Series: Night Walkers #2
Release Date: June 8th 2014
Age Group: Mature Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Suspense

After years of sleeplessness that nearly killed him, Parker Chipp is learning that being a Watcher—a Night Walker who watches dreams —isn’t an automatic death sentence. But as he figures out how to live with his unusual abilities, a powerful alter ego he calls Darkness is growing inside him, taking over his body and filling him with frightening impulses that could get him into serious trouble.
Even as Darkness spins him out of control, Parker faces a worse threat: the Takers. Another breed of Night Walker, the Takers are anarchistic chaos-makers who want to see all the Watchers dead. Desperate to stop them, Parker discovers that they want to create an immortality pill and have kidnapped the one chemist who can make it . . . Parker’s long-absent father.

Purchase: Amazon
Genre: review copy,netgalley,romance,tense,fantasy,paranormal

In Paranoia J R Johansson drives us further into the Night Walker world, which we first encountered in Insomnia.
The story begins with a mystery; individuals disappearing in Oakville and its surrounding area, which forces us to question the connection this has with the Walkers. Luckily, J R Johansson has already considered this and to bring more depth to the story Jack is re-introduced, only this time as a main character. Jack is Parker's 'protector', appointed as such by Parker's missing father. Jack has a vast knowledge of the Night Walkers and he is willing to teach his charge.
In order to fully understand the events in Paranoia we must first grasp the new terms Jack uses; 'walker', ''builder' and 'taker', and to help us J R Johansson uses these words frequently, in context.
This book continues the psychology theme and interestingly, at several points, even Freud is quoted. This is to help us accept Parker's 'divided' state; the way in which his personality is shared between 'Darkness', who exerts an increasing control, and 'Parker'. Throughout the novel Parker struggles with this dichotomy, trying to resist the negative feelings which 'Darkness' spreads, but ultimately it is the union of the two which saves the people he cares for.
Parker's relationships with Finn, Addie and Mia are just as important in this book as they were in Insomnia although the inclusion of Jack puts strain upon the group's comfortable routine. Initially, Finn is as laid-back as we have previously seen him, which makes later events so disturbing.
Through her dreams we see Mia reconciling with her past, and with Parker's help, she makes plans for a positive future.
Addie's role is more important in Insomnia as her talents are revealed by Jack. This, and other events, put Parker and Addie's new romance under stress and while Jack tries to replace Parker, we wonder if they can regain what they had.
Paranoia is a complicated novel, but J R Johansson's writing style allows us easy access to the plot.The later chapters are filled with action, emotion and apprehension, and we reach the story's end with a sense of finality, although I would really like to follow Jack's story.
This is a must-read for fans of Insomnia, but I would recommend the Night Walker series to anyone looking for Young Adult books with a difference.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Blog Tour with Giveaway: GATHERING WATER by REGAN CLAIRE

Title: Gathering Water
Author: Regan Claire
Release Date: January 26th 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal


Della Doe Deare isn't like most people. Most people begin their life on the day they enter the world; the day they're born. Della, well, hers began on the day she turned eighteen. After all, it was the day she first heard her real name, and that of her mother. With nothing but a couple of duffel bags and a folder full of questions, she travels to coastal North Carolina to claim a house that she inherited from a grandmother she never knew. 
She has two goals: discover why her mother ran away from home all those years ago, and avoid the family that had left her to rot in an inept foster care system. Hard to do when the family she's been trying to avoid is dragging her into an unimaginable world... a world on the brink of war, and both sides want her dead. 
All Della ever wanted was to know who she was, but her journey to self-discovery might just lead to destruction.

Genre: fantasy,paranormal,review copy,family drama

Eeeeeeekkk! Gathering Water is one of those books which finishes WAY before you are ready for it too! And Goodreads doesn't even have the sequel listed! I may have to resort to stalking Regan Claire! 
When I started the story I honestly thought that there might be mermaids and was totally unprepared for the powerful paranormal plot. Although I met characters previously, in other books, which have elemental powers, Regan Claire is still able to make this seem an original idea. I really like the fact that the training of Della and her cousin Cash, is at the centre of the story, and precedes the family issues and even romance. 
At the beginning of the story Della appears a tough and detached character, mainly due to the fact she has grown up in the foster care system. From the minute she receives the surprise information about her family, on her eighteenth birthday, we glimpse a chink in her armour and as she adjusts to the changes in her life this only grows larger. It is Cash and his friend Dove which ease Della into this transition and make her more open to the announcement of her new identity. Cash is witty, selfless, caring and totally full on! And we are totally reeled in by him! Dove, on the other hand, is quieter and more controlled, but just as powerful, perhaps even more so. 
Regan Claire uses extracts from the diary of Della's great grandmother at the start of later chapters, which is the means by which Della improves her powers and we understand the fantastical events, and certain family issues. 
Although I found myself confused about the difference between 'gathering', 'bending' and 'tempering', this did not distract from my enjoyment of the story, and I loved the fact that the different species' in the story were not just fae, but entirely new creations of Regan Claire's. It is our fascination, matched by Della's, with the Elfennols and the Clades, which compels us to rush through the story. The mystery about Della's paternity is weaved carefully in with this and Gathering Water becomes an addictive paranormal read. I hope the sequel is announced very soon! 

I felt like a god of legend, or a force of nature, and I needed to hurt this person who tried to destroy me. Who dared to try and kill me. Swirling around me was this power that I'd collected. It was my fear, and my anger at the Clade who had so nearly defeated me. I didn't know what I was doing, didn't know how to use this power to end his existence, though he obviously didn't know this. His eyes widened in wonder right before he was battered down by my accumulation of energy. I wouldn't let up and kept beating him until, at last, my push of energy forced him to fly so far eastwards that I couldn't see or hear his splash.
As soon as the threat was gone, I somehow released the new energy I'd Gathered, unable to store it, and sank down to my knees in exhaustion.

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About the Author
A Tidewater girl born and bred, Regan Claire's first friend and love was the Atlantic. Growing up being told the legends about Pirates and American Natives common in coastal VA and NC, coupled with being an only child, did wonders for her imagination; Regan had one foot in fantasy-land ever since, a trait her dear husband heroically endures (and one she secretly hopes her daughters have inherited). Her family moved inland to Nashville while she was entering tweenhood and not a day went by that she didn't miss her childhood playmate and her crashing waves. Nashville has her perks though, namely the love of Regan's life and their two sweet girls. Their insane mutt-dog and the stray cat that refuses to leave their porch aren't too bad either. Regan loves fairytales A LOT, teen movies (preferably with dancing or singing), reads entirely too much, and is constantly late.

Links: Website | Facebook