ARC Review: First Bite

First Bite

First Bite (Dark Wolf #1) by Dani Harper
Pages: 282
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013
My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.

After witnessing Neva’s leap from a high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He feels a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.

Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.

My Thoughts:

This is a good start to a new series. I loved The Changeling series and this one has the potential to be just as good.

What I liked about this one is the fact that Neva has to take time to adjust to and accept being a Changeling. That probably has a lot to do with how she was changed. She doesn’t understand what she is and is terrified, for good reason. The person who changed Neva wanted to have her under complete control. The fact that both Neva and Travis had some issues to face in order to move forward was well done.

I liked Travis. At first he did take a while to understand what his wolf was trying to tell him and it made it feel as if his wolf had its own thoughts and opinions. It was a nice addition to the werewolf mythology.

Neva and Travis are fairly quickly attracted to each other, resist that attraction and still end up bonded. Not that they are complaining. I really enjoyed that last hot and steamy scene at the end.

It did take me a bit to get into this one, it wasn’t until about the 4th chapter I got to the point I didn’t want to put it down. I was a bit confused with the party scene in the beginning. It felt like it came out of nowhere. It wasn’t until after I was through reading it that I realized it was a flash back.

Overall this is a well written story that has action, mystery, magic and shifters. Would I recommend this to my friends and people I know like PNR? Yes. This does not end with a cliffhanger it’s a HFN and it sounds as if Travis and Neva’s story will continue in the next book.

First Bite on Amazon

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Review: Taken By Him

Taken by HimTaken by Him (The Billionaire’s Club #2) by Red Garnier
Pages: 112
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Review Source: Publisher
Pub. Date: May 28, 2013
My Rating: 2.75

Synopsis:

The Billionaire’s Club: The wealthiest, most powerful men, not only in Chicago, but in the world.  They are used to having whatever they want, whenever they want it.

Luke Preston is the ultimate playboy among his billionaire friends.  Every bad girl in Chicago has surrendered in his bed.  Some good girls, too.  But when he ends up in the hospital after an assassination attempt, his friends suggest he take a long vacation to recoup, regroup and lay off the women until the man is caught.  However, when Luke lays eyes on the stunning brunette across the beach, she inspires every dark, erotic thought his mind can conjure.

Peyton Lane has always been serious and responsible and she’s determined to have some fun for once in her life.  And that means a deliciously, sexy affair with a stranger while she’s on vacation.  So when a blond Adonis named Luke crosses her path at the Cancun resort, she’s determined that he will be the one. But Peyton gets more than she bargained for when Luke introduces her to a passion unlike any she has ever experienced and she discovers that behind that charming smile are secrets and a beautiful, damaged soul.

My Thoughts:

This was a light and very steamy read. It’s a sexy story about a vacation fling and two people finding the love they didn’t know they needed. I liked both Luke and Peyton well enough, but the story is so short there wasn’t much depth or character development. The sex scenes were really well written and very hot. The HEA is believable even if it felt a bit rushed.

Taken By Him is the second book in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone. If you’re looking for something sexy and fun that won’t take up a lot your time this is one to read.

Taken by Him on Amazon
on B&N

Spotlight/Review & GiveAway: Hell Without You

About the book 

Hell Without YouHell Without You by Ranae Rose
Pages: 243
Publisher: Ranae Rose
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Pub. Date: Sept. 5, 2013

Synopsis:

 Time changes everything, except what’s meant to be.

Seven years is a long time – long enough to transform Clementine from a small-town teenager with a broken heart into a woman ready to take on the world, but not long enough to make her forget about the man she was never supposed to see again. A temporary return to tiny Willow Heights thrusts her back into Donovan’s life and home, unearthing heartbreak and obsession that have stood the test of time.

He left seven years ago too, for war and other things Clementine can only imagine. Coming back to the town where he grew up in the shadow of poverty and drug addiction makes no sense, and neither do Clementine’s feelings for him. He could never forgive her for leaving, could he? Even if she had no choice.

Now, she has the freedom to choose … and so does he. Every day in Willow Heights makes it clearer: all he ever really wanted was her, and nothing will change that. Not even a taste of the hell that drove them apart in the first place.

Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. I usually do more “research”, but I didn’t with this one and was pleasantly surprised. It’s going to be difficult for me to review without spoiling too much, but I’ll give it my best.

Young love torn apart by a traumatic event made even worse by those who are supposed to care for and believe Clementine. She returns seven years after being forced to leave Donovan looking for work. They are thrown together again when Donovan comes to her rescue. Back together and in love they have to fight to stay together and Clementine fights to keep Donovan free. I liked Clementine’s strength and loved Donovan; he’s hot, sweet and will protect his love with all he’s got.

Overall this is a good read and kept me turning the pages. If you’re looking for a steamy second chance love story that has just enough angst/tension, mystery, and a satisfactory HEA then I recommend this one.

Hell Without You on Amazon/ Barnes & Noble | AllRomance | Kobo

About the author

Ranae-Rose Ranae Rose is the best-selling author of over a dozen adult romances and counting. She calls the US East Coast home, and resides there with her husband, child, German Shepherd dogs and overflowing bookshelves. Writing and reading are lifelong passions that consume most of her time, and she’s always working on bringing her latest love story idea to life for readers.

 Contact or follow Renea Mason
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Review: Single Dad’s Christmas Miracle

Single Dad's Christmas Miracle

Single Dad’s Christmas Miracle by Susan Meier
Pages: 256
Publisher: Harlequin Romance
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: Oct. 1, 2013
My Rating: 3.5  3.5

Synopsis:

He needs a helping hand…

Having recently lost his wife, Clark Beaumont is trying to make it through the holidays for the sake of his kids. But with his son failing at school and his little girl talking only in whispers, he needs nothing short of a miracle….

…when one arrives on his doorstep!

Althea Johnson is only meant to tutor Clark’s son. But with her help the Beaumont family begins to come alive again, and against the odds Althea hopes that when Christmas morning arrives there will be four stockings hanging over the fireplace…

My Thoughts:

This is a sweet and tender love story at heart. The issues that Clark and Althea had to deal with were difficult and unfortunately common ones. They were handled well and realistically.  The characters were believable and fully developed.

Clark lost his wife three years ago and learned the devastating secret she was keeping; a secret that destroyed his trust in women. His son Jack, who I loved, is having trouble with his schooling. What Clark doesn’t see is the other emotional trouble his son is in. Teagan his three year old daughter is also having issues that Clark dismisses as shyness. Little did he know that hiring Althea would turn his life and family around? Making him deal with a difficult issue that he has ignored and has caused him to act in a manner that he didn’t realize actually hurt his children.

Althea has been dealing with the severe abuse and its affects all her life. Having moved back to her home state to be near her sister she takes the tutoring job. As someone who knows the signs of a child suffering she can see what is really going on with Clark and his children. The fact that Clark truly loves and wants to protect his family is what keeps her there. Clark is inadvertently hurting himself and his kids, dealing with the aftermath of his wife’s death as best he can. Althea is a naturally caring and nurturing person; she works her magic on the family and helps them heal. In the process she falls for Clark and opens up to him, which takes her closer to her own healing. Watching Althea work through her past, deal with her insecurities, and grab the future she wants was both heart wrenching and heartwarming.

Overall this a good holiday read. Its focus is on family and healing. If you are looking for an uplifting sweat romance with a very satisfactory ending this is for you.

Single Dad’s Christmas Miracle on Amazon

Review: White Christmas: Woman Hater\The Humbug Man by Diana Palmer

White Christmas is 2 books in 1 – Woman Hater & The Humbug Man by Diana Palmer

White Christmas

White Christmas: Woman Hater\The Humbug Man by Diana Palmer
Pages: 368
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: September 24, 2013
My Overall Rating: 3.5

Synopsis:

Woman Hater:
Everyone in Nicole White’s office described their boss’s mysterious older brother as a real woman hater. So when Nicki had to tag along with her ailing employer to his brother’s Montana home, she was prepared for the worst.

To her surprise, what she found was a man more roughly masculine than any she’d ever met. But Winthrop Christopher’s distrust of women ran straight to the bone. Nicki knew she should steer clear of him, but she couldn’t hide the feelings he stirred in her. Could she ever teach him to love again?

The Humbug Man
Montana rancher Tate Hollister was the grouchiest widower Maggie Jeffries had ever met. But, as the holiday season progressed, Maggie discovered that Tate wasn’t completely immune to the Christmas spirit. In fact, his loving embrace might just be the gift of a lifetime….

My Thoughts:

Woman Hater
★★★★☆
This is a love story about two damaged people. Winthrop is a man that was not only left emotionally, but also physically broken by a past relationship. The woman he was with had a devastating car accident while she was driving. When it became apparent that Winthrop would not fully recover she left him. This betrayal had left him hating women, especially rich ones. He refuses to even attempt to love or trust again. That is until he meets Nicki.

Nicki lived a privileged upbringing in that she wanted for nothing that money could buy. It couldn’t buy her parents love however and when her mother dies she blames her father and renounces him and all his money. At the same time her fiancé dumps her for reasons that leave her scarred. Now living in Chicago her boss wants her to go to his brother’s ranch for a month. Not being able to live without pay for that long she goes and as expected falls hard for the woman hating brother.

This is basically a story about two people learning to love and trust again. Of course they couldn’t do so without each other. I really enjoyed the dance of Winthrop and Nicki as they would get close and then pull back. There is also the side story of Gerald and Sadie which was nice and didn’t overshadow the main plot. I also loved Mary, the housekeeper; she added some much appreciated humor.

The Humbug Man
★★★☆☆

This is a quick sweet read. Maggie and Tate have both lost their spouses and have been alone for years. Tate has hidden his hurt with a cold attitude and distance; while Maggie has basically hid behind work and raising her son. Spending time at the ranch her father-in-law left her over Christmas put her next door to Tate. They’re attracted to each other and as Tate thaws out and Blake’s plans come together they fall in love.

Overall this is very sweet story of two lonely and hurt people finding each other. The pace is fast, but it needed to be for the length of the story.

 White Christmas: Woman Hater\The Humbug Man on Amazon

ARC Review: Homecoming

HomecomingHomecoming (Cloaked Devices 0.5) by Cecilia Robert
Pages: 121
Publisher: Cecilia Robert
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2013
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆

Synopsis:

*Mature Content Warning* 17+ for language and sexual content.

Five years ago, twenty-three-year-old panther shifter Sera Czedar left her home and her newly mated groom in a humiliating position after a mating ceremony gone wrong. She built a new life for herself in Varselles; the City of Outcasts where shifters exiled from their clans in the Seven Kingdoms can go for sanctuary.

Five years ago, panther shifter Levian Grayson was abandoned on the bonding bed by his bride, Sera. After years of tracking her, he arrives in Varselles, intent on staking his claim on her once and for all, even if it means hauling her over his shoulder just to make sure that happens.

Sera has always known her homecoming would eventually catch up with her one day. The one thing she can’t bear to do is hurt Levian, which will happen as soon as he finds out the reason she left him. Is she ready to take that path? Most of all, will Levian still want her when the truth comes out?

My Thoughts:

The first thing I noticed and loved was the cover. This is the first time I’ve read any of Cecilia Robert’s work and I’m really glad I gave it a try. I love finding new authors and unique stories and this one is definitely unique. It’s a cross between steampunk and paranormal. There are shifters, humans with talent and a mixture of the two. Good writing and Great world building brought the story to life.

Sera is a woman with secrets and hurts. She is living with outcast to hide both of these, but in the five years since she ran from her mate she’s forgotten to keep looking over her shoulder. It hasn’t been easy for her to survive. Sera has had to change from the young lady she was to the strong capable woman she’s become. What she’s had to do and undergo to survive has made her one badass heroine. When I found out what her big secret was my heart just broke for the innocent and vulnerable girl she used to be. I was impressed with Sera’s determination and strength to overcome her past and continue to move forward.

Levian is an Alpha in the best way. Hot, loving, tender, and most importantly faithful. He also has a very forgiving heart for those he loves. He has suffered for five years without his mate and in this novella he finds Sera and learns why she ran away. The conflicting emotions are portrayed perfectly. One minute he’s furious and a bit cold and mean; the next he can’t keep his hands off of Sera.

I did not get enough of Levian and Sera! I sincerely hope the next Cloaked Devices is a continuation of their story.   I would recommend this to anyone that likes a love story and/or paranormal romances. It’s also a great read for anyone who’s never read steampunk; it’s a gentle introduction into the genre.

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Marie Hall’s Triple Book Blast & GiveAway

 Marie Hall’s TRIPLE BOOK BLAST

Click Link at bottom of post to enter the $50 Gift Card GiveAway.

deaths_loverDeath’s Lover
Eternal Lovers series, Book 1
Release Date:  September 3, 2013

Eve Philips thought she could never love again. After her husband died in a hit-and-run accident, Eve poured her heart into her potions shop, Witch’s Brew, and hasn’t given any man a second glance—until Cian. As soon as she locks eyes with him, Eve knows she’ll never be the same. Gorgeous and mysterious, he incites a passion in her that she’s never felt before. And it’s almost otherworldly . . .

Cian knows Eve is special the minute they lay eyes on each other. He’s a supernatural being with a dangerous duty, and being seen is not part of the job description. But when he meets the kind, beautiful Eve, all the rules go out the window. Now that his superiors have gotten wind of it, he has a wicked enemy on his tail. Yet all he cares about is Eve: loving her, protecting her—and finding the right time to tell her his dark and terrible secret, a secret that threatens both of their lives . . .

Death’s Lover excerpt:

Cian waited within shadow just outside the entrance to the mall; the mortals he’d been sent to harvest should appear soon. Keeping his back to the crowd, he stood in such a way so that he had a clear view of the door as pedestrians filed and in out of the busy shopping plaza.

Using his essence, he transformed himself into an ordinary guy, hardly worth a second glance. Through all the years of using this guise, he’d never once been remembered. Right now, he needed people to look past him, not see the peculiarities that branded him not quite human. Unfortunately he couldn’t go fully invisible until the harvest time came upon him.

His hair turned a drab brown, short and barely reaching his collar, his eyes much the same color. The process happened so fast, no one even had time to react at all.

Staring at his gloved hand he waited for the next step of his transformation to take place. He didn’t have to wait long. A shock, like a burst of flame, ran down his arm and into his hand, turning him from man to monster. Fire traveled his veins, making him grunt with a momentary flash of pain. He hissed and snatched off his left glove, making sure he was well within shadow. The day was so drab and gray that unless he did something obvious, like flash the crowd, no one would turn his way.

He clenched his hand, studying the bones of his fingers. For an outsider, to look at the transformation would seem surreal. Above the wrist he was man—flesh and blood. But when the change overcame him, and it was time to harvest souls, the hand turned to a design of the macabre. The flesh, muscle, and tendon literally faded from sight.

Human depictions always had the grim reapers wearing the traditional black cowl with a sickle in their skeletal grip. In truth, reapers were as normal as man. You could pass them on the street, commenting on their remarkable beauty, little knowing that beneath the white smile and ever-present gloves lurked the killer of legend.

A small, noisy crowd of humans walked toward him. Shoving his hand into his pocket, he leaned against the wall and waited; it wouldn’t be much longer now.

After centuries of doing this job, he’d learned patience, the art of stealth, and the endless waiting game of death. For such a vital and intricate part of life, the actual moment of death could be unbelievably boring.

Several minutes later, an electrical rush of power surged through his body when a couple walked out. A man and a raven-haired witch. He felt her power ripple through the air like a powerful ocean current. The man though exhibited no energy, which meant he was fully mortal. The man grabbed the witch around the waist, pulling her close for a quick embrace.

Cian’s pulse pounded when she smiled. It was a good smile, the kind that made him want to return it, to see her do it again just so he could have the enjoyment of gazing on that kind of radiant and rare pure joy.

The man hopped in front of her and grabbed her hands, toying with her fingers. Her laughter was a rich, lilting sound, deep and throaty, hot and sexy, and for the first time in his life, Cian wondered what it might be like to have a woman look at him that way. He envied mortals in some ways, specifically the way they could enjoy life, short as it was, and how they loved one another. He couldn’t think of anyone who’d look so happy to see him.

Those thoughts were jerked from him as the final phase of his transformation washed through his body. A charge, like static energy, traveled through his pores, his blood, and in seconds he’d gone completely invisible. Only able to be seen by those straddling the line between life and death, he strolled purposefully toward the car garage.

Today’s scenario would be no different than the thousands of others he’d seen through the years. He could see it in his mind, like an image on a television screen. A carload of teenagers barreling through the garage, the interior of the car heavily laced with the thick stench of cannabis. The driver was laughing, blaring the Ozzy tune “Crazy Train,” unaware that soon he’d be indicted for two counts of vehicular homicide.

Cian often wondered at times like these why the humans couldn’t feel it. The end of their lifeline, the disturbance in the air, death; for him it was like the blast of trumpets, loud and hard to ignore.

Turning his attention back to the couple, he waited. The man popped open the trunk of a green sedan, laid down his packages, and flashed the witch a smile. She stood by the hood of the car, her midnight curls blowing in the stiff wind.

The faint rumble of an approaching engine echoed eerily through the garage. The vibrations traveled through the soles of his feet. Soon. It’ll all be over soon.

For a crazy second he wanted to scream at them. Move. Get out of the way. But he held his tongue. He wouldn’t interfere, that was the single most important rule of the reaper. His skeletal hand twitched, and he yanked it out of his pocket. No mistakes.

The car made a sharp left around a concrete post in the garage and swerved headlong toward the couple with a loud, echoing cry of rubber.

For Cian the scene was agonizingly slow, each detail sharp and clear, as if it were taking minutes, though in truth it would be done within seven seconds.

When they finally noticed it was already too late.

The witch’s golden eyes grew wide in her face. Blood rushed from her skin, leaving her a pasty white. Her hands covered her mouth as a scream of raw fear flew from her lips. “Michael!”

The smile on the man’s face died. He turned—unable to run for cover, to hide from his fate. She ran forward, arms outstretched, and tried to pull the man toward her.

Metal exploded against flesh. The sickening crunch of bone and tearing muscle warred with the scream of tires braking. The man was dragged under the car. She was flung aside, her limbs at odd proportions.

Cian’s heart clenched painfully when he saw her ravaged body lying so helpless on the ground. She looked like a morbid porcelain doll. Beautiful and broken.

Blood spattered everywhere. All over the windshield. Even on the neighboring vehicles in the next three slots. The overwhelming metallic stench was all around.

The car squealed to a halt, slamming against the side of the sedan. The shattering of glass echoed through the garage with an eerie finality. It was done; their bodies slowly dying, their souls waiting only for him to harvest and carry on to the appropriate afterlife.

The driver, a pimply-faced redhead emerged. “Oh no! No!” he sang the litany over and over. He ran a trembling hand through his hair and glanced up. A family in the next row over stared back in openmouthed shock.

“Get back in the car, Derek!” the girl in the passenger seat screamed.

The wind picked up flurries of snow, enclosing them in winter’s peaceful embrace. An ironic scene, at odds with the gruesome sight of death before him.

The kid jumped back in his car and squealed off with one last bump-bump in his wake.

Cian closed the gap between himself and the victims. First the male. The man’s face had been nearly sheared off. His forehead was cracked open and a constant stream of blood gushed from the wound. Kneeling, Cian extended his skeletal hand, ready to harvest the soul and carry it safely to the afterlife.

The man moaned and opened green eyes glittering with pain. He didn’t question why Cian was kneeling over him; instead he parted ruptured lips and croaked, “Save my wife.”

Cian glanced over at her prostrate form for a brief second and then shook his head with a sad, bitter twist to his lips. He’d seen many broken bodies in the past, never feeling more than quiet detachment. But seeing her now, hearing the wet gurgle of her breaths, it was like razor-sharp spikes driving through his heart.

He closed his eyes, chanting over and over in his mind: This is the order to life. Without order there would be chaos. To prevent the chaos there must always be order.

Taking a deep breath, he plowed on, finishing what he’d started. “Find your peace, human…” For us both. Then he gently caressed the man’s exposed cheek.

The light of death filled the man’s eyes, and a single tear slipped down his cheek. The mask of pain relaxed, and a soft blue mist exploded from the caved-in chest—the soul pulsed with energy and differing shades of blue.

A glowing portal of brilliant white opened before him. The melodic song of a bubbling brook and rustling grass momentarily made Cian forget—forget the pain and loneliness.

The soul glided toward the light. It shimmered and glowed as it stepped through the portal. Then it was gone. The light went too, and with it the temporary peace Cian had sought his entire existence.

One left. The thought was a needle stabbing into his brain. He tried to remain clinical and study her not as a victim, but as a task and a duty to fulfill.

She wasn’t in nearly as bad a shape as her husband had been. Both legs were broken at the hips. One foot was pointed north, the other south. Besides the obvious injuries, she also suffered a ruptured spleen and would soon die from internal bleeding.

Short, shallow breathing turned his gaze to her face. Thin and heart-shaped with full pink lips and almond-shaped eyes.

His hands trembled, something was causing him to hesitate, a strange feeling he had no name for. What was it? Curiosity maybe? Something about the witch tugged at his normally detached feelings about death and life. Do it.You must. Take her from this misery.

Her eyes snapped open. The lioness gaze ensnared him. Her bloody hand grabbed his fleshy one and his world turned upside down. Instantly images and thoughts came to him. The face of her husband, a sensation of overwhelming, heartrending love. The pain. The fear. The hope. Her hope exploded inside him like a seedling shooting through black earth.

His brows dipped, and his breathing spiked. He continued to share her emotions. He bit the inside of his lip, and the bitter taste of blood pooled on his tongue as he fought off the onslaught. He’d known upon first seeing her that she was a witch, had sensed her energy, but her powers were intense. He’d never come across a projecting empath as powerful as she was.

Cian took slow breaths and pushed his will against her own in an attempt to extricate himself from her furious assault. His will was like talons ripping and clawing at her insides; the back blast resonated through him. He reeled from it but couldn’t block himself off. She whimpered, moans spilled from her lips, and still she fought him.

He could break her wrist, force her to let him go. Force her to end the emotional battering. So why wasn’t he doing that?

Because he couldn’t. Because for the first time in an eternity she was making him feel—not just her pain, but her desperation for life. Emotions he’d never felt before. It was all so confusing, and yet…he’d never felt more alive. All his life he’d walked around in a daze. Moving from one soul to another, not living, just existing. For the first time he wanted. He felt. Because of her, and he’d betrayed her in the worse possible way.

Her eyes, glazed with pain, held his own. Defying him to take her life. She wanted to live.

Another shot of emotions slammed him. They felt like churning waves of angry sea crashing against him, stripping the flesh from his bones. Her anger beat at him, clawed at his throat with desperation.

Right then he made a decision. In defiance of his queen, the ruler of the reapers, he let her live.

 AVAILABLE NOW:
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Crimson NightCrimson Night
Night series, Book 1
Release Date:  September 5, 2013

 Welcome one and all to Carnival Diabolique– or what I affectionately like to call, the carnival of the damned. My name is Pandora, and though my face might not look familiar to you, you do know me. I’m a Nephilim. What does that mean? I’m half demon, what’s my other name? Lust. I’m the dark craving that drives you mad, makes you want, makes you reckless and stupid. I’m the drug you’ll do anything to get your hands on. But I’m not all bad. I fight for light, for goodness and truth. I love my job, killing vampires and werewolves, zombies, and freaks… it’s what makes me happy. But people are starting to disappear and lately I’ve felt a dark presence lurking around me. I think it might be a death priest and that’s really bad. There isn’t much a demon like me fears, but I fear them. This should have been easy, me killing the fanged freaks, getting rid of my pesky priest problem, but I’m about to be betrayed by the one person I thought I could trust with my life and before the night is through I’ll be covered in crimson…

My Review of Crimson Night

CRIMSON NIGHT Excerpt

“Why do you have this?” He waved the book he’d been reading at me like one might brandish a sword.

“What?” I shook my head. “The Bible?”

“Yes, the Bible, what’s it doing here?” His mouth set in a firm line, but I heard what he wasn’t asking. What he didn’t say was: What was the Bible doing in the home of a hell spawn?

“Over sixty percent of households have one, priest. Is it a crime?”

“Yes!” He shot to his feet, murderous rage dripped from his tongue like venom. “You’re a demon.”

I lifted a brow. “Half. Half demon, Priest. You gonna accuse me of something get it right.”

“You,” he pointed at me, “are an abomination. What would you know about light?”

Wow, insult the demon. How original. If Billy was looking for a reaction from me to justify his actions or to salve his conscience then he was screwed. I wasn’t taking the bait.

“Again, I ask you…why is it here?” His shoulders heaved with his labored breathing.

Why oh why had I decided to park my trailer so far away from the safety of the pack? All this yelling would have had my demon hoard—as I’m sure death god here thought of them—running to my door.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19,” I finally said.

He looked as if I’d slapped him.

“What I read is my business,” I snapped.

“Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, thou shall not kill. Matthew 5:21.” His words were steel tempered in black velvet, they shivered down my spine. I licked my lips. “I saw you kill a man tonight. I saw you kill one in Austin. I saw you kill a girl in Venice.”  With each sentence he’d walked a little closer until now his face was back to within inches of mine. Sandalwood wrapped me up in its heady embrace. “Would you like me to go on?”

His lips were a feather’s touch from mine. Jeez, he had nice lips. The kind you wanted to pull into your mouth and suck on.

Then it struck me what he’d said. Venice. The last time I’d been in Venice was three months ago. I was suddenly more than just a little scared and fear always made me angry. I hated weakness. Especially in myself.

“Don’t you dare judge me! You know nothing about me.” My chest grew tight, breathing became harder. I wanted to smack him and lick him all at the same time. How sick was I?

He snorted. “Of course I do, Pandora.”

The sound of my name rolling from his lips made me shiver.

I narrowed my eyes and could feel the anger turning my normally ice-blue color a frosty swirling lavender. Anger. Lust. They were both two sides of the same emotion and my demon was feeding off of it.

“Then kill me, Priest. End this. Go ahead.”

He stepped away from me, it almost appeared involuntary.

“You know me so well do you?”

Again he wore that cold expression I was quickly learning to hate.

“You arrogant bastard,” I snarled, “you think you’re no different than me? Fool yourself if you want to. Judge me all you want, but you know it’s true. Go ahead, priest, kill me. And I promise to sit here like a good girl and take it.” I tilted my head to the side, my hair slid across my breasts. “But this offer is only good for the next minute. So you think about it real good, because I promise you, it will never be this easy again.”

He stared at me as if I were something unexpected. An oddity he was both repulsed by and curious about.

“Why did you let us leave earlier?” he asked in a voice so low I almost hadn’t heard him say it.

“I keep asking myself that same question.” I narrowed my eyes. “What do you think I am, Priest?” I don’t know why I asked that.

“Evil,” he said without skipping a beat. “You are pure sin.”

Crimson Night AVAILABLE NOW:
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00EXCZXYE
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deaths-lover-marie-hall/1114701209?ean=9781455549887

Right NowRight Now
Moment series, Book 2
Release Date:  September 15, 2013

Sometimes in life….

Things were supposed to get better when Ryan met Lili. I was supposed to move on, get a life… but I’m stuck and lost. Things with my father are not good. There are demons in our closet, big ones. Ones I want to kill him for, I’m seeing a shrink, I’m trying to get better… but my life feels out of control, like I’m a raft adrift on the sea. I don’t know where to look, how to get anchored again, and then I meet Zoe Stone. Something about her draws me out of my rut, makes me laugh for real, smile, and for the first time in years I want to be more. But what will she think when she discovers who I really am?

…all we have…

When Alexander Donovan, aka The Golden Adonis, walks into my tattoo parlor, I know I’ll do anything to make that man mine. There’s an instant connection, a need to know more about him. Everything about him. But there’s also a mystery surrounding the guy, when people look at him they only see the man that laughs, that cracks jokes and makes the world think that everything’s okay, but I see the truth… I see the darkness that lurks so deep inside few would ever recognize it. I want to help him, I want to be with him, now I just have to make him trust me enough to let me in.

My Review of Right NOW

Right Now Excerpt

Her eyes were roaming my body and my skin prickled under her hot gaze. I knew I wasn’t bad to look at—dusty blond hair with an athlete’s body and gunmetal silver eyes that girls always fawned over.

But looking at her and looking at me, we couldn’t be more opposite.

“Vanilla?” I asked.

Giving a very satisfied smirk, she hopped up on the counter and crossed her legs, showing off very feminine curves and the tiniest, most delicious pair of ankles I’d ever seen. A gold ankle bracelet jingled as she bounced her foot.

“Means you look like you took a wrong turn.” She gestured to the room, never taking her molten brown gaze off me.

My lips twitched and I leaned forward, resting an elbow beside her. Close enough that I felt her heat, close enough that her scent of jasmine tickled my nose, made me hungry and crazed. Damn, she was hot.

“Those kids looking at the wall look just like me.” I lifted a brow and she leaned in, so close her minty breath washed over my lips.

My entire body tensed up and I had to curl my fingers into the counter to stop myself from yanking her hot, little body against mine and having my way with her.

“Yeah, but you can spot the posers a mile away. The ones who would never do something like this when they’re totally sober. So…” she walked her finger across my collarbone, making my flesh shiver and heat flash down my spine, “what are you doing here, va-nil-la?”

The way she broke up the word, the way she eased closer into me, damn…I was coming apart. She hadn’t even really touched me and already this was the best foreplay I’d ever had in my life.

Turning on the charm, I smiled and eased my hips just a little closer. She wasn’t the only one able to play this game.

“I want you to draw on me.” I threw down the gauntlet, hell she could draw a grim reaper all down my back if she wanted, so long as her hands touched me, somehow, someway.

Shaking her head, the flower in her hair brushed against my forehead. “I’m not an artist, yet. I do body modification.”

I got hard as a rock. My gut got hot; my thighs shook a little, because I knew that almost everyone who did it also owned some metal on them somewhere.

Looking at her again I looked for the piercings. And sure enough, I was right. Her ear lobes were stretched. Not as big and gaudy as some I’d seen, just small little holes that were actually dainty looking on her.

Flicking hair across her shoulder, she grinned. “Sorry, vanilla, the rest you don’t get to see.”

I gulped, only able to imagine where she had them.

She laughed and I’m sure my eyes were as wide as saucers. Feeling like a prepubescent teen all over again, I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans.

“What’s your name?” I asked, because I had to know. I wanted to know.

A secret smile danced across her face, brown eyes twinkled. “You mean you haven’t figured it out yet? I’m hurt, really I am.”

I frowned. “What are you—”

“Z,” the guy who’d been drawing the tat of the dragon and tiger, looked up with a hard fix to his square jaw. “He bothering you?”

Her smile still firmly in place, she shook her head. “Nah, I’m good.”

Dude looked pissed and suddenly I was too.

I don’t know why, but some caveman crap came over me and I narrowed my eyes right back at him. I didn’t care if he was the boyfriend or not, actually I did… because something about ‘Z’ (and I really had to find out her name quick) sparked a heat of fire inside of me I hadn’t felt ever.

“You dating?” I tried, but couldn’t keep the growl from my voice.

She hopped off the counter and my balls just about shriveled up, I didn’t want her to walk away. I wanted to talk to her, to… what… was I seriously wanting to talk to her?

Since when?

Z turned to go and I brushed her arm, desperate to keep her around.

“Look,” she glanced at my hand, which I dropped quickly, “we’re not dating anymore. Ryko’s a good guy, but he’s also slightly territorial.” She narrowed her eyes back at Ryko, who was still glowering at me. “He also happens to own the shop and doesn’t like to see me loafing. I’ve got work to do. It’s been nice, vanilla, but since you don’t have an appointment and we’re booked until closing, either make one for later or I’ll see you around.”

“Wait.”  I forked my fingers through my hair. “Pierce me.”

Her lips twitched. “What?”

Fuck me, what the hell was I doing? From a tattoo to a piercing? The universe had to be laughing at me.

“I want a piercing.”

She licked her upper teeth, and my heart clenched at the sight of her pink tongue. Were they pumping drugs through the ventilators here? My head was fuzzy and spinning and all I could smell was her jasmine and I know my pants were tenting and I could care less.

“I thought you said you wanted to be tatted?” Her eyes took on a knowing glint.

How many drunken losers hit on her every night?

Why did that thought make me want to punch one of them? I curled my fist.

“I don’t expect you to understand my reasons, Z,” I smirked when her eyes went slightly bedroom on me at the use of her nickname, “but I’m not leaving tonight without doing it.”

Planting her hands on her hips, she lifted her chin. “Fine. Far be it from me to kick out a paying customer. Even if he is stupid and is gonna regret it tomorrow morning.”

“I won’t.”

“We’ll see.” Hooking a finger, she turned around. “Follow me, frat boy.”

What the hell? Did I just scream frat, vanilla, loser to her or what? Somehow I didn’t think her nicknames were meant to be cute at all, but I wasn’t arguing.

Tipping my head at the guy standing next to me who was still ogling her ass, I sprinted around the counter and followed her into a private room with a black curtain in front of it.

The room was dark inside, with only a blue glow coming off the lamp in the corner. A body table lay pushed up against the wall.

“Get on,” she pointed.

Pulse thundering, nerves strung a little tight, I hopped up on the table.

Her movements were brisk and efficient as she walked to a medicine cabinet and pulled out a pair of latex gloves, snapping them on her hands a second later. Pushing her fingers together to get the gloves down properly, she lifted a brow at me. “So, what’ll it be?”

She was calling my bluff, because she knew as well as I did that I didn’t have a clue.

Why the hell had I decided to listen to a sheet of paper anyway?

I scrubbed my face. “What do you like?”

The way she nibbled on her lip, I had to take a deep breath and try to inconspicuously adjust my straining cock.

Walking toward me, she placed her hands on either side of my legs and I swear I was trembling like a freaking virgin. Even sitting, she still wasn’t taller than me, but it didn’t seem to faze her at all.

Her hair was in my face as her warm breath caressed the side of my ear.

“You really want to know?” she purred, voice throaty and decidedly wicked.

Was it possible to explode from just the sound of a voice? My heart was racing like a rabbit on crack. I licked my lips as her hand worked torturously, slowly up my thigh and then I squeaked—like squeaked squeak… like I want to die because that girly sound just came out of me kind of squeak—when she cupped my junk in her hands.

“I’ve always thought the Prince Albert was hot.” Then she nibbled the lobe of my ear and I couldn’t speak.

My entire body was quaking, trembling so hard I knew she saw it.

Then she pulled back and laughed and the sound was a brush of bells against my sensitive flesh. “But it’s totally up to you.”

It took two times of throat clearing before I trusted myself to speak. She’d touched me, touched me. Down there.

Fuck.

I was so turned on, if she kissed me, I would have come. That would have been it, mortifying… hell yeah, but I don’t think I would’ve cared because it would be worth it. My balls ached and I knew tonight was going to be a twofer, at least. Unless I could convince her to come home with me.

“Don’t think I’m ready for a cock piercing,” I finally managed to say.

She only smiled and I knew what she was thinking: Vanilla. It was written all over her face, but even I had my limits for this mysterious girl.

“Then what are you ready for?” Her tone was teasing, but carried an edge of steel beneath the velvet. She was testing me again and something in me didn’t like the thought that she found me as lacking and vanilla as she accused me of being.

“Nothing below here.” I flattened my palm above my belt.

She was back in my space again, filling my head with jasmine and the sound of her throaty voice.

Both palms flat on my stomach, she ran them up my abs, and then across my chest, before rubbing my nipples between her fingers.

I hissed, as the nerves danced and shot fire straight down to my already aching cock.

“Nipple piercing’s then?”

“Ungh…” I’m not even sure anything intelligible dropped from me, but I couldn’t think straight. All I wanted was to throw her down on this table, hike her skirt up and find that hidden piercing.

“But,” her nose moved up the line of my neck, “I’m not sure the girls could handle seeing that much eye candy at the lake.”

No response. Nothing, I just panted, gripped the edge of the table and tried to remember this wasn’t a sex parlor.

“There’s only one other piercing that really does it for me. Do you know what that is, Alex?”

I shook my head.

Fuckmefuckmefuckme… I was going to implode, I knew it.

Her thumb ran across my lower lip and I couldn’t help myself, I nibbled it. The taste of latex was disgusting, but I didn’t stop because I had to touch her.

“A lip ring.”

Her mouth was inches, inches from mine and I knew it would take nothing for me to lean in and take it, slip my tongue past her teeth and drown in her.

“Think you can handle that, vanilla?”

“Ungh…” There went that stupid crap out of my mouth again.

I was not prepared for how quickly she pulled back, how bereft my body felt without her heat crawling all over me, or how down to business she suddenly became. I was still panting, still sweating under my collar.

“Shit,” I grumbled, as she walked back to the medicine cabinet and started pulling out packets of instruments.

“Rethinking this already?” she asked as she worked with her back to me.

How could she act that way? Like she hadn’t just been about to make me come in my pants, how she’d made me pant and moan like a dog in heat.

Sick, slightly mortified, I breathed through the tension twisting my gut in knots.  She’d played me like I’d played so many others and being on the receiving end of it sucked ass.

Thankfully, by the time she got her stuff together I’d pulled my shit together too. She flipped on a switch by my head and flooded the room with bright lights.

She had a pair of what looked like baby tongs in her hand. “I’m going to pinch your lip with this.”

“Does it help numb it?”

Lips twitching again, I knew the second I asked that I sounded like an idiot.

“No, not really. It’s just for placement and so I can hold your mouth still.” Bending over, she opened my mouth, not nearly as sexy as what happened before because this time she was purely professional about it. “Okay, I like it right there. Now, when I tell you to breathe, take a deep breath. It’s not going to hurt, not really, just pinch a little. Vanilla, one last time, you sure you want to do this?” Her brown eyes were suddenly serious and intense, like she expected me to jump off and run away and the thought was like a bucket of ice water in my face.

I was a fucking man, whether she believed it or not. And just because a sheet of paper told me to be opposite didn’t mean I was going to turn into a baby about this afterwards.

I didn’t answer, just lifted a brow.

“Fine. Here we go.” Grabbing a long ass needle, she touched the tip to my lip. “One, two, breathe.”

I was just inhaling when she shoved it through. It did bring tears to my eyes, that couldn’t be helped, but I’d be damned if I let them fall.

“Okay, almost done.” Attaching a cork to the bottom of the needle, she then grabbed a small silver hoop and in the next breath the needle was out and the hoop was in. “Doing good?”

“I’m not gonna faint if that’s what you’re wondering,” I muttered, beginning to get edgy. She didn’t know me, didn’t know anything about me.

I wasn’t some punk ass frat boy with too much to drink and no sense of reality. So okay, maybe I’d had the stripper twins in a bathroom earlier, but that wasn’t really who I was.

Taking a pair of pliers, she twisted on the metal in my mouth until satisfied with it.

Then her full lips curled into a crescent moon and my heart started thumping again. Cranky or not I could still admit the girl was hot when she did that.

Handing me a hand held mirror she lifted a brow. “So what do you think?”

I thought it didn’t look as bad as I’d feared it might. It didn’t really alter my appearance by much, the ring wasn’t huge. But something inside me felt different, not like a sheet of paper tossed in the wind, but anchored again somehow.

“It’s good,” I mumbled, and hopped off.

Snapping her gloves off, she tossed them into the waste bin. “Good, fifty bucks, frat. Let’s go pay.”

I didn’t get to ask her for her number, and honestly after the stunt she pulled with me in there, I had no desire. Not to mention Billy bad ass kept eyeing me like a dog eyeing steak, and I knew it was time to head home.

Lying in bed, hands behind my back I stared at the ceiling and played with the metal in my mouth. It tasted weird, but I liked it. I liked what it symbolized, what it made me feel.

Somehow my thoughts drifted to Z. I wished I knew her name. No matter that she’d made me look like a pathetic boy toy back there, the girl had turned me on. My cock was still heavy, my balls aching.

Grabbing hold of myself, I hissed as the tremors immediately wracked my sensitive nerves. All I had to think about was the tats and hidden piercing and in two strokes I was coming so hard, it bowed my back off the bed.

Panting, I blinked and started to make my way to the bathroom to clean up when it suddenly dawned on me, she’d called me Alex.

I’d never given her my name.

Right Now
Buy links coming soon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MHallBanner2

Marie Hall has always had a dangerous fascination for creatures that go bump in the night. And mermaids. And of course fairies. Trolls. Unicorns. Shapeshifters. Vampires. Scottish brogues. Kilts. Beefy arms. Ummm… Bad boys! Especially the sexy ones.

On top of that she’s a confirmed foodie, she nearly went to culinary school and then figured out she could save a ton of money if she just watched food shows religiously! She’s a self-proclaimed master chef, certified deep sea dolphin trainer, finder of leprechaun’s gold at the end of the rainbow, and rumor has it she keeps the Troll King locked away in her basement. All of which is untrue, however, she does have an incredibly active imagination and loves to share her crazy thoughts with the world!

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