In this short story set between books three & four of the Southern Arcana series, you get two weddings for the price of one. Find out how Mackenzie and Jackson ended up enjoying a honeymoon in Vegas–and how bad Alec and Carmen’s wedding had to be to drive them there.
This story is provided as a free read for fans of the series, and may contain spoilers for books 1-3 of the Southern Arcana series, and confusion for anyone not familiar with the characters involved. Read with caution!
Oh this was fun! When I wasn’t laughing I was cheering Mackenzie on (you’ll understand when you read it.) These characters are so great together. Even the new additions to this make shift ‘family’ fit right in.
After all the tension, danger and uncertainty that they all dealt with in Deadlock, they all deserved a little bit of happiness and fun. They had to work a little to get there, but it turned out to be worth all the aggravation. Even if the funeral was an ‘almost’ occurrence.
Abandoned by her wolf shifter father and raised by her human psychic mother, Carmen Mendoza can’t deny she’s different. She craves things most women shy away from—and she has a trail of shapeshifting ex-boyfriends to prove it.
Working at a clinic for supernatural creatures, she’s escaped the notice of her father’s legacy-obsessed family. Until they need a pawn in their bid for power. Snared by a vicious spell designed to wake her inner wolf, Carmen’s only hope is to trust the one man strong enough to soothe her darkest instincts.
Alec Jacobson was once the heir apparent to the wolves’ ruling elite, until he walked away to marry the woman he loved. She paid with her life. Now he lives as a rebel, a black-sheep alpha who protects the supernatural residents of New Orleans from the wolves’ barbaric class system. Too bad he can’t protect himself from his need for Carmen.
Yet staking his claim on his enemy’s niece will turn his city into a battleground. Unless he can find a way to stop breaking the rules—and start making them.
Would someone please tell me why it’s taken me so long to jump back into this series. I know I’ve made that statement before, but not including the last two novellas, it has been over a year since I read Crossroads, the last book in this series. A YEAR! That is totally unacceptable.
This world that Moira Rogers has created is amazing. There is so much to it. There are shifters, and there’s magic and crooked politics and danger and amazing characters that include strong, independent women and crazily protective alpha males. This series is seriously swoon worthy.
If you’ve followed this series at all, you know the kind of anticipation that has led up to Alec’s story. If anyone deserves a HEA, it is definitely him. Until you read Deadlock though, you have no idea exactly how heart breaking his story really is. He has spent his life feeling like he has to protect everyone and in the process neglecting himself. He has built such a huge wall around himself that he’s shut himself off. Carmen was the perfect character to break down that wall. It wasn’t easy and from past books in this series no one’s survival is guaranteed, but the wait was oh so worth it.
The romance wasn’t the only aspect of this installment of the Southern Arcana series. A lot happens that will change the lives of the characters, both old and new. Readers also got to spend some time with characters that we’ve met in previous installments. Their personalities mesh so well and there is so much love and loyalty between them that you can’t help but think of them all as family. Yep, this world is amazing… no other way to put it.
The next couple’s story is also a long time coming. I have no idea what Moira Rogers finally has in store for Kat and Andrew but whatever it is, I can promise it won’t take nearly as long for me to pick up Cipher. I’m officially hooked… again.
In this next installment in the Immortals After Dark Series, USA TodayBestselling author Kresley Cole delivers a scorching tale about a forbidding vampire who lives in the shadows and the beautiful assassin who hunts him there.
A vampire soldier weary of life…
Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.
A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…
When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.
Competitors in a legendary hunt…
The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?
I really need to stop putting so much time between books in a series. I know, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when it’s a new series and you normally have to wait a year between books, but when it’s an established series, there is honestly no excuse. *sigh*
Anyway, I really enjoyed slipping back into the Immortals After Dark series. I liked getting to know the other characters and I really liked meeting Kaderin and Sebastian. They were definitely an interesting couple. Kaderin had spent her life killing vampires and Sebastian had spent his life hating what he was. They both learned a lot in this book and the turn around in their attitudes was fun. Kaderin was also determined not to let her defenses down when it came to Sebastian. Good thing he was as patient as she was stubborn.
One of the things that I like about this series in general is the humor. None of the characters take themselves too seriously. Their inner dialogues prove that. Their conversations with themselves are almost as interesting as their conversations with other characters – and way more enlightening.
No Rest for the Wicked was packed full of action, plenty of heat (in more ways than one), lots of drama and suspense and a fair amount of heart break. It definitely kept the pages turning. There was never any doubt that this couple would make it, but there were more than enough scary moments that made me wonder exactly how it could happen. It pays to remember that nothing is over until it is over…
Things were left in a slight upheaval for a few characters at the end of No Rest for the Wicked. I don’t mind too much since I already have Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night on my bookshelf ready and waiting. Hopefully I won’t put this one off quite as long.
I honestly can’t believe that another Bout-of-Books is over. To be totally honest, it’s kind of a blur. Which is kind of fitting since my vision really is a blur. So, aside from tired eyes, how did my Bout-of-Books week go? Amazingly well! If you visited my Goals post, you know that I actually had no goals. I did, however have some self imposed guidelines. My only regret is that I didn’t follow through on all of those. *sigh* My first mission was to read all of the books left over from my last Bout-of-Books list that I hadn’t gotten to yet. I had three and of those three I only didn’t get to one of them. It’s a shame to because Snow Child is the book that most people were encouraging me to read. The only other thing that I didn’t accomplish was to write a review after I finished each book. I actually didn’t fail too miserably at that. I only have reviews to write on the books that I completed this weekend. I can’t fault myself too much for that because by Sunday night I was in a reading frenzy.
Aside from those minor slips, this Bout-of-Books turned out to be my most productive yet. I’m thinking that having no goals will be my future strategy. Here’s the tally for the week:
- No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark #3) by Kresley Cole (384 Pages)
- Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman (264 Pages)
- The Hunt (VV Inn #2) by C.J. Ellisson (300 Pages)
- Fade Out (Morganville Vampires #7) by Rachel Caine (215 Pages)
- Deadlock (Southern Arcana #3) by Moira Rogers (264 Pages)
- Ethan’s Mate (The Vampire Coalition #1) by J.S. Scott (57 Pages)
- Two Weddings (And One Near Funeral) (Southern Arcana #3.5) by Moira Rogers (31 Pages)
- Enemy Within (Vampire Born #2) by Angeline Kace (341 Pages)
I have only read over 5 books one other time and that was during Bout-of-Books 4.0. I have NEVER read this many pages before. My final page count tally was 1926! My final book count was 7. It would have been 8, but I didn’t finish Fade Out until 12:25 am. I was so close! Ugh! Oh well, the important part was that I survived and had a lot of fun doing it. I didn’t participate in as many challenges as I wanted and I came in at the tail end of ALL of the Twitter chats, but there’s always next time!
So how about you? Did you survive your Bout-of-Books 7.0 experience? Be sure to check in at the Bout-0f-Books blog and tell us all about it!
Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he’s loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he’s on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn’t come on a bun.
Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don’t leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything’s a competition-even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.
Owen’s all for an adventure with a native, but he’s not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm’s not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing’s too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.
Country Mouse was short and sweet, but it didn’t lack a thing. I really liked getting to know these two. They seemed to be total opposites, but they turned out to be perfect for each other.
I love it when a seemingly uncaring, arrogant jerk (on the surface, anyway) realizes that the status quo isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Okay, to be fair, that isn’t exactly who Malcolm is, but the feelings he has for Owen still come as a surprise to him. His carefully built walls literally crumble around Owen and he doesn’t like it. Being in control and having the upper hand is who he is.
Owen, on the other hand, never changes. He is exactly who he appears to be, with the exception that he’s not quite as naive, innocent or unaware as Malcolm first suspects. He’s strong and has a healthy sense of self and a unique view on even the simplest things that I really liked. He saw something in Malcolm that even Malcolm didn’t know existed and to me, that was the best part of this story.
There weren’t really any supporting characters in this novella, but that doesn’t mean that other people didn’t play an important role in the story. One of those people being Owen’s mother. She’s a character that I would love to meet. She obviously did a lot to shape Owen into who he was and had the kind of quirkiness and evident love for her son that added a lot to the story even though she was physically present.
Malcolm and Owen’s story isn’t over. The sequel, City Mouse is available now and I won’t be waiting long to pick it up.
Half-vampire Brooke Keller barely survived the slaying of her worst enemy, only to learn that Zladislov—the world’s most powerful vampire, leader of the vampire world, and her father—wants her dead. However, this time, she’s not only fighting vampires but a raging monster within her that endangers what’s left of her humanity. And when a deadly disease threatens to take her best friend’s life, Brooke tries to convince Kaitlynn to accept a monster of her own: becoming a Zao Duh.
As a former slave to the Pijawikas, Mirko is driven to protect the innocent at all costs, but he has never faced a foe more formidable than Zladislov. And when the Commission bears down on Brooke, Mirko finds the stream of enemies runs deeper than he ever imagined.
I really want to ramble and rant and rave over this review, but I’m not exactly sure how. It’s not that I didn’t love this book, because I did. It was everything that Descended by Blood was, if not more. My hesitation comes from the fact that I’m scared to death that I’m going to give something away. There were so many twists and turns. So many secrets revealed and so much that happened almost every chapter was jaw dropping.
Enemy Within starts pretty much where Descended by Blood leaves off. Brooke is in danger and they have to come up with a plan. There are a few complications that make things… well… complicated. Sorry, there’s just no better way to put it. The first obstacle that they face is Brooke’s transformation. Then there’s the whole problem of her own father being the enemy they have to fight. Things really get interesting when they all discover that things aren’t always what the seem and neither readers or the characters can figure out exactly who can and can’t be trusted. Needless to say, a lot happens in this book… a lot.
None of the characters are spared in Enemy Within. There’s betrayal, loss which leads to grief, and physical pain. I can’t even begin to risk mentioning even minor details because all of it is so interwoven it’s sure to give something away. No matter how innocent a detail may seem on the surface, it all runs deeper. You’ll just have to read it to understand.
There was so much packed into this book. Danger, romance, violence, action, mystery, heartbreak – yeah, it was all there. Tears are inevitable.. just a warning. A few times they came as a shock and there were moments that I both loved and grew angry at the same character within the same chapter. Then, once I finally felt like I could breathe a sigh of relief, tables were turned. Did I mention that authors are evil? Well, trust me, you have no idea.
Fans of Enemy Within waited patiently for Descended by Blood. Well, semi-patiently. I was one of them, and even though I’m a very patient reader I’m not so that the way things were left at the end of Enemy Within isn’t going to try that patience to its limit. Yeah, it was more than a cliff hanger and kinda cements the whole ‘Authors are Evil’ thing. The third book in Vampire Born, Forbidden to Kill, can’t come soon enough.
Ethan Hale is a vampire with a mission. Together with his three brothers and a few other unmated members, he fights with The Vampire Coalition to protect humans from fallen vampires. His life is fairly simple. If he has a problem…he solves it. If it’s an evil problem…he kills it. But his uncomplicated life is about to end when his mate unexpectedly calls him to her.
Brianna Cole is weak, her life force fading away. She thinks she is suffering from a rare form of leukemia. Little does she knows that her illness is much more complicated. She’s dying because she has not united with her vampire mate and given him his soul that she has been guarding since birth.
Ethan finds Brianna and knows he needs to convince her to mate or watch her die. He’s waited for her for five hundred years and he has no intention of letting her go, but she is not in any shape for the dominate, volatile mating ceremony with a vampire. He will have to win the race against time to strengthen Brianna and a battle with a stalking fallen to claim his mate. He is also at war with his mating instincts that make him burn to dominate and conquer her. But Ethan is determined, and the stubborn vampire will do whatever is necessary to possess his soul bonded mate…forever.
Sometimes books in novella form work and sometimes they don’t. I really liked the story, the characters, the mythology of J.S. Scott’s vampires and the attraction between Brianna and Ethan. I just can’t help but wondering if I would have liked it more if there would have been… well… more.
A lot happened in Ethan’s Mate in a short amount of time. Ethan had spent 5 hundred years and given up on finding a mate (so had his brothers.) Brianna faced death because of a life threatening disease. An evil force was after her and evidently threatening all potential soul guarding mates. It was all intriguing and had amazing potential. What little action there was, was intense. The romance was hot and the characters were likable. It’s just hard to accept the story as a race against time when everything is wrapped up in 57 pages. I kind of walked away from it thinking ‘well, that was easy.’
I do see a future for this series though. My curiosity was sparked enough to want to find out more about the other brothers and see where this story is going. Rory’s Mate is next and I just might have to check it out.
I received Ethan’s Mate as a free download from Amazon on April 10, 2013
Vivian thinks she can control every aspect of a deadly game with her usual manipulations… but what if she can’t? Journey along, in this next installment of The V V Inn series, for a wild ride as the tale is told through the eyes of all her new seethe members.
Seven vampires and seven werewolves pay to hunt a supernatural criminal across the cold, vast grounds of an Alaskan resort. The one to catch her, and live through the encounter, will increase their power by feasting on hers.
The tiny vampire they track is more than she appears, however. To escape a fate of ten years in silver chains, she’ll do anything to survive the weeklong excursion. This time, the darkness holds more than just the stinging bite of the Arctic—it holds death.
I admit, it’s taken me a while to pick this series up but now that I’m back on track there will be no letting go. Actually, I’m the one that’s not being let go. The original draw for me with this series was Vivian/Dria and Rafe. With each installment we get to know the individual characters even better and now they all have my full attention. Well played Ms. Ellisson, well played.
At the end of Vampire Vacation the stage was set for The Hunt. Book two in the VV Inn series opens with the final preparations being made for the players in this game to arrive. Readers saw a few new sides to Vivian in this book and a little bit more of her history was revealed. She’s got more to worry about and more ‘family’ to protect. A lot more of her darkness comes through in The Hunt and that causes some pretty intense moments. Needless to say it makes things interesting.
As much as I love Vivian’s ‘voice,’ I think what I enjoyed most about this book was that we ‘heard’ from all the members of the seethe. It gave such an interesting insight into the characters and one that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, even with Vivian’s ability to get into their heads. They all had their weaknesses, desires and fears. It made for a very interesting read in more ways than one.
So now that we’ve gotten into their heads, do I have a favorite? I think my favorite character, aside from Vivian and Rafe, will always be Jon. Even before the release of his own novella, Death’s Servant. Getting a glimpse of his pain, frustration and loyalty in The Hunt just made me love him more – and also broke my heart just a little. *sigh* As for the other members of the seethe? I really enjoyed getting to know them all. They all grew a lot during the course of this book. Some of the growth was expected, but some of it took both the characters and readers by surprise. I love the unexpected!
A lot is revealed in The Hunt that sets up what could be some interesting possibilities in future books. There are still quite a few mysteries left unsolved along with danger that sets up the next book, Big Game, very nicely. More prequels are also promised that will feature other members of the VV Inn family. I can’t wait to see who’s featured next.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.
Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
Wow… that was intense. Several people told me before I started this book that they liked it even more than If I Stay. That’s something that you won’t even begin to understand until you pick this book up and read it. I started reading this book after dinner and couldn’t go to bed until I was finished. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I also can’t remember the last time a book pulled me in, wouldn’t let go and made me feel as much as this one did.
I’m not sure what I expected when I started reading Where She Went. I knew that it would be an emotional read, but I didn’t expect it to be as intense as it was. I knew from the synopsis that Adam and Mia had gone their separate ways. Reading what Adam went through, the experiences that he had and the way he handled it all was almost more heart breaking than the emotions that were evoked in If I Stay.
Needless to say there were tears. The entire book was from Adam’s perspective which worked so well. His grief was tangible and pretty much defined who he was. I spent most of the book wanting to hug him and let him know he wasn’t as alone as he thought he was. Watching his transformation by the end of the book was amazing.
Gayle Forman did an amazing job of bringing the pain of both characters to the surface and making you feel the devastation that grief can cause. It wasn’t always easy to read, but it was real and powerful and giving readers the glimpse into the aftermath of the tragedy the characters experienced in If I Stay was just as important as the initial story. I have to say that even though I loved the first book, I now have to agree that this one is even more powerful and amazing than I expected. It’s definitely a series that I not only recommend, but will be one that I re-read more than once.
I am determined to participate in more challenges this time around so I decided to jump right in and start off the week with the very first Challenge offered. Today’s Challenge is sponsored by Cait at Escape Through the Pages. I love Book Spine Poetry, but I usually screw it up. I know, I know… it’s not rocket science. I think that I just end up over-thinking it. I managed to create my poem out of books that I have on my Bout-of-Books reading list. I probably could have gotten a lot more creative if I would have raided my shelves, but these books are going to be staring at me all week so I decided to put them to work.
I think I may have actually gotten it this time! If you’re participating in Bout-Of-Books 7 you should really check out the Challenges. They’re fun and creative and a great way to interact with other participants.