Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer Estep

UnwantedThe fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.
But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.
Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh Finn… As I mentioned more than once, the thing that I love most about the Elemental Assassin series is the sense of family. At the core of that family is Gin and Finn. That family was put to the test in Bitter Bite and because of that I spent a lot of that book being really upset with Finn. Unfair, I know, especially since by the end of Bitter Bite Finn was totally broken… which is where readers found him at the beginning of Unwanted.

Seeing Finn as low as he was in Unwanted was hard. He was without his characteristic wit, charm and self confidence and worse, he felt he deserved every dirty look and cold shoulder thrown his way. When he finally saw the chance to make things up to at least one of the people he hurt, he jumped on it.

All of Finn’s “family’ were there to support him and prove to him that they loved him no matter what. Some things you just have to do on your own and Finn was determined to prove to others and to himself that he wasn’t the man that they thought he was. As novella’s in a series go, Unwanted wasn’t just a side story, it was almost necessary. Finn had been through so much in Bitter Bite that he (and readers) deserved to gain some closure from the ordeal. Unwanted did just that and leaves readers ready and waiting for the next installment in the Elemental Assassin series, Unraveled.

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Wet Heat by R.D. Hero

WetHeat_600x900Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.
After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.
Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1From the description, it should come as no surprise that Wet Heat was a fun read. What surprised me was that it was a really sweet read too.

This is the first book by R.D. Hero that I’ve read, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I got were smart, witty characters that kept me totally entertained. I also loved the unique take on werewolves that the author created in Wet Heat was intriguing.

I loved the characters (Lee’s nephew was one of my favorites), I loved the twists and I loved the story enough to seek out more of R.D. Hero’s books to add to my reading list. 😉

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Tempting the Dragon by Karen Whiddon

TemptingTheDragonInvestigative reporter Rance Sleighter had promised to prove the mythical Lake Creature existed. But its protector had already given him a heap of trouble, as well as inspired one too many hot fantasies. If Rance was going to get some answers, he’d have to get on the gorgeous Jade Burnett’s good side…and keep her away from his bed! 
For generations, Jade’s shape-shifting pack had kept the Creature safe. Now Rance’s appearance had her rethinking all her vows. She’d seen him in her dreams, knew he was a shifter and that they possibly shared a life-changing bond. Yet could she find the courage to trust the dragon with the truth…and her own fragile heart?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1As much as I love, and usually pick up, Harlequin Nocturne books, they can be kind of hit or miss for me. Tempting the Dragon went back and forth on that spectrum through much of the book. *sigh* That doesn’t mean the I didn’t enjoy it for the most part though.

Karen Whiddon gave a unique perspective to dragons in the world she created for Tempting the Dragon. Both Jade and Rance had secrets to keep. I understood Rance’s urgency in his search, but I also understood Jade’s unwillingness to give away her secret. As a couple, they didn’t seem to be a very good match, but they kind of grew on me as the story progressed.

A couple of loose ends, timeline issues and some other tiny blips are responsible for a lower rating, but since I read this as an ARC, I don’t want to be too critical. All in all, Tempting the Dragon was a unique paranormal romance with a few unexpected twists, more than a little suspense and just enough heat to keep things interesting.

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What Remains Virtual Book Tour

WhatRemains_TourBanner

WhatRemains_600x900About What Remains

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com.

Social media:
Website: http://garrettleigh.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighbooks
Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of What Remains, Garrett is giving away $25 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 9, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Old Blood (Experiment in Terror #5.5) & The Dex Files (Experiment in Terror #5.7) by Karina Halle

Old Blood

A haunting novella from the Experiment in Terror Series…
From her harrowing introduction in Darkhouse, the spectre known as “Creepy Clown Lady” has been a constant fixture in Perry Palomino’s life. But beyond the horrid makeup and piercing stare lies Pippa, a woman just like everyone else.
Well, not quite.
When Perry discovered Pippa’s message to her and Dex on the EVP recordings, she thought she heard the last of the old woman’s message. She was wrong. In the novella Old Blood, Pippa relays the tale of her troubled and tortured past, revealing how an aspiring actress and loving mother fell into madness and how an unfathomable betrayal led to her untimely death.
For Perry, the repercussions of her message are life-shattering.
Old Blood is #5.5 in the series and occurs between books #5 On Demon Wings and #6 Into the Hollow

Okay, so I really didn’t think I could dislike Perry’s mother any more than I did when I started this novella, but I was wrong. I also didn’t think that I’d miss the Crazy Clown Lady if Perry and Pippa managed to get rid of her, but I was wrong about that too. Don’t yell, because there’s not a whole lot more I can say about Pippa, Perry, her mother and Dex without giving something away. 😉

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TheDexFiles

The Dex Files

The truth is out there…
The Dex-Files is a compilation novel that accompanies the Experiment in Terror Series and is not to be-read as a stand-alone. In the Dex-Files we find a variety of scenes and chapters from the enigmatic Dex Foray’s POV from books #1-6 in the series. Some of these scenes have been previously published, albeit from Perry’s POV, while other scenes are completely new.
In addition to it not being a stand-alone, the novel also contains some major spoilers and should be read only by those who have read all the published books in the series.
Book #1 – Darkhouse
*Lighthouse Meeting
*Pie Scene
*Jenn and Dex
Book #2 – Red Fox 
*Bar Scene – extended
*Playing Nurse
Book #3 – Dead Sky Morning
*Strippers
*Truth or Dare
*Tent Scene
Book #4 – Lying Season
*The Big Question
*The Xmas Party
Book #5 – On Demon Wings
*A Phone Call
Book #6 – Into the Hollow
*Bailout

Oh Dex… Dex, Dex, Dex… By the end of Lying Season, I wasn’t sure whether I was more frustrated with how Perry handled things or Dex. I wanted to hug them both as much as I wanted to knock some sense into them. After being in Dex’s head for just a little while in each book, I fell in love with the crazy guy. There was a lot revealed in these short little snippets, so take my advice and don’t skip them as you read through the series. And please, don’t read them before you’ve gotten to On Demon Wings. I did read it before I picked up Into the Hollow, but that was actually kind of helpful. What happens in Bailout kind of leads into Into the Hollow.

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Fangs & Lullabies (The Demons Age #1) by Kallysten

FangsAndLullabiesA child’s birth. His first teeth and first steps. School friends and bullies, recess, school plays and science projects. A girl, a crush and a broken heart. These childhood experiences are shared by countless little boys from different horizons.
And yet… Jacob is anything but average. For as long as he has been able to understand, a secret has shaped his life, kept even from his closest friends: his father, Andrew, is a vampire. And so is his other father, Nicholas.
In a strange era when demons are beginning to appear all over the world and threaten humans and vampires alike, the three of them form quite an extraordinary family. And yet, at the same time, they could hardly be more normal.
Two fathers raising a son neither of them ever thought he would have. A Sire and Childe resuming their relationship after years of estrangement. Through snapshots covering Jacob’s life from birth to adulthood, discover this unusual family, and how, in the end, all it takes is love.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Fangs & Lullabies is only the second book that I’ve read by Kallysten. The first was Baby Steps and I can honestly say that I loved them both.

This story began with heartbreak. In the world that Kallysten has created for her vampires, they can’t conceive a child. Jacob’s mother found a way through science and magic, but she didn’t survive his birth long enough to even hold her son. And yes, that’s where the story opens. Andrew is obviously devastated, but he’s determined to love and protect his son from that moment forward.

Nicholas comes back into Andrew’s life soon after Jacob’s birth. Together with Jacob they form a family like no other. I loved the snapshots from year to year as Jacob grows. For me they got even more interesting when Jacob’s POV came into play. The author did a great job of capturing Jacob’s personality even from a very young age, and anyone who has read any of my reviews knows how I love it when that happens.

As the description states, this is a book of ‘snapshots’ that give readers a glimpse into a unique, yet normal family. They have their secrets and things aren’t perfect, but together Andrew and Nicholas managed to raise an amazing young man. There’s a lot more to their story and I can’t wait to get to know them better in the next installment, Demons & Lullabies.

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