Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Rival

Rival (Fall Away - Book 2) by Penelope Douglas

Publication Date: 08/26/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: New American Library
Genre: New Adult
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 045147242X
ISBN-13: 978-0451472427

(Received for an honest review from New American Library)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Penelope Douglas on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Fall Away

1. Bully
2. Rival

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Rival, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

WARNING: This book is inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

Synopsis:

From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Bully and Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…


I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….


Thoughts:

Penelope Douglas brings readers the next book in her Fall Away series, Rival. Readers who thought Douglas could not possibly top the writing of Bully, will be shocked at how poignant and diverse this story is from the first book. Rival is passionate, heart felt and real. The characters are stunning and reader will have a really hard time putting this one down. From the spectacular dialogue and banter to the riveting forbidden love between Fallon and Madoc, this one is truly exceptional!

What I liked:

The first book in this series, Bully was definitely a favorite of mine. The relationship between main characters Tate and Jared was intense, passionate and very realistic. I had a hard time conceiving how Douglas was going to top the angst, the tension, the sexual chemistry from that book, but I admit defeat. Rival is even better than Bully! 

Madoc and Fallon simmered on the back burner of the first book, their relationship jagged and almost painful, but in Rival we get to see a different side of both characters that reveals their innermost feelings about not only each other, but about themselves. Madoc and Fallon share a complicated past. As step siblings the emotions the boiled just under the surface were forbidden to them, despite their intensity. When things finally reach a breaking point it ends in a catastrophic way that defines them for a long time. Most of this happens off stage from the actual story in Rival. But the reader gets to learn about throughout the book in hind sight. 

When Rival begins Fallon is just returning from two years at boarding school, which she was forced into. She has become a young woman in the interim. A very strong, determined woman, who knows what she wants. Revenge! I absolutely love the love-hate relationship between Fallon and Madoc. Fallon wants to hate him from the core of her being, but she just can't. The way they talk to each other, bait each other, and try to hurt each other, let's the reader know that there is a lot more to this than meets the eye. Douglas has done such a magnificent job of bringing these characters to life. I didn't think I would like Fallon as a lead character because Tate had so stolen my heart in the first one, but I was wrong. When this book ended, I felt thoroughly spent. My emotions as chaotic as Fallon's. Madoc changed in my mind from a boy with issues to a man who knew his mistakes, his faults and his mind. Wow! That's about all I can say.

What I didn't like:

The moment that defined Madoc and Fallon's relationship did not happen in this book. It happened before the book began and though I liked learning about it from Madoc's point of view and Fallon's it was still after the fact. I understood the need for that, but I would still like to have read how it went down.

Bottom Line:

This is the New Adult genre at it's best. Penelope Douglas has taken characters who should never have had a relationship to begin with and given the reader a reason to root for them. To give in to their emotions and let love happen regardless of the taboo's and the stigma's. If you want intensity, emotional highs and lows, strong, well defined characters, this is a great choice for you. This isn't a teeny-bopper book and these characters are not simple teens. Be prepared once you start, you won't be able to stop!

Rival is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, then a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans. She and her husband have one daughter. She is the author of Bully and Until You.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Rival by Penelope Douglas.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think about a relationship between a step-brother and sister. Too weird? Not weird at all? etc.

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Review and Giveaway: Love Bites

Love Bites by Angela Knight

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0425254917
ISBN-13: 978-0425254912

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Angela Knight on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Love Bites, courtesy of the author's website.

WARNING: This book is inappropriate for reader's under the age of 18. It also contains hardcore BDSM situations.

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author explores her most daring side yet in three tales of seductive vampires and the women who love them.

In the brand-new “Oath of Service,” Angela Knight introduces the Doms of the Round Table and a kinky circle of pleasure, pain, and power as she returns to her “sexy as hell” (Heroes and Heartbreakers) Mageverse world for a new twist on the Arthurian legend.

Morgana le Fay finally gets what’s coming to her in this novel-length story. After a fight with a dragon goes wrong, Morgana takes an Oath of Service to Percival, vampire Knight of the Round Table. Percival and his partners, Cador and Marrok, decide to give Morgana a taste of bondages and submission she’ll never forget. What they don’t know is that the lovely witch is keeping secrets that could destroy them all. To make matters worse, the dragon is plotting a deadly revenge….

In “Be Careful What You Wish For,” a beautiful vampire and her two vamp lovers lock horns with a wizard with the ugly habit of refusing to take no for an answer. When he casts a spell on Beau and Decker, Amanda finds herself the object of both men’s lust. She’s had some yummy threesome fantasies along the same lines, but since the men hate each other, she figured it was never going to happen. But when it does, things get a lot more kinky than Amanda expects.   

In “The Bloodslave,” Angela Knight’s classic “must read…highly erotic” (*The Best Reviews) novella, a female mercenary comes under fire during a hunt. The beautiful, virginal, and very human Verica is captured by three hungry alpha vampires driven deliriously feral by her purity. But they desire more than her warm blood. They want her body, leaving Verica more vulnerable than ever before—and loving every minute of it.


Thoughts:

Angela Knight takes readers back to the mageverse in her latest anthology. Love Bites not only contains a full length story set in the mageverse, but two shorts and a preview of Knight's next book. This one is full of erotic moments that go from the staid and honorable to the more kinky side of BDSM and are not for the faint of heart. If the reader is looking for strong alpha male characters who are not afraid of their own sexuality, then these vampires might suit the bill. But if it's a sweet and lovable happy-ever-after that the reader wants, they might want to keep on trucking!

What I liked:

The mageverse series is basically the King Arthur legend on steroids. Not only are Arthur and Gwen vampires, but so are rest of the knights of the round table. Being a history buff and this being one of my favorite legends, predisposed me to liking this series very much. I wasn't sure in the beginning if I could put my love for history and the paranormal together and give it a chance, but once I did, I totally got into it. Now that the series has ended, I was very happy to see that Knight put a story in this anthology that would draw in mageverse readers. 

"Oath of Service" focuses on Morgana le fey, one of my favorites from the actual legends. Knight has given her readers a character in Morgana that is strong, forthright and very passionate. I was interested to see where Knight would take that idea in this story. This is an erotic novel and readers should remember that as they read this one. It's pretty hot and heavy, I would say definitely hardcore BDSM. I certainly saw Sir Percival in a much different light in this one. As I said these stories are not for the faint of heart and if you are just dabbling in erotica you might be in for a bit of a shock. That's not to say that I didn't like it. I did, but I realize it would not suit everyone. If you like BDSM at it's most extreme it will absolutely appeal. The story did give a reader a much greater insight into Morgana's character and her reasons for her actions in the rest of the series. A very intense story!

"Careful What You Wish For" was too short to suit my tastes. I liked the idea of three vampires on a mission but thought there just wasn't enough time to explore their characters. Menage is definitely afoot here and that has an appeal all it's own. This one was strictly hot, kinky and sexy, with very little plot to hold it all together.

"Bloodslave", was interesting. Verica is a virgin and these vampires are literally beside themselves from wanting her. Her blood, her body, you name it, they want it. There was potential here and I thought Knight did a great job of bringing this one together. 

What I didn't like:

It was a little too over the top sexual for me, but don't let that deter you, if that's what you are into because Angela Knight knows how to write erotica and this one will blow your socks off.

Bottom Line: 

I am not often a fan of shorts because I need a little more story than I do sex to make erotica worth my while. And all three of these stories lean heavily on the sexual aspects of the book and less on the magic and the paranormal elements. I wanted more plot and less hanky-panky. But that's a preference of mine. This book will probably be very appealing to BDSM fans and of course Angela Knight fans. 

Love Bites is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


Angela Knight is New York Times bestselling author of the Mageverse novels, and a former newspaper journalist. She lives with her family in South Carolina.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Love Bites by Angela Knight.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment about collections. Do you like them or not? If so, why?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Night's Honor

Night's Honor (Elder Races - Book 7) by Thea Harrison

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425274365
ISBN-13: 978-0425274361

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Thea Harrison on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Elder Races

1. Dragon Bound
2. Storm's Heart
3. Serpent's Kiss
4. Oracle's Moon
5. Lord's Fall
6. Kinked
7. Night's Honor

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Night's Honor, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

From the author of Kinked and Oracle's Moon...In the USA Today bestselling author's latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…


Thoughts:

Thea Harrison continues the Elder Races series, with her seventh book, Night's Honor. This series has given the reader everything from dragons to fae and in this book readers travel to the vampire corner of Harrison's world. Xavier is an elegant, but deadly, vampire assassin and Tess is on the run from a Djinn that wants to do her in. The sexual tension is high and world building is exceptional. Harrison once again thrills readers with a slow burning romance and enough action to light up the night! A great addition to the series.

What I liked:

Thea Harrison is one of those writers that makes paranormal readers stand up and take notice. Her books embrace the supernatural in such a way that the reader can almost feel kinship with her characters. She gets down to the nitty-gritty of what makes these dragons, vampires, fae... tick. In her latest novel, Night's Honor readers get to see the inner workings of a vampire household. They get to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to the Nightkind. I loved the way Harrison chose to portray her vampires. 

These vampires are old. Most of them in this story anyway. Harrison does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to 'feel' the age of these characters. Xavier, the hero, was a former priest during the Spanish Inquisition. The reader not only sees the brutal and dangerous side of his character, but also his cultured and elegant side. He has such a quiet and controlled, yet passionate demeanor. He is probably one of my favorite vampire characters ever. There is just something about him that seems so fundamentally real. 

Tess, the heroine, is on the run. She has gotten herself into a bit of spot with Djinn. Not a supernatural you want to mess with. She might be scared to death of vampires, but she's more scared of what hunts her. I liked her brutal honesty. Her will to survive and determined manner in everything she did. Once she became Xavier's human attendant, she immerses herself in his culture, in his household and in his life. Seeing her ideas of what it meant to be among the vampires change and grow was an exceptional part of this book.

The romance is what I would call a slow burn. As a reader you have to consider the fact that this is a vampire you are reading about. He is immortal and has all the time in the world. There is no reason to rush. I loved the fact that Harrison let Tess dictate the pace of this relationship and that Xavier was willing to wait until that perfect moment when Tess was open and ready to be a part of him. It might be toward the latter part of the book before readers see passion between these two, but it is soooooo worth the wait!

Bottom Line:

Night's Honor was a great lead in to more vampire books in this series. It appears that King Julian may get his happy ending in the next book. Just when I think there are no more new ways for authors to show us their ideas of vampires, I am yet again surprised. Harrison's world building skills are unarguably some of the best in the business. If you are a paranormal fan of anything, this book will make you glad you are!

Night's Honor is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


A debut author at the age of nineteen, Thea Harrison had sixteen romances published under another name before she took a break to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. She’s back with the Novels of the Elder Races, a new paranormal romance series. 


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Night's Honor by Thea Harrison.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 1st.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think draws a heroine or anyone for that matter to a bad boy or a bad girl. What is the allure?

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cookin' Up a Contest!

I have been noticing a couple of issues here at Debbie's Book Bag! And I have thought of a way to impact them that will be fun and possibly earn my readers a box or two of books!

1.) I actually have a room in my house the is completely devoted to books. We call it our library though it isn't anything fancy. Just a room that has lately become jam packed with so many books that it's hard to walk. As a blogger, I receive all kinds of books, finished copies, bound copies, galleys and ARC's. Considering I receive probably 30 to 40 a month, that adds up fast and I have a ton of extra ARC copies of books that I want to use for this contest. They don't have all of the corrections done, and they don't have the covers that end up on the finished books, but they are still wonderful reads and a great way to see if you want to buy the real thing.

2.) The other issue that I have noticed of late has to do with the publisher sponsored giveaways that I provide for just about every book I review. I have earned a pretty good reputation in the publishing community for promoting and getting authors noticed. I love to review and to get an authors work out there so people can see it. Now, I have always padded my schedule heavily with cozy mysteries because these are some of my favorite reads, but I also have other interests including paranormal romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, historical romance and contemporary romance. When I start to look at the responses and the amount of giveaway entries for cozies vs. everything else it becomes very apparent that I am not reaching all of the readers I want and need to reach. So I have designed this contest with that in mind.

Here is how it is going to work. 

Starting tomorrow, September 17th there will be a new question on each form you fill out for each giveaway. It will say "Referred by" and there will be a place for a response. The contest is going to run from Sept. 17th - November 17th. 

I need you guys to beat the bushes. Call your friends, post on your blogs, tweet and facebook, google+ or whatever other form of social media you use to drum up some folks to enter giveaways, especially giveaways other than cozies. Don't get me wrong, you'll get points for new cozy entries as well, just not as many as everything else. All they have to do is put your name in the "referred by" space on the form. 

I also want to encourage you to sign up for books you might not have considered before, genre's you have explored and author's you might never choose otherwise. And I want to give points for that as well. Believe me I know who signs up for what and I have it all recorded. So if you branch out and try something new you will get a extra entry for that as well.

Here is the scale I will be using.

YOU will get 1 entry for every giveaway you enter during the contest time period.

If YOU enter a giveaway for a type of book that you don't usually try, you will get 1 extra entry.

If a new person signs up for a cozy mystery giveaway and marks you as a referral, you will get 1 extra entry.

If a new person signs up for a giveaway other than a cozy giveaway and marks you as a referral, you will get 5 extra entries.

All entries will be recorded (yep tons of work for me) and calculated before the random number draw on Nov. 18th. A winner will be chosen from my blog followers. That winner will win a box of ARC's containing 10 books, mostly cozy, because I have more of those than anything else. Also a winner will be chosen from the new followers and they will receive a box of 10 books as well. 

You will still be trying to win each book in the individual giveaways, but this will be an added bonus giveaway!

If this is successful we may do it again!

I hope all that made sense. If you have any questions please post in the comments and I will try to reply as soon as possible or you can e-mail as well. 

I think this will be a lot of fun and it's good prize pack. I love ARC's I just have a couple hundred extra right now, LOL!

Let me know in the comments what you think of this. Do you think it will work or is it just too hard? I need to reach more readers  and I have tons of extra ARC's and I thought this might be a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

Winner's Post!

Hello, everyone! It's time for another winner's post. I want to thank everyone for participating and signing up for the giveaways. A lot of times this is how publishers guage the reach of each blog, so keep signing up! I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and try books from a different genre than you are used to. I know a lot of you are primarily cozy mystery readers, but there are so many other good books that I review every month. Give them a try I think you will like them. To encourage more participation in giveaways I am "cooking up a contest" that may tempt you to sign up for books of other genres as well. More on that later!

I do want to remind you that when you are filling out the form, please only submit one time. It makes it a lot harder to generate a random winner if I have to go in and take out so many duplicate entries and entries that came in past the deadline. 

Winners will be notified later today and publishers today or tomorrow.

On to the good stuff!

Death by Devil's Breath by Kylie Logan
Winner: Anne Berger






Guarded by Mary Behre
Winner: Marcy Maddox






The Cat, The Vagabond and the Victim by Leann Sweeney
Winner: Margaret Rushton





Unbroken by Maisey Yates
Winner: Texas Book Lover






Taken In by Elizabeth Lynn Casey
Winner: Cyn209






Shelter Me by Catherine Mann
Winner: Anita Yancey






Book Fair and Foul by Erika Chase
Winner: Sue Farrell






The Man Plan by Tracy Anne Warren
Winner: bn100






Extra Sensory Deception by Allison Kingsley
Winner: Kimberly Wyatt





Harvest at Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth
Winner: Laura Roth





Linger by Lauren Jameson
Winner: Charlotte

Review and Giveaway: Ghost Layer

Ghost Layer (Ghost Seer - Book 2) by Robin D. Owens

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425268918
ISBN-13: 978-0425268919

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Robin D. Owens on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Ghost Seer

1. Ghost Seer
2. Ghost Layer

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Ghost Layer, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

Synopsis:

Second in the new series from the author of Heart FortuneHeart Journey, and other Celta novels

What lies beneath…

 
Clare Cermak’s adjusting to a new man in her life—and a lot of ghosts. The passing of Clare’s aunt gave way to a sizeable inheritance of not only money, but also the ability to communicate with the dead. At the same time, she met Zach Slade, a private detective with a rough past, and just like Clare, he’s not yet ready to accept her gift—or his own.
 
But Clare has another matter to look into. A multimillionaire needs her help after relocating an old ghost town to his mountain estate. The bones of a murdered prospector are making nightly appearances in his guests’ beds. When the gold miner’s ghost contacts Clare, she promises to help find the name of his killer—but someone doesn't want the past revealed and might find her first…


Thoughts:

Ghost Layer is the second book in Robin D. Owens', Ghost Seer series. Readers who are looking for a book that has paranormal, romance and a good mystery will love this series. Both the hero and the heroine have psychic gifts, but they aren't the average couple, nor are their abilities. The Old West ghosts bring a historical element to the story as well. This one has everything from mysterious moving bones to a ghost dog named Enzo. It's a real treat for readers looking for something different.

What I liked:

I love the premise for this series! Owens has done such a great job of coming up with something that original in a very saturated genre. The paranormal explosion in the literary world has given us everything from vampires to demons, but one of the original paranormal characters was the ghost. I love that Owens has brought that back. Psychic abilities are also making a comeback in books and Owens is using the combination of both to bring this series alive. Added to that you have a great mystery with each book that generally has a historical angle and some romance. The Ghost Seer books have a lot to offer paranormal purists and those readers who are looking for something besides the typical vampire book.

Zach is a great male lead! Readers will enjoy Zach's moral compass and his protective and loyal attitude. He is the epitome of an Old West law man who just happened to have been born in this century. He gives off a commanding presence and doesn't seem to be afraid of much, other than his own psychic gift. I loved the old crow rhyme taught to him by his grandmother and how that plays into his premonitions. There is so much potential with this character. I think Owens has created one of those lawmen that readers won't soon forget!

Clare has her own troubles, as she figures out how to not only accept her gift, but to use it. I found her struggle captivating and understandable. I think readers sometimes want to rush the development with a character like this. They want the author to make her accept and move on, but I don't think that's how it would realistically happen if this were a real person and when I read I wanted these people to be real to me. So I am happy that Clare is taking her time to become who she wants to be. This wasn't something she wanted and that takes a lot more time to absorb. The romance between Clare and Zach is still pretty hot and heavy, but they are learning to be a part of each others lives and how they fit together a lot better in this one.

The Old West ghosts of course Enzo the ghost dog are always my favorite part of this series. I love the way that each ghost has a problem that is keeping them from moving on. Each one adds a new historical element to the story that is so interesting. In this one Clare is trying to help a ghost who has been murdered and the closer she gets to resolution the more danger her life is in. I loved how she and Zach worked together and Enzo keeps things lively. Such a great idea for a series! I like the slant where Clare only deals with ghosts from a certain time period as well. That gives the series a more solid theme overall.

What I didn't like:

The secondary characters are a bit stereo-typical in this one. The millionaire was a was a real piece of work and I didn't feel like we got to know Rickman any better than we did before. 

Bottom Line:

This is an excellent series and I look forward to each new book. Owens has created not only a great heroine, but the hero is top notch as well. The Old West ghosts, as well as, the ghost dog really are the stars of the show with this one. Owens has taken a lot of different elements and added them together to make a series that readers will fall in love with. Mystery, romance, and a few ghosts... what more could a paranormal reader ask for?

Ghost Layer is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


http://www.robindowens.com RITA Winner (Oscars of Romance) 2002 for HeartMate. Heart Thief out 06/03/03, Heart Duel out 04/04, Heart Choice 7/05, Heart Quest 8/06. Creativity exercises, affirmations on my website. I am a serious writer of 10 years, past President and contest chair of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. My most pressing interest in the craft of writing is CREATIVITY. My book, HeartMate, was the first futuristic-fantasy romantic adventure published by Jove in it's Magical Love line. It won the RITA for Best Paranormal Romance and finalled in Best First Book.


Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Ghost Layer by Robin D. Owens.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 30th.

1. Please leave a comment about what time period you'd like to have, if you were a medium. Clare's ghosts come from the Old West.

2. Please fill out the FORM.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Dark Blood

Dark Blood (Dark/Carpathian - Book 26) by Christine Feehan

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 0425271447
ISBN-13: 978-0425271445

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Christine Feehan on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Dark/Carpathian

  1. Dark Prince
  2. Dark Desire
  3. Dark Gold 
  4. Dark Magic
  5. Dark Challenge
  6. Dark Fire
  7. Dark Dream
  8. Dark Legend
  9. Dark Guardian
10. Dark Symphony
11. Dark Descent
12. Dark Melody
13. Dark Destiny
14. Dark Hunger
15. Dark Secret
16. Dark Demon
17. Dark Celebration
18. Dark Possession
19. Dark Curse
20. Dark Slayer
21. Dark Peril
22. Dark Predator
23. Dark Storm
24. Dark Lycan
25. Dark Wolf
26. Dark Blood

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, Dark Blood, courtesy of the author's website.

Synopsis:

The fates of a warrior reborn and a seductive Dragonseeker are irrevocably entwined in the new Carpathian novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, “the queen of paranormal romance” (J. R. Ward). 

At long last you are truly back with us...

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth… 

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear…


Thoughts:

Christine Feehan brings readers the latest book in her long-running Carpathian series, Dark Blood. The Carpathian series is essentially a vampire series that started before the vampire craze took over the literary world. Dark Blood is the final book of three in the series that focuses on lycans. Feehan has included many other paranormal characters in this series and readers continue to get a look inside the vampire/lycan relationships with this one. A good addition to this series!

What I liked:

Feehan is considered by many to be a pioneer in the paranormal romance genre and her legions of fans will attest that she is well loved and respected as a writer. Feehan was a paranormal writer before it was popular. I have read several of the Carpathian novels and I am always fascinated by the world building. Feehan has not only developed her own Carpathian history and customs, traditions and mannerisms but also a Carpathian language and she has added tons of other supernatural players to her game. That takes a lot of work. We are 26 books into this series and I am still finding out new things about the Carpathians that I never knew before. That is quite a feat!

Zev Hunter was quite the hero. He didn't just show up out of no where. Feehan has given readers a taste of him throughout the last few books, as well as, the heroine. It has been understood by readers that Zev is an elite hunter. He is one of the best of the best. He was willing and did lay down his life for another, in turn causing him to essentially lose his own life. The is no back down or no quit in him. He is alpha to the bone! I have to admit that was kind of enticing in a primal sort of way. I wasn't surprised at all by his aggression in or out of the bedroom. What was surprising was the fact that he asked Bran for consent. He didn't have to, they were life-mates, but gave her that respect and that honor. I liked the fact that he was totally confidant in her abilities to fight as well. He didn't feel the need to belittle her or not to trust her. He had his savage moments, but he was still very true to the character that Feehan was going for. I enjoyed him, even in his darkest moments.

What I didn't like:

This one definitely had a bit more repetition than was necessary. I understand that in a long lived series like this one, the author has a certain responsibility to new readers, to kind of rehash what has gone on before this book. Mind you, this is not a series I would recommend starting this late in the game. But there will be some. However, the repetition was not of that sort. The repetition in this one wasn't past history, it was in phrases, words, and even fight scenes. How many times does the current reader need to be reminded that Zev, is an elite hunter? Or that Bran smells and tastes like cinnamon and honey. The fight scenes seem to have been lifted from the previous chapter here and there with very little changes. I suppose I wanted more variety and less filler.

One of the things that got on my nerves a bit was the rehash of a previous villain. Feehan is an excellent writer. She can dream up a villain that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. She didn't need to go back and basically grab one from a previous book. Xavier was dead, he should probably have stayed dead. Instead readers get one of his triplet brothers, who had never been talked about before. What's more his name is Xaviero, one letter difference. Eke gads! Now that's a rehash, a repetition and just a big no-no.

Bottom Line:

Probably not my favorite book by the author. She is a goddess where paranormal romance is concerned but perhaps it's time to let this series go and start on something new. Or there needs to be something very original and different to get this series going in a different direct. The repetition in this one was bit too much. The fact that I got the hero couldn't make up for all the same ol' stuff. I love Christine Feehan, she is one of my all time favorites, but this book was good, not great.

Dark Blood is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


In addition to her Dark Carpathian novels, #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan is the author of the Ghost Walkers series, the Leopard series, and the Sea Haven series, the Drake Sisters novels and the Sisters of the Heart novels.


Giveaway Details:

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