Seventeen year-old Sofia is alone in this world except for her best friend Ben. But even best friends can let you down, as she felt he did that fateful night. She walked along the beach, berating herself for even caring that Ben had forgotten her birthday. That might be why she didn’t notice the stranger until he was there, in front of her. He was gorgeous and dangerous, dark and deadly; all things 17 year old girls are both attracted to and know they should run from quickly. Perhaps she should have done the later.
But Sofia didn’t run and soon found herself captive on an island where the sun not only doesn’t shine; it is not allowed to shine. A coven of deadly vampires inhabit the island, and she is soon destined to belong to the Prince of them all. She is a gift from Lucas, the stranger on the beach, to his brother Derek. Derek has been sleeping for 400 years, and when he wakes he will need her.
But instead what happens is unexpected. For Derek and Sophia somehow find themselves attracted to each other. In a world where ordinary humans are more victims than partners, how are they to find an answer to this?
If you are expecting your run of the mill teen girl meets vampire and they fall in love, yes this is one of those. But while the plotting may seem predictable, the writing is everything you want in a book like this. It has great characters, stubborn gutsy heroines, and a hero to make you swoon. This is just the novella to introduce us all. If you love it, be sure to come back for A Shade of Blood, which continues the story.
You know the old saying to never judge a book by its cover? Well that saying really is true for Wolf Spell, a real knockout of a debut novel by M.R. Polish. It may not look it, but this vampire book has plenty of other paranormal creatures. But even with all the witches, warlocks and shape-shifters that populate this story, I say it is still a book that firmly sits in the vampire universe. Plus, the YA nature of it, the hot pair of would-be lovers and the wonderful paranormal romance is so right on. There is good reason that this book is making the rounds at all the review sites right now. It is a great addition to the world of fantasy and vampire stories.
Uncovering the Mystery
It all starts really with a funeral. Unfortunately, for Esmerelda, it is her Mom’s funeral. And even more unfortunately a man she thought was her family doctor used the opportunity to kidnap her and then explain who she really is. He also told her who her mother really was. But most of all, he told her who the man she thought of as her Father really was – a warlock. Worse, he was one that had held her and her mother captive all these years.
Choosing the Love
Now that she knows the truth, what does she intend to do? There is a battle going on, and she is in the middle of it whether she wants to be or not. Luckily she has help. Jarek is her guardian, and also someone she thinks she may be slowly falling in love with. He knows he is falling for her, even if he is trying with all his might not to. This all would have been fine if only Ian hadn’t shown up. Cocky, fresh and oh so sexy Ian. Now what is a witch to do?
There are mysteries to unravel, witches to awaken and lovers to decide upon. This was a delightful book and I for one am really looking forward to the next installment. The book is perfect for the YA crowd, but don’t let that stop you if you are a bit older. The storytelling is very all grown up and wonderful to read.
We don’t often think of nerd humor when we think of vampires. At least, I don’t. The idea of putting these two concepts together feels a bit, shall we say peculiar? But from what I see of the vampire series popularity, Rick Gualtieri is laughing all the way to the bank. Because in this vampire series, his vamp doesn’t twinkle, he stumbles. He also uses a lot of bad language, doesn’t get along well with his peers (other vampires) and seems to let his friends talk him into things he wouldn’t normally do.
That pretty much sounds like most geeks I know, so I have to guess that Gualtieri knows a few. I think he is pretty spot on when he writes as if being a geek wouldn’t stop just because you become one of the undead. You may find yourself laughing, or maybe just snorking a chuckle now and again, don’t be surprised. If you enjoyed Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series, then this one is for you. Not all vampire books are scary and lucky for us comedy horror is something Rick Gualtieri knows a thing or two about.
So how exactly does a nerd like Bill end up becoming a vampire? I love the fact that he doesn’t even know he is dead at the beginning of the book. Bill is a nerd, first class, and when he joins the ranks of the undead they are not amused. Bill has 90 days to prove himself, meaning stay in one piece. Since the hot fox who turned him wants nothing more to do with him, Bill will have to learn how to vamp on his own. Luckily he has a couple of roommates who are true gamers willing to find out the rules and bend ‘em.
Together they will discover what Bill needs to do to survive, score with a chick one more time (lots of luck with that one, chump!) and put all his role playing skills to the test in “real” life. For more details on the book, be sure to check out my review of it in BestFantasyStories review of funny fantasy books. Warning, the language can get a bit rough, if that sort of thing bothers you. The guy does have a heck of a mouth on him. You can grab either a Kindle or paperback version of it right here.
In the first book of the series Bill not only manages to survive, but in the process becomes the biggest baddest vampire of them all – Dr. Death. He may lead his own coven, but that doesn’t mean he fits in with them. Ever the smart-ass gamer geek, Bill is faced with a torturous assignment. He has to somehow amuse a 300 year-old vampire in the body of a ten year old kid. In truth, it is babysitting on a vampire scale.
You will love Gan, the old-wise and very different vampire. Bill’s roommate’s are once again involved up to their gaming elbows and Sally (the hot vamp that turned him) is back to put everyone in their place. Most writers fall down on the job when it comes to the second book, especially with a concept like Bill the Vampire. But have no fear, if you enjoyed the first book you will really love this one. Rick has us all in stitches and nodding with a little too much familiarity as Bill gets himself in and out of more trouble. As before, we have the Kindle and paperback versions available for you.
The Mourning Woods
So far, so good. Bill is back, so are his roommates and they have been pretty successful at keeping the world from knowing Bill isn’t really among the living anymore. Good enough at it to keep jobs as game designers and pay the rent, that is. But of course, life is never simple even for the undead. War is on the horizon and it looks like once again Bill may be caught in the middle of it. But this time the trouble is big, really big. This time the enemy is an old one of the vampire clan. It is Big Foot. As in the big hairy guy that runs around various mountains.
Bill has been sent to try and coax a peace treaty from the ancient enemy on behalf of the vampires. In the middle of all of this Bill not only has to find a way to keep Sasquatch quiet. He has to do it while making sure his enemies, heck even his friends, don’t manage to kill him while he does it. As in all the books for this series, we have it available in both the Kindle edition and as a paperback for you.
Things are getting pretty serious now. Bill has fallen for a girl, well not exactly a girl. She is The Icon and she is the end of everything if she succeeds. Most of all she is the end of all vampires. But Bill is determined to save the woman he loves in a damned if you do or you don’t situation. Some days it just doesn’t pay for Bill to get out of bed!
One reviewer called this series the baby Anne Rice and Seinfeld might have had, and I think she was right. This book is a bit more serious, but I think after three books at such breakneck speed that is only right. Gualtieri manages to keep characters strong and plot flowing even with all the humor. For those who found the third book in the series a bit slow, they will be pleased to see that Bill is back and in fine form in this much darker and yet very satisfying addition to the series. Like me, you will be waiting on pins and needles for the fifth book to come out. Grab your copy here in either Kindle or paperback editions.
This glorious follow-up to her hot first book of the series is every bit as steaming and fun as Kiss of Steel. That book introduced us to a London that is ruled by vampires, run on steam and filled with danger. In this alternate view of life in Victorian England, we meet Honoria Todd.
She is a recently orphaned young woman, trying to care for her younger siblings after her father is murdered. She soon comes under the protection of Blade, the vampire lord that runs Whitechapel, even if unofficially. He knows that Honoria keeps tight a secret, one that could give him leverage to destroy his nemesis. But his growing attraction to her just might be his downfall.
The book was full tilt fun and with enough vampire romance to make my heart go pitty pat. The steampunk wasn’t as embracing as I would have liked, but it was there. It was more than window dressing but not the central device it would have been in a full on steampunk adventure. But given the story, I was more than happy to let that happen. The book has not been called “dark and delectably sexy” for nothing!
In the second book of the series, Heart of Iron, we dive even deeper into the world that McMasters has created. Here we get a glimpse into debutante balls where the young women vie for the attention of the grand Lords, but for very different reasons. Here they are hoping to be chosen as blood donors for the Echelon, the high society of this London. But the price for being the chosen one can be more than it appears at first.
Into this world enters Lena Todd, a seemingly flirtatious and empty-headed girl. But she has a secret purpose, as a spy for the Humanists. Dangerous work, she only feels safe when she is around Will Carver. The werewolf is dangerous, but she finds him the only man she can trust. She would do more than just stand by him, if he would only let her.
And so we begin another tale of two lovers in a world of paranormal creatures, steampunk inventions and plenty of intrigue. As the two lovers circle each other in a dance of lust and mistrust, you know this can only end one way. The only question remains, how will they get there?
A Vampire Steampunk Series with Promise
These two books are really best read together. Best of all is to read them one after the other, so you can truly get lost in this world. The two sets of lovers do follow a pattern familiar to many vampire romance books. But I found that with this series the first pair, Blade and Honoria, did not just vanish into the woodwork in the second book. Will is Blade’s right hand wolf and so as the first pair solidifies their relationship, can Will and Lena find theirs?
I have heard there is a third book in the works and ready to be released in October. I can promise you that you will want to read and reread these two as you get ready for that latest adventure. There may be vampire stories, paranormal romances and steampunk novels out there. But seldom have I seen the three elements together in one book so skillfully realized. The second book was even stronger than the first, so I can hardly wait to see where she takes the next one.
Samantha Moon is back and kicking as much butt as ever. The federal agent/soccer mom who was turned into a vampire has got to be one of the best concepts for a vampire romance adventure tale ever. When she isn’t tracking down the cause of a mysterious death, she is trying to solve the problems her kids bring to the kitchen. Through it all, there is a down to earth quality to Sam that makes it all work.
In this sixth book in the Vampire for Hire series, a boxer has died under mysterious circumstances. Sam is now a private investigator and has been hired to find out why. While being a vamp does have its disadvantages, it also has its little extras that come in handy for any investigator. Sam is a practical type, and she uses every advantage she has to get to the bottom of this mystery. But that may be the trouble, because at the bottom of this murder is a truth that will more than shake her, it will change everything she thought she knew.
Sam Plays Vampire Games to Win
Of course, we all know that nothing is simple. That includes Sam’s life. It has taken some time for Sam to get used to the whole “undead” situation. She is getting stronger all the time, and just beginning to trust who and what she is. With that trust add the need to readjust her life. She needs to bring some normalcy to it, if you can do that when you are a vampire with kids to feed.
Besides the questions that the murder brings up, there is the question of Fang, her longtime friend and Kingsley her lover. Now it feels like the situations may be changing and the question Sam has is, how does she feel about it? Will it affect her and her family? For Sam, it is always the kids that come first. That doesn’t change when you become a vampire.
If you are looking for a different kind of vampire book, this may be just the ticket. Sam is full-charge mom, hard working independent investigator and a vampire with a unique perspective. This short novella is a great introduction to the character and if you love it as I think you will there are five more to jump into!
The final Sookie Stackhouse story. At long last the very much anticipated final chapter in the story of our favorite telepathic bar maid is out. It was released on May 7th and you can bet I have arranged to have Dead Ever After downloaded to my Kindle pronto.
I just rearranged all my review schedules so I can start on it this week, so watch this site for the lowdown along with my insights and comments on what Charlaine decided was the best way to approach the final catwalk for Sookie.
There has been so much talk about what she is going to include or not, that I am just about on my tippy toes in anticipation. I cannot wait to read it, though it will be sad to know it is the very last Sookie Stackhouse novel!
More Sookie Stackhouse to Come
Of course, it is not the last we are going to be hearing of Sookie Stackhouse. Nope – there is more yet to come even if it is not in novel form. As you may recall, we talked earlier here about Charlaine’s decision to do another book about all the characters, much like she did with the two companion books she put out back in 2011.
Her new addition to this type of information book will be called After Dead and will feature what happens to each of the characters after the end of the series. You can even pre-order it in either the Kindle After Dead or After Dead in Hardcover right here at our links.
So stay tuned folks. Man, I tell you the life of a fantasy and science fiction book reviewer is a hard one! No sooner do I get one fantastic fantasy book completed then BOOM there are three more lined up on my Kindle demanding attention.
Even with a great book like the final Sookie Stackhouse adventure awaiting me I know it will be rush! rush! to get to the next one. Not that I intend to rush this reading, I intend to savor it to the final word. See you with the latest Sookie Stackhouse fun soon.
For anyone fascinated with both Hollywood and paranormal creatures, Adrienne Barbeau has them both nailed like an undertaker on a coffin. That may just be because she has a more than passing familiarity with both, being a very gifted actress before she decided to try her hand at writing. The satiric quality to the Vampyres of Hollywood series will have you wondering if perhaps some of this could be true.
In Love Bites we once again get to visit with Ovsanna Moore, a very old and very smart vampire that also happens to own, run and star in her own Hollywood productions. The commentary that runs through these books on the wolves of Hollywood (she names names, by the way) is hilarious in a dry wit manner that is perfect for this smarmy insider story of the paranormal underside of tinsel town.
The Scream Queen and owner of Anticipation Studios may be 450 years old, but you would never know looking at her. This time she teams up with a very seductive Hollywood detective named Peter to find who is attacking and killing the elite of the town. Someone has developed a taste for killing movie stars with long histories, and she wants to know who and why.
Wit and Sly Humor Abound
I admit to being unsure when I read who was writing these books, but Barbeau not only can give a great inside story, she can give it in style. I am a sucker for well-written dry wit and she does it here in spades. Not overdone, mind you, but create any character who has played on the Hollywood backlots since they began and they are bound to have attitude. Add in comments like learning to use attack geese from Louis XIV and you get a femme fatale with dangerous charm.
While this is the second book in the series, you really don’t need to read Vampyres of Hollywood to enjoy this one. However if you enjoy Love Bites you just may want to grab it too. So go ahead and grab either the Kindle or hardcover versions of Love Bites if you are looking for a witty biting paranormal look at the world of making movies. It will change how you see Lon Chaney forever after, I promise!
If you have been following the Black Swan series you will know that everything that has happened in the first two books, My Familiar Stranger and The Witches Dream leads to the events in The Vampire’s Confessor. This sizzling story of loves won and lost weaves a tale of magic, mystery and intrigue with each individual book telling its own love story.
The Vampire’s Confessor Takes the Characters Deeper
But to get the true insight of each character, I really recommend starting at the beginning. This is especially true when looking at the gestalt of the whole group and how they interact. The relationships among them are vital and frankly what makes this series so enjoyable. The first book sets the tale with our introduction of our main characters (right down to the dog) and the next book brings in secondary characters to add flavor to the plot. This third book mixes them to just the right amount for a wonderful series filled with intelligent, caring and often humorous beings.
Baka Gets His Turn
For those of us who have been following the series, you will be pleased to find out that in this book we follow Baka’s story. A bit darker than the previous two books in the series, it lends just the right sense of gravity and yet brings us more intimately into Baka and his life story. For many of us, this is the story we have been waiting for, and are more than amply rewarded here.
For this is one vampire who has a story to tell of the man he once was and how he came to be the character we met in My Familiar Stranger. As usual with all of Danann’s stories, the sensual is nicely balanced with the human touches to make us all feel like these are characters we know and care deeply about.