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Vlad’s Back, Baby! (aka Blurb Reveal)

So we finally have a blurb for Jeaniene Frost‘s Bound by Flames, the third and final book of the Night Prince series and it sounds like this is going to be one EPIC finale!

PLAY WITH FIRE, PAY THE PRICE…

Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his over protectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

I am so ready for this book, the only downside is knowing this is the end. First Cat and Bones, and now Vlad. Hopefully Ms. Frost continues to write more books in the Night Huntress World series and revisit some of these amazing, and very bad-ass, characters!

Who else is psyched for this book?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Vlad’s No. 2 Lady – because Leila would kill me if I was first.)

Cover Lover: SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS by Tessa Dare

Book two of the Castles Ever After series by Tessa Dare has a brand-spanking new cover, which was revealed last week! But if you were hiding in your hermit cave  like me and missed it, I thought I’d share the cover and the dose of coverlust on the blog. Here is the gorgeous cover for Say Yes to the Marquess!

Tessa Dare Stepback - Say Yes to the Marquess

The step back cover for Say Yes to the Marquess designed by the talented Alan Ayers.

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?

● He starts with flowers. A wedding can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn’t kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

Is this cover beautiful or what?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Blogger in Coverlust)

Throwback Thursday: THE PIRATE PRINCE by Gaelen Foley

If you love historical romance with a darker edge, then Gaelen Foley is a must-try author! Her books, particularly her older ones, are dense, emotional roller coasters. The Pirate Prince is her earliest work and a heavy read about redemption and revenge – and the first of the Ascension Trilogy. which continues with Princess and Prince Charming. It’s set in the latter half of the 1700s in a kingdom close to Italy, so not a typical, Regency-era pirate romance.

On a calm, moonlit night, as the scent of jasmine and pine embraces the island of Ascension, the pirate prince Lazar di Fiore returns with lethal grace to avenge what was stolen from him: his kingdom, his birthright, his soul.

When Allegra Monteverdi, the daughter of Lazar’s sworn enemy, throws herself on his mercy, Lazar agrees to spare the lives of her family—but only if Allegra sails away with him as his captive.

Alone at sea with this dark, intriguing man, moving between seduction and fear, Allegra realizes it will take more than her growing love for this pirate prince to bring peace to her beloved home. For Lazar must face the demons of his shattered past – if he is to forge the destiny that is theirs to claim…

The Pirate Prince is not the darkest of Ms. Foley’s novels, but it has it’s moments. However, Allegra’s gentleness keeps the novel from going over the edge and gives it – and Lazar, our very tortured hero - some hope for a happy ending. :)

The story is not without it’s flaws, but with her writing and imagination, Ms. Foley pulls this novel together with flair!

What are some of your favourite pirate romances?

-Rika Ashton

(aka News Reporter from Ascension)

Cover Reveal: THE SHADOWS by J. R. Ward

For Black Dagger Brotherhood fans out there, we finally have a cover for The Shadows by J. R. Ward and it’s a good one!

Two brothers bound by more than blood discover a conspiracy that will change their destiny in the astonishing all-new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the “frighteningly addictive” (Publishers Weekly) series by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

This is iAm and Trez’s book and, after the plot twister that was The King, this one promises to reveal even more secrets from the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe – and I for one, can’t wait!

Unfortunately, we all have to wait until April 7th, 2015 for this book to release in bookstores around the world. Till then we’ll all have to continue to speculate on all the possible routes this book could take and wait with baited breath for any teasers the Warden deems worthy of sharing.

-Rika Ashton

(aka “I thing this is one of the best covers yet!”)

Cover Reveal: THE MASTER by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole has been hard at work on the next book of the Game Maker series, after she said via Twitter that she would be writing and releasing full-length novels for both Maksim and Dmitri – Sevastyan’s brothers – and now we have the official cover for The Master:

THE MASTER

And the blurb:

Everyone fears the Master…

Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his…complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.

Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.
If pleasure is a game, play to win.
After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past–to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow,
Ms. Cole’s next erotic romance releases in January 2015.

-Rika Ashton

(aka Cover Lover)

Does This Count as a Blurb Reveal? Terry Goodkind’s SEVERED SOULS

Richard and Kahlan…pretty much the epitome of power couples in the fantasy genre…and one of them might be dying?!

After Terry Goodkind revealed on both his Twitter and Facebook feeds the teaser slogan for Severed Souls, my heart plummeted to the ground, and catapulted back into my throat.

“A hero will die.”

It was/is my fear that Mr. Goodkind’s pulling a Richard Castle/Nathan Fillion and killing his hero – Richard. But then, I started to calm myself down and thought about how the Sword of Truth universe has many heroes – and that maybe it’ll be one of the minor ones that I won’t miss seeing go.

And that was when Mr. Goodkind released the next teaser:

“Her hero will die.”

The second teaser was accompanied by the picture of the woman holding the bloody sword on the Severed Souls cover, which got me back to thinking that it might be Richard after all. But of course, some readers on the internet are more optimistic than myself and think it might be the husband of Magda Searus – the First Confessor – the Mr. Goodkind is referring too. And, gods, I hope they’re right!

I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to hunt down anything else I could find about this upcoming book, but only have a short teaser blurb and an excerpt (below) to show for my efforts. Which means that we all have to be impatient until this book releases on August 5th, 2014.

Teaser Blurb:

From the far reaches of the D’Haran Empire, Bishop Hannis Arc and the ancient Emperor Sulachan lead a vast horde of Shun-Tuk and other depraved “half-people” into the Empire’s heart, raising an army of the dead in order to threaten the world of the living. Meanwhile, far from home, Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell must defend themselves and their followers from a series of terrifying threats, despite a magical sickness that depletes their strength and which, if not cured, will take their lives…sooner rather than later.

Snippet from the story:

Richard saw the point of a sword blade sticking out from between the man’s shoulder blades. He spun back toward Richard after throwing the woman out of the opening, ready to attack. It seemed impossible, but the man looked unaffected by the blade that had impaled him through the chest.

It was then, in the weak light from the fire pit off to the side, that Richard got his first good look at the killer.

Three knives were buried up to their brass cross-guards in the man’s chest. Only the handles were showing. Richard saw, too, the broken end of a sword blade jutting out from the center of the man’s chest. The point of that same blade stuck out from the man’s back.

Richard recognized the knife handles. All three were the style carried by the men of the First File.

He looked from those blades that should have killed the big man, up into his face. That was when he realized the true horror of the situation, and the reason for the unbearable stench of death.

I think I’m going to have a very hard time sleeping till this book is released.

Any heroic book deaths that have you panicked or made you crazy? We would very much like to know. Comment and share!

-Rika Ashton

(aka The Very Panicked)

Throwback Thursday: A KISS TO REMEMBER by Teresa Medeiros

The 2001 hardcover edition.

Love a duke? Love fairy tales? Love Teresa Medeiros (but in a very non-creepy way)? Then you are definitely in the right place for this week’s Throwback Thursday!

No one can write historical romance quite like Ms. Medeiros. With her combination of humour and poignancy, Ms. Medieros has a very unique style that has given her a multitude of loyal readers and made her a very popular name in the industry – even though I sometimes forget how to spell her surname. ;)

For this weeks blast to the past, I thought I’d take us all the way to 2001 with A Kiss to Remember – my very first Teresa Medeiros novel and the one that started my, very classy, fandom. :P

AWAKENED BY A KISS

Laura Fairleigh needs a husband. If she is to keep a roof over her siblings’ heads, the prim rector’s daughter must wed by her twenty-first birthday. When she finds a mysterious stranger with the face of an angel and the body of Adonis unconscious in the forest and with no memory of his name or his past, she decides to claim him for her own. Little does she know that her fallen angel is really the devil in disguise.

Sterling Harlow, the notorious rakehell known as the “Devil of Devonbrooke,” awakens to the enchanting kiss of a lovely young woman who informs him he is her long-lost betrothed. With her sun-kissed cheeks and smattering of freckles, she looks every inch the innocent, but her curves possess a woman’s allure. When she assures him he is the perfect gentleman, he wonders if he’s lost his wits as well as his memory. He would have sworn he was not a man to be satisfied with mere kisses—especially from lips as sweet and luscious as Laura’s. As he attempts to uncover the truth before their wedding night, A Kiss To Remember ignites a passion neither of them will ever be able to forget…

A Kiss  to Remember reinvents the story of Sleeping Beauty in a new, refreshing way, packed full of hilarity, sibling antics and timeless love.

2002 paperback cover

-Rika Ashton

(aka Fairy Tale Lover)

Blurb Reveal: TRUST NO ONE by Jayne Ann Krentz

How excited was I when I found this blurb for Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz? Very! I was a huge fan of River Road, so I can’t wait for more of her wonderful creativity in her upcoming romantic suspense/contemporary romance:

It’s no coincidence when Grace Elland finds a vodka bottle next to the lifeless body of her boss, motivational speaker Sprague Witherspoon. The bottle is a terrifying—and deliberate—reminder of the horrors of her past.

Grace retreats to her hometown to regroup and tries to put everything she’s learned about positive thinking into practice—a process that is seriously challenged on the world’s worst blind date.

Awkward doesn’t begin to describe her evening with venture-capitalist Julius Arkwright. She has nothing in common with a man who lives to make money, but the intense ex-Marine does have some skills that Grace can use—and he’s the perfect man to help her when it becomes clear she is being stalked.

As Witherspoon’s financial empire continues to crumble around them, taking a deadly toll, Julius will help Grace step into her past to uncover a devious plan to destroy not only Grace, but everyone around her…

Can’t wait! I am also hoping that Ms. Krentz returns to the Dark Legacy series with Emma‘s story…I need to know if she gets a happily ever after like her brothers…but it seems unlikely because she seems to be shifting away from the paranormal elements in both her historicals and contemporaries lately.

-Rika Ashton

(aka “I’m still psyched though!”)

P.S: I LOVE her hair in this pic!

The Future of the Psy-Changeling Series

Nalini Singh posted a very long update on her blog about the future of the Psy-Changeling series, with a warning about possible spoilers for Shield of Winter, and here are some of the highlights:

1. Book 14 of the series is Aden‘s book, although Ms. Singh is not ready to reveal more than that yet and definitely no news about the possible heroine. But, and perhaps best of all, book 14 is NOT the end of the Psy-Changeling series but the transition to the second arc. Although the first arc – called the Silence arc – ended with Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, book 14, and possibly book 15 will deal with the aftermath.

2. Bastien‘s novella, Secrets at Midnight, will take us back to the DarkRiver pack and give us a chance to catch up with the leopards – that’s more of Mercy, Lucas, Naya, and the Smiths!

3. Nalini Singh has also posted a snippet from Secrets at Midnight on her blog.

4. The world will expand and it is entirely possible that we will get a book about the WindHaven falcons, and the series will introduce new characters. Of course, Ms. Singh promises to continue playing with old characters as well.

5. And speaking of old characters, some characters that may possibly be getting novels or novellas in the future include: Adam (WindHaven), Desiree, the single SnowDancers, Kit, Rina, Bowen (Human Alliance), and the sea changelings…and the list goes on, these are only some of the ones we are most excited about.

6. Ms. Singh is also planning another all Psy-Changeling anthology similar to Wild Invitation, with new short stories.

7. Finally, there is NO end date in sight for the Psy-Changeling series…Ms. Singh has said she will continue to write more installments in this series as long as she gets new ideas. (So lets all hope that the writing gods continue to watch over her!)

You can see the very detailed post on Ms. Singh’s blog. Hopefully you’re all as excited about the future of the Psy-Changeling series as I am!

-Rika Ashton

(aka “OMG! Yes, Adam!!!!)

Review: HUNT THE DARKNESS by Alexandra Ivy

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. 

Hunt the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy is the 11th book in a long running paranormal romance series titled the Guardians of Eternity. The series as a whole had featured an array of mythical creatures including vampires, shifters, and fae. This novel is the story of Sally – a formerly dark witch – and Roke – a loyal friend of the vampire king – who were accidentally mated in the previous book, Darkness Avenged.

The Book:

The vampire, Roke, is raw, sensual, always in control. Yet somehow he’s allowed the unthinkable to happen: a nymph-like witch named Sally has used her magic to trick Roke into mating with her. The pair will remain bound for eternity unless Sally breaks the spell. The trouble is, she has no idea how…

Mating with Roke was an accident; at least that’s what Sally keeps telling herself. She’s on the hunt for her demon father, whose identity holds the key to releasing the spell. The search won’t be easy with Roke shadowing Sally’s every move. As they mate with a ferocity that leaves them both aching for more, Sally isn’t sure if her world is more dangerous without Roke—or with him…

The Review:

Let me say this…this novel most definitely does not feature a damsel-in-distress or wallflower hero. Sally is a strong female lead who has grown from a series antagonist to heroine, while Roke has been – and remains – ALPHA from page one. And not alphole alpha, but ALPHA alpha. While Sally searches for her father to try and break the spell that binds her and Roke together, he stays with her each step of the way and a partner and mate, so I wasn’t surprised to find myself hoping that it would take a long, long time for Sally to find her dad and try to halt the epic chemistry between her and Roke:

Roke swallowed a groan, a complex mixture of fury, lust, and savage relief surging through him.  None of it showed on his face as he turned to study the tiny female with shoulder-length hair that was a blend of deep red tresses streaked with gold.  She had pale, almost fragile features with velvet brown eyes and full lips that begged to be kissed.

“Hello my love,” he said in a low, husky voice, “Did you miss me?”

And that’s only the start of the story!

Sally’s been through quite a lot in this series, and as it happens her childhood wasn’t a walk in the park either, so I’m glad that Ms. Ivy chose to give her a hero like Roke. While Sally’s a strong witch with an equally powerful demon bloodline, Roke is a take-no-prisoners kind of guy who is willing to fight for her:

“Sally, whether the mating is some demon magic or not, it feels real to me,” he rasped. “To have you disappear…” He shuddered, revealing the genuine pain he’d been forced to endure.

Better yet, their well-matched and well-balanced chemistry made for some pretty HOT scenes throughout the novel!

Plus, Levet – the series’ favourite gargoyle – once again plays scene-stealer in some of the most hilarious parts of this novel and annoys our hero to no end:

Levet grabbed his back pocket. “Where are you going?”

Roke didn’t miss a step as he swatted the pest away. “To get my mate.”

“I do not believe that is a good idea.”

“Thankfully I don’t give a shit what you think.”

“Tres bien,” the gargoyle sniffed. “You are the panty boss.”

“Bossy-pants, you idiot,” Roke muttered, heading directly for the back door.

I can’t get enough of this little gargoyle – his tendency to mix up popular phrases reminds me a whole lot of Artemis’ from Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark Hunter series. But while Artemis is the reigning bitch-goddess of Olympus, Levet is pure heart!

The well written story, and strong lead characters and supporting cast, make this novel impossible to put down. Be prepared to pull an all-nighter when reading Hunt the Darkness, or any other Guardian series novel for that matter, because Alexandra Ivy writes to win! I unashamedly give this novel a four out of five!

RATING - 4

-Rika Ashton

(aka Levet’s No. 1 Fangirl)

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