Posts tagged “Immortals After Dark

What Do We Know…

That is today’s question…well, more precisely, the question is “What do we know about Kresley Cole‘s upcoming Immortals After Dark novel, Sweet Ruin?”

I know what I know…which is ZIP…

ZERO…

ZILCH!

No, really, I clearly have not been keeping up with the forums so when I saw the cover and title earlier today, I was baffled.

So I should probably rephrase the question and instead of asking “what do we know,” I should probably be asking “what do you know?”

Because what you know is what I want to know…

Get it…

Got it…

Great!

So please, please, please share!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Informationless Blogger)

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Throwback Thursday: THE CAPTAIN OF ALL PLEASURES by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole is one multi-talented author. Before delving into the paranormal romance genre with her Immortals After Dark series and young adult books with The Arcana Chronicles…and way, way before her erotic romance Game Maker series, Ms. Cole wrote historical romance. First published in 2003, The Captain of All Pleasures (book one of the Sutherland Brothers series) was Ms. Cole’s very first – and might I say, award-winning – novel.

In her exhilarating debut novel, Kresley Cole captures the drama, passion, and boundless adventure of the high seas—as one fiery lass finds herself caught in a tide of torrid romance.

Raised as a free spirit aboard her American sea captain father’s majestic clipper ship, willful Nicole Lassiter has never encountered an obstacle she couldn’t overcome—until she meets Captain Derek Sutherland. His sizzling kisses leave her longing, but after they share a night of passion, his subsequent disdain makes her blood boil. Nicole vows to take her revenge—by helping her father beat Sutherland in a high-stakes competition: the Great Circle Race from England to Australia.

Nicole’s scheme is thrown overboard after her father is wrongly imprisoned, yet she remains undaunted—taking to the high seas with her father’s ship. But a storm wrecks her plans, and she finds herself a virtual prisoner aboard Sutherland’s vessel. And while her mind tells her she should escape, her body urges her to surrender.

I discovered Ms. Cole’s “historical” side before jumping into her paranormal worlds. This novel was fun, adventurous, and romantic and certainly worth its RT Reviewer’s Choice win!

If you haven’t tried Ms. Cole’s historical romances, I urge you to start with this one! 😀

Rika Ashton

(aka Captain Derek’s First Mate)


Book Love: Summer 2013 Releases and a Sneak Peek of MACRIEVE

It’s Summer! And for me, that means reading (and school, but mostly reading). Fortunately, there is a long list of anticipated books releasing this summer. (Not to mention movies, but that’s a post for another time.)

So for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of the books I have been most anxiously waiting for:

1. One Heart to Win by Johanna Lindsey. Ms. Lindsey only releases one book a year, so I always mark my calender for when the next one is due – this one hits the bookstores on June 11th.

Some young ladies marry for money and social standing, a few lucky ones marry for love – but Tiffany Warren is marrying to end a feud. Honoring her mother’s promise, Tiffany reluctantly travels west to meet her estranged father and his enemy’s eldest son, rancher Hunter Callahan. Once the Warrens and the Callahans are united by marriage, both clans will stop squabbling over a disputed strip of land.

In the chaos of a train robbery Tiffany seizes a golden opportunity: By assuming the identity of her father’s new housekeeper she can live with the father she never knew and assess his true character, as well as that of the neighboring cowboy to whom she is betrothed. But, too late, Tiffany discovers that the rivalry between the Warrens and the Callahans has escalated when the Callahans steal the Warrens’ housekeeper as soon as she steps off the train!

Now, Tiffany, who is pretending to be Jennifer Fleming, finds herself living in the enemy camp, under the same roof as her fiancÉ. All too soon she learns her intended is a handsome, sweet talking charmer whom she has to fight off because he can’t keep his eyes – or his hands – off Jennifer. After Tiffany’s charade is exposed she refuses to marry Hunter to end the feud. As Hunter goes about claiming his rightful bride-to-be, he knows that although he loves two women – proper, elegant Tiffany as well as spunky, passionate Jennifer – he has only one heart to win.

2. Deception Cove by Jayne Castle. The first novel of the Rainshadow series introduced us to the potential characters of the second novel and, now, here they are!

As a light-talent, Alice North has the rare ability to make things disappear, including herself—a gift that comes in handy during her magic act with her dust bunny Houdini.

Business mogul Drake Sebastian is day-blind, since his sight was nearly destroyed in a lab accident. But he’s the one man who can see Alice when she disappears—and he needs her.

On Rainshadow Island, two dangerous Old World crystals are missing, igniting a paranormal storm. Drake thinks Alice is the key to finding them, and proposes they head there, but only after a Marriage of Convenience.

Alice’s honeymoon on Rainshadow is guaranteed to be memorable, as the island—and the passion between her and Drake—is about to explode…

3. An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands. If you have read any of Ms. Sands novels before, then you know that this one will make you laugh out loud!

Annabel had planned to become a nun. But when her mother arrives at the Abbey to bring her home to marry a Scottish laird – her runaway sister’s intended husband – her life takes a decidedly different turn.

And though Annabel isn’t the wife he’d planned for, strong, sexy Ross McKay is taken with his shy, sweet bride.

Annabel knows nothing about being a wife, running a castle – or the marriage bed. But her handsome new husband makes her want to learn. When Annabel’s life is threatened, Ross vows to move the highlands itself to save her and preserve the passion that’s only beginning to bloom.

4. Macrieve by Kresley Cole. Alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines! I pretty much devour whatever Ms. Cole writes.

A Beast In Torment

Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.

A Beauty In Chains

Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.

A Full Moon On The Rise

With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?

(And for your early reading pleasure a 34-page free sneak peek of the novel. It’s a PDF file.)

5. The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter. A friend got me hooked on this series, and I’m too addicted to ever kick the habit.

Having endured weeks of torture in the bowels of hell, Kane wants nothing to do with his beautiful rescuer, Josephina Aisling. The half-Fae female threatens to awaken the demon of Disaster inside him-a beast he’s determined to kill, no matter the price.

Josephina is hunted by a brutal enemy-her royal family-and Kane is her only source of protection. He’s also the only male to ever set her aflame, and even he succumbs to the heat.

But as they navigate the treacherous world of the Fae, they are forced to make a choice: live apart…or die together.

6. The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens. I love her Cynster family series and I’ve been waiting for this story for a while.

The Honorable Miss Mary Cynster always gets what she wants. As the last unwed Cynster of her generation, she is determined to remain in charge of her life and of the man she will marry. At the very bottom of her list of potential husbands is Ryder Cavanaugh, the daring and devastating Marquess of Raventhorne, an overwhelming and utterly unmanageable lion of the ton. But destiny has a different plan.

Ryder needs Mary as his wife, not just because she is delightful, fiery, and tempting, but because he values all she could be. When fate and circumstance hand him the chance, he claims Mary as his marchioness . . . only to discover what he truly desires is not just to take her hand in marriage, but to capture her heart.

7. The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks. The series has been a bit of a hit and miss for me so far, but I’m open to giving this book a chance.

He’s out of control

Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he’s ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo . . .

Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There’s even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal’s gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him – and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored . . . ?

8. What the Duke Desires by Sabrina Jeffries. I’ve read everything that Ms. Jeffries has written under this pseudonym and I have yet to be disappointed.

Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has also mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims them to be?

Fearful that the powerful duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.

9. How to Entice an Enchantress by Karen Hawkins. Okay, so strickly speaking this one comes out in September, but I figured why put a limit on Summer. 🙂

Reclusive Viscount Kirk, horribly scarred by a tragic accident that stole the life of his beloved first wife, is a man defined by fury. For years he’s eschewed society, growing abrupt and curmudgeonly. But now, when he’d given up on life, he’s fallen madly in love with the refreshingly naive daughter of his neighbor, dainty and charming Dahlia Balfour. Desperate to win her attention, Kirk calls in a favor from the Duchess of Roxburghe and asks that she transform him into a fashionable suitor for Dahlia’s hand. But what’s easy to change on the outside, isn’t as easy to change on the inside…

Dahlia’s always dreamed of a fairytale romance. Although Viscount Kirk is only seven years her senior, because of his cantankerous ways and lack of social graces she thinks of him as her “older neighbor,” and is blissfully unaware that he sees her as anything other than an acquaintance. She is shocked to see him at the duchess’s grand house party, trying to fit with the very societal rules he so frequently mocks. Surprised by his attention, irritated at his bald honesty, and intrigued that he finds her worth the effort, Dahlia regards Kirk as the opposite of Prince Charming. Without the pretty words and grand gestures she yearns for, can true love find its way into her unwilling heart?

10. My Notorious Gentleman by Gaelen Foley. For those of  us who love the occasional darker toned read, there is Ms. Foley. (And this cover is stunning!)

Shy, warm-hearted Miss Grace Kenwood knows she has no chance of tempting her new neighbour, Lord Trevor Montgomery. Every eligible beauty is swooning over the brooding former spy. Even though he once kissed her senseless, he can have no interest in someone like her. Yet somehow, the seductive rogue unleashes her own inner devil . . .

Every lady loves a hero but Trevor has no interest in any of them – except for the refreshingly candid Grace. If he had a heart left, Grace might steal it. She insists he’s better than he thinks. He’s sure she’s absolutely wrong. Until danger threatens, and Trevor rediscovers how easy it is to be a hero . . . for the right lady.

11. Warrior’s Moon by Lucy Monroe. She is one of my newest, most favourite authors and I highly recommend the Children of the Moon series to fans of paranormal-historicals.

After being rejected by Caelis, Shona was forced to marry an English baron. Now she’s on the run from the deceased baron’s heir. Determined to protect her children, she heads north to Balmoral Island, to the only family she has left. And runs into the one man she never wants to see againand the only one who might be able to save her.

As powerful and charismatic as ever, Caelis has been charged with saving his pack from the corrupt laird ruling them. This time, however, he refuses to abandon his sacred mate. He lost Shona once and swears he will never be separated from her again. Passion and love urge Shona to join him. But she has to wonder if she truly comes before the pack, or if nothing has changed at all.

And that concludes my list of Summer reading recommendations. I’ll be posting a Fall/Winter reading list soon, with releases from Nalini Singh, Lynsay Sands, Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jennifer Ashley, Julia Quinn and more!

What are some of your highly anticipated books for Summer 2013?

-Rika Ashton

(aka, “Kids are the future! Read books!”)


Dear Declan Chase

Dear Declan Chase,

What was wrong with you? Why were you so mean to Regin? I like Regin, she’s actually pretty nice and she’s a kick-ass Valkyrie who has luminous skin…great girlfriend/wife/mate-for-eternity material if you ask me. So again what was wrong with you that you couldn’t see that she was your soulmate…like literally?

When I first learned from Kresley Cole that you were the hero of her upcoming novel, I cringed. I mean, you were (and are) so DARK…almost evil. Then I saw the blurb and was speechless. The whole story just sounded so tragic:

HE VOWED HED COME FOR HER . . .

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

SHE AWAITS HIS RETURN . . .

When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.

TO SATE A DESIRE MORE POWERFUL THAN DEATH . . .

Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she ever loved?

You drove me berserk – pun intended – in Dreams of a Dark Warrior and though I understand that Kresley Cole wanted us to hate you in the beginning but I really, really HATED you. I wanted Regin to kick your butt a few times, and at other times I wanted to do that for her…but she may have taken exception to that. For some unfathomable reason, Regin cared about you and despite how much you wanted to deny it, you cared about her too.

You frustrated me.

And yet I can’t help but feel satisfied that you got your happy ending. The more I read your novel, the more I understood where you were coming from. (Plus, it helped that Regin made you grovel before she took you back.) Your novel, Declan, was the longest I’ve read in a while. 515 pages of adventure, romance, betrayal, bite-your-nails terror and fun! It was a wild ride and I’m glad I read it, despite knowing how horrible you could be from reading Demon from the Dark. Plus, it was nice to catch up with Lucia, Carrow and Malkom, and hang out with the new guy Thad. He was great fun! I’m happy with the way things turned out and for that I’ll give your novel and 9 out of 10.

Have a great life, Declan Chase!

Sincerely yours,

Rika Ashton

P.S: I hope you don’t mind that Lothaire stole the show near the end. I know how much you hated him, but I just thought he was mega-hot!

P.P.S: I love you, Nucking Futs Nix!


The Good, the Bad and the Undead

So has Twilight changed the ruthless image of vampires for life? Fortunately, not – at least not for me. Most vampires that pre-existed, coexisted and post-existed the Twilight saga are not only less sparkly but also infinitely hotter! Of course, I give props to Stephenie Meyer for coming up with a “glittering” vampire storyline that didn’t exist before.

So back to the point at hand, if Twilight didn’t ruin vampire novels for me then can I recommend some hot, fanged men that will make you swoon? Boy, can I ever! But vampires aren’t the only creatures that go bump in the night, are they? So can I also recommend demons, warlocks, werewolves, etc? Of course, you really didn’t have to ask. But what about the good in the “The Good, the Bad and the Undead”? Trust me, I can recommend some guys you’ll be sure to think are positively angelic.

These men were critiqued on the following qualities, as decided by the readers:

1) Looks. The superficial and shallow, but still all-important HOTNESS rating. Is this man a stud or a dud? Do you look at him and think “I gotta get me one of those” or think “those damn sparkles are irritating me eyes”? (Sorry, couldn’t resist 😛 )

2) Loyalty. Like a puppy, the men of the supernatural variety must be loyal and faithful or the heroine (and the reading population) must unfortunately kick him to the curb.

3) Intelligence. Like does he know the difference between a felis catus and a canis lupis familiaris…of course, since I could not give them a biology test, I opted to read between the lines and observe things like how fast does they figured out the bad guy’s plan, etc.

4) Being non-superficial. The supernatural man must be able to see below the appearance of the female (or any flaws she may have) to discover the person within. After all, the man has super-vision he might as well put it to good use!

5) Sensitivity. No, I’m not talking about their teeth or even the toothpaste they use but their ability to care for their heroine’s feelings. The supernatural man must be able to tell that when the female asks a question like, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” the best answer is “You’re perfect.”

6) “Alpha-ness.” Under reasonable circumstances the fanged, furry, or winged man is allowed to be protective and/or possessive, but these must be welcome or he will risk spending days in the doghouse (or the pound for men of the furry variety, because they might actually like it).

7) Ability to be a badass. Can these men pull off playing the villain or are they just too damn nice?

(Each criteria was given a total score out of ten and then compiled in a sum total out of seventy and ranked. Yes, I was hard-core about the scoring, you wouldn’t believe how shamelessly some of these men tried to cheat.)

So without further ado here are the top ten supernatural men as voted by readers and fellow writers!

***

#10. Carlos Panterra

There were-panther hottie is from Eat Prey Love by Kerrelyn Sparks is smart, sensitive and all round, entertaining. He made it onto our list for the ability to dance in a sequined thong without losing his masculinity. He has a solid score of 60/70 losing some major points for “badass-ness,” because frankly he is just too nice. However, the strengths include being extremely protective of the heroine, when required, and having a sense of humour despite the heroine’s tendency to aim for male anatomical parts best left alone during training sessions. He also gets props for major basketball skills! 😀

#9. Cade

Our resident demon bad boy is Cade from Kresley Cole’s Dark Desires After Dusk. Cade delivers on the seductive demon promise that we all want, a possessive demon hottie with a tortured past. Unfortunately, Cade’s past doesn’t remain in the past and conflicted loyalties make his lose major points of trust with the heroine. (No, he doesn’t cheat on her just to clarify or he wouldn’t have made it onto the list at all. As it is his “past” is not a female problem but a problem of political intrigue.) He does reclaim points in the end for grovelling and keeping me entertained throughout his novel. Cade pulls of a solid 61/70.

#8. Conde Cezar

I can say one thing for Cezar – despite his name sounding like a Ceasar salad, he is definitely a man, of the fanged variety that is. This vamp gets majors points for being faithful to a woman for two hundred years to be precise with nary a sign from her. And of course, when he finds her again he gets to act protective and possessive, I found no fault with this considering how much Anna and Cezar loved each other. Like most of Alexandra Ivy’s “Guardians of Eternity” men, Cezar’s possessive protectiveness will simply make you swoon and hope he’s nearby to catch you. You can read all about him in Darkness Revealed and he scores a noteworthy 62/7o!

#7. Raphael

From resident bad boy to angelic good guy, Raphael has got it all. Beautiful gold-tipped white wings and blue eyes that can see into your soul, Raphael has got the looks category won. And Nalini Singh agrees that one book is definitely not enough to give us our fill of Raphael so he stars in not one book but 3, the “Guild Hunter” series including Angel’s Blood, Archangel’s Kiss, Archangel’s Consort. Best of all, Raphael knows how to be a possessive badass – bet you didn’t expect that of an angel did you? This archangel of New York knows that being bad can be, oh so good! Judges declare that Raphael receives the greatness score of 63/70.

#6. Acheron Parthenopaus

Oh, Ash, Ash, Ash…what to say, what to say? Actually, what not to say? When it comes to looks no one can beat him! No really, no one can. You see he was cursed a long time ago by his aunt the Goddess of Desire to be the most desirable man in the world. But, really, he would have had that title in the bad regardless being an immortal Atlantean god. When it comes to “badass-ness,” he got it down to an art form from his FU clothes to his never-the-same colour hair. But, unfortunately, Ash just doesn’t have enough opportunities to show his possessive side in his novel, Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, to compete with the other males on this list. He scores a nice 64/70.

#5. Mick

This dragon knows how to turn up the heat. Good looking, badass but a sweetheart, distant but loyal Mick’s a mass of contradictions. Best of all he also has more than one book. Allyson James introduced Mick in Stormwalker, revealed more of his secrets in Firewalker and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the upcoming Hexed anthology and novel Shadow Walker. But of course behind every great man is a woman and Janet Begay heroine and first-person narrator of the “Stormwalker” series is definitely makes Mick sound like a man I wanna know! Mick receives a nice 65/70.

#4. Lachlan MacRieve

Lachlan the lykae’s novel A Hunger Like No Other was the first book I ever read by Kresley Cole and he was the reason I come back to the “Immortals After Dark” series again and again. Lachlan is a tortured hero, whose sole purpose in life since the moment he breaks out of jail is to find his mate. Talk about dedication! Little does he know that his mate is a vampire, the very creatures who have tortured him for millennia. Lachlan and Emma get off to a rocky start, but Lachlan’s love and desire for Emma overcome his initial and the two reach their happily ever after! Lachlan struts into the sixties with a solid 66/70.

#3. Lucian Argeneau

Lynsay Sands’ Lucian from Bite Me if You Can makes number three in this epic battle between the supernatural. Lucien is cranky, arrogant, bossy and an all-round unlikeable vampire at the start of his novel. Nor is her very nice to Leigh, his life-mate – though he doesn’t know it – when he first meets her. Oh, he has very good reasons for the way he is, but nothing chased away my uncertainty with him as a hero until the moment he fell. And, oh boy, how the mighty fall – fall in love that is! He’s now everything a woman could want, sensitive, protective, generous and just plain amazing at everything he does. Lucian scored a worthy 65/70.

#2. Zarek

Zarek from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dance with the Devil is one lovable psycho Dark-Hunter…and yes, he really is psycho and not a wannabe psycho, I mean would a sane man battle with a polar bear with nothing buy his metal claws no matter how immortal he thought he was. Zarek has a reason for his craziness of course; he thinks he murdered everyone in a village that he was supposed to protect and has carried this guilt around for a long, long time. Enter Astrid, the beautiful but blind justice nymph who has been sent to judge Zarek by Acheron and Artemis. Zarek falls for her almost instantaneously after she shows him a kindness he’s forgotten how to accept, but doesn’t think he’s worthy of someone as great as her. But unlike some guys who turn into marshmallows after they fall in love, Zarek retains nearly all of his original “badass-ness” and is only ever a marshmallow for Astrid. He’s still an outcast, still hot and still a psycho but the best kind of each! Zarek pulls in a noticeable 67/70 points.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the number one overall SUPERNATURAL HOTTIE is…

#1. Bones

Jeaniene Frost’s Bones from the “Night Huntress” and the spinoff, “Night Huntress World” series is one of the biggest reasons why I have not been turned of vampires by the Twilight disease. Bones is too awesome in too many ways and that’s probably why he has over 6 books published, not including anthologies, and many more upcoming novels. But like I said before, every great man has an equally great woman behind him and Cat, Bones’ wife, is probably his biggest supporter in her first-person narrated novels. The way she tells it, Bones is funny, smart and infinitely preoccupied with trying to get his wife into bed every opportunity he gets…which makes him all the more fun to talk about. But more importantly, Bones scored nearly straight ten’s in all the categories, losing only one point each for sensitivity and “badass-ness.” Bones is not nearly as bad as Zarek, so he lost a point for that and not nearly as sensitive as Carlos, who is our resident nice guy. But Bones is still one hot vamp with a 69/70! (For a full list of Bones’ novels go to Jeaniene Frost’s website, because honestly there are too many to list.)

***

That concludes the top ten supernatural battle royale. But if you want to learn more about the worlds these guys come from then I recommend reading their entire series because this was just a taste of what’s out there! How’s that for reading material to keep you busy for the next year or so? 😀

And because we love getting introduced to new supernatural hotties, who is your favourite all-time paranormal hero and why?

-Rika Ashton (aka The Judgemental)