Posts tagged “spoilers

Review: ROCK COURTSHIP by Nalini Singh

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

rock courtship cover

Nalini Singh, queen of paranormal romance, has once again delved into the contemporary romance with Rock Courtship (a short novella in the Rock Kiss series) with David and Thea’s story.

The Blurb:

A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band’s publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.

Only problem is, Thea doesn’t date clients—or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she’s not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.

What she doesn’t know is that David is a one-woman man…and he’s madly in love with her. David’s determined to prove he’s worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea’s about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.

The Review:

Unlike the inferno that was Fox’s story in Rock Addiction, the romance that develops between Thea and David in Rock Courtship is much more of a slow burn that coalesces into an forest fire. 😉

The “Gentleman of Rock” well and truly earns his nickname in Rock Courtship. David has been in love with Thea for a very long time, but he’s been a friend to her much longer. David isn’t afraid of love or to love and we see how gentle, caring, and loyal he is as the story progresses. Ms. Singh did an exceptional job with his narrative and he, much more than Thea, was the protagonist of this story. We see a lot more of David than his love for Thea – we learn about his loyalty to his family, and his friends. The story behind the development of the Schoolboy Choir was explored in more detail in this novel and it was a nice, tongue-in-cheek, anecdote of the band’s friendship:

 “I was thinking about the choir tryout.” All four of them had sung flat and off-key on purpose that day, horrified at the idea of being in the choir. “Remember how Noah kept insisting he was a born singer before butchering the entire piece he was assigned?”

Abe scowled. “Fucker was smarter than I was.”

…David laughed… “You almost got yourself busted.”

“Give me a little credit – I’d never tried to sing off-key before. At least I didn’t pull the ‘I come from a deprived neighbourhood and don’t know what a choir is’ routine.”

David grinned at Abe’s reminder. Making an appearance of wide-eyed innocence, he’d asked to sing a Spanish song for his tryout – then dug out the rudest of the many ditties he’d heard on the construction sites when he’d tagged along with his father. “Best part was the way she actually clutched at her pearls when she realized what I was singing.”

“No, man – best part was Fox having that coughing fit because he couldn’t stop laughing, and Noah ‘helpfully’ translating for  the other kids. That’s when I knew we’d all be friends.” 

Reading about all the mischief that the band got up to as young boys almost makes me wish that Ms. Singh would write a novel about their early years…it would certainly be worth the read.

On the other hand, compared to David’s intriguing past, we didn’t learn anything new about Thea’s when compared to what we had already figured out based on the hints from Rock Addiction. Like David, Thea is loyal and confident. She’s someone who can handle the spotlight, but her strength is a front that hides her vulnerability. It isn’t a spoiler to say that Thea’s ex was a douche who left her afraid to trust another man with her heart, but that’s about all we learn about Thea – well, except for the ex’s name…it’s Eric, by the way.

The only real “mystery” in this novel was the content of David’s memos to Thea, which was actually the reason I wanted to badly to get my hands on this novel. Well, needless to say they were hot!

And here’s a snippet of what I mean by HOT:

…I think you’re hot. Extremely, combustibly hot. If I could, I’d keep you in bed for a week running, naked and mine, and I’d still not have enough. I think every part of you is hot, but I’m particularly turned on by your mind and your legs. You should see the fantasies I have of seducing your mind with my words while I stroke my hands over your legs, rub my fingertips along the inner skin of your thighs. 

The memos only getting hotter after that. 😉

I think HOT also describes this novel overall as well. This novel was David’s book more than Thea and he certainly did it justice. It had a sweet central romance and a plot that fit well into the length it was given – nothing rushed or too slow. My only complaint was that Thea came of as a little lackluster when compared to David, and because romance novels rely on both the complete characterization of the hero and heroine, I ended up giving this novel a rating of three out of five. A fun, respectable read!

RATING - 3

-Rika Ashton

P.S: There’s an excerpt of Rock Courtship up on Ms. Singh’s website and to read my review of the first novel, Rock Addiction, check out the Romance Reader at Heart blog. 🙂

© All excerpts in this post are property of Nalini Singh and may have been shortened to avoid spoilers. 


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)


Release Day Review: THE VIRGIN OF CLAN SINCLAIR by Karen Ranney

Disclaimer: An advanced reviewer’s copy of this novel was given to Rika’s Musings by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Virgin of Clan Sinclair is the second Karen Ranney book I have read recently, the first was The Witch of Clan Sinclair (book two in this series, while this is book three.) Both books were BIG hits with me and I am fast becoming a Karen Ranney addict.

The Virgin of Clan Sinclair was a nice conclusion to a heartwarming series:

Ellice Traylor has a secret. Beneath her innocent exterior beats an incredibly passionate and imaginative heart. She has been pouring all of her frustrated virginal fantasies into a scandalous manuscript. But when her plans for her future are about to be derailed by her mother’s matrimonial designs, she takes matters into her own hands.

Ross Forster, the Earl of Gladsden, has spent his life creating order out of chaos. He expects discipline and calm from those around him. What he does not expect is a beautiful, thoroughly maddening stowaway in his carriage.

But when Ross discovers Ellice’s secret book, he finds he can’t stop thinking about what other fantasies the disarming virgin can dream up. He has the chance to learn when a compromising position forces them to wed. But can the uptight Earl survive a life with his surprising new wife? And how will the hero of Ellice’s fantasies compare to the husband of her reality?

The Review:

As I was reading this novel, I kept thinking that Ms. Ranney must have written this one about me. Ellice is such a relatable character – with an occasionally overbearing mother (ehem…), wild imagination, sometimes horny (ehem again), and a bit of an introvert unless she’s with friends. This was a pretty close description of me, lol! And her relatability was one of the reasons this book was such a winner with me. Plus all her overly dramatic internal monologue had me laughing out loud!

“Was she taken ill?” he’d say.

“Suddenly,” the doctor said. “She called for you but you weren’t there.” The man turned and looked at Ross, eyes narrowed, mouth firmed. “Where were you, sir, that you denied your wife comfort in her hour of need?”

“With another woman, of course. Her breasts are larger and her hips wider. She didn’t refuse me.”

Did I mention that Ellice is a writer? Her imagination is very creative and comes up with the most unlikely of scenarios.  As for the book that Ellice writes, The Lustful Adventures of Lady Pamela, well that’s where the fun starts.

The hero, Ross, thinks he resembles the Donald – Ellice’s fictional creation from The Lustful Adventures of Lady Pamela – too much and that others will pick up on it which can prove embarrassing for his election campaign…maybe even detrimental. Of course, he’s secretly intrigued by the novel and gets hot every time he reads it, but pretends to be a stickler in front of Ellice.

Ross was an interesting character in his own way. He wasn’t a tortured hero per say, but was getting there – he had the betrayal of his first wife, Cassandra, and his father to overcome. Luckily, however, he didn’t spend too much time moping around and I liked that he didn’t refuse to acknowledge that he loved her when asked by his mother. I was expecting a denial, but he was honest with himself and Ellice.

Honesty was a common characteristic that I enjoyed between both Logan – the hero from The Witch of Clan Sinclair – Ross, and it’s a refreshing change from the usual self-denial cliche, and I hope that the rest of Karen Ranney novels have similarly – though not 100% the same – honest heroes because, yes, I will DEFINITELY be reading more of Ms. Ranney’s books.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Virgin of Clan Sinclair and highly recommend this book to all my fellow historical romance lovers! Four out of five for this one!

RATING - 4

-Rika Ashton

(aka Book Reviewer)


The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Movie Review

“We should call him the amazing Spider-Man!” – Max Dhillon, Electro (Jamie Foxx)

What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? It’s AMAZING! Electrifying! Action-packed, hilarious, and heartbreaking!

I had to brace myself to watch this movie, because I knew what was going to happen going in, but I hoped against hope that it wouldn’t.

But, of course, it did.

If you’re a Spider-Man fan, or even if you’re relatively new to the series, you’ll probably have heard the rumours about a certain death in the film. Fans of the comics knew it was coming, so it’s not really a spoiler, but I was hoping that they’d stretch out this death scene until the next film.

But before I get into who I’m taking about, let me say that I’m not trying to spoil the film for anyone, but it’s relatively hard to write a review about the impact this film made – and Spider-Man’s future – without getting into the details.

So, last chance, IF YOU ARE WARY OF SPOILERS TURN BACK NOW!!!

No? Well, then…

Green Goblin versus Spider-Man in the Clock Tower

Emma Stone‘s Gwen Stacy in part made the film what it is, so her death leaves a heavy impact on both the action on screen and the audience. Gwen is an inspiring character because she’s not only fundamental to the defeat of Electro but, as Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan) puts it, she’s Spider-Man’s (Andrew Garfield) ” hope.” So when Gwen dies, in a terrifying clock-tower scene, there is literally a gasp in the audience. When the audience hears her skull crack on the pavement, it becomes the sound that defines the next scenes of the film for Spider-Man. Peter Parker puts down his costume and does no more than visit Gwen’s grave for an entire year, and though this is fast-forwarded for the purposes for the film, the time elapsed and Peter’s obsession is made clear. Peter lives in a vacuum of grief until it is Gwen’s herself that gives him hope again – in the form of her recorded high school valedictorian speech, which is ironically the same speech in which she foreshadows her own death. Spider-Man eventually regains his hope in time to presumably defeat the Rhino.

Which brings me to the villains of this film. Each of them, Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino are given a back story, so they are all complex characters that the audience can sympathize with to some degree in the beginning – with the exception of Aleksei Sytsevich (the Rhino’s alter-ego played by Paul Giamatti), who was already an established criminal in the beginning of the film. Both the Dehaan’s and Foxx’s performances were inspired, though I think Foxx deserves bonus points for his portrayal of the nerdy electrical engineer turned supervillain!

Electro in the first fight scene against Spider-Man

And, of course, Foxx was literally electric in his EPIC fight sequences against Spider-Man!

Finally, of course, there is also the reference to the Sinister Six in the final leg of the film and the introduction of Felicia Hardy, Black Cat, portrayed by Felicity Jones, so we know that the upcoming Spider-Man films (2016 and 2018) already has a line-up of great villains!

Overall, I would say that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a nonstop thrill ride – no seriously three separate villains – and I can’t wait to see what the franchise has in store for us next!


Guest Review – Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

My review of Nalini Singh’s Shield of Winter for RR@Heart: Novel Thoughts and Book Talk. Go ahead and give it a read, though I would warn you about possible spoilers.

On another note, Ms. Singh posted the blurb for the upcoming Night Shift anthology on her Facebook page. It features Bastien’s story from the Psy/Changeling series:

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark…

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn’t a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier’s first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms.

Can’t wait to give this anthology a read, sounds like a great collection of stories!

-Rika Ashton

(aka “That’s Two Posts in One Day!”

RR@H Novel Thoughts & Book Talk

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review…and I’m going to try really, really hard to keep this post spoiler free.

Cover and Blurb:

SoWAssassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But…

View original post 413 more words


Blurb Reveal: Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

Really quick update to let you know that while there is still no cover art, we finally have the UK blurb for the next Arcana Chronicles novel, Dead of Winter:

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions

Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory

Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned

There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

Oooh! Death, jealousy and (more than possible) mayhem…I think I’m really going to like this one.

If you haven’t started this series yet, check out the book trailer to see what it’s all about:

Now, if anyone else has some spoilers to share for Dead of Winter, please do. 🙂

Rika Ashton

(The Blurb Revealer)


Sneak Peek: SHIELD OF WINTER by Nalini Singh

Going to keep this really short…I promise!

I’ve just come briefly out of my hermit cave to say that Nalini Singh sent out her March newsletter this morning and, as promised, it included an excerpt of Shield of Winter. This excerpt is for all of chapter one from the novel. (And next month, she’s promised us chapter two! I can only hope this means we get to meet Ivy Jane.)

Want to read the sneak peek, click here!

I also previously posted some possible spoilers for this book here. But if you’ve heard some more spoilers please do share – inquiring minds want to know!

Are you more excited than ever to read this book or what? And what do we think of Vasic?

Rika Ashton

(aka The Stealthy Sneak Peeker)


When the Rogue Returns: A Book Review

WARNING: This book review may contain spoilers. (Oh, those pesky things!)

So I’ve been reading…a lot.

Really, what’s a girl to do when she keeps receiving goodies from booksellers in the mail? I really feel like I need to give a special shout out to Chapters/Indigo for sending me a gift card, which I then used to buy a copy of Sabrina Jeffries’ latest masterpiece, When the Rogue Returns.

Victor Cale never imagined his sweet, shy wife, Isabella, would use her talent for creating exquisite imitation jewels for criminal pursuits. But there’s no denying it was Isa’s handiwork that turned up in the brazen heist of the Dutch royal family’s diamonds after she disappeared into the night.

Ten years later, still reeling from her betrayal and enraged that her duplicitous side was so undetectable, the sexy investigator heads to Edinburgh, where his cousin Maximilian has landed him a job tailing a wealthy baron’s bride-to-be. Simple enough—until the “fiancée” in question proves to be Isa, masquerading as an alluringly eligible young widow.

No longer the meek and mild girl he once knew, the bold woman vehemently asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her. Piecing together the past to prove Isa’s innocence reawakens a volatile passion, hotter than ever. With a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other in order to bring the scheming thieves to justice–without getting burned themselves.

Of course, I also have to mention that Ms. Jeffries was cruel enough to bait me with a 40-page preview of the novel, but then withhold the rest for a good 6 months before release date. How did she expect me to survive when the last lines I read before a 6-month blackout were:

With her back to him, Isa froze. 

Good. He hoped he’d thrown her into a panic. He was looking forward to seeing her alarm at being caught, after all these years. Or better yet, worried about what vengeance the husband she’d betrayed might mete out.

She began to turn toward him slowly, as if in a dream. He just had time to glimpse the porcelain skin, full lips, and other sweet features he’d found so compelling nearly ten years ago, when her gaze met his. 

To his shock, it was ablaze with fury. 

Yes, dear readers, for 6 whole months, Ms. Jeffries left me hanging with the thoughts – “OMG! What’s Victor going to do? What is Isabella going to do? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!” – rolling around in my head. Worst of all, I was sworn to secrecy and, therefore, couldn’t discuss my inner turmoil with anyone.

And I had thought, as one of her precious street team members, Ms. Jeffries would not play such cruel games with my heart.

But I digress…

I eventually was given the opportunity to read When the Rogue Returns – I read it on release day in fact – but I was unable to post my review, due in part that I was still reeling from the emotional, action-packed thrill ride that is the novel.

When the Rogue Returns was all about second chances. Isa and Victor have to learn to work together despite the fact that they each feel the other betrayed them ten years ago – the readers, of course, know this wasn’t what happened but Isa and Victor have to work through their misconceptions together. It doesn’t help the fact that ten years ago both Isa and Victor were very young and vulnerable to the manipulations of those around them. Isa grew up in the ten years after Victor “abandoned” her and has made a home for her and her daughter in Edinburgh. Victor, on the other hand, thinks his wife is a con-artist and refuses to let himself trust her.

I think the best part of this novel is that Isa and Victor learn to communicate for the sake of their daughter. And it helps that both of the characters have matured in their ten years apart, and grown into their own identities, enough to realize that in reality events are not always black and white. For Isa and Victor, the ten year separation was a good thing because when you see the characters reunite after the prologue, they are both strong enough to stand their own ground and smart enough to admit their faults.

That said, I nearly died from all the things Ms. Jeffries made me feel, such as the intensity of the “I want to punch Victor!” emotions and the “Why, Isabella, why?!” torment.

Only, apparently, torturing me through the novel wasn’t enough because Ms. Jeffries left a sneak peek at the end of the book for Tristan’s novel, How the Scoundrel Seduces and she’s making me wait until August to read it – of course, she blames the delay on her publisher but we all know who the real culprit is. 😉

Rika Ashton

(aka The Much Tormented)


A SHIELD OF WINTER Rant, with Some (Maybe) Spoilers

I was procrastinating – er, writing – when I learning some interesting facts about the upcoming Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh. If you don’t know what Shield of Winter is, I have one question for you, “In exactly which unmapped mountain range is your cave located?” 😛

Just kidding.

But it really is hard for me to imagine that someone, somewhere in the world is not as excited about this book as I am.

In all seriousness, here is the Shield of Winter cover and blurb from Amazon:

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

How unbelievably awesome is this cover?! And, yes, my cover lust is partially attributed to the maximum hotness of the male model as suggested by his jawline. (I’m a connoisseur – what can I say?)

Although, the Heart of Obsidian cover is still the most badass in the whole series.

And now for the interesting facts (might be spoilers) about the book:

1. Both the Snow Dancer and the Dark River packs will feature heavily in  the book, as will Vasic’s fellow Arrow, Aden. (Okay, so not really a spoiler, but still good to know that Snow Dancer and Dark River will make appearances in the book.)

2. Judd gets some MAJOR scene time in this novel.

3. We won’t really learn about Walker’s and Aden’s true Psy abilities in this book, but they will be revealed in Aden’s book which is next! (And Alice is not the heroine – in fact, Alice is not going to be a main character any time soon.)

4. We  find out what caused the tension between Ben and Marlee. 

5. This story is set mainly in the United States.

6. We catch up with the Venetian Arrows and the Human Alliance in SoW, and we learn that the Venetian Arrows took covert action against the Pure Psy.

7. Nikita Duncan has no E-Psy abilities, but we will learn a lot more about this designation. (But still, I’m thinking Nikita’s not entirely Silent.)

8.  Lastly, NO MAJOR CHARACTERS WILL DIE! (Yeah, I’m super relieved and I’m totally hoping this includes Nikita, who is awesome.)

I am crazy excited for this new book! Ever since we were introduced to Vasic and learned how he planned to kill himself, I knew he would need someone with Sasha’s E-Psy abilities and, in hindsight, all the references to the other E-Psy in the Net seemed like a pretty big hint – can’t believe I didn’t see it sooner.

Also, here are some facts about Vasic that Nalini Singh posted in her article, “Oh Those Arrows,” on Dear Author. (For those of you who need to catch up with who he is.)

Vasic first appears in Hostage to Pleasure when he teleports to Ashaya Aliene, a scientist working on the Implant Protocol.  He tells her he is “not a team player.”  (Hostage to Pleasure) Later Vasic appears to be in cahoots with Zie Zen, a dissident.  Vasic is known as the “single true teleporter” or a “Traveler”.   A Traveler. Designation Tk. Subdesignation V.  (Hostage to Pleasure) He has piercing silver eyes and enjoys looking out over the desert wasteland that is rich rust red under sunlight and silver in the glow of the moonlight.

His leg was broken several times when he was six years old to train him in Silence.  He was begging to go home. (Tangle of Need)

It is because of his abilities that Ming LeBon, the first leader of the current Arrow Squad, was able to survive so man attempts to end his life. In “Branded by Fire” Vasic blinks everyone out of a vehicle before it could be hit by the high-explosive antitank rounds directed at it. He also rescues Ming from a crumpled car and another assassination attempt in “Blaze of Memory.”

Vasic’s touch is so delicate he can right an unbalanced insect (Kiss of Snow) or lift the blood from the walls of a room. (Hostage to Pleasure, Tangle of Need) Along with Aden, he could lead the Arrows but refuses.  He is tormented by what Judd deems to be a guilty conscience.  (Tangle of Need).  Vasic and Aden share a telephathic connection.

At one point, Ming LeBon wants Vasic to open for a scan but Vasic refuses on the grounds that it would leave him defenseless and no Arrow is ever defenseless.  Aden fears that Vasic will be totally lost after the Arrow schools are liberated, as if that single focus is the only thing keeping Vasic sane at this moment.

And that concludes my rant on Shield of Winter. I’m hoping June comes soon or I might just die from hyperventilation whenever I hear something about this novel. 😉

So what are some of your predictions? Or do you have some spoilers to dish out? Care to share? I’d love to know.

Rika Ashton

(aka The Procrastinating Reporter)

P.S: The next Psy/Changeling novella (late 2014) is going to feature Mercy’s brother, Bastien!!!!!! And the Smith family.


The Return of Sherlock Holmes

WARNING: This post contains possible spoilers for BBC season 3 of Sherlock. (Pesky things aren’t they, these spoilers?)

For those of you, who watch and love the BBC series, Sherlock, will know how unbelievably excited I am that we’re finally getting some trailers/spoilers for the upcoming season.

For those of you, who have no idea what BBC Sherlock even is, I have one word: CUMBERBATCH!

But, seriously, this show is an EPIC must-watch…I resisted watching it as well, but about 10 minutes into the first episode, I was a goner. I kept watching to see what would happen and how Sherlock would possibly solve this mystery – and yeah, my MIND WAS BLOWN!

This was pretty much my expression and those people in the background are my confused family members…

Sherlock (Cumberbatch) imitating me! 😀

That was also my expression when I saw the new BBC Sherlock season 3 teaser trailer:

You’d have to, of course, have seen the last episode of season 2 to understand why this short, seeming inconspicuous trailer was actually…not.

But it was still short…

So I naturally had to hunt down more Sherlock spoilers and opened myself up to what Google had to offer and found out that, contrary to what I originally believed, Andrew Scott would NOT be returning as Moriarty in season 3:

So who’s going to be Sherlock’s new nemesis?

Well, it’s going to be Charles Augustus Magnussen, the King of Blackmailers, played by Lars Mikkelsen.

Finally, we know that the first episode of season 3, “The Empty Hearse,” will focus on the impact of events from season 2’s conclusion on Watson.

Got spoilers? I’d love to hear them – no, really, gimme!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Spoiler)