Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Highland Dragon Master by Isabel Cooper





Legend claims
When Scotland fell to English rule
The Highland dragons took a vow:
Freedom at any price.

The war for Scottish independence rages on, but it’s only a matter of time before England is victorious. Exhausted and battle-weary, Highland dragon Erik MacAlasdair will face unknown seas to seek the Templar stronghold and claim a power so great it could free his beloved homeland forever.

If only that kind of power didn’t come with such a terrible price.

Daughter of a mortal woman and an ancient dragon, Toinette has never forgotten the proud Scot who once stole her young heart—she’ll gladly fight at his side. But when dark forces leave them stranded on a cursed island, it will take everything they have to defy their fate…and trust the passion that burns within the heart of every dragon.














It had been decades since Toinette had fought with another dragon-blooded. She’d forgotten how appealing it was: as heady and easy to lose herself as in any life-or-death battle, but without the risk of death for her men, and with no need at all to hold back. When Erik staggered from her kick to the knee, she grinned.

Toinette didn’t stop when he recovered himself and used his angle to land an excellent upward punch to her stomach. Though the blow knocked the breath out of her, there was a satisfaction in the impact—even in the pain. This was real. This was solid. She could feel it, with noth­ing ephemeral or confusing, and she could hit back.

She did. A fist to the jaw left Erik shaking his head. Toinette tried to follow up by sweeping a foot at his ankles, but he pivoted away, stepping nimbly over a fallen branch, and then used the momentum to come back at her with a boot to the thigh.

Ow. Damn.

That one might bruise. She almost laughed aloud. Then she darted back into the fray, throwing an uppercut that landed on Erik’s shoulder.

Before she could pull back, though, he grabbed her wrist, then turned his body with a fluid strength that Toinette admired even as it pulled her weight off-center. Mortal bones might have broken; hers held, but she went flying over Erik’s head to land in a patch of grass, tucking her head just in time to miss a tree trunk.

Erik followed up swiftly. Before Toinette could get to her feet, he was kneeling above her, one broad hand holding down each of her shoulders. He was smiling too. One lip was bloody from her fist, but that only made him look wilder—and more handsome. “One fall for you,” he growled. “Surrender?”

“Piss off,” said Toinette, and whipped her head upward toward his nose.

Erik dodged just in time, but the effort of doing so shifted his weight. Toinette shoved him off and backward; twigs snapped beneath his body. She rolled up to her feet, shifted to fighting stance, and waited.

As she’d thought he might, Erik charged her, shoulder first. If he’d taken Toinette square on, he might have won then—he weighed more, in human form, and was at least somewhat stronger—but she sidestepped neatly, grabbed the hair at the back of his head, and yanked. At the same time, she slammed her lower leg into the backs of his knees. The combination took him over backward.

It was her turn to pin him, and she didn’t bugger about with hands on shoulders. She dropped to her knees on Erik’s chest, sending the air out of him for a change. “Second,” she hissed, “goes to me.”

“Pulling hair,” he said, gasping to get his breath back. “Typical woman. Scratch my face next?”

“If I was truly being womanly, you’d have had a knee in your stones by now.”

“Aye,” he said, and smiled again. “You’ve aged past that, have you not?”

“No,” said Toinette. Looking down into his eyes, feel­ing the muscles in his chest straining under her palms, smelling his clean masculine sweat, she knew why she hadn’t gone near his groin. It would have been her second target in any other fight—second only because men were quick to defend that location, unless she distracted them with pain elsewhere first—but she’d wanted Erik uninjured in that regard.
She lunged forward. He raised his head at the same moment, and their mouths met with heat and force. All the vital energy of their fight changed in an instant, finding different channels, but the transformation was incomplete. Still they struggled against each other, warring for control with lips and tongues.

Toinette stretched herself out atop the hard length of Erik’s tall body. Her breasts flattened against his chest with exquisite friction. The pressure bordered on pain; she wel­comed the bright heat of that edge, the clarity of the sensa­tion. A knee on either side of Erik’s hips held her stable and let her feel his cock hardening between them, tenting the cloth of his hose and pushing against her mound.

Clothing was a very stupid idea.

She would have done something about it, but that would have meant releasing Erik, and she didn’t trust him not to take advantage of that. As she’d shifted position, he’d snaked a hand up and around her neck, his fingers long, forceful, and nearer her jugular than Toinette would have permitted from anyone else, particularly anyone whose nails could become claws with a thought.

With Erik, the contact sent tendrils of humming desire down through her body, hardening her nipples and spiral­ing inward to her sex. She made no move to shake his hand away. When he pressed her head down, crushing her mouth against his, the hint of pain only went well with the plea­sure, a sharp wine with a rich meal.

Yet she had no wish to surrender. The fight was half the fun.

Toinette dug her fingers into Erik’s shoulders, hard enough for him to feel the nails even through his shirt. At the same time, she pulled back: not enough to stop kissing him—she didn’t want to do that—but far enough to bite his lower lip. She did no damage, but she wasn’t entirely gentle either.

The sound he made was as close to a growl as human lungs could manage. Erik’s hips flexed upward, hard and sudden and involuntary, driving his erection between his stomach and Toinette’s. As the heat in her own sex spread outward, she wondered if she could drive him over the edge still clothed. The thought made her pulse with arousal—and, at the same time, chuckle low in her throat.

Erik was the one to pull back this time. “Oh no, lass,” he said hoarsely. Sweat was beginning to glisten at his tem­ples, darkening his golden hair, and his eyes were almost all pupil, but he had enough confidence to smile up at her again. “You’re not winning this one.”

Then, with a quick twist of his arms, he rolled them both over.











Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fatal Chaos by Marie Force


Today we are celebrating the release of FATAL CHAOS, a romantic thriller title that is part of the Fatal series by Marie Force. Teasers for the book, and the purchase links, can be found below.



 

FATAL CHAOS by Marie Force

The 12th romantic thriller title in the Fatal Series.


“With intrigue, mystery, action, a touch of humor and a hot romance, this story has it all. —4 Stars from RT Book Reviews for Fatal Chaos








First the calm. Then the storm…


Escaping DC during the dog days of summer is one of the smartest moves Washington metro police lieutenant Samantha Holland ever made. Beach walks aren’t quite as romantic with the Secret Service in tow, but Sam and her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, cherish the chance to recharge and reconnect—especially with a scandal swirling around the administration. No sooner are they back home than a fatal drive-by shooting sets the city on edge. The teenage victim is barely older than Sam and Nick’s son, Scotty. As more deaths follow, Sam and her team play beat the clock to stop the ruthless killers. With Nick facing his greatest challenge—one that could drastically change all their lives and even end Sam’s career—will the mounting pressure deepen or damage their bond?


Kindle US | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google

PURCHASE IN PRINT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

PURCHASE IN AUDIO: Amazon | Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU



---------------


CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE FATAL SERIES



----------------------------



Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction.

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie's mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie's many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.





Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads


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InkSlinger Blogger Final

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman


Hardcover544 pages
Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers




In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.
 








Tess of the Road was a book that fell flat for me, which was extremely disappointing. 

The one thing I really enjoyed about this book was the writing style. The author really has a way with words! The writing flowed so beautifully and really pulled me in. I was hoping the writing style was enough to make me love this book, but I just couldn't get into this story.

I think the worst part of this book for me was the main character, Tess. I just had such a hard time connecting with her. I loved her modern and feminist views, but I just couldn't find something relatable about her. There were a lot of times when I was questioning her actions and I didn't really understand her thought process. I did enjoy how open she was about talking about sex. It was refreshing it see sex brought up in a YA book so it didn't feel so taboo. Sex was brought up quite a bit in this book as well as the menstrual cycle. It was nice that the author was normalizing these topics. There also was a lot of underage drinking, which might make some readers uncomfortable. 

I loved the idea of the journey Tess was going to go on and THE FREAKING DRAGONS, but those sadly disappointed me. The journey was slow and not exciting at all, AND I WANTED TO SEE MORE DRAGON ACTION. I hope there is a second book where action and dragons take more of an important role in the story.

Overall, this is a book that had a lot of potential to be a book I loved, but it just didn't work for me. 

2 / 5 Fangs


*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. * 


Monday, February 26, 2018

The Night Market by Jonathan Moore



Title: The Night Market 
Author: Jonathan Moore 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date:  January 16, 2018




From an author who consistently gives us “suspense that never stops” (James Patterson), a near-future thriller that makes your most paranoid fantasies seem like child’s play.

It’s late Thursday night, and Inspector Ross Carver is at a crime scene in one of the city’s last luxury homes. The dead man on the floor is covered by an unknown substance that’s eating through his skin. Before Carver can identify it, six FBI agents burst in and remove him from the premises. He's pushed into a disinfectant trailer, forced to drink a liquid that sends him into seizures, and is shocked unconscious. On Sunday he wakes in his bed to find his neighbor, Mia—who he’s barely ever spoken to—reading aloud to him. He can’t remember the crime scene or how he got home; he has no idea two days have passed. Mia says she saw him being carried into their building by plainclothes police officers, who told her he’d been poisoned. Carver doesn’t really know this woman and has no way of disproving her, but his gut says to keep her close.

A mind-bending, masterfully plotted thriller—written in Moore's "lush, intoxicating style" (Justin Cronin)—that will captivate fans of Blake Crouch, China MiĆ©ville, and Lauren Beukes, The Night Market follows Carver as he works to find out what happened to him, soon realizing he's entangled in a web of conspiracy that spans the nation. And that Mia may know a lot more than she lets on.








"These days you don't know if a bird's a bird."

Sad to say this novel was not for me.  It’s a futuristic dystopian thriller with a small romantic component. 

I did like the idea of the novel. Imagine, a near future where your memories are erased....Let's back up a little. Inspector Ross Carver and his partner, Jenner are called to the scene of a death. When they get there, two policemen are waiting for them. To their amazement, the body of the victim is undergoing autodegradation. Bones are disappearing in front of their eyes. Just then, the FBI (or so they say) walk into the room and take them to a decontamination trailer. Next thing they know, they are given something and when Ross Carver wakes up in his own bed at his apartment, he can't remember anything from the last three days and to his surprise, his neighbor Mia is reading to him. 

Ross knows something is very wrong and when Jenner admits he's having problems with his memory too and they are surrounded by a funny smell, they are both determined to discover what was done to them. But, who can they trust? Is Mia hiding information from them? Who's the mastermind? And is the world going mad? 

Like I said earlier, the premise was a good one but I failed to enjoy The Night Market. It might be this reader's fault for not realizing this was a futuristic suspense novel and I can't say that I have read this genre before. I felt the prose dragged in certain parts and I didn't buy the Mia-Ross interaction.

Thank you, NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the chance to read The Night Market.

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs

Friday, February 23, 2018

Lethal by Sandra Brown


Title: Lethal 
Author: Sandra Brown 
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Release Date: September 20, 2011




When her four year old daughter informs her a sick man is in their yard, Honor Gillette rushes out to help him. But that "sick" man turns out to be Lee Coburn, the man accused of murdering seven people the night before. Dangerous, desperate, and armed, he promises Honor that she and her daughter won't be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word.

But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can't be trusted. Coburn claims that her beloved late husband possessed something extremely valuable that places Honor and her daughter in grave danger. Coburn is there to retrieve it -- at any cost. From FBI offices in Washington, D.C., to a rundown shrimp boat in coastal Louisiana, Coburn and Honor run for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them, and unravel a web of corruption and depravity that threatens not only them, but the fabric of our society.







Lethal has a great beginning!

Honor Gilette is baking when her daughter Emily tells her a man is hurt. Honor runs to the rescue. To her shock, he's brandishing a gun and telling Honor that he won't hurt them but he needs information. Honor fears for her daughter's life and she goes along with whatever this man wants in order to keep Emily safe. She recognizes the man as Lee Coburn, a man responsible for the mass murder of seven people the night before. The police are looking for him but instead of disappearing, he's at her front door bringing doubts in regards to her dead husband's integrity. Honor won't believe he was a dirty cop and she would do anything to prove it, including trusting Lee to uncover the truth. 

Lee Coburn is deadly and he will stop at nothing until he finds what he's looking for. He knows he can't trust anyone and he's not inclined to do so until he meets Honor and her daughter. Little by little, they both make him want something he never thought he wanted or needed. When their lives are in danger, he knows he has to act to save them. He doesn't know if he's going to survive it but he sure is going to try to keep them alive. 

I love Honor, Lee, and Emily. Emily with her innocence and sweetness made the big scary guy melt and reading it, put a smile on my face. Honor had a backbone and she was tough when she needed to be. She also supported Lee when she figured out he was telling her the truth. What about tall, dark and deadly? He was confident, resourceful and above all.. lethal. 

I love romantic suspense and Lethal is a perfect example of this genre. We had plenty of crooked individuals to go around. Honor and Lee couldn't trust anyone except each other. I hated the Bookkeeper as well as the twins. They couldn't care less about hurting people. I was wishing them the worst. They were evil with a capital E.

Now, the end....what should I say? I wanted more. I just needed one more scene between Honor and Lee.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Envy by Sandra Brown


Title: Envy 
Author: Sandra Brown 
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Release Date: August 27, 2013



Maris Matherly-Reed is a renowned New York book editor, the daughter of a publisher and the wife of bestselling author Noah Reed. It isn't often that an unsolicited submission so captivates her that she feels she must immediately meet its author. But Maris has just received a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. P.M.E.'s blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels Maris to search for him.

On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation, she finds Parker Evans, a man determined to conceal his identity as well as his past. Working with him chapter by chapter, Maris is riveted by his tale of two friends who charter a boat with a young woman for a night of revelry...an excursion from which only one person returns.

As the story unfolds, Maris becomes convinced it is more than just fiction. Disturbed about her growing attraction to Parker and gripped by a chilling suspicion about his novel's characters, she searches for the undisclosed truth about a crime committed decades ago. Then someone close to her dies, while even closer looms the presence of evil-a man who will use her, or anyone, to get what he wants...

Exploring the way love and hatred shape lives, ENVY uses both Maris's quest and Parker's novel to create a breathtaking story of suspense. Not until the shattering, surprise finale will readers guess the solution to its puzzle of deceit and murder, retribution and redemption.








I'm on a Sandra Brown kick. I finished one and started another one book by her. They are addicting!

Envy is as entertaining as all of the other books I have read by her. The suspense, intrigue, and twists are classic Sandra Brown. 

This novel begins when Maris Matherly-Reed receives a new manuscript for her review. She's a well-known editor and part owner of a very famous publishing house in NYC. She has a great relationship with her dad who opened the publishing house decades ago. She's married to Noah Reed, a famous writer who's now working for the publishing company as well. 

Maris can't stop thinking about the manuscript. She contacts the writer P.M.E. but he's rude and seems unapproachable. She knows she can't pass up this opportunity and she decides to travel south and convince P.M.E to sign up with them.  P.M.E aka Parker Evans's novel could become the next hit. It's the tale of two friends who had a rivalry. They both aspired to become more. Jealousy and envy will prevent one of them from succeeding.

When Maris meets Parker, she is taken by him. Behind the rude facade is a man who's in pain. He's also angry and she can tell he's keeping things from her. His manuscript is also captivating as the man who's writing it. Then, a terrible chain of events forces Maris to open her eyes and to realize what has been in front of her eyes all this time. But, is it too late???

I loved Envy. Both main characters felt real to me. Their emotions jumped out of the pages and swirled all around me. Prepare yourself to be sucked into this novel without a chance to stop. I was compelled to continue in a rapid spiral to the end. Unputabledown to say the least. A great book with a great plotline! Yes, some of the twists I saw coming but they were done right. Sandra Brown's writing is addicting like I mentioned at the beginning of my review. 

Next for me is Lethal.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs

Mean Streak by Sandra Brown


Title: Mean Streak 
Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: August 19, 2014





From #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown comes a heart-pounding story of survival, that takes the age-old question, "Does the end justify the means?" and turns it on its head.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive. 

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can't turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law. Wrong becomes right at the hands of the man who strikes fear, but also sparks passion.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead - and from heartbreak.

Combining the nail-biting suspense and potent storytelling that has made Sandra Brown one of the world's best loved authors, MEAN STREAK is a wildly compelling novel about love, deceit, and the choices we must make in order to survive.







Continuing with my addiction to Sandra Brown's writing, I had to pick up this book after finishing reading Friction. Mean Streak has a great plot with plenty of twists to make a suspense lover giddy with happiness.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau is training on a mountain trail for her upcoming marathon run. She's well-known in the area. Her partners at her office respect her and her patients love her. On the other hand, her home life is not so great. She's having marital problems just before she goes missing. Detectives Grange and Knight are suspicious of her husband Jeff and they are set on trying to prove it.

In the meantime, Emory wakes up in a cabin with a concussion in the presence of a stranger. At first, she's terrified of him but when he doesn't attack her or do anything worse, she starts relaxing in his presence. He's a man of a few words. He makes her reveal parts of herself while he hides everything from her, including his name. She can't avoid noticing how handsome he is and to her dismay, she's attracted to him. The more time she's forced to spend with him, the more she wants to get to know him. It doesn't help that she's unable to leave due to heavy fog and snow. From here on, the narrative only gets better. This reader was entertained and engrossed in the story. I won't say more to avoid spoiling it for you.

As with other books by Sandra Brown, I had fun reading Mean Streak. The main characters, as well as the side characters, were all well- developed. It was easy to like some of them and easy to hate a few. The twists and the side plotlines were the icing on the cake. 

Next for me is Envy.

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/5 Fangs


Mage Slave by R.K. Thorne


Title: Mage Slave 
Series: The Enslaved Chronicles #1
Author: R.K. Thorne
Publisher: Iron Antler Books
Release Date: July 26, 2016



A warrior prince, an enslaved spy, a plot to draw the world to war. 

Crown Prince Aven Lanuken wants something more than a trophy for a future wife. He wants a woman who will be more friend than follower. A queen who will be more warrior than diplomat. He wants a partner he can trust… with a dangerous secret that’s kept him trapped in a dark mountain fortress his entire life. 

Mage slave Miara wants something more, too—to find an enemy prince. And not to marry him. She’s just received orders for her very first kidnapping. She loathes the idea of it, and it’s probably a suicide mission. But she has never failed a mission before and doesn't intend to start now. 

Of all the women in the world, why does he have to fall for the one trying to kill him? 

Magic, politics, love, and fate collide in the destinies of two people in this fantasy adventure from R. K. Thorne. For lovers of swords and sorcery with a side of romance, Mage Slave is the first novel in the Enslaved Chronicles trilogy.









I had a taste for fantasy and grabbed this novel because it had a beautiful cover and an intriguing synopsis. 

The story begins with two very different characters. 

Miara is a Mage Slave. She has creature magic, meaning that she can turn herself or someone else into a creature. Miara can also communicate with animals and humans too. She has been a slave for a while. The Masters of Kavanar have used a type of air magic to enslave mages. They brand them on the shoulder and a spell keeps them in line. Miara despises them but she's not able to challenge them. She's given her next mission and to her surprise, it involves something much more dangerous. They want her to kidnap the prince Aven Lanuken. She knows this could be very dangerous but she has no way of refusing them. 

Prince Aven Lanuken lives in a fortress within a mountain. He loves his parents but he feels like he's missing something. He's also trying to hide a secret but he doesn't know how long he can continue doing so. He's at the right age to marry and he's in search of a queen but so far no one has grabbed his attention. When Miara kidnaps him and he can witness her magic, he's in awe of everything she can do with it. He tries to learn as much as he can of the outside world before she delivers him to his enemies. 

I had some issues with the story. First, the dreaded insta-love showed its face. Miara and Aven fall in love pretty much from the moment they meet. Then, there was the problem with the slow-paced action. It was like dragging teeth. I was ready for more fighting and more magic. Only the last third moved much faster. Last, Aven is supposed to be a brutal fighter but on more than one occasion, his skills were lacking. 

The things I liked: The magic. We had earth, air, and creature magic. It was cool the way Miara could transform someone else besides herself. She could be anything she wanted to be. Aven had a great disposition. Despite being kidnapped, he tried to look for the good in any situation. He was enjoying the forest and you can tell how happy he was to be outside the fortress. He had good values and he truly wanted to help his people and keep them safe. The Masters were so mean. It was easy to hate them and I wanted nothing more than to see them defeated. I was pleased with the ending and I'm looking forward to reading the next two books. I hope there is more action. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs