Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book review: Chained by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire #2) by Larissa Ione

Chained by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire #2) by Larissa Ione 
Paranormal romance
Paperback/eBook, 416 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 by Pocket Books

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Larissa Ione sets the night on fire with a thrilling new novel of irresistible hungers and immortal enemies in a world as sensual and dark as her Demonica series.

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader's daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress's identical twin sister?


First in series: Bound By Night review

In Bound By Night, Larissa Ione's introduction to the MoonBound Clan Vampire series, I immediately took notice of this engaging story with its' own unique world and conflicts and intriguing characters. Chained By Night has made me a fan of both the author and her series.

Where do I begin? As a fan of vampire stories (yes, even after all these years), I'm always on the look-out for new books. The second book in Ione's gritty series showcased Hunter's predicament. As the leader of the MoonBound Clan, his job is to keep his vampires safe. The world has turned ugly with humans becoming hunters and slaughtering the vamps for sport or reward. To keep peace among the clans, Hunter has agreed to marry the daughter of a rival clan leader. He doesn't like her and neither do the readers. Rasha is a walking spoiled princess and unaccustomed to the better ways of living Hunter has created for his people. Her twin sister, Aylin, is her opposite and we already know there's a chemistry between her and Hunter from book one. When Rasha's bridal party is attacked by hunters on their way to Hunter's secret compound, the leader joins the fray to rescue his bride. Except his fiancee turns out to be Aylin as he realizes the real woman he's interested in is off limits to him.

The author really expounded upon her worldbuilding here with lots of information on the creation of the vampires and a certain demon's key role. Before Hunter can marry he must endure certain trials and the one who accompanies him may surprise readers. Gritty, dark, dangerous and still steamy in parts, Chained By Night dares to expose every little detail about this strange new world. Hunter's trials are exciting, violent and page turning. He's a pure Alpha male who doesn't mind taking a break to play a Wii game. How quickly he jumped onto my Top Ten favorite PNR males.

Aylin is also a terrific character. Accustomed to being the unwanted one due to a birth defect with her leg, she should be the typical broken female, but she isn't. Kind, compassionate, and strong in unusual areas, she's not ashamed to use her intelligence in a coven of bullies and sexist pigs. When she enters Hunter's world, she's shown respect and care and is made to feel accepted. I thoroughly enjoyed her scenes with Hunter and thought they made a fantastic couple. 

The MoonBound Clan Vampire series has quietly and quickly made room for itself on my shelf of beloved paranormal romance books, right beside others by Ward, Adrian, Moning, Rice, Kenyon, Frost, Sands and Cole. I know I should have picked up this author's Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series. At least I found this one on time. Tumultuous, sexy and riveting, Chained By Night had my fingertips tethered to the sides of my paperback and is sure to satisfy any fans of paranormal romance. I can't wait to see what the third book is about.

Rating: 4

Cover comment:
I like the symbolism of the cover photo with Aylin chained and Hunter kneeling in front of her to free her, but the image does make me think of certain other books featuring chains (not that I'm saying this is bad or anything). I wish I could tell if the model acting as Hunter has long hair or not. 

Book source:
I received a promotional copy from the publisher in return for my honest review. Thank you Simon & Schuster.

Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles blog tour with excerpt and giveaway @cindymilesbooks @XpressoReads



Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Only fools fall in love…

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.

A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.

As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.


Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Excerpt

SOMEHOW, I KNEW BRAX would follow me; the round headlight in my rear view mirror was all the proof I needed. I knew he had a right to be angry, but for some reason it offended me that he seemed to take that anger out on me. As if I’d had anything to do with Noah’s proclamation of Brax’s bad reputation.
No sooner did I pull into my parking spot, kill the engine and open the door was Brax already off his bike and standing there. He opened the door. “Jesus fuck, Gracie, please.” I sat stone-statue still in my truck, staring out the windshield, my knuckles turning white as I gripped the wheel. His voice held pain; more than what was caused by our fight, or by Noah’s warning, or even by his accidental intrusion on the conversation. I let out a pent-up sigh, watched as a tear fell onto the thigh of my faded jeans.
“Baby, Christ God, I’m such an idiot. Please don’t cry.” Brax’s calloused fingers grasped my jaw, forcing my gaze to his. Embarrassment swamped over me and I blinked, trying to convince my treacherous eyeballs to stop leaking. But Brax’s roughened knuckle brushed away the trail of dampness. He crouched down then, the material pulling taut over his muscled thighs, the tee shirt snugged over his broad shoulders, and he looked up from his lowered position. His hands now rested on my knee. He squeezed it, slightly, exhaled and stared at the ground between his feet, then back up to me. “You gotta believe me when I say I’m sorry, Gracie. I lost it back there.” He glanced away, thinking. “I thought he’d convinced you I was no good.” His eyes seared into mine, and I saw doubt there. A lot of it; more than what he probably meant for me to see. “I thought you believed him.”
Brax’s confessions from that night on the ball diamond came rushing back, and I was struck by the force of the fears he still had buried deep inside. Abandonment seemed an empty description. In many ways he was the strongest person I knew; his turmoil growing up had made him a survivor, valiant. Yet a part of him, no matter how small it might seem, lingered inside of him like a small, frightened kid—scared of being left alone in a dumpster to just … stop existing. It saddened me; it didn’t make me pity him, but just the opposite. I respected him for showing me this vulnerable side of Braxton Jenkins, for letting me in, and I was positive not another soul in Texas had witnessed it. I wondered if it meant something. If he might care for me as much as I secretly cared for him. I reached for his hands then, where they still gripped my knee, and threaded my fingers through his strong ones. My voice felt unsteady, shaky. “I draw my own conclusions, Brax. About everyone, and everything. That doesn’t just include you. It especially includes you.” I chose my next words carefully. “I don’t typically let people in”—I pressed one of my hands to my heart—“here. So trust me, if the rumors I heard about you from the get-go didn’t scare me away, nothing will.” His fingers tightened around mine, and I saw instant relief flood the harsh planes and unique features that the shadows tried so hard to hide. “Noah was wrong for what he said. Even he admitted having overstepped his boundaries, and he was right about that. And I have no idea what caused him to feel the need to warn me about you.” I peered closely at him. “I don’t need any more warnings. And I don’t like being yelled at, Brax, or accused falsely. I understand you felt like you’d walked up on something between Noah and I, but you didn’t. That’s not me, not the kind of person I am.” I smiled then, and I saw regret soften his unusual eyes. “I’m different. Remember?”
Brax stood, his body filling the space left by my opened door. With one arm, he braced his weight against the frame and leaned in. His hand lowered, pushed my braid over my shoulder, then grasped my jaw and drew his mouth over mine. “I know you are,” he whispered, and his lips brushed feathery over mine. Then, he nudged my mouth open as he deepened the kiss, and the gentle swipe of his tongue, so possessive and erotic, made my lips tingle. Without thinking, I eased across the bench seat, Brax slid behind the wheel, pulled the door closed and laid me back, our tongues and mouths fusing, tasting. My heart raced out of control. God, that kiss could have gone on and on.

Or maybe even further. And just when I thought it would, Brax stopped, his big palms resting against the bare skin of my ribs, our breathing in sync and fast and deliciously fogging up the windows. He instead helped me from the cab of my truck. Walked with one arm around my shoulders as he carried my scope to the dorm entrance. Kissed me again and swiped my card. Gave me a little push inside after we kissed some more. Watched me until the shadows swallowed me up in the darkened common room. Even inside the stairwell, the rumble of his muffler sounded, and I listened to it as it carried him further away. It was a double-edged sword, that distinct sound; one of comfort, of familiarity. And then, one of departure, an echo of Brax departing. Leaving. Fading away. That sound and thought thumped heavier in the pit of my stomach than it should have, and I didn’t understand why.

COMING NEXT:

From Cindy Miles, bestselling new adult author of STUPID GIRL, comes the next installment of her blockbuster Stupid in Love series – STUPID BOY. 



Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont are the most envied couple at Winston College—but the so-called “virginity dare,” orchestrated by Brax’s old fraternity, almost tore them apart. Now, a new dare is taking shape, and it’s sure to set the campus ablaze with crazy new rumors and chaos. 



Winston’s “It Girl” Harper Bell isn’t just president of Alpha Delta Phi—she’s also a master at keeping her ugly past a secret. So, when the Kappas’ dare hits closer to home for her more than anyone realizes, she devises a competition of her own as payback. Three sorority sisters will seek out a notorious bad boy, train him to be the perfect boyfriend, seduce him almost to the point of no return, and promptly—and publicly—break his heart. Always up for a challenge, Harper targets the biggest player she can find: Brax’s wickedly handsome foster brother Kane McCarthy. 



But, Harper discovers there’s much more to Kane than girls, games, and partying. His easy smile belies the quiet, old soul reflected in his deep brown eyes. All it takes is one night, one secret laid bare, and one kiss from Kane to shift Harper’s world on its axis. Suddenly, the girl who’s always walked a straight and narrow path can’t think of anything else except losing control.

AUTHOR BIO

National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her upcoming New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college.

Author Links: website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


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Star of Deliverance Mandy Madson Voisin blog tour with spotlight and review @CedarFortBooks @SweetwaterBooks



Star of Deliverance by Mandy Madson Voisin
YA/NA Fantasy
Paperback/eBook, 320 Pages
September 1st 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Born a slave and outcast, the young healer Emi discovers an ancient disease spreading among her people. Desperate, she races to the Capital for a cure and unwittingly finds herself in a competition to win over the Crown Prince’s heart. Staying in the game provides time to search for a cure, but it may cost Emi her life—or her heart.

The Grand Finale for The Better Man by Amy Vastine

A Themed Tour through Prism Book Tours.


We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
The Better Man by Amy Vastine!

The Better Man, which is the beginning of the new Chicago Sisters Series, is set in the busy city of Chicago, but is full of family, friendship, and love. It's also from the clean romance Heartwarming line of books from Harlequin.

Did you miss any of the tour? You still have time to go back and check out all the stops and enter the amazing giveaway!

Launch - Intro and Excerpt
The Better Man is the first book in the Chicago Sisters Series, which introduces us to the three Everhart sisters, Lucy, Kendall, and Emma. All three sisters live in the Lincoln Park area, and even though the story has a big city backdrop, the focus is still on family and community. These sisters always have one another’s backs, even though they couldn’t be any different...