Review: DRAKON’S KNIGHT (Blood of the Drakon) by N.J. Walters

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DRAKON’S KNIGHT (Blood of the Drakon, Book 7) by N.J. Walters

Publication Date: June 24, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

DC152ACA-4186-4F19-A784-DC8676E7C045Drakon Jericho Drake, the child of a pure-blood dragon and human, has a simple plan: Kill the leader of the Knights of the Dragon and start a war. Except, when he meets his target, Karina Azarov, she can’t remember who she is. Worst of all––he can’t kill her. His dragon side has just claimed the dangerous woman as his mate.

Karina has no idea why these Drakon’s have taken her to their home. And she most certainly does not understand why she’s so drawn to her captor. Maybe because he’s strong, intelligent, and caring, in his enigmatic sort of way. One thing she knows, he’s not going to hurt her. If only she could remember something from her past that would explain why these Drakon’s hate her so much.

But if her memory returns, mated or not, he may get his war.. And one of them will die.

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Cori 4 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed DRAKON’S KNIGHT. It’s the seventh book in N.J. Walters’ Blood of the Drakon Series. I recommend reading the books in order, but each book can be read as a stand-alone. When I picked up DRAKON’S KNIGHT I was unsure if I would like Karina because I didn’t like her in the previous books, but I found myself admiring her. Jericho and Karina story was full of passion, mystery and danger and I couldn’t put it down. N. J. Walters’ paranormal world of drakons (half dragons/ half men) and the evil knights that hunt them is a unique paranormal series that I highly recommend for paranormal romance lovers looking for a great dragon shifter series. I’m hooked!

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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✦Blood of the Drakon Series by N.J. Walters✦
1. Drakon’s PromiseKindle | Review
2. Drakon’s PreyKindle | Review
3. Drakon’s PlunderKindle | Review
4. Drakon’s PastKindle
5. Drakon Unchained ➢ Kindle
6. Drakon’s Tear ➢ Kindle
7. Drakon’s Knight ➢ Kindle

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About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review & Excerpt Tour: ELI’S TRIUMPH: A Reapers MC Novella by Joanna Wylde

 

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ELI’S TRIUMPH: A Reapers MC Novella by Joanna Wylde

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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B2A81005-88F7-44B9-86CC-B2ED89725860From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Joanna Wylde comes a new story in her Reapers MC series…

Peaches Taylor spent the last seven years slinging drinks and dodging drunks at the Starkwood Saloon. Some might call it a dead end job, but to her it was an investment—another six months, and she’d have enough money to buy the place.

Life would’ve been perfect if Eli hadn’t come home.

Eli King is ready to settle down. He stood by his brothers when they needed him, paying the price for their freedom with his own. Now it’s time to claim his reward—the Starkwood Saloon. He’s got the cash to buy the bar, the skills to run it, and just one person standing between him and his dream: Peaches Taylor.

She’s been driving him crazy since they were kids, and not in the good way. When she was six, she shoved a spider down his pants. When he was ten, he locked her in a closet overnight. Then she hot-wired his car at seventeen, and things got ugly…

They’re adults now, and the Starkwood isn’t a toy to fight over—it’s the hill they’ll die on. No prisoners. No compromises. No mercy.

Peaches Taylor and Eli King are going to war.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Excerpt

Id earned this bar, paid for it with five long years in prison, holding my tongue and taking the punishment for a crime that wasnt mine. Gus owed me for that alone. The fact that hed get a cash payout was just a bonus at this point.

No reason for me to feel guilty. And that was the truth.

Still, I could see how much this sucked for Peaches. Shed put in time, too. Time and good faith. Riling her up was a blast, but Id never wanted her hurt. Not for real. I cared about the girl. Cared about her a lot.

Too much.

Gus had been weak. I loved my uncle, but hed f*cked this one up big time. She deserved better from him—and from me. I should be in there with them. Decision made, I reached for the door.

Get out! Get the f*ck out of here, you lying bastard!

The door burst open, and Gus stumbled out, walking backward. I caught his arm and steadied him as the slabslammed shut again. I heard the heavy bolt sliding shut, locking us out. My uncle looked at me, then sighed.

Actually went better than I expected.

Glad I dont have to deal with hiding a body.

Not yet, he replied, then sighed again. Shes not a happy camper. Probably shouldve warned her that our plans might change once you got out.

Why didnt you? Wouldve been a lot easier on her.

Guess I didnt want her turning on me,”my uncle admitted, surprising me with his honesty. I knew shed hate me for it. God, but I miss her mom. Saw her in town a couple weeks ago. Its been twenty years, and Glory still wont even look at me.

Raw pain filled his eyes. I cleared my throat, uncomfortable. F*ck. I didnt like this. Didnt like my girl hurting, and didnt like having to see my uncle like this.

Didnt like knowing I was part of it.

A loud thump came from behind the door, breaking the moment. There was a crash, and then some kind of tearing noise. Shit.

Some women pouted when they got upset.

Others cried.

Peaches had always skipped that part, moving straight to revenge. Another crash. This one so hard that the door rattled. I pictured her all pissed off in there, those glorious t*ts of hers straining against the front of her low-cut black StarkwoodSaloon shirt. My c*ck twitched. Christ, she was hot when she got angry.

Her cheeks would be flushed, and shed run her fingers through that wild, dark hair of hers in frustration.

Total sex hair.

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Black and white image of loving couple. Going to kiss.

Cori 4.5 Stars

Loved Eli! ELI’S TRIUMPH is a novella in Joanna Wylde’s Reaper MC Series, but it can be read as a standalone. I think the main characters are new because I don’t remember Eli in the other books. Some of the Reapers appear in the novella though. If you haven’t read the series you can try this one and if you like it I’d recommend starting at the beginning and reading it in order. The Reapers are addictive! This novella was a hot romance that captured and held my attention from start to finish. I highly recommend this entire series for readers looking for a hot biker series.

*Review copy provided by the Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle $2.99 | Amazon Paperback $8.99

Amazon Series Link

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✿Reapers Motorcycle Club Series by Joanna Wylde✿
✦#1: Reaper’s PropertyAmazon
✦#2: Reaper’s LegacyAmazon
✦#3: Devil’s GameAmazon | Review 5 Stars
✦#4: Reaper’s StandAmazon | Review 5 Stars
Silver Bastard (Silver Valley) ➢ Amazon | Review 5 Stars
✦#5: Reaper’s Fall Amazon | Review 5 Stars
✦#6: Reaper’s FireAmazon | Review 5 Stars
Shade’s Lady AmazonReview 5 Stars
Rome’s Chance Amazon | Review 5 Stars

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Joanna Wylde started her writing career in journalism, working in two daily newspapers as both a reporter and editor. Her career has included many different jobs, from managing a homeless shelter to running her own freelance writing business, where she took on projects ranging from fundraising to ghostwriting for academics. During 2012 she got her first Kindle reader as a gift and discovered the indie writing revolution taking place online. Not long afterward she started cutting back her client list to work on Reaper’s Property, her breakout book. It was published in January 2013, marking the beginning of a new career writing fiction.

Joanna lives in the mountains of northern Idaho with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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 Check out this Guest Post from Joanna Wylde:

 ✦S.I.L.V.E.R. Bastard Blog Tour – V is for Villain Guest Post from Joanna Wylde http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2hk

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Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND by Erika Kelly

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THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND (The Bad Boyfriend Series, Book 3) by Erika Kelly

Publication Date: April 23, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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4B053A28-5D77-4E57-B0C1-55425C06DD87Gray Bowie broke the bro code: he fell in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.

For years, he hid his feelings…until one terrible night, it all came to a head.

Since her life blew up in high school, Knox Holliday has spent her time honing her skills as a couture wedding dress designer. But, just weeks before her debut, a freak accident wipes out her collection. The culprit: her ex’s former best friend, Gray Bowie.

Gray does everything he can to get her career back on track. As they work together, they find forgiveness and start to stitch together something that looks a lot like love. But, at the very moment they realize they have a chance for something real, her ex comes back to town, bringing opportunities Gray can’t provide.

This time, Gray’s not going to step aside, so he can only hope Knox will hold onto his heart.

She’s his dream, but will he be hers?

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Excerpt

“So, what’s up?” Knox let Gray in, and then went back into the kitchen. “What brings you by?”
“I haven’t checked in for a while.”
“You check in with Amelia and Zach all the time.”
“I want to check in with you.” He watched her carefully.
I miss you. We shouldn’t let that kiss keep us from each other. She should just put it on the table, whisk away the weirdness. “It was a good kiss.”
Color spilled into his cheeks, spreading like a sunburn to his earlobes.
That was really cute. It gave her the courage to go on. “It might’ve been the best kiss I’ve ever had.”
He swallowed hard, making his Adam’s apple jump. “But…?”
“But we can’t cross that line.”
“Right. Because…?”
“Because I like you. I like you better than anybody.” Although Delilah had leapt to the top of her list tonight. “And we work together.”
Need crackled in his eyes. He wanted her.
Would she ever get used to the idea?
His fingertips tapped on the granite. “And I’m leaving soon.” The four simple words sounded like he’d pried them out of his throat with a tire iron. And, yet, he kept that nonchalant stance of his, like nothing mattered.
But she mattered to him. She knew it not just because of what he’d told her that night in the hotel room, but because for the very first time she could read the truth in his eyes and the tension in his body. And it was just so profound that she could see the world through something other than the bully lens. That she could see desire in his eyes and not aggravation or pity or whatever she might have interpreted in the past.
“Gray.” She didn’t even know how to deal with such a volatile cocktail of emotion. Affection for him, because it sank deep that she wasn’t—had never been—a pity project. Attraction, brand new, but potent and alive, like magnetic waves of energy flowing, colliding, sparking between them.
And fear. God, it scared her death to have romantic feelings for a man like Gray.
She could fall so hard for him.
“We’re on totally different paths,” he said.
Love was complicated for her. Her mom hadn’t been reliable. She was the type of person who checked in with her daughter—You good? Texted pictures of her adventures, woke her up in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower, and routinely stood at the sink to shovel dinner into her mouth before “heading out.” She sought her own pleasures in life, and while she cared about Knox, it was in a detached way.
Other than Robert—and that hadn’t been healthy—Knox hadn’t really loved anyone else.
What she felt for Gray was so much richer, deeper, more profound, because it involved her head and her heart, her body and her soul. It had the power to consume her.
“Right.” He tapped his knuckles on the counter. “So, that’s it. Glad everything’s going well.” He turned abruptly and headed for the door.
Panic fluttered in her chest. She set her mug down. Logically, she was making the right choice. But her heart, God, she was in a panic. She didn’t want him to go, didn’t want this distance between them. She’d meant to bring up the kiss to dispel the weirdness between them but managed to drive him away with a conversation about the impossibility of a relationship between them.
You’re expert level at driving this man away.
Right when his hand closed around the door knob, she gave him what he’d come for. “It was awful. Tonight. Like tumbling back through time and being that girl again.”
He tensed, his whole body hard and alert. He tipped his forehead to the door. “I hate that they did that to you.”
“But you should’ve seen Delilah. She was fierce.”
“Yeah?” Slowly, he turned toward her. “That’s what I heard. I’m glad she was there. Otherwise I’d be in jail right now.” He opened the door and strode out onto the porch.
Don’t leave me. Stay, and we can lay in my bed on our backs, our feet against the wall, sharing a pint of Cookies ‘N Cream ice cream.
He sailed off the steps, landed on the grass, and turned to her, walking backwards. “Can you get away tomorrow?”
Happiness danced all over her skin. “Of course. What for?”
“A little field trip. Be ready at eight.”

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved this one! Gray just became my favorite Bowie brother! THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND is the third book in Erika Kelly’s Bad Boyfriend Series. Each book in the series features a Bowie brother and can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading them in order to fully enjoy the series. I devoured Gray and Knox’s story. It was a great second chance romance and I just completely fell head over heels for Gray. Erika Kelly always delivers a great feel-good romance that never disappoints.  I highly recommend Erika Kelly’s books for romance lovers looking for romances with happy ever afters that leave you smiling and wanting more.

*Review copy provided by the Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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✿The Bad Boyfriend Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. THE HEARTLESS BOYFRIEND ➢ Review 4 Stars | Kindle
✦3. THE CARELESS BOYFRIEND ➢ Kindle

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✿✿✿ ADDITIONAL SERIES ✿✿✿

✿Wild Love Series by Erika Kelly✿
✦1. Mine For Now ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle
✦2. Mine for the Week ➢ Review 4.5 StarsKindle

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✿Rock Star Romance Series by Erika Kelly✿

✦1. You Really Got Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦2. I Want You To Want Me ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦3. Take Me Home Tonight ➢ Review 5 Stars | Kindle
✦4. More Than a Feeling ➢ Review 5 StarsKindle

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604CAF16-513E-40B9-A008-94B19D5E8AF7Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life—she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: VENGEANCE: A Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella by Rebecca Zanetti

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VENGEANCE: A Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella by Rebecca Zanetti

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis

1B65681B-4337-44EF-9854-61DB348DFD4CFrom New York Times bestselling author, Rebecca Zanetti, comes a new Dark Protectors/Rebels Novella…

Vengeance and revenge are the only forces driving vampire soldier Noah Siosal since losing his brother to an enemy he’s been unable to find. He’s searched every corner of the globe, going through adversaries and piling up bodies until finally getting a lead. The last place he wants to be is in a ridiculous anger management group with people expressing feelings instead of taking action. Until one fragile human, a green-eyed sweetheart being stalked by danger, catches his eye. One touch, and he realizes vengeance can’t be anywhere near her.

Anger and self-preservation are the only motivations Abby Miller needs or wants right now. Falsely accused of attacking the man who’s terrorized her for years, she’s forced as a plea bargain to attend an anger management counseling group with people with some serious rage issues, while learning true self defense on the side. Yet a man, one more primal than any she’s ever met, draws her in a way and into a world deadlier than she’s ever imagined. He offers her protection, but she finds the fight is really for his heart, and she’s ready to battle.

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Cori 4.5 Stars

I loved this novella! Noah and Abby were perfect for each other and their story was a great mix of danger and  suspense with a romantic love story that steamed up the pages. VENGEANCE is part of the Dark Protectors/ Rebels Series, but it can be read as a standalone. If you haven’t read any of the books you can pick this one up and try out the series. I highly recommend the entire series. The Dark Protectors Series is one of my favorite paranormal romance series I read over and over again.

*Review copy provided by Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Black and white image of loving couple. Going to kiss.

Excerpt

His hand slid around her face and tangled in her hair, tilting her head back farther.
She sighed and kissed him, warming right up. Her eyelids opened to see his intense gaze on her. She jerked, her body stilling.
Holding her gaze, he lifted lightly, his lips barely a whisper from hers. “You okay?”
She nodded, even though his hand in her hair contained her movement. “Yes. You?”
“Yes. You want more?” He held himself still, like one of those racehorses in a stall right before the gate opened.
Her nipples peaked. Fast and hard. More? There was more? She should think. Take a step back. “Yes,” she said. “More.”
He moved faster than humanly possible, ducking his head and claiming her lips. This time, there was no gentleness or coaxing. It was all fire and electricity and demand. Hard and fast, he took her mouth, kissing her in a way that took her completely out of the moment.
The rain and cold disappeared along with her fear and sadness. Only passion and fire remained. She let him guide her, opening her mouth, wanting everything he was giving. Never had she felt this. Her body went from a slow heat to a full-on inferno, her thighs trembling for more of him. For all of him.
Headlights barely caught her attention. Then a door slamming. “What the hell?” bellowed a familiar male voice.
She jumped, fear instantly swamping her. “No.”
Noah released her and turned as Monte stomped toward them, fury morphing into red blotches on a face she’d once thought handsome. “What are you doing?” he yelled, arms swinging, getting too close.
Noah partially turned and punched him right in the mouth. Monte went down, splashing through a mudpuddle, his arms windmilling.
Abby gasped, her body chilling instantly. Horror caught her. Oh God. “What have you done?”

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Buy Links

Kindle $2.99 | Paperback

Amazon Series Link

 

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About the Author

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Review: LIONHEART (Moonshadow Trilogy, Book 3) by Thea Harrison

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LIONHEART (Moonshadow Trilogy, Book 3) by Thea Harrison

Publication Date: October 15, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

4F21E6EB-124B-45BD-B917-94B4A4EF5E26From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final story in her spellbinding Moonshadow trilogy…

King Oberon reigned over his Dark Court in Lyonesse for centuries until an assassination attempt laid him low. Now he lies unconscious in his snow-bound palace while his Power battles the enchantment that threatens to end his life.

A skilled trauma surgeon and magic user, Dr. Kathryn Shaw reigns at the top of her profession in New York. Then comes a challenge she can’t resist—she is asked to cure the incurable. Just getting close enough to try healing Oberon is a dangerous proposition. When she does reach him, he awakens too soon.

Roused from darkness by Kathryn’s presence, Oberon confronts the beautiful stranger who claims she wants to save his life. But the enchantment has frozen his emotions. How can he learn to trust her when he can’t feel anything?

Oberon’s desire is icy, devoid of all tenderness. Not only must Kathryn match wits with him, she must also fight her reaction to his touch, because there is so much more at stake than her own endangered heart.

For the Dark Court faces its most deadly peril yet. Its ancient enemy Isabeau, Queen of the Light Court, is obsessed with its annihilation, and Oberon must be brought to remember his loyalty and affection for his people.

Because if he won’t fight for them, Lyonesse itself may very well be destroyed…

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Cori 5 Stars

I loved this trilogy and LIONHEART was a favorite! This is the final book in Thea Harrison’s Moonshadow Trilogy that is set in the Elder Races World. You don’t need to read the Elder Races Series before starting this one, but I would recommend reading the Monshadow Series in order. Each book in the Moonshadow Series features a different couple and can be read as standalone though. LIONHEART is a King Oberon and Dr. Kathryn Shaw’s book. Kathryn is Dragos’s doctor in the Elder Series. LIONHEART had plenty of action, danger, passion and a unique storyline. I highly recommend this trilogy and I hope there will be a spin-off sent in this world because I love it!

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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✿MOONSHADOW SERIES BY THEA HARRISON✿
✦Book 1: MOONSHADOW ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2cZvGoH | Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-7mB
✦Book 2: SPELLBINDER ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2snKjWv | Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-9gY
✦Book 3: LIONHEART ➢ Kindle https://amzn.to/2NXkgDA

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Elder races series by Thea Harrison reading order
✦THE ELDER RACES BY THEA HARRISON✦
Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/1Ees2uY 
✦#1: DRAGON BOUND – http://amzn.to/17OAJsX
✦#2: STORM’S HEART – http://amzn.to/1fGeSNo
✦#3: SERPENT’S KISS – http://amzn.to/1fGeE8Y
✦ TRUE COLORS (Novella) – http://amzn.to/17OA9vi
✦#4: ORACLE’S MOON – http://amzn.to/17OAuhw
✦ NATURAL EVIL (Novella) – http://amzn.to/1bCUsjm
✦ DEVIL’S GATE (Novella) – http://amzn.to/H0mewH
✦ HUNTER’S SEASON (Novella) – http://amzn.to/1fGdMRF
✦#5: LORD’S FALL – http://amzn.to/1hZVCXV
✦ THE WICKED (Novella) – http://amzn.to/17id5XD
✦#6: KINKED – Review http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-NU | http://amzn.to/1bCTGmw
✦ DRAGOS TAKES A HOLIDAY – http://amzn.to/IcMCmT
✦ PIA SAVES THE DAY – http://amzn.to/1MgRXTI
✦ PEANUT GOES TO SCHOOL (Short Story) – http://amzn.to/1xTjQQU
✦#7: NIGHT’S HONOR – Review http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1Au | http://amzn.to/1HJIoNr
✦#8: MIDNIGHT’S KISS – Review http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-2ma | http://amzn.to/1Mubm4M
✦DRAGOS GOES TO HOLLYWOOD (Novella) – http://amzn.to/1jjzW1e
✦PIA DOES HOLLYWOOD (Novella) – http://amzn.to/1MgqhC2
✦#9: SHADOW’S END – Review http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-3sP | http://amzn.to/1L7MAcn
✦LIAM TAKES MANHATTAN (Novella) – http://amzn.to/1P1EIuH

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About the author

Thea Harrison Bio A debut author at the age of nineteen, Thea Harrison had sixteen romances published under another name before she took a break to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. She’s back with the Novels of the Elder Races, a paranormal romance series, which includes Night’s Honor, Kinked, Lord’s Fall, and more.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

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Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: THE DARKEST CAPTIVE (Lords of the Underworld Novella) by Gena Showalter

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THE DARKEST CAPTIVE (Lords of the Underworld Novella) (1001 Dark Nights) by Gena Showalter

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

7457421E-DC42-4A0F-B84A-040D2954EF42From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter comes a new story in her Lords of the Underworld series…

For centuries, Galen the Treacherous has been the most hated immortal in the Underworld. With good reason! This bad boy of bad boys has lied, stolen, cheated and killed with abandon. Possessed by the demons of Jealousy and False Hope, he has always lived for a single purpose: destroy everything.

Then he met her.

Former demon turned human femme fatale — Legion Honey — sought to kill Galen, but ended up parting with her virginity instead. Afraid of their sizzling connection, she ran away…and ended up trapped in hell, tortured and abused in the worst of ways. Now she’s free, and a shell of herself, afraid of her own shadow.

Galen’s hunger for Legion has only grown. Now the warrior with nothing to lose must help her rekindle the fire that once burned inside her. But as desires blaze white-hot, will Legion run again? Or will the unlikely pair succumb to love at long last?

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Excerpt

Today, she wore a plain white T-shirt and nothing else.
For a moment, his thoughts derailed. Look at those bronzed, mile-long legs, ready to wrap around my waist. Or my shoulders.
“Are you hungry? You must be hungry,” he said. He wanted to watch her eat again. And yeah, okay, staring at someone as they savored a meal was probably creep-city, but Leila was his addiction, the sickness in his blood, and there was no cure. Symptoms included:
Acute swelling in the groin—Check.
Night and day sweats—Check.
Total lack of concentration—Check.
“I’m not hungry,” she said, and sniffled.
Sniffled? He forced his gaze back up her body, only to curse. Red rimmed her eyes, and tears glistened on her cheeks. Clench. He cupped her jaw and demanded, “What’s wrong?”
“Everything! You’ve been so good to me, but now our test drive month is over. You probably want to sleep with me just so you can be done with me and and and—”
Not knowing what else to do, he pressed a swift kiss to her lips. She gasped, the pulse at the base of her throat hammering.
Could the month’s end be the reason for his foreboding? “Do you want to know my favorite day in all the eons of my life? The day you doctored me. And the day after that, when you smiled at me. And the day after that, just because you were at my side. I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened between us—except asking for more than a month of your time.”
Her eyes widened. “Really?”
Nod. “How about we extend the test drive another month?”
“Yes. Absolutely.” She leaned against him, resting her cheek against his pec. An intimate pose, one she’d instigated. “You are becoming my favorite part of every day, too.”
The rightness of her words…the fit of her body against his… He nearly howled with triumph. Steady. Moving slowly, languidly, as if he hadn’t a care, he wrapped his arms around her. She offered no protests, and didn’t tense, so he took things a step further and ran his fingers through her silken curls.
Sighing, she cuddled closer.
The scent of wildflowers ignited little fires inside him. “Get changed and meet me in the gym,” he said, kissing her temple. “I’m going to give you a self-defense lesson.” And put my hands all over your delectable body.
“That would be amazing.” With a squeal of happiness, she leaped up to kiss his cheek. Then she backtracked and shut the door in his face, leaving him shocked to his core.
How easily she’d just touched him. How easily she’d offered affection. So different from the frightened girl he’d found in that cabin.

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Horbatenko

Cori 4.5 Stars

Galen and Legion ended up being perfect for each other. I loved their story! It was sexy, fun, emotional and passionate. Galen has been the villain throughout the series, but he grew on me some in this novella and I enjoyed his interactions with the Lords. I recommend reading the series in order to fully enjoy the series storyline. I highly recommend this series for paranormal romance lovers. Gena Showalter is one of the Queens of paranormal romance and always delivers a great story.

*Review copy provided by Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

Amazon Series link

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✿LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD SERIES BY GENA SHOWALTER✿
Amazon Series Link http://amzn.to/2yzQLQF
✦THE DARKEST FIRE (this is a bonus story and you don’t have to read it to understand the series or the characters) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2yElhGz
✦THE DARKEST NIGHT – Maddox (Violence) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2iX58HF
✦THE DARKEST KISS – Lucien (Death) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2gVyKSC
✦THE DARKEST PLEASURE – Reyes (Pain) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2yzrlCC
✦THE DARKEST PRISON (Novella) – Atlas and Nike (another bonus story) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2xccs5b
✦THE DARKEST WHISPER – Sabin (Doubt) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2xW3MUY
✦THE DARKEST ANGEL – Lysander and Bianka ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2gXVBNz
✦INTO THE DARK – a compendium of The Darkest Fire and The Darkest Prison printed inside, plus the original The Darkest Facts ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2zseQFt
✦THE DARKEST PASSION – Aeron (Wrath) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2yyIGLW
✦THE DARKEST LIE – Gideon (Lies) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2xcwA7l
✦THE DARKEST SECRET – Amun (Secrets) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2gWHcRr
✦THE DARKEST SURRENDER – Strider (Defeat) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2gWhCw4
✦THE DARKEST SEDUCTION – Paris (Promiscuity) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2gWstpW
✦THE DARKEST CRAVING – Kane (Disaster) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/2xcNl2a
✦THE DARKEST TOUCH – Torin (Disease) ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1Fm | Kindle http://amzn.to/2zqzWnO
✦THE DARKEST TORMENT – Baden (Distrust) ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-759 | Kindle http://amzn.to/2lH2Mxp
✦THE DARKEST PROMISE – Cameo (Misery) ➢ Review 5 Stars http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-90y | Kindle http://amzn.to/2rymHCb
✦THE DARKEST WARRIOR – Puck & Gillian ➢ Review 5 Stars https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-aMP | Kindle http://amzn.to/2BQXRz8
✦THE DARKEST CAPTIVE (1001 Dark Nights Novella) – Galen & Legion (Releasing 12/04/18) ➢ Kindle $2.99 http://amzn.to/2CZOY5E

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✿GODS OF WAR SERIES BY GENA SHOWALTER✿
✦SHADOW AND ICE ➢ Review 5 Stars https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-aV3 | Kindle $6.99 http://amzn.to/2oJw52g

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White feather on black background

About the Author

Author pic- Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Blog Tour, Review, Fun Facts & Giveaway: SUMMONED TO THIRTEENTH GRAVE: A Novel by Darynda Jones

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SUMMONED TO THIRTEENTH GRAVE: A Novel (Charley Davidson Series Book 13) by Darynda Jones

Publication Date: January 15, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

6394CE20-7D7D-4428-B206-3414B4ED0C9AGrim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series! 



Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plane for eternity—which is exactly the amount of time it takes to make a person stark, raving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed her daughter. She’s missed Reyes. She’s missed Cookie and Garrett and Uncle Bob. Now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine for a broken heart? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

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First Grave on the Right
The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far as Darynda knows, they have all forgiven her for her thievery.

Second Grave on the Left
Uncle Bob is a combination of two people: Darynda’s oldest brother, Luther, and the principal at the high school where she worked for several years.

Third Grave Dead Ahead
This was originally titled Third Grave Straight Ahead, but Darynda’s web designer, Liz Bemis, asked her to change the name to Dead Ahead. Firstly, it fit the content better, and secondly, Liz got tired of spelling the word Straight wrong while updating the website. Dead is much easier to type.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Quentin Rutherford makes his first appearance in this book. While his first name was stolen from Darynda’s little brother and his last name stolen from yet another Jr. High student, Quentin is physically sculpted from her oldest son, Jerrdan, a bona fide blond-haired, blue-eyed devil with a sparkling smile that melts even the staunchest of hearts. And, like Quentin Rutherford, he was born Deaf. Not that he let it stop him for a second.

Fifth Grave Past the Light
This book was fun to write! Darynda was trying to come up with something truly creepy to throw into the book, and she figured what would be creepier than having an apartment full of departed women crawling up the walls, skittering across the ceiling, and huddling in the corners? Also, it is one of the hotter books, so that was fun, too. Because, you know, Reyes.

Sixth Grave on the Edge
Darynda really wanted to open this one on a humorous note. She wanted to have Charley on a stakeout with a departed elderly man, who also happens to be naked, riding shotgun. Which begs the question: Are we really stuck in (or out of) whatever we are wearing when we die for all eternity? ‘Cause that would suck.

Seventh Grave and No Body
Osh’ekiel was originally supposed to be in one book only. And he was supposed to be a very bad guy. But Darynda fell in love with him while writing the book and decided to redeem him and give him a bigger role. Just how big his role would become didn’t come to Darynda until plotting Eighth Grave. He has been one of her favorite characters since she wrote that first scene with him.

Eighth Grave After Dark
Darynda wanted to really turn the tables on Charley and force her to have to stay in one place, thus the sacred ground of the convent came into play. It was fun and challenging to write a “locked room” mystery, so to speak, but that’s why she loves writing so much.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave
One of Darynda’s favorite books in the series, she looked forward to writing this book ever since she came up with the concept while plotting Sixth Grave. Part of what makes a romance so fun is the falling-in-love part, and she wanted Charley to fall in love with Reyes all over again. This book was doubly fun because the audience knows all the characters’ backstories, and they get to watch in anticipation as Charley slowly unravels the mysteries of her past, while seeing her fall head-over-heels for the same guy all over again.

The Curse of Tenth Grave
This book had one of those too-close-for-comfort calls. Right before Tenth Grave went to print, after going through editors and copyeditors and readers of all shapes and sizes, a savvy proofreader let Darynda in on a little secret: A Sherpa is part of a culture, not an occupation. Thanks to this razor-sharp reader, Darynda narrowly escaped insulting an entire culture in one fell swoop. Aka, her worst nightmare. Her gratitude is unending.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight
Darynda dreamed of going to Scotland for so long, she finally decided to just put it in one of her books. She had Charley accidently materialize in the magical country, only to find out weeks after finishing the book that she would finally get to go there herself. In person. For realsies. It was even more magical than she’d imagined it would be, and she can’t wait to go back.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
This book has one of Darynda’s favorite epiphanies EVER!!! She thought, what if someone out there in the universe, a child perhaps, knows everything about Reyes and Charley? Everything starting from their supernatural heritage to their human identities? And what if that person wrote a book about them? Or a series of books? Say, perhaps, a set of children’s books and Garrett just happens to stumble upon them while doing research? How fun would that be? And the international bestselling children’s book (fictionally speaking) The First Star was born.

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave
By far the hardest story in the series to write, penning the last Charley book was a bittersweet experience. But Darynda knew she had to go big or go home, so what better way to go out with a bang than to end the world as we know it by starting the zombie apocalypse? Because that’s what writers do. We start apocalypses.

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Excerpt

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave_Excerpt

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Cori 5 Stars

The conclusion to this epic series was everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved it! Charley and Reyes are one of my favorite couples and this series never got old for me. I devoured this last book the same way I devoured the first book. The series has humor, mystery, danger, great characters and an epic romance. If you haven’t read the series I highly recommend it for paranormal romance and mystery lovers. I’m sad this series is over, but I’m excited for the spin-off series featuring Charley’s daughter. I’ll be grabbing it as soon as I can get my hands on it. Darynda Jones created a unique world of characters I love and will revisit again and again.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Hardback

Amazon Series Link

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GiveawayEnter for a chance to win the entire Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, an ARC of the epic finale, Summoned to Thirteenth Grave, plus fun swag!
https://read.macmillan.com/promo/charleydavidsonseriessweeps/

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About the Author

New York Times and USA Today  bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Review & Giveaway: BEAUTIFUL SINNER: A Devil’s Rock Novel by Sophie Jordan

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BEAUTIFUL SINNER: A Devil’s Rock Novel, Book 5 by Sophie Jordan

Publication Date: October 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

96820E34-CB16-4FE6-9E79-B309D458FFADLocked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Gabriella doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Gabriella wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

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Cori 3.5 Stars review

I enjoyed this second chance romance. BEAUTIFUL SINNER is the fifth book in Sophie Jordan’s contemporary series, The Devil’s Rock Series. I didn’t read the previous books before picking up this book, but plan on reading them next because I enjoyed this one. Cruz and Gabriella’s story was full of passion, angst and smoking hot romance. There were a couple of things that Gabriella did that annoyed me, but I still rooted for her. I recommend this book for romance lovers looking for a hot second chance romance.

*Review copy provided by Avon in exchange for an honest review.  

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Buy Links

Kindle | Paperback

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Giveaway

PAPERBACK COPY

Enter on Facebook Post HERE

*Winner will be selected Saturday (11/17) by 6PM EST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by Avon.

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About the author

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with anything that has a happily ever after.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY (A Guild Hunter Novel) by Nalini Singh

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ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY (Guild Hunter Series) by Nalini Singh

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: October 30, 2018

Synopsis
65A4DBF4-74D7-4D59-9298-A90A2FCC6A97Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy….

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind…and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

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Excerpt

Illium turned in a direction that would take them to the Catskills if they kept on going.
Sweeping closer to him, she said, “You just want to fly?”
Hair rippling in the quiet but cutting wind, he twisted down in a complicated fall before flying back up to her side. She laughed at his showing off. That was Illium. An angel of violent power who had a heart that might almost be mortal. And, these days, she could appreciate his tricks again. Not a single angel in the city had been ready to witness his acrobatics in the immediate aftermath of the day he’d crashed out of the sky.
Elena would never forget her screaming fear.
To his credit, Illium had flown with absolute discretion for months, letting the memory dull and fade.
When he returned to her side today, his face was flushed, the gold of his eyes rich. “Sky’s too beautiful to shut ourselves away in a club.”
“Just don’t forget I’m not as fast as you. Also, I’m currently lame.”
Illium lifted one cupped hand close to his shoulder, the other moving back and forth . . . and she realized he was playing a tiny violin in response to her morose tone.
“Crossbow, Bluebell.” Narrowed eyes. “Remember the crossbow.”
He dived, his wicked laughter floating up on the night air. Lips twitching, Elena continued to glide, letting the air currents sweep her along with cold but gentle hands. Illium, meanwhile, flew circles around her—but he never went far, always close enough to halt her descent should she tumble.
She landed a number of times to rest her wings, once in an isolated park whispering and dark. A luminescent insect appeared then disappeared from sight before she could truly see it, an earthbound star. The ghostly owl sitting on a tree branch watched her with eyes even more luminous.
A sigh deep in her mind, an old, old presence restless in Sleep.
The hairs rose on her arms.
Then Illium shot them both up into the sky again, and together, they flew far beyond the diamond-bright skyline of the city and over the sleeping homes of ordinary people who lived in a world of vampires and angels, blood and immortality.
Another rest stop for Elena.
Another throb of pain from the cut on her forearm.
Another watchful owl, this one landing on Illium’s shoulder without his knowledge. Ashwini had told her not to be afraid of the owls, so Elena ignored the goose bumps and said, Hello, with her mind. A good night to fly.
A vein began to throb at her temple.
The answer came a long time later, after they were in the air again, the glow of the sinkhole visible from the distance.
It has been an eon since I flew.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2018.

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Cori 5 Stars

This book was epic! I couldn’t put it down! ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY is the is the eleventh book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. Each book in this paranormal romance series can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading them in order to fully enjoy the series storyline. Raphael and Elena’s story kept me glued to the pages and gave me all the feels. It has a cliffhanger but not the kind of cliffhanger that makes wants to throw my book against the wall. I just can’t wait to for the next book. Nalini Singh always creates stories with unique worlds I can get lost in for a while. I highly recommend this series for readers looking for an addicting paranormal romance series.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy Links

 Kindle | Paperback

AMAZON SERIES LINK

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GUILD HUNTER SERIES BY NALINI SINGH

1. Angels’ Blood
2. Archangel’s Kiss
3. Archangel’s Consort
4. Archangel’s Blade
5. Archangel’s Storm
6. Archangel’s Legion
7. Archangel’s Shadows
8. Archangel’s Enigma
9. Archangel’s Heart
10. Archangel’s Viper

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Giveaway

PAPERBACK COPY

ENTER ON FACEBOOK ➡️ HERE

*Winner will be selected Saturday (11/03) by 6PM EST. Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway. Paperback was provided to Reading in Pajamas by Berkley Romance.

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About the Author

imageI’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

 WebsiteFacebookTwitterFree Story & Teasers

 

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: SHADOW AND ICE (Gods of War) by Gena Showalter

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SHADOW AND ICE (Gods of War) by Gena Showalter

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

A3C3B991-CE26-44E2-A833-ECC1FFB8EDFDGena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld, introduces a scorching new paranormal romance series… Gods of War.

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

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Cori 5 Stars

I am so excited about this new series! I’m obsessed with Gena Showalter’s new world of immortals after devouring SHADOW AND ICE. I fell in love with Knox and was cheering for Val. Gena Showalter always creates such great female characters. I want stories for all the characters now. It’s a toss-up on who I want more. I want them and I want them now! I’m adding my Gods of War addiction to my LOTU addiction. Fans of Gena Showalter’s LOTU Series will enjoy this series but you do not need to read the series before you pick up this one. It’s a separate series. I highly recommend this new series for paranormal romance lovers.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt

Vale wasn’t closed off to relationships, per se, but she wasn’t open, either. People were intrinsically flawed. At some point, they were going to disappoint you—leave you. So, she lived by a code. Always be the leaver, never be the leavee. And yes, she knew her code had roots in childhood abandonment. So what? Issues were issues for a reason. Intrinsically flawed, remember? Most people sucked a nut.
Nola and Carrie were exceptions. Her mom and baby bro were as well…until they’d died in a tragic accident that forever altered the course of her life. Her dad would have been wonderful, too, if he hadn’t taken off, leaving her to bounce from home to home and wonder what was wrong with her, why no one wanted to keep her.
Avoid, avoid! That thought train had only one station: Depressionville.
So, moving on. Vale had a low tolerance for BS, and she believed happily-ever-afters were an illusion because—let’s be honest—the longer couples were together, the more time they had to get to know each other, dig deeper, dig past all the pretty smiles and lies they told to make their choices seem okay, to finally see the garbage heap inside. More time to deceive each other, lash out and inflict pain.
Get in, get out.
Fact was, something was going to get broken or stolen if you let down your guard and finally trusted someone. Most often you were left bleeding internally.
Vale had dated around for a while, but she’d never spend an enormous amount of energy pretending to be something she wasn’t: sweet and gentle. It had stressed her out, which had made her even more prickly, blunt and abrasive, and ultimately she’d given up.
At least, that was the reason she embraced. Otherwise she’d have to admit there wasn’t a man alive willing to put in the work and fight to be with her.
“Lately, my love life has been exactly like a private jet,” Nola said, pulling Vale from her wayward thoughts.
“Oh, yeah? How so?”
“I don’t have a private jet.”
She laughed. Funny girl. “Come on. Let’s travel a little farther before we settle in for the night.” Their bodies needed heat, and movement would add logs to the fire.
Nola lumbered to her feet. They helped each other strap on the packs before marching forward. Vale hauled the bulk of supplies while her sis had blankets and medications, but even still, guilt robbed her of breath every time Nola grunted or groaned from exertion.
Another distraction, coming up. “I miss Carrie,” she said.
At thirteen years old, both Vale and Nola were assigned to the woman who handled “difficult” cases—young girls with a disability of some sort. Carrie had done more than open her home and heart; she’d taught her charges how to love themselves, and how to thrive.
Vale, honey, do you think a twenty-dollar bill is worth any less if it’s dirty and wrinkled? No way in heck! You might be a little rough around the edges, but you are still priceless.
Carrie and her words of wisdom. She’d loved the adage about the potato, egg and coffee beans most of all
In boiling water, the potato softens, the egg hardens, but the mighty coffee beans change the water. Don’t let difficult times weaken or harden you, girls. Get up and change the situation!
Eyes gleaming with fondness, Nola nodded. “If she were here, she’d cook up a feast. Snowcakes. Slush omelets. Ice bacon. Hail biscuits and blizzard gravy.”
Vale grinned, even as hunger gnawed her empty stomach. But the grin was quickly shaken off by a trembling chin. Last year, Carrie had suffered a massive heart attack and, over the ensuing weeks, she’d only weakened. Finally, she’d slipped away.
Her death left a hole in Vale’s heart. “I vividly remember the day I moved in. Back then, I lived by prison rules. You know, show them who’s boss on day one. So of course I destroyed Carrie’s living room, toppling furniture and breaking anything glass. When I finished, she calmly asked if I’d like my sweet tea iced or steaming.”
Mimicking the prim and proper Carrie, Nola said, “Always be a lady, until you need to be a land mine.”
Carrie had only ever exploded when it came to the protection of her girls.
A sense of homesickness tightened Vale’s chest, which flattened her lungs. Great! Now she needed a distraction from the distraction..

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About the Author

Author pic- Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

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