Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Off Tuesday - Sweet Mother of Pearl!

I've taken over the Top Off Tuesday meme (formerly hosted by Felicia, Christi and Amanda). Why? Because I can't resist gratuitous shirtless covers. Nothing says Tuesday like flashing some skin, amirite?!?!

I like this cover WAY better than the original. Because, you know, muscles.

 Iced by Karen Marie Moning
Iced (Fever #6) by Karen Marie Moning
The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

Dani’s ex–best friend, MacKayla Lane, wants her dead, the terrifying Unseelie princes have put a price on her head, and Inspector Jayne, the head of the police force, is after her sword and will stop at nothing to get it. What’s more, people are being mysteriously frozen to death all over the city, encased on the spot in sub-zero, icy tableaux.

When Dublin’s most seductive nightclub gets blanketed in hoarfrost, Dani finds herself at the mercy of Ryodan, the club’s ruthless, immortal owner. He needs her quick wit and exceptional skill to figure out what’s freezing Fae and humans dead in their tracks—and Ryodan will do anything to ensure her compliance.

Dodging bullets, fangs, and fists, Dani must strike treacherous bargains and make desperate alliances to save her beloved Dublin—before everything and everyone in it gets iced.
Want to play along? STEP ON UP!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Perdition by Ann Aguirre [Review]

Perdition by Ann Aguirre
Perdition (Dred Chronicles #1) by Ann Aguirre
Format: paperback
Source: purchased
Date read: March 21, 2015

Dred Chronicles
1. Perdition - Paperback | Kindle
2. Havoc
3. Breakout

Ann Aguirre
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
WELCOME TO HELL

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.

Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.

Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…
Thoughts on Perdition: Good GRAVY, the utter hopelessness of life on Perdition was so well done. Not that I'd expect anything less of Ann Aguirre. She has a way of wringing emotion out of everything she puts her pen to and she aced the whole there's-nothing-to-live-for-so-why-not-go-hog-wild-on-a-floating-deathtrap-with-a-bunch-of-other-convicts thing.

Seriously. Dred's utter exhaustion over the day to day struggle of maintaining control over the inmates in her territory came through beautifully. Couple that with the fact she could show no weakness or she could very quickly lose her crown to someone with a little ambition and Dred doesn't have it easy.

Jael's appearance is part blessing, part curse. His ability to walk away from things that would kill others could help Dred's cause, but it also makes him dangerous. And he's not one to give his allegiance easily. I mean, he might give it on the surface, but he's always waiting for someone to betray him.

And the ship. *swoons* The broken, falling apart ship that is everything to these men and women. I'm in love with it. The hidden corridors and abundant ways one could end up dead walking down the halls tickled my fancy like you wouldn't believe. Perdition is a literal walking deathtrap. If enough systems fail, the inmates die. There's no fail safe to get them to safety if something goes wrong. They are entirely dependent on a city-sized ship that should have been retired and/or retrofitted ages ago and THEY HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO.

Most of the inmates have accepted they're going to die without ever seeing the sun again. Jael's crazy idea that he can escape isn't even a blip on Dred's radar. AND I'M SO EXCITED TO SEE HOW THEY PULL IT OFF.

Throw in brutal territory disputes, bloody combat, and a Dread Queen who can't afford to show mercy and I am so SO smitten.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

RtP Week in Review (03/29/15)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Globetrotting...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Alien Resistance Omnibus by Amanda Close [Review]

 Alien Resistance Omnibus by Amanda Close
Alien Resistance Omnibus by Amanda Close
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: February 25, 2015

Amanda Close
| Amazon | Paperback | Kindle |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
In the aftermath of World War III a reptilian army emerges from the darkness of space to launch a ruthless campaign of conquest and genocide. All that remains of the world is a wasteland of concrete ruins and shattered architecture, now the dystopian battlefield upon which the human resistance wages its defiant war of survival against the invaders.

Words: 75,545

ALIEN RESISTANCE (Episode 1)

After being defeated in a violent firefight Tara, a young resistance fighter, must endure the carnal appetites of her captor and his warriors. While she struggles with her own forbidden desires she must find a way to strike back, or else become the trophy of an alien warlord.

STRIKE BACK (Episode 2)

Morgan is a beautiful and deadly scout sniper who has been tasked with a high risk infiltration mission that starts with being taken prisoner by enemy warriors. She soon finds herself face to face with the maniacal one-eyed warlord Cava-Rek, whose sexual appetites and wicked science threaten the very boundaries between what is human and what is alien. Stay on mission. Remember who you are. Strike back.

OUTCASTS (Episode 3)

Lysa has survived the sexual ordeals and scientific tampering while held captive by the Izrid warlords, only to find herself battling both the alien invaders and human soldiers as her hybrid DNA has marked her as a common enemy. She is accompanied by Morgan, whose alien pregnancy is rapidly changing her into something inhuman, and a silent Izrid warrior who has broken ties with his hive to protect the unborn offspring. Meanwhile Jana, another survivor of captivity, is torn between her loyalty to the resistance and the terrible secret that she too is a hybrid, as she follows her orders to relentlessly hunt down and kill them all.

INSURGENTS (Episode 4)

It has been five years since the hybrids escaped into the wilderness. Alexis is a young resistance fighter, recruited as a teenager to fight against the totalitarian regime known as The Complex, an alliance of Izrid and human conspirators. The resistance, once the protectors of humanity, have been demonized by the state-controlled media and are now hunted by human and alien alike. Alexis and her lover Magna, a hard-bitten veteran, cling to each other in these dark times as they struggle to find a balance between their passion for each other and the war they cannot seem to win.

WAR HIVE (Episode 5)

After a series of bloody betrayals Fiona MacArthur is captured by Complex security forces and taken before the Serpent King. They have been bitter enemies, and now, aboard the great Hive Temple, they meet at last only to discover a forbidden passion explode between them. Meanwhile, deep in the caves of the Grand Canyon, the hybrid Morgan has been breeding a brood army of her own. The former resistance fighter emerges from hiding with war-machines and legions of soldiers to launch an all-out assault against Chicago. Vendetta and passion collide what will be the final battle of the alien resistance.

Caution: This is the collected edition of a savage sci-fi military series filled with graphic sex & violence, and is not suitable for someone under 18 years of age.
Thoughts on Alien Resistance Omnibus: Dark and gritty with plenty of human-on-human and alien-on-human sexin'. JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT!

Alien Resistance: We get some fast and dirty action here (literally dirty since I don't think the humans have bathed since the resistance began) as we're introduced to the alien Izrid species and the resistance fighters determined to win back their planet. Tara's capture by one of the ruling caste of aliens looks to be the start of something that will put all the human women at risk now that the aliens have discovered how pleasurable sexin' can be.

Strike Back: With Tara gone, the alien warlord Cava Rek has been attempting to fill her shoes by abducting human woman as his sexual playthings (and to experiment on. And why not, right? When you have the time and resources, WHY NOT find more ways to subjugate those you've conquered?!?!). We get to meet up with the original Izrid who sparked Cava Rek's obsession with the humans when he witnessed Tara and Cole getting it on in book 1 and see him take a bigger part in the story. Not going to lie, I'm rooting for the big strong alien to find some sort of happily ever after.

Outcasts: Things look bad for the hybrids. Fiona MacArthur has declared the hybrid women to be the enemy and now they're on the run from both aliens and humans alike. The strong silent Izrid helping Morgan and Lysa gets his freak on (some aliens just have GAME, you know?!?!). Cruz, the spiller of hybrid secrets AND secret hybrid herself, is hunting Morgan and the others. 'Tis a tangled web, made even more tangled with Cava Rek awakens something in the hive's brood bearer that probably won't end well for anyone involved.

Insurgents: It's a rough future. The resistance has become the enemy as the bulk of the human survivors surrender to the inevitability of the Izrid occupation of Earth. A few die-hards still follow Fiona MacArthur and her desire to destroy the Izrid, but they're few and far between. Cava Rek has become the ultimate ruler of the planet and he's just as twisted as ever. Throw in some human/human and alien/human sexin' just for fun and I'm happy. I also am VERY curious to find out how the original hybrids are faring after their escape in the last installment. Bring it on!

War Hive: Whoa. That was a pretty epic ending. Lots of blood and guts and aliens having sex with humans. It's hard for me to pretend indifference (hence, I don't) when it had all those things. BLOOD! DEATH! ANGRY SEX! ANGRY ALIEN SEX! MORE BLOOD! We got to see how things have played out for Morgan and her brood in the five years since they've escaped captivity. AND THAT ENDING. I am so satisfied with the all the gritty, crazy, sexy times we were given.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Night's Deep Hush by Erin Kellison [Review]

 Night's Deep Hush by Erin Kellison
Night's Deep Hush (Reveler #4) by Erin Kellison
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: January 6, 2015

Reveler
1. Darkness Falls
2. Lay Me Down
3. Darksider
4. Night's Deep Hush - Kindle
5. Bring Me a Dream
6. Delirium
7. Sandman

Erin Kellison
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Dreaming turns dangerous...

Malcolm Rook and Jordan Lane are on the run from powerful forces that seek their deaths. But they are discovered by someone from Rook's dark past. Under no circumstances will Rook allow this criminal to learn how talented Jordan is in the world Darkside. Instead, Rook succumbs so that she has a chance to survive.

Rook has been abducted and Jordan assumes the worst. She's fallen for him and will do anything to get him back. Alone on the streets, she concocts a plan that will take her into the black market of dreams to find help. An unlikely ally comes to her aid, and together they search and fight...one for love, the other for vengeance.
Thoughts on Night's Deep Hush: I've been sort of devouring the books in this series recently because WHOA! THEY MAKE ME GIDDY WITH DELIGHT. I just can't resist the waking dreams and walking nightmares and UTTER CRAZY that can be found in the dreamscapes.

Oh, and the relationshippy stuff isn't too shabby either. You know, if you're into that. WHICH I AM.

This time we get to revisit Rook and Jordan. Book one felt to me like it ended very abruptly as far as their relationship went and I was so so SO happy to get to delve into their little slice of heaven again. Not that they had time for much lovin' this time around. Rook disappears fairly early on and Jordan's on her own and on the run. Which is a shame because those two can certainly steam up the sheets.

For all they're apart for a good portion of this book their relationship still progresses nicely. Rook is in Jordan's thoughts as she searches for him. Keeping Jordan safe drives many of Rook's choices after he's taken. I just like those two together. I like them!

There's some very nice setup for book 5 and the mystery of who the Sandman is and why he's (or she's -- I don't want to assume anything.) so feared by those operating in the Darkside underworld is hinted at. Well, not really hinted. More like it's mentioned that there's a shadowy Godfather-esque figure. You know, in passing.

I kinda lost my train of thought in there. IT'S COOL, THOUGH. I'll just soldier on.

The deeper we get into this world, the more I'm enjoying it. It's dark and sexy and very, very dangerous. I'm ready for book 5.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Darksider by Erin Kellison [Review]

 Darksider by Erin Kellison
Darksider (Reveler #3) by Erin Kellison
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: January 5, 2015

Reveler
1. Darkness Falls
2. Lay Me Down
3. Darksider - Kindle
4. Night's Deep Hush
5. Bring Me a Dream
6. Delirium
7. Sandman

Erin Kellison
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
She has always been his dream…

Chef Serafina Rochan believes her recurring nightmares of pursuit are a symptom of her anxiety about opening her second restaurant. But when the stalker appears in the waking world, she swallows her pride and calls the one man she trusts to go into her dreams, even if it means risking her heart.

When Marshal Harlen Fawkes receives Sera’s call, nothing else matters. Time has not eroded the power of his feelings for her. After years apart, they go Darkside together and cannot resist the longing and desire their connection evokes. The past and present collide, and Sera abandons all reservations to embrace Harlen again, if even for one night.

In order to protect her, Harlen aligns himself with disavowed friends, and in so doing is drawn deeper into the secrets and perils of the dreamwaters. As the tide of darkness rises, Harlen faces his demons…but not without Sera, who fights just as fiercely for the dream of a life together.

Dream dangerously.
Thoughts on Darksider: I liked this world in the first book, but the deeper we crawl into Reve and the Darkside the more I'm loving it. Nightmares and twisted dreamscapes and all the crazy that goes along with that. SO MUCH FUN.

Harlen and Sera go deliciously well together. After seven years, he's learned when it's time to sit back and let someone come to him. Sera's has to trust that he'll protect her when she's at her most vulnerable. I kinda loved how protective she was of him when she saw the way his abilities affected him physically.

Jordan and Rook, Maisie and Steve and a few other familiar faces pop in to give us a thrill. Not always a good thrill, but a thrill all the same. And the setup for book 4... *blinks and gives everyone the crazy eyes* Oh, my. I am so SO ready for that one.

Solid worldbuilding (honestly, I ADORE this world and all the potential places it could take us to) and characters with plenty of chemistry are making this series extremely enjoyable.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Crawling Darkness by J.L. Bryan [Review]

 The Crawling Darkness by J.L. Bryan
The Crawling Darkness (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #3) by J.L. Bryan
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: January 12, 2015

Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
1. Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
2. Cold Shadows
3. The Crawling Darkness - Paperback | Kindle
4. Terminal

J.L. Bryan
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Ghost removal specialist Ellie Jordan must face a dangerous, shape-shifting entity that she and Calvin have encountered once before, with tragic results. The spirit has the power to reach into the minds of living and feed on their fears, taking the shape of their worst nightmares, and it has awoken in search of new victims.

Now Ellie must try to succeed where she and her mentor failed before, and try to defeat the twisted and powerful old ghost before it can claim another soul for its collection.
Thoughts on The Crawling Darkness: Before I start this review, there are a few things I need to get off my chest. (a) I'm kinda in love with ghost stories. Especially well written ones with plenty of backstory. (b) J.L. Bryan's books tend to hit the spot with me. They're twisty and just the right amount of gruesome. His brain. I like it.

Frankly, this book just worked for me.

Once again, Ellie and Stacey are facing off against something dark and malevolent. With what happened to Ellie and Calvin the first time they butted heads with this entity, there's an added level of tension. Not to mention the whole thing where children are at risk. I mean, that sucks no matter what sort of creature they're up against. Plus, I loooooove (not a sarcastic love, in case someone's reading it that way, but a long, drawn-out love that comes from the depths of my being) how the team has to piece together what happened years ago to understand what they're up against in the here and now.

Creepy things become even creepier when they have backstory.

There are hints of romance (you go, Ellie!), some rather unpleasant secondary characters, and a slew of bad things the team encounter inside the house.

As always, it was a highly enjoyable romp through a dangerous investigation!