DNF Mini Review: Touch by Michelle Sagara

, by Kt Clapsadl

Touch by Michelle Sagara
Queen of the Dead #2

Nathan died the summer before his final year in high school. But he wakes in his room—or in the shrine of his room his mother’s made—confused, cold, and unable to interact with anyone or anything he sees. The only clear memory he has is a dream of a shining city and its glorious queen, but the dream fades, until he once again meets his girlfriend Emma by the side of his own grave.

Nathan wants life. He wants Emma. But, even if Emma can deliver what he desires, the cost may be too high to pay...

I'm not sure what happened, but this series has completely derailed for me. I remember being completely engrossed in the first book. Sure, I was a bit frustrated with the slow pace of the world building, but the premise was great, and the characters were even better. However, this time around in TOUCH, it was incredibly hard to keep reading. It just lost that spark that drew me in the first time around. In fact, I would only get about 5-10% or so of the book read before literally falling asleep. It just couldn't keep my attention, and I only made it through 50% total over two weeks. This is very rare for me as a book typically takes me about 2-3 hours to devour. I really hate to give up considering how much I enjoyed the first book, and want to see what happens next, but I just can't seem to get any further. Everything just seemed disjointed from the characters to the multiple plot threads that didn't really jive together. Maybe I just wasn't in the right head-space for this book, but I just had to set it aside. I'll more than likely pick it back up sometime and at least skim to the end, as maybe things will turn around, but for now it just didn't work for me.

(Received a copy from the publisher)




Other Reviews:
     Cassandra Lost in Books
     Chaotic Compendiums
     The Eater of Books

Previous Books:
     1. Silence

Covet December Releases & Giveaways

, by Kt Clapsadl

Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's December releases:

Beg Me to Slay by Lisa Kessler

He’ll slay her demons, but it may cost her heart…

Four years ago Tegan Ashton was attacked. Determined never to be a victim again, she devotes her life to martial arts and self-defense. When her assailant returns to finish what he started, only one person can help her.

Gabe is a private investigator by day and demon slayer by night. After losing loved ones, he vows to defend people from a threat they don’t realize exists.

The relationship is supposed to be strictly business, but fighting demons together stirs up emotions they never expected. Turns out demon slaying is a breeze compared to facing their scarred pasts and even worse - hearts.

Ashes by Sarah Gilman

Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she winds up pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu.

As the Phoenix prince, Reece is next in line to the throne and expected to marry a purebred royal. A common human such as Ambrosia is not in the cards. He swears, though, he’ll never be an absentee father.

As Ambrosia’s due date grows closer, so do the soon-to-be parents. But will their tentative love survive the prejudice of Reece’s grandmother, who will stop at nothing to tear the two apart?

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Edge December Releases & Giveaways

, by Kt Clapsadl

Edge, a digital-first single-title romance line from Entangled Publishing, takes its lead from their popular Select imprint but gives its novels an edge in the marketplace by bringing great stories to readers at reasonable prices in a quick-and-easy way. Whether sexy or sweet, traditional romance or love and lust with a women’s fiction bent, at the center of every Edge book is heart. From Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance to Science Fiction Romance, Edge has a book for all romance readers—and right at their fingertips! As they say, all’s fair in love and war. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Edge's December releases!!

Break Out by Nina Croft
Blood Hunter #1
Special $0.99 Promo Limited Time Only!

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they've discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they're called, rule the universe.

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can't resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective's maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous—or so fun.

Heart of the Incubus by Rosalie Lario

Biochemist Cresso Taylor lives the sort of lifestyle most men would envy—he has wealth, natural incubus charm, and more women than he can handle. But it’s not enough anymore. Not after meeting Genevieve Russell, the sexy scientist who works with him at Elcorp Laboratory. And she wants absolutely nothing to do with him.

After her fiancĂ© broke her heart, Genevieve has had enough of womanizers. She’s determined to steer clear of sexy-as-sin Dr. Taylor, despite the fact that his incubus allure makes her want to rip his clothes off. But when a secret admirer’s affection turns to the macabre with threatening notes and grisly gifts, Cresso appoints himself her protector. As she and Cresso hunt her stalker, she discovers there’s a lot more to the sensual incubus than she ever imagined.

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Early Review: Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan

, by Kt Clapsadl

Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan
Birthright #1

Vivi’s animal instincts are her legacy—and maybe her downfall—in this start to a romantic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of The Nine Lives of Chloe King.

Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar?

Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.

I had a really hard time getting behind Vivi's character. She just kept choosing to continually blindly deny her heritage. It didn't matter what happened, nor how great her new found family was, she just stayed stubborn for no reason. Honestly, I just didn't get it. Maybe I just have an inaccurate view of a typical eighteen year old, but I just didn't buy the rebellion as it made her seem much younger. I guess I just prefer my characters to have a whole lot stronger of an inner core than she did.

While it may seem like a cop out, I can overcome most flaws in a book as long as the romance is great. Unfortunately this was another place where DARKEST FEAR was mostly a let down for me. While there was a fierce attraction, and the few interactions were steamy hot, it just didn't make any sense. In fact with each time they two were around each other, I only grew more and more confused. There was a whole lot of "I want you, but I can't" going on, but the "can't" was never explained. Sure, there were speculations, but they were just that. I'm pretty sure it's an over-arcing plot, but I just wasn't feeling it. I think even just a little more information would have gone a very long way, and would have made this book work a whole lot better in the long run.

DARKEST FEAR had an interesting premise, therefore giving it a lot of potential. Unfortunately that potential never seemed to go past that initial stage of interest as I kept waiting for things to take off. As I said, Vivi was so stuck on denying her heritage, that nothing seemed to move forward. Because of this, the book almost felt like it was split into two different things, the paranormal aspects and normal humdrum life, and they weren't quite jiving with one another. When you add it into the extremely rushed and strange ending, I just can't help but be left scratching my head about how I felt about this book. On one hand, it did keep my attention enough to finish it, but most of that time reading was spent frustrated. That being said, I may still give the second book a chance, as this could have been just a rocky start and more answers will be coming.

(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)



Other Reviews:
     Xpresso Reads

Kirsten Reviews: Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

, by Kt Clapsadl

Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

The Historian meets The Da Vinci Code in this exhilarating supernatural thriller set in Rome. Rival groups are searching for a document that holds a secret that could shatter the Catholic Church.

While in Rome, American Jesuit priest Thomas Kelly is called upon to reclaim a centuries-old document stolen from the Vatican. An enigmatic letter leads him to the work of a 19th century poet, where Thomas discovers cryptic messages that might lead to the missing manuscript. His search is unexpectedly entwined with that of Italian art historian Livia Pietro, who tells him that destructive forces are threatening to expose the document’s contents. As they’re relentlessly chased through the heart of Rome by mysterious men who quickly demonstrate they would cross any line to obtain the document for themselves, it becomes clear to Livia and Thomas that the pages hold a deep, devastating, long-buried truth. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: she and her People are vampires. But all this pales in light of the Secret that Thomas and Livia discover together—a revelation more stunning than either could have imagined.

Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot is, first off, not what it seems. Sam Cabot is a pseudonym for S.J. Rozan and Carlos Dews, and the two writers combine their respective areas of interest in order to bring this story together. From the cover it appears to be a horror novel, when in reality it’s more of a religious/mystery story with elements of horror woven into the story. This book seems more likely to appeal to to readers who enjoy religious thrillers than stories about vampires, as the elements of the Church are much more prevalent.

In short, a Jesuit priest, Father Thomas Kelly and an art historian, Livia Pietro are not so much partnered as they are tossed together in order to to locate the Concordat, a document that was stolen from the Chuch. It’s claimed that the Concordat would be so damaging to the Church that it would doom the entire institution. Their search takes them across Rome as they follow clues left by Mario Damiani, a nineteenth-century poet who once stole the document. The ‘big deal’ is that this document was signed by Pope Martin and the Noantri, and it states that the Church will not persecute Noantri. In exchange for this immunity, they supported Martin during the time when he was in being considered for the position of Pope. The catch being, the Noantri aren’t just an especially tough gang, they’re vampires.

All of this is a lot to take in for a priest. While Father Kelly is undergoing something of a crisis of faith, confronted with those he characterizes as ‘spawn of Satan’ or ‘demonic,’ all of this does produce a number of discussions concerning faith, evil, and other topics. Livia Pietro and Father Kelly have these debates over dusty old papers, in between running around and trying to track down the Concordat.

Given the subject matter, the Church and vampires, this novel could have been much darker, and the story hangs on the different sides of morality as well as the matter of solving a mystery, rather than bloody action scenes. At some points, the search begins to feel like the characters are running back and forth aimlessly instead of moving the story forward, but that’s in keeping with both research and the genre, so that should be kept in mind.

Overall, considering the fact that the book is billed as more ‘horror’ than it turned out to be, it seems that readers would do well to know what they’re walking into, and if they would like less vampiric action and more religious angles and conversation than outright, this will likely be a good read.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Readful Things
     Kinx's Book Nook
     Book Hostage

Early Review: How to Run With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

, by Kt Clapsadl

How to Run With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
Naked Werewolf #3

Caleb Graham is a werewolf by nature, a tracker by profession. He uses his “extra gifts” to find people, and not always in the most legal or ethical manner. He doesn’t care what they’ve done, or who wants them found, as long as his considerable fee is paid. He likes his life simple and uncomplicated.

Anna Moder, former physician to Caleb’s pack, happens across Caleb during a particularly violent “negotiation” that has left him bloodied and unconscious. She helps him, despite the fact that he’s cost her a car, so he insists that she stay with him on the road for a while. As they grow closer, Anna looks past the gruff exterior and and the questionable job to thoroughly decent werewolf underneath.

Anna – who is careful to edit her involvement with Caleb’s pack from their conversations – doesn’t talk about why a nice girl wants to live in the middle of frozen nowhere, but she’s obviously on the run from something. When Anna’s past collides with Caleb’s current assignment from one of his sleazier contacts, Caleb finally has to make a choice—protect his job…or his potential mate?

Can I just say that I absolutely adore Molly Harper's books? Seriously, every time I hear there will be a new book coming, it's an instant pre-order for me. I just know that each one promises and enjoyable solid block of entertainment that guarantees to make me laugh. That being said, I will admit that this one caught me just a bit off guard at first as the storyline was a bit darker than the previous ones had been. That's not to say that was a bad thing, in fact the opposite is probably true as the added element of suspense that was intermixed in all of the humor kept me even more hooked.

I really adored Anna's character, and she really stole the whole show for me. Of course I loved Caleb as well since he added in the fiercely protective, yet oh so sexy element. But Anna was what really kept me hooked. I just really enjoyed seeing her grow and progress over this book. I can't really talk about everything too much as I think the way things were revealed really made the story so great, and I wouldn't want to spoil any of that. But just suffice it to say that she's on the run, and there's a whole lot of emotional baggage and trust issues there. So it was really awesome to see Caleb slowly break down those walls, and we got to see the real Anna underneath slowly but surely. I really feel like I'm not giving this progression the justice it deserves due to my vagueness, but trust me it's excellent, and worth the wait.

Typically I don't recommend jumping into a series mid-ship as you miss out on all the previous lead up. However in this case, it would be really easy for new readers to jump right into HOW TO RUN WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF as it starts off on the road and outside of the valley, and slowly introduces the reader back into the past history. But be warned, you'll find yourself wanting to go back and start from the beginning, the books are just that good. Trust me, you won't regret the read. A seamless blend of action, steam, danger, and humor, this book is not to be missed!

(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)



Other Reviews:
     Rabid Reads
     Tome Tender
     Badass Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf
     2. The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf


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Monday Wrapup (178)

, by Kt Clapsadl

It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Reviews for the past week:

The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams (Early Review)
"Wow, yet another series ending book. I feel like that's all I've been reading lately. Which honestly is pretty nerve wracking as so many times the endings aren't quite what I had hoped for. Luckily this wasn't the case in TASTE OF DARKNESS."

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder (Early Review)
"It is always so hard to say goodbye to a much loved series so I typically go into a a final book with much trepidation, and THE SHARPEST BLADE was no exception. That being said, I was largely happy with the way things turned out, minus the very rushed ending."

Kirsten's Book of the Week:

Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Review)
"But, it’s an interesting story, one that doesn’t promise to end neatly or nicely for anyone. And that, ultimately is what makes the political maneuvering, vengeance-seeking and all-out nastiness more palatable. There may be no clear winner because nobody deserves to claim a victory."

Other Posts:

Reaver Excerpt & Giveaway
Avenger's Heat by Katie Reus was featured for Waiting on Wednesday

Upcoming List:

How to Run With a Naked Werewolf (Early Review)
Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan (Early Review)

Kirsten Reviews: Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

Early Review: Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

, by Kt Clapsadl

Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder
Healer #3

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

Wow, yet another series ending book. I feel like that's all I've been reading lately. Which honestly is pretty nerve wracking as so many times the endings aren't quite what I had hoped for. Luckily this wasn't the case in TASTE OF DARKNESS. I really enjoyed seeing all of the many different plot threads that were spread throughout the series come together, ending up in a satisfying conclusion. I'll admit that there were several times there that I felt the resolution I had hoped for was touch and go at best as Maria kept throwing some pretty massive curve balls. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, and even when one heart stopping event got resolved, yet another thing popped up, typically pulling at my nerves or heart strings even more. It really was incredibly impressive just how wrapped up I was in this story. There never was a dull moment.

The absolute best thing about the series is the depth of the characters. Each and every single one is fully fleshed out, and considering just how large the cast is, that is no small feat. I absolutely adore the main pair, Avry and Kerrick, but honestly the secondary characters stole my heart just as much from the Monkeys to Flea, and so many more that were picked up along the way. Heck I even have to give props to the enemies as they were definitely despicable and not just some cookie cutter "master villain." They were certainly evil and anything but predictable, giving that added suspense that kept me hooked. In two words, well done!

I'm so glad I gave this series a chance even though it's a bit outside of my normal genre preference as it leans more towards the full fantasy side. But trust me, even for hard core urban fantasy fans, this series is well worth the read as it will ensnare you from the start. I'm actually pretty sad that this is the last installment as I could definitely get behind more books in this world. But even if not, I'm definitely satisfied with the way things played out. Utterly captivating, and simply a must read, TASTE OF DARKNESS is not to be missed!

(Received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley)



Other Reviews:
     The Page Turner
     Mixed Book Bag

Previous Books:
     1. Touch of Power
     2. Scent of Magic

Kirsten Reviews: Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

, by Kt Clapsadl

Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
The Broken Empire #3

The path to the throne is broken - only the broken may walk it.


To reach the throne requires that a man journey. Even a path paved with good intentions can lead to hell, and my intentions were never good.

The Hundred converge for Congression to politic upon the corpse of Empire, and while they talk the Dead King makes his move, and I make mine. The world is cracked, time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days, the future so bright that those who see it are the first to burn. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne whoever seeks to thwart me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending.

This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God. These are the last miles, my brothers. Don't look to me to save you. Don't think I will not spend you. Run if you have the wit. Pray if you have the soul. Stand your ground if courage is yours. But don't follow me.

Follow me, and I will break your heart.

Emperor of Thorns, the final book in Mark Lawrence's The Broken Empire series finds Jorg Ancrath the ruler of seven nations. And yet, he still has not had his revenge on his father, a fact which makes his other victories ring hollow. Jorg wants to be Emperor, but the only way to be crowned is for them to win the majority of the vote.

In a land where magic can be best characterized as a kind of science, and brothers may kill and haunt one another, Jorg thinks he finally has the influence and long-forgotten technology to secure his revenge. But there is one who stands in his way, the Dead King, and this necromancer is possibly too much for even Jorg and his magic to best.

This series is a medieval fantasy, emphasis heavy on both, while also incorporating in scientific elements that make it a slightly different part of the genre.

For anyone who likes their protagonists to be kinds, self-sacrificing, or at least marginally noble and prone to making good decisions, this is not the book to pick up. Since it’s the last book in the series, there’s no way to truly get involved in Jorg’s evolution without having read the previous books. But growth aside, Jorg isn’t all that nice of a person, and his ambitions as well as desire for revenge negatively impact both himself and everyone around him. To put it mildly; this is not a ruler whose subjects are cheering him on in the streets because of his unassailable good qualities.

But, it’s an interesting story, one that doesn’t promise to end neatly or nicely for anyone. And that, ultimately is what makes the political maneuvering, vengeance-seeking and all-out nastiness more palatable. There may be no clear winner because nobody deserves to claim a victory.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     The Founding Fields
     The Book Plank
     Beauty in Ruins

Previous Books:
     1. Prince of Thorns
     2. King of Thorns

Reaver Blast

, by Kt Clapsadl


Reaver held Harvester’s frail body tight against his as he navigated the final steps of a winding ledge that dropped them into a world of weird. “It’s me. It’s okay. We’re safe.”
Relatively safe, anyway. Relative meaning that they weren’t dead. Yet. He just hoped the same could be said for Tavin, Matt, and Calder. When he’d left them to sneak into Satan’s realm, they’d been engaged in a battle they’d initiated as a diversion. It had been a risky move, and Reaver could only pray they’d make it to the rendezvous point.
A hunter’s horn sounded in the distance and was answered by another, closer horn signal. Satan’s minions hadn’t gained ground, but they were spreading out. Damn.
He scanned the landscape of thorny plants, hills of blackened earth and trees, and twisted, abandoned structures. Nothing moved.
He looked down at Harvester, and as before when he first saw her hanging over a pit of acid, he felt sick to his stomach. He didn’t like Harvester even though he was grateful for the things she’d done, but she didn’t deserve this; her naked body too thin and mottled with bruises and ligature marks, her once silken black hair tangled and dull, and worst of all, missing her gorgeous green eyes.
Under ideal circumstances, an angel could heal from even the most heinous injuries within hours. But these were far from ideal circumstances, and Harvester’s source of power, her wings, had been severed. Without wings or medical assistance, it could take weeks, even months, for an angel’s body to fully heal.
“I can’t risk healing you more than I did,” he said. “My power isn’t reliable right now, and I could do more harm than good.”
“Reaver,” she croaked, as if he hadn’t spoken. “Why…how…”
“Shh.” He tucked her face into his chest, quieting her. “We’re going to meet up with some friends, and then I’ll answer all your questions.”
Reaver and the assassins had worked out a plan A and a plan B. Plan A had been shot to hell when iron gates had prevented Reaver from getting out of Satan’s realm to the south, where his companions would have been waiting. Now, with demons in pursuit, they were on their way to plan B. Hopefully Tav, Matt, and Calder had realized quickly that Reaver’s escape route had gone bad.
Inhaling the stench of rotten vegetation that permeated this section of Sheoul, he started away from the skeletons of some burned-out buildings and toward a mountain range as expansive as the Rockies. He moved swiftly, outrunning the sounds of pursuit and pausing once to blast a group of imps with a ball of lightning. The sphere struck the leader, and from there sent electrical strikes at each of the surrounding imps, frying them all in a handy eight-for-one.
Harvester slept in his arms, barely stirring when he stopped to listen for anyone following them. By the time they neared the plan B meeting site, Reaver was sure they’d lost the demons— temporarily. Reaver wasn’t naive enough to think they were off the hook. The demons chasing them were only the first wave, the security detail unlucky enough to be guarding the dungeon Harvester was kept in.
Once Satan got wind of this, if he hadn’t already, Reaver and Harvester were going to have legions of minions on their heels.

Author info:

A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

Find Larissa Online:
Website   *   Goodreads   *   Twitter   *    Facebook

Book info:

Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he's agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she's doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan's lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld's darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel's blood. . .
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