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Review: Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned

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She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

I think I know how the heroine of Once Burned, Leila, feels: I don’t really know how I feel about Vlad. He’s scary, he’s handsome, he impales people, he’s sexy. He’s a freaking scary ass, incredibly sexy, horribly arrogant and domineering man…and I decided to re-read Once Burned in honor of the soon to be released movie Dracula Untold. The handsome man on the cover even has a passing resemblance to the actor playing Dracula in the upcoming movie.
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Mastered Anthology Review: The Scientific Method (Vampire Queen #9.5) by Joey W. Hill

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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Mastering her body was easy. Mastering her heart and soul will be an erotic science…
In the vampire-servant relationship, the vampire holds all the power. Being Lord Brian’s research assistant as well as his servant, Debra accepts that, but she craves her Master’s heart. When Brian notices his servant’s unhappiness, he uses methods they both understand to prove just what belonging to him fully means.

 
 
I’ve read two books by Joey W. Hill in the past. Those two books were so well written and so full of emotion that I was a sobbing, snotty, red-faced mess by the time I reached the end. I’m talking the ugly cry. So it made me a little gun shy and I’ve avoided more of her books. When I saw the Mastered anthology I bought it on the strength of Joey W. Hill’s name alone. It’s just a vampire story I told myself. It’s inside an anthology so it has to be short, I thought. I’ll be fine.

Ugly. Cry. UGLY.

OMG. I should have known that there is no such thing as “just a story” when it comes to Joey W. Hill. My cousin called me when I was smack in the middle of The Scientific Method. She thought I was sick or sleep cause my voice was hoarse and I was congested from all the tears. O_O She says to me, “Are you going to finish that book??” YES. Yes, I will. I will sit here and cry till its over!
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Review: Clean Sweep (The Innkeeper Chronicles #1) by Ilona Andrews

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This is a short novel, about 60,000 words.

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night… Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

I loved this book! Loved it!

I first read this book a while ago. It’s available – in its organic form – as a serial on the Andrews’ website. I knew what to expect but boy was I surprised!

I hate squeeing. I swear, it’s rather undignified. But there’s really no way to truly explain how much I enjoyed this new and updated edition. This updated version of Clean Sweep has been copy edited and four beautiful color illustrations added. I can’t emphasize enough the need to read this on something that has color. I read it on my computer once I realized there were illustrations. The Illustrations…really gave me fond memories. My first few hard and trade fantasy books were illustrated – here and there but illustrations still. The copy-edit is seamless (as it should be) and has given more back story and detail to an already rich world. Dina, the heroine, has had some additional background filled in and the ending is less abrupt.

This book is written in a flavor you’re familiar with if you read Ilona Andrews: strong characters, new and fascinating magic systems/worlds, real alpha males instead of Alpholes and female characters that aren’t doormats.
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Clean Sweep Read – In Progress (SQUEE!)

My best friend is a huge Lil Wayne fan. I don’t understand it, personally. We are way too old for him to be a Lil Wayne fan but regardless of that, he is.

One day I was over his house hanging out when he whips out his phone to show me his tumblr (instagram? IDK, I don’t use that stuff). He was super excited because he’d posted a picture of Lil Wayne tagged as “best rapper alive.” And Lil Wayne “liked” his picture. He was almost bouncing with joy. “Lil Wayne liked my picture! He knows I exist!” I’m sure I must have looked at him like he was insane. He admitted that it was more likely that one of Lil Wayne’s assistants (or someone like that) had liked the picture but “Still, it doesn’t matter! Someone in Lil Wayne’s camp knows I exist!”

Not gonna lie, I joked the shit out of him about that.

Then Ilona Andrews announced that she was going to be sending out ARCs of her new self-published book, Clean Sweep, to review blogs. I requested a copy…

…and not only did Ilona Andrews approve me for an ARC of Clean Sweep, she answered my email and said my first name.

OMG!!

Ilona Andrews knows I exist! OMG.

It took me like two days to open the damn email, lol. And by that I mean I’d open the email and read it before flagging it as “unread” and then reading it again.

OMG. I swear I had a bookgasm when I saw the email. Embarrassingly, I was at work – so I had to share this information with my coworker…who gave me the serious side eye.

LOLOL! At least I have the ability to laugh at myself. Cause I’m in for a ton of joking when my friend finds out about this – especially after the way I ribbed him about Lil Wayne. Cause now I know exactly how he felt. Ilona Andrews knows I exist and she said my first name!

New Ilona Andrews ARC Release Announced: Clean Sweep

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Dina Demille runs a Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town and tries her best to pretend to be normal. Her broom is a deadly weapon, her house is a sentient magic inn for otherwordly visitors to Earth, and her only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, normal can be a little difficult.

Now something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth begins hunting dogs in her neighborhood. Feeling responsible for the welfare of her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with an alpha-strain werewolf and a cosmic vampire, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’d ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Please excuse me while I do some fangurling. 😉

OMG. I’m a HUGE Ilona Andrews fan. HUGE. I’ve all of her books (in print, thank you very much) and I’ve even gone and bought the books that hold her printed short stories. She’s one of my (very) few autobuy authors. 😀
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Hunting Karoly (Psychic Seductions, #1) by Marie Treanor

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Hunting Karoly Marie Treanor You’re not meant to fall for the bad guy…are you? On the rain-soaked, famously mean streets of Glasgow, Jenny, a reluctant psychic, hunts Karoly, a dangerous but incredibly sexy vampire. Clad only in his antique kilt, he hangs around wedding receptions, biting the guests and seducing an unsuspecting vampire hunter-Jenny in particular. Half ready to stake him, half ready to beg him to have sex with her again, Jenny sets out to hunt Karoly. After amazing, intense sex and a dramatic exit from Glasgow, he follows Jenny to London, fueling both her growing awareness of her psychic powers and the hot, sexy dreams that fill her nights, leaving her to wake up panting. When he shows up at Jenny’s workplace, cooking for her friends and apparently determined to share her life, Jenny has to figure out who’s hunting whom-and if she’s ready to share her life with the evil, sexy, gorgeous undead. Publisher’s Note: Previously published elsewhere as Undead Men Wear Plaid, the story has been expanded and revised for Ellora’s Cave.

This was an odd one. There is the romanticizing about vampires as per usual…but this one doesn’t completely have a romanticized vampire.

Let me see if I can explain: The heroine is a “vampire hunter” and manages not to kill (but fall in lust with) the first vampire she meets. The relationship between the two (and him not killing her) is the romanticized part.

The vampire, on the other hand, kills (but not often as it makes no sense), is cold to the touch and is very…remote for a romance hero. I have to admit, the entire idea of having sex with a cold penis does not excite me. In fact, it reminds me of Stephen King’s The Stand. You know, the scene where Nadine first has sex with The Man in Black…and kills herself at the first opportunity. So I’m not sure if the cold penis is an authorial win or fail.

I did have a major issue with the heroine having sex with Karoly but then trying to kill him by setting vampire hunters on him and staking him herself. This back and forth feeling (to kill or to fuck) of the heroine’s makes for some uncomfortable reading.

So, this vampire is a little closer to Dracula than Edward for those that care – except that this Dracula is hawt.

I can appreciate a heroine who doesn’t fall head over heels with the vampire as soon as she meets him. At least some thought was brought into the equation.

I can’t really say how I feel about it…other than the fact that I skipped to the ending when Jenny brings the hunters to Karoly the day after making out with him. I went back and read the rest later…and the book maintains that uncomfortable feeling up to the very end.

The Geek Job by Eve Langlais

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Protect the geek, that’s the job she’s been hired for, but little did this shewolf expect to fall for a man of science.

As a werewolf who hires out as a bodyguard, Lexie is paid well to perform dangerous jobs that sometimes involve taking off her clothes. When she takes on the protection of a science geek for a vampire clan, she doesn’t expect her temporary girlfriend status to come with lots of pleasure. But a geeky human who pushes all her right buttons—and plays her body oh so right—isn’t reason enough for her to break the rules and fall in love.

Everything changes after an incident in the lab, but before she can decide if it’s safe to give him her heart, she has to help him survive.

This was a rather fun book with some hot sex. I liked both characters for different reasons. I’m a pretty big fan of kick-ass heroines – a description that fits Lexie perfectly – and I loved Anthony.
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