Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Savage Hunger

Savage Hunger (Heart of the Jaguar #1)

by Terry Spear 


In the heat of the jungle, jaguars are clawed, dangerous, and hungry for love. With hopes of overcoming night terrors and thanking the man who saved her life, Kathleen McKnight returns to the Amazon. A jaguar at heart, Connor Anderson doesn’t just protect her, but wants to claim her for his own.


This book was the first in a new series by Terry Spear.  Her series about Wolves has always been a favorite of mine so when I heard she was writing a new series about Jaguar shifters I was very excited.  Set in the Amazon, this story was an amazing intro to a new type of shifter and a new storyline.

Kat McKnight is a special ops agent working to bring down a major drug cartel leader in Colombia.  While on her mission, she is captured by the cartel with plans for a brutal and terrifying end to her life.  When her men are ambushed she’s left with no escape and very little hope for surviving her mission. But luckily for Kat, Connor Anderson, an American Jaguar shifter, happened to be vacationing in the Amazon and comes to her rescue.  After killing her captures and leaving a lasting impression on Kat, Connor disappears into the darkness when her backup arrives.

One year later, Connor is again prowling through the jungle, letting his cat free in its natural home and enjoying his time in the wild.  Running through the forest he comes across a woman, traveling alone and is instantly entranced.  Though she looks very different, Connor realizes the woman is really the woman he rescued one year ago and obsessed over for months and she has returned looking for her savior.   Conner’s cat knows that this woman is very special and the man inside is beyond intrigued.

Kat suddenly finds herself in the company of two beautiful jaguars and though her brain says to run, her instincts are telling her to trust the cats to keep her safe.  After all, this is their natural habitat, not hers.  The cats lead her to their “masters”, Connor and his sister Maya.  She travels with them to their sanctuary in the jungle hoping to find safety.  Maya however has decided that it is time for her brother (and ultimately herself) to find a mate.  Knowing how captivated Connor was with Kat after her rescue, she takes matters in her own hands, attempting to infect Kat and turn her into a fellow Jaguar.  Inadvertently Maya causes Kat to fall extremely ill, but during her sickness Connor begins to fall for Kat even more.

Kat wakes from her sickness with just a little something extra; she can become a Jaguar! Terrified and unable to shift back to her human form, Connor must track Kat down and use his more dominant cat to force her back to their home.   Coming to terms with the new world she finds herself in, Kat and Connor let their lust free with Connor knowing he’ll never let her leave him now.  When their sanctuary is invaded, the new little family decides it is time to return to the states.   However, nothing is ever a simple as it seems.

With the cartel on their tails (wink wink! Nudge nudge!), Kat, Connor, and Maya travel across Colombia dealing with ambushes, attacks, and suspicions of another shifter following them.   There are a lot of hilarious scenes including an unforgettable scene in a car with two humans, a jaguar and a bag of burritos. Trust me you’ll be cracking up!  In the end, with a sadly anticlimactic confrontation in a hotel hallway, the cartel leader is dead and the new family of Jaguars makes their way home to Texas.

I will say that the first love scene in the story was a bit lackluster and ill-timed in my opinion, but Ms. Spear definitely makes up for that in later scenes of the book.  The sensuality of these two cats is evident in the interactions of their human halves for sure.  There are some very interesting scenes involving water, because of course with water-loving cats there has to be at least one scene with a waterfall!

The strangest thing about this book for me was that the mythology was a bit confusing to me.  It seemed that neither Maya nor Connor really knew anything about their heritage, except that their parents were cats, and Dad was a complete ass.  I’m hoping that when another shifter comes into the picture (perhaps their stalker Wade?) we will learn more about their shifter natures.  Wade seems to be a little bit more knowledgeable about his cat so hopefully he’ll make a good source of information in the next book.  My only other issue with the book was Maya.  Her character was a bit selfish and immature to me, until she finally stepped up and started helping more with problems instead of causing them.

Overall the story was a fun and steamy read, with some laughs, some gasps, and a lot of buildup for the new series.  Looking forward to more Jaguar Shifter books by Ms. Spear.   Jaguar Fever, the next in the series is expected in august if 2013, so keep a sharp eye open for the next in this fun new series.

Rating: 3.25 Stars

Rose Rating:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Phantom Shadows

Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians #3)

by Dianne Duvall 


Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural.
She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it’s not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire . . . 

Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can’t remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different – and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question – he can’t put her in danger. But she isn’t asking him . . .


I loved finally getting a chance to see Sebastian in action. His interactions with the other characters in the past, of course, have been full of angst and anger, being the bad guy in the first book and then finally learning the truth of what he is. Melanie has always felt a connection with Sebastian and is more than willing to learn more about the enigmatic and dangerously sexy immortal, but she'll have to get him to agree before she has any chance of a relationship with him. Working side by side throughout the book, they deal with attempting to change the minds of those around them and bring about a change in their very society.

The passion between these two is explosive and while it slowly begins to turn to love, Sebastian is reluctant to embrace their love, knowing it may cause some of the other immortal guardians to change how well they treat Melanie. Melanie refuses to allow the opinions of others to keep her away from Sebastian and is determined to keep the immortal hottie for her own.

Melanie and Bastien’s characters are both extremely well written and full of layers that need to be peeled away to get to the core of their natures.  In the beginning, you get the impression that Melanie is a bit naïve and ready to trust much too easily.   But as you learn more about her you are able to see that she is just one of those people who can see into your soul and see you for what you are, even on your first meeting.  Bastien on the other hand, is world-weary and experienced and knows that sometimes there is just no goodness in others.

When Melanie is endangered, Bastien has some very dark moments—maybe even making him a little too scary, but the gentle moments between him and Melanie remind you that sometimes even the darkest and most dangerous of predators just need someone to show them the softer side to their own natures.  

There are some seriously intense battle scenes and a lot of blood and death in this book.  Even more than I am used to in a lot of ways.  With some very intriguing and intense fights, the world of the immortal guardians is changed forever and this new world will be very intriguing to learn about in coming novels. Melanie and Sebastian lead us through a heart wrenching and passionate maze of the pitfalls or embracing the differences in ourselves and the similarities in old enemies, so that new enemies can be prevented from destroying both immortals and vampires alike. 

Can’t wait for the next in the series where we may learn once and for all…. Can immortal guardians and vampires work together enough to keep the psychotic humans after them from winning this war?

And of course the big question… what the Hell is Seth?

Rating: 4.5

Rose Rating: 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review: Rev It Up

Rev It Up (Black Knights Inc. #3)

by Julie Ann Walker 


He Never Misses a Target

Jake "the Snake" Sommers earned his SEAL codename by striking quickly and quietly - and with lethal force. That's how he broke Michelle Carter's heart. It was the only way to keep her safe - from himself. Four long years later, Jake is determined to get a second chance. But to steal back into Michelle's loving arms, Jake is going to have to prove he can take things slow. Real slow...

She Aims to Make Him Beg

Michelle Carter has never forgiven Jake for being so cliché as to "love her and leave her." But when her brother, head of the Black Knights elite ops agency, ticks off the wrong mobster, she must do the unimaginable: place her life in Jake's hands. No matter what they call him, this man is far from cold-blooded. And once he's wrapped around her heart, he'll never let her go...


This book is a perfect example of all the ups and downs of daily life that can be packed into a single action packed work of purely awesome fiction.  From the very beginning this series has been a full rollercoaster ride of emotions, dangerously addictive action and intrigue, and enough heat to burn down a national forest.  And Jake and Michelle’s book was no exception to the expectations of the series.

Returning after being gone for several years, Jake is ready to finally prove to Michelle once and for all that he loves her and is man enough to be the husband and father she always wanted him to be.   Michelle, though, is not ready to just forgive and forget.  The passion rekindles between them immediately and for the first time I think, ever, this hugely Alpha male doesn’t have to be forced to say those three little words.  He’s giving them to her immediately, whether she wants to accept them or not.

When the physical danger of the Black Knights, thrusts them into close quarters, Michelle is forced to find ways to hide from the one man she has never been able to resist.  Through quick twists and turns, Michelle and Jake attempt to work through their issues, each in their own way.  And then the secret Michelle has been keeping for 4 years comes to light and the foundation they have been building quickly crumbles, leaving both Jake and Michelle reeling and heartbroken as they attempt to deal with this new betrayal. 

But the one thing that you can always count on in a great novel is that something will happen to bring all the mental, emotional, and physical turmoil to a head.  When catastrophe strikes, Michelle and Jake both learn—or maybe just remember—that the most important things in life are love and those you love.  And only once in a great while do we truly get second chances in life,  even if they have to swallow their pride and truly forgive themselves and each other.

I’ve really been looking forward to this story for the last month, and was definitely not disappointed.  Honestly, for me this was the best all the three novels to date.  With much more emotion and heat, along with the typical ups and down of black ops action, Rev It Up was a must read and I have a feeling will be earning a permanent place in my heart and on my bookshelves.

Rating: 4.5 starsRose Rating: 

Review: Sacrifice the Wicked

Sacrifice the Wicked (Dark Mission #4)



Parker Adams has always done what’s expected of her . . . until a double agent with nothing to lose ignites a passion she doesn't dare give in to.

Mission Agent Simon Wells is everything Parker Adams has been trained to fight: manipulator, murderer, spy… witch. But for her, what makes Simon most dangerous is his mesmerizing sexual magnetism, powerful enough to tempt even the famed ice queen of the Mission. Though she knows better, each encounter with the deceptive agent leaves her craving more.

Simon isn't a man to let go of what’s his, and his pursuit forces Parker, a woman he can’t get out from under his skin, to make a stand that could destroy her. If they can work together, they might survive the politics that have enslaved their devastated world—or fall victim to the pitfalls of desperation, bone-deep mistrust, and a hunger that threatens to consume them.


I began this series on a whim when I found the first book at a used bookstore, and have been keeping up. This was another intriguing installment in the series for sure. Set in post-apocalyptic Seattle, after a huge worldwide catastrophe has left most settlements cut off from each other and a large gap in the classes, the world is not a friendly place for witches. The church blames witches for the disasters that have befallen the world and the masses have turned against any and all forms of magic in fear of something like this happening again.

Parker is the new leader of the enforcement arm of the church-the Mission, the group that is actively hunting and disposing of these hated individuals. She suspects witches are beginning to eat away at the foundation of her Mission, and is confronted with the proof in the form of Agent Simon Wells. Both a Witch and a Mission agent, he is riding the rim between his assignments and his peers, all while trying to protect himself and save his own life from ending in a terrifying and extremely explosive fashion.

Together they are faced with their own mortality and morality as they race to stop a modern day Dr. Mengele who is causing the deaths of hundreds of "subjects", i.e. witches. Faced with the truth of the organization and the love of a good man, who just happens to also be a witch, Parker must decide if she is willing to give it all up to save her lover and prevent the coming destruction or all she had ever believed in.

The heat between these two is palpable and has been from their interaction at the end of the last story.  They are thrown together in some very unique circumstances and Parker comes to realize early on that trusting him might well be a mistake, but it is really her only choice.  The action throughout the story is well written, without taking anything away from the overall romance of the story and adding detail to the plotline instead of just being action for action’s sake.  As secrets are slowly uncovered Parker and Simon come to realize that, though they are on opposite sides of certain issues, they need to work together to save their own lives, and protects the innocents on both sides of the equation. 

There are some interesting points from both a scientific and a magical standpoint, but sometimes the overlap between the two viewpoints can leave the reader a bit confused as to whether it’s magic or science really causing the problems.  I look forward to finding out more about the genetics and the supernatural of Cooper’s version of witchcraft and how deep her imagination on those subjects really goes.

With the return of several favorite characters and lots of action and suspense this installment of the story was definitely worth the read, though I did feel there were a lot of loose ends. Can't wait to read the next in the series to see if some of those are all nicely tied up.

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Rose Rating: 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: One Night in Scotland

For my Very first review in my brand spanking new blog, I wanted to start with one of my tamer reads and one of my favorite authors.

One Night in Scotland (Hurst Amulet #1)

by Karen Hawkins


New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins begins a sparkling new series with this thrilling tale of a desperate beauty on an urgent quest, a dark earl scarred by his beastly past—and the ancient treasure that binds their fates.  
A mysterious abductor . . . Someone is holding her brother prisoner in exchange for a gold-and-onyx box covered in mysterious runes, so Mary Hurst boldly sets out from the family vicarage to find the priceless artifact. But the man who possesses it, Angus Hay, the Earl of Erroll, is less than sympathetic to her plight.

A forbidding stranger . . . Himself a prisoner of his dark past, Angus refuses to yield the box—or allow Mary to leave! Suspicious of the alluring lass’s mission, he vows to wrest a confession from her, but unearths a fiery temper and a will as strong as his own.

An unbreakable curse . . . Passion flares between them, but now there is more at stake: an unknown enemy is hunting down the precious box, and will stop at nothing. Risking all for love, Angus must solve the mystery behind the runes . . . and trust the only woman who can awaken his forgotten heart.

My Review:

I have been in love with all of these characters since the beginning of the Maclean series and was very thrilled to see the Hurst children all grown up and finding loves of their own. Mary was another interesting heroine in a family of adventurers, but she was just beginning to come into her own. Faced with the dark and distrusting Angus Hay, she is forced to find her inner mischievousness and embrace the adventure she has inadvertently landed herself in. Angus, a forbidding and introverted man, who is still feeling the guilt and loss of his first wife's death, see a playful and lightness to Mary that he initially fears, but learns to love as it tempers his darker nature. Dealing with all the mistrust and passion in their newfound friendship and attempting to overcome the challenges they face, together they uncover the truth of both their circumstances and their hearts. An overall great read with a promising beginning to another great Hawkins Series.

Ratings: 4 stars 
Rose Rating: