Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Tell Tale Tuesday: Sapphire Angel by Khloe Wren



Title: Sapphire Angel
Author: Khloe Wren
ISBN: 978-1-62420-085-4
Email: khloe@khloewren.com


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1


Vampires are real...as is the fact they will only ever take one women. Their Eternal Bride.
When Angelo sees Darcy, he knows she is his Bride. Her sapphire blue eyes match his exactly. But he must wait to claim her. He fears he has lost her forever when she disappears.
Five years pass before he finds her again. Just when things start heating up between them, Darcy is taken by their enemies. Angelo must fight to free his one true love. Will he be in time?

EXCERPT

Karl ran his hands through his hair and tugged at it, hoping the stimulation would somehow make his brain think of a solution. The Elders were going to kill him over this if he couldn’t fix it. When he’d sensed a vampire hanging around Chapel Street six years ago he’d spent weeks trying to work out whom he was guarding. Karl knew, it had to be the vampire’s Eternal Bride, but which of the many women was it? Eventually he’d found her, her unusual sapphire blue eyes giving her identity away. All Brides had unusual irises. Colored like gemstones, most were very different to normal human eye color.
Karl was no match for a vampire, no human was. Even Elder Nobles couldn’t beat one in a fair fight. The only way to take down a vampire was through his bride. They needed to weaken him by removing his access to his Bride’s blood. Then they would use his Bride as bait to lure the vampire into a trap.
He’d told the Elders about the woman, Darcy, and they had told him to woo her. Make her move in with him so he could watch her for them. He thought it would only be until she turned twenty-three. Which had been three years ago and still the Elders expected him to watch over her. He didn’t love Darcy. She wasn’t his type at all. He’d taken to spending time with women he did fancy, in and around Darcy’s work schedule. She was very predictable with her hours and he’d easily carried on more than a few affairs over the last couple of years.
Damn it! Why had she come home early on Christmas Eve? It was so unlike her. He sighed heavily as the significance of the date hit him. It was the day of their five-year anniversary, and she’d probably wanted to surprise him with something. She’d surprised him all right. Shocked the hell out of Linda too, whom he’d neglected to tell, was the 'other woman'. She’d dressed and stormed out moments after Darcy. So, here he sat, three days later and he still couldn’t find any sign of Darcy. He’d checked all the bars down Chapel Street for the next couple of nights, and rung around all the hotels. One hotel thought she’d checked in on Christmas Eve, but she’d checked back out again later that night. He could only assume her vampire had found her and claimed her.
He looked at his phone and shuddered. He was just a low level Noble. A nobody. He didn’t want to have the Elders come after him; that would be worse than if he went to them and admitted his crime. He slowly picked up the phone and dialed the call which could well be his last.
"Karl, you have phoned to report in? You are a day late, my boy."
Shudders ran through his body as the deep accented voice cut through his mind like a knife. The Elder Nobles had great power, even their voices over the phone held a considerable amount of it.
"Apologies, Elder. I had—I had an issue I was hoping to solve before I reported in."
"An issue? Explain yourself."
"The bride has gone. I cannot find Darcy anywhere. I can only assume the vampire has taken her."
"You should have told us as soon as she disappeared. How many days has she been gone?"
As the Elder spoke his power surged through the phone, immobilizing Karl as pain racked his body and mind. He fought against the pain and after a minute or so it eased to a level he could talk.
"Th-three days, Elder."
There was silence on the other end. For a few moments, all Karl could hear was his own heart beating in his ears. He started praying for a quick death.
"If you were not needed to retrieve the bride, you would be dead. You have but one chance to redeem yourself and earn back your life. You must locate her. You do not need to acquire her, just locate her. We shall do the rest. Of course, if you do manage to capture her, there will be a nice bonus for you. She took her phone with her I assume?"
"Yes, she always has her phone. She's just not answering it."
"Use the GPS tracking in the phone to locate her. Call me when you know exactly where she is. Failure in this will cost you your life."
With a click the call ended. Karl dropped the phone onto the couch next to him and scrubbed his face. How the hell did he get a hold of GPS tracking information on her phone? His body was still aching from the Elder’s punishment so he decided to have a shower. Maybe the hot water would help get his mind working too.
He stepped under the spray and began cleaning his body. As he washed his hair he remembered his buddy from high school, the one who’d gone into private investigation work. He’ll able to help him, at a price. But with his life on the line, the money would be well spent. With a rough plan now in place, he quickly finished his shower so he could begin tracking down Darcy and removing the noose from around his neck.

REVIEW:
Musing and Ramblings
3 Stars

I have to admit that I am a fan of Khloe Wren. I have read the first two books in her Fire & Snow Series and just adored them. So getting a chance to review the first book in a new series was a no brainer.  This book was a fairly fast read at about 70 pages and had a quite a bit of smexy in it, but it was an enjoyable read with a unique premise.

Vampires are known publicly. They are born, not made, and have 100 years to find their Eternal Bride. If they find and claim their Bride, they only take blood from her and must drink about every 3 days. They will know their Bride because their eye color will match their own, each a unique gemstone shade. If they are able to find their Bride, they can't claim her until she is at least 23 years old. For those unfortunate enough to not find their Bride within the allotted 100 years, they die. So finding their Bride is a HUGE deal for these vampires.

Of course, we have to have some bad guys in this equation. A group of men called "Nobles" who go to any means necessary to keep the vampire from his Bride, including kidnapping and murder. It's not till further in do we find out why they try to keep them apart, and the squick factor is high. And as with this story being part of a trilogy, there will be more on the Nobles to come in the next two books.

Normally, a Vampire and Bride meet, fall into each others arms and have the insta-love thing going on. But Darcy has just come out of a 5 year bad relationship.  As in finding your boyfriend in the your bed, on your anniversary, having sex with someone else bad. Darcy makes Angelo work for her claiming, but this also happens as part of the larger story line of Nobles versus Vamps. This was a great quick read and I give it 3 stars.


Monday, August 03, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Mystery Monday: The Unknown Son by K. J. Dahlen


The Unknown Son
Book Three of the Sable Quinn Trilogy
ISBN: 978-0-936403-09-7
K. J. Dahlen
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1



FBI agent Sable Quinn has survived several attempts on her life by members of the Reardon family, serial killers with a link to her own past. Now another family member has surfaced, an UNKNOWN SON determined to murder Sable where others have failed.

But Noah must let Sable live long enough to reclaim a fortune in stolen money, gold, and jewels. Unknowingly, Sable possesses the key to this fortune: an ivory handled knife taken as evidence in the murders of her family members.

Excerpt:

With both her life and a fortune on the line, Sable fights her toughest battle yet. Will she survive the final showdown against the last serial killer of the Reardon family?
Sable glanced over at the empty desk in the office and wondered when Max would be back. The bullet he received from Shawn last week had done a number on him, but he survived. She had hoped the nightmare of her past was truly over now but even as she gazed at the open letter on her desk, she knew she might have one more battle to fight.

The letter was from Maggie Yost and it had come out of the blue. She hadn’t thought about Maggie since she’d left Chicago a few months ago. She’d disappeared from the hospital against medical advice after Micah died. Sable tried calling her in Cleveland but Maggie had never returned. Sable learned from Kyle Benson, Maggie’s landlord, she had called him and asked him to pack her things and put them in storage. She would deal with them later. That had happened a couple months ago. Since then he had not seen her or heard from her.

Sable was surprised by Maggie’s letter, but her surprise soon turned to dismay when she read what she had to say. The dismay turned to dread when she realized her nightmare wasn’t quite over yet.

This is the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. I’ve never admitted this to anyone else, not even myself, but I made a very bad mistake twenty two years ago and now that mistake is going to kill me. I told you I fell in love with Richard at the same time your mother was with Micah, but that wasn’t the truth. Summer had been with Micah earlier, almost two or three years earlier. When Micah and Richard came back and Micah found out about you, that’s when I met Richard.

I fell in love with what I thought was his bad boy image. I didn’t realize what I thought was an image was the real deal until it was too late. He was a real bad person. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I knew if I left him Richard would track me down and kill me. He told me often enough when he noticed I didn’t want to be with him anymore. I thought he was becoming lost to his own reality then he was dead. When Micah killed Richard, I knew I had to run before he could find and murder me. I saw the fight they had that day and I was witness to the murder. I knew the only way he wouldn’t kill me is if he couldn’t locate me. I had to run away and that’s exactly what I did. I moved around a lot so Micah wouldn’t find me.

It wasn’t until weeks later I found out I was carrying Richard’s child. At first I didn’t know if I wanted to keep the baby or not, but in the end I couldn’t harm my baby. My baby was the only innocent one out of the bunch of us. It was hard to be alone and pregnant, but I knew I couldn’t go home. My family would never have understood my relationship with Richard, and I wanted to keep my baby. When my son Noah was born, I tried to forget his father. I had hopes he would become my son and not a reflection of Richard.

We struggled but we had each other. Noah was such a happy child and he became the love of my life. After awhile, I guess I had forgotten about Micah. I thought I dodged the worse but all that changed when my son was ten. He became secretive and sneaky and he began looking at me with mistrust. I tried to get him to talk to me but he wouldn’t tell me what I’d done wrong. It never dawned on me I could lose him; especially not to the one person I had learned to fear more than Richard. Noah spent a lot of time away from home but he wouldn’t tell me where he was or who he was with. Then when he was fourteen he ran away. It was several weeks before I realized he was running straight to Micah.

Micah sent me a postcard about three weeks after Noah disappeared. He told me not to worry about my son; Noah was with him and he would raise him to be a man, just like his father was. He told me he would be back to settle the score with me at a later date. Every day for the last nine years I’ve had to live with the fear that one day Micah would just show up at my front door. I moved from town to town hoping to avoid the confrontation I knew was coming.

When you found me, I was almost relieved. I’m only sorry I didn’t tell you the truth, the whole truth but I had to keep certain things from you. I still had to protect my son. I prayed Noah wasn’t with Micah and for a moment I thought he wasn’t. When Micah took me to the well, he told me Noah had become the man he had hoped. He said Noah took to the life better than Richard had and if by some chance Micah died in the final battle between the two of you, it would be Noah that would finish his work; Noah, Sam, or Shawn.

I’ve been running for awhile now but it hasn’t done any good. No matter where I go I can still feel him right behind me. I don’t know if he’s really there or not but someone has been watching me. Maybe it’s only my conscience making me feel this way, but the other day I saw someone standing on the corner staring at me. I came to La Crosse to get lost in the crowds but I think Noah has found me again. I know after all I’ve done to you, you have no reason to help me but I’m begging you to please help me. I don’t want to die by my son’s hand.

Even as I write this letter I can feel him getting closer. I received a call late last night. When I picked up the phone, I heard a voice I barely remembered. He told me he was in town and wanted to stop by and say hello. When I told him I didn’t believe him, he told me I shouldn’t. He said he was here to tie up loose ends. He said he had a job to finish and Micah was counting on him to finish it.


“Nick,” she called out.

Nick lifted his head from the report he was reading. When Sable held up the letter she received in the morning mail, he pushed back his chair. Walking over to her desk, he took the letter and began reading it. A moment later he lifted his eyes from the paper and looked at her. “Are you kidding?”

Sable shook her head. “Apparently this nightmare isn’t quite over yet.”



Sunday, August 02, 2015

Addicted to Writing Presents Romance Sunday: The Wager by Christine Young


Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level:

Buy at Amazon

BLURB:

Amorica Hepburn was sent to London to find a husband. However, finding a man was the last item on her agenda. With her two cousins, Amorica wagers she can dissuade her suitor before the others. Despite her efforts she discovers a chemistry that cannot be denied. Suddenly she is the arrogant man's wife, pledged to a marriage neither desire. But swept off to his ancestral home above the Dover cliffs and into his strong embrace, Amorica is soon possessed by a raging passion for the husband she had vowed to despise…

Damian Andrews couldn't afford to trust the emerald-eyed spitfire who happened upon his secret. Amorica's hatred of all men of his kind only inflames the war that rages between them. Still, he can not control the intense desire his stubborn bride inspires, or make her surrender to his will until he has conquered the headstrong beauty on the battlefield of love…

EXCERPT

Coast of England 1816

"It's a bloody cursed day." Damian Andrews swept the child into his arms and waded through the pounding surf to the beach. He braced himself against the out-going current then sloshed through the crashing waves. Salt spray clung to the wind, stinging his nostrils.

Damian turned. Beneath his ribs, his heart pounded the cadence hard and fast. He swore again as he watched the captain shout orders to his crew. The French brandy that was supposed to have arrived this night would have to wait.

Standing in the longboat, the captain of the ship that brought the brandy as well as the political refugees from the Germanies held a torch aloft--the only light in the vast darkness. "Hurry, laddie. We have human cargo tonight and the tide is changing."

A little girl whimpered.

Damian pulled her into his arms, bent on protecting her at all cost.

"It's all right. You will all be together soon." The smuggling of French brandy was a cover for the cause that meant so much to him. Religious and political refugees--at times it seemed they came in droves. All were seeking a better life. A life of freedom. "Your mother is coming as well as your baby brother. You will all be safe."

Damian looked to the captain. "The father?" he queried.

"He didn't come with his family. He said he had one more thing to do. You must hurry."

The child leaned into Damian, her little face nuzzling his shoulder, her silent sobs gut-wrenching. He pulled her closer, cursing at the elements as well as mankind and wishing he could find a way to shield the tiny child from all harm. He knew the feat to be impossible. The little girl touched a place in his heart and for a moment filled that broken space with light. Yes, the mother would be with her children, but why had the father stayed where his life was in peril? He had learned long ago one could come to regret rash actions. And he'd also learned one could lose all chance at love in one instant.

Lord, but he'd lost his concentration and in losing that, he could well lose his edge.

No secrets-- no lies. The thought haunted him.

His life was a lie, but he would change nothing until his penance was paid. A constant drizzle soaked him to the skin. The wind sent goose bumps rising on his arms. He reached shore and handed the girl over to Aric Lakeland, a trusted friend and accomplice in this night's work, then turned and walked back to the longboat. Her baby brother as well as her mother waited.

He had never meant to get involved. It was the greatest of ironies that he was here now. He'd been a man who loved his family and his home.

He'd been content but that seemed years ago--a life time.

It felt like centuries.

The captain spoke, his voice hushed. "Hurry, now, Master Damian.

It's the watch. They are due to ride by here any time now. The patrols have doubled these last few weeks. I fear it's not as safe as it used to be." The captain handed over the baby wrapped in blankets. Damian stared at the child. The babe couldn't be a year old. The child didn't make a sound, not even a whimper.

This was injustice, a travesty. He looked at the mother. "Can you make it on your own?" He prayed the fragile lady standing before him had more courage than she appeared to have. She nodded and with the captain's help, she stepped into the ocean, struggling for balance. Yet her shoulders were squared and her spine stiff.

As soon as the captain placed the babe in Damian's arms and the three of them were headed for land, he gave orders. Two sailors rowed out to sea, moving toward the black ship that rose and fell on the distant waves.

On a cliff above, the dark silhouette of a third man, Ryder McClaren, could be seen for a brief moment. He waved his arms then disappeared into the shadows once more.

"Hurry," Damian bade the mother, his hand resting on the small of her back, urging her forward.