Review: Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes

TheBitingNixie3x4.5_medium Particulars:Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book and in print

The Source: Freebie from Samhain

Grade: B

The Blurb: 

Nitro? Meet glycerin…

 Punk musician Nixie Schmeling is a hundred pounds of Attitude who spells authority a-n-c-h-o-r and thinks buying insurance is just one more step toward death. So she really feels played when she’s “volunteered” to run the town’s first annual fundraising festival. Especially when she finds out it’s to pay for a heavy-hitting, suit-wearing lawyer—who’s six-feet-plus of black-haired, blue-eyed sex on a stick.

Attorney Julian Emerson learned centuries ago that the only way to contain his dangerous nature is to stay buttoned up. He’s come from Boston to defend the town from a shady group of suits…and an even shadier gang of vampires. But his biggest problem is Nixie, who shreds his self-control.

Nixie doesn’t get why the faphead shyster doesn’t understand her. Julian wishes Nixie would speak a known language…like Sanskrit. Even if they manage to foil the bloodthirsty gang, what future is there for a tiny punk rocker and a blue-blooded skyscraper?

And that’s before Nixie finds out Julian’s a vampire…

The Review:

I have heard good things about Mary Hughes for a long time, but I never got around to buy this book, so when Samhain offered it for free earlier this year I jumped on it. While this isn’t a perfect book, I am really glad I finally read it.

I really liked the Meyers Corner, the setting of the book, it felt believable.  From the way everyone knew each other, even if they didn’t necessarily *like* each other, to the way their German background remained a part of their daily life.  I also liked that the way they fought for their independence from Chicago.

Even if Meyers Corner is a small town, a lot of things happened. I had a blast following Nixie and Julian as they tried to stop the bad guys.  The story was fast paced, and in between dodging bad guys she kept the festival from going haywire, dealt with her mother’s nagging to get a proper job.   I loved the fact that Nixie was snarky and kickass, but she also had enough common sense to know that she wasn’t invincible.

The supernatural element was gradually introduced, and I liked how the Vampires society was structured. It balanced the vampires need, while allowing them to stay under the radar.

While there was a lot of this I really liked with this book,  I struggled with the romance subplot. It was well written, and I was happy with their HEA, but I missed  following how Julian’s feelings and how he thought about having a human mate.

Anticipated October Releases


This is a mixed batch and quite long, so I am dividing them into genres. In publishing several of these would be classified as November releases, but I put them here since I cannot wait to read them. Plus several of them will probably be available earlier. 🙂


Contemporary Romance/ Erotic Romance:



When Cade Winslow and Merrick Sullivan find Elle hiding in the cabinet of a gun store, they know they can’t just walk away from the fragile woman with no memory of who she is or who tried to kill her. Merrick is training for the title shot in the heavyweight division as a mixed martial artist and can’t afford distractions, but neither can he turn his back on the woman who tugs at his heartstrings.


Elle feels safe with her two protectors, and the longer she spends with them, the more she realizes that she has no desire to remember her past. Not when it could compromise her future with Cade and Merrick.

Cade has his own set of concerns when it comes to Elle, and it quickly becomes clear to the two men that for the first time in their friendship, a woman is coming between them. But what if they just kept her there? Between them. Where she belongs.


Maya Banks used to be an Autobuy for me, but her historical romances have too many inaccuracies and I don’t like Romantic Suspense. But, I love her Menages and I have had this book on my wishlist since I first heard of them.




Charity Sanderson had been Beau Parrish’s lover for months, but she knew it was only a matter of time before their affair ended. She needed a man she could count on to be there, and Beau never took anything seriously. But, she loved him too much to walk away. Beau loved Charity more than his own life, but knew she didn’t believe that. Every time he spoke about a future together, she got skittish, and so he’d had to back off for fear of losing her completely. The vulnerability in her eyes tugged at him, the love shining in them that she didn’t think he could see. He couldn’t go on living a lie. After giving her an ultimatum he walked out, hoping she would love him too much to let it end between them.


Her accident changes everything. It forces her to see that the man she never thought he could be has been there the entire time.

Despite the issues I have with them, I like Leah Brooke’s Desire novels. Oh, and technically this is already out but since it is exclusive to Bookstrand the first month, I post it for October.



17571198In this second Gin & Tonic mystery, the stakes are raised when someone connected to an embezzlement scheme Ginny Mallard and Teddy Tonica are investigating is murdered.When someone from the local animal shelter approaches her about finding grant funds that have gone missing, Ginny Mallard convinces her bartender friend Teddy Tonica to help her investigate once again. They soon discover that something is disturbing the animals at the shelter at night…and then a dead body shows up.

With the help of Ginny’s Shar-Pei puppy and Tonica’s tabby cat, this unconventional crime-solving team has to figure out what’s going on before the shelter—and more people—lose everything..


 Collared was one of the better mysteries I read last year, and I am looking forward to read Fixed when it is out :). Maybe I’ll get it signed at WFC too.


Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy:


BloodOfAnAncient72smBeri O’Dell, Book 2

Beri O’Dell is on a mission. She has to rip back into a hell dimension fast, but needs two things first—the blood of an ancient and a fix for her friend Blythe’s magic, which careened out of control after the battle with the Dweller.

Finding ancient blood isn’t easy when the old ones are rare and unwilling to donate. She needs to find Blythe’s former mentor…except the woman has lost her mind and joined a traveling band of singing witches.

That’s not the only magical monkey on her back. Nikolos is imprisoned, and after a screwed-up spell lets her witness the horror that has become his life, her fear for him grows by the day. Now there’s another problem—a powerful being unleashed during the battle with the Dweller likes her gluttonous new existence, and will kill anyone who threatens it.

But Beri has a few tricks up her costumed sleeve, even if it means mining the darkness of her soul to set everything right…and get Nikolos back in her arms.

I liked the first book in the series, and I think the reason that I didn’t love it was primarily because I was a bit tired of Urban Fantasy. But I’ll definitely buy this one.


15808767Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same


It is finally here! Whee! Yes, I love Nalini Singh’s novels. Why do you ask?





When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper


I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan, but this series intrigues me a lot with their mix of mystery and steampunk elements. The first book was just released, but I didn’t feature it in last month’s post, purely because I forgot about it.


ARC Review: Diamond Dust by Vivian Arend

16118795The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book

The Grade: B

The Source: ARC from the Author

The Blurb:

She can’t shift, but she can shake their world.

Caroline Bradley is having one hell of a week. Her wolf lover has sniffed out his mate, making her an instant free agent. Not only that, Takhini territory has been overrun with aggressive bear-shifters electing a clan leader, and the wolf pack is feeling the effects—pushing her diplomatic skills to the limit.

Tyler Harrison is a grizzly on a mission. If he’s going to win the majority of the bears’ votes, he needs one final thing: a female companion. The only woman in town with influence over wolves, humans, and more bears than he’d like to admit, is Caroline.

Despite the sexual pull between them, though, Tyler’s not seeking a permanent relationship. And Caroline isn’t looking to be anyone else’s political pawn. But she should have remembered that when shifters are involved, changes happen in the blink of an eye.

Warning: Billionaire bear hero plus kick-ass human heroine equals a sexually volatile power struggle. Get ready for what might be the naughtiest game of tag that’s ever been played in the great outdoors.


The Review:

I love Vivian Arend’s Takhini Wolves novels, and I am really glad that I requested this ARC.

It was interesting to revisit Whitehorse, and see how the Takhini pack prepared for the Bears Convent. It was interesting to get to know the Bears, and see how they handled the politics.

This was Tyler and Caroline’s story, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that bears doesn’t have insta-mates like the wolves does, and that have resulted in a tradition of arranged marriages. It was interesting to watch Caroline deal with the bears and their traditions. She is used to manipulating shifters, and got a spine. She needed it to deal with Tyler. Tyler was a bit arrogant, at times bordering on jerk. But he was also tender and protective toward Caroline.

It wasn’t a smooth romance. I loved to see how their world met and clashed in the beginning. Caroline is independent and used to deciding her own life. Tyler is used to giving orders. But I felt that they was a good match, and that they can bring change to the Bear society.

I really liked the other subplot that followed  the beginning of Evan’s romance with his mate. I think I know who his mate is, but I am not telling.

I had a bit trouble feeling that the romance built towards a HEA. Paradoxically, the source of that was  the interlude in the beginning was their wedding. Which removed a bit part of the feeling that they were building toward their HEA.


ARC Review: Haunted Wolves by Moira Rogers

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Review copy from the author
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:
Lorelei Adams has lost many things–her humanity, her life, even her son. She’s always fought through her exhaustion, always stayed strong for her pack, but now there are new alphas to take care of the others. Unfortunately, time to rest means time to think about her own pain.

Colin Knox knows about exhaustion. He’s acted as judge, jury and executioner to rogue wolves for over a decade, but never lingered long enough to help the survivors pick up the pieces–until now. Lorelei rouses his instincts, both protective and carnal. She’s willing, but only to indulge in physical distraction. Colin wants more, to be the hero who slays her monsters.

Especially when it becomes clear that malicious magic is loose in their sanctuary. The danger draws them together until it’s impossible to separate lust from affection, good intentions from rationalizations. Darkness is stirring at Green Pines. If they can’t fight it together, they could lose everything they have left.

The Review:
I loved Haunted Sanctuary, so when Haunted Wolves release approached I e-mailed and requested an review copy. And Bree graciously sent me one :).
This is a poignant tale, with a theme of taking the steps to heal past scars. And the most poignant part was Lorelei’s and Colin’s romance. I loved it. From the first step to acknowledging the spark, to acting on it, to starting to build a relationship. Both Lorelei and Colin had their scars, and I really appreciated how they started to trust each other, and help each other heal the worst of the scars.
The plot was well crafted, and filled with unexpected twists. I loved how everything was connected, and how even the most tiniest thing could turn out to be pivotal. I especially liked how the setting and the plot was interconnected. Things happening at the farm propelled the plot forward, as did old prejudices in the town.
The biggest problem I had was that all the other emotions in the book occassionally overshadowed the spark between Lorelei and Colin. But it was an wonderful romance, and I look forward to read the next book in the series.

ARC Review:The Wicked by Thea Harrison

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Review copy from the author
The Grade: B
The Blurb:
A Novella of the Elder Races

For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia’s new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure.

Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare. He has been hit with a curse that is slowly taking away his sight, and he doesn’t know if he will survive the results.

But the powerful feelings growing between them, along with Sebastian’s inner turmoil, take a backseat when they learn there is a traitor lurking among their expedition team. With Elder Races politics and a priceless library on the line, they’ll have to rely on each other to survive the experience.

The Review:
When Thea Harrison asked on Twitter for reviewers, I jumped on the chance. And I am glad I did. This was an excellent addition to the Elder Races Universe.
The story takes place on Carling’s Island, located in an Otherworld. It was intresting to follow the preparations for their trip there. It also felt right that it wasn’t easy to get to the Island, and the fact that part of the journey was the most dangerous one.
I really enjoyed Olivia’s and Sam’s romance. It felt nuanced. There was a sexual attraction between them , but they also talked with each other. I also loved the supporting characters, from Phaedra ( and I am having my fingers crossed that she will get her own story) to Bailey.
The plot wasn’t unique, but it was well crafted. I enjoyed the romance, with a dash of mystery tossed in. It was intresting to watch Sam struggle with his curse, and the despair he felt over it.
The biggest problem I had, was that I felt that the story should have been longer. For example, the part of the book that focused on Olivia, and her work to pack up the library felt… shallow. As a result, I didn’t feel the impact when the disaster finally struck. It was more ” Oh, the villain finally acted.”

Review: Fated by Lauren Dane

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain, available in print and as e-book
The Source: Allromance

The Grade: B
The Blurb:
 Could there be any worse fate than a road trip from Seattle to L.A.—with one’s mother—to attend a wedding? Why yes, when one isn’t married yet, like Megan Warden. Toss in a grandmother and a carload of already married sisters and it’s a recipe for sneaking sips of “special” coffee while someone else drives.

Shane Rosario has better things to do than attend a wedding where his father’s relatives will be at him nonstop about getting married and having children. If it weren’t for seeing his anchor bond, Layla, he’d have taken a pass on the entire weekend. It would be easy, since he’s become adept at hiding who and what he is.

When the two weren’t even looking, Fate steps in and before they know it, their bond is sealed. Bonded pair, married in the eyes of their people. Two people tied together in every way. Trouble is, Shane’s not sure he wants all that comes with Megan. And Megan’s certain she’s not willing to live outside her pack, pretending to be human.

The distance between them is more than geographical. It’s a widening gulf rapidly filling with resentment…an emotional divide only acceptance could bridge. Can Shane can accept himself to cross it? Only if they let love take control.

Warning: The usual players – hot sexing, pushy Warden males and the women who keep them in line, some EMO (read: grab your hankies) and bad words.

The Review:
I read an excerpt from this one a couple of months ago, and was hooked. Unfortunately, I was also broke so it got wishlisted. Until now. Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.
I loved the banter between Megan and her family. They might get exasperated at each other occasionally, but it was clear that they loved each other. They were comfortable with the fact that they were werewolves. Which is a contrast to Shane who is used to hiding who he is, living among humans. It was touching to see Shane struggle with who he was, and it made sense that he clung to his old life since that was all he knew.
The attraction between Megan and Shane sparked from the moment they met. Their romance was a whirlwind, but I liked that their path to a HEA wasn’t smooth. The issues they had to work through felt very human, and believable. It was interesting to see how the Anchor bond worked, and how it also affected the relationship between Megan and Layla.
It was interesting to get a glimpse of how living outside the pack affected a werewolf. It felt as if it was possible in theory, but I loved how Ms Dane showed why it had made Shane a mess.
That said, I felt that it went too fast between the first mating bliss, to the start of their issues. The issues made sense, but I wished the book had been a bit longer and Megan’s growing frustration had been shown instead of told.

Review: The Hob by Dana Marie Bell

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Purchased at Allromance
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:
When the Black Queen kidnaps one of the White Queen’s nephews, Robin Goodfellow is sent to ensure that the young prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. True to his role as Oberon’s Hobgoblin, he is ready for anything…except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human Michaela Exton.

Michaela has dreamed about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows Puck doesn’t really exist. In real life, it’s a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster.

She is closer to her dream man than she thinks, and nobody knows it better than Robin, who wears the guise of Ringo. But there’s competition for her love in the form of Lord Raven, who holds a secret that will rock the foundation of Robin’s world. As a Black Court delegate does the unthinkable, leaving an enraged, grief-stricken Robin hanging onto his humanity by a thread, only Michaela has the power to bring him back from the killing edge—if she survives.

The Review:
I have wanted to read the Hob’s story ever since I read Believe in Me. And it was well worth the wait.
I loved this book in so many ways. There was the setting, a Fairy Con in Philadelphia. It was a stroke of genius to have the latest dance of between the courts taking place there, hiding in plain sight. It was intresting to get a glimpse of how the different courts viewed humans.
Both the main characters and the secondary characters fascinated me. I loved Michaela for her open heart, and her dedication to her craft. Robin.. was his normal awesome, ass kicking self, despite courting Miranda. I could totally, understand his friends mirth. ( And that’s all I am saying, or I’ll wind up in spoiler territory) It was intresting to get to know new secondary characters. Both Kael and Raven was intriguing, but in their own way. I also liked how they gave a glimpse into life at the White Court and the Black Court.
The plot was fast paced, and filled with unexpected twists. I couldn’t stop reading as Robin and Michaela started to fall in love. I loved how they did it surrounded by members of all the courts, some of them friendly, some of them less friendly. While there was no doubt who Michaela would choose, it was intresting to follow the interaction between her, Robin and Raven.
The only weakness in this book was that I wish there had been some scenes showing Michaela’s reaction to Oberon’s decision. Since it did affect her life, in a way that would at least have me freak out a bit.

Review: Revelation by Lauren Dane

The Particulars:  Paranormal Romance,  Samhain Publishing, available in print and as e-book
The Source: Purchased at Books on Board
The Grade: B-
The Blurb:

He has the one thing she never thought she deserved. A place to belong…
At long last, Kendra Kellogg has found her sister—but she’s no closer to filling the gaps in her past. The magick that brought them together makes them targets for dark mages intent on finishing what started with their mother’s murder.
As if her life wasn’t chaotic enough, in barrels the one thing she doesn’t expect, Max de La Vega. He’s six-and-a-half-feet of cocoa-brown alpha male. He’s strong, intelligent, sexy and intense. Everything she’d wanted in a man. And he scares the hell out of her. Still healing from a disastrous past relationship, she wonders if she’ll ever have that kind of forever.
The next in line to run his jaguar jamboree, Max is unused to hearing “no”. Once he knows what he wants, he assumes he’ll get it. And he wants Kendra. She deserves happiness and it’s his mission to give it to her.
When dark mages attempt to steal her magickal energy, Max’s cat agrees with the man—Kendra is his to protect and he will stop at nothing to keep her safe. She can push him away as hard as she likes, he’s not going anywhere.

 The Review:
This is the second book in the De La Vegas series, and it is as good as the first book, Trinity.
It was intriguing to delve more into the world, and see how witches lived. From how they used magic, to how they struggled with change. I also liked to see how mages was affected by the magic they stole, and how they constantly was on the hunt for a new source to drain.
I liked Kendra, she had a streak of independence and sassyness that appealed to me. It was a hoot watching her and Max banter, and occasionally butt heads, as they took the first steps in their relationship.
The plot hooked me from the start. I liked how Kendra started to make a new life in Boston, at the same time as she connected with her sister. The plot twists took me by surprise, yet made sense. I I liked how several separate threads turned out to be connected. It was fascinating to watch Kendra struggle with her scars from the past, and at the same time take her place in the Jamboree.
So what I didn’t like. It felt like their romance happened so fast. I know they had know each other for a couple of months, but it felt like much shorter in the book.

ARC Review: Diana’s Hound by Moira Rogers

The Particulars: Steampunk romance, Samhain, available as e-book
The Source: ARC from the author
The Grade: C+
The blurb:
Nate Powell lived one full life as a world-class inventor before a disaster born of magic and science returned him to his prime—and turned him into a half-vampire, half-bloodhound abomination.
He’s finally stopped yearning for death, but he’s a long way from being excited about life—even if his newly virile body is very excited by the latest arrival to Iron Creek.
Diana is another creature that shouldn’t exist—a female bloodhound. While the males of Iron Creek accept her as a fellow warrior, Nate seems torn between a desire to study her and a need to protect her. Diana’s urges are a lot more carnal.
When they learn that a rogue hound is selling women across the border, Diana and Nate are chosen to infiltrate the vampires’ capital city. But before long their inner bloodhounds feel the mating pull—and a hound never outlives their mate for long. In a fight to keep each other alive, they could both end up worse than dead.
The Review:
I have been looking forward to reading Nate’s story ever since I read Wilder’s Mate. And I am glad I requested this ARC.
The world of the blood hounds are a harsh world, filled with dangers. This book gave another dimension to the vampires. It was intresting to see how polite the vampires in Eternity was, compared to how they normally were described.
Eternity might be home to vampires, but it was also a flaunting of power. In fact, I couldn’t help wondering how the life in both Deadlands and at the Border would have been if Eternity hadn’t existed.
I liked Diana and Nate. They are both oddities among the Bloodhounds. Diana because she is female, the only female hound, infact. Nate because he is part blood hound, part vampire. But.. they fit each other. Diana were a fighter, and Nate primarily a inventor.
Their search for the rogue hound that created Diana was fast paced, and filled with unexpected twists. The fact that they were headed to Eternity, a town filled with vampires added to the tension. As did the sexual tension between them. The sexual tension, combined with the protective urges added another layer to the story.
The plot wrapped up the story arc, but it had a whopper of a twist that made me itch to read the next book.
Despite all the things I loved with this book, it took a long time before it fully hooked me. Which is partially because I am tired of books with paranormal elements.

Review: Lost in You by Lauren Dane

The Particulars: Contemporary Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Books on boards
The Grade: B
The Blurb:

It hasn’t been easy for Joe Harris to live down his not-so-honorable past, but the military made him a better man. He’s determined to make up for past mistakes, starting with coming home to care for his ailing father.
Things are going as planned until his best friend’s little sister comes barreling into his life. Funny, quick talking, smart, beautiful, she’s a temptation he tries—and fails—to resist.
When Beth Murphy hears Joe is back in town, she makes sure she’s the first on his welcoming committee. Though he tries to pretend he’s gruff and unworthy of her, she sees the man who spoils his dog, who touches her like she’s precious. Cherished. But there’s one wall she can’t break down—the truth about what’s happening at home.
On the night the nature of his father’s illness becomes painfully, publicly apparent, Joe does the right thing—push Beth as far away as possible. But if he thought she’d go away quietly, he’s about to learn she’s made of sterner stuff.

Tbe Review:
Lauren Dane is slowly becoming an autobuy author for me, at least when it comes to contemporary romance.
It was nice to revisit Petal, and the Murphy-Chase family. I loved how the Murphys have fought hard to crawl up from the hell hole they were born in. They have created a new, better life for themselves.
Beth and Joe was a touching couple. I liked that their romance wasn’t easy, and that they had their bumps. I loved that Beth knew exactly what she wanted, and didn’t hesitate in pursuing Joe. I liked Joe as well,even though he occasionally was a jerk.
I also appreciated how their romance wasn’t easy. They had their bumps, created by misunderstandings and Joe’s reluctance to reveal his father’s health issues. How Joe and his family struggled to keep it within the family, made sense. Often psychological problems are viewed as something to be ashamed of. But all their obstacles made their HEA so much sweeter, since they had fought hard for it.
Despite the many things that I liked with this book, the grade is pulled down by the headhopping. Most of the time I was able to ignore it, but there were times when it confused me.