An immortal assassin is caught between desire and duty in this sizzling new novel from Kresley Cole’s #1 New York Times bestselling Immortals After Dark series.
A foundling raised in a world of humans
Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Protecting her baby brother Thaddeus became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl…to would-be superhero…to enchanting villain.
A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission
Whether by bow or in bed, archer Rune the Baneblood never fails to eliminate his target. In his sights: the oldest living Valkyrie. Yet before he can strike, he encounters a vampiric creature whose beauty mesmerizes him. With one bite, she pierces him with aching pleasure, stealing his forbidden blood—and jeopardizing the secrets of his brethren.
A boundless passion that will lead to sweet ruin…
Could this exquisite female be a spy sent by the very Valkyrie he hunts? Rune knows he must not trust Josephine, yet he’s unable to turn her away. When Jo betrays the identity of the one man she will die to protect, she and Rune become locked in a treacherous battle of wills that pits ultimate loyalty against unbridled lust.
NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
Kresley Cole never ceases to amaze. SWEET RUIN is an absolute standout in a series that just keeps getting better and better. It is exciting and sexy and funny. It is thrilling, action-packed, riveting. The lore is fascinating. The world is expansive. The characters are interesting, intriguing, and immensely entertaining, and ones you can’t wait to get to know.
Josephine is a bit of a mystery. Her characteristics and abilities don’t immediately reveal what she is. But her fiery temper, her sharp tongue, her determination, her self-assurance, and her fierce protectiveness, coupled with glimpses at a softer, more vulnerable side, make her instantly likable. And the fact that she can kick some serious butt and stand up to a millennias-old badass like Rune Darklight makes her impossible not to love.
She is young, impulsive, and reckless. Everything Rune isn’t. Yet he is curious about her, attracted to her, and even somewhat rattled by her. With his tortured past, poisonous blood, fearsome reputation, and a skill set that doesn’t allow for monogamy, he in no way sounds like the man for Jo. Even with his incredible stamina and his ability to please.
The two couldn’t be more different. But they challenge each other. They complement each other. Their chemistry is incendiary. And they have a common goal – take out Nïx the Ever-Knowing.
SWEET RUIN delivers page after page of unputdownable awesomeness. From the mystery that is Josephine Doe, to the conundrum that Rune is facing, to the games that Nix plays and the strings she continues to pull, to the building tension with the nearing of the Accession, to Jo and Rune’s angst-filled and highly combustible relationship, to the questions about the Møriør’s goals, to the introduction of new characters and cameos of series favorites, to a wild goose chase, to impressive displays of some awe-inspiring powers, to an abundance of sexual tension, to a number of surprising twists and turns, it is an intense, electrifying, scorcher of a read and an outstanding and integral addition to the Immortals After Dark series.
Every moment will keep you enthralled. Kresley Cole is a master at writing wickedly entertaining, edge-of-your-seat, all-consuming stories with characters who are passionate, kick-ass, delectable, savage, and absolutely extraordinary. And she brought all of that and more to SWEET RUIN, a definitely-must-read-right-now installment.
Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.
I am super excited to be able to share the cover for Cindy Thomas’ upcoming book BECKON ME. I have been anticipating this book’s release for quite some time and now that it has a cover and is available to pre-order at Amazon I can’t wait for its release in April.
This cover is so soft and pretty and I love the title fonts. And it makes me want to read the story even more!
What about you?
Have you seen the cover for BECKON ME around the web today? What do you think? Does it make you want to read the story even before you’ve checked out its description?
Title: BECKON ME
Author: Cindy Thomas
Release date: April 13, 2015
Everything nineteen-year-old Karina Mitchell knows about death changes the instant that she and her best friend, Rainey, are shot. For one, souls don’t die. They cross over. Only, Rainey’s soul hasn’t, and her ghost is hell bent on haunting Karina.
When Karina begins her sophomore year of college and moves into the apartment that she was supposed to share with Rainey, she learns a few shocking truths from her mysterious and gorgeous blue-eyed neighbor, Eli.
One: Karina has been chosen to become a Beckoner—an immortal conduit of the dead who helps safely guide souls to the other side.
Two: She’s the reason that Rainey’s soul can’t cross over—Rainey followed her back from death and missed her window to be at peace.
Three: Eli is hot. As in swoon-worthy, to-die-for, will-make-you-forget-yourself hot. And it turns out, Eli is a Beckoner, too.
Despite her attraction to Eli, the decision to become a Beckoner isn’t an easy one—it would mean giving up her own mortality … her own soul. But if she doesn’t, her best friend will be left to suffer an eternity at the hands of the evil Ceptors, dark creatures that feed on the souls left behind. After all, it’s her fault Rainey is haunting her.
Time is running out, and Karina needs to decide: Are love and loyalty worth sacrificing her soul?
BECKON ME is a dark but sweet NA paranormal romance for both NA and upper YA readers, ages 16 and up.
Cindy has dreamed of being an author since third grade when she won a writing contest for a story she wrote about her deceased great aunt. She hasn’t been able to ignore that dream since and chooses to spend most of her free time listening to the voices in her head and writing their stories.
Outside of her writing and working for Spencer Hill Press, Cindy is happily married and has three young boys. She lives in PA, but was born and raised in NC. Even though she’s lived in the northern half of the US for ten years, she still very much misses grits for breakfast and every now and then goes on a country music binge.
Sign up for Cindy’s Newsletter to receive the first four chapters of BECKON ME.
BITING BAD by Chloe Neill will be released in the U.S. on August 6, 2013 in paperback, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. (The audiobook at B&N.)
Published by NAL Trade, the print edition is 368 pages.
BITING BAD is the eighth book in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series. The ninth book, WILD THINGS, is slated for release on February 4, 2014, and the tenth book, as yet untitled, will also be available in 2014.
A novella, HOWLING FOR YOU, about Jeff Christopher, is available for pre-order in eBook format, and will be released on January 7, 2014.
I know BITING BAD is not a YA release and that I should probably be spotlighting one of the two YA releases that I’m super excited for instead. But I’m a die-hard fan of Ethan and Merit and I just had to choose BITING BAD as the book to watch for the week of August 6th. Because it is the book whose release I am most excited for.
Although, thanks to the very awesome Kt at A Book Obsession, I don’t have to wait until its release day to read it. In fact I’ll likely have finished reading BITING BAD before this post goes live. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited for my pre-order to download to my Kindle so that it can join the rest of the Chicagoland Vampires series.
I absolutely loved the author’s YA series, it’s what drew me to her urban fantasy/paranormal romance series in the first place. Her writing is so very incredibly addictive. Her stories are exciting and just so easy to devour. And her characters are wildly appealing. Merit is a kick-a** heroine and Ethan is… well, he’s Ethan. What is not to love about Darth Sullivan?
While it is a book aimed at an adult audience, the story focuses on the Urban Fantasy aspect more than on the romance. Which means that I can read these books anywhere without blushing and furtively glancing over my shoulder, even during the sexy times. And which means that every time I dive into the next installment I know it’s going to be action-packed.
But back to BITING BAD and why I just had to put it in the spotlight this week. Things are really heating up for the Cadogan Vampires in this installment. Chicago is becoming even more of a battleground. Tensions between humans and vampires are at an all-time high. And with a mystery as to who’s behind the attacks, this installment has it all.
So, of course I can’t wait to find out how it all ends. Of course I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Merit finds herself in, and whether she’s able to pull herself out before something really bad happens. Of course I can’t wait to see if Mallory succumbs to the dark magic. And of course I can’t wait to read more about the always delectable, at times infuriating, and on occasion “stodgy” Master Vampire of Cadogan House.
And while I am incredibly excited to see how the Watersong series ends and to finally meet the characters in Myra McEntire’s Hourglass series, I couldn’t resist putting BITING BAD in the spotlight this week. Because it is the series that I have loved the longest. It is the series that has left me emotionally destroyed like I’ve been in no other series but Vampire Academy and Soul Screamers.
And it is the series that has one of most my favorite character couples in fiction. The fact that they’re vampires is a major plus. The fact that one of them carries a katana also adds to the appeal. The fact that their chemistry is electric, makes them irresistible.
With all of that, how could I not choose BITING BAD as the book to watch for the week of August 6th? There’s just no way.
To read an excerpt of the first chapter on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.
Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.
Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.
Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.
Other Amazing Books to Watch
Here are just a few of the other awesome books releasing the week of August 6th:
For the last two years Ari’s life has been anything but normal and on her 18th birthday, when her friends surprise her with a gimmick genie claiming to grant wishes, Ari discovers the truth. The tragic and strange occurrences surrounding her 16th birthday were not coincidental and her life is never going to be the same again.
Ari’s real parents are not normal. They are not loving. They are not human.
They are myth.
They are Smokeless Fire.
They are Jinn.
Ari Johnson had no idea that her life could get more complicated than it already was.
Her childhood best friend Charlie, the boy she had a secret crush on for years, had completely fallen apart when his brother was killed. And try as she might, she could not save him from the downward spiral he was in.
Her father was more absentee than anything. And every time she tried to let him know just how much she really needed him, he made her feel ungrateful and selfish and spoiled.
She was supposed to graduate and go to college just like all her friends. She was supposed to be excited about it. But all she could think about was how much she didn’t want to go.
Of course, after everything she learned about who and what she was, who her parents really were and just what was expected of her, she’d gladly take those complications any day.
Finding out she was a Jinn, a legendary being with magical abilities was bad enough. But finding out the man who raised her, the man she thought was her father, wasn’t actually her dad, was a shock she didn’t think she could get over any time soon.
And to make matters even worse, she wasn’t just any old Jinn, but one that was being sought after to choose sides in the War of the Flames, putting everyone she knew in danger.
As much as she had wanted her life to be different, she never wanted this. And if she could be granted one wish, she’d wish to have her old life back.
Smokeless Fire is the enchanting and incredibly exciting first book in the new Fire Spirits series by author Samantha Young. This story, which introduces readers to the ancient, magical and legendary world of the Jinn, is a captivating and refreshingly unique addition to the current offerings for young and not-so-young adult readers.
Stories of genies and their power and magic go way back, but this author adds her own spin and creativity, weaving in new ideas and breathing new life into these age-old tales.
Smokeless Fire is the story of a girl, Ari Johnson, who at eighteen discovers that she is not human as she had always believed, but is the daughter of two Jinn who left her in the mortal world to be raised by a man she had thought was her father.
She is forced to learn about her history and about who and what she is, because living in ignorance has put not only her, but her friends, in danger. And those who are looking to have her on their side will stop at nothing until she embraces her magic and her powers and chooses to join them.
Even with a protector at her side around the clock, Ari will have to decide whether she can live with putting everyone’s life at risk by refusing to accept that she is Jinn and ignoring the tremendous power and magic that exists within her or whether she’s willing to risk her own life if she does.
The Jinn rulers in this story are cold and calculating, master manipulators and exceptional game players, with incredible power and little regard for who gets hurt. Even if it’s one of their own.
And while all Jinn are not evil, most have a dark side. With the amount of power at their command, it’s very easy for the darkness to take hold, and hopefully Ari won’t succumb to its lure.
Smokeless Fire is an utterly riveting must read with characters who have intriguing abilities, and hidden motives and agendas that remain shrouded in secrecy at the story’s end, leaving readers anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series.
Reviewer gives this book
On a personal note:
I have read enough of Samantha Young’s writing to know that she is madly, insanely, ridiculously talented and that I will love basically anything she has to write. But I will admit that I thought based on the subject matter alone that this would be my least favorite of her books. I was wrong.
Completely and totally wrong. I cannot believe how much I love this new series by one of my favorite authors. I never would have thought I could fall in love with a story about Genies or Djinn (or Jinn as they’re called in this book). I was never lured in by their powers or the world in which these legendary beings existed. Until now.
Now I can’t wait until the next book in the series is released. Especially after the way things ended, which makes me want to jump on a plane to Scotland to beg the author to reveal what she has in store for Ari, Jai, Charlie, The Red King…and The Glass King.
Although I had taken a sneak peek at the first chapter on the author’s blog some time ago, so I knew that the story intrigued me, I wasn’t sure just how much I’d love this story when the point of view switched from Ari to Jai in the second chapter. As a Jinn, I just wasn’t sure how much of a connection I could possibly make with him, and when he was first introduced I wasn’t sure just what part he’d play in the story. I remained wary.
Until the very next chapter. Once it switched back to Ari’s perspective I was immediately sucked right back into the story. Ari was a totally sympathetic character. I couldn’t help but ache for her and the loneliness she felt after basically losing her best friend Charlie after the death of his brother.
And she just seemed so unbelievably lost. She had a father who seemed callous and distant and friends who seemed more fair-weather than anything. I kept hoping that Charlie would come around. I was rooting for the two of them. For awhile.
So of course when she discovered what she was – and you may think you know from the description, but you don’t – even with the all the problems and drama that comes with it, I couldn’t wait to see just what powers she had and how she planned on using them.
I have got to say that the author created some seriously awesome abilities for her characters. And not just Ari. The bad guys have some pretty wicked powers too. I am fascinated by Azazil and all his sons, the Kings.
But it’s Jai that won my heart. I did not expect that at all. I thought I’d be a member of Team Charlie, but nope, my allegiance is firmly with Jai. He’s all sorts of sexy. He’s strong and caring – even when he doesn’t want to be – and just a little bit broken like Ari is. They are so unbelievably perfect together.
I am a brand new fan of the world of the Jinn. Samantha Young created one that is unique and alluring and filled with all kinds of secrets that I want answers to. In my wildest imagination I had no idea there could be quite so many types of beings that had the cruelty and coldness of the Fae but with a whole different set of rules and such seriously bad-a** abilities.
There is just a hint of a love triangle, which I almost always tend to love and did very much so in this book, but for those who aren’t huge fans, this one felt important to the story.
And there is definitely a lot left up in the air at the end – I know I have a million and a half questions – even if it doesn’t quite feel completely like being left hanging off a cliff.
While I don’t usually take much notice of chapter titles, I did in this book, and kept trying to figure out what they could possibly mean before I started reading each chapter.
And I still have questions about that prologue even after I read the story and went back to re-read it (which I highly recommend). I definitely knew more about the location but I’m still wondering just who the characters are.
This new series is a definite must read for me. I could not put it down and easily devoured it in one sitting. And with passages like the one below, how could I not?
He laughed, an unhappy sound that ripped at Ari. She wanted to reach for him. Take his hand. Do something to comfort this man who had come so suddenly into her life, pretending to be some untouchable, uncaring being when there was clearly so much more to him than that.
To get a peek at the first chapter of Smokeless Fire, from the book’s website, CLICK HERE.
Book trailer for Smokeless Fire:
About Samantha Young:
Samantha Young is a 25 year old writer who resides in her home county of Stirlingshire, Scotland. She is a self-proclaimed book addict and kindle junkie, using fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi and paranormal novels to feed her addiction.
Her young adult paranormal trilogy The Tale of Lunarmorte is an amazon bestselling series and Young’s first foray into young adult fiction after graduating from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in ancient and medieval history. Samantha followed the release of this series with a second series, titled Warriors of Ankh. At present, she is a full-time writer working on a number of projects for near future release. Currently she is the author of seven novels and one novella. (From Goodreads)
This review is based on an eARC I received from the author in exchange for my honest review.
To check out all the stops on the tour, visit the Fire Spirits website by clicking the banner, below.
Next stop: Visit Shortie Says for a character interview with Charlie and another chance to win an eBook of Smokeless Fire.
What’s Up for Grabs:
One winner will receive a signed copy of Smokeless Fire & swag. Two runners-up will win an eBook copy of Smokeless Fire.
1. One entry per person.
2. You must be 14 or older.
3. Giveaway is International.
4. All prizes will be sent directly from the author
5. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Pacific on Friday October 28th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Saturday, October 29th.
6. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.
There is no requirement to like or follow. But if you’d like to spread the word that would be awesome!
And if you’d like to stalk the author on Twitter, here’s where you can make that happen… @SYoungSFAuthor.
To enter, fill out the form below:
The Smokeless Fire giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned and the winners will be announced shortly.
Congratulations Julie! You are the winner for the signed print copy of Smokeless Fire plus swag sent directly from the author. I will be contacting you by email and you will have 48 hours to respond with your details or I will be forced to choose another winner.
Congratulations Sizzling Reads and Ashley Long! You are the winners for the eBooks of Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young. The 2nd place finisher was Kaitlyn in Bookland, but as she won a copy of the eBook of Smokeless Fire already from Fiktshun’s Ramblings, I’ve removed her name and gone to the third place finisher.
Kaitlyn – if you had wanted another eBook copy of Smokeless Fire, please email me and I’ll personally send you another copy!
Thank you to everyone for stopping by for the tour. Samantha Young is an amazingly talented author and I hope all of you get a chance to read her books.
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore was released on August 31st of this year in both digital and print formats. The first book in a new trilogy, Nevermore begins with an imaginative take on the last few moments of the life of Edgar Allan Poe. It is Mr. Poe’s last actions that portend the outcome for Isobel Lanley and Varen Nethers.
Her tale, which is at once dark and mysterious, brings the reader into a world that is shaped by the influence of both Varen and Poe. As Isobel gets drawn further and further into this twisted labyrinth, and away from her previously light and sunny existence, her role shifts from victim to savior as her feelings for the inscrutable Varen Nethers grow.
But will this strength of character be enough for Isobel to conquer the seemingly insurmountable odds she will have to face in the next installment in the trilogy?
The author’s passion for, and influence of, Edgar Allan Poe comes through in her writing, creating a story that is both exciting and inventive. And its conclusion, while heartbreaking, still leaves the door open for a happy ending for Isobel and Varen in the books to come.
The individuality of the storyline and subject matter makes this book memorable and well worth the read, and will appeal to readers both young and old. This novel opens up a new niche in the young adult paranormal genre and will excite readers about the works and mind of Edgar Allan Poe.
“Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.”
Last Sacrifice, the final book in the Vampire Academy series will be released on December 7, 2010. It’s available for release day delivery on Amazon.com, but will be available just past midnight local time for eBook readers. Although the book in electronic format is more expensive than the printed edition, it may just be worth the extra dollars to have access to it a few hours earlier.
Although we’ll have to say goodbye to Rose and Dimitri, at least we’ll get to see more of the Vampire Academy universe with Richelle Mead’s spin-off series due out in 2011.
The highly anticipated Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris was released this week, just in time to get caught up on the adventures of Sookie, Eric, Bill, Pam, Jason, Sam and Alcide before this summer’s True Blood season 3 on HBO. True to its title, the story centers around family issues for each of the characters. Sookie’s little “nephew” Hunter makes an appearance, along with her cousin Claude and great-uncle Dermot; Eric’s maker Appius Livius Ocella comes into town; and Bill is reunited with his vampire sibling Judith. The backdrop to all these new character introductions is the increasingly violent nature of the heroine, Sookie Stackhouse. With each new novel, Ms. Harris has created a darker character in Sookie. While she still retains her original set of values and cheery personality, with each book a little of that gentle good nature and moral compass disappears, culminating in her level of ferocity in the current book.
Dead and Gone left many fans wondering about what was going to happen to Eric, Bill and Sookie: Will Eric and Sookie continue to be a couple? Will Sookie and Bill get back together? Why wasn’t Eric there when Sookie was being tortured? What did Ms. Harris mean when Pam said to Eric, “As you live on in Sookie”? This novel only briefly touches on answers to these questions and does not focus on the relationships between these three characters. As the author does plan on writing more installments, the furtherance of those storylines will most likely be addressed in upcoming books.
As with Dead and Gone this was another quick read. From beginning to end, the story was engaging, with a good pace – only the beginning while Sookie was recovering seemed to drag. But the shortness of the story, the unanswered questions about Sookie and Eric, and a few hanging/dropped plot points made this novel feel unfinished. The author increases the threat of Victor Madden, who oversees Eric and the other Louisiana vampires, early in the book, but drops that part of the story midway through, without real explanation as to why the threat was abated for the time being. With the number of storylines included in this novel, a longer book could have really filled in some of these gaps and made it feel less rushed between the many action sequences. Piled on top of one another as they were made it read as if it was a script for an action flick rather than a book where it’s not only the action, but the development of character that make up the story.
Overall, it was worth the wait. It was nice to be introduced to a few new characters, get questions answered about characters previously only alluded to, and to re-enter the world of Sookie Stackhouse in Bon Temps where humans co-exist with vampires, shapeshifters, and the fae.