Review: “Quenched in Blood” by Ari McKay

TITLE: Quenched in Blood
AUTHOR: Ari McKay
SERIES: Asheville Arcana
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 228 pages
RELEASE DATE: Nov 20, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book / $9.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Will love mean rebirth… or death?
Vampire Julian Schaden has been warning the Asheville Paranormal Council of an impending demonic incursion for more than two decades. Over the past two years, he and his friends have fought as hard as they can with little help, since Micah Carter, the demon hunter who should have led them, shirked his responsibility and then perished.
Desperate for anything that might aid the fight, Julian enters the Carter property and finds something he never dared hope for: young Thomas Carter, the heir to a long line of demon hunters.
Thomas knows nothing about the supernatural world. But the prospect of a real life, outside the sheltered, isolated farm where he grew up, calls to him, and the idea of fighting the Unholy feels right.
Julian agrees to train Thomas even as he struggles against an unexpected, unwanted attraction. Thomas is too young and innocent to get involved with Julian, but opposites attract, and this is one battle Julian seems fated to lose. A prophecy from a dying mage comes with a bleak warning: the upcoming battle will claim Thomas’s life. To keep his home and friends safe, Julian may have to sacrifice the only love he’s ever known.


Julian Schaden is a reclusive three-hundred-year-old vampire and a member of the Asheville paranormal council. For the last two years, with his two best friends, Arden and Whimsy and their mates, Eli and Harlan, they fight against evil forces who want to bring a powerful demon to earth.

Thomas Carter is the last heir of a long line of demon hunters, but he doesn’t know that. He was raised by his grandfather, Micah, a demon hunter too, who had to hide the truth to Thomas. Micah raised him on an isolated farm, without friends, TV, Internet…nothing. Thomas was completely cut off from the outside world.

Julian agreed to train Thomas and to teach him everything about the paranormal world and his legacy. Thomas is eager to learn with Julian, and not only about his destiny. But when a prophecy reveals that Thomas must die in order to save the world, Julian will have to choose between the world’s safety or his only real chance of love.

Quenched in Blood by Ari McKay is the third and final book in the Asheville Arcana series.
Julian is a vampire—a broody vampire. He’s fought against the evil forces for centuries now, and with the help of his two best friends and former lovers, Arden and Whimsy, Julian tries to protect the world. He has a lot of guilt in him, and he blames himself for Thomas’ parents and grandfather’s deaths, that’s why he tries to trained him to be the best.

Thomas is eager to discover the world or the worlds around him—the human world and paranormal world. He’d lived sheltered from the outside all his life, and he has a lot to discover. He also wants Julian, not only as a mentor, but also as a lover. He’s young, but eager to learn, he’s brave and kind and accepts his destiny even if it’s terrifying.

I loved these two characters. Julian is the archetype of the broody, moody vampire who reveals himself only to the people he cares about. He can be technically undead, but he’s more human than what people think. He’s strong, brave, fierce but also sensitive, kind and very smart, I loved that about him. Thomas is young but not stupid. He takes his duty as demon hunter seriously, and he’s also brave and doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind when necessary. I liked that he wasn’t a little puppy following and obeying his master.

This book is the last one in the Asheville Arcana Trilogy. We finally know who the demon is, how they’re going to fight it, and if they’ll survive. It was captivating, and I was a little bit sad to have to say goodbye to them.
I had a great time with them, and this final episode was super good.

4 OptimuMM’s for the Vampire and his angel.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Blood and Ghosts” by Shira Anthony

TITLE: Blood and Ghosts
AUTHOR: Shira Anthony
SERIES: Blood
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Urban Fantasy; Vampires
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 230 PAGES
RELEASE DATE: Apr 20, 2015
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Sequel to Blood and Rain
With vampire Nicolas Lambert’s marriage to a rival clanswoman only weeks away, Adrien Gilbert struggles to come to terms with his defeat at the hands of Verel Pelletier, a vampire hunter and an immortal like himself. Adrien and his former teacher, Roland Günter, begin to explore his newly acquired abilities. But without his soul’s sword, Adrien flounders.
On Nicolas’s wedding day, a two-hundred-year old secret is revealed, sending the wedding party into a blazing battle between hunters and vampires. Once again Adrien finds himself facing Pelletier’s superior strength. Just as Adrien believes all hope of a future with Nicolas is lost, he finally learns his true gift—he can turn back time. But time travel comes with a high cost. To save Nicolas, Adrien must become strong enough to use his power without descending into madness.


Book two in the Blood series and I was on the edge of my seat. This book was incredible. I was so enthralled I dared anyone to interrupt me while reading this. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. This installment was much faster-paced than the first, so you really have to pay attention. This book will start tying things together that happened in book one. The time travel can be a little hard to follow at times. There’s just so much happening that a few times I had to go back and reread a page or two so I didn’t get lost. The storyline again in this is fantastic. The world building and the character development is top notch.

Adrien is now an immortal hunter. Secrets about his family history are beginning to be revealed. Adrien is starting to discover truths, and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks from all the changes that are being thrust at him. He has matured a lot in this book. He’s a jealous lover but also becoming his own man. He understands Nicolas’ need to follow the path he set for himself but did it have to come at the price of Adrien’s heart? While Nicolas is spending time with his betrothed before the blood bond that will tie them together for eternity, Adrien is training with his former hunter mentor, Roland. Roland is trying to get Adrien to learn that he has powers beyond his soul sword, but Adrien is struggling. He’s lost faith in his abilities and with the upcoming nuptials, he has no reason to continue as a hunter.

Francois is Adrien’s brother whom we met briefly in book one. He’s traumatized by what happened at the hands of the hunters. The nightmares haunt him, and all he wants is for Charles to let him go. Charles is finally learning that he deserves happiness and Francois is it for him. He knows he’ll seek revenge on those who hurt Francois… he’s just biding his time.

Nicolas, that sweet, sweet vampire. He believes in sacrificing his happiness for the good of the clans and the vampires as a whole. Bringing the two rival clans together for the sake of peace he feels is his duty. Secrets not only unfold for Adrien but for Nicolas as well. Nicolas discovers who he really is and about a past that only his brother Jean and his enemies are privy to. We don’t see a lot of Nicolas in book two. Not the way we know him in book one, and that’s where the time travel comes into play. He’s still formidable as an ancient, but he’s not the same Nicolas we’ve come to love.

This book has a lot of twists and turns. The characters and plot are getting more complex, but the way the author expertly weaves it, you’ll be hooked. Definitely a page-turner and I couldn’t wait to get to book three. Highly recommend. This book is not a stand-alone. You most definitely need to read book one first. Happy reading.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Twice Bitten” by Rayna Vause

TITLE: Twice Bitten
AUTHOR: Rayna Vause
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: April Martinez
GENRE: Paranormal; Urban Fantasy; Vampires
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 17, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

With a new species of vampire stalking the streets, the stakes are high. But that’s not the only reason hearts are on the line.
Danny Reynolds thought Kieran McCade was the one—true love and hot lust forever—until Danny found out Kier’s bloody secret and ran away screaming. Months later, Danny is facing his own paranormal crisis, and he needs Kieran’s help, but are there enough ways to apologize for breaking a vampire’s heart?
Nothing about Danny’s transformation is normal—not the attack that led to it, and not the symptoms Danny’s plagued with—but being in close proximity to Kieran is even worse than becoming a thing that goes bump in the night. Danny and Kieran aren’t the only things threatening to bump each other off, though. Secret organizations and clashing vigilante agendas want to get their hands on Danny. His only hope is to find a fix for his problem before he’s either captured or his abnormal transition starves him to death.
Danny and Kieran might have a real chance to repair their broken romance… but only if they keep Danny alive!


Danny Reynolds is a human who’s been attacked by a rogue Vampire one night after leaving work. This attack wasn’t normal, and after Danny barely made it out of the fight alive, he started to have weird symptoms. The only person who can help him is his ex-boyfriend, Kieran McCade, a vampire. The problem is that when Danny had found out what Kieran was, he ran away from their relationship, hurting Kieran in the process.

Between his symptoms that are life-threatening for Danny, a dangerous group of people hunt him down to hurt if not kill him and Kieran, who’s still angry and hurting, Danny doesn’t know if he will survive.
A second chance might be possible but at what cost?
Twice Bitten by Rayna Vause is the first book that I’ve read from her, and it will definitely not be the last.

I adored this book. It was a super good read.
Danny and Kier were madly in love and had been together for six months until Danny found out what Kier was. Danny hated vampires back then, and felt betrayed, so he ran away from Kier and their love. But when he was in danger, alone and scared, Danny went to see the only person who could help him. I loved Danny. I loved his honesty. He acknowledged that he hurt Kier, and he regretted it profoundly. He tried to prove to Kier that he was worth a second chance. I loved him because he was honest with himself and dealt with it.

Kier was hurt, really hurt, and as tough as he can be for a vampire, Danny had this power over him, and he broke his heart. But when Danny came to see him asking his help, Kier didn’t turn his back. I was completely enamored with Kier. He’s loyal and honest. He’s kind and protective, and he’s strong and sensitive. I was soooooo team Kier.

The plot was good and the story well written. In a world where vampires and humans live together (kind of), the relationship between the two species isn’t simple. Some humans (called Purity) want to eradicate vampires, and some Vampires (the Rogues) want to use humans as their personal meals. I loved this because it was well written, dynamic and very fluid. I didn’t have any problem following the story through the plot, and I was completely captivated. The book isn’t only focused on Danny and Kier. The subplot with the Vampire / human relationship, with all that implied, was captivating and interesting, I was hooked by it. The secondary characters are good, loveable and I wanted to know more about Aiden and Rogan.

I don’t know if this book is a standalone or the first of a series. For me it can be the first book of a series, there’s a lot of potential, and the author wrote this book very well. At least, I hope to have a book with Aiden and Rogan, even a standalone (dear new author of my heart, there’s a hint here for you).

I recommend this book, it’s a good romance/action’s book, and you’ll have a great a time as I had.

4 OptimuMM’s for The Vamp and his Librarian!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Soul Bond” by JS Harker

TITLE: Soul Bond
AUTHOR: JS Harker
SERIES: Dreamspun Beyond
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 208 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Stealing his heart.
As a thief and a warlock, Noah survives by using his wit and charm to prey on the privileged. His dangerous criminal boss wants an enchanted dagger belonging to a family of wealthy mages, including their pampered—but handsome—son, Ben. Failing to complete the job will be hazardous to Noah’s survival.
Noah bumps into Ben at a lavish party, and as soon as they meet, the connection’s undeniable, and it goes much further than ordinary attraction. Their bond reaches into their souls, entwining and changing their magic.
Which Noah thinks he can use to get to the dagger. After all, he isn’t sure this soul bond Ben seems so obsessed with is even real.
He also doesn’t count on being caught red-handed…. Or falling in love.


Well, it had to happen at some point. I knew it was too good to be true that I would continue to love all of the books in the Dreamspun Beyond series. Not that they’ve had a bad run. Twenty-three books that I have enjoyed reading before reading Soul Bond, number twenty-four in the Dreamspun Beyond series.

From looking the author, JS Harker, up on Amazon and Dreamspinner, Soul Bond looks to be the author’s first book. The book had promise. I did still enjoy reading it, but the author left me a little confused at the beginning of the book as she explained the differences between what made a mage and what made a warlock.

I’m still not sure if it’s just a money thing and whether you came from a mage house or it was a magic ability thing, like if you didn’t pass the magic test, then you became a warlock. The mages did seem to have all of the money, and the warlocks did seem to be poor but as far as I can tell they both had magic. So yeah even after rereading the first twenty percent of the book I was still confused.
What further confused me is that Ben is a mage and his father is their magus so you would assume that he would have some awesome magic ability and be stronger than a warlock. But when Noah needs his help, Ben is helpless to help him and all he can suggest is running away. Not what I would expect from a rich and powerful mage. So yeah a little disappointed in Ben’s character, especially since he’s been searching for so long to find his soul bond.

I did like Noah though. He stayed true to his character. He’s a thief that’s good at illusion spells and if that means using his soul bond to save his life that’s what he’s going to do. Will he feel guilty about it, sure, but he’ll still do it. However, he didn’t figure into his heist that he would fall in love with the head of the household’s son.

I did enjoy the middle portion of the book, and there was plenty of chemistry and hot scenes between Ben and Noah, but the end of the book ends more in a happy for now ending. And the author didn’t give any indication if this is going to be the start of a series and we’ll get the rest of the unanswered questions answered in the next book or if we’re just going to be left hanging to draw our own conclusions.
I wish authors would give some indication at the end of their books. Something as easy as “The end for now” or “To be continued” or even a “Stay tuned to find out what happens to Ben and Noah in the next book.” If for no other reason than it would give their books better review ratings. Readers don’t like guessing or wondering if another book is going to come out. Letting us know that another book is coming to answer our questions will leave us feeling excited and anxious to read it versus disappointed that the book just ended and left us with questions that need answers.

I’m personally hoping that another book is made about Ben and Noah and that I get my questions answered. By the end of the book, I really liked them as a couple, but they have so much left of their relationship and journey to figure out.

Overall, not a bad book but it could have been done a little better. However, I haven’t given up on the Dreamspun Beyond series just yet and eagerly await the next book in the series.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Incubus Honeymoon” by August Li

TITLE: Incubus Honeymoon
AUTHOR: August Li
SERIES: Arcana Imperii
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Blake Dorner
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 274 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 17, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 –e-book / $16.99 -paperback

BLURB:

As the so-called magical creatures go, I’m low on the hierarchy, and my powers aren’t much good to human mages. I’m a lover, not a fighter, through and through. I’m also selfish, lazy, and easily bored. But I’m damned good at what I do.
Too bad that won’t get my arse out of this sling.
Do one—granted, uncharacteristic—good deed, and now I’m held hostage to an arrogant faerie prince, trying to track down the one who summoned him while dodging gangbangers, gun runners, and Nazis. Add the powerful mage guilds scrambling to gather firepower for some doomsday event they’re sure is around the corner, and my cushy life of leisure might be nothing but a memory. On top of that, something’s compelling me to change on my most fundamental level. I’m not sure what I’ve got myself mixed up in, but nothing will ever be the same.
Bloody hell.
===
Featuring a new twist on urban fantasy combined with fast-paced action and intrigue, the Arcana Imperii series books are standalone adventures, each completely accessible to new readers.


As far Urban Fantasies go, I like them pretty much. When I read the blurb for this special book, I thought I have to read this one. My hope was that I would find some romance in it, but that is not the case.

In this universe of Li, there are guild of mages secretly controlling the world. All those guilds have their own specific powers and their own specific goals. But where there are mages, there are also beautiful creatures too.

Our Incubus, we call him Inky, is one of those creatures. His goal is to bring people pleasure, and in return, he can feasts on the energy their release makes while doing so. Inky shapes himself as the one his object desires too. He can sense the desire of everyone, including creatures like him. That gift brings him to a mage bar, and after a few difficulties, he finds the source of the desire that brought him there. It’s a fay.

Our fay, let’s call him Blossom, is trapped in this world, summoned. Fay are a rarity amongst the mages, and his life is in danger, but he didn’t seem to realize that. He’s arrogant and looks down on everybody. But he’s also easily distracted by shiny things. It takes Inky’s rigorous convincing that he follows the demon and they search the mage who summoned and kept him trapped there. But he strikes a bargain with Inky, and in doing so, he takes from the incubus.

They search, and aka thirty whispering cats, brought them to the shady part of town, where they end up following unusual clues, and to the apartment of Dante, a young thug. Dante has no magic in him, so it seems that they met a dead end, but the events it follows bring us to the middle of mafia, Nazis, mage war, and other things.

Here I need to open a parentheses and tell you that lately I’ve noticed that the current US politics, the extreme administration, is more often mentioned in the newly published books, as in this book too. Even if this scenery of urban fantasy, the extremism, the power their gain, by being supported by high ranking politics, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I’m a globalist. I don’t believe in frontiers, I don’t believe in nationalism. Nationalism, as frontiers are dividing us humans, creating false identifications as well separatism. We are all one, we are equals, different but equals. In my utopistic, idealistic mind I wish for the world to reach its fulfillment and become what it was meant to be to become. A place of tolerance, acceptance and full of love!

***The ARC was provided by DSP Publication . My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis