The Tiger's Watch by Julia Ember Guest Post & Excerpt!

Hi guys! We have Julia Ember stopping by today with her upcoming release The Tiger’s Watch, we have a brilliant guest post from Julia that includes some exclusive pictures and we have a great excerpt, so guys, check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~

Julia Ember - The Tiger's Watch Cover

The Tiger’s Watch

(Ashes of Gold 01)
by

Julia Ember

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as an inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

Release date: 22nd August 2017
Pre-order:
 Harmony Ink Press ebook | Harmony Ink Press paperback | Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperbackAmazon US | Amazon UK | B&N

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The Artist's Masquerade by Antonia Aquilante

Antonia Aquilante - The Artists Masquerade CoverTitle: The Artist’s Masquerade

Series:  A Tale of Tournai 02

Author: Antonia Aquilante

Genre: High Fantasy, Fantasy

Length: Novel (300 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 21, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: As the first-born son of the Duke of Tournai and cousin to the prince, Cathal has always tried to fulfill his duty to family and country, including following through with an arranged marriage to Velia, cousin to the emperor of Ardunn. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who fascinates Cathal. Cathal doesn’t know that Flavia is really Flavian, a man masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive place in which Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.

Even when Cathal discovers Flavian’s true gender, he cannot fight his attraction to him. Flavian is intrigued by Cathal, but Cathal is still betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries Cathal is more taken with his feminine illusion than the man beneath it. While both men battle their longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital, attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses. They are also searching for Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent that allows him to see the truth of a person just by painting their portrait—a skill invaluable to Ardunn’s emperor.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-749-1

Reviewer: Shorty

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Review: This is the second book in A Tale of Tournai. The book starts out by Cathal accepting a betrothal set up by his father to Lady Velia.  I found it irritating that nothing was discussed with Cathal ahead of time; after all it is his life. As he’s getting to know her he finds he’s not attracted to her but to her companion Lady Flava, who is really a man masquerading as a woman.  

Etan, Cathal’s brother, only wants his brother happy. So he wants him to follow his heart. Flavian wants to be allowed to love freely and it’s the reason why he is Tournai as where he was wouldn’t allow that. I really enjoyed the whole story. 

It was a really good book and I hope Etan gets his happy ever after at some point in the series. Wonderfully written story that draws you into a world where all is not as it seems. Love, honor and duty are important as well as deception are all throughout this story.

Great read.

Heartstrings by Eressë

Title: Heartstrings

Series: Chronicles of Ylandre 04

Author: Eressë

Genre: High Fantasy, Hermaphroditism, Science Fiction-ish, M-Preg

Length: Novel (roughly 168pgs)

Publisher: Liquid Silver Press (4th July 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: When all else comes to naught, a steadfast heart is the only thing that stands between hope and despair.

Scions of the most powerful House in Ylandre, Ashrian Mithani and Eiren Sarvan were more than just cousins. Lovers of long standing, theirs was a bond that would have been the envy of all were it not for one glaring flaw—Ashrian’s inability to commit himself wholeheartedly to Eiren. Despite the dismay of some and the derision of others, Eiren bore his inconstancy; displaying a loyalty Ashrian seemed incapable of returning. That is, until Ashrian crossed a line and the transgression proved one Eiren could not forgive.

In the wake of grief and remorse, Ashrian seeks to make amends and win Eiren back. But something stands in his way. Or rather someone. And the irony of it all is that Ashrian can neither hate nor help befriending the Deir who is his rival for the heart of Ylandre’s most beloved physician.

Purchase Link: http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=linda018&product_name=Heartstrings

Warning: Hermaphroditism (dual sex).  This book is part of a series and must be read in order.

Review: Heartstrings is a very fitting title for this book as it will definitely be pulling at yours. Ashrian (Ash) and Eiren (Ren) have a very tenuous relationship. Ren is committed to Ash, but Ash still lives the high life and enjoys his flirtations. But, one day Ash goes too far and Ren doesn’t think he will ever forgive him and accepts a position that he had been toying with taking. When Ren returns he brings back a new love and dashes Ash’s hope of regaining his love, but circumstances change over the years and a spark returns between Ren and Ash.

This story runs parallel to the other stories in this series and as always we see a wonderful selection of characters that we have fallen in love with in the past. In this story, we have heartbreak, cheating, betrayal, remorse, redemption and forgiveness. Ren and Ash have had a very up and down relationship for many years and Ren has always put up with Ash’s unfaithfulness, but one night Ash sleeps with the wrong person and Ren has had enough. When Ren is gone, Ash realizes exactly what Ren really meant to him. But, by the time Ren comes back, Ren has moved on and there is nothing that Ash can do about it.

As always in a relationship there is always more than one point of view and to make a relationship work there has to be communication, and with Ren and Ash there is a distinct lack of communication. *sigh* When I started to read this one I really wanted to hate Ash, but the further I got into the book the more I began to sympathize with him.  because Ren never put his foot down, Ren never really pulled him about anything and just walked around like a martyr with a ‘woe is me, my man cheats on me and I do nothing about it’ attitude. I will be honest all my sympathy went to Ash and I think that Ash and Firyon (I won’t spoil it) were great characters and Ren came into his own much later when he also faced his own faults.

This story is again beautifully written. We are given more world building with fantastic characters. Eressë drags us back into the world of Ylandre, giving us more knowledge about characters we have met in the past. Filling us in with the stories of others and tearing our heartstrings as we become involved with the beloved characters. Ren and Ash’s story with shock you, it will disgust you, it will make you tear up, it will get you angry and it will fill you with forgiveness and happiness but it will never be boring.

I am recommending this to all those who love m-preg, misunderstandings, frustration, despair, angst, forgiveness, happiness, growing relationships and growing people but most of all a happy ever after that is well deserved.

 

 

Ghost by Carole Cumming

Title: Ghost

Series: Wolf’s-own 01

Author: Carole Cummings

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel (350pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (17th February 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Dwelling in the land of Ada and defending magic users called the Jin, Fen Jacin-rei is a trained assassin and an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the Voices of the Ancestors, spirits of long-dead magicians. His fate should be one of madness and solitude, yet Fen Jacin-rei desperately clings to his sanity and ferociously protects the family he loves. But how does Fen do it? Kamen Malick has every intention of finding out.

When Malick and his own small band of assassins ambush Fen in an alley, Malick offers Fen one choice: join us or die. Determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds Fen—and to have the Untouchable for himself—Malick sets to unraveling Fen’s past while Fen delves into the mysteries surrounding Malick.

As Fen’s secrets slowly unfold, Malick is drawn into a crusade that isn’t his, one surprisingly similar to his own quest for vengeance. Yet irony is a bitter reward when Malick discovers the one he wants is already hopelessly entangled with the one he hunts.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2786

Glossary for words and meanings at the beginning of book.

Review: Oh, my freaking God… put down whatever you are doing get this book and read your little hearts out. This type of book is the reason why I love fantasy so much, the pure joy of the imagination, the complete world building and the mysterious characters that all have their own stories.

Fen Jacin-rei is an Untouchable, a Ghost, a loner driven to distraction by the voices that plague him; it is only his training that saves him from complete madness. Kamen Malick is the leader of a small band of assassins who has been ordered to get Fen working with them at any cost. But, as secrets come out about Fen, Malick has his own secrets that he is trying desperately to keep hidden.

Wow, just freaking wow, the world building in this book is world-class, the characters are all incredible and the story-line and plot are fantastic. The story begins with Malick looking for Fen and finding him from then on the story and characters will intrigue and baffle you. Malick is just so full of awe about himself, but he is completely loveable, Fen is a cold hard-hearted bastard, but as you get to know his story and background you understand his need to be as cold as possible.

The story is from many POV not just Malick and Fen’s, but also from Malick’s group of friends and Fen’s mentor which means that we get a full-bodied story will lots of detail, but we never lose focus of the story-line. Malick spends most of the book trying to seduce Fen, because he has a very cavalier attitude towards sex and it isn’t until he knows Fen a little better that he realizes that he genuinely likes Fen. Fen spends a lot of time rebuffing Malick, because of how he was treated in the past. We also have flashbacks to Fen’s life before; starting on the night he was born.

I really can’t tell you more about the story-line, because really it would ruin it for you. This is a journey that you have to take yourself, because you have to be immersed to absorb all the details that make it so good. The ending isn’t a happy ever after or a happy for now, it’s a ‘we have to see what happens’, it is left in a place that will be picked up again in the next book (4 books altogether) and it will be a continuation of this story. Malick and Fen do get together in this and yes, they have explosive, erotic and sensual sex, but Malick has a long way to go to gain Fen’s complete trust and hopefully his love. While Fen will probably find it hard to believe Malick, because of Malick’s own manipulation early on.

So, In all honesty this is a fantasy whose characters just happen to be gay. If you are expecting sex and love on every page then don’t bother. This is a genuine Fantasy like Mercedes Lackey’s The Last Herald Mage Trilogy. So, I recommend this to those who love fantasy, mystery, bloody fights, intrigue, scorching hot sex, great characters, awesome world building and the promise of another three books to come.

 

 

Weregild by Carole Cummings

Title: Weregild

Series: Wolf’s-own 02

Author: Carole Cummings

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Super Novel (344pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (26th March 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: The amorality of gods makes it hard to tell ‘bad’ from ‘good’ and ‘right’ from ‘wrong’. Fen doesn’t care. All Fen cares about is saving his family, and he’ll risk anything and anyone that gets in his way. Including his own soul.

No longer willing to wait for the machinations of the gods’ minions, Fen accepts the trade Malick has offered and together they set out to rescue Fen’s family and kill the man Fen has loved for years. With the Ancestors still screaming in his head, and with the duplicity and manipulations whirling around him, Fen finds it harder and harder to do without the silence Malick can offer him.

Malick has his own reasons to hand over everything Fen wants, and equally compelling reasons to withhold everything Fen needs. Over his head, and timing as bad as ever, Malick must devise a way to do his god’s bidding without breaking his god’s laws—and keep Fen sane and on Malick’s side in the bargain.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2842&osCsid=n7rt5cg827bkvr4g0fve73p025

Review: God damn. But this cover suits the book to a tee. Fen/Jacin doesn’t give a damn what the Gods’ want, he wants his family safe and Malick to keep his promises and that’s all he wants.  Well, that and silence. Malick has made promises that he always seems seconds away from keeping, he can’t break his gods’ law, but he needs his vengeance and Fen is the only way to safely get it. But, now his promises are falling apart, he’s being betrayed and he finds he still has a heart.

Carole Cummings, I bow down before your greatness. This story/series is what High Fantasy is all about and damn if you haven’t made me one happy Pixie. Fen/Jacin struggles to find balance within himself and without. He finds himself having to depend on other people for the first time, he expects betrayal and manipulation, he expects to be used for others needs, but what he never really expects is for someone to see him, to love him and to truly want him. Malick is bound by the laws of the gods, but he has his own instructions from Wolf and his own plans to fulfill, all the while keeping everyone safe and facing betrayal from one who is close to him.

There is no way that I could explain everything that goes on in this book, as it really is just too epic and I really wouldn’t want to give anything away, but this I will tell you… there is betrayal from unexpected quarters, there is love, hope, dreams, tragedy, deaths, devastation, grief of epic proportions, bloodshed, gruesome bloodshed, grave injuries, smug maijin and Temshiel and above all else we have a troubled Untouchable and a perplexed Temshiel.

This is not a story for those who don’t want something to chew on or those who want a light read or instant romance and love and lots of sex. This is a story that is complex in its diversity, because just as you think you have a good grasp on what is going on and what is being said, something else is thrown into the mix to change it all. Malick accepts that he has a more mortal heart than he remembered and how that has affected the outcome. Fen sees more than he thinks he does and the Ancestors voices make more sense than anyone thought. We get caught up in Fen’s insane rambling mind a few times and we can begin to truly feel what he goes through constantly, but Malick giving Fen silence only makes it worse when he has to listen to the voices again.

There is only one sex scene in this book and it is more out of desperation for Fen than true want… Fen really has no true clue about sex and love and the meaning of both of them. There are moments for both Fen and Malick of just snuggling, but it throws Fen as to why he’d want it. The writing in this book is smooth and flows well and sometimes it’s like watching poetry in motion with its whimsical feel. The characters are all incredible well written and you will all end up with your favorites (mines Fen/Jacin ;-).)

Well, anyway, I have to recommend this to those who love high fantasy, betrayal, bloodshed, plots, manipulation, twists, devastation, an epic brutal final battle, a promise of two more books and a happy as it’s going to be ending.

 

 

 

Koan by Carole Cummings

Title: Koan

Series: Wolf’s-own 03

Author: Carole Cummings

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel Plus (290pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st May 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: After saving his people, killing the man he once loved, and losing his little sister, Fen Jacin-rei has made his way to Tambalon with his surviving brothers and Kamen Malick. But shortly after arriving, old ghosts resurface, new dangers arise, and Malick tells Fen the gods aren’t done with him yet.

Fen now knows he’s a catalyst for Fate and a magnet for Fate’s players, and he’s dangerously close to falling over the edge into insanity. But tracking down the vicious creatures that have been abducting and murdering citizens of Tambalon is just as critical as dealing with past lives and legendary beings.

With a threat all too close and a secret he needs to explain, Malick is at odds with those who should be his allies, and no matter how much he wants to protect Fen, it may be more than he can manage when he’s trying to keep them alive.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2948

Review: Oh Fen, poor, poor Fen. Your creator has it in for you. But, god damn, she does it in such a way that we all love you and want you to have a perfect life. Fen thought it was over, the voices of the Ancients are gone, the Jin are on their way to freedom and he has his brother’s back, but the gods haven’t finished with him yet… far from it.

Carole Cummings, I don’t know whether to love you or hate you, because freaking hell, you write one hell of a book, but your ending deserves severe punishment. Fen-Jacin is still floating on the brink of insanity. Oh okay *sigh*, on the brink of complete insanity. He’s holding on by his finger nails and he isn’t being helped by the ghosts that are following him. Malick is trying to protect him as much from outside influences as possible, but even he can’t smother the ghosts completely. Outsiders from all angles want him and then Malick is gone, his touchstone has disappeared and now with no tether, Fen is adrift, haunted and hunted with no one to help him.

This story is a great continuation of Wolf’s-own and the constant mental torture that Fen is under. Malick does know what he is doing, even when it seems like he doesn’t and putting Fen into danger before he is ready is not a mistake that Malick wants to make, but it is soon taken out of Malick’s hands. This book is filled with an awry of clues and hints as to what we are heading towards, but Fen is so not the person who would ever put it together. In fact, all the characters seem to focused on what their own god wants to recognize the danger that is heading towards them, and in their own selfish need to prevail they make matters worse.

Fen and the characters of this book are in for a ride, who or what is haunting Fen? Is it really Asai? Can any of the Maijin or Temshiel find the truth of what is happening in Tambalon? And will any of the readers’ ereaders survive the ending of the book 😉 lol. This story is fantastically written it’s a well woven story that will make you pull your hair out, have you screaming into your fist and make you wish for some happiness for Fen. These are characters that you will love, hate, or sneer at and wish someone would stab them; we have old characters and new, some making up for past mistakes and some making new ones and through it all we have Fen trying to hold on to what little sanity he has left and being expected to save them all.

So, I recommend this to those who love high fantasy, fights, blood and gore, manipulation, mistaken betrayal and a cliff hanger ending that will frustrate the hell out of you, unless you have the next book ready to read.

 

 

Incendiary by Carole Cummings

Title: Incendiary

Series: Wolf’s-own 04

Author: Carole Cummings

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel Plus (300pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18th June 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Fen Jacin-rei finds himself again on the run after discovering the reality of what he is and why the gods won’t let him go. His one source of support, Kamen Malick, is suddenly unavailable, and now hounded and chased by ghosts who want to drive him into insanity and keep him there, Fen will have to face life all alone.

…Or maybe not. Old enemies and new allies seek to control Fen, now known as “Kamen’s Untouchable.” It’s going to take everything Fen’s got to figure out who he can trust—and who he should fear. It might take more than what Fen’s got to discern who is even real.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3060

Review: This story picks up where Koan left off, so obviously you need to read the entire series and yes, I am being serious. This is not a series that can be picked up in the middle. Fen finds himself in the middle of the biggest fight for his life and sanity than anything that has come before (honestly, everything before will look like a slight headache and a bit of an itch). Malick is still gone, people are after Fen either to recruit or to kill and his brothers are in danger.

Wow.  An incredible end to the Wolf’s-own saga. Everything we have seen before culminates to an incredible ending where we see a little happiness finally, at long last, for Fen. Fen is still running, but now he knows everything and that everything might just push him that final inch into raging insanity. While Fen is finding the truth, his brothers and friends along with the Temshiel and maijin are fighting for their lives, as those that have hidden in the shadows come out to play.

Fen begins to come into his own in this book, as he begins to realize that he truly does have choices that he can make and no one, not even the Gods, can force him to do something he really doesn’t want to do. They may try to manipulate and coerce, but unless Fen really wants it, it isn’t going to happen. When Malick reappears you can basically feel the complete relief poring off Fen, but he is a little bit more solid at his core. Everything comes together beautifully and we have some fantastic battles and fights, some incredible malicious torture (go, Malick, go) and some of the most nasty, spiteful gods that we could ever see.

Nothing is missing in this story. Everything we have learned in the past and the hints we received are all made clear. There is nothing left to chance (although a short of Fen and Malick being happy would be cool). There are strings that are left dangling, but not for our beloved Fen and Malick. This story is well written and flows smoothly, the characters bring the story to life and the detail that we get feeds our imagination to a firestorm.

I have to recommend this to those who love high fantasy, danger, fights, magic, or have been there every step of the way through the rest of the series, this isn’t a story to miss and we catch a brief glimpse of happiness for Fen and Malick.

All My Crimes by Tal Valante

Title: All My Crimes

Author: Tal Valante

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Short (39pgs)

Publisher: Riptide Publishing (25th June 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Betrayal cuts deep. Love cuts even deeper.

The war with the elves is over. But for Teregryn Eve, the human king’s former right-hand man, another nightmare is about to begin.

It’s taken Teregryn two years to recover his health and magic in the aftermath of the war. He’d rather retire from the world of men, but an assassination threat and a malevolent ghost force him on a quest to save the king who no longer wants him. The elves are dead to the last, so who’s the mysterious assassin? And why has his king—who was once so much more to him—forsaken him?

The answers may lie in Teregryn’s mind, but those memories are locked beyond his reach. As a web of lies and love unfolds around him, Teregryn must fight the past and present in a desperate bid for the future. Can he save everything he loves, or will the sum of his crimes drag him under first?

Purchase Link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/all-my-crimes

Review: Teregryn is compelled to save his king when a threat emerges that they had all thought was long gone. Even though his king seems to have forsaken him and even though he is being haunted, he sets out to protect, but finds answers that he didn’t want.

This is an excellent short story that packs a punch and fits an amazing amount of emotion in just 39 pages. Teregryn has no idea why the king forsakes him after the war. But, he is still loyal to his king. So, when clues are left for him by an Elven assassin and he starts to be haunted by an elf, he knows he must protect his king at all costs. But, when the truth emerges can he forgive the king and can he forgive himself?

Wow, a definite page turner that makes you wonder about the depths that guilt will drop you into and that self forgiveness is hard to find. Teregryn has suffered greatly because of his conscious; the great burden of guilt that weighs him down is staggering and not easy to fight through. When all his memories return, Gidden (the king) will do anything to ease his burden.

Okay, so, fair warning, this isn’t a traditional M/M romance, there’s no sex, no undying love, it’s a tortured story about guilt and love. Make no mistake; this is a wonderful story that gives us much to chew on and a wealth of emotions to experience. This is one of those short stories that you would love to see made into an extended novel, because there is just a wealth of potential. Almost as though this has been snatched from the middle of a story as a nibble to whet our appetites and have us begging for more.

So if you want a story that is wonderfully written, that will drag at your emotions, that is filled with rich detail and makes you want more, then this is the book for you, I highly recommend this one to all the fantasy lovers out there who love angsty fantasy.

 

 

The Prince and the Program by Aldous Mercer

Title: The Prince and the Program

Series: The Mordred Saga 01

Author: Aldous Mercer

Genre: Science Fiction, Humor, High Fantasy, Techno Romance

Length: Super Novel (340pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25th June 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Mordred Pendragon, the Bastard Prince, has done a Bad Thing—again. Exiled to Canada for seven years, he has to find a job to pay his bills. For reasons he refuses to reveal, Mordred decides “Software Engineer” has a nice ring to it. And though experience with “killing the Once and Future King, my father” and “that time in feudal Japan” makes for a poor resume, he is hired by a small tech startup in Toronto.

In the midst of dealing with a crippling caffeine addiction and learning C++, Mordred thinks he has finally found someone to anchor him to the world of the living: Alan, the company’s offsite lead developer. Except that Alan might not be a “living” entity at all—he may, in fact, be the world’s first strong AI. Or a demon that mistook a Windows install for the highway to Hell. Or, just maybe, the ghost of Alan Turing, currently inhabits a laptop.

Mordred’s attempts to figure out his love life are hampered by constant interference from the Inquisitors of the Securitates Arcanarum, corporate espionage, and real espionage, a sysadmin bent on enslaving the world, and Marketing’s demands that Mordred ship software to the Russian Federation. Then Alan gets himself kidnapped. To save him, Mordred must ally himself with the company’s CEO, who will stop at nothing to rescue her lead developer so he can get back to work. But the Prince doesn’t just want to rescue Alan, he wants a Happily Ever After—and he will travel beyond Death itself to get one.

Too bad Alan is perfectly happy as a computer.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3046

Review: Mori (Mordred) is desperately seeking work. He finally gets a job working at a small start-up tech company, but his problems are only just beginning.

Well, what can you really say about a book like this except…damn? How do I explain what this book is like without making my own head explode? It has got to be one of the most interesting, humorous, slightly wacky, Oh My God what just happened there? Books that I have read in a long, long time. Mori is a great, interesting, intriguing character. The other characters are all great as well. The storyline is erm, urm, kinda whacky and the romantic interest is really sweet as Mordred’s people fall in love with souls. But, what happens when that soul doesn’t have a body? And really just wants to be a computer?

This really is one of those books that you have to read to get a real grip of what is going on in it, I mean I could tell you about the Symbiot who would make you an Unseelie, or the Mages, or even the demons and zombie like people, the fights, and becoming spirits going round in a loop to get back, but always ending up at the beginning or even the cyborgs, but none of it would make any sense unless you can read it all in context. I swear the book was fascinating. Especially, the way it drew on historical legends. There was also a lot of technical stuff to do with computers, but most of that went over my head ;-).

The strange relationship that develops between Mori and Alan is interesting to watch, with Mori getting more desperate to meet Alan in person and then having to accept the truth of what Alan is and Alan’s disregard for being born again. I really want see more and can’t wait for the next story in the series. The interaction between all the characters is great and there are some really funny moments involving Mori’s work colleagues. There is no sex and no happy ending; we are left wondering what will happen in the next book. Will Alan still be around? Will Mori get through to Alan?

So, if you love sci-fi, paranormal, geeks, techno romance, a seemingly doomed romance, an ending that leaves you wanting more and a slight feeling of bewilderment then this is the book for you.

 

Ash and Echoes by Augusta Li

Title: Ash and Echoes

Series: Blessed Epoch 01

Author: Augusta Li

Genre: High Fantasy, M/M/M, Medieval setting

Length: Super Novel (350pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd June 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: For the past few years Yarroway L’Estrella has lived in exile, gathering arcane power, but that power came at a price. Now it’s time for him to do his duty: his uncle, the king, needs him to escort Prince Garith to his wedding, a union that will create an alliance between the two strongest countries in the known world. But Yarrow isn’t the prince’s only guard. A whole company of knights is assigned to the duty and Yarrow’s not sure he trusts their leader.

Knight Duncan Purefroy isn’t sure he trusts Yarrow either, but after a bizarre occurrence during their travels, they have no choice but to work together—especially since the incident also reveals a disturbing secret, one that might threaten the entire kingdom. But will it ultimately work in their favor?

When a third member joins the precarious alliance, it seems to cement the bonds between all three men. But the arrangement isn’t perfect: Yarrow knows the power inside him and fears getting too close. The mysterious newcomer was raised to believe love and trust are weaknesses. And Duncan struggles to accept them as they are. Saving their home will take everything they have—including the fragile relationship they’ve built.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3065

Review: Yarrow is called upon to escort his cousin to his wedding. It is something that he would rather not do, but for his aunt he will. It is a journey that brings him into contact with Duncan, a Knight who thinks little of him and Sasha, an assassin who could end up betraying them. It is a journey that brings danger, betrayal, political intrigue and exposes secrets and all three men have to band together to survive and expose the truth.

This is an absolute must read if you love high fantasy.  Whoop, so happy! *little dance*. Yarrow is a magic user, the most powerful magic user of the time. But, Yarrow has a secret that makes him dangerous and he can’t trust anyone. So, he travels by himself keeping a distance from those around him… until he meets Duncan and then Sasha. But how can he tell them his secret without losing them both? Duncan is a Knight, he will do his duty and make sure his charges reach their destination, but Yarrow calls to something inside him and then Sasha does as well. But, he hates Sasha for how he conducts his life and now Duncan is confused about his forbidden feelings. Sasha can’t love, it was trained out of him at a young age, but Yarrow causes him to begin to question what he has learnt and Duncan drives him crazy and it ends up making Sasha make a choice that shouldn’t be a choice. After all, he is a cold-blooded assassin.

So, this is high fantasy at its highest and it is beautifully done. The world building is great, the backgrounds of the characters are well done and give us enough information to relate to them and the storyline and plot is wonderful. Although Yarrow is a powerful magic user, none of his magical scenes are overdone and there are even times when you think, he could have used more. But, as you learn, there is a high price he has to pay if he uses the most powerful magic. So, you can understand why he tries to limit what he does. The main storyline is quite simple get the prince to his wedding. But, it is quickly quite apparent that there are plans afoot to derail the wedding and then the betrayals begin and the three men have to band together to ensure the prince lives and to save the kingdom.

There is a lot going on in this book with some interesting twists and turns. There are secrets that come out, political intrigue, betrayal, murders, traps, pursuits, battles, confrontations, lies and love. The relationship between Yarrow, Sasha and Duncan is complex and far from easy. There is plenty of hot sex, but these three men each have their own problems that they have to work through before they can fully accept the others. and Yarrow’s problem is a doozy. You do not want to miss the fighting scenes or the battle scenes because they are brilliant, all the attention to detail was great and I loved it (have I mentioned I’m a bit Blood Thirsty). I loved each of the MCs as they were all completely different, with completely different values and attitudes towards things, so much potential conflict between them.

This is not the book to read if you want a nice light romance. The romance is hard going, but well-earned. The storyline is intertwined with danger and betrayal from all directions, the characters all have problems but aren’t too angsty and the action is great. The ending is one that leaves you wishing that the next book was already published so you can continue the journey.

So, I recommend this to anyone who loves high fantasy, difficult romances, hot sex, difficult journeys, betrayal, secrets, lies, action, battles, some bloody gore and three very intriguing heroes… oh, and an ending that will make you grit your teeth and scream silently for the next book.

 

What Doesn't Kill You by Valentina Heart

Title: What Doesn’t Kill You

Series: Between Worlds

Author: Valentina Heart

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Length: Short Novel (150pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id (5th June 2012)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: After another disastrous sexual escapade, Jae only has escape in mind. Running down the stairs, he slips, falls, and blacks out. The first thing he sees once he wakes up is a gorgeous stranger offering him a beautiful future in just a single gaze.

Kian is a light demon who’s been looking for his chosen one for years. Even with that set goal in mind, it’s never been an easy path. Once he sees Jae, all the pieces fit into place. The clock starts ticking but they have to run for their life, run hard, if they’re going to get that perfect future.

With demons at their heels and dangers lurking around every corner, Kian and Jae have to rely on each other — find their strengths, defeat their enemies and nurture their delicate, still forming connection. What doesn’t kill them is definitely going to make them stronger.

Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/What-Doesnt-Kill-You.aspx

Review: Jae is fleeing the building after being unceremoniously turfed out of bed. He is upset and can’t understand why men always treat him like crap. After he takes a tumble down the stairs, he comes to and finds a stranger tending to him. But, that stranger will give him everything he has ever wanted. Kian has been searching for his Chosen for many years and now he has finally found him. But, it is just the beginning of their trouble. They now have to cross to the demon realm and register their mating. But, danger lurks ahead and it’s a race against time to get to Verdelet (demon who performs the ceremony), before the catchers get them.

An absolutely brilliant fantasy that is great in detail, as well as imagination. Jae has somehow always picked losers and men who treat him like crap. The latest one, Varick, has turfed him out of bed.  So bitterly disappointed and upset, Jae falls down the stairs, Kian is there when he awakens and just from contact Jae knows that Kian will be everything to him. But, it is a lot for Jae to take in, as they have to leave immediately to avoid the catchers who would kill them both. Kian knows it isn’t the ideal situation for them, but this was how it was for demons. To reach Verdelet and perform the ceremony before the catchers get them is the way of the demons. But, for a human, it is fraught with worry, fear and danger, because if the catchers don’t get them, the other demons and animals might.

Wow. All I can say is…wow. The opening paragraph miss-led me because it was from Varick’s POV, so I thought there would be more of Varick throughout the book. But, no, we don’t see him again until the epilogue, where we then see what his connection is. Jae and Kian have an instant bonding, which is the way of demons, and they really are perfect for each other. We learn more about the bonding, as we go through the book and you understand then why they meld together so quickly. The demon realm is described in all its breath-taking starkness, with the dangers and pitfalls being vast and numerous. The stark contrast between day and night and the differences between demons being varied and colorful.

The world building for the demon realm is impressive; from the scorching sun that will kill to the blackest night where the creatures come out to play. from the Forest of the Dead Trees (which comes to life at night), to the vast sands surrounding Mestif’s ruins, to the Crystal Road and the Glass Sea and the numerous deadly animals that stalk them, it’s breath-taking and vivid in detail. Just getting from their starting point to their finishing line is an arduous journey, without the animals and catchers thrown in to plague them.

This is not the usually romance, as with this story their romance and love is a sure thing… surviving to enjoy it, is another matter entirely. The sex between them is hot, erotic and passionate, but as you might be able to guess, it’s few and far between that we see these scenes as they fight for survival. There are also one or two characters that a different story begins to evolve for, so that’s something to watch out for in the future.

So, who do I recommend this to? Well, if you love fantasy, paranormal, danger, instant bonding, fighting for your life, dangerous animals, dangerous demons, more danger, harsh conditions, incredible world building and a happy ever after, then this is the book for you.