A Paul B Review: Quentin Heart, Vampire Bounty Hunter by Amber Kell

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars               ★★★★★

Quentin Heart Vampire Bounty HunterQuentin Heart basically has no time for a social life. Between finishing up his wizardry degree and taking care of his mother who has had a relapse with cancer, life seems to pass him by. To make matters worse, bill collectors are demanding payment for his mother’s treatments, none of which seem to be working. Quentin spots a flyer advertising bounty hunting services for paranormals. As he is entering the wizardry lab at the university, his best friend Glenn calls him and demands that Quentin joins him at the club that evening. After several hours of research, Quentin leaves the lab building only to find a pack of bone wolves (werewolves made from the hides of dead animals) that lead him to the body of his friend Glenn. After dealing with authorities,

The next day, after guest lecturing for a class at the university, Quentin visits his mother at the hospital. She explains that his father was a fae who was part of the royal family. One of the wolves that has been following him around is actually his father trapped in a spell along with his uncles. Quentin next goes to claim the body of his friend to arrange for burial when he is informed that it is no longer in the morgue. It has walked away. Pissed that a reckless vampire turned his friend, Quentin decides to work for the bounty agency in the hopes of making sure no one else suffers Glenn’s fate.

His first assignment is to bring in the leader of the local vampire clan. Quentin marches into the clan’s mansion, casts a spell and transports the vampire to the local police station. The clan’s second, who has now become leader due to Quentin’s actions, thanks Quentin for getting rid of the leader nobody liked. Jakinson, the new leader, states that since the bounty hunter has done him a favor, he owes a favor in return. He gives Quentin a necklace that Quentin would later find out marks him as Jakinson’s mate. Quentin must now deal with a very possessive vampire on top of finding his wayward newly made vampire friend, the rogue vampire that attacked Glenn, and deal with his mother’s declining health and the bills that are associated with her care. If you throw in somebody who seems to be after him, life just got a lot more complicated for Quentin.

Amber Kell is one of my favorite authors and this book did not disappoint me. She has a way with books about powerful wizards. Quentin Heart is your typically preoccupied nerd researcher that has his world turned upside down but circumstances that are beyond his control. He shows his strength in that he makes Jakinson realize that he will not be the submissive mate that most vampire leaders expect. He is faced with some tough decisions that involve his family but comes through them in the end. I also enjoyed the fact that the author has given Quentin enough possible enemies that there should be several more books in the series to come. I highly recommend the first book in this new series.
The cover art by Meredith Russell shows our hero wearing his glasses holding one of his spell balls with the city landscape in the background. It is how I would picture Quentin would look like. It is an excellent cover for the book.

Sales Links:  ARe  | Amazon

Book Details

EBook, 314 pages
Published: January 29, 2016
Edition Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-311-09104-8

A MelanieM Review: Wolf, Becoming by Rory Ni Coileain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Wolf BecomingVolyk learns very young that he has to hide what he is—oboroten’, shape-shifter—after his father is killed and skinned by a hunter, and the pack that takes in his pregnant mother is hostile to his kind. When Volyk is ordered to fight the pack’s beta to prove his fitness, but instead obeys his hormones and tries to mount him, he’s declared an abomination and forced to flee.

Ilya, too, hides a secret. Being young and gay in modern Russia is dangerous, and he knows it. But the truth eventually gets out, and his brothers lure him into the forest to kill him. They’re stopped by Volyk, who hides the mortally wounded Ilya in his den. The only way to heal the human is to turn him into an oboroten’.

Unfortunately, Ilya’s gentle nature is ill-suited to the life of a wolf. But when Volyk’s old pack returns, seeking to take away Volyk’s magickal den, Ilya will have to embrace—truly become—the wolf Volyk made him to save both his mate’s life and his own.

Very few authors do primal, elemental characters like Rory Ni Coileain which is very good for this story full of such characters.  They feel steeped in Mother Russia and the ancient earth they trod on and the blood they easily spill.   It may take place in Modern Russia but the actions and dark emotions feel anything but.

Those hatreds and fears are timeless and the author makes us experience it through her story and the lives of characters of Volyk and Ilya.

I found Wolf, Becoming to be part old Grimm fairytale and part shifter romance,  with some horror story thrown in for good measure and it all kept me enthralled.

Volyk’s past is one we are tumbled into at the beginning of the story and its heartbreaking.  Nor does it get any better for him as a young kit.  For him life is one of loss, endurance, and pain.  Then a chance meeting with Ilya changes everything for both of them.  I love the language that Rory Ni Coileain employs in her narrative, somehow it seems old and modern at the same time, anchored in the past with Volyk and yet modern with Ilya, the freshness of the current times must coming from  him.

There are some things I would have loved to have seen enlarged on here, Marik is a formidable and evil character, one that this author does so well.  I’m torn between wanting to have more and less of him.  And definitely wanted more of Ilya and Volyk’s relationship.

As it is I can absolutely recommend Wolf, Becoming to all lovers of shifter romance and romance in general.  It kept me enthralled from the first page until the end and the storytelling was everything I expect was this wonderful author.

Cover art by Maria Fanning is beautiful and perfect for the characters.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634771405
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: The Fire King (The Evolin Series #3) by Kay Ellis

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Fire KingSully is summoned back to Maestraad by the entity who took control of Tylan’s body when Tylan perished. This Fire King—now calling himself Okhela—offers Sully a bargain he cannot refuse: if, after six months, Sully fails to fall in love with him, Okhela will return Tylan. The trouble is, as much as Sully wants to hate Okhela, the Fire King rules with wisdom and generosity… and Sully cannot resist the attraction he feels toward the handsome king. Though his heart will always belong to Tylan, Sully gives in to his body’s demands.

But can Sully trust Okhela to keep his word? With assassins on the loose, can Sully keep the Fire King alive long enough to find out? With the future of the kingdom—as well as his heart—at stake, Sully must call upon old friends and new to protect the Fire King, who might hold the keys to both.

The Fire King was a novel that called out to me for several reasons.  A love severed, and a lover perished.  A chance with terrible odds to get that lover back, a fantasy and a new author.  How could I pass that up?

Kay Ellis did a wonderful job with this story, she held me spellbound throughout her story, balancing the need to lay out her world-building for the series and books to come with the powerful story of a lover with a mission of impossible odds that had to have our focus at all times.  The strength of this story is Sully.  A man whose heart will always belong to his lover,  the Fire King yet not the Fire King.  Someone the Fire King has stolen the body from and might still able able to give it back.  Its a complicated tale worthy of a fantasy series.

There is a fire entity that lives inside the rulers, its consumed Sully’s lover, Tylan, but says it can give him back.  What a pack.  All it wants is six months to see if it can make Sully fall in love with him, if not then Sully gets his lover back.  But nothing is ever that easy.  Especially when its someone else wearing his lover’s body.

Ellis gives us several astonishing perspectives here, and not enough, in my case, of the back history of the fire entity.  But maybe that’s coming in the future stories.  But this is a rich story, dramatic, romantic, and magical.  I couldn’t put it down. Also it has a horse character, Blackheart, that I loved as much as the rest.  Irresistible. Now I can’t wait for the next installment.  I wasn’t aware it was to be a series.  Who will it feature?  I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  I adore this cover.  Fiery, rich and so wonderful.  Its perfect in every way for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 17th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634768580
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesThe Evolin Series #3

A MelanieM Review: When Adam Fell (Foothills Pride #4) by Pat Henshaw

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Rating: 3.75 (rounded up to 4) stars out of 5

When Adam FellWhen his lover Jason’s drug addiction spiraled out of control, TV celebrity chef and cookbook author Adam de Leon walked away from him. Adam also abandoned his renowned restaurant in San Francisco to start a small bistro in the Sierra Foothills.

Five years later Adam is battling the conservative leaders of Stone Acres, California, to open a new restaurant in historic Old Town when Jason turns up on his doorstep—a recovered Jason, now going by the name David and claiming he’s overcome his addictions. What’s more, he begs Adam to take him back and says he’s ready for their happily ever after.

Adam has enough on his plate with problems plaguing the opening of his restaurant. And now he’s having a hard time deciding which to follow—his head or his heart.

Another in the wonderful Foothills Pride series, When Adam Fell brings us the broken love affair of celebrity chief  Adam de Leon and his lover Jason, two men together since childhood who allowed the past and fame to destroy their love and relationship.  Now its five years later and Adam has removed his restaurant and home to the foothills, and closed down his heart.  Then Jason reappears asking for a second chance.

Pat, Pat, Pat.  You only give us 92 pages when this story cries out for double that!  These are such complicated, wounded men and you have given them a wonderfully layered past, one you  could  pick at from so many angles.  I loved that.  The “beautiful boy” stuff? Great!  I could have sunk myself into chapters alone with their past history and relationship.  But that was not to  be.  Sigh.

The Jason that reappears has remade himself down to a new name.  Its a shakeup for Adam and the reader who now have to adjust their perspective on this man.  To Pat Henshaw’s credit as a writer, we do.  She makes the case that Adam has never lost the feelings he had for Jason and is now rebuilding them in a new, healthier way.  And this time Adam has a strong support system (Stone, Fredi and the rest of his friends) to help him make the transition.

As much as I loved this story (and make no mistake, I do), I felt that some parts were still missing for me, more of their past perhaps, more of Jason, I’m not sure, but there’s a hole here somewhere.  Its too short for the scope of the story and the men involved.    And that restaurant, the new one?  Loved that.  I hope we see more of it and the new people they are hiring to work there  So many great possibilities for new stories on the horizon.

I love this series and each couple that has come about.  The Foothills Pride series is rich with wonderful stories, believable people and moving romance.  When Adam Fell is the fourth, grab them all up!  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art by AngstyG is perfect for the story, characters and place.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 92 pages
Expected publication: February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769709
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Foothills Pride

Its Back to Foothills Pride with When Adam Fell by Pat Henshaw (excerpt and giveaway)

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WhenAdamFellFS

When Adam Fell by Pat Henshaw
Release Date: February 24, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

 

Blurb

When his lover Jason’s drug addiction spiraled out of control, TV celebrity chef and cookbook author Adam de Leon walked away from him. Adam also abandoned his renowned restaurant in San Francisco to start a small bistro in the Sierra Foothills.

Five years later Adam is battling the conservative leaders of Stone Acres, California, to open a new restaurant in historic Old Town when Jason turns up on his doorstep—a recovered Jason, now going by the name David and claiming he’s overcome his addictions. What’s more, he begs Adam to take him back and says he’s ready for their happily ever after.

Adam has enough on his plate with problems plaguing the opening of his restaurant. And now he’s having a hard time deciding which to follow—his head or his heart.

 

Pages or Words: 29,800 words
Categories: Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

I watched Jason rise from the stoop.

He looked good. His golden hair sparkled in the day’s first light. A happy smile tinged with nervousness spread across his lips. He was wearing a silver-gray Bogner jacket, some sort of expensive pants, and sturdy boots. Hanging from his shirt collar, his sunglasses looked like those high-priced titanium ones. All in all, the guy standing in front of me could easily have fit into the young, hip app crowd now flooding the valley. Too much money and no idea where to spend it. He looked like a guy who’d eat at the Bistro and then fucking strut up to me after dinner, put a wad of Franklins in my pocket, and whisper, “Quit this job and come cook for me.”

Nothing tempted me, especially not the hundred-dollar bills I’d thought were Monopoly money the first time I’d seen them. Nothing had moved me like this, seeing Jason rise straight up in front of me like a fucking miracle.

Standing there in my scuffed clogs, beat-up jeans, and ratty Stanford Cardinal T-shirt, I felt underdressed for this particular dream. Shouldn’t I at least be wearing my chef’s regalia, toque and all? Shouldn’t I have a Henckel in one hand and a Wüsthof in the other? Or maybe clutching a shield made of my cooking classics, which I’d written with an angry, tormented mind but a clear eye to royalties?

“Cat got your tongue?” the vision asked.

“Fucking A, man. Is it really you, Jason?”

“Sorta. Who else would come knocking at your door looking like me?” He flung his arms out like he wanted me to hug him or some shit.

I backed away and kept my hands to myself, though my dick perked up immediately. Did Jason have a twin or a younger brother, somebody who resembled him? I didn’t think so. All I’d thought for five years was nobody—and I mean nobody—could ever have come back from where my Jason had buried himself. At least I never thought so.

There’ve been moments in my life when I was sure I was losing my mind. When I knew whatever tenuous grasp on reality I thought I had was really smoke up my ass. This moment smacked of those. As the legendary John Fogerty sang and the great Yogi Berra is supposed to have said, it was like déjà vu all over again. Only not.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked. Suspicion tasted bitter on my tongue.

Slowly his arms came down, and he gave me a pained but understanding look.

“Yeah, well, it was too much to hope we’d just kiss and make up.” His husky croak had once made me roll over and do anything he asked, but not now. “Can I come in? It’s a little chilly out here.”

I wasn’t cold, but then I’m tall and stout, a real cliché chef image. Fuck, I guess somebody’s got to be the cliché, right? It’s how clichés are born.

I shrugged at his question, swiped at the sweat rolling from my forehead, and moved aside. “Kitchen’s downstairs.” I gestured to the steps.

He walked past me, letting his hand trail over my groin. Once I would have nearly come at the gesture. Now I ignored my dick because my mind was numb and had been for years. He might think he could reawaken my love and lust, but I was pretty fucking sure that ship had sailed and gotten lost at sea.

Buy the book:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon |Amazon UK  | Barnes& Noble

Meet the author

Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, was born and raised in Nebraska where she promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat enjoys travel, having visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and Europe, including a cruise down the Danube.

Now retired, Pat has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.

Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Fortunately, her incredibly supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops:

FEBRUARY 24, 2016 – RELEASE DAY BLAST

Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Happily Ever Chapter. BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, KathyMac Reviews, Velvet Panic, Unquietly Me, 3 Chicks After Dark, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Tasty Wordgasms, My Fiction Nook, Making It Happen, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews, Kirsty Loves Books

 

VIRTUAL TOUR: FEBRUARY 25 – MARCH 9

25-Feb: Velvet Panic, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

26-Feb: BFD Book Blog, Book Lovers 4Ever

29-Feb: Jessie G. Books, Kirsty Loves Books, Hearts on Fire

1-Mar: Inked Rainbow Reads, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

2-Mar: MM Good Book Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews, KathyMac Reviews

3-Mar: V’s Reads, Divine Magazine, Love Bytes

4-Mar: Making It Happen, Unquietly Me

7-Mar: Havan Fellows, Happily Ever Chapter

8-Mar: The Novel Approach, A.M. Leibowitz

9-Mar: Bayou Book Junkie, Alpha Book Club, Rainbow Gold Reviews

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Win one of THREE $10 Starbucks gift cards.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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