A MelanieM Review: Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States #2) by L.E. Harner, and T.A. Webb

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

“Wolf or vamp? Decide. It has to be now.”

Deadly Shades of Gold coverA life altering decision made in seconds. For those were the last words Sam Garrett ever heard—as a human. And as something other than human, his career as a cop was over.

Travis Boudreaux knows exactly how Sam feels, its an all too familiar situation. But as Travis and Sam are about to find out… when some doors close, the golden window of opportunity opens. Crimes against supernaturals require a new and different approach, and once the Feds show up, the Odd Squad isn’t the only law enforcement game in town.

With paranormal crimes flourishing and  a revenge-seeking vampire creating deadly havoc, the new federal agent-in-charge is on a recruiting mission—and he’s more than ready to fight fire with fire. What do you get when you mix old friends, new enemies, and a license to kill?

Pure dynamite.

Warning: This is an erotic urban fantasy. In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and the men sometimes have sex. With each other.

Alrighty then!  With Deadly Shades of Gold, the romance of Sam and Travis is about to be well…something hot and wonderful.  As well as totally unexpected.  I loved this story wholeheartedly.  It made me want to do a few high fives and “hell to the yeah’s”!  To recap briefly, Sam and Travis were partners on the force and soon to be partners in love when a vampire attacked Travis and killed him.  But Travis didn’t stay dead for long and his return (on the day of his funeral), revealed to the world that vampires and other supernatural beings were real and living along side of them.  Surprise!  And quite, naturally it split up Sam and Travis to go their separate ways.

In Deep Blues Goodbye, Sam became the focus of two warring supernatural groups and the end result was a life altering decision (not to be revealed here).  The choice made is startling as is the effects it has on Sam, his career, and all those around him.   It also brings Travis back into his life and that’s where this story takes flight for me more once more.  I love this two together.  Apart, its bittersweet but together? They become dynamic and compelling.  It doesn’t matter whether they are human or supernatural, Harner and Webb have created a romance that feels powerful and real, a connection that jumps off the page and into your heart.  This story starts them on the path back to each other and something more as it picks up from that moment.

I love how believable the authors made the characters adjustment to their new status.  There’s plenty of confusion and pain to go around, second guessing and indecision often rules the day.  The process of accepting and adjusting to being a supernatural takes time and we watch it happen as Sam works his way through this tumultuous period. More plot threads are revealed, including perhaps, a motive or two from the head villain himself.  Unknown histories are starting to surface and more supernatural politics combine with romance for another superb installment in this series.  I think this is my favorite so far.

I highly recommend this series.  I love the world building, its layered and complicated, just like the characters themselves.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Love this cover, wish there was more branding to the series.

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe)      Amazon         Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 134 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN139781937252311
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://lauraharner.com
seriesAltered States #2
charactersSam Garrett (Altered States), Travis Boudreaux

Books in the Altered States Series in the order they should be read:
• Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
• Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States, #1)
• Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2)
• Free Falling Crimson (Altered States, #3)

 

A MelanieM Review: Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1) by L.E. Harner, T.A. Webb

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Deep Blues Goodbye coverWith one startling action, the world changed forever. Recently deceased NOPD Detective Travis Boudreaux was in the process of being mourned and buried when he had the bad taste to sit up at his own funeral.  Until that happened no one knew that vampires and werewolves had been living amongst them. Now two years later, the fight is on for civil rights for preternatural beings and most humans are on the bandwagon. Except whoever is killing vampires and would be vampires.

Since the death and return of his partner and almost love, Detective Sam Garrett has hated all things preternatural. Having your undead partner try to make you his first meal will do that to a guy. When Sam’s attitude gets the best of him on the job, Sam finds himself banished to the Paranormal Criminal Investigations Unit—the Odd Squad—under the oversight of Detective Danny Burkette.

Now it’s up to Burkette to work with Garrett by day and Boudreaux by night as they follow a trail of clues that leads from the historic cemeteries of New Orleans to the bayous of southern Louisiana. During the course of their investigations, both men come to the attention  of a Master vampire and the local werewolf pack Alpha.  If they aren’t careful, it won’t be just Boudreaux whose dead, but maybe even Sam as well.  Some lessons in life—and death—take longer to learn…and Sam and Travis find out that not all second chances are created equal.

Warning: This is an erotic urban fantasy. In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and the men sometimes have sex. With each other.

Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1) by L.E. Harner and T.A. Webb deepens the amazing world building these authors are constructing for this series.  New Orleans, that rich feast of a city, is the perfect setting for supernatural beings  in love and evil schemes that are slow to unfold.  After that shocker at the end of Altered States, I eagerly grabed this up to see what had occurred only to find that two years had passed and the aftermath is viewed through the various perspective of the characters involved.  And yes, I was a little disappointed.  After all, what happened at the funeral was a stunner for all involved, including the now animated corpse of Travis Boudreaux.  But two years have passed since Travis was turned and now everyone has to deal with the fact that vampires, werewolves and more exist and live among them.  And not everyone is happy about that, including Sam.

I adore Sam, he’s a piece of cynical perfection and disappointment.  What happened to Travis altered Sam as well, especially since both men were so close to falling in love, if they hadn’t already.  But a vampire and fate intervenes and their new  relationship was destroyed…or so they think.  It soon becomes apparent that Sam has never gotten over Travis and that just adds onto the bitterness Sam already feels about the whole undead thing and his partner.  I loved the two of them together and their bonding extends past themselves and the pages to include the reader.  In fact, I so bought into their burgeoning love affair that  aspects of this story threw me off.

Without heading into spoiler territory, other supernaturals arrive to further complicate the current state of affairs and all their attention will be focusing on Sam.   We see Travis as he is trying to move forward with his undead life with not a whole lot of success.  We see Sam also trying to do the same, both are stalled and bitter.  Something has to occur to break the stasis and it’s a doozy.

As part of the events that happen,  a bonded pair will have some wild hot sex with one of our main characters.  Normally this doesn’t bother me, especially when the authors make a case for it to happen.  But here? Not an element I enjoyed.  I understood where the authors were going with it, but I so bought into Sam and Travis’ romance that this aspect never became palatable.  How a reader feels about this (it’s really not cheating) will likely foretell how they feel about this installment in the series.  Some readers will be asking if they can skip over this book (and yes, the third book sort of resolves this), but no *shakes finger*, unfortunately you can’t.

Think of each story as a building block essential to the whole construct.  Miss even one, and you miss key elements that not only enrich the series but deepen the mystery and suspense Harner and Webb are working hard to build.  So much of this story is worthy of your attention and commitment.  And, perhaps,  the few elements that bothered me won’t phase you in the least.  This is going to be one wild ride!

Another reason to start reading this series?  This year’s Pulp Friction 2015 gang situates all their interconnected series in the Altered States universe.  So its double or is that quadruple the fun for all!  So get started.  Each is a fast, wild, suspenseful tale…over before you know it.  However, don’t be astonished if it lingers on in the questions and clues left behind (and even more shockers).

Cover art by Laura Harner works for the series.

Sales Links:       All Romance (ARe)       Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 120 pages
Published August 16th 2012 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN139781937252243
edition languageEnglish
seriesAltered States #1
charactersSam Garrett (Altered States), Travis Boudreaux

Books in the Altered States Series in the order they should be read:

  • Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
  • Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States, #1)
  • Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2)
  • Free Falling Crimson (Altered States, #3)