An Alisa Release Day Review: Soul Bond by JS Harker

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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.

I really liked this story.  Noah has had to survive on his own for a long time and that causes him to take a bit too big of a risk.  Ben has been looking for his soul bond forever and refuses to settle for anything less than true love.

Noah tries to deny the connection between himself and Ben but every time they are near each other it continues to grow stronger.  Ben jumps in with both feet determined that Noah has to feel the same as him even if he doesn’t say so.  I liked getting to know these characters through their telling of the story.

I really liked how the soul bond connection worked with these characters and how it drew them together.  When Noah didn’t know what to do Ben jumped in to help but it was Noah actually relying on his community that helped them the most.  I felt as though there was quite a bit of background I was missing for this story,  I don’t know how the warlocks and mages got to the point that they were at but the class system they had going on didn’t seem to be working all that well.  I think this story begins to set up a nice world for a series and it would be nice to see what the events of this book does to their lives.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is nice and I liked the visual of Noah.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 208 pages

Published: July 17, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-593-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Beyond

Kris T. Bethke on Lost Souls Found (Requiem Inc. #2) (author guest blog)

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Lost Souls Found (Requiem Inc. #2) by Kris T. Bethke
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Kris T. Bethke here today, talking about her latest release Lost Souls Found. Welcome, Kris.

♦︎

Hey there! I’m Kris T. Bethke, and I’ve stopped in today to bring you an exclusive excerpt of my new book, which releases tomorrow. Lost Souls Found is the second book in my Requiem Inc series. Thanks for taking a second to check it out!

Blurb:

Dying is all in a day’s work. Love is more dangerous.

Ghostwalker Sam Jones has been half in love with Michael King since he started working at Requiem Inc. But Michael is his boss and a Guardian, to boot. Sam thinks they could make it work anyway, but Michael uses his position and his age to keep Sam at arm’s length.

When Sam continues to volunteer for the most dangerous cases, Michael has to intervene. He tells himself he’s just doing his job, but he’s always seen Sam as more than another operative, and he can’t bear the thought of not taking his chance. The connection between them has been strong from the beginning, and Michael’s telepathy adds unexpected depth and an edge to their new romance, but working together while they try to build their relationship might be the hardest part of their job if they don’t make some sacrifices.

Excerpt:

Michael’s dark eyes flared as he sucked in a sharp breath through his nose. “It’s not. I am your boss. And getting involved is just wrong. Because of that.”

“Okay.”

“Dammit, Sam. Don’t you think if there weren’t this huge thing between us, I would have already made you mine? But I can’t. The abuse of power is just unacceptable.”

Sam didn’t say anything as he watched the anguish take over Michael’s face. It was the most emotion he’d ever seen from him, and he hated that Michael was so upset. But it was all on Michael. He’d put them in this situation.

“But I don’t know that.” Sam was careful to keep his voice low and nonconfrontational. “You’ve always said no. You’ve always kept the job between us. I was the one who put myself out there, even when maybe I shouldn’t have. And you said no.”

Michael’s eyes blazed. “I kissed you, if you recall.”

“I do. But I pushed you to it.” Sam sighed and crossed his hands over his stomach. “It’s always me, Michael. I have no doubt you feel… things. But for someone who’s so open to loving whoever catches his eye, you sure keep yourself closed off from me. So. Say what you want. Think what you want. I know there’s more going on here.”

Michael squinted. “How can you be sure?”

Sam cocked his head to the side and tried to find the words for the revelations he’d recently had. He’d had a lot of time to think since he left Michael’s office.

“Because, if it were just the job, you would have shut it down a long time ago. I mean, sure you’ve said we can’t. You’ve told me to stop flirting, but you didn’t mean it.” Sam sighed. “That didn’t come out like I meant. I just mean, if you really wanted me to stop, you would have reprimanded me formally. You wouldn’t have given me small indications for years that you feel things too. You wouldn’t have let me hope.”

The last came out like an accusation, but Sam didn’t care. He was tired—tired of hoping and hurting, pining and needing. Things could have been so good between them, but he was done. Michael’s shoulders slumped, and though Sam hated to see him defeated, he couldn’t just let it go.

“I’m leaving. Okay? I’ll make a new home somewhere else. And this thing between us will fade in time. For both of us.” He took a breath. “So how about you tell me the truth now.”

Michael’s head shot up. “I’ve never lied to you.”

“Maybe not outright. But you haven’t told me the whole truth either. Can you do that now? Since I’m leaving anyway. Don’t I deserve that?”

Silence. The only sound was the little bell on Cameron’s collar as he skirted the edge of the living room and shot up the stairs. Sam was sure he could feel the tension in the room, and Cameron never liked dealing with tension. Sam didn’t either, for that matter. But he couldn’t take off like a cat.

“I can’t be what you need.”

Author Bio:

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long.  An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head.  She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project.  Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time.  A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures.  She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head.  She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.

Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristbethke

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Ante Up by Kim Fielding

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Rating 3.5 stars out of 5

In the mid eighteen forties, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. His maker was good to him but tended to let him run wild, so he killed humans as he drank their blood and one time, as he looked into the eyes of a young man dying from TB, he decided to turn him and create his own vampire. But his vampire, Lee, didn’t turn out to be quite what Ante hoped for, and Ante himself finally realized the error of his destructive ways so he fled to the United States. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing a little blood here and there from humans who don’t even realize he’s had them. It helps him live in the Las Vegas area when he also helps himself to some of their money and it helps him stay away from working for the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows, which now happens to be run by Lee. They don’t have the “ethics” Ante has developed and kill indiscriminately when they take blood. Ante prefers his way and his luck is high when he meets beautiful and charming Peter Gehrardi, who seems to be able to influence others with his thoughts.

Intrigued, Ante eventually finds out that Peter is half-elf—no wonder his blood is so sweet and sparkly! But the Shadows want Peter captured so they can use his mind-influencing powers to their own gain and they try to enlist Ante to help them. Mistake! That’s the signal for Ante and Peter to run and they lead the Shadows on a merry adventure across the dessert and into a non-human sanctuary community in Northern California. Along the way there’s further (mis)adventures and lots of lovin’ as Peter and Ante come to mean much more to each other than a zero-hearted vampire could ever expect. There is, of course, a fight to the finish when Lee and the vampires from the Shadows track them to the sanctuary. Who will come out of the battle intact? And will Ante be able to find a happy ever after with someone who does not have the lifespan of a vampire?

This is an enjoyable story, but though I usually absolutely love Kim Fielding’s stories, this one fell just a little short for me. I couldn’t quite appreciate the characters—neither Peter with his love of sweets and charming personality, nor Ante with his “vampireness” and “cold” personality. I know this is a pun, but he was just too cold for me to warm up to. And Peter was just too over the top in cuteness. I must admit, however, there were a few times when I laughed out loud and there were a few times when teardrops rolled down my cheeks, but overall, I simply enjoyed this tale without finding it outstanding.

Would I recommend it? By all means, especially to those who enjoy these Dreamspun tales and to those who enjoy vampires with a soft side and all manner of other supernatural creatures.

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The cover by Aaron Anderson features a cute guy with the expected vampire fangs—looking quite attractive—against a casino background and done in the purple tones of the branding of other Dreamspun Beyond stories.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: November 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635339482
Edition LanguageEnglish
Las Vegas, Nevada (United States)
Nevada (United States)