Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione and Gena Showalter

Blood Red Kiss

Three Stories by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione and Gena Showalter

I have to mention the cover of this book because I love it. I am a huge fan of black and white with a pop of color but this goes a step further by using a simple symmetric design of just the bottom half of a face with a red heart drawn onto the lips. Sometimes, the simplest things are the best.

The Warlord Wants Forever

By Larissa Ione

This story was steamy…as in dampen your panties and sit in a hot sauna surrounded by sexy men steamy.

Myst is a Valkyrie who meets Nikolai who is a Forbearer vampire while she is imprisoned in another vampire. When Nikolai and his army take over the castle, Myst tricks Nikolai into thinking she is his Bride. Forbearers get one chance at having a mate in life. Sometimes, they have to wait centuries to meet that Bride. Sometimes, they never meet her. When a Forbearer vampire is turned, he stops having any sexual desire and his heart does not beat. Once, they meet their Bride, their heart starts pumping and their desire comes back but they cannot ejaculate without their Bride being near. Myst purposely works Nikolai into a frenzy and escapes when her sisters come for her but before she leaves, she does one last cruel thing. She kisses him, purposely cutting her mouth on his fang to give him her memories to further torment him. You see, Forbearers are not allowed to take blood directly from the source because they fear going crazy and turning evil.

For five long years, Nikolai suffered with memories of Myst and with not being able to climax. Then one of Myst’s memories comes to him and reveals where she lives, New Orleans.

Myst and her family of Valkyries hate vampires. Fifty years ago, their queen went off to fight a vampire and was never seen again. Rumor has it that he chained her to the bottom of the ocean where she drowns over and over again due to her immortality. Most creatures of the Lore think of vampires as the lowest of forms so they shun all vampires. The Lore is what creatures such as vampires, Valkyries, Fae, demons etc., call themselves. They live right alongside humans yet humans have no clue they exist. The Lore views vampires as leeches so the shun them. Myst hates that she still has an attraction to Nikolai and even regrets leaving him to suffer when she should have killed him.

When Nikolai finds her again, she tries to run but he catches her around the chain that she has worn around her waist for over a thousand years. It breaks so she is able to get a head start running. Nikolai yells for her to stop and her feet just stop running. It takes him but a second to figure out that the chain controls her. He uses it to his advantage and kidnaps her. He takes her to his home in Estonia.

From this point on it gets a little stalkerish and raperish. Nikolai was not only out for revenge but also trying to get Myst to stay with him as his Bride but he orders her to do things that were a little over the top like pleasure herself in front of him. If she hadn’t decided that she liked it…and it wasn’t so steamy, I would have been out for Nikolai’s gonads. I was mad at Myst for the initial playing of Nikolai and making him suffer but I also understood that she isn’t human and plays by a different set of rules and that she wasn’t going to just accept that just because a male wants her for himself, doesn’t mean she is going to roll over and lose her freedom and life. Plus, her family and the rest of the Lore would make her into a pariah and put her at the bottom of the food chain if she ever got together with a vampire.

Despite their many faults or maybe because of them, I rooted for them. I wanted them to end up together even though it seemed impossible.

I actually read this story last even though it was the first one in the book because I have read it before. It is the first book of the Immortals After Dark Series and because I have been thinking about re-reading the entire series again and wanted this fresh in my mind.


Forsaken by Night

By Larissa Ione

This is the second story in Blood Red Kiss and the third book in the MoonBound Clan Vampires series. I’ve been waiting for Lobo’s story and was not disappointed.

Lobo is a skinwalker vampire. He can shift into almost any living being including humans and vampires. Most vampire clans believe skinwalkers are evil and should be killed but some disagree. They do agree, however that shifting into the form of another vampire should be punished severely. Because of this, Lobo was banished from his clan decades ago and now lives a solitary existence in the vast forests in the Pacific Northwest.

In this world that Larissa Ione has created, vampires have been enslaved by humans and even though vampires are stronger and faster than humans and have certain powers, humans have figured out a way to control them. Humans experiment on them in labs and basically do anything they want to the vampires. But some vampires have managed to keep themselves hidden from humans with magic spells that hide their compounds and by other means.

Lobo has lived in a small cabin in the woods with a unique wolf who he found wounded in the woods. Tehya the wolf has been his only companion for twelve years. Sometimes, she projects and image into Lobo’s mind of a beautiful woman, a beautiful naked woman and Lobo believes Tehya might be this female’s spirit animal. When Tehya gets shot by poachers and lies dying, Lobo makes a decision that could cost him his life. He shifts into the image of the nearby MoonBound Clan’s chief, Hunter, and runs with Tehya in his arms to MoonBound’s caves where he sets her on a table in the medical lab and lets the doctor and his assistant take over. He begs them to save the wolf and they get to work immediately. He leaves, wondering if he will ever see his wolf again and knowing that he may get the death penalty for shifting into a clan chief’s image.

Tehya wakes up as a vampire in the lab. A little over twelve years ago, she was a human but was bitten and turned into a vampire. She had only been a vampire for a month when she had been injured and shifted into a wolf but couldn’t shift back into a vampire. Lobo found her starved and dying. She had tried for a long time to shift but just couldn’t so over time, her wolf mind took over and she just became content living as she was as long as Lobo was taking care of her.

When she wakes in the clinic, she’s frightened and panics. She pushes a female in her hurry to escape and realizes she was pregnant too late but it seems the female is okay so she takes off out of the compound which is a complex cave system. She run through the woods naked to find Lobo. She tells him who she is and what happened. He’s surprised but not totally shocked. He and Tehya have an immediate sexual attraction to each other but now they will have to run and hide because Hunter and the MoonBound Clan will hunt them down and kill them.

One of those in the hunting party will be a woman who has tormented Lobo since he was a toddler when Hunter’s father was clan leader and she wants Lobo dead. Hunter’s father had raided Lobo’s clan and killed everyone except for him who he brought back to the caves and put on a chain. He had to eat scraps from the floor and was generally treated like crap but one vampire took it further. Su’Neena liked to kick him and torment him. She enjoyed his suffering but that is not why she wants Lobo dead. She wants him dead because he knows a secret about her that she does not want her clan to know. A secret that MoonBound would kill her for.

This was an entertaining story and I am glad I got to read Lobo’s story. I wonder who will be featured in the next MoonBound Clan Vampire book.


Dark Swan

By Gena Showalter

This was the final story in Blood Red Kiss.

Although I have read many of the talented Gena Showalter’s book series, I have not read any of the books in this Alien Huntress series yet…well, besides this one now. I’m not sure exactly how many books have been written in the series so far but when I went to Gena’s website, I counted eight so this one is probably the ninth in the series. I usually like to start from the beginning because I feel like I’m missing something when I start in the middle but Gena Showalter did a great job of making this a stand-alone book so I could follow along easily.

The prologue begins with three twelve-year-old sisters Trinity, Jade and Lilica. The sisters, who were created in a lab, were being threatened by one of the staff members, Dr. Walsh. He frequently uses the sisters against each other to control each of them. The youngest sister, Lilica, is the stubborn one and tries to take on any punishment for her sisters but this time it is her sisters who won’t budge when Dr. Walsh threatens her. When they refuse, he tells them their dinner is taken away and then when they still won’t budge, he threatens to take away their breakfast too. Lilica lost it when Dr. Walsh took out a syringe with which he intended to tranquilize her. She used one of her many powers or gifts on him, the ability to use her voice in a certain way which controls the subject. She ordered him to stop and then to the orderlies trying to open the door, she told them not to enter and it worked until new orderlies to whom she hadn’t issued the order to came through the door but not before she had ordered the doctor to try to kill himself and if that didn’t work to kill all the staff members. Yikes!

Many years later…

Alien Investigation and Removal agents aka AIR help keep Earth free of dangerous aliens. Dallas Gutierrez works for AIR and is after the Queen of the Schön, a beautiful alien who is infecting people with the Schön virus which rots them from the inside out unless they constantly prey on other humans or aliens and pass the virus on. She calls them her army. The Schön Queen ends up being Trinity, one of the three sisters. Dallas needs to stop her before she harms anyone else.

We, the reader, find out that Earth had had an alien war decades ago and it now has many different type of beings living here.

Dallas keeps hallucinating which he learns are visions of the future. In one vision, he sees Trinity crawling towards him asking for help but the Schön disease had taken over her brain and she was just trying to trick him into coming near so she could infect him so he shot her. In another, he sees a beautiful naked woman sitting in his chair at home. These images are disturbing to him but when he meets the subject on his last vision, he is even more disturbed.

Devyn, his alien friend, has had her in a cage for three weeks torturing and interrogating her. Dallas recognizes her as the naked woman in his visions and, for some odd reason, feels protective over her and doesn’t want Devyn to torture her anymore. He volunteers to take over her interrogation by taking her away from Devyn’s.

He finds out that she is Trinity’s sister and she thinks she can save Trinity from the Schön virus but nobody has found a cure for it yet so Dallas insists on killing Trinity because she is much too dangerous and he thinks she has turned totally evil.

Meanwhile, one of Devyn’s associates named John has captured Lilica’s other sister Jade. John seems to have become fond and protective of Jade. Do I sense a future romance?

Lilica accidently or accidently on purpose bonds with Dallas because her dominant alien gene (she was created with a mixture of 23 different alien races plus human) is the Falle race which bonds with the person they choose as their husband or wife. When this happens, the urge to consummate their union is so strong that if they resist, the couple starts to get animalistic in nature as the urge takes over. They could even harm anyone who gets in the way of clinching the deal. Because of the bond, neither can hurt the other physically without feeling it too and they can read each other’s minds to an extent so their race against each other to find Trinity first will be difficult.

As his feeling for Lilica grow, he starts to worry that he will lose her if he kills Trinity but he must put the safety of others above all. How can a relationship where he kills her sister ever work out?

This book had a lot of sexual tension and erotic scenes but not so much that it took away from the story.

I will put this series on my to read list.





Empire of Storms – Throne of Glass #5 – Sarah J. Maas

It’s been a little while since I have read the last Throne of Glass book so I had to get reacquainted with the story and characters while I was reading it. I was a little confused at first because it started out with Queen Elena Havilliard nee Galathynius and her husband Galan in a battle against Erawan, the evil dark lord from another realm, that they could not win. He was slaughtering them. I was confused because the title of the chapter was called “Nightfall” so I was not aware that this was actually the prologue until I realized this was a flashback from a long time ago. Elena has an idea to save her people but the prologue cuts off and Chapter One begins.

The series follows a young woman named Aelin Galathynius who started out in life as the heir to her kingdom, Terrasen. Unbeknownst to Aelin, there is a prophesy that says she will somehow save the world but before anyone can tell her this, her family was slaughtered by evil forces when she was just a girl and she barely got away by running and falling into a river. She was found by the King of the Assassin’s Guild, Arobyn Hamel, and trained as an assassin under an assumed identity. Apparently, in this world, assassins are acceptable.

When Terrasen fell, so did magic and all Fae and magic wielders were either hunted down and killed or they left the continent which was now being ruled by the King of Adarlan.

Somehow Aelin ends up being captured and sent to work in the Salt Mines of Endovier where most prisoners die within a few months. I can’t for the life of me remember how she ended up there. She gets a break when the King of Adarlan’s son, Dorian Havilliard, decides to choose her as his father’s champion in some sick competition similar to the gladiator games in Rome.

She ends up winning but learns of a sinister plot while she is there. I’m not going to go into details because that would take forever. I will just give a short recap. The King of Adarlan is controlled by demon from another realm named Erawan. The King of Adarlan was responsible for the loss of magic throughout the continent. He had erected three towers around the lands that controlled which Aelin eventually destroyed along with the King of Adarlan but Erawan had been busy in the last ten years by experimenting on people and animals, putting stones called Wyrdstones in them and creating monstrous creatures to fight against the Fae and anyone who might go against him. He also aligned himself with the three clans of Ironteeth Witches who ride on flying wyverns.

Aelin finds out that the only way to get rid of Erawan who there are three pieces of stone called Wyrdkeys that somehow can be used to open portals called Wyrdgates to banish Erawan where he can be killed. Aelin has now been traveling all over the country, trying to find these Wyrdkeys before Erawan can kill her.

In this book, she is traveling with the few people she can trust to Terrasen. She has her cousin, Aedion, who used to be the general of a large army called the Bane for the King of Adarlan. The Bane is still loyal to him although, so far in this book, I have yet to see the Bane anywhere near Aedion or Aelin. She also has Rowan traveling with her. Rowan is not quite her lover yet but is definitely the one she loves and may even be her mate being that she is half Fae and he is full Fae. Rowan is one of the most powerful Fae alive. He may even be the most powerful Fae alive. He can turn into a hawk whenever he chooses and he has his magical gift. Lysandra and Evangeline finish out the group. Lysandra is a shapeshifter who was used by Arobyn who made her be a prostitute to get information from people he did business with and from his enemies. Evangeline is a girl who Lysandra took under her wing.

Aedion, who had grown up in Terrasen, sets up a meeting between Aelin and one of the lords of Terrasen, Lord Darrow, to get a feel for how Aelin will be accepted back in her kingdom. It doesn’t go well, mostly because Darrow likes acting as an unnamed king in her absence, but he his excuse is that she is too young and has no allies. He suggests that she should get married to a king or nobleman from another territory to get allies. He tells her that until she comes up with allies or a large army behind her, she will not be welcomed in Terrasen so she sets off to find some allies.

Aelin has another enemy besides Erawan. The Queen of the Fae in another continent across the sea is no fan of Aelin. She met Queen Maeve when she went across the ocean on a mission. Maeve is a cruel queen who rules by intimidation. She has her own agenda and wants the Wyrdkeys too but not to banish Erawan but to wield them and use their dark power. A world ruled by Maeve would be just as bad as a world ruled by Erawan.

Aelin and her friends have learned that Maeve has now set sail towards Erilea, Aelin’s continent.

At one point in this book, I became a little frustrated. Aelin and her friends had been traveling from one place to another. You know how it goes. They go one place and face a threat just to discover they have to go to another place and face another threat. I was starting to think the whole book was just an action adventure with no point just to extend the series; what I like to call filler. But I was pleasantly surprised by the end results…maybe not pleasantly because some things weren’t so great but, at least,



Rising Storm Season Two – Collaboration of Authors

Rising Storm

Season Two

 I decided to wait until I read the entire season to do a review instead of on each individual episode because the episodes were so short. It just made more sense to write a review on all of the books at once.

At the end of Season One, Dakota Alvarez exposed the secret that Ginny Moreno had an affair with Senator Sebastian Rush and the baby she was carrying was probably his and not Jacob Salt’s baby because Jacob was probably infertile due to an accident he had as a child. She also admitted that she too had an affair with the senator. She announced this at the town’s Founder’s Day Celebration where the whole town was listening along with the press who Sebastian had invited.

This season, everyone is dealing with the blowback from Dakota’s disclosure. Jacob’s parents who are still mourning from the loss of Jacob, are devastated to learn that Ginny had lied to them and that the baby who was supposed to have given them hope might not be Jacob’s child at all. Ginny’s boyfriend, Logan, is hurt and feels betrayed by Ginny because she did not trust him enough to tell him the truth. Ginny’s best friend, Brittany who also happens to be the senator’s daughter, is angry and hurt because Ginny slept with her father and kept secrets from her. Most of the blame has been put on Ginny and Dakota.

Everyone seems to hate Dakota because of the way she went about exposing the whole scandal which is fair because she did set out to destroy Ginny and the senator and she did do it maliciously but she also felt she was doing the right thing when she did it.

Sebastian was also feeling the heat so he and his mother, Marylee Rush, are scurrying to try to save his political career by any means possible. But Sebastian and Marylee are scheming on ways to get rid of Marcus Alvarez who has come back into town to help his mother after his abusive father up and disappeared out of town. Marcus is dating Sebastian’s daughter, Brittany, and she refuses to stop dating him. Sebastian and Marylee think if they bring back Hector, Marcus’ father, that Marcus and Hector will end up killing each other or at least end up in a fight which will put both of them in prison which will effectively eliminate Marcus from Brittany’s life. They don’t care that Hector is dangerous.

Meanwhile, Joanne is doing really well without Hector. She has blossomed and is working to take care of her family. She is starting to put her family back together and even getting Dakota to change her outlook on things.

There are lots of smaller storylines but the story basically all comes back to Ginny’s pregnancy, the senator and the threat of Hector coming back to town.

I had a huge problem with how the people of Storm reacted or didn’t react to what happened when Hector came back into town. The man comes in and drags his wife out of a building to his car. He drags her so forcefully that she falls and then he yanks her up while berating her. Everyone in the town square just watched and did nothing. I mean, I could see this happening in the 1950s or even the 1960s but not in the 21st century. There are laws now that have put in place for the protection against abusive partners. In fact, if the abused person does not press charges against an abusive partner and it is obvious that it was abuse, the state presses charges. This town just seemed very backwards in everything. I would not want to live there with all its gossip and how judgmental everyone seems to be. Maybe it is just my wishful thinking that people would come to the rescue of an abused woman or at least call the police. It just seemed unrealistic.

Overall, the series was pretty good. Each episode was pretty short so I went through it quickly.





Rising Storm, Season One Bundle – Various Authors

This series is written as an ongoing soap opera by a collaboration of authors who wanted to do a project together. I wouldn’t have read anything like this but a few of my favorite authors wrote part of the series and the entire bundle of the first season was only ninety-nine cents.

The story is about a bunch of people in a small town called Storm in Texas. The characters include a whole range of small town folk.

It starts out with a twenty-something year old college girl named Ginny and her childhood friend, Jacob, coming home for summer break from college on a stormy night. A deer runs out in front of the car and they wreck. Jacob ends up dead and Ginny ends up in the hospital. When she wakes up, the doctor tells her she is nine weeks pregnant. Although she had slept with Jacob on a whim one drunken night, she had also been having an affair with the senator, Sebastian Rush. The affair was over now. She sees how devastated Jacob’s parents are and decides to give them hope by telling them she is pregnant and the baby is Jacobs.

Ginny knows the baby just as well could be the senator’s but she hopes against all that is good that the baby is Jacobs. She knows if anyone finds out that she had an affair with the senator that it could ruin her life. After all, her best friend is the senator’s daughter.

Sebastian Rush, the senator who makes Storm his home when he isn’t in Austin, is a sleaze who sleeps with tons of young women and then just tosses them to the side when he is done with them.

There are lots of other storylines, just as in any soap opera, going on. There is Joanne Alvarez who is obviously the abused wife of Hector Alvarez but she always makes excuses for her injuries when she ends up in the emergency room. The Sheriff, Dillon Murphy, knows this and tries to get Joanne to admit it but she sticks up for her husband and lies to protect him. Joanne thinks she is protecting herself and her children by doing so but her children suffer. Their son Marcus left town years ago to get away from the abuse. Their daughter Dakota turns a blind eye to what her father does and has turned out pretty trashy. Their youngest daughter, Mallory, is the only one who seems to have turned out pretty good thanks to good friends.

Each chapter or book of the series is written by a different author and I tried to see if I could catch the difference in their writing styles but I really couldn’t find a difference. It was subtle and the authors kept the character’s personality consistent throughout the season. I thought that was pretty impressive.

I do have to say that I did get a little frustrated about certain aspects of Storm like how everyone seemed extremely judgmental and cared about how other people would think of them. The townsfolk all gossiped loudly about others and they had really old fashioned views on things. Also, everyone just gossiped about an abused woman instead of trying to help her.

Even though there were no vampires or hulking Scottish men in kilts swing broadswords, the story was enjoyable.


Eighth Grave After Dark – Charley Davidson #8 – Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson is nine months pregnant, living at an abandoned convent because she has to live on hallowed ground so the hellhounds who are after her can’t get to her.

Special Agent Carson brings Charley a case of a missing teenager and asks Charley to work her magic to try to find the girl.

Cookie, Charley’s best friend, is getting married to Charley’s Uncle Bob on the lawn of the convent.

There are hundreds of ghosts gathering on the front lawn of the convent but none of them are talking to Charley. They just stand there like they are waiting for something.

Duff, a ghost who Charley used to think was adorable for his stutter and shy ways, is starting to creep her out with the weird things he says like wondering what would what would happen if someone pushed Charley outside the boundaries of the sanctified grounds and how he loses his stutter at times.

Mr. Wong, the ghost who used to hover in the corner of Charley’s apartment, is now hovering in a corner at the convent.

Charley’s father who is a ghost now covertly tells her there are spies for Satan watching her and now she has to figure out who are the spies while making sure Cookie has a wonderful wedding and trying to solve the missing girl case.

As always, I loved this book. There was a lot going on and there were a few surprises near the end of the book…some good for Charley and some not so good. You’ll have to read it to find out.


Seventh Grave and No Body – Charley Davidson #7 – Darynda Jones

Ugh! More dead children! I wish this author would try to refrain from having awful things happen to children. It is my biggest complaint about this series. In almost every book, she has small children ghosts who have died in some horrendous manner. It irks me beyond belief.

In this book, Charley is working on a cold case with Special Agent Carson. It seems like a five-person murder until Charley sees more ghosts around the murder site, all little girls. When Charley follows one little girl into the woods, she hears a blood-curdling growl. Charley knows it is a hellhound even before the little girl tells her that they were summoned and to run. Charley hightails it out of there.

Charley is the Grim Reaper but learning that she is way more than just a portal for souls to pass through and because of this Satan wants to kill her. Her friend, Garrett, is working on translating a prophesy that is written not only in an ancient language but also in code but the one thing they do know is that twelve hellhounds are after her and she has no idea how to kill them.

Her Uncle Bob has a case for her where people have been writing suicide notes but there is no body. They have just up and disappeared.

A frantic ghost named Lacey pleads with Charley to help her find her missing body which is no longer in the grave.

Charley can’t get ahold of her father. He won’t return her calls which is starting to worry her.

And Reyes, who never pays attention to other women, just put his back to her and blocked her from seeing the newswoman who was shamelessly flirting with him.

Oh! And I almost forgot. Charley is pregnant! We found out at the end of the last book.

Reyes gets mad at her at one point in the book because she keeps charging into dangerous situations without thinking about the consequences and she keeps trying to ditch him which is stupid because he is the one who saves her from 99% of the dangerous situations she gets herself into. He thinks her priorities are messed up and I had to agree with him.

I love how even though Charley is facing dangerous situations, she can still be sarcastic and funny. I especially like how she and her best friend, Cookie interact. The cast of characters are also lovable or despicable and fascinating. The story just keeps getting better.


Sixth Grave on the Edge – Charley Davidson #6 – Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson has a lot on her plate in this book. Her father has left her stepmother which was long overdue but he has decided to go live on a sailboat even though he has never sailed a boat in his life. Her stepmother tells her that her father is up to something but Charley only half listens to her.

The naked elderly dead guy is still riding around in the passenger seat of her Jeep but he won’t talk so she doesn’t know how she can help him.

She has to try to get the soul of her client back from a demon called The Dealer who is an expert out of making deals and tricking people out of their souls.

Reyes, her lover and the son of Satan has asked her to marry him and she has to give him an answer soon. It drives me nuts that she is making Reyes wait for her answer.

She has to figure out a way to get her uncle and her best friend together since they are obviously into each other but both too stubborn to ask the other one out.

She is investigating a 30-year-old child abduction case for Special Agent Carson of the FBI but she already knows where the child is because he happens to be her boyfriend, Reyes. The case is turning out to be more complicated than she originally though.

Two guys in ski masks woke her up in the middle of the night and told her they have one of her friends and will kill them if she doesn’t find where a woman is who is witness protection. She can’t figure out which friend they are talking about. You would think that Charley would get better security for her apartment since she has had so many break-ins and was actually tortured once in her apartment.

There’s also the prophesy and some evil beings called The Twelve who are out to kill her.

And last but not least, she finally takes an interest in Mr. Wong, the ghost who has been hovering in the corner of her apartment since before she moved in. A couple of people have mentioned that he is powerful so she started looking at him closely like under his shirt where he is tattooed with strange symbols. Who or what is Mr. Wong really?

I’m loving the cast of characters in this series and this book introduces a demon called The Dealer who sounds intriguing. The story is also getting more complicated and complex. It is obvious that the author writes each book as a stand-alone because she gives a recap of the events which I find a little annoying but I understand it is necessary for new readers. But why do people start reading a book from the middle of a series when they can just start from the beginning?

This series has me hooked.