Eleventh Grave in Moonlight – Charley Davidson #11 – Daryinda Jones

I love the sarcastic humor in this series. Even in the direst situation, Charley either has a hilarious thought or something smartass to say which has me cracking up a lot.

As usual, Charley is juggling many things at once. She’s the Grim Reaper so she has to deal with the departed who cross over through her but now that she learned she is a god, she has even more to deal with. It doesn’t help that she got in an argument with the Archangel Michael and now angels are watching her every move. She thinks it has to do with her threatening to take over the world or it could be that her husband Reyes is from down under—not Austrailia—the other down under.

When Reyes was born on Earth, he was kidnapped from his birth parents by a creepy couple, the Fosters, who then handed him over to a monster of a man who abused him for most of his life. Charley had investigated the couple and found out that they had another son name Shawn who she was pretty sure they had abducted aslo but they raised him until adulthood. Charley was surprised when Shawn walked into her office and asked her to investigate the Fosters. He told her that he had secretly tested his DNA against theirs and knows they are not his real parents. He also admitted to her that he saw her parked near their home and had run her license plate so he knew who she was. She wasn’t as stealthy as she thought she was.

Charley and Reyes’ still have their daughter in hiding since so many dark forces are after her like Satan and Eidolon, the evil god from another realm. It’s hard for Charley to live apart from her baby but she knows she has to do it to keep her safe.

She also is dealing with a stalker who is stalking her best friend’s daughter and trying to figure out what her Uncle Bob is up to because he has been acting strange.

The one thing that bothers me about this series is the small children who are either ghosts or get killed by either accidents or evil people. I mean, I know this kind of thing happens in the world but this author seems to be obsessed with having creepy children ghosts and having bad guys kill children. For this reason, this will probably be my last Charley Davidson book. It just rips out my soul to see bad things happen to children and to see it over and over again is just too much for me to handle. In this book alone, there was a ghost of a toddler who had died because a dresser fell on top of him, a ten-year-old boy ghost, bones of a child that were found and the little creepy girl who is a regular in the series…and one more near the end of the book. That is the one that made up my mind about booting this series from my reading list. It’s too bad because this is an impressive series that I would have really like to continue but the excessive abused and dead children thing ruined it for me.

 

Razr – Demonica #11.8 – 1001 Dark Nights – Larissa Ione

I love the covers of these 1001 Dark Nights books. They always have the most brilliant colors yet it is mostly words with just a few pictures which are usually in the zeroes of the 1001. I give kudos to the graphic artist who designs these covers.

This is Larissa Ione’s fourth novella in the 1001 Dark Nights series. The 1001 Dark Nights series is a collection of paranormal and contemporary romance stories by various authors. I only follow a few of the authors so I haven’t read that many of them. I have noticed, however, that Larissa works with a lot of other authors on different projects like the Rising Storm series which is a long story written by various authors and Blood Red Kiss which is a book that has stories by Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole, two authors in my top ten favorites along with Larissa Ione of course.

We, the reader, have met Razr before in the last book of the Demonica series, Z although he remained a mystery. He is an angel who was kicked out of Heaven, along with two other angels, for making the huge mistake of losing the Enoch Gems during a battle against demons. His wings were bound and he also must endure beatings at irregular intervals. He carries his own whip and hands it to the nearest person when the glyph on his hand starts to glow. If he isn’t whipped right away, he experiences excruciating pain. In order to get back into Heaven, he has to find the Enoch Gems but he works in the underworld in Sheoul-gra for Azagoth aka the Grim Reaper so he doesn’t have a lot of time to go look. He’s in luck though because Azagoth decided to give him time off to locate the gems. Razr can’t wait to kill whoever was responsible for stealing the gems.

Jedda is a Gem Elf who, along with her two sisters, stole the gems from Razr while he and his team were busy fighting demons. She and her sisters can sense gems and felt the powerful jewels so they stole them from their human keepers. Each one of her sisters absorbed the power of the gems so that their life forces are dependent on the gems and then hid the physical gems. Jedda hid hers in Scotland with dhampires guarding it. Her gem just happens to be Razr’s gem, the one he has to get back in order to get back into Heaven.

Razr found the dhampires who were guarding his gem but they told him without its current owner, they had no way to access it. That led him to Jedda.

Jedda lives in the human realm and works as a specialist with gems. She was at what she thought was a gem conference when Razr found her but she soon found out it was a trap. A fallen angel named Shrike used some evil power from some evil demon or deity that he worshipped to put a spell on Jedda. She will weaken and eventually die if she doesn’t hand over the gem and a crystal horn that Shrike needs for some evil purpose.

Razr agrees to help her only because he needs the gem himself but he also has an unexplainable attraction to Jedda. He wants to believe that she just acquired the gem from a gem dealer or collector after the initial theft but he isn’t so sure. He has no clue that giving up the gem’s power will kill her.

This was a quick and enjoyable read. I always like Larissa Ione’s characters because she makes both the females and males baddass…no innocent little miss perfects in her books. I look forward to her next book. I wonder who it will be about.

The Chosen – Black Dagger Brotherhood #15 – J.R. Ward

This is the kind of book that makes you forget to eat, sleep or do anything other than curl up and read. Did you know that you can pee and read at the same time? All things are possible with a book like this.

I have been waiting for Layla and Xcor’s story since they first met each other. It really is a tragic story and with J.R. Ward, you never know if it will end happily or rip your heart out like what happened with Trez and Selena where Selena died or like Assail and Sola where she moved away.

In previous books, Layla met Xcor when one of his fighters took her to feed him her blood. Yes, they are vampires who get nourishment off the opposite sex. Layla believed the fighter was part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood because he was in their compound once and the brothers had her feed him. She was clueless at first. She immediately connected with Xcor despite his cleft palette or hare lip as they called it and when she found out that she had done wrong, she did confess it to the Brotherhood but she still felt a connection to him. Later, Xcor coerced her to see him but was always a gentleman with her and she became enamored with him. He broke it off between them though.

Layla is a Chosen which means she was born and raised in what the race of vampires calls Sanctuary which is a sort of heaven. She served the mother of the race and was trained to be an ehros, in the art of sex to please the Prime Male and reproduce along with many other Chosen, but the Prime Male chose to mate one female and freed all of the Chosen. Layla was left with no job and had an empty spot in her life so when her time of needing came, the fertile time of a female of their race where they either have to have sex or be heavily drugged to withstand the pain of the needing, she and one of the males of the Brotherhood agreed to have sex and have a child.

The entire time she was meeting Xcor in secret, she was pregnant and he accepted it.

Xcor had been captured by the Black Dagger Brotherhood but was badly injured when they took him down so they kept him alive by machines in order to interrogate him. He woke up and knew that he was going to be executed and knew that he would never give up his men so he would probably be tortured.

I really give a lot of details about the story without giving out spoilers but I can say, I was hating Quinn in this book. He acted like a straight-up hateful dickwad in this book. I was also a little worried about Vishous and his state of mind.

The series also may have a new enemy to deal with soon. I think that will be interesting although I hope it isn’t a repeat of when Lash was the enemy. We’ll see.

Gosh, I wish I could say more because there was a lot of exciting new developments and things that happened. I guess you will just have to read the book.

 

Dark Skye – Immortals After Dark #15 – Kresley Cole

I don’t know which character I liked more in this book, Melanthe or Thronos. They were so different from each other but each was just as flawed…and I like flawed characters. I get sick of reading about heroic and ethical males and perfect virginal females who always want to do the right thing. Why do authors do that?

Melanthe is carefree hedonist while Thronos is a stickler for rules and order. While Melanthe enjoys wine, micro-minis and gold, Thronos believes in never imbibing, covering all body parts and living humbly. Okay, I think I like the Sorceri ways better than the Vrekener’s because the Vrekeners are way too extreme like Puritans but the Sorceri do get a little carried away with their fun and games.

Sorceri and Vrekeners are natural enemies. Vrekeners hunt and kill Sorceri who they think are evil and break the rules. There are a lot of evil Sorceri. They use their scythe-like weapons to drain the Sorceri of their powers and then kill them and take their children to their hidden Skye Territories to foster them.

Lanthe and Thronos met when Lanthe was nine and Thronos just a few years older in a field near her home. Lanthe’s parents were too busy doing sorcery and adoring their gold to pay attention to Lanthe or her older sister, Sabine, to notice that she had befriended a Vrekener. They were so neglectful that they forgot to provide food or clothing for their children so Lanthe had to go into the field below to eat dandelions and find berries. That is what she was doing when Thronos flew over.

Thronos instantly knew that Lanthe was his fated mate and they became best friends, albeit secret friends. He would take her flying with him and he taught her how to swim. They had a great time for four months…until tragedy struck.

One night, Sabine woke Lanthe and told her Vrekeners were in their home. They went to her parent’s room to warn them but it was too late. They had been beheaded by Throno’s father, the leader of the Vrekeners. Sabine used her sorcery power, weaving an illusion for the Vrekener’s worst nightmare. Sabine could read minds so she knew exactly what they feared. The leader fell to his knees and started scratching at his eyes. Sabine grabbed his scythe and chopped his head off along with a few others. Another Vrekener grabbed Sabine from behind and slit her throat. Thronos was in the room too and because Lanthe thought he had betrayed her by telling his father about them, she told him to jump from the window and not use his wings to save himself. Lanthe’s power was the power of persuasion. She could command anyone to do anything and they had to do it. She commanded her sister to live and she did even though she had lost too much blood. Lanthe and Sabine ran and never looked back.

Thronos had not been locked into his immortality yet so he was crippled for life. They said he wouldn’t walk or fly again but he did.

For 500 years, he pursued Lanthe to make her his mate but she always got away. She went on with her life, living it to the fullest which made him bitter…especially when she slept with other men. He couldn’t understand why she ran from him but accepted other lovers.

What Thronos didn’t know was that Lanthe and Sabine were being pursued by a wayward faction of Vrekeners out to kill them and any other Sorceri. In fact, a few times, they had killed Sabine but Lanthe commanded her to come back to life and she did. Once, one had dropped Sabine from the sky so Lanthe had to scoop up her brains and other time Sabine drowned after being thrown into a raging river. Lanthe believed Thronos had sent them after her.

In this book, Thronos abducts Lanthe while they are both escaping a mortal facility that imprisoned immortals and tortured them. As you can guess, he was a little bitter. He was able to overpower her because she still had the torque around her neck that kept her powers in check while his torque had been unlocked. Immortals are usually unable to hurt their mates without feeling pain themselves, if not physically then mentally. In many species, if one dies, the other follows soon afterwards. But Thronos wanted revenge for all the years he suffered while he thought Lanthe was living it up without him.

We know from previous books that Lanthe’s life was not always so wonderful.What Thronos and others saw was not the exact truth of things although Lanthe and Sabine liked for people to believe it to keep up their kickass reputations. In the Lore, any weakness will be used against you so keeping up appearances of being strong is key to staying alive. Thronos saw Lanthe and Sabine living in her brother Omort’s evil court, doing evil things and enjoying it all. They left and did evil deeds for Omort and returned to him. What was really happening was that Omort had total control of them. He made them drink a poison which would kill them if they didn’t return to get the antidote. But Lanthe did subscribe to the notion about living to the fullest degree and finding happiness where you could while you had the chance instead of wallowing in self-pity so she did find pleasure where she could and did have lovers. After all, Sorceri don’t have fated mates.

Thronos was not kind to Lanthe during their journey. He called her “harlot” and berated her for how he thought she lived her life with all her sins or what he called “offendments”. She just laughed at his stuffy ways and did not feel shame at all. She let him believe what he wanted about her. I laughed so hard at one part in the book where she told him he should have written to her instead of stalking her. He tells her, “What should I have written? Dear Harlot, rumor has it that you are very happy with your new life in Rothkalina with your beloved brother Omort. I hear that you have all the gold you could ever want, and I know how much you always enjoyed a good blood orgy. Well done, Melanthe! By the way, would you like to meet for a rational discussion about our future?”

Instead of denying it, she said, “Well, I did have a lot of gold.”

Do not strangle her!

This was an excellent book, filled with adventure and sexually frustrated characters. I related to these characters so much and wanted them to end up together even though odds were way against them.

This book didn’t have a lot of background plots going on except showing a little about what was going on with Nix, the soothsayer who seems to be manipulating all of the events in this series but I can’t say anything here lest it ruin the book.

After the epilogue of the last book, I thought this book would have been about Munro, a Lykae and twin brother to the protagonist of the previous book but instead, Kresley Cole skipped to Lanthe and Throno’s story. That epilogue indicated that the there is a greater threat coming to the Lore than just the war between the Vertas and the Pravus. Vertas being the good guys and Pravus being the evil guys.

I’m off to read the next book in the series.

Kiss of a Demon King – Immortals After Dark #8 – Kresley Cole

I am re-reading this series and it is just as exciting this time as it was when I first read it but now I know to pay attention to certain things that I didn’t realize were important to the storyline the first time around. This series is about the Lore which is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of creatures from folklore and myth like Valkyries, Vampires, Lykae, Nymphs and Demons. It is an ongoing story but each book can be read as a stand-alone even though I think a lot of the story would be lost on someone who just picked up a book from the middle of this series.

This book followed Rydstrom and Sabine.

Rydstrom is a Rage Demon who lost his kingdom to an evil Sorcerer named Omort the Deathless. He has been trying to get his kingdom back for hundreds of years and he may have found a way. Omort’s brother, Groot the Metallurgist, has made a sword that will kill Omort but is demanding the Vessel in trade. The Vessel is a female from the Lore who will have a child who will either be good or evil. There is a Vessel in every Accession which is a war that happens about every 500 years in the Lore. Not all Vessels make it to have a child because factions of the Lore will be vying for her either to breed with her or kill her. But that story played out in the last book. Rydstrom’s brother was sent to Groot’s stronghold with the Vessel who happened to be his fated female.

In the last book, Rydstrom was racing to meet his brother, Cadeon, to make sure he would he actually traded the Vessel to Groot who happens to be just as evil as Omort but Rydstrom wants his crown back. We know he gets imprisoned by Sabine, the Queen of Illusions who happens to be another sibling of Omort and working with him. We, the readers, just didn’t get all the details from the last book.

This book starts out telling the story of Sabine and her sister Melanthe or Lanthe when they were little. Their mother and father were Sorceri who worked evil magick according to some beings called Vrekeners, winged beings who police the Sorceri and execute them if they are doing evil. Apparently, Sabine and Lanthe’s parents were evil because one night, the Vrekeners came and killed their parents and were going to either take the girls or kill them. Sabine took a sword and cut one of their heads off. Lanthe, who had the power to command people, told them to fight each other and to a boy Vrekener who was with them, she told to jump out of the tower window without using his wings to save himself. They escaped but for thousands of years, the Vrekeners have been after them. The boy lived and has spent his life trying to capture them.

Omort offered a safe haven for them. For some reason, the Vrekeners cannot follow them into Rothkalina, the realm that used to be Rydstrom’s kingdom but is now ruled by Omort, but Omort has an unnatural attraction to Sabine and wants her for himself. The only reason he hasn’t forced himself on her is because of a prophecy that says Sabine is Rydstrom’s fated mate. Her child will open the secrets of the the Well of Souls which is in the castle.

Sabine captures Rydstrom and tries to seduce him into vow to marry her because that is the only way her child would be recognized as the heir to Rothkalina but Rydstrom is having none of it. Well, that isn’t entirely true. He is attracted to her and his body knows she is his fated mate but his heart and his mind think she is evil.

Rydstrom is known for always being honest and it is said that a lie has never left his lips so when he finally vows to her in Demonish, which she does not speak or understand, that he will get revenge on her, she believes that he vowed to marry her.

Sabine was so selfish and into herself but I couldn’t help but like her. I could tell by the way that she loved her sister and was loyal to her that she had to have some kind of redeemable quality.

Rydstrom was your typical holier than thou hero whose only goal was to get him kingdom back which I thought was pretty selfish because he expected his brother to give up his female so Rydstrom could be happy.

What I like most about these books is the ongoing storyline and all the background stories that are going on at the same time. There are characters who I want to get to know better like Lothaire the Enemy of Old, a vampire who seems to be evil but helps the good guys once in a while…for a price…to serve some hidden agenda. He’s up to something.  Then there are the twin Lykae who keep showing up, Munro and Uilleam aka hot and hotter. And, of course, there is Nix the Ever Knowing, the soothsayer who seems to be manipulating everything from behind the scenes. They call her Nucking Futs Nix because she is barely lucid most of the time because she has so much going on in her mind.

I love this series. The characters are far from perfect which makes them that much more lovable to me and the storyline is just getting more complex and more interesting. This is one of those series that I’ll never get enough of.

I’ve already started reading the next book.

Deep Kiss of Winter (Untouchable) – Immortals After Dark – Kresley Cole

This book had two stories in it. One by Kresley Cole and one by Gena Showalter. This summary is about the Kresley Cole story.

Daniela is part Valkyrie and part Icere. The Icere are Fey who need to keep cold so they live in a place called Iceguard where there is plenty of ice and snow to go around. For two thousand years, King Sigmund has been sending out assassins to kill Danii because she is the rightful heir to the kingdom. He stole the crown from her mother.

Murdoch Wroth is a Forbearer Vampire which means he does not drink blood from the source ever. Previous books in the series have featured all three of his brothers but we have only had brief glimpses of Murdoch. We know he is in the Forbearer army under Kristoff who wars with the Horde Vampires, born vampires who drink from the flesh and usually kill their victims which makes them mad because they get the memories of each victim. Too many memories in their heads make them crazy.

Murdoch comes upon Danii when she is running from Icere assassins in the French Quarter in New Orleans. He helps her fight them off and during the fight, he becomes blooded. Blooding is when a Vampire meets his Bride, the one female who makes their heart beats and brings back their sexual desires. Vampires are impotent and have no sexual desires until the meet their Bride.

Danii was shot full of arrows laced with a poison that heats her body to the point where she could die so Murdoch quickly traces her to a mill outside New Orleans where he sometimes stays and puts her into a bath. He traces to a gas station and steals ice to put over her to cool her down. He put on gloves and pulled out all of the arrows.

Unlike his brothers or any other Vampire who meets their Bride, he is not happy. He does not think he has to be a slave to his desires or to a female just because fate says so. He watched his father slowly wither after the death of his mother and never wants to be like that. Plus, he can never even touch Daniela. This is a nightmare to him.

Danii secretly wants romance and to be touched but only one of her kind could touch her and that is not an option. Murdoch gave her hope when he and she shared a sexual moment but then he doused those hopes by telling her that all he could do with his Bride is freeze and he told her to go.

Even though he had spurned her, she agrees to help him when he asks her to help him find and evil Vampire named Ivo. When she overheats, he traces her to his hunting lodge in Siberia which is perfect for Danii. He lets her stay there to hide from the Icere while he goes back to find Ivo and to serve under Kristoff.

Murdoch is hot and cold throughout this book. He wants Danii but he is afraid of being like his father and he gets frustrated that he can only touch her with gloves and never make love to her. They decide to give their relationship a try but Murdoch made it difficult with his fears and frustrations.

The cold in Siberia is transforming Danii into a stronger person and it changes her visage. Her hair has turned white and she is turning icier. She has decorated the entire lodge in ice and has begun to carve strange symbols into the ice. She is compelled more and more to carve and it worries Murdoch but as long as it makes her happy, he won’t interfere.

I have to say that there were some weird sexual moments in this book. I had a hard time thinking sexy thoughts because everything was so cold. Brrrrr!

As always, Nix the Ever Knowing is manipulating things from behind the scenes. I can’t say what without spoiling the story but she was definitely manipulating things to go her way for the Accession which is a war that happens every 500 or so years in the Lore where factions go against each other and one faction will come out on top to be more powerful than the rest…or something like that.

There were also background stories and hints for things to come. There was a mention that Kristoff dispatched some of his soldiers to look for the Dacia, a hidden group of vampires. I missed that the first time I read this series, not knowing that it was important. There was also mention of Lothaire the Enemy of Old but it was brief. We have heard of him a few times so far in this series and know that he is dangerous or powerful but we know nothing else about him.

I’ve already started reading the next book in the series.

Dark Desires After Dusk – Immortals After Dark #6 – Kresley Cole

Cadeon Woede has been keeping tabs on a woman who he knows in his soul to be his fated female but she is forbidden to him because he is a Rage Demon and she is a human. He can’t seem to keep away so he watches her from afar…the rooftops of nearby buildings and such.

Holly Ashwyn teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans. She has her life planned out and everything is on a schedule. She has severe OCD and does not like change at all.

Cadeon has carried the guilt of losing his brother’s crown for nine hundred years. His brother, Rydstrom, never lets him forget it either. Cadeon had been raised away from brother, as royals often are, so when Rydstrom called on him to come to the castle to be there while he went to fight a vampire threat, Cadeon ignored him. Unfortunately, an evil sorcerer, Omort the Deathless, took over the castle while Rydstrom was away. He blamed Cadeon for not being there to protect the castle. Cadeon has been trying to make up for it ever since and has vowed to get Rydstrom’s kingdom back for him no matter what it takes.

When Holly is kidnapped by a demon cult, Cadeon goes after them. Rydstrom calls him while he is driving like hell through town to find Holly and tells him that he has found a way to defeat Omort. Omort’s brother has forged a sword that will kill Omort but he asking for the Vessel, a female from the Lore who will have a child who will either be good or evil but will be powerful beyond belief. Omort was a child from a Vessel. Rydstrom orders Cadeon to find the Vessel and take her to Groot in exchange for the sword. Cadeon gets a bad feeling.

Holly had woken up on a stone slab in some sort of cathedral with what looked like men in robes and costume horns. Her glasses were missing so she couldn’t be sure but one thing she was sure of was that they were chanting and one of them was about to rape her. Lightning started flashing outside above the glass dome above her she shrieked so loud the glass cracked. Lightning hit her in the chest but it didn’t kill her. It invigorated her. She grew claws and fangs and went into a fury.

Cadeon finds Holly crouched naked in a corner with twelve dead demons around her. She had killed them all. Holly had transformed into a Valkyrie. He knows that she must have a human father and a Valkyrie mother since Valkyrie are always female. She’s confused but they don’t have time for explanations because more demons are after them and vampires start shooting at them. He runs with Holly and they barely escape.

Holly is the Vessel.

All factions of the Lore will be after her either to use her for breeding or to kill her. Cadeon explains to her what she is and what is happening to her. When she asks why he is helping her, he tells her he is a mercenary hired to do hard jobs, which is true but he doesn’t tell her why or that he may end up having to betray her. How will he ever give up his fated female to an evil sorcerer?

I had a hard time liking Holly at first because she was so prudish and judgmental. It drove me insane but I also had a hard time with Cadeon who seemed more like a horny teenager than an ancient demon. It bothered me that he kept trying to get in Holly’s pants when he knew he was going to betray her in the end. But as Holly began to open up a little more, I started to like her more. I still called Cadeon, “Cad” though.

As always, Nix the Ever Knowing was manipulating events to help her in the Accession. The Accession is a war between factions of the Lore that happens every 500 years or so. Nix is trying to get allies and she seems to be a romantic at heart.

The only background story that I saw going on was about Rydstrom being kidnapped by Sabine, the Queen of Illusions and Omort and Groot’s sister. She kidnapped him to try to have his offspring who would be the heir to his kingdom but the only way for that to happen would be if she was his fated female. That would such for Rydstrom since she is Omort’s puppet and evil.

I am eager to start the next book which I already have in my e-reader since I have read this series before but I have not been able to sit down and read it yet. I still keep being amazed about how much I have forgotten and it’s like reading it for the first time again.