RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


Review: Night World No.1 by L.J. Smith

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Night World No. 1: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder (Night World #1) by L.J. Smith
Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Vampires, Witches
Trade Paperback (SIMON PULSE, 752 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 1416974504
Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.
In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy's only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.
Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.
Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It's a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.

Author Site:

Lukewarm Love Stories for Tween Paranormal Fans (3 stars)

Reprinted into three story volumes, L.J. Smith's Night World series is back for a new audience of paranormal fantasy fans. The first volume collects the stories Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness and Spellbinder.

[Secret Vampire] is the tale of Poppy, a teen faced with the sudden diagnoses of a terminal illness. With very little time left, her closest friend James reveals the secret of the Night World risking both their lives to possibly save hers. But will Poppy survive the turning and if she does will James be able to protect her from the Night World?

Call me a big sap but I liked the concept for this story. The idea of a terminally ill person offered the chance to die a painful human death or risk everything to become a vampire is a really fun dilemna. What kind of fell flat for me though was the lack of chemistry between James and Poppy. Their friendship and relationship wasn't very well fleshed out and I didn't find their mutual love for one another to be very believable. On the whole though the story would be perfect for a reader looking for a little soapy drama.

[Daughters of Darkness] centers around three sisters, Rowan, Kestrel and Jade, who are briefly mentioned in the previous story. Tired of the archaic ways of the lamia (vampires who are born not made) the trio escape from their Night World sanctuary to rural Oregon to stay with an outcast aunt. What they expect is for their brother to try and hunt them down. What they don't expect is that someone else might be trying to get rid of them... permanently. When a local human brother and sister's fate becomes intertwined with theirs it can only mean trouble.

A little overloaded with characters to keep track of this story was the slower of the three for me as a reader. The three sisters are definitely a bit strange, making their interactions with their human friends a bit weird but they are each likable in their own way. The mystery of who might being trying to get rid of them isn't completely obvious fortunately, which makes the story jump around from supsect to suspect. The romance angles are a little far-fetched but again, young fans will probably really enjoy that aspect.

[Spellbinder] focuses on a pair of cousins, Thea and Blaise, with a track record of getting booted from schools faster than one can bat an eyelash. Sent to spend the school year with their grandmother in Las Vegas the pair of young witches waste no time getting into new trouble. Both vying for the attentions of Eric, the two let their spell casting get out of hand and the results could endanger not just the local humans, but the secrets of the Night World.

Romantically the more believable story of the three I liked how this one ended a lot. The story had a very different feel from the two vampire tales and gives a glimpse into other parts of the Night World. The cousins are very different from one another and their relationship makes no sense at times but watching them use their different magics is very entertaining. Overall probably the more enjoyable tale of the three this one rounds the book out nicely.

As an adult reader I can't give Night World No. 1 more than an overall "It was okay" rating. Would another adult not like them at all? That I can't honestly say. I found them extremely formulaic and thus they just weren't that exciting or interesting. The romances were the lukewarm sort of stories that lack hero to heroine chemistry that adult romances thrive on. BUT I think this is a perfect book for the tween to teen set, this series is definitely written for kids. Parents looking for something without the coarse language and sensuality should be pleased to note the language here is clean and the most that happens in the stories are kisses. These are stories that work well for a young audience with their adventure, romance and continuity.


Review: The Salem Witch Tryouts by Kelly McClymer

The Salem Witch Tryouts Salem Witch #1) by Kelly McClymer
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Witches
Trade Paperback (SIMON PULSE, 272 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 141691644X
Prudence Stewart had it all at Beverly Hills High: straight A's, the cutest crush, and a sweet gig as captain of the cheerleading squad. Then poof! Mom and Dad announce they're moving to Salem, Massachusetts. Turns out, Pru comes from a long line of witches and it's time for her to learn the craft. Buh-bye, Beverly Hills High -- hello, Agatha's Day School!
But Pru's not about to trade in her spirit stick for a broomstick! She's sure she can keep her kewl at her new school -- until she discovers it's all magic, all the time, and she's failing Witchcraft 101. Worst of all, even the cheerleaders bring a special "spirit" to their routine. As in, triple-back-somersault-with-a-twist kind of spirit.
It's time for Pru to cast a spell and prove she's just as enchanting as the next girl -- and somehow make cheering tryouts a flying S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

Author Site:

No Matter How You Spell It (4 stars)

At Beverly Hills High, Prudence Stewart was a shoe-in for head cheerleader. She had the perfect grades and the perfect guy to drool over... until her mom and dad decided it was time for Pru and her brother to start learning to use the magic they've been denied for years. Which means not just leaving behind sunny California for dull Massachusetts but leaving behind the only lifestyle they've really known. While her little brother might be totally okay with the change, Pru is anything but happy!

If there's one thing that can save Pru from loserville at her new school it's joining the cheerleading squad. If only the girls at Agatha's Day School didn't do their routines in the air. Hopefully with a little tutoring and a lot of practice Pru can catch up in her magic studies and master the fine art of cheering with a witch squad. Maybe, just maybe if she does she'll get her cool factor back and fit in with her peers just magically.

If you're looking for something with a little more humor and a lot less angst, The Salem Witch Tryouts is a good place to start. The whole Beverly Hills cheerleader thing has been done in urban fantasy before but doesn't lose any of it's charm with this one. Pru isn't the snotty cheerleader one might expect though she does have some snobby moments and certainly thinks very highly of herself. Going from being Miss Popular to remedial magic student would certainly be tough on any young woman but she handles it with a decent dose of positivity and determination.

Overall this was definitely on the lighter side of urban fantasy but I personally love witch stories and thought this one was really cute and funny. The world of magic that McClymer has set up for this series is fairly unique and Agatha's Day School is definitely not Hogwarts but could appeal to that same audience if they were looking for an Americanized witch school. I really had a good time reading this book because of the lighter tone and my only real beef was the text-speak conversations tossed in between Pru and her friend back in Beverly Hills.


The Longest Days... The Shortest Stories...

O M G it's almost summer! About friggin' time.

I love a nice breezy summer evening when I can just sprawl out on my bed and enjoy the last rays of a sunny day while reading a good book. Or even one of those hot summer evenings when you can hear the crickets outside while you're happily in bed with a cold glass of water and a steamy romance.

But right now I am just all pooped out on anything that's gonna take a lot of focus. So I decided that to kick off the summer I'm going to try and burn my way through a stack of anthologies! Short stories for those long days... okay, it makes no sense there really but it's what I chose and I am sticking by it.

June here I come!
-- Rhi


Review: Outcast by Cheryl Brooks

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Outcast (The Cat Star Chronicles #1) by Cheryl Brooks
Paranormal Romance, Sci-fi Romance
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 384 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402218966
This fourth installment in The Cat Star Chronicles series maintains the qualities of excitement, world-building, sizzling romance, and great imagination that made Slave such a resounding success.
Sold into slavery when his planet was destroyed, Lynx was enslaved in a harem. He is a favorite due to his feline gene, which gives him remarkable sexual powers, but after ten years, Lynx is exhausted.
Thrown out without a penny, Lynx is bitter and anti-female. He emigrates to a new planet but can only find a job with a female rancher.
Bonnie's boyfriend has left with all their money and she needs help with the ranch. Lynx is cynical, but honest, and though he has made it clear that he wants no part of a romantic relationship, Bonnie can't resist him. She finds out about his impotence and becomes determined not to let such a beautiful and sensual young man go to waste...

Author Site:

If it ain't broke... (4 stars)

Lynx was quite young when his homeworld of Zetith was destroyed and he and his commrades were sold into slavery. Not yet versed in the art of enticement his fellow males were known for he might have been thrilled to become the slave of a harem filled with females in need of his attentions. But what might have started out as a chance to learn how to give pleasure soon became anything but enjoyable. Used to the breaking point he not only suffers from impotence but a well deserved dislike of women.

Meanwhile, Bonnie has been burned by the opposite sex in a much different fashion. Left to care for her farm and just a few months shy of giving birth, she's been abandoned by the boyfriend she had hoped would be there for her. In need of a hired hand to help her around the place she's pleased to give Lynx a job and a place to stay. Unfortunately, Lynx isn't too thrilled about working for a woman and the relationship between employee and employer gets quite rocky.

Can Bonnie help Lynx heal old wounds and see that not all women are going to use him? Will Lynx learn to trust Bonnie and find a life of love and satifaction? Well, if you want the answers to those questions you better get your butt to the bookstore and pick Outcast up!

The fourth in the Cat Star Chronicles, Outcast is definitely a bit different. The most obvious difference is that this is where the series shifts from the first person storytelling of the heroine to a third person perspective. I know most readers prefer the third person because they get to see what the hero is thinking but I personally thought the first person set this series apart and made me as a reader feel more in tune with the heroine. That said, the third person perspective in this one did offer room for the story to go different places. Brooks is a little shaky in pulling this new style off but fans of the series should enjoy getting to see what's going on in Lynx's head.

The romantic plot for this one was my favorite so far. I loved the idea of a used and abused hero who doesn't want love or sex. I loved that Bonnie was interested in Lynx and how he constantly rebuffed her. Both characters do a lot of growing before they can come together. It was also great to see a pregnant heroine who was perfectly capable of going on without the father there. Bonnie was a strong woman worthy of a great hero and I liked her so much I almost felt Lynx wasn't good enough for her.

My only real struggle with this one was bringing so much of Cat/Jack and Leo/Tisana into it. Their scenes that weren't directly related to Bonnie and Lynx's story were a bit distracting and the love scenes in particular felt out of place. I love getting to see old characters we're familiar with come back again but it just didn't work for me this way.

Overall fans of scifi romantica should love this one and if they haven't been following the whole series I suggest they get on it soon. Fans of the series may find the jump from one style to another a little rough but the story makes up for it pretty well. Enjoy!


Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

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Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod #1) by Heather Brewer
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (PUFFIN, 192 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0142411876
Vlad has to keep his vampire urges under control while dealing with the pressures of middle school.
Thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod really hates junior high. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer.

Author Site:

Being a teen vampire sucks. (4 stars)

Vladimir Tod could be your average teenager. He has a crush on one of the pretty, popular girls, the school bullies enjoy pushing him around and hanging out with his best friend is much more fun than doing homework. He'd be pretty normal except... Vlad is a vampire.

After his human mother and vampire father were killed in a strange, unexplainable housefire he went to live with his mom's closest friend, Aunt Nelly. Clever and loving she makes sure her ward wears his sunblock and drinks his O positive but there are some things even she can't protect him from. When his English teacher goes missing and a substitute takes his place, Vlad begins to suspect that the sub has figured out his secret. As he tries to figure out the mystery behind the substitute Vlad begins to find out more about his vampire heritage and worse—that his parents death was no accident and he might be next!

Funny, light-hearted and at times touching, I really enjoyed this first installment in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series. Vlad is definitely a very likable character because though he's a vampire he's also very much a teen boy. His relationship with his guardian, Aunt Nelly, likely won't appeal to the young adult audience as much as his friendship with Henry but I thought it was a great dynamic. All too often we see orphaned characters taken in by cruel, unloving relatives and this change was really refreshing. In contrast Vlad and Henry's friendship is a study in opposites. Though very different from one another they make a good team.

Because the plot of this story is fairly easy to follow without any huge confusing twists I would definitely suggest it for a reluctant reader. The humor is clean but still entertaining too, which is sure to appeal to boys looking for a place to dip their toes into the raging vampire fiction trend without being choked by flowery, overly serious romantic themes. As a whole I thought the book was a terrific quick read that is definitely geared to the young adult audience but could appeal to moms (or dads) looking to read side-by-side with their young adult.


Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

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Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely #1) by Melissa Marr
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Fae
Trade Paperback (HARPERCOLLINS, 352 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 0061214671
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.

Author Site:

Something Wicked This Way Comes (5 stars)

All of her life Aislinn has been taught how to avoid notice by faeries. Being a Sighted mortal is very dangerous in a world where the fae are both beautiful and capable of cruelty. Everything Grams has taught her has kept her safe from them thus far, but when a pair of Court fae take an interest in Ash she knows she won't be safe much longer. When the pair finally reveal the reason for their interest Ash will face the greatest challenge of her life when everything she values in her world—a chance at a normal life, the safety of her grandmother and her best-friend Seth—may no longer be within her grasp.

Oh how I wanted to tell more about the story! Alas, this is one of those really terrific stories that needs to just be read. Built with a blend of both classic fae legend and her own interpretation of the fae world, Marr leads her readers into a place where the clash of urban decay and faery magic are twisted, savage and breath-taking. The human characters are not wholy realistic but tread the line just carefully enough to make the difference between them and the fae no less distinct. Meanwhile, the fae aren't quite as ethereal and arrogant as one might expect if they've read a lot of faery fiction.

The plot that Ash faces is very timeless, the choice whether to take a risk for the greater good or take an easier way out never gets old. Twisted up in this storyline the characters are also faced with a very complicated love rectangle of quite epic proportions. But love and duty often require conflicting outcomes, which I personally think Ash got around just a little too easily. Did it spoil the story for me? Nah, not really, but I'm a little sadistic about these sort of things and prefer the characters suffer much more to get their romantic desires.

What I liked best about Wicked Lovely was that it was mature enough for an adult but still a story for teen readers. The fae lore was a refreshing blend of both traditional faery mythologies and more modern ideas making this a must-read for fans of this theme. Highly recommended overall.


Review: Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

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Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer
Historical Romance, Regency, Gothic
Trade Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 384 pages, $13.99)
ISBN# 1402217684
Kate, in dire circumstances, is surprised to receive an invitation to live with a distant aunt. Her aunt, uncle, and cousin welcome her to their estate, buy her new clothes, and provide all the amenities a Young lady of quality should have. Slowly, however, as strange events unfold, Kate begins to realize that her aunt's apparent benevolence hides an ulterior motive. To assure succession of the title, her aunt intends Kate to marry her cousin Torquil, until his increasingly bizarre behavior culminates in violence and tragedy. A compelling tale exploring mental illness in the Regency period.
Author Site:
www.georgette-heyer.com (unofficial)

Gothic Romance for the Regency fan. (5 stars)

Fate and circumstance have seen fit to place Kate Malvern in such unforseen dire financial straights that she hardly has a place in the world. Having been dismissed from her position as a governess Kate finds herself on the doorstep of Sarah Nidd, the nurse who cared for her during her youth. Fortunate to have the kindness of Mrs. Nidd and her husband, but bound and determined not to impose upon them, she hopes to find a new situation even if it be something as lowly as becoming lady's personal servant. But dear Sarah won't hear of it and upon finding out that Kate does have a well-to-do aunt, however distant their relation, she takes it upon herself to send word to the woman of young Kate's troubles.

When Lady Broome, Kate's aunt Minerva, comes to meet her neice she is most insistent that she come to Staplewood at least for the summer. Unable to successfully turn down her aunt's kind offer Kate finds herself wisked off to the country estate. Here she meets her sickly cousin Torquil and Sir Timothy his ailing father. But the longer she stays at Staplewood the more she finds her aunt's kindness and generosity to be stifling, while Torquil's health and behavior become more disturbing. His paranoia over the presence of Sir Timothy's nephew, Philip, and his obsessive infatuation with Kate seem to be encouraged by his mother. Meanwhile, Kate's letters to Sarah have gone unanswered and she worries she may be trapped at Staplewood but could her aunt Minerva be behind the lack of reply?

Before I say a word on the book's content I must admit that I am not a fan of Regency period fiction. That aside I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was dark and moody, hinting at dangers that never came and weaving a web of suspense that made it hard to put down. If you're familiar with the characteristics of true Gothic literature this novel is a fine example of the genre. Combined with the well plotted Regency romance Heyer is known for the constrasting terror-inducing circumstances that surround Kate, coupled with the heroic presence of Philip are sure to please most Gothic romance lovers.

Kate is truly likable, playing the role of persecuted maiden with a sweetness and naivety that make her an endearing heroine rather than the annoying 'too-stupid-to-live' types we sometimes see in tales of terror. While she certainly does not wish to marry Torquil she sees him as a beautiful, tortured young man whom she must mollify, protect and speak-up-for. The caring relationship she develops with her uncle, Sir Timothy, is especially interesting in contrast to the wary one she has with her aunt. It is the subtle romantic feelings she develops for Philip, however, that bring the story to a climactic head.

Exciting and interesting from harrowing start to dramatic finish, Georgette Heyer's Cousin Kate was a delightfully dark and sinfully satisfying read.


Review: Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, Volume I by Ellen Schreiber

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Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives (Volume I) Written by Ellen Schreiber, Illustrated by Rem
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Vampires, Manga
Manga (HARPERCOLLINS, 128 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0061340812
The absolute last thing goth-girl Raven and her vampire boyfriend, Alexander, need is another hitch in their nighttime-only romance—but dark trouble hovers on the horizon when Raven and Alexander discover four freshly dug graves filled with empty coffins. When a crew of sketchy vampires takes up residence in Dullsville's lonely graveyard, Alexander finds this motley bunch led by his very own blood-sucking cousin, Claude Sterling. Shocking! Claude and his creepy crew can only spell out more problems for the pair, especially when Raven finds them in daylight in the very last place she could ever imagine. What could Claude and his invaders be doing—or searching for—in Dullsville?
Author Site:

Bloody adorable! (4 stars)

Raven and Alexander, characters from the popular Vampire Kisses novel series, have their own manga! Their night-time-only dating routine definitely doesn't need to be disturbed let alone by other vampires. When the couple find a quartet of new graves in the Dullsville cemetery they meet at for romantic rendezvous it can only spell trouble. Especially when one of these new blood-suckers turns out to be Alexander's cousin and childhood rival, Claude.

I hate admitting this, but this is my first manga. That said it was a short, light read and definitely did not intimidate like I was afraid it might. I didn't pick it up because it was a manga, but rather because it was a young adult selection with vampires and for that reason this review has to be from the viewpoint of a book reader, not a manga afficiando, sorry!

Since I haven't read the Vampire Kisses series yet I'm pretty sure I missed some of the subtleties of the storyline in this one. I did find it very cute and fluffy, a read that would definitely work for a tween to teen female audience. With plenty of cutesy expressions and smooches it should appeal to the romantic set. Toss in a couple of short action scenes and a flashback and this first volume sets up for the next quite nicely.

Overall I really loved the illustration style and the 'looks' that were chosen for the various characters. I look forward to checking out the next volume when the mood for another manga strikes. Oh! And please do note that a handful of pages in the back are devoted to info on the creative process for the characters looks as mentioned above and a glimpse at the 4th Vampire Kisses novel.


Review: Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

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Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) by Melissa De La Cruz
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (HYPERION BOOK, 336 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 142310126X
Schuyler Van Alen is confused about what is happening to her. Her veins are starting to turn blue, and she's starting to crave raw meat. Soon, her world is thrust into an intricate maze of secret societies and bitter intrigue. Schuyler has never been a part of the trendy crowd at her prestigious New York private school. Now, all of a sudden, Jack Force, the most popular guy in school, is showing an interest in her. And when one of the popular girls is found dead, Schuyler and Jack are determined to get to the bottom of it.
Schuyler wants to find out the secrets of the mysterious Blue Bloods. But is she putting herself in danger? Melissa de la Cruz's vampire mythology, set against the glitzy backdrop of New York City, is a juicy and intoxicating read.

Author Site:

What color is your blood? (5 stars)

For students of the uber elite New York City private school known as Duchesne, wealth and beauty aren't the only things that determine social status. Quite literally, the color of one's blood determines what secrets one can and can't be privy to or which social circles a student will associate with. That is because much of Duchesne's student body consists of Blue Bloods—vampires! For centuries the Blue Bloods have been invincible but when a young Duchesne student is murdered under mysterious circumstances rumors of an ancient evil that preys on their kind begin to surface.

Schuyler Van Alen was always an outsider at Duchesne. Content to wear her layers of black and vintage, hang with her best friend Oliver and visit her comatose mother in the hospital on Sundays, the last thing Schuyler expects is to learn that she's a vampire. Sucked into the world of the Blue Bloods she must uncover their most dangerous secrets if she is to protect herself from the enemy hunting her peers down.

The premise for this series is so complex and well written that it's really hard to summarize it without giving away anything important. Many of the reviews I read before choosing this book complained that half the book has gone by before vampires are ever mentioned. I have to say I disagree with this being a bad thing. If you pay careful attention there are very subtle hints at the vampire side of things which I found only tantalized me building up the excitement for when the 'big reveal' moment came.

The historical inspiration used for this series really added to the elegance and richness of the world creation. The concept of vampires being some of the earliest American settlers is sure to please and interest any young adult readers who love history class. But the series also has the designer label mentions and rich, high society nods that are so popular with teen readers right now and fortunately they aren't so overpoweringly constant that they date the series.

My one complaint about this book was that Schuyler is presented as the protagonist but Bliss Llewellyn for me felt like she could almost have been switched with her. Both characters are very likable and relatable in different ways. Surprisingly I found most of the Duchesne students to be likable, interesting and pretty mature (in a good way) without being overly raunchy and adult. I am definitely hooked on the series after just this one book!

Overall I don't think this is one for a reluctant reader and while I would use discretion with choosing what age of teen reader to give it to I felt it was a nearly perfect example of young adult vampire fiction. Enjoy!


Spotlight: Blue Bloods

Working my way through a stack of young adult urban fantasy has been quite a lot of fun this month. I've found several books/series I've never even heard of and added a lot of books to my wishlist. And let me tell you... reading a book about zombies after having spent the day in a cemetery for a funeral was one of the stranger experiences I've had in reading.

I love all sorts of UF thematic elements be it zombies or faeries or shapeshifters but let's face it... vampires are the theme du jour right now. I blame the success of the Twilight Saga series and the film based on the first book. I can't even go into my local hot topic without being bombarded by t-shirts plastered with characters and quotes from the flick. And that is what had made it so difficult to find books to read this month!

I've found a few non-vampire books to read and review but the one that's really got me right now is the first in the Blue Bloods series by Melissa De la Cruz. (Visit Cruz's site for information on the series: http://melissa-delacruz.com). It's just so well thought out and intelligent for teen fic. Thus I've decided to spotlight the series this month! I think it deserves the notice and want to encourage adults looking into some good YA vampire fiction to check it out.
-- Rhi

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Blue Bloods #1
Trade Paperback (HYPERION BOOK, 336 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 142310126X
Schuyler Van Alen is confused about what is happening to her. Her veins are starting to turn blue, and she's starting to crave raw meat. Soon, her world is thrust into an intricate maze of secret societies and bitter intrigue. Schuyler has never been a part of the trendy crowd at her prestigious New York private school. Now, all of a sudden, Jack Force, the most popular guy in school, is showing an interest in her. And when one of the popular girls is found dead, Schuyler and Jack are determined to get to the bottom of it.
Schuyler wants to find out the secrets of the mysterious Blue Bloods. But is she putting herself in danger? Melissa de la Cruz's vampire mythology, set against the glitzy backdrop of New York City, is a juicy and intoxicating read.

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Masquerade #2
Trade Paperback (HYPERION BOOK, 336 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 1423101278
Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help--her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman--a true Blue Blood affair.
But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.
Rich with glamour, attitude, and vampire lore, this second installment in the Blue Bloods saga will leave readers thirsting for more.

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Revelations #3
Trade Paperback (HYPERION BOOK, 272 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 1423102282
Have you ever wondered what secrets lurk behind the closed doors of New York City's wealthiest families? They're powerful, they're famous... they're undead.
Schuyler Van Alen's blood legacy has just been called into question--is the young vampire in fact a Blue Blood, or is it the sinister Silver Blood that runs through her veins? As controversy swirls, Schuyler is left stranded in the Force household, trapped under the same roof as her cunning nemesis, Mimi Force, and her forbidden crush, Jack Force.
When one of the Gates of Hell is breached by Silver Bloods in Rio de Janeiro, however, the Blue Bloods will need Schuyler on their side. The stakes are high; the battle is bloody; and through it all, Carnavale rages on. And in the end, one vampire's secret identity will be exposed in a revelation that shocks everyone. (Paperback Release: Summer 2009)

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The Van Alen Legacy #4
Hardcover (HYPERION BOOK, 320 pages, $16.99)
ISBN# 1423102266
With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged. (Release: Fall 2009)


Review: Nightlife by Nancy A. Collins

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Nightlife (Vamps #2) by Nancy A. Collins
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (HARPERTEEN, 256 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 0061349186
Fashion victim just got a whole new meaning.
When vampire heiress Lilith Todd decides she wants a modeling career, she won't let her father stop her—even if he does threaten to cut off her credit cards.
Lilith's rival, Cally Monture, is in a different kind of hot water. Her boyfriend, Peter, is a vampire hunter—a sexy, sensitive soul mate who just happens to be sworn to destroy her entire race.
With the Rauhnacht Grand Ball fast approaching, both girls need the same things: a handsome escort and a dress to die for. But in a sea of shifting and dangerous loyalties, there's no telling who will betray them next.

Author Site:
Nancy A. Collins @ Wikipedia (unofficial)

Vampire American Princesses: The Good, The Bad & The Debutantes (5 stars)

The Vamps are back and this time there's a whole lot more at stake for Lilith Todd and Cally Monture. Lilith knows the identity of the father Cally so desperately wants to know and she's willing to use that information to get what she wants. As vain and ruthless as ever, Lilith has decided to go against the strick taboos of vampire society and pursue a career in modeling as Lili Graves, allowing pictures of herself to be taken! When this secret double life is discovered by her father the consequences could be more than Lilith anticipated. Meanwhile, Cally has more than one problem of her own. Her mother has begun to suspect that Cally has been sneaking off to see a guy. When she mistakenly believes it to be an enemy of Cally's father she calls him in and Cally finally learns his identity. Thickening the plot is the realization that her relationship with Peter might get them both killed—by one another!

As if this weren't enough trouble for both girls the upcoming Rauhnacht Grand Ball is coming up. Thirteen young ladies of Bathory will be introduced into vampire society at a debutante ball hosted by the creepy Count Orlock. Long black dresses, fathers and an escort the girl isn't romantically involved with are essential to attend. When Cally asks Jules, Lilith's promised, to be her escort the rivalry between the girls only heats up further. But maybe there's someone that could escort Lilith that can make Jules jealous and someone besides Lilith who doesn't want Cally there at all.

Continuing the story begun with Vamps (#1 in the series), Nightlife is all about getting ready for the upcoming ball. Friendships get more and more complicated for both Cally and Lilith, adding to the tension and rivalry. Romances falter and sputter making for wicked tension. The mystery of Cally's father is resolved but only causes more trouble than it was worth. Peter and his vampire slayers make much less noise this time around but their scene is some pretty powerful action. Lilith's obsession with her beauty and being the center of attention puts her life at risk and weres (shapeshifters) are mentioned briefly as part of this secret world.

A lot more fast paced, dangerous and fun than the first installment I thoroughly loved Nightlife. The label-dropping still annoys me but is much more overshadowed by interesting story and stronger plotlines this time around. I'm fast growing fond of the Orlocks and wish there'd been more said about the shapeshifters but I can see there being many books to follow to give us just that. Overall this one was a quick read, much more exciting and ended at just the right moment to bring we readers back for the third book, After Dark (due out this summer).


Review: You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

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You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Zombies
Trade Paperback (RAZORBILL, 272 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 1595142258
Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.
Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.

Author Site:

And you thought your high school sucked... (5 stars)

As if high school isn't difficult all on its own, Megan Berry is being stalked by the Undead. Being a Zombie Settler, thanks to the powers passed down by her mother, means getting visits from walking corpses in need of a little help getting their unfinished business finished. Try hiding that from a date! But after a traumatic attack by Reanimated Corpses—think evil blood-hungry zombies made by black magic—five years ago, Megan hasn't been manifesting her powers. Until of course she's all set to join Carol High School's pom squad, date the hottest guy in school and get him to be her homecoming date.

That's when the trouble starts and Megan has to start caring about her duties as a Settler again. Then Reanimated Corpses start popping up and attacking people who are close to Megan. It wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't suspicious of her fellow Settler and rival Monica but unable to prove that she was the one causing the attacks. Afterall, she does get to be protected and tutored in her Settler powers by her childhood crush, Ethan, that can't be all bad. Now if only she can prove to the Elders of Settler's Affairs that she's got the right person pegged before an army of hungry zombies ruins homecoming!

It's not everyday that I just pick up a book based off of the coverart. The cute title definitely piqued my interest and I'm glad it caught my eye because this was one book I really enjoyed from start to finish. There aren't enough zombie books out there for the young adult audience and You Are So Undead to Me definitely delivers the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to walking corpses. The world of Zombie Settlers is a little wobbly as a whole but with more books in the series on the way I think we'll get a stronger foundation of the what, where, who, and why of the group who settles the undead.

Megan is a likable girl with basic aspirations your average teen girl might be after. She and her best friend work on their dance routines for cheerleading try-outs, she crushes on the hot senior football player and just wants to have a hot date for the homecoming dance. Much like another urban fantasy heroine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she really doesn't want the responsibilities she's been given. Thus she makes some bad decisions, mistakes and yep, she pays for them. There were some really good didn't-see-that-coming plot twists and plenty of action to keep a less-enthusiast reader entertained.

Overall, I really adored this book. It was fun, humorous and a little dark. Jay blended great elements to make a story teens will love and adults can enjoy too. (A note to parents: this one was pretty clean, not a lot of bad language and just kissing if you're looking into it for a younger reader).


Review: A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Greig

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A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy by Charlotte Greig
Contemporary Fiction, Philosophy, Chick-lit
Trade Paperback (OTHER PRESS, 288 pages, $14.95)
ISBN# 1590513177
Susannah’s official boyfriend, Jason, is the perfect foil for her student lifestyle. He is ten years older, an antiques dealer, and owns a stylish apartment that prevents her from having to live in the seedy digs on campus. This way, she can take her philosophy major very seriously and dabble in the social and sexual freedom of 1970s university life. But circumstances become more complicated than Susannah would like when she begins to have an affair with her tutorial partner, Rob. Soon she is dating two men, missing her lectures, exploring independence and feminism with her girlfriends, and finding herself in a particularly impossible dilemma: she becomes pregnant. Forced to look beyond her friends and lovers for support, she finds help and inspiration from the lessons of Kierkegaard and other European philosophers.
A Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy is a delightfully insightful, bittersweet coming-of-age romp, in which love is far from platonic and the mind—body predicament a pressing reality. It even succeeds where many introductions to philosophy have failed, by effortlessly bringing to life the central tenets of the most important European philosophers of modern times.

Author Site:

Chick-lit for the thinking woman. (4 stars)

Susannah Jones is working on her philosophy degree at a college in Sussex, circa the 1970's. She seems trapped between worlds, not wanting to dwell in the short-changed domiciles of her fellow students, nor be stifled in the identity robbing adult world of her boyfriend. But finding a balance between the two doesn't come easily. Living with her 10-years-older boyfriend provides a certain sense of financial safety but he seems to take her for granted not bothering to be home for days at a time, making all her decisions for her. As she begins to question the flaws in their relationship she finds a growing interest in her tutorial partner, Rob. Rob shares her interest in philosophy, music and more but lacks the maturity and stability she's grown accustomed to.

Falling into a sexual relationship with Rob only complicates things as she continues to question what it is that she feels about herself, the world and her current relationship. When Susannah finds herself pregnant she everything in her life changes. She can't keep both of the men in her life but she doesn't know which one is the father. Keeping the child could mean sacrificing her dreams but she she can't help but feel compelled to possibly keep the child. Like many young women this dilemna proves to be far too complicated to simply pick one option and be done with it. Turning to the philosophers she has been studying she hopes to find an answer that she can live with. But in the end the answers to her problems may require Susannah to give up the philosophical 'it doesn't have to be either or' attitude and make one of the hardest decisions of her young adulthood.

I have to say the philosophy side of this story really killed me as a reader. I've never been particularly interested in the stuff. That said, this is not unreadable for those who know little to nothing about the philosophers mentioned through-out. Beyond the obvious ties to the subject this is very much a coming-of-age tale. Susannah is naive to the point of being frustrating but one can't help but want to see her figure it all out. I think most of us have been that naive young woman trying to make a very adult decision at some point which makes her relatable and makes her endearing to the reader.

With very deep subject matter this is far from the light, fluffy chick-lit that is popular today. This is chick-lit for the thinking woman. While it's touted as being humorous, even comedic, I personally didn't find it very much so. I found it to be very melancholy throughout most of the story with small bits of lightness woven in to soften such a difficult dilemna. In the end Susannah's decision is completely her own, not guided by her philosphers, friends or societial expectations and it is this that makes A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy a truly read-worthy novel of finding one's own inner voice.


Review: Vamps by Nancy A. Collins

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Vamps (Vamps #1) by Nancy A. Collins
Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Vampires
Trade Paperback (HARPERTEEN, 256 pages, $8.99)
ISBN# 0061349178
When the sun goes down, New York's true elite all head to one place: Bathory Academy, where the young ladies of the finest vampire families are trained in shapeshifting and luring their prey.
Bathory's reigning queen, Lilith Todd, is the daughter of a powerful vampire businessman, and she knows exactly what she wants from life. She wants to look beautiful for eternity and party till the sun comes up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Jules. And she doesn't want any New Blood upstarts standing in her way.
Enter Cally Monture, an unexpected threat from a trash zip code. When their first meeting leads to tragic results, Lilith is hungry for revenge.

Author Site:
Nancy A. Collins @ Wikipedia (unofficial)

Vampire American Princesses: A Franchise With Bite (4 stars)

Vamps, the first book in a new young adult series, introduces readers to a whole new take on the vampire mythos. A world where status and bloodlines are everything and to be born on the wrong side of them is far from pleasant. Where else could such a tale be set than New York? A city known for its own clashing social classes, fashion, fame and fortune.

Daughter of the vampire elite's Victor Todd, Lilith has been the reigning royalty at Bathory Academy. The prestigious all-girls school trains young women from Old Blood families how to shapeshift, practice scrivenery and other important vampire skills. But when school is out Lilith and friends prowl the night shopping at the chicest designer boutiques, slithering along the dance floor of their favorite night club and slumming amongst the dregs of human society in search of amusement.

When one of these slumming incidents leads Lilith and her friends into a pack of Van Helsings (vampire slayers) it is a New Blood she blames for the tragic results. Meanwhile, Cally Monture, a New Blood gifted with a rare vampire ability, has been quite content to live life just as she has. But when the mysterious father she has never met demands she begin attending Bathory all heck breaks loose. Lilith wants Cally dead and for more than one reason!

Vamps is definitely not a book without its flaws. I'm a notorious label-dropping hater. Anyone looking for a book to give a teen or tween this book should be aware that the 'teens' in this series do partake in alcohol, drugs and there are some subtle sexually suggestive references. But if you can get past those issues there is something a bit clandestine and charming about it. Conceptually, the vampire mythos is a little confusing in areas but opens up a world of possibilities. It's not often you see vampires who can shapeshift into a bat-like flying form!

This first installment by itself ends a little too abruptly for my tastes but did really tantalize my guilty-pleasures palate to read more. Definitely a fluffier bit of YA urban fantasy that isn't meant to be too emotionally deep or offer any moral message. It's just plain spoiled rich-girl fun set in the very popular realm of vampires. If you're looking for a nice (if a cheesy) change of pace from all the gloom-and-doom Romeo and Juliet-esque vampire novels give Vamps a try.


Review: Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk

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Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom #2)
by Devon Monk

Urban Fantasy, Magic
Mass Market Paperback (ROC, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 045146267X
Working as a Hound—tracing illegal spells back to their casters—has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.
Author Site:

Bloody Good Times In Portland (5 stars)

Allie Beckstrom, bad-ass Hound in Portland, Oregon, is back! She might not remember her last adventure but she's definitely living with the consequences. Something in her remembers Zayvion Jones but can she trust the thought that they were more than just friends? He's a hard man to read but Allie might have to trust him and his advice about some powerful people who police the use of magic. People her father was involved with.

But there isn't time to dwell on her missing memories because the police's magic enforcement division needs her expertise on a mysterious kidnapping case. As the case leads her into the dangerous realm of blood magic, Allie may have to question the motivations of one of the only Hounds she might call a friend.

I know, I know! My synopsis is a little lacking. I really didn't want to give too much away. This second installment in the exciting new Allie Beckstrom series is just as carefully woven as the first. You'll just really have to read the plot description provided on the back of the book (or if you're shopping online in the product info) and maybe look at some other reviews who have shared other points. I was scared I might spoil something if I said anymore.

So how was the book? A bit slower paced and not as action driven as Magic to the Bone. Because Allie is just getting back on her feet after the body breaking and memory wiping adventure of the first book it's understandable she might just be trying to get her life back in order. With her father dead she has a lot to deal with on that front. The wife he left behind, legal matters and maybe even his ghost! The ghost angle is definitely what drives this story this time around and adds a really interesting element to the magic system Monk has built for this series.

Throughout Magic in the Blood, Monk introduces us to more of the magic using community. From the corruption of blood magic users to a group of Hounds working together to protect their own, the lines between good guys and bad continues to be blurred, twisted and remolded. I especially wanted to read more about the other Hounds and how they dealt with the negative side affects of being magic users. Alcoholics, pill poppers, coke heads and cutters being presented in this different world and situation may bother some readers who might take it as glamorizing addiction but I felt it made a really good point about paying the price and suffering the consequences for having magical power.

Frustrating but adding to the romantic tension of the relationship is the interaction between Zayvion and Allie now that she can't remember them being together. This relationship has thus far been a mysterious one and fans of interracial romance who also like urban fantasy should really be reading this series! I have to say that thus far Zay has become a personal favorite 'hero'.

All in all Magic in the Blood was a great, if a little slower paced, follow-up to Magic to the Bone. I think if you enjoyed the first you'll really like the second... especially the 'oh-no-she-didn't' cliff-hanger ending Monk left us with. It's gonna be a tough wait for the third installment!

Forget Calgon... Good Fiction Take Me Away!

Some of you may remember the trip I took last November. Sadly, it was to visit my great-grandfather who was dying of well... seven different types of cancer and the fact that he was 95! I did have the joy of spending Thanksgiving with my family and the time I was with my grandfather was precious. Grandpa was by no means a reader aside from his daily paper but if there's one thing he taught me about the way to a happy, healthy chance at longevity it was to eat lots of fiber... and make sure you find something you enjoy and do it as much as you can. He passed away yesterday afternoon with my two aunts taking care of him and it is some small comfort to know that while we are all suffering with the loss his pain has ended.

Knowing his passing was coming very soon over the course of the past week it has been very difficult to let go of the tension and stress. I've had a whole mess of other things going in on top of this death. Fortunately, whatever higher powers there be saw fit to give us the gift of written word and I feel very blessed to be one of those who have the gift of literacy! Throughout my life, as a child looking at picture books, a tween skulking through things like the Boxcar Children, a teen never fully satisfied with the fantasy shelves and an adult who enjoys all sorts of fiction one thing has been a constant—a good story can transport me away from just about any bad day.

That said I hope to get my review for the upcoming release, Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk, up later today. It was just as good as the first in the series and the cliff-hanger ending is going to drive me nuts until the third book is released. If by chance it's not up by tonight bear with me... I will try and have it up by the end of the weekend.

And what of a reading theme for the month of May? In honor of Mother's Day I've decided this is going to be my month for Young Adult fiction! Being that I am a mother of one with another on the way it seems only natural I celebrate by reading books geared toward younger readers. I honestly have no idea what books this will include for sure at the moment as I need to go sort through my rather massive to-be-read 'pile' (and by 'pile' I mean two bookshelves) and see what I have in store. I promise there will be no Twilight Saga reviews though. :P I know these are quite beloved (and loathed) and while I still haven't finished the series I don't intend to do so this month. I am looking into books for the youngin's interested in Twilight that are too young really for the series so I will let y'all know what I find if I find any.

Have a terrific May and a wonderful Mother's Day to all you moms (be it of kids or cats or dogs) and aunties (my aunties are my other-mothers, couldn't live without 'em).
-- Rhi

Coming Soon: May 2009 Releases

May 1st

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Wild Highland Magic ("Clan MacInnes" #3) by Kendra Leigh Castle
Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters, Dragons, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 384 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402218567
As soon as she laid eyes on him, her animal instincts took over.
For generations, the MacInnes werewolves have been guarding the portal between Earth and the Drakkyn realm. Bastian and his sister came through the portal from Drakkyn, seeking sanctuary in the beautiful Scottish Highlands and relief from the curse that haunts him. Solitary and despairing, Bastian must find a way to break the curse or it will kill him.
A family squabble 25 years ago drove a rift between the MacInnes alpha and his brother, and Catrionna MacInnes has never met her MacInnes relatives nor had any guidance in how to be a werewolf. When her father brings his family to Scotland seeking reconciliation, Cat lays eyes on Bastian, and her most basic animal instincts kick in. Bastian tries to resist Cat - no good can come of their attraction - but she won't take no for an answer. She knows that all she wants - what she must have - is to mark him as her own.

Author Site: www.kendraleighcastle.com

May 5th

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Over My Dead Body (Broken Heart, Oklahoma #5)
by Michelle Bardlsey

Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 304 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0451226771
Moving into Broken Heart seemed like the perfect transition for Simone Sweet and her young daughter, Glory. With her ex-husband gone after attempting to murder Simone, and Glory being mute since the incident, it is one place where she can feel safe, and almost forget she’s a ravenous vampire...
No one is without secrets, but Simone’s are big. She’d hate to have them interfere with what’s developing with local hunk Braddock Hayes. When not turning her legs to jelly, he’s building an Invisi-shield around Broken Heart and helping Glory speak again. But when Simone’s past resurfaces, it threatens to ruin her second chance...

Author Site: blog.michelebardsley.net

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Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom #2)
by Devon Monk

Urban Fantasy, Magic
Mass Market Paperback (ROC, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 045146267X
Working as a Hound—tracing illegal spells back to their casters—has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.
Author Site: devonmonk.com

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So Still The Night (Shadow Guard #2)
by Kim Lenox

Paranormal Romance, Immortals
Mass Market Paperback (SIGNET, 304 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 045122678X
Marcus Helios was a member of the Shadow Guard until one reckless act changed it all. His hope for salvation lies in an ancient scroll, which is now in the possession of an enigmatic beauty named Mina, who has no intention of handing it over.
But someone else has designs on the mystery of the scrolls, and on Mark. She is Jack the Ripper’s jilted bride, whose own dark secrets will challenge the powers of everyone in her reach...

Author Site: www.kimlenox.com

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Sea Lord (Children of the Sea #3) by Virginia Kantra
Paranormal Romance, Selkies
Mass Market Paperback (BERKLEY, 304 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0425226360
He was born of the sea…
Selkie prince Conn ap Llyr denies his deeply sensual nature to rule over the immortal Children of the Sea. But when the Children of Fire threaten the Selkies’ Sanctuary, Conn must obey his haunting visions—and seek a woman thousands of miles away...
She was born on land…
Schoolteacher Lucy Hunter knows nothing about her Selkie heritage or the prophecy that drives Conn to find her. She is content with her life on the quiet Maine island of World’s End. That is, until a proud, compelling stranger appears to challenge her assumptions and awaken her desires…
Their love will tear them between two worlds…
To combat Fire, Conn needs Lucy’s magic—even if this means stealing her away to Sanctuary. As the demon threat grows, so does their passion, overcoming Lucy’s fears and Conn’s guarded heart. But soon they face a devastating choice. Will their love be enough to save them? Or will their destinies tear them apart?

Author Site: virginiakantra.net

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Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse #9) by Charlaine Harris
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Shapeshifters
Hardcover (ACE HARDCOVER, 320 pages, $25.95)
ISBN# 0441017150
Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, know little about vamps—and nothing about weres.
Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to reveal their existence to the ordinary world. At first all goes well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found near the bar where Sookie works—and she feels compelled to discover who, human or otherwise, did it.
But there’s a far greater danger threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings—older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves—is preparing for war. And Sookie finds herself an all-too human pawn in their battle.

Author Site: www.charlaineharris.com

May 19th

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Moonburn (?? #2) by Alisa Sheckley
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback (DEL RAY, 352 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0345505883
Some instincts are too powerful to deny.
In the past year, veterinarian Abra Barrow has gone through some major changes: She’s left Manhattan for the deceptively quiet small town of Northside, ditched her cheating husband, and discovered that he has infected her with the rare werewolf virus. Now Abra is finally beginning to feel as if she has her life under control–except when the moon is full.
But then, all of a sudden, Abra starts losing her temper–and her inhibitions–even when the sun is shining. Her new man, shape-shifting wildlife expert Red Mallin, seems to know more about her condition than he’s letting on, but he’s a little preoccupied with strange creatures that have been crossing the dimensional border.
With her hormones in overdrive, Abra finds herself releasing the beast in all the men around her. As life in Northside becomes increasingly more peculiar–and more perilous–she must decide whom she can trust . . . when she’s not even sure she can trust herself.

Author Site: www.alisakwitney.com

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Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout
Urban Fantasy, Mythology
Mass Market Paperback (SPECTRA, 304 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0553592130
Is this Ragnarok, or just California?
The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight.
But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans.
Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death’s clutches. To do so, she’ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own. Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done: save the world of man. For even if myths aren’t made to be broken, it can’t hurt to go down fighting…can it?

Author Site: gregvaneekhout.livejournal.com

May 26th

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MythOS (Ravirn #4) by Kelly McCullough
Urban Fantasy, Mythology, Magic
Mass Market Paperback (ACE, 304 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 044101724X
In the 21st century, magic has advanced with the times and gone digital. But when Ravirn—a computer savvy sorcerer—is thrown into a parallel world where magic runs on a different operating system, he’ll need mad skills to get out alive.
Author Site: www.kellymccullough.com

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Ashes of Midnight (Midnight Breed #6) by Lara Adrian
Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (DELL, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0440244501
A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance.
A place where darkness and desire meet...
As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Reichen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the cross fire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury—or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.
Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren . . . even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger—and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins—one that blurs the lines between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path...

Author Site: www.laraadrian.com

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Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid #4) by Richelle Mead
Urban Fantasy, Demons
Trade Paperback (KENSINGTON, 304 pages, $15.00)
ISBN# 0758231997
Georgina Kincaid has been a bad, bad succubus…
…which should be a good thing. But lately, thanks to her foul mood over breaking up with bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, she’s been so wicked that Seattle’s ├╝ber-demon Jerome, decides to “outsource” Georgina to a rival—and have her spy for him in the process.
Being exiled to the frozen north—okay, Vancouver—and leaving Seth in the cozy clutches of his new girlfriend is unpleasant enough. Then Jerome is kidnapped, and all immortals under his control mysteriously lose their powers. One bright spot: with her life-sucking ability gone, there’s nothing to keep Georgina from getting down and dirty with Seth—nothing apart from his girlfriend that is. Now, as the supernatural population starts turning on itself, a newly mortal Georgina must rescue her boss and figure out who’s been playing them—or all hell will break loose…

Author Site: www.richellemead.com

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A Flash of Hex (OSI #2) by Jes Battis
Urban Fantasy, Occult
Mass Market Paperback (ACE, 384 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0441017231
After a series of brutal murders, Occult Special Investigator Tess Corday is convinced the identity of the killer is locked in her own head. The only question is—how many rules is she willing to break to get to the truth?
Author Site: www.authorjesbattis.com


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