Sunday, January 22, 2012

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of A Vampire for Christmas

A Vampire for Christmas, an Anthology
Authors:  Laurie London, Michele Hauf, Caridad Pineiro, and Alexis Morgan
Synopsis: All they want for Christmas is you…

It's the time of year for twinkling lights on trees and kisses under the mistletoe. Yet the passing of another year means nothing to the stunning immortals who lurk in the shadows of the new-fallen snow.

And they don't care if you've been naughty or nice.

Let four fanged lovers open your eyes to a passion you never dared to imagine. After all, there's no place like home for the holidays—and these dazzling vampires can't wait for an invitation
Our Review [by a LITERAL ADDICTION Associate Guest Reviewer]:
A Vampire for Christmas is a classic collection of love stories set in the world’s happiest holiday of all.  What could be better than to read about four vampires looking for love at a time when love is overflowing in the human heart?  Each story teaches us something different about the human/vampire connection.
Enchanted by Blood by Laurie London is set in a time when vampires were still struggling with identity and attempting to set up rules to help them keep the truth from humans.  Trace Westfalen was the leader of the Guardians in Seattle and spent much of his time trying to keep the peace amongst the angry vampires in the city.  Charlotte Grant was a house decorator who is hired by Trace’s grandmother to decorate their home for Christmas.  An affair develops between Trace and Charlotte and they fall in love.  But, at a holiday party, Charlotte walks in on a vampire drinking blood from a guest.  Before she has a chance to react, Trace wipes away her memory of everything and everyone and walks away.  He, as a Guardian, is not allowed to be involved with a human so now is the right time to walk away.   A year later, Trace saves Charlotte from being attacked by a group of renegade vampires and realizes how much he still loves her.  What should he do?  Should he follow his heart and try to win her love again?
Monsters Don’t Do Christmas by Michele Hauf, takes place in modern day New York City.  Daniel Harrison has been a vampire for only a year and is having a difficult time accepting his new lifestyle.  Olivia Adorata is an independent woman who meets Daniel after she scares off werewolves from beating him up.  She laughs when he tells her what he is; she thinks he’s an actor who gets his kicks by trying to scare women into believing he is a vampire.  He was gorgeous, built like a model and, being a modern woman, if he was a vampire, well, it didn’t seem to bother her at all.  Maybe being bitten by a handsome vamp wouldn’t be so terrible?  So she invites him home using the excuse that he needs medical care.  She is totally fascinated by what he is and he’s totally fascinated that she is so accepting of him.  Daniel had a great job, money, a fancy car – a life – and he lost it all when he was bitten.  He calls himself a monster and can’t accept what he’s become.  He doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas or anything else.  Olivia considers herself a monster – a talented upcoming singer who tries to hide during the day and live a quiet life - hiding from fame because she doesn’t have the courage to go all the way with her career.  Instead, she bakes cookies and at Christmas, goes around her neighborhood giving them out.  She can’t accept what she is any more than Daniel can accept what he is.  Can they help each other come to terms with life and what it has in store for them?
What better time than Christmas to write a story about total love, redemption and guardian angels.  Caridad Pineiro thought it was the perfect time and dives right in.  In When Herald Angels Sing, the Archangel Raphael decides to save the soul of Damien – a human turned vampire – who, despite a horrid childhood and a miserable life as a vampire, still tries to help his fellow man when he sees it is needed.  Raphael sends guardian angel Angelina to help him make the necessary transformation but against rules, she falls in love with Damien and interferes in a dangerous situation to protect him.  She is killed and returns to heaven humiliated and chastised by Raphael.  This happens twice but Archangel Raphael is determined to save his soul so he sends Angelina down for a third and final time.  She is to reveal who she is and explain why she is there.  She is to help him accept his fate and not interfere in whatever is fated to happen. If she does interfere, she will be banished from heaven and become a human again.  But Angelina, upon seeing Damien again, realizes how much she loves him and is not sure if she wants them to return to heaven or stay on earth and love each other eternally.
On the other end of the spectrum is All I Want for Christmas by Alexis Morgan in a tale where vampires are number one on the food chain and humans come in last.  Eagan McHale was born a vamp and takes it seriously.  He is a policeman whose job it is to keep vamps and werewolves under control; to keep them away from the human population.  In a crime spree where vamps are paying humans to feed on them, Eagan uses a local diner, owned by Della, as a post to keep an eye on what’s going on in the streets.  He is instantly attracted to Della’s warm heart, humanitarian ways and home cooking.  But, she’s human, and he does not want to get involved.  He doesn’t want to drink the blood of a human woman and to him, that’s a big part of lovemaking.  But being in the diner every night makes his desire grow stronger, especially when he realizes she feels the same way about him.  But a dangerous situation changes everything and in this fast paced, quick-wit story, having to tell Della the truth opens up a whole can of worms. 
But love conquers all, as it should be, in this book and this collection of stories gives us love in every possible form and brightens up our holiday spirit to the fullest.

LITERAL ADDICTION’s Associate Guest Reviewer gives A Vampire for Christmas 4 1/2 Skulls.

A Vampire for Christmas:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Her Guardian Angel

Felicity Heaton has been a reader of fantasy, horror and classic novels since she was a child, and began her first story, a gothic horror, at age fourteen. She had to hiatus from writing to actually finish school, but she started again in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since. 
A writer of emotion and life, she always strives to touch a chord of familiarity in her readers and give them characters they will love and a read they will remember. The passionate tales of romance that she’s penned have captured readers hearts and imaginations, earning her a dedicated following.
When she’s not writing, Felicity is a full-time web developer, and when not filling her non-work time with writing or writing related work, she loves nothing more than reading, playing RPG on her PlayStation, watching anime or reading manga, and spending time drawing manga characters (sometimes of my romance heroes and heroines), oh, and improving her archery skills. She also loves to travel and is studying Japanese.
Her Guardian Angel, Book #4 of the Her Angel series
Author:  Felicity Heaton
Synopsis: A simple mission becomes a fight for survival in this fantastic instalment in the Her Angel series.

A guardian angel dedicated to his duty, Marcus will do whatever Heaven asks of him, but even his loyalty has its limits. When his superior orders him to gain Amelia’s trust through seduction, Marcus starts to question his mission and his feelings for the beautiful woman he has watched over since her birth.

Amelia has gone from one bad relationship to another, so when a gorgeous guy moves in next door looking like Mr Right, she hopes he doesn’t turn out to be another black knight in disguise. But there’s more to Marcus than meets the eye, and when he rescues her from three demonic men, Amelia is thrust into his nightmarish world—a world where God and the Devil exist, and only one angel can save her from death—Marcus, the angel she’s falling in love with.

On the run from demonic angels and the Devil himself, aided by Marcus’s angel friends and their amazing women, fighting for survival against the odds, Marcus and Amelia discover a love that will last forever.

A love so strong it will shake Heaven and Hell.

Our Review [by a LITERAL ADDICTION Associate Guest Reviewer]:
Her Guardian Angel by Felicity Heaton is book #4 in the Her Angels series. It can be read as a stand alone or in order, but I recommend you read in order as couples from the previous books show up in this book.

Marcus is Amelia's Guardian Angel. He has been watching over her all her life. She is his assignment, and Marcus is all about his job.

Amelia is very unlucky in love, with one bad relationship after another. When Marcus, her new neighbor, gets rid of her violent ex-boyfriend, Amelia wonders if maybe Marcus could be "the one".
Marcus just wants to get his job over with, but wonders why his superiors will not tell him what he is protecting Amelia from.  What Marcus and Amelia don't know is what their part is in the largest war ever waged in history...the battle between Heaven and Hell. While protecting Amelia, Marcus starts to understand why his fellow Angels have fallen for mortal women.

If you love a tall, dark and handsome Angel, and a very strong female lead, then this book is for you! Ms. Heaton has done it again. Wonderful characters, great plot with many twist and turns and an ending that will make you go, WOW!.

LITERAL ADDICTION’s Associate Guest Reviewer gives Her Guardian Angel 4 ½ Skulls.

Her Guardian Angel:

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Marked Son

Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun!) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun!), and knew she’d found her calling. (Her family were thrilled she’d found friends to play with, even if they weren’t technically “real”). She’s still pleasantly surprised that people are willing to pay to read her stories. J

Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books, and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is making sure that the little darlings don’t harass the neighbors, and playing dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.
The Marked Son, Book #1 of the Keepers of Life series
Author:  Shea Berkley
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he's never met, he had no idea what.
When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents' farm, he knows he's seen her his dreams. He's felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he's completely insane or he's about to have the adventure of his life, because where they're going is full of creatures he's only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death...
Our Review [by a LITERAL ADDICTION Associate Guest Reviewer]:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book since I didn't read the blurb, but I absolutely loved it! It had pretty much everything including action, romance, drama and friendship.

Dylan is 17 and hasn't had the easiest life so far his mother moves him around the country constantly after falling in and out of love with less than savory men and shows no love to her son and he can't make friends since he is moving about so much. Dylan has been having dreams about a girl since he was a young boy and never seems to fit in anywhere. When his mother abandons him with grandparents who he has just met you feel really sorry for him and you really begin to hate his mother. He sees the girl from his dreams in the woods outside his grandparent's home and then everything starts to go wrong.

This is not your typical young adult book in the way that it can get really quite dark sometimes and even I was quite shocked at some parts and had to read parts again to see if that had really happened! I loved watching Dylan form relationships with other people as it was a very new experience for him and it was great to see people accept him for who he was and letting his bitterness go. Kera has grown up in a different world altogether and it is a harsh and cruel one and she has her own secrets to hide. The other characters in this story were great and I can't wait to read more from this wonderful author and hear more from Dylan and Kera!

I would recommend it to anyone who loves YA, magic, action and one hell of a ride!

The Marked Son:

Friday, January 20, 2012

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Lothaire

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, as well as five award-winning historical romances.

Before becoming a writer, Cole was a world-ranked athlete, coach, and graduate student. She has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Two of her favorite places to visit include the rain forests of Central America and the Far North Queensland area of Australia (where, by the way, she would not recommend swimming outside of the stinger nets--at night).

Cole’s trademark action, sensuality, and humor are best exemplified in her Immortals After Dark Series, which revolves around the Lore, a secret stratum of hundreds of immortal creatures--ranging from Vampires to Lykae, Furies to Shifters, and Fey to Valkyrie--that each have their strengths, weaknesses, and age old prejudices against the others. Though they secretly live among humans, they constantly war among themselves, which gives her a lot of material.

Her IAD books have been translated into seventeen foreign languages, garnered two RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.

Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.” She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water.

 Lothaire, Book #12 of the Immortals After Dark series
Author:  Kresley Cole


Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.


Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.


Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]:
I simply adore the Immortals After Dark series.  They were one of the first Paranormal Romance series that I got addicted to, and that has not changed release after release. 
Book after book, however, I found myself wondering when we’d get certain characters’ books – Lothaire and Nix were 2 at the very top of my list – so when it was announced that book #12 would be Lothaire’s book, I was ecstatic to say the least.

I had the book pre-ordered through Premiere Collectibles as a signed and numbered 1st Edition, I had it preordered for Kindle so I could actually read it immediately on release day, and because I was so busy with life on release day and the two days after, I ordered it on Audible as an audiobook as well. :)  I don’t regret ANY of those purchases, nor my copies from the FL signing, because this book was, in my honest opinion, the best IAD yet!

The big question in a lot of reader’s minds was:  “How in the world is Kresley going to make Lothaire, the evil Enemy of Old, into a hero?”  It’s a good question.  Lothaire has been evil since the first time we met him.  We knew he went through a lot, but didn’t know exactly what, yet time after time he’d present a conundrum – do I hate him, or do I love him BECAUSE he’s so bad?  He’d do something despicable, followed by something halfway decent, even if it was only to serve his own purposes, and leave us all wondering just what side of the fence we should be on with him.

What I loved about this book is that Kresley didn’t force it.  She didn’t try to make Lothaire into something or someone he’s not.  She let him be the sinfully yummy evil vamp that we’ve all come to adore be who he is, which had me putting myself in Ellie’s shoes wanting to kick his ass one moment and kiss him breathless the next. 

That’s the other thing I loved about this book.  The pairing was so out of left field, I started the book wondering how in the world it would work, until I learned more about the kind of person Ellie was and realized just how perfect it was.  Evil, sarcastic, controlling Lothaire meets his match in headstrong, stubborn, willful Ellie Ann Peirce.

This was also, by far, the HOTTEST Immortals After Dark yet.  I’m a connoisseur of Paranormal Romance and Erotica of all types so not much surprises me anymore, but there were parts in this book that had my temperature rising and a blush staining my cheeks.  :)  Add in that I was listening to Robert Petcoff do Lothaire’s sexy Russian accent during those parts and it was particularly naughty.

Outside of the amazing characters and the steamy romance, Kresley’s world and story building was, as always, superb.  While this book could actually be read as a stand-alone if so desired, there was also just enough history uncovered amongst the characters to not only thicken the plot but give us serial readers some wonderful moments.  The bits that were uncovered surrounding Lothaire and Nix’s past were particularly enjoyable for me, as were Hag’s story, and the best parts expanded upon from book #11.  

There were also some shocking secrets uncovered and surprises revealed in Lothaire about some other characters in the Lore; particularly in the Epilogue of the book.  While it’s a cliffhanger, if Kresley continues true to form, wherein each installment of the Immortals After Dark series gets better than the one before, we have some amazing reads to look forward to - not only with the direct IAD books, but also with the spinoff series that she has planned.  

LITERAL ADDICTION gives Lothaire 5 Skulls and would recommend it to EVERYONE!  If you have not yet started the IAD series, you really need to consider bumping it to the top of your TBR lists, because it’s a keeper.  There’s something for everyone in these books, and they just get better and better.