Title: Forever Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves #3)
Author: Maria Vale
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Born with one blue eye and one green, Eyulf was abandoned as an infant and has never understood why, or what he is...Varya is fiercely loyal to the Great North Pack, which took her in when she was a teenager. While out on patrol, Varya finds Eyulf wounded and starving and saves his life, at great risk to her own.
Legend says his eyes portend the end of the world...or perhaps, the beginning...
With old and new enemies threatening the Great North, Varya knows as soon as she sees his eyes that she must keep Eyulf hidden away from the superstitious wolves who would doom them both. Until the day they must fight to the death for the Pack's survival, side by side and heart to heart...
About Maria Vale
Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don't really need it. She lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet. Visit her at mariavale.com.
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Excerpt from A Phoenix is Forever
©2019 Ashlyn Chase
Instead of going straight home, Luca parked nearby and started to walk off his hurt and frustration. He wasn’t in the best part of town, but he didn’t care. He wasn’t in the best mood either. How the heck had he gotten to this point in his life? Up until a short while ago, he had been hopeful about his future. Now, he wasn’t so sure. Still wearing his police uniform, he stuffed his hands in his jacket pockets and walked aimlessly with his head down.
Half an hour later, nearing the fountain of the Christian Science Center, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, he barely noticed the regal elegance of the domed structure overlooking the calm reflecting pool. But in the quiet of the early morning, his ears perked up in sudden alert when he heard a woman’s strained gasp.
He glanced up and saw a young woman standing near the fountain. She was about five six with short, spiky brown hair, wearing a black leather jacket. Neck tattoos and a lot of piercings gave her a bad-girl vibe, but what was even odder was that she was staring right at him, wide-eyed. Then she passed out.
“Shit,” he muttered and ran over—faster than a human could. Worried she could wind up with a concussion, he cradled her head before she hit the pavement. He shook her shoulder and shouted, “Hey! Are you all right?”
Eventually, she opened her eyes. Big gray-green eyes. Unusual. Supporting her back, he helped her sit up.
“What’s the matter?” He was tempted to ask if she’d ever seen a cop before, but that was because he was in a crappy mood. Sarcasm aside, he was trained not to assume what was going on in a person’s brain. Asking open-ended questions would gain more information.
“I…saw blood.” She paused and closed those big green eyes again, taking a deep breath. “I always faint at the sight of blood.”
“What do you mean? You saw an accident or someone get hurt?” Luca gentled his voice in concern. Perhaps she’d witnessed a murder and had a delayed reaction.
She shook her head and reached out to grasp his hand. “Look, this may sound crazy,” she said, “but I’m a psychic. I saw you walking this way, and I got a dreadful feeling. Did something just happen to you? I see auras and have premonitions. Your aura is just…well, terrible. Then I had a vision. I saw you covered in blood.”
Blood? Luca helped her to stand. He believed in psychics—the genuine kind. After all, he was a shapeshifter, and he came from a family of shifters. But there were a lot of charlatans out there.
Given where his head was at after just being dumped by Lisa, he could only imagine what kind of energy he was giving off, let alone his aura…but blood? This chick could just be some wacko.
He folded his arms. “Do you want money to tell me more?”
“No! I’m not like that. I help people. Maybe the accident I just saw is something you can prevent from happening.”
He cocked his head. “You saw an accident? Where?”
“On a side street. It looked like an older part of town. They were just kids. Maybe sixteen or seventeen at the most. It looked like they were drag racing. A little kid rode his bike into the street and he was struck by one of the cars.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes I see through other people’s eyes. I think I was looking through yours.”
Luca wanted to stay openminded in case she was the real deal.
“Some more weird energy is clinging to you,” she went on, her expression seeming earnest. “I think it has to do with other people in your life. Your aura is red. Angry. But it feels justified—and not just that. I-I feel as if someone is out to get you.”
Who could be out to get him? Was it just his fellow cops, taking advantage of the rookie? Doubtful. That was just for their own chuckles and part of the usual hazing. Something all newbies went through.
No, his dark mood was due to getting dumped. Lisa had acted strange that morning, but he didn’t see her as a danger. Did she have someone else already, and maybe that someone considered him a threat?
He was still mulling over the possibilities when the spiky-haired girl pulled out a card and wrote her name and number on the back.
“I’m sorry if you think I’m trying to take advantage of you. I’m not. Knowing that cops are usually close-minded about psychics, I wouldn’t have even bothered, except I think you’re in danger. And those kids certainly are.”
Glancing at the card, he saw the name she’d written. Dawn Forest. He flipped the card over. It read ScholarTech: Academic Software for Brilliant Minds.
“Is that your real name?”
“Yeah. If I were going to come up with a fake name, it would be better than that.”
“You mean something exotic, like Zelda the Magnificent?”
She laughed. “No. Something like Susan Jones. I don’t think my mom realized how many times people would ask me if my name was fake or if my middle name was ‘inthe.’”
“So you work at this software company?” He wondered why someone who looked like her, with her tats and piercings, would be working for a company that created academic software.
“Yes, I just started there last month. Someday, I’ll get my own business cards instead of the generic ones.”
“Your look doesn’t exactly scream ‘corporate head office.’”
“Well, your assumption is outdated,” she retorted, hands firmly on her hips. “I have a college degree and was top in my class. Not to mention, I’m the only person at ScholarTech, including the engineers, who can recite the entire software manual by heart.”
“Wow. And you’ve only been there a month? How did you learn everything in so short a time?”
“I have a photographic memory.”
“You’re a psychic and you have a photographic memory? Shouldn’t you be raking in the big bucks on Wall Street?” Luca flashed her his trademark grin. It usually got him out of hot water. She smiled back and visibly relaxed.
He took a good look at her, past the tats and piercings and spiky hair, and noticed how pretty she was. Her nose was slightly turned up and covered with cute freckles. The tiny diamond stud in her left nostril almost got lost among them. Her hair made her look like a pixie. Maybe the badass tattoos and piercings were a way to counteract all that cuteness and be taken seriously.
“So do you do anything with your psychic talent, professionally?”
“Like working at a tea room? Or doing parties? No.”
“Anything other than stopping strangers on the street?”
She looked at her feet and kicked at the pavement with the end of her leather-booted toe. “Sometimes. If friends ask me for help, I do what I can for them.”
There was something about her body language that had him questioning that statement.
He tucked her business card into his jacket pocket. “It was nice to meet you, Dawn Forest. I should be getting home though. I worked the night shift, and I need to get some sleep.”
“Okay. Watch your back,” she said and returned to her spot by the fountain to retrieve her backpack.
About Ashlyn Chase
Award winning author, Ashlyn Chase specializes in characters who reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. With a degree in behavioral sciences, she mainly worked as a psychiatric nurse and Red Cross RN. She’s happily married to her true-life hero husband who looks like Hugh Jackman if you squint.
Connect with Ashlyn online
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Title: A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone #1)
Author: Scarlett St. Clair
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mythology Retelling
Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as amortal journalist.
Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.
After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.
The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.
About Scarlett St. Clair
Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master's degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology-all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.
I really enjoyed the characters of Cat and Fenodree in Rebecca's story (the first two Fae Games novels), and I missed them the third story for Ashley. When I realized they weren't just coming back but playing the leads in Born of Nothing I was super excited.
Fenodree cracked me up. His awe and manner of acceptance of the modern human world after spending centuries alone in the Shadow Realm were a mix of childlike wonder and total confusion. It was portrayed so well by Jill Ramsower, and the way his past was woven into his present was amazing.
Cat has a fight on her hands. As the druids learn to accept that not all Fae are as bad as they had been taught for generations, her family is one that refuses to change. But she won't let that stand in her way of having a friendship with Rebecca and Ashley.
But the story turns very dark and gets quite real when Cat's mother arranges for a "re-education" in the old ways of hating the Fae. Her re-education was horrific, and the psychological games really mess with her head. But Fenodree knows something isn't right. But without knowing how to navigate the modern world, will he be able to find her?
This seems like it may be the end of the Fae Games, but I really hope it isn't. I'm loving the world Ramsower has built, and I'd really like to come visit again.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
About Jill Ramsower
Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s an attorney, travel junkie, and voracious reader.
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Rebecca's best friend, Ashley, plays such an important role in helping Rebecca begin to find her way in the Fae world. But what happened to her afterward? Well, Shades of Betrayal came along and told me the story I was dying to hear.
Ashley's transition into the Fae world was a little more sudden and jarring than Rebecca's, and she doesn't have the foundation and training that Rebecca does either - and she needs to feed. For Ashley, that means sex - but her whole mindset will about intercourse will have to change. And no, this isn't a book all about her hooking up - it really is a very nice paranormal romance.
Michael was a little too stoic and tough. Even when we got a look inside his head, I wanted to feel more from him. I wanted him to have more of those vulnerable moments - even if they were just with himself. I almost didn't believe his feelings and concern for Ashley because of it.
You have to throw a little danger in to keep Fae stories interesting. And the creature in this one is a doozy. I loved the lore and history behind it though - it tied in with everything going on perfectly.
Overall, a good story, but not my favorite in the series. But I do think that it was a nice way to make sure I knew Ashley had her HEA too.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
At the end of Shadow Play, Rebecca was in a really bad place. I'm so glad I could just jump right into book two and watch her get right back on her feet ready to fight.
And by fight I mean go up against some of the most powerful Fae ever without fully understanding her powers or even knowing what they are. Enter Fenodree - exiled Fae that just might be able to teach Rebecca what she needs so that she won't die in the battle to come.
Her time with Fenodree wasn't just spent learning about her magic but falling in love with Lochlan. They have a lot to overcome, and I times I got a little frustrated with their on again, off again, on again, let's have sex right now relationship.
But in the end, it all paid off (both the training and the relationship), and I loved how the story unfolded and come to an almost ending. While this is a duet, there are a few characters whose story is yet untold that are coming up next, and I can't wait.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Shadow Play introduces us to Rebecca the world of the Fae - and yes, she's totally surprised to find out they exist. On top of it all, she discovers that the necklace she's been wearing her whole life is actually a Fae charm with some pretty remarkable abilities - and consequences.
Rebecca is thrown into the world of the Fae along with her best friend Ashley when she takes a job at a museum in Belfast. The Fae politics and factions are confusing, and Jill Ramsower does a fantastic job of introducing people and concepts as Rebecca discovers them. I could feel her confusion and lack of understanding without feeling totally confused myself.
As Fae danger and intrigue envelop Rebecca's world, she finds herself deep in the world of the Great Hunt and trying to keep the rest of humanity safe from the Unseelie and Shadow Fae that are sneaking through portals. When rumors of war and the return of Merlin surface, no one is quite sure what to think.
I loved the diverse characters and setting of Belfast was beautiful. There is a lot of intrigue and excitement. And I will warn you, there is a not so pretty cliffhanger at the end - but spoiler - while there's nothing to make what happens to Rebecca not awful - the second book uses it to make her a stronger person.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Title: You Had Me at Jaguar (Heart of the Shifter #1)
Author: Terry Spear
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Content Rating: R
They’re not the only ones on the prowl…but they’re the most dangerous…
The United Shifter Force gives jaguar agent Howard Armstrong an impossible task—to protect fierce she-jaguar Valerie Chambers, when the last thing she wants is protecting. They’re going international to take down a killer and he can guard Valerie all day long. But guard his heart? He doesn’t stand a chance.
You Had Me at Jaguar Excerpt
©2019 Terry Spear
Drinking a beer at the San Antonio Clawed and Dangerous Kitty Cat Club, Howard Armstrong looked more relaxed than Val had ever seen him. Although she’d only seen him working vigorously in training exercises. Why was he here? She should have known she’d run into him again—they were working for the same jaguar police force, after all. He made her think of long, hot nights and impossibly sexy dreams.
She had been astonished to learn he had left the Enforcer branch to work with the JAG’s new United Shifter Force unit. And a little disappointed. She’d thought she might see him again during training. She had wondered if he’d gotten as much ribbing about her taking him down as she had.
“He let you so he could get close and personal.” A couple of the women she worked with had made that comment or something similar. “Good move to take him down as if we were in the field and not in training,” one of the guys had told her, impressed with her wiliness. “He must be getting soft,” another male Enforcer had joked.
Howard was all hard muscle, nothing soft about him.
The Enforcer branch was a specialized jaguar policing force that eliminated jaguar shifters who were guilty of committing violent, deadly crimes against humans and shifters alike. The agents of the USF worked as a combined force of wolves and jaguars. Howard had made a great Enforcer because he did things on his own, a loner. Many of the Enforcers were like that, which was why Val couldn’t understand why he changed jobs to be a team player with a mix of shifter types.
Howard still worked out of the Houston office, as far as she knew. She’d wondered if he was working on a case in San Antonio. When she’d spied his vehicle here for days with no sign of him, she’d asked her boss—and Howard’s—if he was on a mission. They’d both denied it. She didn’t think the USF agents went solo on missions. Was he really just on vacation?
Sipping a margarita at a table across the club from him, Val watched Howard snack on chips. Then he was joined by a brunette—pretty, petite, and wearing a short red dress and low red heels. Was the woman a jaguar or a wolf? Maybe a date?
When Val had seen Howard’s black pickup truck with the distinct jaguar in a jungle painted on both sides and smelled his scent around the vehicle, she’d figured he still owned it. Even so, she had run his license plate to make sure someone else hadn’t bought it. She had learned it was still his truck. She suspected Howard was after someone. But this was the first time she’d actually seen him or the woman, which meant he had to be undercover.
The jungle music made Val involuntarily tap her boot on the tile floor, and she had the greatest urge to get up and dance. The smell of sweet mixed drinks, beer, humans, jaguars, and a few wolves drifted to her. Palm trees in pots, vines stretching to the ceiling, and a skylight way above simulated a jungle scene like most jaguars loved. The summer sun was still high enough to spread sunlight through the windows filtering down through the living foliage.
Since she couldn’t get away to the jungle very often, she enjoyed going to these places to immerse herself in the jungle feel from time to time, more so when she wasn’t on a mission. Here it was air-conditioned, with a light mist spraying the plants and water droplets collecting on the leaves. Jaguar shifters wearing leopard-print fabric danced on elevated stages, and bright lights flashed across the stages and dance floor, making the scene appear otherworldly.
She glanced again at the tables that were cast more in the dark, in case Benny Canton had already arrived and she’d missed seeing him when she had walked through the place earlier searching for him. This was the kind of job she loved. Eliminating rogue jaguars, the murdering kind. She hadn’t heard of a case like this in a good long while—a jaguar who’d murdered his wife, just because she threatened to leave him. That was one of the differences between the wolf shifters and jaguars. The wolves mated for life; jaguars could divorce.
She watched the door open when someone new arrived—two single males, neither of them her perp. Benny was known to frequent this club, having left his job as a construction worker after murdering his wife. He had no family, and she hadn’t found any other place he could have holed up. So she’d staked out the club for the past three days, watching for him or some of his friends, who’d proven to be just as elusive as he was. She’d had no luck running into him or the others. But this club was the only lead she had.
She’d considered that he might have gone across the border, because the shifters often did so to play in the jungle as wild jaguars. And for a rogue, he would have extra incentive to leave the country.
Willa has quite a lot on her plate. As the next in life for Alpha of the Kasun pack, she is a bit of an outcast since she hadn't shifted yet. But she seems to have adapted and moved on with her life at Havenwood High. She and several other supernaturals that aren't quite fitting in form a close group of friends. One of these is an elf by the name of Tarron
Tarron encourages Willa to find her own path and make her life her own. But the pack isn't quite done with her yet, and she's about to find out a lot about her past. As Willa and Tarron's relationship morphs into more than just friends, they both take a look at their status quo and realize that life doesn't always have to be what was planned for you - unless you want it to be.
Both Tarron and Willa make some tough choices and learn to stand up for who they want to be and who they really are. I loved that our first look into Havenwood High wasn't all about the popular girl or guy finding true love. It was about the outcasts and how many times they are the most interesting people in the room.
Covetousness had a bit of a darker feel to it than the previous books in the series. From the very beginning there feels like there is a cloud over Graysin as she travels to Havenwood Falls after hearing of the death of her sister. When she arrives and things don't seem to add up.
Everett is instantly intrigued by the woman sent to help design the new library restoration. And he works with her to uncover secrets of the past, his gargoyle nature to protect and guard will be put to the test. He finds himself helping Graysin figure out what happened to her sister. I really wanted more about this - I felt like I was completely left out of some important details.
Overall, this was a fantastic book and a great look at the darker side of Havenwood Falls and some of the ancient creatures that live there. I just wish I'd had a little more completion - loose ends just weren't quite wrapped up for me. Maybe they will be in another story?