Spotlight: The Captive Shifter by Veronica Scott

Synopsis: Concealing her own considerable magical powers, Caitlyn enters the service of the northern Witch Queen masquerading as a simple healer. Under order from her goddess, she’s searching for a magical gem stolen long ago from her own people, believed to be hidden in the massive castle. The task is daunting but Caitlyn is sure she can locate the gem and escape, bringing the prize back to the temple where it belongs. Until she meets the captive shifter and her loyalties become dangerously divided.

In payment for her past services to his people, Kyler the leopard shifter has entered into a life of servitude far from his forest home, allowing the Witch Queen to tap his magic to power her ever darker spells. Factions at Court are threatening to turn the Queen to the Shadow. Her increasing demands for magic will cut short his nearly immortal lifespan. Kyler’s resigned to his fate until the day he crosses paths with the new arrival, whose secrets and magic entice and attract both man and leopard. Has he met his mate at last?

The Queen will never willingly release him from captivity. Caitlyn’s goddess refuses to grant her any delay in accomplishing her own task. Can they locate the magical gem, fight the Shadow and win free of the Witch Queen to earn the right to be together?

Excerpt

Caitlyn let the caravan master do the arguing on her behalf, although she wanted to reach through the bars of the city gate, grab the officious man standing in her way and shake him. Such a simple request—open the gate, glance at her papers and let her go on my way.  It lacked but half an hour till sunset and the captain of the guard at the ancient city’s portal wasn’t inclined to allow a long caravan to pass so late in the day.

Lazy bastard. She eyed him, tempted to use some of her magic to influence him but inner caution held her back. This was the city of witches and magic. She needed to go slowly displaying her abilities. Calm down, breathe. None of this will go as I hope if I let myself show anger. Caitlyn sucked in a deep breath of the damp air and stood straighter, adjusting her hood to keep the autumn drizzle off her face.

“Camp on the meadow across the river,” the captain said from the other side of the gate, addressing the caravan master. “Return in the morning.”

Glancing at Caitlyn, the old man shook his head. “I’ve told you, one of my passengers is an applicant, identified by the queen’s Searchers. She must be at the palace tonight, for the welcoming ceremony. She can’t wait until morning or risk losing her place in this year’s Trial.”

As she edged closer to the arched entryway to get out of the increasing rain, impatience burned along Caitlyn’s nerves. Why did a petty tyrant have to be her final obstacle after the long journey?  The caravan master was right; she did have to be at the palace tonight. After three weeks of slow travel from her home in the South it was especially galling to be so close to missing the deadline. To literally stand on the threshold of her destination and be refused entry was unbelievably frustrating. All right, honeyed words first, then there’s nothing for it but to unleash a taste of magic on him. Pasting a smile on her lips, she stepped forward, allowing her cape to fall open, deliberately swaying her hips a bit. “Please, captain, I’m sure the Witch Queen would appreciate your extra efforts to let me arrive on time. The Searchers told me every woman with power is greatly needed this year,” Caitlyn said, in an effort to cajole him. “How about permitting me past the gate by myself tonight? Admit the entire caravan tomorrow?”

Grinning like a cat toying with a mouse, the officer shook his head emphatically, shaking a finger at her. “Against the rules. We do the entire group or none. Now come back in the morning!”

The caravan master took her elbow, probably to escort her to the waiting wagons. Caitlyn jerked her arm free, ready to summon energy to bespell the officer into giving her entry. Folly to risk using power so soon in this place but he left her no choice. She pushed aside the next worry, about finding her way through the unknown city to the castle.

A new voice entered the conversation. “Is there a problem here?”

Behind the blustering captain, the other soldiers had snapped to respectful attention and were saluting two newcomers. The first gentleman walked forward into the torchlight at the gate proper. He was older than she, dressed in black and burgundy garments projecting a subtle message of wealth and power. Attractive, if one was looking for a bedmate, which she wasn’t. As the second man came into the light Caitlyn took a step back, blinking.

She’d never seen his like before. A shapeshifter? Why would such a rare creature of magic be here?  The power surrounding him was palpable to one with her gifts, yet didn’t flare in her second sight as it should. As if the magic was restrained but how could such a thing be possible? Dressed in a uniform similar to the officious gatekeeper’s, this man was clearly a warrior – muscular, handsome, high cheekbones, piercing green eyes, long, unbound sandy blond hair. But why would a shapeshifter be in this dank, gray city? His people ran in the massive forests of the North, where their kind ruled and humans walked at their peril. A city, much less a Court with all its ritual and routine, would be the last place to find such a wild and free spirit.

He returned her gaze with open appreciation. Caitlyn lowered her eyes first.

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Blog: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vscotttheauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veronica-Scott/177217415659637?ref=hl

Dating The Undead by Juliet Lyons

V-Date.Com, Book 1

Synopsis: It’s Bridget Jones with vampires in this fresh and funny paranormal romance from debut author Juliet Lyons

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year’s Eve, she knows other humans just won’t suffice. Convinced she’ll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, V-Date.com.

What Silver doesn’t know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she’s in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they’ll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.

Review: I had not read a book like this for a long time. Vampires aren’t the creatures we see the most in literature these days and I have not read any books with them for a long time. Yet, as soon as this series was announced, I was curious to discover the story, a light novel and vampires? I say yes! Then I have to say that the cover was really appealing as well.

We discover Silver a young woman who crosses the road of Logan a vampire. But something happens without them having the chance to meet again even if they think constantly of the other. Yet fate will bring them together when Silver decides to participate in the new dating website with vampires. And yet it is also what will change her life, between her reunion with Logan or the government who is interested in the information that she could uncover, Silver will have enough to do! But Logan also has a few problems and will have to face them very quickly.

It was nice to discover these two characters and to witness the beginning of their romance. We also learn a little more about the author’s ideas about vampires and I admit that it’s always something interesting. I spent a good time with the story, it’s light as I said and although it does not revolutionize the genre, it’s nice. I will read the sequel with pleasure.

4

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Dating The Undead de Juliet Lyons (VO)

V-Date.Com, Tome 1

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Quand Silver Harris embrasse Logan Byrne, le sexy vampire irlandais, au réveillon du Nouvel An, elle sait que les autres humains ne suffiront pas. Convaincue qu’elle ne le reverra jamais, elle rejoint le populaire site de rencontres avec vampire, V-Date.com.

Ce que Silver ne sait pas, c’est que le site est plus dangereux qu’elle ne l’aurait jamais imaginé. Quand Logan revient, les étincelles volent et l’attraction pétille, mais ils devront échapper à quelques démons s’ils espèrent avoir une chance d’avoir un « pour toujours ».

Avis : Ça faisait longtemps que je n’avais pas lu un livre tel que celui-ci. Les vampires ont commencé à passer de mode en littérature et je n’ai plus lu de livres les mettant réellement en scène depuis quelques temps. Pourtant, dès l’annonce de cette série, j’ai été curieuse de découvrir l’histoire, un roman léger et des vampires ? Moi je dis oui ! Puis je dois dire que la couverture donne vraiment envie aussi.

Nous découvrons Silver une jeune femme qui croise la route de Logan un vampire. Mais voilà quelque chose se passe sans que vraiment les deux ne se revoient bien qu’ils pensent sans cesse à l’autre. Pourtant le destin va les rassembler quand Silver décide de participer au nouveau site de rencontre avec vampires. Et pourtant c’est aussi cela qui va changer sa vie, entre ses retrouvailles avec Logan ou encore le gouvernement qui s’intéresse aux informations qu’elle pourrait découvrir, Silver aura de quoi faire ! Mais voilà Logan a lui aussi quelques soucis et il va devoir y faire face très rapidement.

C’était assez sympa de découvrir ces deux personnages et d’assister au début de leur romance. On en apprend aussi un peu plus sur les idées de l’auteure au sujet des vampires et j’avoue que c’est toujours quelque chose d’intéressant. On passe un bon moment avec l’histoire, c’est léger comme je le disais et bien que ça ne révolutionne pas le genre, c’est agréable. Je lirai la suite avec plaisir.

4

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Under the Lights by Abbi Glines

The Field Party, Book 2

Synopsis: Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.

Review: I’ve heard a lot about Abbi Glines but it’s true that I had never read one of her books. The opportunity was thus presented with Under the Lights, the second volume of The Field Party series. I confess that I was a little afraid of being lost in the absence of the first volume but it did not finally happen. Looking at the synopsis, I could see that this first volume presented the story of West and Maggie and I finally found that the author introduced them fairly well here by reminding us a bit of what they went through, giving the impression of knowing everything.

We follow Willa’s return to the little town of Lawson that she had abandoned years earlier when her mother retrieved her from her grandmother. But some terrible incidents have occurred since then, and after leaving a rehabilitation center for young girls, her mother threw her out. Yet her best memories are in Lawson, with her Nonna (who agrees to welcome her again) and her two former best friends Brady and Gunner.

The fact that we mainly follow Willa in this novel allows without problems to start the series by this second volume. She rediscovers the city of her childhood, as well as her former comrades and it also allows us to familiarize ourselves with her in this new environment. Of course, she has changed, and the boys all seem very interested in getting to know her, including Brady and Gunner. It was quite amusing to see their little « competition » to win the Willa’s charms. Brady is convinced that she is for him and Gunner would love to be with her, even though he knows that he can not offer anything concrete. It must be said that the poor boy must endure many things himself at home too. In this way, we learn to discover the secrets of the characters along the chapters as the characters come together and try to heal together, even if nothing is obvious.

I found that the book used strong themes that were fairly well used. We are expecting rather terrible stories and it is true that the author has mastered everything well. I had a good time, I shivered with the characters while learning the truth and I was looking forward to see how the whole story was going to end. It was a very pretty book, poignant and full of ideas. I am really pleased with my first Abbi Glines and I am very curious to discover her other novels now!

 

4-5 

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Sous la lumière d’Abbi Glines

The Field Party, Tome 2

Résumé : Willa ne peut effacer les mauvais choix qu’elle a faits par le passé. Des erreurs qui lui ont fait perdre ses deux meilleurs amis et sans doute son premier amour.

Brady et Gunner font tous deux partie de l’équipe de football de la petite ville de Lawson, en Alabama. Au fil du temps, Gunner se montre plus compréhensif avec Willa, tandis que Brady ne veut plus entendre parler d’elle.
Alors que des secrets inavoués remontent à la surface, les coeurs se brisent et se guérissent. Même si elle risque de perdre ses amis pour toujours, Willa acceptera-t-elle de mettre la vérité sous la lumière ?

Avis : J’ai énormément entendu parler d’Abbi Glines mais c’est vrai que je n’avais jamais lu un seul de ses livres. L’occasion s’est ainsi présentée avec Sous la Lumière, le deuxième tome de la série The Field Party. J’avoue que j’avais un peu peur d’être perdue en l’absence du premier tome mais ça n’a finalement pas été le cas. En regardant le résumé, j’ai pu voir que ce tome présentait l’histoire de West et de Maggie et j’ai trouvé finalement que l’auteure nous les introduisait assez bien ici en rappelant un peu ce par quoi ils sont passés, donnant ainsi l’impression de ne rien avoir manqué.

Nous suivons le retour de Willa dans la petite ville de Lawson qu’elle a abandonnée des années plus tôt quand sa mère l’a récupérée auprès de sa grand-mère. Mais voilà, de terribles incidents se sont produits depuis, elle sort à peine d’un centre de redressement de jeunes filles et sa mère l’a fichues à la porte. Pourtant ses meilleurs souvenirs sont à Lawson, avec sa Nonna (qui accepte de l’accueillir à nouveau) et ses deux anciens meilleurs amis Brady et Gunner.

Le fait de suivre principalement Willa dans ce roman permet sans problèmes de commencer la série par ce deuxième tome. Elle redécouvre la ville de son enfance, ainsi que ses anciens camarades et ça nous permet aussi de nous familiariser avec elle dans ce nouvel environnement. Bien sûr, elle a changé, et les garçons semblent tous très intéressés à l’idée d’apprendre à la connaitre, notamment Brady et Gunner. C’était assez amusant de voir leur petite « compétition » pour gagner les charmes de Willa. Brady est persuadé qu’il est fait pour elle et Gunner aimerait beaucoup être avec elle, même s’il sait qu’il ne peut rien lui proposer de concret. Il faut dire que le pauvre garçon doit endurer un grand nombre de choses chez lui aussi. Nous apprendrons ainsi à découvrir au cours des chapitres les secrets des personnages qui se rapprocheront et essaieront de guérir ensemble, même si rien n’est évident.

J’ai trouvé que le livre reprenait des thèmes forts qui étaient assez bien utilisés. On s’attend à des histoires assez terribles et c’est vrai que l’auteure a tout bien maitrisé. J’ai passé un bon moment, j’ai frissonné avec les personnages en apprenant la vérité et j’attendais avec impatience de voir comment l’ensemble allait se terminer. C’était un très joli livre, poignant et plein d’idées. Je suis vraiment contente de mon premier Abbi Glines et je suis très curieuse de découvrir ses autres romans à présent !

4-5 

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Stacking the Shelves #224

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Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

 

L’Opportuniste (Love Me With Lies, 1) – Tarryn Fisher

Olivia Kaspen, manipulatrice hors pair, est habituée à satisfaire le moindre de ses caprices. À une exception près, puisque le seul homme qu’elle a jamais aimé, Caleb Drake, lui a échappé.
Quand elle le rencontre par hasard, trois ans après leur rupture, l’homme qu’elle retrouve est amnésique. Olivia voit là une occasion de renouer avec son premier amour. Toutefois un obstacle de taille se dresse sur son chemin : la belle Leah, la nouvelle petite amie de Caleb.
Pour le récupérer, Olivia devra tromper l’ennemi autant que l’ancien amant. Mais est-elle réellement prête à tout pour arriver à ses fins ?

Enchaine Moi (Devil’s Rock, 1) – Sophie Jordan

Le véritable crime est de nier ce que l’on ressent.
Certains hommes sont des durs, ceux de Devil’s Rock sont plus que cela…
Le danger est inscrit dans chaque muscle de Knox Callaghan et ses yeux bleus ont le pouvoir de déceler toutes les pensées les plus intimes de Briar Davis. Mais celle-ci est une infirmière qui travaille au pénitencier alors que Knox est un détenu qu’elle ne doit en aucun cas approcher.
Irrémédiablement attiré par Briar, Knox fait tout ce qui est en son pouvoir pour la protéger et lui résister. Elle est trop innocente, trop gentille, et elle n’a aucune idée de ce dont il est capable. Mais tout sacrifice a ses limites… Et goûter au fruit défendu peut s’avérer grisant.

Tout ce qui Brûle (Noirs Démons, 1) – Suzanne Wright

Préparez-vous à être enchanté par cette série hautement addictive…

Membre d’un repaire de démons mineur, Harper Wallis mène une vie plutôt simple – si l’on ne tient pas compte de sa famille haute en couleur. Tout bascule lorsqu’elle découvre que son ancre, le seul démon capable de l’arrêter lorsqu’elle laisse libre cours à sa rage, est Knox, l’un des démons les plus puissants au monde.

Knox est bien décidé à l’obliger à admettre qu’ils sont liés – et à l’entraîner dans son lit. Il est prêt à tout pour la garder auprès de lui et la protéger contre ceux qui voudraient l’utiliser contre lui. Harper n’est pas sûre de vouloir l’un ou l’autre, mais elle n’est pas pour autant du genre à battre en retraite lorsque le danger rôde, que la menace pèse sur elle… ou sur lui.

Deadmen Walking (Deadman’s Cross Trilogy, 1) – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hell On Earth

When the Chthonians brought the primal gods to a truce at the end of their great war, part of the pact they forged was that the worst of the evil the gods had unleashed against each other and mankind would be forever banished.

But forever is a long time. And nothing can contain those determined to find a way back.

To catch evil, it takes evil . . .

While Thorn is able to contain the demons unleashed on the ground, the ones who prey on the innocent sailors and sea faring travelers are beyond his reach.

For the sake of humanity, he makes a shaky alliance with an old foe, Marcelina. In the form of the ship they sail upon, she assembles a team under the command of Captain Devlyn Nathaniel Bane, one of the most notorious and bloodthirsty pirates to ever sail the high seas.

Damned and murdered by his own, Bane is out for revenge. With his own secret agenda, he agrees to take charge of the motley crew of pirates and brigands, and to protect the seas from the preternatural terrors that seek to devour every unwary soul they can take.

Theirs is a sacred and deadly task, as they are hunted by their prey and human authorities alike. If they fail, the world will fall to the ancient gods of chaos, and anarchy will reign. Most of all, the Southern gate, where the greatest, most powerful darkness is imprisoned, will be opened and there will be no stopping it.

It’s yo ho ho and a bottle of high seas stakes where the souls of all humanity are the ultimate prize and bargaining chip.

 

Design for Dying by Renee Patrick

Lillian Frost & Edith Head, Book 1

Synopsis: This debut is the first in a series of riveting behind-the-scenes mysteries from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl . . . until she discovers she’s a suspect in the murder of her former roommate, Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she’s barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian’s name and save Edith’s career, the two women join forces.

Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who’s not on the level. All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. In show business, that just might be enough.

Review: I did not really know about the series but with the release of the second volume I had the chance to to discover this first novel. The idea of investigations along with Hollywood during this period was very attractive and I was curious to see what the author was going to present us.

We discover Lillian Frost a young woman who works today in a clothing store. Her rather routine life is going to be completely upset down when she learns that her ex roommate and friend is found murdered. Suspect of the murder, she will try everything to innocent her name and discover what happened to Ruby. This young woman who enjoyed by life without hesitation, abusing it, has changed somewhat since her departure. This is how Lillian will team up with Edith, a friend of hers who is trying to understand the events as well and they both will try to clear up the mystery. But while Lillian discovers Ruby’s secrets, she will put herself in danger and discovering the killer will become indispensable!

I loved the idea of the novel, it is a very interesting mix and it was a pleasure to discover Lillian. She is a very fresh and dynamic woman who, despite what Ruby has made her endure, hopes to understand the truth. The plot is not badly conducted with many secrets, arrangements, and we gradually discover the stories of each character. I confess that I had not seen the end coming, especially about the culprit. The author makes us doubt, suspecting the characters, the one after the other and it is true that this mobile was far from what I could have imagined.

As I said, this novel was a good discovery and I am curious now to find the characters for a new story!

4 

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