Tag Archives: Vampires

One Bite with a Stranger by Christine Warren

Overview
One Bite With A Stranger (The Others, #1) by Christine Warren

Title: One Bite with a Stranger
Author: Christine Warren
Series: The Others #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires, WerewolvesWitches
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: He’d killed her.

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Synopsis

In New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren’s seductive world of The Others, passion sizzles and danger is just around the corner…

When Regina’s friends insist on setting her up on a “Fantasy Fix” to help her get over her cheating ex, she dreams up some kinky out-of-this-world encounters that they could never II possibly II bring to life. But the next thing Regina knows, her friends have got her laced into a shiny black corset, tight leather pants, and a sexy pair of stilettos. It’s time for some downtown vampire-fantasy fun…

ONE BITE WITH A STRANGER

The Vampire Ball in Manhattan’s East Village isn’t really Dmitri Vidame’s idea of a good time, but as a member of the Council that governs The Others, he has to keep an eye on all the young vamps who prey on the pretenders. After he feasts his dark eyes on fiery Regina at the bar, he knows that he must have her. But for the first time Dmitri meets a woman who is more than a match for his indomitable will. And he may be the fantasy Regina hoped for… until she – and her feisty friends – discover her sexy new lover’s bloodsucking secret…

Thoughts

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this brilliantly, wonderfully lustful book. I knew that I’d like it. But I didn’t quite realise how much. So much so that I basically didn’t put it down until I had read it cover to cover… there was just something about the story that completely swept me away from the very first, wonderful moment.

The collection of women in this story kind of reminded me of the women in the Knitting in the City series. Reggie and her friends get together, drink wine and talk a lot of wonderful nonsense. The fact that they do the “Fantasy Fix” just made it all that much better. Alright, so I wouldn’t want to do a Fantasy Fix myself. But the idea of having girlfriends who will hook you up with whatever amazing fantasy you want… mmm… that’s kind of delicious.

There is something incredibly, wonderfully titillating about reading the more erotic / lustful books like this. It may not be the kind of thing that I’m into myself, but it’s definitely thoroughly enjoyable reading about it! I always feel a little uncomfortable about the level of bossiness that some of these stories begin with, particularly in the case of Dmitri in his first encounter with Reggie… but then, the story begins to unfold. The characters get a little more flesh on them, and suddenly that discomfort is just… gone. And things feel sweet and a little delicious all over again.

The novella Any Witch Way She Can got me interested in this series. But this novel has most certainly got me hooked on it. I can’t wait until I can find a copy of Big Bad Wolf and sink further into the intriguing, and very toe curling world of The Others

<- More Christine WarrenBig Bad Wolf ->

Image source: Goodreads

Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Home for the Holidays
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #6.5, Night Huntress Universe #8.5
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: By the time he’d crossed the room to Denise, her eyes were wide and staring into nothing, all without Ian even needing to speak.

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Synopsis

Cat and Bones were looking forward to a normal holiday – at least as “normal” as it gets for vampires and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a mysterious stranger shows up and reveals long-buried secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer – and lives.

Thoughts

I felt seriously, truly and deeply bad for Bones in this novella. After all, finding family after 200 years and then losing them would be incredibly difficult. Around the holidays and when you just don’t expect it… yeah, that would be seriously difficult and heart wrenching.

Cat and Bones may be two of my favourite urban fantasy characters. They are an amazing couple. One that is quirky and fun. And most definitely loyal. The crap that Cat goes through throughout this story to make sure that Bones is safe is extraordinary. I was both incredibly proud of, and kind of scared for Cat throughout this. Although, as with every Night Huntress story I’ve read so far, it did all end with a happy ending.

Every time I read a Night Huntress story; I want to read more. But I always seem to do it when I’m halfway through a whole other pile of books. So, I never quite get around to it. Maybe this time I will get to sink my teeth into another amazing tale before I get too distracted by another story…

<- The GiftThe Bite Before Christmas ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

First Light by Kimberly Frost

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: First Light
Author: Kimberly Frost
Series: Etherlin #0.5
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 24th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Kate, you’re trembling.”

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Synopsis

Kate has been dreaming about an angel since college. And now that he’s finally landed in her lap (almost literally), she’s just not quite sure what to do with him…

Thoughts

As a beginning of a new series that I’ve never heard of before, this novella completely rocks. It’s introduced me to a whole new world that is definitely getting added to my wish list. One that I was surprised by and intrigued by. After all, it’s the first series I’ve come across that features muses and vampires and angels in the same story. I found that completely perplexing, and wonderfully unexpected.

Kate is a wonderful lead in this story. Although, I can’t imagine pining after a dream man for as long as she does before their Meet Cute. Maybe I’m just not enough of the pining type… I’m not sure. However, even though she is completely swept away by him, Kate manages to maintain her independence and kick a fair amount of butt whilst doing it. She’s that wonderfully stubborn modern woman who is willing to give up everything and be vulnerable, but on her terms.

I imagine that it would be hard to write a likeable character who is from another time. What, with the whole sexism issue and everything. Yet, somehow Frost manages it. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when you grit your teeth at his overbearing attitude, but, ultimately you get this sense of honour and love out of him that is a little redemptive. That, and the fact that he makes it clear that he is willing to try and improve.

I absolutely adored this novella. It’s most certainly one that I would like to read again. And a series that I can’t wait to sink my literary teeth into.

<- Upon a Midnight ClearHuman Error ->

Image source: Amazon

The Gift by Lynsay Sands

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: The Gift
Author: Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #15.5
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 20th – 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: He’d worked with Mabel to try to find Elvi a mate, had planned and arranged local fairs with Elvi.

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Synopsis

In Lynsay Sands’ “The Gift,” Katricia Argeneau knows grey-eyed cop Teddy Brunswick is her life mate. She just needs to convince him they belong together, and being snowbound in a secluded cabin will make this a Christmas neither will forget.

Thoughts

There is something wonderfully and beautifully simplistic about Sands’ writing. It is cute and innocent, with just enough adult-powered lust to keep your fingers tingling and a happy little smile on your face. This novella was no different. And, although it took place at Christmas, it mostly just had a calm and easy, if not completely pleasurable feeling to the whole story. Ultimately, not such a Christmassy story, but a fun one all the same.

I really love the idea of life mates in the Argeneau series. I mean, the worst thing I can imagine about being immortal is the fact that you are stuck alone forever, or you have to basically serial date multiple times. Instead, there are these life mates who not only are the perfect match for you, but also the only ones you can’t read like a book. I mean, alongside being immortal, how much would it suck being able to read everyone’s mind?

The Gift is a wonderful novella set in a white Christmas. Whilst it didn’t have a seriously Christmassy theme to it, it was still a really wonderful and fun story to be reading during the silly season. One that I thoroughly enjoyed and would love to read again.

<- The Bite Before ChristmasHome for the Holidays ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement Park by Toni L.P. Kelner

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement Park
Author: Toni L.P. Kelner
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires, Werewolves
Dates read: 26th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Isn’t there anything else I can do to help?’

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Synopsis

Joyce is a recently turned werewolf who just wants a nice quiet vacation. To the amusement park that she remembers from her childhood. But things have changed a little…

Thoughts

This was such a fun and cute short story. I can’t say that I have an amusement park that I’m nostalgic for, or even a pirate that I had a teenage crush on. But this certainly made me wish that I did. After all, Joyce manages to not only save the park of her childhood, but also hook up with her crush. I mean, what more could you want?

Alright, you could also want to add into that mix vampires and werewolves. Then it is really a great short story. After all, a bit of supernatural banter and lust to round out a fun story… I finished this tale with a huge grin across my face.

Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement Park was a fantastic way to finish off the Death’s Excellent Vacation. For starters, Joyce repeatedly states that she’s actually on vacation. But it’s also just really pleasant and fun. What a light, humorous and wonderful way to round out a seriously fun collection.

<- Home from AmericaDeath’s Excellent Vacation ->

Image source: Amazon

Among the Shoals Forever by Gail Z. Martin

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of ghost stories by women book cover

Title: Among the Shoals Forever
Author: Gail Z. Martin
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Pirates, Vampires
Dates read: 23rd November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: All the while, I kept my senses keen to magic.

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Synopsis

Set in New Orleans, a trio of pirates work for a vampire who needs them to take down a necromancer.

Thoughts

This was a wonderfully intense and brilliant short story. I couldn’t look away, and it took me a little while to get the ghost story angle. Actually, I probably enjoyed it so much because it didn’t have such a horror aspect to the story. Sometimes its nice to not have horror in every single ghost story.

I love that this story feature Voodoo (or whichever spelling of it is required here), vampires, pirates, and necromancers. This story pretty much had everything in it that I needed for my happiness and literary desire. I loved the mish mash of different paranormal creatures marching across the pages as justice and freedom were fought for.

The happy ending of this story left me feeling very happy and content. It was something that not only rounded out a very brilliant story. But it also gave me hope for the future and just felt comfortable. I would read this again and again. And honestly, I just wish that it was a full-length novel. All of the characters were brilliant and impossible to forget.

<- The Old Nurse’s StoryAfterward ->

Image source: Goodreads

Let Loose by Mary Cholmondeley

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of ghost stories by women book cover

Title: Let Loose
Author: Mary Cholmondeley
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Horror, Vampires
Dates read: 14th November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 1902
5th sentence, 74th page: The moon in its various quarterings has always exerted a marked influence on what I may call the sub-dominant, namely, the poetic side of my nature.

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Synopsis

He always wears unexpectedly high collars, but the reason behind his decision making all has to do with an open crypt. And a series of mistakes.

Thoughts

In the incredibly intense journey that The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women has so far taken me on, this is less terrifying. Not to say that it wasn’t still a little bit spine-tingling. But it just wasn’t as can’t sleep at night as many of the other stories.

I liked the interesting setup within this story – after all, it was a tale within a tale. I didn’t really like the guy who told either tale. After all, one married the sister, and the whole thing was just… icky feeling. But I did like the format of the story. And the writing style. I just didn’t love the actual storyline.

I’m pretty sure that this story was about vampires. Or at least, releasing the evil beings from the tomb. It’s a reminder to maybe just let the dead sleep and leave them in peace.

<- ReturnAnother One in from the Cold ->

Image source: Goodreads

Safe and Sound by Jeff Abott

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Safe and Sound
Author: Jeff Abott
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Humour, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 7th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Blank.

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Synopsis

This journalist is just looking for a big, amazing story. But what she finds with her underhanded ways instead… well, somebody is Safe and Sound.

Thoughts

Little known fact – when I finished high school and was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I seriously considered journalism. But, already at that point, I felt like it was a field more about sensationalizing a story, rather than telling the truth. This short story was a great reminder of that feeling – how the media often just picks the story that is going to get the most attention, just because it will get the most attention. Truth and honesty be damned.

The vampire angle in this story was completely fun and brilliant. It was also entirely predictable, but I did love the way that vampires filtered into a story about the media and a missing boy. I also loved how there was a total comeuppance to the story using the vampire as the angle. They’re not normally the good guys – and in this story they still certainly aren’t. But at least the vampire delivered some poetic justice.

This short story made me think of all of the people that go missing and the stories that are never told. It left me feeling a little melancholy, but in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

<- The Innsmouth NookSeeing is Believing ->

Image source: Amazon

The Exterminator’s Daughter by Meg Cabot

Overview
Image result for prom nights from hell book cover

Title: The Exterminator’s Daughter
Author: Meg Cabot
In: Prom Nights from Hell (Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe & Lauren Myracle)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires, Young adult
Dates read: 4th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher:Harper Collins
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: “Yes,” Adam says calmly.

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Synopsis

Mary knows one thing… that her friend’s prom date is evil. And it’s her job to take him down. But things don’t always go quite to plan… they can be better.

Thoughts

I most definitely want more of Adam and Mary in my bookshelves. I’m not sure that I’ll get more. But it’s most certainly something that I desire! They work so well as a cute teensy couple. Yet, Mary is also completely kick butt and more than a little damaged. Just how I like my heroines.

I’m still a big believer in the fact that prom is completely, totally and utterly boring. But, this one feels a little bit more fun. Mostly because it involves a cute boy and vampire hunting. Alright, I might be a strong, independent woman, and my own prom I did have a cute date… but not a cute date that would use a water blaster to kill a vampire. Or shoot ketchup at him…

This novella involved not only Dracula’s son, but the exterminator’s daughter. And she also happens to be the daughter of a mad scientist… which, honestly, what’s not to love about that? There is so much fuel in this story for more amazing tales, and it’s a seriously fun little journey. Particularly when the ending is so… full of future possibilities.

I’ve read a few books in the Princess Diaries series. So I’m used to Cabot’s fun, cute and easy to read teenage stories. This fit all of the usual bills and was definitely a story that I would read again and again. A bit like Cabot’s other stories…

<- Prom Nights from HellThe Corsage ->

Image source: Harper Collins

Dead and Dateless by Kimberly Raye

Overview
Dead And Dateless by Kimberly Raye - Penguin Books Australia

Title: Dead and Dateless
Author: Kimberly Raye
Series: Dead End Dating #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 10th – 29th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: “It wasn’t your fault.”

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Synopsis

She’d like her blood bottled, please!

The sassiest vampire in all of Manhattan, Lil Marchette, is the owner of Dead End Dating – a matchmaking service for hip, intelligent singles like herself. After only three months, business is booming, and she can finally pay her bills (and, more important, feed a hungry cosmetics addiction). But when one of her clients turns up dead (as in never coming back), Lil is named as the prime suspect.

Murder?

Sure, she’s a vampire, but she can’t even work up her nerve when it comes to blood-sucking. Hacking somebody to pieces is so out of the question.

To make matters worse, Lil must also contend with a pack of werewolves who ask – no, demand – that she find each one a tall, dark, and handsome mate before the next full moon. Plus, the to-die-for-if-I-wasn’t-already-dead Ty Bonner, a lusciously sexy lover but totally unsuitable eternity mate, is never far from her midnight fantasies. But Lil has no time for such thoughts. She must prove her innocence and focus on pairing off the dead and the furry – and maybe stake a claim to her own tasty true love.

Thoughts

Alright, Lil is kind of a bit of a pain throughout this story. Which I’m pretty sure I found in the first tale as well. She’s just a little too… well, girly for lack of a better word. Not someone that I can really sympathise with very well. Having said that, even though she has a tendency to be a little irritating, I also loved her character. It’s kind of making fun at some of the socialites and those with a tendency to focus on their looks. At least, that’s how I take her character. Because, at the end of the day, even though she’s kind of vapid and a little irritating, she’s also seriously sweet and has a great heart. You just can’t help but love her, even when you’re beginning to feel a little irritated by her characterisation in moments…

I love Ty as a counterpoint to Lil. A bit like my own partner and I, where Lil is light and air and all positive, rainbow vibes, Ty is dark, twisty and communicationally stunted. Yet, I think that this turns them into the perfect partnership. After all, the saying opposites attract is around for a reason… I’m seriously, seriously hoping that they work out as a couple in the next few books… not entirely sure what my feelings will be if Raye pulls that rug out from under me…

To top off the humour and the slightly satirical feel of this story, I absolutely loved the werewolf mating ritual in this story. And, also how that all works out as a secondary plot to you know… Lil being wanted for murder. Particularly her hunt for an alpha red head. And her unique solution to the issue. It had me grinning and giggling throughout the whole story. And I love that Raye was able to take a well-known paranormal species and give them yet another new twist (like she did with the creation of vampires).

I was quite surprised at who the villain was in this story. I feel like I really should have guessed… but, whilst I wasn’t completely floored and shocked… I definitely didn’t predict it either. Which, ultimately is something that I tend to love in a good book anyway. After all, being able to guess things all the time can get a little… well, boring. And this novel is anything but boring. I can’t wait to sink my fangs… I mean teeth… into Your Coffin or Mine?

<- Dead End DatingYour Coffin or Mine? ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia