Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Better Man (Sunshine Creek Vineyard #1) by Candis Terry


Meet the Kincade brothers: they’ll do what it takes to protect their legacy—but what happens when love gets in the way?

Hockey star Jordan Kincade wasted no time ditching Sunshine Valley and everyone who mattered for a career in the NHL—a truth Jordan confronts when his parents’ deaths bring him home. Now he’s back to make amends, which begins with keeping his younger sister from flunking out of school. It’s just his luck that the one person who can help is the girl whose heart he broke years ago.

Lucy Diamond has racked up a number of monumental mistakes in her life, the first involving a certain blue-eyed charmer. She has no intention of falling for Jordan Kincade again, but when he shows up asking her to help one of her students, Lucy just can’t say no. Worse, the longer he’s back, the more she sees how much he’s changed. And so when a blistering kiss turns to more, she can’t help but wonder if her heart will be crushed again . . . or if she’ll discover true love with a better man..

A Better Man is the first book in Ms. Terry’s new Sunshine Creek Vineyard series. It touched me on many levels, but most deeply in regards to Nicole, Jordan’s 17 year old sister, who like many teens her age has an attitude problem, which seems to be going from bad to worse. Jordan is taking the brunt of her wrath and as he takes a closer look at his role in her life – or non-role, in this case – he can’t help but want to do whatever he can to help her work her way through the tragic loss of their parents. Everyone assumes it’s that loss that has Nicole turned inside out, but it turns out to be much more than that.

Lucy Diamond is a wonderful woman. She’s smart, compassionate, attractive…but trust doesn’t come easy to her, and this is another aspect to the story that touched me. Her past hasn’t defined her but it has made her very cautious. Too cautious, even to the point of not living her life to it's fullest. Part of that has to do with Jordan, but mostly it's due to an awful marriage to a man she met in college, but barely knew. Now with Jordan back in Sunshine Valley she’s emotionally thrown off kilter and has to decide if he’s worth risking her heart to, again.

Candis Terry is easily one of the best contemporary romance authors out there. Her characters are relatable, their lives are believable and, without fail, the stories she gives us are funny, romantic, and poignant. She is, no doubt about it, an amazing writer and I’m excited to spend more time with the Kincade brothers in Sunshine Valley.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dark Blood (Carpathians (Dark) #26) by Christine Feehan


At long last you are truly back with us…

Zev Hunter was an elite warrior, a dark-blood dealer of death to rogue Lycans who preyed on mankind. He was a loner, never given to personal attachments, and damned fierce at his job. But Zev begins to question his past and his purpose when he awakens in the darkness of the sacred cave of warriors—and is soothed back to consciousness by the sensuously familiar voice of one woman, the woman who has haunted his fantasies for centuries. She was Branislava, member of the Dragonseeker clan…

Mother Earth called the ancients to witness your rebirth…

For this half-mage, half-Carpathian temptress, the ritual of awakening Zev to the council of warriors was the only way to save him. Locked away for his own protection, the time has now come for his rebirth, for his blood to stir with that of the ancient warriors before him. He has been assured by Branislava that their fates are entwined, that their spirits are woven together for eternity and that his new purpose in life is beyond imagining.

Now, with a blood-sworn vow of honor, mercy and endurance, and under the influence of a siren as bewitching as Branislava, Zev begins to wonder what his purpose is, what it means for the future of the Carpathians and what it is about his rebirth that he has to fear…

It was with no small amount of trepidation that I read this book, because I had seen reviews which were pretty harsh regarding the way the villians were revealed in Dark Blood, saying Ms. Feehan was grasping when she came up with this plot. Do I understand why people might feel that way? Yes, but I have to be honest – I completely disagree, and I am so glad I chose to take the chance and find out for myself.

Zev and Branislava’s story is exciting. It’s fast paced, loaded with twists and turns and more “holy cow I didn’t see that coming” moments than I can remember reading in a long time. Ms. Feehan continues to amaze me with her imagination. The magic, the spells, the creatures, beings, and people… I find myself re-reading these parts because they’re so well described and plotted out.

Speaking of the plot – these books really do have an underlying similarity in that they all focus on the survival of the various races and the destruction of the evil vampires. What really got to me about Dark Blood was how the subject of racism and prejudice between species was brought into the story and how very heartbreaking and poignant it was. “Ignorance is bliss”, some might say – but in this case ignorance is tragic. I shed a few tears there at the end but loved how this story made me feel.

Oh, so many feels!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dark Wolf (Carpathian (Dark) #25) by Christine Feehan


In Dark Lycan, Christine Feehan journeyed into the heart of the Carpathians, and into the souls of two lifemates stirred by the flush of passion and the threat of annihilation. In Dark Wolf, the breathtaking story continues as the bonds of family are imperiled, and the fate of two lovers lies hidden in the seductive shadows between life and death.

Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. But she was human. Vulnerable. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She was nineteen. He was an ancient. Yet she held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Caught between the two warring species, Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. But now, marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. But salvation was coming…

No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. A teenage girl. A human of untested abilities. But she had something no one else had. She was predestined for Dimitri—as he was for her. And there was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk.

Dimitri and Skyler's story is amazing! It's exciting, romantic, but most of all, it's poignant. The childhood hell Sky lived through wounded her, but didn't break her. She's stronger than ever and with Dimitri's unconditional love and encouragement she's becoming a force to be reckoned with!

These last few installments I've read have blown me away! Non-stop action, passion, lots of twists and turns, and the Carpathian's world is changing in ways I never imagined, but am totally excited about.

If you're a fan of fantasy/paranormal romance but haven't yet read Ms. Feehan's stories - any of her series - you're missing out! Wait no longer, and just take the leap into some of the most amazing fictional worlds out there. You'll be glad you did!