Friday, June 27, 2008

The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox

The Accidental Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer, Book 1
Angie Fox
Love Spell
July 29, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-505-52769-1

From the back cover:
It’s never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet. For Lizzie Brown, that’s just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking, and her long-lost biker-witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she’s seen it all, Lizzie learns she’s a demon slayer—and all hell is after her.
Of course, that’s not the only thing after her. Dimitri Kallinikos, a devastatingly handsome shape-shifting griffin, needs Lizzie to slay a demon of his own. But how do you talk a girl you’ve never met into going straight to the underworld? Lie. And if that doesn’t work, how dangerous could a little seduction be…?
My thoughts:
All Lizzie Brown wanted for her thirtieth birthday was a night out with her friends. What she got instead was a surprise visit from a spell-casting grandmother she never knew, and Xerxes, the demon who appeared on her toilet. If that wasn’t the shock of her life, finding out that she’s a demon slayer coming into her powers was enough to make Lizzie want to run in the opposite direction.

With demons hot on her trail, Lizzie has little choice but to hop on the back of her grandmother’s Harley with her dog, Pirate, and ride for the safety of grandma’s coven. Unfortunately, the road becomes a very dangerous place and they’re forced to take the help of Dimitri, a gorgeous man who has been making plans of his own when it comes to Lizzie.

Dimitri Kallinikos is a shape-shifting griffin in desperate need of Lizzie’s help, a fact he doesn’t share with her when he offers training and protection. Training is slow going and often dangerous for anyone in the general area, but Dimitri isn’t about to give up when it’s the lives of people he cares about on the line. What starts out as a plan to seduce the slayer into helping him, quickly changes the griffin’s life as the two join forces and stand against a whole lot more than they bargained for.

This is the first book in the Demon Slayer series, and a fabulous beginning it is. From a demon slayer with ties to a coven with a penchant for road-kill, to a shape-shifting griffin, there is non-stop action from page one. Ms. Fox details her world with colorful characters that have mysterious pasts, and keeps readers engaged with humorous mishaps, blossoming romance and spells gone awry. The Accidental Demon Slayer is a fast moving good time that will quickly gain fans looking for book two.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Giveaway Winners - Real Vampires Get Lucky by Gerry Bartlett

Thanks to all who stopped by to comment for a chance to win one of the four copies of Real Vampires Get Lucky by Gerry Bartlett.

The winners are….





Please email me at DarqueReviews @ gmail . com (minus the spaces of course) with your snail mail address and I’ll get your books in the mail.

A big thank you also goes to Ms. Bartlett’s publicist at Berkley Books who was kind enough to share these books.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bound by Shadow by Anna Windsor

Bound by Shadow
The Dark Crescent Sisterhood, Book 1
Anna Windsor
Ballantine Books
June 24, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-345-49853-3

From the back cover:
Falling for a demon can be hazardous to your heart.
Riana Dumain is a fully trained Sybil, a warrior priestess battling evil whose practical magic keeps her grounded in earthly science–and desires. She knows that gorgeous NYPD detective Creed Lowell is dangerous, and possibly a foot soldier of the evil Legion cult, using his badge and drop-dead looks to consolidate demonic power.
Creed’s low-profile Occult Crimes Unit pulls Riana and her two sister Sybils into the case of a politician’s son, murdered in a ritualistic sacrifice. Soon, Riana’s instincts prove true. Creed, the hottest half-human she’s ever known, a demon in bed and out, is guarding a trapdoor to hell. And unless Riana can find a way to tame her mystery man’s treacherous inner self (and her heart), all of Manhattan may be enveloped by darkness.
My thoughts:
Riana Dumain was raised as a Sibyl in the fight against the Legion, a dangerous group after power at any cost. She and her triad sisters, Cynda and Marilee, spend much of their time battling Asmodai, demons created by the Legion. When a fellow Sibyl finds herself arrested for the death of a young boy she was there to protect, they all pull together to discover the truth behind the murder in order to get her freed.

Creed Lowell and his partner Andrea ‘Andy’ Myles work for New York’s Occult Crimes Unit, OCU. Having become friends with Riana, Andy believes she could help with a case they’re currently investigating and takes Creed along to meet her. The women sense that Creed is something other than human and he soon finds himself a forced guest of the triad while Riana studies him to discover what exactly he is.

As the Legion closes in and an evil plan for control is revealed, the Sibyls will need all of the help they can get to stand against the wave of Asmodai that’s been unleashed on them. More powerful beings have been created, and because of Creed’s Other, his help becomes invaluable. He only hopes that when the danger has passed he’ll learn control over the Other he carries within, and his feelings for Riana will be returned.

This is the first book in The Dark Crescent Sisterhood. The chemistry between Riana and Creed crackles from the moment they meet, but Sibyl training prevents Riana from fully trusting in him while he continues to battle his beast within. Ms. Windsor begins her series with a light introduction to her warring characters and fills the pages with supernatural action. Bound By Shadow takes readers on a mystery packed journey to expose the murderous members of the Legion, and softens the darkness with a sizzling romance that blossoms from lust. I’ll look forward to future stories with Riana and her triad sisters. Bound by Flame will release on July 29th, followed by Bound by Light on August 26th.

You can learn more about The Dark Crescent Sisterhood and read excerpts by visiting Ms. Windsor’s site:

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Rites of Spring (Break) by Diana Peterfreund

Rites of Spring (Break)
Ivy League, Book 3
Diana Peterfreund
June 24, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-385-34193-6

From the back cover:
From “witty and endearing” to “impossible to put down,” the critics have given elite marks to Diana Peterfreund’s Secret Society Girl and Under the Rose. Now, in a wildly captivating new novel, Amy “Bugaboo” Haskel and her fellow Rose & Grave knights are trading cold, gray, hyperintellectual New Haven for an annual rite of spring (well, early March) in Florida.
For Amy, a week of R&R on her secret society’s private island should be all fun in the sun—and an escape from an on-campus feud with a rival society that’s turned disturbingly personal. But along with her SPF 30 and a bikini, Amy is bringing a suitcase full of issues to remote Cavador Key. Graduation from Eli University looms, not to mention buckets of unfinished business with a former flame and—most pressing of all—the sudden, startling transformation of a mysterious Rose & Grave patriarch from sheerly evil to utterly…appealing?
Just when Amy thinks Spring Break can’t get any less relaxing, a wacky “accident” puts everyone on edge. And that’s only the beginning, as Amy starts to suspect that someone has infiltrated the island. With some major Rose & Grave secrets to be exposed, and the potential fallout enough to take down one of America’s most loathsome figureheads, what she can’t know is that the party crasher is deadly serious about making sure “Bugaboo” doesn’t get back to Eli alive….
My thoughts:
When the members of Dragon’s Head identify Amy “Bugaboo” Haskel for some retaliation that she and her fellow members of Rose & Grave carried out, she alone becomes the target of their vicious pranks. Graduation is just around the corner, and Amy’s tired of living in constant worry of what the rival group may do next. She’s counting down the days until she accompanies Rose & Grave to their private island, Cavador Key, in Florida’s warmer climate.

With a near-death experience along the way, the group arrives to what should be their tropical paradise. While the current Rose & Grave have learned to accept the co-ed group that had once been only men, its alumni isn’t nearly as ready to acknowledge that the change is for the good. When things begin going wrong it’s easy to blame it on the women they feel are so untrustworthy, but when the women become the target even the hardcore alumni will have to step back and take another look.

As things heat up and turn dangerous, Amy finds herself in the arms of someone she never expected. What starts as a swimming lesson might turn into something more if they can all just manage to survive their island vacation.

In this third installment of the Ivy League series, a week of fun in the sun quickly turns threatening. As graduation looms in the near future, Amy and her friends think to their futures and try to survive their time on Cavador Key. Ms. Peterfreund offers fans a well-detailed world, and packs her latest book with non-stop danger and mystery. There’s a delicious bit of romance added to the mix that will both surprise and delight. Rites of Spring (Break) is a dose of campus life with secret societies that readers won’t soon forget.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish

Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 2
D. M. Cornish
May 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-399-24639-5

From the publisher’s site:
Orphan Rossamünd Bookchild has been sworn into the Emperor’s service—his duty is to light the lamps along the Emperor’s highways and protect travelers from the ferocious bogles that live in the wild. But he’s found it no easier to fit in with the lamplighters than he did with the foundlings—always too small and too meek—and his loneliness continues no matter how hard he tries to succeed.
But when a haughty young girl, a member of a suspiciously regarded society of all-women teratologists— monster hunters—is forced upon the lamplighters for training, Rossamünd is no longer the most despised soul around. As Rossamünd begins to make new friends in the dangerous world of the Half-Continent, he also seems to make more enemies, finding himself pushed toward a destiny that he could never have imagined.
My thoughts:
Having left Madam Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls, Rossamünd Bookchild traveled to Winstermill to begin his apprenticeship to become a Lamplighter. Having arrived a week late, he began his time there with the name Master Come-lately, given to him by Grinrod, his Lamplighter Sergeant. With that, any hope that Rossamünd had to begin his time as a lamplighter with many friends are quickly dashed, so he begins his new job of lighting the lamps and battling monsters.

After helping to save the Lady Dolours group of teratologists from an attack, the lamplighters learn that one of the young girls, Threnody, is insisting on becoming a lamplighter. Lamplighter-Sergeant Grinrod does his best to be confrontational and refuse the addition of a female prentice, but in the end Threnody, who comes from a noble family, remains.

With little choice, Rossamünd is forced to keep Threnody close. A torturous beginning for him, but as they train along with the other prentices a friendship begins to form. Her rude and forceful behavior eventually softens to some degree, and Rossamünd finds himself opening up about some of his moments prior to arriving at Winstermill. Thenody of course finds it hard to believe, especially when Europe, the Brandon Rose, pays a visit.

As they endeavor to do their job while fighting the monsters continues, the loyal Rossamünd makes a few unlikely allies, some powerful enemies and continues to mature with his responsibilities.

This is the second book in Monster Blood Tattoo, and is as wonderfully fascinating as the first. D. M. Cornish does an amazing job of building this creative fantasy world and sharing that vision with readers. The characters are well-defined and are made more so by the drawings within the book. The scenery throughout is vividly described, and the storyline is multilayered and edged in mystery. Lamplighter is an enchanting journey filled with monsters, dangerous adventures and a young man finding his own niche in a world that may have otherwise passed him by. Written with young adults in mind, the Monster Blood Tattoo series will easily be enjoyed by adults as well.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

The Last Vampire by Patricia Rosemoor & Marc Paoletti

The Last Vampire
Patricia Rosemoor & Marc Paoletti
Del Rey – Ballantine Books
June 24, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-345-50104-2

From the back cover:
Spawned of alchemy and blood, he was the last of a brutal, ancient line. Now he has just been reborn.
Deep in a Texas cave, the military unearths a five-hundred-year-old corpse, its desiccated flesh teeming with mysterious DNA that can transform mortals into beings of unimaginable power.
Captain Scott Boulder, leader of a Black Ops unit that has been endowed with these superhuman abilities, is among the first to benefit from the find. But when, with the help of a voodoo priestess, the creature is conjured to life, unleashing an ancient evil bent on reinstating its poisonous kind on earth, Scott knows he must return the monster to the grave. But this is no ordinary vampire. Once a brutal torturer in the Spanish Inquisition, it can bend the laws of science and magic in horrifying new ways.
Powerless to fight this evil alone, Scott grudgingly seeks the aid of reclusive anthropologist Leah Maguire, an expert in the mystical rituals of the past. To keep humanity from entering a new Dark Age, Scott and Leah will battle unspeakable horrors and will sacrifice everything they hold dear–perhaps even their own humanity–to destroy the last vampire.
My thoughts:
It’s been years since Leah Maguire lost her father and brother to a vicious creature they disturbed in a Texas cave. She couldn’t stop what happened that day, but now she’s an expert in her field and able to practice ancient rituals if she’d give herself half a chance.

When the government comes knocking with a request for her professional help, Leah has no intention of getting involved. They’re not about to let her off that easily because it seems that the same creature that once destroyed her family is on the loose and she may be the only one who possesses the knowledge to stop him.

Scott Boulder leads a unique unit of men whose talents are kept secret from the general population. Each of his team members have been enhanced through the introduction of the supernatural DNA from a centuries old corpse. Their covert group has been compromised and despite Scott’s protests they’re about to call in help.

The government’s five-hundred year old vampire has just received a wake-up call from a voodoo priestess who will let nothing stand in the way of her goal. The evil they’ve carefully controlled has been set loose on an unsuspecting community. Scott and Leah are humanity’s only hope of stopping the creature as it cuts a bloody path on his way to immortality.

With their own twist on the vampire legend, Patricia Rosemoor and Marc Paoletti have created a storyline filled with murder and mayhem. An evil that’s powered in blood, and formed by alchemy, reenters the heroine’s life and manages to turn the hero’s existence upside down. While I expected more romance, and would have liked more detail about the Black Ops team and Leah’s professional background, I found The Last Vampire to be both interesting and entertaining.

Read the prologue to The Last Vampire by clicking on the book cover: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

The Bearskin Rug by Jennifer Stevenson

The Bearskin Rug
Book 3
Jennifer Stevenson
Ballantine Books
June 24, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-345-50024-3

From the back cover:
THE MAGIC: A live-in sex demon sure keeps a girl up at night
But for Jewel, a fraud cop leery of commitment, Randy could be too much of a good thing.
THE MISCHIEF: Hinky and kinkySomething seriously weird is going on at an erotic film studio. Jewel and her sexy partner, Clay, take the case–and Randy finds an outlet for his special skills.
THE MAN TROUBLE: Two hotties and a hard decisionIf Jewel’s the luckiest girl in Chicago, how come she’s sleeping alone so much?
My thoughts:
Jewel Heiss continues her job as a fraud investigator for the Chicago Department of Consumer Services tracking down hinky crimes. She finally has a new partner at work in Clay, the ex-con. Randy, the sex demon, who became bound to her in the Brass Bed, still shares her bed.

When Consumer Services is called to investigate a complaint made against the Department of Inspectional Services, Jewel, Clay and Randy visit the home and search for traces of a pocket zone, a patch of unreality. This spurs a new investigation as the team begins following a paper trail to find who could be benefiting by purchasing and selling property in the area.

Jewel goes undercover as a secretary at Baysdorter Boncil, a real estate development firm that’s recently had an unexpected and inappropriate meeting in the boardroom. It’s obvious from the start that the women employed by the firm are being sexually harassed by their bosses, but the problem runs much deeper than that. Something very hinky is going on.

In the midst of it all the team visits a business where Randy has decided to make a stand for his own independence, and takes on a job. It’s a job that Jewel not only finds disturbing, but it’s one that could end their relationship beyond friends. A sobering thought for Jewel, and one she’d rather not entertain.

This is the third book in the series, and continues the tale of Jewel’s hinky and erotic adventures. As magic sweeps the nation, Chicago has strict rules in not acknowledging the bizarre goings on. It’s Jewel’s job to stop the hinky stuff in its tracks, and lucky for her she has Clay and Randy there to help her. Ms. Stevenson takes readers on a madcap adventure that’s as fast-moving as it is humorous. For fans that have followed the heroine’s progress and the role she plays in their sexy love triangle since The Brass Bed, you may be very surprised at how The Bearskin Rug ends.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, June 20, 2008

Undead and Unworthy by MaryJanice Davidson

Undead and Unworthy
Queen Betsy, Book 7
MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley Sensation
June 24, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22162-4

From the inside cover flap:
Betsy Taylor thought entering the world of the undead was a big adjustment. Being a new bride isn’t much easier. The blush has only been on for two months, and Betsy has a lot to do: set up the new house, finish writing thank-you notes, and raise BabyJon, her half brother and legal ward. Just another happy American family adjusting to marital bliss.
Betsy's husband, Sinclair, has been perusing The Book of the Dead, and Betsy's visited by a ghost who's even more insufferable, stubborn, and annoying in death than she was in life. She not only blames Betsy for her condition but insists that she fix it. It’s all just a prelude to the fun and games awaiting Betsy and Sinclair when a pack of formerly feral vampires, hungry for blood and power, pays a visit to the happy couple.
My thoughts:
Betsy Taylor died and woke up as the queen of vampires with a future king ready to tie the knot. Now she can’t quite catch a break on having an easy or quiet life. As the queen, her responsibilities are endless, but her personal life brings just as many unexpected obstacles. Balancing it all and raising her baby half brother is nearly more than she can handle, so it’s a good thing she has so many others around her to help.

While Betsy’s powers continue to grow and surprise her, a new ghost demands her attention and offers no real clue to what she wants beyond making her life miserable. Then there’s Detective Nick Berry, the man who hates her for who she is and what she’s done to him the past. Now he’s insisting she help him solve a case.

Eric Sinclair remains faithfully by Betsy’s side when he isn’t sneaking off to read The Book of the Dead. It seems that the Queen and her King are busy keeping a few secrets, and one day those secrets might come back to bite them.

With life at the mansion being as crazy as ever, they’ve forgotten about the Fiends they have tucked away in Alice’s care. It’s too bad that the Fiends haven’t forgotten them, or that Betsy’s at the top of their list.

This is the seventh book in the Queen Betsy series and is a fast-paced and humorous as the previous installments. Ms. Davidson has her own brand of wit and shocking surprises that makes her vampire series one of a kind. From characters you grow to love or loathe, to the non-stop paranormal action that’s completely believable within this urban fantasy world, Undead and Unworthy is one that fans don’t dare miss.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Giveaway - Real Vampires Get Lucky by Gerry Bartlett

How would you like to win a copy of Real Vampires Get Lucky by Gerry Bartlett? Thanks to Ms. Bartlett’s awesome publicist at Berkley Books, Darque Reviews has 4 copies to give away!

If you haven’t had an opportunity to get caught up with Glory St. Clair and her friends, here’s your chance. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post anytime over the next week before midnight Wednesday, June 25th. I’ll announce the winners on Thursday morning (June 26th), so be sure to check back to see if it’s you!

From the publisher’s site:
When a female loan shark named Lucky is attacked and left for dead, vampire Glory St. Clair turns her into one of the undead to save her—but eternity would have been safer without her. Vamps prefer a low profile, and that's not Lucky's style. She prefers to flaunt her sexy rock-star ex-boyfriend and great shoes. Trouble is, her flamboyant behavior is not only drawing every vampire hunter within miles—it's bringing her would-be killer out of hiding, too.

(Glory St. Claire, Book 3)

Berkley Trade, June 2008

368 pages ISBN: 0425221547

Trade Size$14.00

You can see a review of Real Vampires Get Lucky: Here

Visit Gerry Bartlett: Here

Read more about the author and her books at Berkley Jove Authors: Here

Visit Penguin Group: Here

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

His Forgotten Forever by Michele Hauf

His Forgotten Forever
Bewitching the Dark, Book 3
Michele Hauf
Silhouette Nocturne
July 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-373-61791-3

From the back cover:
Truvin Stone no longer remembered his victims…
Or his enemies. As he fought for survival, the only person Truvin could trust was an outsider to his world, an innocent foolish enough to nurse him back to health.…
Truvin's past was one story Lucy Morgan couldn't stop chasing, even after she discovered he was a vampire. Drawn in by his dark side, Lucy was one bite away from feeling the true power of his embrace—and his eternal curse. Standing in the midst of a new war, Truvin was the key to tipping the balance between vampire and witch. Yet returning to his old, evil ways would destroy Lucy… and deliver to him a fate worse than death.
My thoughts:
Truvin Maximilien Stone becomes aware of his surroundings in a wet, slushy alley and has no memory of how he got there. There’s a lump on his head, no wallet in his pocket and nothing more than a note telling him were to go. His memory is gone, and now he finds himself on the run from strangers who want to see him dead. Dashing in front of a car and putting distance between him and the strangers in pursuit may have saved his life for the time being, but now he’s involved an innocent woman, Lucy, in the mess he’s forced to call his life.

Lucy Morgan is tired of interviewing people who claim they’re vampires for the show Myth: Confirmed. After two years of chasing myths she’s lost her enthusiasm for making the stories fun. Just as she comes to the realization that she wants something more, a stranger carjacks her in desperation and entangles her in a life he can’t remember. Drawn to a good mystery, Lucy soon finds herself immersed in Truvin’s life, a dangerous place for her to be.

This is the third book in the Bewitching Dark series, and written to enjoy as a stand-alone. When Lucy went looking for something more out of her life, finding herself with a devastatingly handsome, amnesiac vampire hadn’t entered her thoughts of possibility. Truvin provides her with everything she could have hoped for in excitement and a whole lot more. Ms. Hauf pens an action filled adventure with an intriguing mystery, and turns up the heat with chemistry soaked romance. His Forgotten Forever is fast, entertaining and sexy as sin.

You can read the first chapter of His Forgotten Forever: Here

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, June 14, 2008

All Soul's Night by Jennifer Armintrout

All Souls’ Night
Blood Ties, Book Four
Jennifer Armintrout
June 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-7783-2537-6

From the back cover:
I have reached my breaking point. And now I will not, cannot be stopped. With the Soul Eater on the verge of god status, it's time for me to take a final stand, even if it means losing everything I love. Even if it means losing my life.
I've got plenty of power on my side, and some I didn't know I could count on in the first place. But it's nothing compared to the army of the undead the Soul Eater is building up. And time is running out.
They say that good always triumphs over evil. I hope that's true. Because the odds aren't in our favor, and the fate of the world is in our hands.
My thoughts:
Having come a long way since she survived the turning point in her life that left her a vampire, Carrie still finds herself up against her worst nightmare, the Soul Eater. His goal to consume the souls of those he sired has not wavered, because in doing so he’ll become a god. Nathan, the man Carrie loves, is on the Soul Eater’s list of vampire children and he’s looking to bring his son home. There are more surprises in store when she realizes that people she believed dead are actually living at the Soul Eater’s whim.

Nathan has survived the loss of his first love and of his son, but he’s certain that he can’t live through losing Carrie as well. He’s her sire, but it’s much more than a blood bond that he feels for her and he wants more than anything to keep her safe. With Max back in town and the possibility of help from the werewolves there may be a chance to defeat the Soul Eater. He’s gathering an army of his own to protect him, so that when his change to a godly state begins there will be nothing to stop its process. Time is running out, and if they don’t act now there will be no stopping the madman from achieving his evil objective.

This is book four in the Blood Ties series, and it has many surprises in store for fans. Carrie is determined to finish things with the Soul Eater, despite the real danger of it ending her life. Her love for Nathan is stronger than ever, and for Nathan’s part he’s finally come to terms with his own feelings where Carrie is concerned. Ms. Armintrout wraps up her series with a final showdown and an ending that will stun fans of the series. The action will keep readers on the edge of their seats as the ongoing fight reaches its peek. Entertaining and often steamy romances run parallel to the supernatural action without dominating the pages. All Souls’ Night ends on a most unexpected, but thoroughly creative scene.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Eternal Pleasure by Nina Bangs

Eternal Pleasure
The Gods of the Night, Book 1
Nina Bangs
July 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-843-95953-6

From the back cover:
The Eleven—an alliance of ultimate predators. Primal, lethal, irresistible. The Prophecy—an ancient Mayan prediction that the world will end on 12-21-12. The Prey—where can you hide from pure evil?
Kelly Maloy opens her car door to much more than a great looking stranger at the Houston airport. Terror, desire, and a horrible truth climb in with him. She’s only supposed to drive Ty Endeka around the city for a few weeks. Too bad no one tells her that once day fades she’ll become part of a battle fought in the darkened streets with an enemy that isn’t human. And the sensual man who feeds her fantasies hides a soul that gives new meaning to animal magnetism.
Eleven Gods of the Night… The only creatures more deadly are the ones they’ve been summoned to destroy.

My Thoughts:
When Kelly Maloy is offered a well paying job as driver, she jumps on the chance. It’s in her best interest, at least financially, to take the time off from school and earn a paycheck. She figures this job will be a piece of cake. Then she meets Ty, the dark and dangerous man who she’ll be driving around town and life as she knows it is changed. Kelly finds herself thrust into the middle of an ongoing battle between the Eleven, the group Ty belongs to, and the nine immortals and their leader that they must stop.

Ty Endeka finds himself in a new time, sixty-five million years after the life he remembers, to fight the immortals who are once again trying to destroy humanity. The current time period will end on December 21, 2012 and at that time the cosmic clock will reset to begin a new cycle. The enemy must be eliminated before then, or all will be lost.

The battle between good and evil rages on, and it’s a theme that most readers know and love, especially in fantasy. It’s a part of what grabs our attention in a story, but we also need a well written storyline, interesting characters, and originality for a book to really stick in our memories. Ms. Bangs delivers on every count and adds so much more to this first installment of The Gods of the Night series. Differing in her previous work with a less humorous approach, Eternal Pleasure offers original characters, a unique storyline, supernatural action, a cosmic countdown and a soul deep romance. This is a brilliant start to what should be a fabulous urban fantasy series, and I’ll be eagerly watching for the next installment.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray
Harper Teen
May 27, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-128439-7

From the jacket flap:
Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

My thoughts:
Bianca Olivier becomes the outsider in a new school when her parents take teaching positions at the Evernight Academy and she’s forced to leave her old life and friends behind. As classes are about to begin for the school year she meets a boy, Lucas, who is as different from the other students as one could be. They become close friends, but each of them is protecting a secret that could change more than just their relationship, it could put their lives in jeopardy.

Lucas Ross has done as his mother insisted and enrolled in the Evernight Academy, but he’s less than happy to be there. Living in a dorm, he’s gotten a decent roommate in Vic, but the majority of students treat him like the outsider he is. Meeting Bianca is the best thing to happen to him, but the past is about to catch up to the present.

Like many of the young adult vampire reads in the past few years, Evernight takes place at an academy designed for our fanged friends. Set during a time when a number of humans are being allowed to attend the school, the story takes readers on a journey of discovery for both the heroine and her hero. While Evernight starts out slowly, Ms. Gray captures the reader’s attention with a surprising twist and the story picks up the pace from there until the climactic end. Suitable for teens, but may be enjoyed by adults as well.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn

Dragon Wytch
Sisters of the Moon, Book 4
Yasmine Galenorn
July 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22239-3

From the back cover:
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy—and sexy—operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’s stressed. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still getting the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Camille, a wicked-good witch, trying to juggle faulty magic, gorgeous men, and the demonic war in which we're embroiled. Sometimes, it’s hard to know just who we can trust…
The Equinox is coming, and mayhem rules. A crown-prince unicorn offers us a legendary gift, but it vanishes. Goblins and trolls swarm the streets of Seattle. And now Smoky, the sexiest dragon alive, decides to stake his claim--on me. Overshadowing it all, the third spirit seal surfaces and Shadow Wing's after it. But I've discovered a secret that could change everything. A new power is rising—a dangerous force from the past--one that intends to restore balance to the worlds…whether we like it or not.

My thoughts:
Searching for a way to battle the unwelcome Otherworld denizens that are pouring through the portals into Seattle, Camille D’Artigo has been offered a way to help boost her talents by adding a different type of magic. As she struggles to manage her own unpredictable gifts with her mixed human-fae blood, she’s happy to accept the offering from Feddrah-Dahns, a crown price unicorn. The third spirit seal is about to become known, and they’ll need every advantage they can manage to stand against those who side with their demon lord enemy, Shadow Wing.

Smokey is collecting on the bargain he struck with Camille for a week to do with her what he pleases. He’s patient for a dragon, but even he has his limits, and while Camille feels protected in his presence she still has a level of fear. As the battle heats up all around them, and the D’Artigo sisters find themselves in the midst of OW and Earthside chaos, Camille will find that bargains may be all that can save everyone she loves.

As readers have learned in the previous Sisters of the Moon installments, Ms. Galenorn has a great gift for spinning a compelling story. The supernatural action is a great blend of both fresh and familiar, the characters are each charming in their own way, the heroine’s love-life is scorching and the worlds they all live in are well-defined. Dragon Wytch is the fourth book in this urban fantasy series and while some threads in the storyline are wrapped up, many more will emerge to keep fans in suspense.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

If Wishing Made It So by Lucy Finn

If Wishing Made It So
Lucy Finn
Signet Eclipse
July 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22459-0

From the back cover:
Sometimes love needs a touch of magic...

Once voted the girl most-likely-to-succeed, Hildy Caldwell is now the one in the biggest rut. She has let her world get very small: a tiny cottage in rural Pennsylvania, two cats, and a ho-hum job. As for love? Nobody has ever measured up to her football hero high school sweetheart. If only she could meet him again . . .

Knowing that's wishful thinking, Hildy splurges on a summer rental on Long Beach Island, one of the Jersey shore's prettiest spots. There, she hopes the wind might blow a handsome man her way. Instead, she finds an abandoned bottle-with a two-thousand-year-old, meddlesome genie inside! Magic and mayhem follow, along with what Hildy's been wishing for: a meeting with the man she has never stopped loving.

With the genie's help, Hildy's dreams might come true. But spells and enchantment have a dark and dangerous side. And Hildy could lose everything-unless she finds out that true love is the best kind of magic.

My thoughts:
After a recent break-up confirms her bad luck with men, Hildy Caldwell packs her suitcase and heads to the Jersey shore for her summer off from teaching. Her ten year class reunion is quickly approaching, and Hildy’s realized that she’s still hung up on her high school sweetheart. Finding a genie in a bottle might be fun, and making a wish to be with the man you love could be perfect, but sometimes what you wish for is a far cry from what you may get. Hildy’s treasure turns troublesome when its previous owner wants it back and has no plans to walk away.

This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Finn, and it was such a good time that it won’t be my last. If Wishing Made It So is an adventure brimming with non-stop action and the magic of discovering true love. The heroine is your average twenty-something reevaluating her life when magic flips her quiet world upside down. This fast-moving read has danger, humor and a fairy tale romance that’s sure to entertain.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Pleasure
Lords of the Underworld, Book 3
Gena Showalter
July 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-373-77310-7

From the back cover:
He can bear any pain but the thought of losing her…

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her—even defy the gods.

Danika is on the run. For months, she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear. . .

My thoughts:
Along with his fellow warriors, Reyes is bound by an ancient curse. As punishment for opening dimOuniak (Pandora’s box) he lives each immortal day with a demon who thrives on pain. In this third book of the Lords of the Underworld series, Reyes will do everything he can to win Danika’s trust. Her presence in his life may bring him salvation, but protecting her could bring his death.

Ms. Showalter takes readers on an engaging adventure where demons thrive on death and destruction, and hope burns eternal. From passion filled moments to visions of the gods, questions are answered while others are formed. There’s a scene in The Darkest Pleasure that may be viewed as a bit more disturbing than most, but it makes sense for this particular character. Readers should be satisfied with this installment, but will be hungry for more from this talented author.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fall With Honor by E. E. Knight

Fall With Honor
Vampire Earth, Book 7
E. E. Knight
July 1, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-46210-7

From the back cover:
Freedom is on the march as the rebellion against the Kurian Occupation of Earth takes the offensive. David Valentine has recruited an ad hoc company of former Quisling soldiers and puts them through a trial by fire with a successful raid against an enemy armory. Now, they’re ready to join forces with a guerilla army planning to establish a new freehold in the Appalachian Mountains.Valentine knows that a permanent outpost near the East Coast would provide a strategic victory over the Kurians—and he believes that only his old ally Ahn-Kha could be leading the guerillas. But nothing could prepare Valentine’s fighters for what awaits them at the end of their journey.

My thoughts:
In a future where Earth is occupied by an alien enemy, David Valentine is a strong presence in the fight against the Kurian Order. This is the seventh book in the Vampire Earth series and is often the case Valentine quickly works his way up through the ranks to assist in leading a surprising mix of soldiers against their enemies.

Mr. Knight has a fabulous writing voice and his futuristic world, as well as the characters that live and die there, are well-defined. While there is plenty of movement throughout the story and lives lost in the battles along the way, the tension and fast action come near the end. If you’re planning to start this series, don’t start with Fall With Honor or you’ll find yourself lost. You’ll want a better understanding of David Valentine, his allies and his enemies, to fully appreciate Vampire Earth. Reading the previous books is recommended.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson

The Touch of Twilight
Sign of the Zodiac, Book 3
Vicki Pettersson
EOS - HarperCollins
May 27, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-06-089893-9

Born of equal parts Light and Shadow, Joanna Archer was ripped from the life she knew and forced to take on the identity of Olivia, her deceased sister. Living as a member of Troop 175 in Las Vegas, she’s the Archer of the Zodiac agents of Light. To the public eye she’s a spoiled socialite, the daughter of Xavier Archer. Her identity as a super hero who happens to appear in comics is something not even her ex-boyfriend and love of her life, Ben Traina, knows.

A doppelganger has ripped its way through to their world and has designs on becoming corporeal. Unfortunately it has set its sights on Joanna’s image and will hound her until it gets what it wants or they find a way to stop it. The Tulpa has offered to help Joanna defeat the doppelganger, but in order to have that help she’ll be forced into taking a deal. He’s not yet given up the hope of encouraging Joanna’s Shadow side to rise and rule beside him.

The time for the third sign of the zodiac is upon them, and those around her wonder if the Archer’s Shadow side is about to take over her Light. The battle continues between Shadow and Light and Joanna finds herself in the middle trying to right some wrongs and land on the side she’s destined to serve.

In this Third Sign of the Zodiac, Joanna’s ongoing struggle continues as she fights for the Light and refuses to give up the man she’s always loved. Ms. Pettersson shares another well-imagined tale with engaging characters and action filled scenes. While Joanna’s first love continues to fill her thoughts, the chemistry she shares with Hunter increases to scorching proportions. The Touch of Twilight is an entertaining read that fans of the series shouldn’t miss.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Hidden by Eve Kenin

Eve Kenin
Shomi – Dorchester
July 2008
ISBN# 978-0-505-52761-5

It’s the year 2093 and Tatiana is searching the Northern Waste for Tolliver, the man she believes responsible for the creation of a deadly plague. Having been held captive and genetically altered was a nightmare for her, but she was learning that the changes she’d under-gone enabled her to survive what others would not. She could withstand the bitter cold temperatures without heavy protection, read most people’s thoughts, and quickly heal her wounds. The strength Tatiana had gained, allowed her to stand against most any enemy.

Tristan is a man whose life holds secrets that not even he can fully explain. When he sees Tatiana for the first time he’s drawn to her. It’s not until they meet again that things change and Tristan has no choice but to bring her back to their compound for her own sake and for those living in the Northern Waste. As a team they may be able to finally set things straight and make their world just a little bit safer.

In this second visit to the Northern Waste, a young woman searches for a man she believes is a monster and discovers something entirely different. Ms. Kenin gives readers a tale that’s easily as solid as its predecessor. With equal parts action and romance, this well-defined futuristic world is an easy one to get lost in. While the temperature may be freezing, the inhabitants produce plenty of heat between them to singe the pages. Hidden can be read as a stand-alone, but the characters and their surroundings will have a stronger impact if Driven is read first.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews