Sunday, September 30, 2007

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave
A Night Huntress Novel, Book 1
Jeaniene Frost
Avon – Harper Collins
October 30, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-06-124508-4

Raised by her human mother, Catherine Crawfield has spent the past few years eliminating every vampire she could, and hoping one of them might be the father she never knew. Her half-vampire blood gives her an edge in the hunt, but it doesn’t prepare her for the likes of Bones. When Cat picks up Bones with the lure of pleasure to be had, the tables are turned and she finds herself no longer the hunter but the vulnerable prey. Given little choice, Cat trains to fight by Bones’ side and continue the process of destroying the vampires she’s been taught to hate. When things go wrong and it’s time to run she’ll have a difficult choice to make, but only one choice will protect those she loves.

Bones is on a mission to stop a powerful vampire, and the goons that do his bidding. Cat is the perfect partner with her half-vampire blood and her still beating heart. To the vampires her pulse marks her as human, and that makes it all the more easy to get close to their targets. Bones will stop at nothing to put an end to the vampires who risk their very existence and to the minions who enable their power. In the end the price could cost him everything he holds dear.

Halfway to the Grave is the first book in the Night Huntress series. Cat has lived her life as an outcast, and turned it into the strength she needs to hunt. Bones hadn’t planned on taking on a partner before he met Cat, but together they’re about to turn their target’s world upside down. Pairing-up a sassy half-vampire out for blood, with a sexy vampire on a mission of his own, Ms. Frost builds a strong and captivating world full of paranormal twists, a touch of humor, and a romance that quickly heats up the pages. The solid forward pace and surprise ending nicely sets the stage for Cat’s next exciting adventure.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Jaz Parks, Book 1
Jennifer Rardin
Orbit - Hachette Books
October 8, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-316-02046-6

Jasmine “Jaz” Parks is a government agent who has just been assigned the duty of partnering with and protecting Vayl, a vampire and high-level assassin. Their new case is to infiltrate and stop Assan, a plastic surgeon with the skill and wealth to fund terrorists looking to unleash a deadly virus. Assan, with the help of a high ranking government official and a ruthless vampire, has gathered members of the Deganite cult to bring back Tor-al-Degan, a Kryon demon who feeds on souls. They’ll need a willing sacrifice to bring the demon fully into this world, and they’ve decided that with a little persuasion Jaz is just what they’re looking for.

Vayl is a centuries old vampire seen as a national treasure by the oversight committee that controls their agency department. His request to partner with Jaz is answered and along with the help of Bergman, a contractor who develops high-tech weapons and gadgets, Cassandra, a psychic, and Cole, a private investigator, they plan to carry out their mission to put an end to the activities of Assan and those around him. They’ll have to win the battles in order to prevent the war.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy is the first in an exciting new urban fantasy series that’s sure to have readers hooked. Jaz is equal parts strength and sass making her the perfect partner for more refined vampire, Vayl. Ms. Rardin combines realistic fears and creative fantasy in an entertaining and well-crafted world. This intriguing read has plenty of action, suspense and blossoming romance to gather a wide variety of dedicated fans. Readers will be delighted to hear that the second installment, Another One Bites the Dust, will release in December.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Die For Me by Karen Rose

Die For Me
Karen Rose
Vision – Hachette Group
August 28, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-61691-1

When a man is out hunting for treasure with his metal detector and finds a body in his frozen Philadelphia field, Detective Vito Ciccotelli is called in on the case. With the help of a local archaeologist, Sophie Johannsen, they map an area of the field that reveals many more graves. Some hold murdered victims, but others remain empty in wait of the killer’s future prey. It’s immediately clear that the person responsible for the gravesite isn’t finished. As the team begins examining the bodies, the pieces of the nightmare slowly fall into place.

Sophie is called in to use her skills in archaeology to determine how many graves are waiting below the surface of the field, but she hadn’t planned on how far she’d actually be brought into the investigation. Her knowledge of medieval torture and the devices used becomes invaluable to the case, and it’s not long before they realize that the serial killer may have plans for her as well. Sophie’s job at the Albreit Museum is no longer the safe haven it once was, but Vito is doing everything in his power to protect her. Vito’s not about to lose Sophie, and he won’t stop until he puts an end to the serial killer’s deadly campaign.

Die For Me is a fantastic romantic suspense. Sophie has issues from her past that keep her from getting too close to men, but when Vito comes along with problems of his own they find themselves letting go and embracing feelings that won’t be denied. With an amazingly detailed storyline, Ms. Rose builds her tale on a murderer whose perverse plan unfolds with careful precision. An incredible story of blood tainted passion with a delightful romance that softens the sharp edge of death.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beg for Mercy by Toni Andrews

Beg for Mercy
Toni Andrews
Mira Books
September 1, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-7783-2365-5

When Mercy Hollings gets angry, everyone around her, including her best friend, Sukey, is in danger of what she calls the “press”. She has the ability to bend the will of those around her and regardless of what she asks of them, they do it. It’s a talent that can come in handy with the new business in hypnotherapy that she’s opening. Sometimes a small press can go a long way.

Generally careful and in control, Mercy lets her irritation take over while dealing with Rocko, Sukey’s muscle bound boyfriend, and puts and end to their less than healthy relationship. It’s not long before Dominic, a man claiming to be Rocko’s cousin, comes around asking questions and it’s all Mercy can do to hold her own against the man.

With an assortment of friends by her side, including the new in town business owner Sam Falls, Mercy is forced to make a stand against the man threatening her and those she cares about. One way or another she’ll see that each of them comes out alive.

Beg for Mercy is a fast moving paranormal thriller. With a talent that sets her apart from the rest, Mercy thought she had distanced herself from the people around her, but just when she needs them most her friends prove her wrong. Ms. Andrews tells an intriguing tale with plenty of action and enough dark secrets to keep readers coming back for more. I look forward to learning more about Mercy and her friends in the next installment of this entertaining new series.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris

An Ice Cold Grave
Harper Connelly Mysteries, No. 3
Charlaine Harris
Berkley Prime Crime
September 25, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21729-0

As a teenager Harper Connelly was struck by lightening, leaving her with the ability to locate dead bodies and to experience the cause of death. Now, she and Tolliver Lang, her manager and step-brother, have been called in to search for a missing boy. Doraville, North Carolina, is a small town that has been trying to ignore a very big secret. Not one, but six young boys have disappeared locally and they’ve had little to go on. When the most recent boy disappears his grandmother, Twyla Cotton, raises the money to have Harper called in to search the area. Sheriff Sandra Rockwell is cautious about trusting Harper’s talent, but she’s desperate to find closure for the families of the missing boys.

It’s not long before Harper receives a buzz, the signal that there’s a dead body nearby, and is shocked to find the boys all buried in the same area. Once word is out, Harper and Tolliver are ready to leave town before they’re stuck in the never ending sea of reporters. Their plans are not meant to be once Harper is attacked and hospitalized. With their departure delayed, Harper soon finds herself in more danger than she ever could have predicted. She’ll have to fight to stay alive and hope that she too doesn’t end up as the next of the killer’s victims.

An Ice Cold Grave is the third book in the Harper Connelly Mysteries. Harper and Tolliver arrive for what they believe is a missing boy and find that there is in fact a serial killer on the loose in the town of Doraville. With an excellent mystery and a special touch of the paranormal, Ms. Harris dazzles readers with new victims, edge of your seat suspense and emotion filled romance. With well-developed characters, mystifying powers and fast moving plots, this is a series that both mystery and paranormal readers are sure to enjoy.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

When Ghosts Speak by Mary Ann Winkowski

When Ghosts Speak
Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits
Mary Ann Winkowski
Grand Central Publishing
October 22, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-58118-9

Mary Ann Winkowski is a paranormal investigator and the consultant to the CBS show Ghost Whisperer. She’s been communicating and working with the dead since she was a small girl. In the first part of this informative book, Mary Ann tells the story of discovering her gift. As a child, her grandmother would take her to neighborhood funerals where she learned to listen to, and encourage, earthbound spirits to cross-over.

Moving on to the second section, Mary Ann gives readers a better understanding of why some souls choose to remain when they’re given the opportunity to cross over. Though the deceased keep the Light around them for several days, if they don’t take advantage and cross-over the Light will leave them. Mary Ann learned to make the Light at will in order to help the earthbound spirits cross. She also explains how the spirits of children are different, delves into the loyalty of pets and shares the reality of evil spirits.

Part three offers a detailed account of what people can do to prevent attracting earthbound spirits and negative energy. Readers will also learn the many signs that you may not be alone and how to deal with these ghosts that have entered your life.

When Ghosts Speak is a true account of Mary Ann Winkowski’s lifelong affinity with earthbound spirits. The stories shared are simply amazing and will have most readers rethinking their theories on ghosts. Well-written, vividly detailed and surprisingly creepy, this is a book that fans of the paranormal won’t want to miss. The next time you think you hear your name spoken in the middle of the night it won’t be so easy to dismiss.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Over Hexed by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Over Hexed
The Hex Series, Book 1
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Onyx – Penguin Group (USA)
October 2, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-41248-5

Banished to the town of Big Knob, Indiana, for mischievous matchmaking with their magic, Dorcas and Ambrose Lowell are being forced into helping George, the poker playing dragon. Until George is convinced to cooperate, the Lowell’s are stuck there, but they’re not going to sit by idly and wait when there’s plenty of matchmaking to be done in Big Knob. When Sean drops by to look at a possible carpentry job they have for him, they’re off and running on their first client in need of help in their love life.

Sean Madigan is tired of being the object of women’s lustful fantasies, so when Dorcas and Ambrose offer him the opportunity to stop the women chasing him down for dates; he’s more than happy to try. As a carpenter with his skills in renovating, he’s interested in purchasing his old family home and restoring it to its former glory. When Maggie comes to town wanting to buy the same property, Sean is back at the Lowell’s begging to be his former self. According to Dorcas and Ambrose he’ll have to wait for the potion to wear off, so now he’s stuck trying to charm Maggie out of the house and into bed without the benefit of his good looks and usual charisma. Sean’s finding out just how hard the average Joe has it when it comes to wooing women.

Over Hexed is a magical and all-around fun romance. Dorcas and Ambrose plan to make the most of their stay in Big Knob, and finding Sean his soul mate is just the thing to pass the time. With her wonderful talent of lighthearted humor, Vicki Lewis Thompson pens an enchanting tale for her amorous characters, steeping it in magic and enough passion to scorch the pages. The laughs start on page one and will have fans anxiously awaiting the next installment in this delightful new series.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Black Dragon by Allyson James

The Black Dragon
Dragon Series, Book 2
Allyson James
Berkley Sensation
November 6, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21844-0

After a night of performing magic, Saba Watanabe is riding the train back to San Francisco when she’s forced to face a white dragon in his human form. The power she has as a witch isn’t strong enough to fight him off, leaving her no alternative but to use the dragon tears she carries in her pocket. The tears are a magical connection straight to Malcom, the black dragon. Saba is grateful when Malcom appears and saves her from being kidnapped or worse, but their reunion will have to wait. The white dragon has plans and it’s clear that, willing or not, Saba plays a role in them.

Malcom was once exiled to live among the humans, and during his search for a witch strong enough to send him back to Dragonspace he met and enslaved Saba. Less than willing at the beginning of their relationship, by the time Malcom returned home to his dragon world there was much more between them. Now that he’s back, his plans are to stop the white dragon and to show Saba what he has learned since he left. In order to stop this new threat and the darkness he has brought, Malcom will have to trust in his friends to join together and banish the white dragon forever.

The Black Dragon is the second book in the Dragon Series. Saba hasn’t forgotten the time she spent with Malcom, and now she’s holding back to avoid heartache all over again. Malcom has other plans. With sharp and wildly sexy characters, Ms. James fills the pages with dangerous adventure and scorching romance. A fabulously delicious read that will leave fans hoping for much more to come.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Matters of the Blood by Maria Lima

Matters of the Blood
Maria Lima
Juno Books
April 11, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-8095-5790-8

Finding herself back in the small Texas town of Rio Seco, Keira Kelly inherits the responsibility of babysitting her cousin. As a descendant from a supernatural family, Keira is just coming into her powers. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but a prophetic dream involving the death of her cousin Marty was not the way she expected things to begin. A mortician by trade and the only human in the family tree, Marty tends to get himself into trouble. Marty is about to get a lot more than he bargained for, but with Keira’s ex-lover, Sheriff Carlton Larson, on the case they might just get some answers.

The Wild Moon ranch is open for business and the owner, Adam Walker, is an old friend that Keira hasn’t seen for years. What started long ago as friendly flirtation is evolving into stronger interest, but with Marty’s mysterious death and animals being murdered, much of their time is being focused on the investigation. With so many possibilities of whom, what and why, the suspect list is growing. It’s going to take more than the Sheriff’s experience to solve this bloody killing spree, and Keira may be just the one to help.

Matters of the Blood is a fabulous paranormal mystery. Keira has the strength and determination to take care of herself, but with an ongoing investigation and her change to power upon her, she’s learning to trust in the friends and family by her side. With an emphasis on mystery, Maria Lima weaves a brilliant tale of supernatural power, revenge, and the excitement of newfound love. A fantastic story, I hope to see more from this author in the future.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Mortal Touch by Inanna Arthen

Mortal Touch
The Vampires of New England, Book 1
Inanna Arthen
By Light Unseen Media
July 20, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-9793028-0-0

Regan Calloway thought she had learned her lesson years ago. Working with someone like Dr. Hiram Clauson to solve a new mystery meant she was allowing him to expose her psychic abilities to catch a criminal. Life had already shown her once what can happen should things go wrong, but these victims deserved to know what really happened to them during their bizarre attacks. If Regan could help them, she knew she had to try.

Getting her life back together in the small town of Sheridan, Regan spent her days running a second-hand shop, and enjoyed the rare evening out among friends. When her best friend, Veronica, meets a man she wants checked out, Regan reluctantly agrees. Things don’t go nearly as planned when she meets Jonathon Vaughn. It seems that Jonathon has a secret that will put them all in danger, including young Sean who has wormed his way into their makeshift family. With her friends by her side it’s time for Regan to make a stand, and she’ll stop at nothing when it comes to protecting those she loves.

Mortal Touch is an intriguing vampire adventure. Regan has worked hard to get her life back on track, but somehow trouble has found her once again. In this tension filled paranormal tale, Ms. Arthen develops a nicely detailed world with captivating characters and fascinating twists on vampirism. With a touch of mystery, suspense and passion, this is a wonderful escape from the ordinary.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tombs of Endearment by Casey Daniels

Tombs of Endearment
Pepper Martin Mysteries, Book 3
Casey Daniels
Avon Books – Harper Collins
October 1, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-06-082150-0

When Pepper Martin’s life of luxury was turned upside down, she had little choice but to suck it up and get a job. Now, she’s a tour guide at Garden View Cemetery and working with the dead has gone well beyond knowing the history of the cemetery’s residents. It seems that Pepper has developed an unwelcome talent; she can see and hear the dead.

Damon Curtis was a famous rock star that lived fast and died young years before Pepper was born. Now he’s looking for help to stop one of his old band-mates from stealing his thunder and to finally be set free from the limbo he has existed in for decades. With Pepper on the case, and plenty of clues to be found, Damon is confidant she can help. What neither of them anticipated was there being so much more to the mystery, and when the police get involved Pepper is about to find herself in another compromising position.

Tombs of Endearment is the third installment in the Pepper Martin Mysteries. Pepper’s knack for trouble with the dead is back in full-swing when she takes on the case of the deceased, but irresistibly sexy rock star, Damon Curtis. With witty dialogue and an entertaining mystery, Ms. Daniels pens an irresistible tale of murder, greed and a lesson in love. A well paced storyline that’s sure to have readers anticipating Pepper’s next ghostly client.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, September 14, 2007

Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

Midnight Alley
The Morganville Vampires, Book 3
Rachel Caine
NAL Jam – Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
October 2, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22238-1

Claire Danvers made a deal with the strongest vampire in town, a deal which was meant to ensure her friend’s safety in Morganville. Now Amelie is using that contract to force Claire into an education they don’t teach in her college classes. Learning new material isn’t usually a problem for someone with Claire’s level of intelligence, but she’s always up for a challenge. The trouble is that her new instructor is less than sane, and every minute in his presence is at a high risk to her mortal life. Sanity is slipping away from Myrnin, and if Claire can’t catch on to his lessons quickly, the future of vampires could very well come to an end.

Eve’s scary brother is stalking Claire, her boyfriend Shane is recuperating from a serious injury, her roommate Michael is a vampire, and dead bodies are showing up around the house. With everything going wrong for the residents of the Glass house, the last thing any of them need is anymore surprises, but the vampires plan to get what they want and there’s little that Claire and her friends can do to stop them.

Midnight Alley is the third book in The Morganville Vampires series. Claire is being put to a test, and the struggle to balance her life between human friends and the vampires who control the town is getting more complicated with each passing day. With a well-paced storyline, Ms. Caine weaves a web of dangerous temptation, dark deceit and loving friendships. The non-stop vampire action and the delightfully sweet relationships will captivate readers and leave them craving more.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Midnight Brunch by Marta Acosta

Midnight Brunch
Casa Dracula, Book 2
Marta Acosta
Pocket Books
April 24, 2007
ISBN# 978-1-4165-2039-9

Residing at the Grant family ranch, Milagro de Los Santos feels like she’s an accepted member of Oswald’s family. So when the family arranges a special ceremony for Oswald’s new niece but excludes Milagro, she takes matters into her own hands. Trouble follows Milagro wherever she goes, and when Oswald travels to perform plastic surgery on children who wouldn’t otherwise receive it, she embarks on a new adventure. A promising job offer in her writing career lands Milagro at an exclusive resort, but her employer has a lot more than a rewrite in mind.

Despite his hectic schedule, the harsh words he shared with Milagro before he left are plaguing Oswald’s thoughts. With poor phone reception in his current location there’s little outside contact, but a brief phone call causes him alarm that sends Oswald on a frantic race for home. His sudden return finds him joining the family in a plot to outsmart a group of people who want Milagro’s blood for their own dark intentions. The family promised to protect her, they’re not about to let her go now.

Midnight Brunch is the second book in the Casa Dracula series and just as wonderfully funny as the first. Milagro is off on a quest to further her career but finds that she’s been plunged into more trouble than she alone can handle. With this delightful sequel of intrigue and adventure, Ms. Acosta treats readers to a fresh dose of her sharp wit, sexy characters and sizzling passion. Milagro and her zany luck will have fans eagerly awaiting more in this enchanting series.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula
Casa Dracula, Book 1
Marta Acosta
Pocket Books
July 4, 2006
ISBN# 978-1-4165-2038-2

Milagro de Los Santos has the worst luck with jobs and men, neither of which ever seem to be the right fit. Forced to attend a party for her ex-boyfriend, Sebastian, the night starts looking up when Milagro meets an attractive stranger, Oswald. A heated kiss draws blood and soon Milagro isn’t feeling well. It’s not long before Sebastian develops a renewed interest in her, and Milagro quickly discovers that he’s using her for information she might have on Oswald. Now she’s in the middle of an ongoing struggle between a dark organization, and the vampire community she never knew existed. Not that Oswald’s family would ever own up to being vampires.

Oswald Grant is a man with a medical condition that leaves him sensitive to light, and gives him an odd craving for blood. Meeting Milagro wasn’t the wisest move, but kissing her was completely out of line. Now that he’s infected her, his enemies are after her as well. Oswald has little choice but to protect her, so Milagro becomes a guest at the Grant family ranch in the country. The Grants will do everything in their power to keep Milagro away from the trouble that awaits her just outside of their home, but there’s only so much they can do to save Milagro from herself.

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula is a laugh-out-loud vampire romance. For all of their differences, Milagro and Oswald make a marvelous couple. With a delightfully unique approach, Ms. Acosta pens a passionate vampire romance filled with friendship, love and life threatening adventure. This deliciously sexy tale will hook you with clever chapter titles and dazzle you with its witty dialogue. A fabulous story that you don’t want to miss.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sorcery and the Single Girl by Mindy Klasky

Sorcery and the Single Girl
Mindy Klasky
Red Dress Ink
October 1, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-373-89563-2

Jane Madison is a witch in training. With Neko, her familiar, and David Montrose, the Warder assigned to watch over her, Jane must face the Washington Coven to become one of Hecate’s Daughters. Meeting the Coven Mother, Teresa Alison Sidney, is a challenge in itself, but it’s the test they have charged her with completing that truly worries Jane. Should she lose, she forfeits everything, including Neko. With the night of her test approaching, Jane focuses most of her free time on perfecting her skills. Failure is not an option.

Graeme Henderson is in acquisitions. He’s explained to Jane that he’s willing to locate most anything a client is in search of, and he does his job well. Weeks of dating between his week long trips to London has been a great time for Jane, but she’s promised her best friend that she’d keep Graeme a secret from her familiar. The truth always has a way of coming out, and when all is revealed Neko won’t be the only one surprised.

Sorcery and the Single Girl is an enchanting read. Tired of the single life and worried about her future as a witch, Jane jumps in with both feet when Graeme begins to wine and dine her. With powerful magic and fun-filled action, Ms. Klasky pens a bewitching tale of passion, betrayal and the strength of friendship through it all. A whirlwind romance sure to surprise and entertain.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews