Friday, February 27, 2009

Review - Once Bitten by Kalayna Price

Once Bitten
Kalayna Price
Bell Bridge Books
January 9, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-9802453-9-4

Book Blurb:
Kita Nekai, on the run and the smallest of her shifter clan—a calico cat among lions and tigers—is being hunted. She was expected to accept her role as her father’s successor whether or not her cat was up to the task of leading the clan. She disagreed. Now she’s less than a step ahead of the hunters, bone-tired, cold, and living hand-to-mouth in the city of Haven. And that’s the high point of her day. She’s also drugged, "accidently" turned into a vampire, and sentenced to death for recklessly creating a rogue shifter who tortures its human prey. She’s got seventy-two hours to find the rogue, evade a city full of hunters, prove she’s not responsible for the rogue, and keep the vampire council from killing her. All while sorting out an apprentice mage, a married ex-boyfriend shifter-hunter, and the vampire who made her.

My thoughts:
Born the daughter of the clan leader, Kita Nekai is a shapeshifter expected to one day take her father’s place. Her position in the clan prevents her from choosing the man she’s always loved for a mate, and her inability to shift into anything larger than a calico cat leaves Kita to feel inferior. She leaves her home in Firth behind and lives her life on the run among the humans who take her in as a stray.

Hunters have come to Haven for a rogue, and Kita is being blamed for his existence. In the midst of evading the hunters, she finds her situation going from bad to worse when a vampire bites her. Being judged guilty of a crime, and having little time to track down the rogue to prove her innocence, Kita has little choice but to accept help. Without it, she’ll never survive.

Once Bitten unfolds at a quick pace, and provides readers with a well-detailed storyline. Ms. Price pens a tale of fantasy and dangerous adventure, spicing it up with a touch of romance that’s sure to keep readers coming back for more. I’ll be watching for book two in this exciting new series.

To learn more about Once Bitten, please visit Mr. Price’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Review - Between a Rock and a Heart Place by Natale Stenzel

Between a Rock and a Heart Place
Natale Stenzel
Love Spell – Dorchester Pub.
February 24, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-505-52783-7

Book blurb:
Daphne Forbes always knew the world was an odd place. Unlike most CPAs, she grew up the daughter of a druid. Unlike her father, she eschewed the supernatural. But magic was coming to trip her up. In the form of an enchanted cornerstone, it was set to knock Daphne's socks off-or at least one of her shoes-and the rest of her clothes were soon to follow.

Magic filled Daphne, empowered her, shifted her shape and raged wild as a summer storm. Enter Tremayne. Whether the tormented newcomer was truly her guardian or something more sinister, one thing he wanted was clear. Daphne wanted him, too. She had spent her whole life with control but little power; this was just the opposite. She was suddenly between a magic stone and . . . someplace harder. And we're not (just) talking about Tremayne's abs.

My thoughts:
Growing up with power-hungry druid parents, Daphne Forbes is less than willing to follow in their footsteps, and she’s eager to start a new life. Her dreams are about to be shattered as she’s left to not only deal with the magic around her, but with the magic swelling inside her as well.

Tremayne is tied to the cornerstone and responsible for the power it holds. When Daphne is accidentally forced into carrying that magic, it becomes his job to see that the magic is contained. He must also ensure that mixing with her untapped druid powers the magic doesn’t drive her insane. Tremayne’s future may ultimately depend on the outcome.

Between a Rock and a Heart Place is a fantasy filled with ancient magic and heartwarming romance. Ms. Stenzel builds a world that’s easily visualized, and creates characters that intrigue and entertain. The chemistry between Tremayne and Daphne will draw readers in and their relationship will leave a lasting impression. I hope to see a return visit to this fascinating world.

To learn more about Between a Rock and a Heart Place, please visit Ms. Stenzel’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Review - Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Raises Hell
Kitty Norville, Book 6
Carrie Vaughn
Grand Central
February 24, 2009
ISBN# 978-0446-19954-4

Book Blurb:
Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas.

Kitty and Ben flee The City That Never Sleeps, thinking they were finished with the dangers there, but the sadistic cult of lycanthropes and their vampire priestess have laid a curse on Kitty in revenge for her disrupting their rituals. Starting at the next full moon, danger and destruction the form of fire strikes Kitty and the pack of werewolves she's sworn to protect.

She enlists the help of a group of TV paranormal investigators - one of whom has real psychic abilities - to help her get to the bottom of the curse that's been laid on her. Rick, the Master vampire of Denver, believes a deeper plot lies behind the curse, and he and Kitty argue about whether or not to accept the help of a professional demon hunter - and vampire - named Roman, who arrives a little too conveniently in the nick of time.

Unable to rely on Rick, and unwilling to accept Roman's offer of help for a price, Kitty and her band of allies, including Vegas magician Odysseus Grant and Kitty's own radio audience, mount a trap for the supernatural being behind the curse, a destructive force summoned by the vengeful cult, a supernatural being that none of them ever thought to face.

My thoughts:
When Kitty and Ben returned from Vegas they had hoped that trouble wouldn’t follow them home. To their dismay the cult they disrupted isn’t about to let it go. With the help of Denver’s Master vampire, a group of ghost hunters, and a talented magician, Kitty’s pack will fight to survive. Their only hope is to discover what dark force has been sent to destroy them and find a way to stop it before it succeeds.

This is the sixth Kitty Norville novel. Ms. Vaughn pens a tale of dark magic, and populates her world with intriguing characters that never fail in keeping readers engrossed as the story unfolds. Kitty Raises Hell is a must read for fans of the series. If you’re an urban fantasy reader and haven’t gotten hooked on Kitty’s adventures yet, you should start this series at the beginning and not miss a word.

To learn more about Kitty Raises Hell, please visit Ms. Vaughn’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, February 13, 2009

Review - A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison

A Taste of Magic
Tracy Madison
Love Spell – Dorchester Pub.
February 24, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-505-52810-0

Book blurb:
Today is Elizabeth Stevens’s birthday, and not only is it the one-year anniversary of her husband leaving her, it’s also the day her bakery is required to make a cake—for her ex’s next wedding. If there’s a bitter taste in her mouth, no one can blame her.

But today, Liz is about to receive a gift. Her Grandma Verda isn’t just wacky; she’s a little witchy. An ancient gypsy magic has been passed through her family bloodline for generations, and it’s Liz’s turn to be empowered. Henceforth, everything she bakes will have a dash of delight and a pinch of wishes-can-come-true. From her hunky policeman neighbor, to her gorgeous personal trainer, to her bum of an ex-husband, everyone Liz knows is going to taste her power. Revenge is sweet…and it’s only the first dish to be served.

My thoughts:
Elizabeth Steven’s has had a difficult year since her husband walked out, but things are about to change. Her Grandma Verda has given her a birthday card that holds a special gift meant just for her. It’s a gift of magic that has been passed down through most of the women in the family.

With her ex-husband getting married, and her business partner accepting the wedding cake order, Elizabeth has little choice but to follow through on baking it. Making wishes is about to go a long way in getting a bit of pay-back. Now she just needs to learn how to reverse a few wishes to simplify her love-life and Elizabeth could have the best birthday ever.

A Taste of Magic is a magical tale of romance and revenge. Ms. Madison takes readers on an adventure in baking that’s highlighted with tasty treats, sexy men, and a touch of humor. Elizabeth sets out to test her new talent and see just how far it will go. From heartache and pain a stronger woman emerges to find love and happiness. A Taste of Magic should be enjoyed by readers who like a sprinkle of laughter and magic with their romance. A Stroke of Magic follows as a July 2009 release.

To learn more about A Taste of Magic, please visit Ms. Madison’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Review - MacGowan's Ghost by Cindy Miles

MacGowan’s Ghost
Cindy Miles
Signet Eclipse
February 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-22618-1

Book Blurb:
Gabe MacGowan-a sexy, brooding, guilt-ridden widower and father to mischievous seven-yearold Jake-is the proprietor of Odin's Thumb Inn and Pub in a misty Scottish seaside village. He decides to sell the inn and move, not only to give his son a more stable environment, but to escape the ghosts who haunt him-in particular his dead wife.

Gabe hires Allie Morgan, an easy-going and fun-loving American, to oust the spirits who are chasing away potential buyers. Odin's Thumb is bustling with frightened tourists, quirky residents of the village, and dodgy yet lovable apparitions-including the ghost of a sea captain who fancies Allie. Allie knows she can help Gabe chase away his own ghosts, but can she help him rediscover life-and love?

My thoughts:
When Allie Morgan receives the first international request for her services, she’s quick to take the job. Traveling to Scotland is an opportunity she wouldn’t want to miss, but meeting Gabe and his ghosts will be more than even she could have imagined.

Gabe MacGowan wants a stable home in which to raise his young son, and selling Odin’s Thumb Inn and Pub is the only way he sees to accomplish it. The ghostly residents don’t agree, and are scaring off the possible buyers. Hiring Allie to force the ghosts out seemed like the perfect solution until she walked in and turned Gabe’s life upside down.

MacGowan’s Ghost is a paranormal romance packed with ghostly adventure. Ms. Miles pens an enchanting read with charming ghosts and a lovely setting. The chemistry between Allie and Gabe is apparent from the beginning, and will keep romance fans glued to the pages until the very end. I hope that we’ll be seeing more of this delightful series in the future.

To learn more about MacGowan’s Ghost, please visit the website of Ms. Miles: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Review - A Perfect Darkness by Jaime Rush

A Perfect Darkness
Offspring, Book 1
Jaime Rush
Avon Books
January 27, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-06-169035-8

Book Blurb:
They live ordinary lives, but they are extraordinary. They are the Offspring, children of a mysterious experiment gone awry—and they are in terrible danger.

A sexy stranger awakens Amy Shane in the dead of night. Lucas Vanderwyck barely has time to whisper a few words before three men burst into her bedroom and drag him away. But what Lucas reveals shatters Amy's safe little world forever.

Lucas and Amy share a psychic gift—a gift that could put them in mortal danger. And as they share night after night of savage passion, as a shadowy government conspiracy tracks their every move, they will fight to save each other. But only with their powers of second sight can they escape the terror of a perfect darkness.

My thoughts:
Amy Shane lives a lonely life by choice, and retrieves information from damaged hard drives to make a living. She doesn’t date, and other than her bird the only people she really associates with are her Uncle Cyrus and her neighbor Ozzie. When a man she doesn’t recognize wakes her in the night to warn her, and government men break in to take him away, Amy’s dull life takes a drastic turn.

Unable to let the incident go, Amy begins digging and learns that her intruder is Lucas Vanderwyck. Like her, Lucas and others are the Offspring of parents involved with a secret government experiment many years ago. They all have psychic ability and someone wants their talents to use for their own goals. Only together will any of them have a chance to survive.

A Perfect Darkness is a danger-filled thriller with a strong psychic element. Ms. Rush shares a well-written tale that will draw readers in and keep them engaged until the end. The author does a fabulous job of keeping the action steadily flowing throughout, and adds a sweet romance that heightens the emotions of each character involved. It’s clear that there is more excitement to come. I’ll be looking forward to the next installment, Out of the Darkness, currently set to release in October, 2009.

To learn more about A Perfect Darkness, please visit Ms. Rush’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Review - Second Skin by Caitlin Kittredge

Second Skin
Nocturne City, Book 3
Caitlin Kittredge
St. Martins
March 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-312-94831-3

Book Blurb:
When werewolves from Nocturne City’s oldest packs are found shot through the head at point-blank range, homicide detective Luna Wilder isn’t sure what’s killing them or why…now the killer is determined to make Luna its next victim. To make matters worse, her boyfriend Dmitri’s demon bite is getting worse, weakening him and putting a major strain on their relationship.

Luna discovers the murders are linked to the Wendigo, shapeshifting cousins of werewolves made of smoke and shadow who drink the blood of their victims for strength. She doesn’t know whether Wendigo leader Lucas Kennuka is friend or foe, but he’s clearly determined to wrest her heart from Dmitiri. And if Luna doesn’t discover who’s behind the killings, it could destroy her fragile relationship—and cost Luna her life…

My thoughts:
Luna Wilder knows better than to say yes to Detective David Bryson, but soon finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and trying to save the werewolves of Nocturne City. Someone is killing werewolves from each of the packs and finishing them off with a bullet through the head. Luna would rather not be next. With a bit of digging, the trail leads to the Wendigo living outside the city.

Lucas Kennuka leads the local Wendigo, supernatural beings that can shift into foggy shadow to pursue their victims. He may be the only hope for Luna to find answers, but finding him may bring her more than she alone can handle.

This is the third novel in the Nocturne City series. Ms. Kittredge takes readers on a dark adventure complete with thrills, chills and a touch of romance. Second Skin is well written, advances the story with action-packed scenes, and makes this book impossible to set down. The next installment, Witch Craft, releases September 2009.

To learn more about the Nocturne City series, please visit Ms. Kittredge’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Friday, February 6, 2009

Review - Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Bone Crossed
Mercy Thompson, Book 4
Patricia Briggs
February 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01676-1

Book blurb:
In a world where “witches, vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters live beside ordinary people” (Booklist), it takes a very unusual woman to call it home. By day, Mercy Thompson is a car mechanic in Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shape-shifter with some unusual talents, Mercy’s found herself maintaining a tenuous harmony between the human and the not-so- human on more than one occasion. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

My thoughts:
Mercy Thompson has recently survived a terrible ordeal, and try as my might she’s having a difficult time dealing. When an old acquaintance shows up on her doorstep asking for help she’s inclined to do what she can, especially when she learns that a young boy could be in trouble.

Stepping away from the escalating danger at home, Mercy heads to Spokane, with the added protection of Stefan at her back, and attempts to help Amber with her ghostly troubles. What she finds is that there’s more at work than a disgruntled ghost frightening her friend’s young son. The family’s survival, as well as her own, may depend on the choices that she alone must make.

This is the fourth novel in the Mercy Thompson series. Ms. Briggs brings the series to several cross-roads where the heroine is forced to make quick decisions that are crucial to her future. Bone Crossed has all of the danger filled excitement that readers expect in this supernatural world. The characters are exceptional, especially the heroine who relies on her own strengths and shows her emotions in a very human way. This is a series that I highly recommend reading.

To learn more about Bone Crossed, please visit the website of Ms. Briggs: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Review - Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood

The Dark Forgotten, Book 1
Sharon Ashwood
Signet Eclipse
February 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-22617-4

Book Blurb:
Vampires, Werewolves, and other creatures have emerged from the shadows. And some of them have sinister THINGS on their minds...

Holly Carver is a witch who sometimes relies on the help of Alessandro Caravelli for her family’s preternatural investigations business. Alessandro is the oldest and strongest vampire in Fairview—and he’s made no secret of his desire for Holly. But while she aches to succumb to his suggestive wiles, she knows it would be an invitation to trouble.

Then Alessandro’s queen, Omara, complicates matters when she turns up in Fairview to enlist his help. Sultry and manipulative, she is jealous of Alessandro’s feelings for Holly, and demands he use Holly to trap Geneva—the most evil demon of all.

My thoughts:
Holly Carver earns her tuition money by using her skills as a witch working the family business. Her partner, Alessandro, keeps the vampire community of Fairview in check while working by her side. When a house gone rogue turns into a supernatural battle for survival, Holly’s talents will be tested to their full capacity.

Alessandro Caravelli has lived for centuries without the love or comfort of a woman by his side, but Holly tempts him at every turn. When his queen arrives in town and begins making demands, he’s torn between loyalty and love. One things for certain, he’ll do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s fallen for whether she’ll risk returning that love or not.

This is the first installment in The Dark Forgotten series. Ms. Ashwood has created an intriguing world where both good and evil dwell in the shadows and things are rarely what they seem. Ravenous is a well-written and sexy read that makes for a great escape from the norm. I look forward to the next visit with The Dark Forgotten.

To learn more about Ravenous, please visit the website of Ms. Ashwood: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review - Casual Hex by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Casual Hex
Big Knob, Book 3
Vicki Lewis Thompson
March 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-41268-3

Book Blurb:
Gwen Dubois lives in Indiana, but her heart is in France with Marc Chevalier, a man she met online. Now he’s come to Big Knob to show Gwen the meaning of amour and spirit her back to Paris. But stiff competition is coming from another part of the world—if not exactly this world. Prince Leo of the Atwood fairy kingdom has his own plans for Gwen, creating a romantic mishap that only Big Knob’s resident witch and wizard can untangle.

My thoughts:
Gwen Dubois runs the local floral shop in Big Knob, Beaucoup Bouquets, and lives a quiet life. She has little experience in relationships, but when she meets a botanist from France online she thinks he could be exactly the kind of man she’s looking for. There’s just one problem. Gwen has a sexy dream man who’s not inclined to leave her alone.

Marc Chevalier is a Botany Professor in France, but a Chicago conference is bringing him close enough to Big Knob to spend a few days seeing what could be a rare find in plants and getting to know Gwen in person. His arrival stirs excitement in the small Indiana town, but Marc’s main focus is on Gwen. When strange goings on around town catches his attention, Dorcas and Ambrose Lowell step in to help, but getting rid of the threat to Gwen and Marc’s happiness could prove to be more than they bargained for.

This is the third book in the Big Knob series, and the Lowells are spreading the love once again by playing cupid. Ms. Thompson weaves a romantic tale that’s sprinkled with magic and reinforced by love. Casual Hex is a fast-paced read, and a great addition to the enchanting world of Big Knob. Readers will be looking forward to seeing who falls under the spell of the town’s magical match-making duo next.

To learn more about Casual Hex, please visit Ms. Thompson’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Q & A with Linda Wisdom

Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Wisdom here on Darque Reviews. She’s agreed to share a bit more of her time to catch us up on what she’s been up to and what we’ll be seeing soon.

Hi Linda, welcome back to Darque Reviews!

LW: Thanks for having me back!

KS: The popular Hex series, featuring Jazz Tremaine, has a new installment out from Sourcebooks! Can you tell us a little about Wicked by Any Other Name?

LW: Stasi was introduced in both 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Hex Appeal, but now she has a story of her own. She owns a lingerie boutique that also features romance novels and isn’t happy that she’s being sued in Wizards Court for alienation of affection since she’s been accused of hexing a customer’s lingerie sachet. And the plaintiff’s wizard attorney is one hot guy who’s equally interested in her. Even more so that there’s red hearts dancing over both heads, courtesy of Cupid who’s not happy with Stasi venturing into his territory. As if that’s not enough, Moonstone Lake that offers the witches centering has been hexed and the townspeople are starting to act like the residents of Olde Salem where Stasi had once lived. Stasi, the sweet natured witch is now showing her steel backbone as she battles more than one front. Jazz, Nick, Irma and Fluff and Puff also make an appearance to help.

KS: Do you have a set number of books planned for Jazz and the gang?

LW: If all goes well there will be at least 16 books.

KS: Last year you had mentioned the possibility of an upcoming young adult urban fantasy. Is that still in the works?

LW: Yes, it is. At least, it’s with my agent and there’s been interest in the work.

KS: What are you working on now?

LW: I’m drafting out another witch book along with going over a paranormal romantic suspense I’d like to see have a home.

KS: What have you found is the most enjoyable part of the writing process? Why?

LW: My characters. They are so much fun to write about and end up people I’d love to hang out with. It’s what makes my work exciting. I’m always eager to find out what happens next since I’m convinced they’re writing the books.

KS: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers before we go?

LW: My Hex series along with some of my backlist books have been optioned for TV and/or movies and they’re out there hopefully to end up on screen.

Thanks so much for joining us Linda, it’s been a pleasure!

To learn more about the Hex series, you can visit Linda:

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - A Drop of Red by Chris Marie Green

A Drop of Red
Vampire Babylon, Book 4
London Underground Trilogy, Book 1
Chris Marie Green
March 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01681-5

Book Blurb:
If you run out of vampires to destroy at home, there's always work overseas . . .

Hollywood stuntwoman-turned-vampire-hunter Dawn Madison, along with her comrades, managed to wipe out the Los Angeles Vampire Underground-and uncovered not only her own dark family heritage but also a terrible truth about the man she loves. Now she's determined to find the next vampire lair, hoping it will help her to make more sense out of her life.

When a new Underground is found in England, Dawn and a vampire-fighting team are dispatched to carry the fight to the enemy in London. Dawn knows by now how deceiving appearances can be-and she is about to find out that it's not only the beautiful people of Hollywood who are willing to bargain with evil . . .

My thoughts:
Dawn Madison and her fellow vampire hunters have traveled to London, where the trail leads to a possible Underground. A psychic’s connection with a restless young soul will help in providing the clues that the team needs to escalate the investigation.

As the group continues to search, Costin fights his own battle. He’s having more trouble than ever accepting his current life. Without the hard earned control he relies on, the soul he searches for and those he cares about may be in fatal danger.

This is the fourth book in the Vampire Babylon series, and the first in the London Underground trilogy. Ms. Green moves the storyline along quickly, and delves deeper into many of the character’s hopes and fears. A Drop of Red is an engaging and passionate paranormal read that will keep fans on their toes and eager for the next release. The Path of Razors, the fifth book in the Vampire Babylon series (Book 2 in London Underground), is due out in August of 2009.

To learn more about Vampire Babylon, please visit Ms. Green’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Monday, February 2, 2009

Review - White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison

White Witch, Black Curse
Rachel Morgan, Book 7
Kim Harrison
February 24, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-06-113801-0

Book Blurb:
Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade.

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged.

Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel's past comes back to haunt her.


My thoughts:
Rachel Morgan can’t let go of her search for Kisten’s killer, and she refuses to stop until someone pays. With the help of Ford, a psychiatrist who may be able to help her remember, and the help of her partners Ivy and Jenks, she’s getting ever closer to discovering the shocking truth.

There’s a banchee and her family causing deadly trouble, and Captain Edden’s son has landed in the hospital from his brief encounter with them. Edden wants her caught, but even Rachel may not have the kind of power it will take to see that happen. In the midst of it all, Rachel’s demon dealings are about to affect her life on a broader scale and lead her further down what could become a very lonely path.

This is the seventh book in the Rachel Morgan series. Ms. Harrison works her writing magic, providing plenty of action to sweep readers up in the fray. White Witch, Black Curse is a roller coaster of emotions with an important story thread being resolved and new questions emerging. For fans of the series there are some pleasant surprises, but for every enjoyable moment the heroine has, there is something dark and potentially deadly just around the corner. Once you start, you won’t want to set it down.

To learn more about White Witch, Black Curse, please visit Ms. Harrison’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Review - Seeing Red by Susan Crandall

Seeing Red
Susan Crandall
Grand Central
January 27, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-446-17857-0

Book Blurb:
Ellis Greene remembers very little about the night of her cousin Laura's murder, but she does recall the face of the murderer. Ellis was the key witness to the crime, and her testimony helped put Hollis Alexander in jail for a long time. With Hollis behind bars, Ellis should feel safe, but the memory of that awful night still haunts her. Determined to free herself from the fear of being attacked like her cousin, Ellis has become an expert in self defense. However, when Ellis hears that Hollis has been paroled, she feels like a helpless teenager again--and she isn't the only one who notices that he's free.

Laura's boyfriend Nate was one of the prime suspects for her murder. After the court case, many still believed that Nate was guilty and he left town to reinvent himself. Now, fifteen years later, he has returned to protect Ellis from suffering the same fate as her cousin. As soon as Ellis and Nate see one another, sparks fly. But Ellis hasn't let herself fall for a man in a long time, and she isn't sure whether she can trust Nate. As Laura's murderer zeroes in on Ellis as his next target, she must fight to stay alive while she finally discovers her true feelings about Nate.

My thoughts:
At the young age of thirteen, Ellis lost her cousin Laura to a brutal act. Now, fifteen years later, she still has sleepless nights. The life she lives so cautiously is about to get a lot more dangerous. Hollis Alexander has been released from prison and plans to follow through on the threat he made to that young girl who helped to put him away.

Nate Vance had been Laura’s boyfriend, and was considered a possible suspect at the time. He fled Belle Island as soon as he could, but now he’s returned to watch over her. The trouble for Ellis is that he’s keeping secrets and even if he can keep her safe from a killer, she’s not quite sure if she’s safe from Nate.

Seeing Red is well-written and offers so many surprising twists that it will keep you guessing until the very end. Ms. Crandall moves her story along at a steady pace with danger around every turn. The characters are well defined and the chemistry between Ellis and Nate is sizzling. Seeing Red is heartbreaking as the troubled life of a young girl is brought to light, and the suspense of who victimized her will keep you at the edge of your seat.

To learn more about Seeing Red, please visit Ms. Crandall’s website: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

Review - Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Would-Be Witch
Southern Witch, Book 1
Kimberly Frost
February 3, 2009
ISBN# 978-0-425-22577-6

Book Blurb:
In the small town of Duvall, Texas, the only thing more troublesome than gossip — is magic.

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket—an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul—is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers—and a 007 savoir faire to boot—but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

My thoughts:
Tammy Jo Trask grew up believing that she was the only one in a family of witches who learned the dos and don’ts while inheriting none of the magic. When the locket containing the ghost of an ancestor is stolen, she’ll do everything she can to get it back, even if it means breaking one of the rules.

Bryn Lyons is handsome, wealthy and knows all about magic. It’s too bad that he’s on the list of don’ts, but it’s not long before Tammy Jo has gotten herself into a heap of trouble that not even her ex-husband can get her out of. The only option she can see is going to the one man she shouldn’t for help, and Lyons isn’t about to let her forget.

This is the first installment of the Southern Witch series. Ms. Frost blends myth with a whole lot of magic, giving readers a wildly entertaining read. Would-Be Witch has its dark and dangerous moments that should satisfy the reader’s appetite for action, and the heroine’s unresolved love life adds seduction and love to the mix. I’m looking forward to Tammy Jo’s next adventure in magic.

To learn more about Would-Be Witch, please visit the website of Ms. Frost: HERE

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews