Book Review: Amity of the Angelmen

Guest Review by Rachael Clipson

book review amity of the angel menAmity of the Angelmen by T. C. Slonaker is a book that keeps you on your toes.  It is a great book for those who just want a good read or for those struggling with their faith. I often found myself wondering if the story could actually happen or not. What if your best friend was half angel??

Amity, the main character,  has had a great life as the preacher’s daughter until she finds out some interesting news. It turns out she is God’s messenger.  She asks many of the same questions that I would ask if in that position. I found myself taking a walk in her shoes. I often thought, what if God is telling me to do that? She is a strong character, but has times where she is like any other teenager and can’t find hope in her situation. She has a great friend though that helps her find hope for her mission.

Mackenzie is a very young man trying to find his place in God’s plan. He happens to find himself in the middle of Amity’s mess when Mrs. Sheridan drags him to rid Her house of evil. He becomes Amity’s best friend and protector. He seems to be the only person she can turn to. But with Mackenzie becoming a priest he can’t have close secular relationships. Where will this leave him and Amity?

T. C. Slonaker has written a wonderful Christian mystery that leaves you begging for more! It makes you realize that God has a plan for you even if you don’t know what it is yet.
Book Review Amity of the Angelmen

About the Book

Amity David is not human, as the seventeen-year-old pastor’s daughter had thought she was. Her life has now been upturned and possibly set aright with the help of Mackenzie Abel, a young priest as conflicted about his calling as Amity is about hers. Blindly searching for answers together that will serve God’s intent, the two also struggle against feelings they have developed for one another. Can Amity trust the alleged angel who told her she is descended from a demon? Part of her hopes not because, if true, it means she is being called to help free others like her from the ties of her evil heritage through war. What happens when a being created out of evil, is called to fight on the side of good? And what if this evil being thinks she is a good person, only to find she is not even a person at all?

About the Author

Tracy enjoys her life as a wife and mother of three in just outside Reading, PA. She still has a soft spot for kids and an eagerness to use her degrees in Elementary Education by using them as Director of Christian Education at her non-denominational Christian church. She has also learned to love running, and has not given up her childhood fondness of sports (playing softball and watching football). She gives thanks to the Lord for all His good gifts. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and connect with her on Goodreads. You can find her book for purchase on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or the Martin Sisters Publishing website.

About the Reviewer

Rachael lives in a very small town in East Tennessee, where she attends Roane State Community College, majoring in Elementary Education. She loves to read whenever she gets the chance. You can follow her on Twitter @Rachy355.

Book Review: Vigilant by Angel Lawson

Guest Review by Michelle Schaffer

Book review for Vigilant by Angel LawsonVigilant was a very interesting story. The story never lagged, it was full of twists. I enjoyed the characters, especially the main character. This is a book that I would purchase and would read again. I very much enjoyed this book and I like how the author developed the story.

The story focuses on the life of Ari Grant, a caseworker for troubled youths. Ari is caught in an armed robbery and rescued by the Vigilante as the book begins. The Vigilante is known around Glory City to come to the rescue during time of need. Ari receives the benefit of the Vigilante more than once, at just the right time. We follow Ari’s life as she struggles to help the kids assigned to her, struggling what to do for them to overcome a city that seemed to have given up on them. All the while suffering personal turmoil due to the livelihood, in which the Vigilante steps in. The plot twists and turns, in unexpected ways. I had part of the story figured out early on while waiting for our main character to figure it out. Though there were a few turns in the story that were completely unexpected. It is well developed and easy to follow.

I really adored the superhero line of the story in which someone is watching over everyone, waiting in the wings at a time of need. But what I relished was the development of the main character Ari. I was captivated with the writing, watching Ari survive what life gives her, how she copes with life with her tattoo habits and late night clubbing and the relationships she fosters in her life especially with her roommate Oliver. I simply love her. She isn’t perfect, far from it. The best compliment I can give is she is real and written so beautifully.

My hesitation on giving this book five monkey review is the editing. I would be completely engrossed in the story, anxiously reading the next development, just to be pulled out by an editing error. The book has some errors, not on every page, just enough to frustrate me. One error being the wrong character name in which I went back and reread several pages to ensure I wasn’t mistaken. However these errors shouldn’t hinder you from reading this book, it is worth it! The story closes leaving the door open for more opportunities to continue the story, but not leaving unanswered questions. I sincerely hope the author continues the story, I know I would read a sequel!

Book Review Vigilant by Angel Lawson

About the Book

Ari Grant spends her days helping the troubled youth of Glory City, and her nights trying to feel something other than the cold numbness that has settled in her bones. For years, she satisfies this urge with trips to the tattoo parlor or late night clubbing, but everything changes when she becomes a victim of an armed robbery.

She manages to escape notice from the gunman, a former client, but only because she’s saved by Glory City’s own Vigilante. A hooded man who has impeccable timing when it comes to those in need.

It seems Ari isn’t the only one trying to save lost souls or looking for a life outside their job. She’s caught the attention of Nick Sanders, a handsome attorney at juvenile court. Solid and steady, he seems the perfect fit, but Ari has developed an obsession with Davis, the mysterious and sexy director of a local fight club that rehabilitates delinquent boys.

Each of these men fight for the less fortunate, but not everyone has altruistic motives. When Ari’s female clients begin to disappear, she can’t figure out who to trust. Soon enough it becomes obvious that while Ari watches over the kids of Glory City, someone else has taken to watching over her.

About the Author

Angel Lawson lives in Atlanta with 2 mini-superheroes, one big-superhero wannabe and a growing herd of pets. She spend her days creating art out of words, glue and glitter while chasing away zombies, serial killers and ghosts at night. She is the author of FanGirl, The Wraith Series and an adult romance, Serial Summer. The third book in the Wraith series will be released in December 2013. Follow Angel Lawson on her WebsiteTwitter, and Facebook.

About the Reviewer

Michelle is a lover of books, all shapes and sizes, but a big sucker for a great romance and the search for a new fictional boyfriend! When not taking care of three demanding persons in her home, one being the man she married and the other two co-created with her husband, she works full time in a job that pays the bills. She dreams of down time to lose herself in another book since she has more books on her TBR list than she does food in her refrigerator.

Book Review: The Future of Our Past

Guest Review by Wenisa Conedy

the future of our past by kahlen aymesRyan and Julia. You want to root for their success. You want to go for them to be together and have their happily ever after.
Best friends in college, they both have deeper feelings for each other but they were afraid of ruining the friendship so they never said anything. But now that college is over, Julia is off to the west coast to try her luck in Los Angeles. Ryan is heading to Boston to be a medical student at Harvard. The impending Separation has made them realize they need to be honest with each other as each person feels pain at just the thought of being a part and not seeing each other for many months.
The Future of Our Past is first of a trilogy and shows how Ryan and Julia open up to each other about how they feel, their plans for the future, their budding romance and how they deal with the separation. For me, book one’s story development is a tad slow. There are a few chapters I thought were added for fluff rather than plot or story development. A few characters and situations were introduced that could have added a bit of conflict to the story but didn’t.
I applaud that the author didn’t make Julia a simpering wallflower who would cave to the demands of Ryan. She is independent yet caring. She takes care for Ryan, but doesn’t sacrifice her ambitions because he demands something else. She is emotional yet strong. Ryan would do well to take a page out of her book and trust in her decisions.
I would have liked to see more of how they both mature from where they were in college. I was hoping that there would  be some  character growth and maturity, more plot development – laying a solid base for book two and three. Sadly book one did not have that.
I am, however, intrigued and invested to find out how this ends for Julia and Ryan — enough that I am not giving up on this trilogy and plan to purchase book 2 shortly.
book review the future of our past kahlen aymes

About the Book

Julia Abbot and Ryan Matthews have been inseparable best friends since the moment they met. Each of them fight an internal battle unwilling to risk their incredible friendship but unable to quell their deep longing for the other. On the verge of his departure to medical school and to her new job on the opposite coast, Ryan and Julia are forced to face the undeniable truth of their deeper feelings.

About the Author

Kahlen is an award-winning author of sizzling hot, deeply moving contemporary romance. Her stories are filled with intense love, passion, angst and emotion that breathes life into her characters and leaves her readers captivated. She lives near Omaha, Nebraska with her daughter, Olivia and their three dogs. Creative by nature, she enjoys the arts, music and theater… But the love of her life is writing!

Represented by Elizabeth Winick-Rubinstein of McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency, the first two books in her series; The Remembrance Trilogy are available now. Follow her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter, or visit her website.

About the Reviewer

Daughter, wife, friend and aunt –  thats me in a nutshell. There are a handful of important things in my life: My husband, my family my friends, my pup and my books. I  am a  life-long lover of books who discovered reading  at age 5 and grew up in a such a humid environment that I locked myself in the only cool room in the house to read – the bathroom. Reading takes me to realms and worlds where I can spend long hours meeting unforgettable characters (Hello Fifty), savoring, living and experiencing  their exciting, glamorous, dangerous, adventurous, angst filled or humor riddled lives from the safety of my favorite armchair. I love discovering new books and stories and recommending them to my friends and family.

Book Review: Weaver of Dreams

Guest Review by Kerry Hartjen

Book Review Weaver of Dreams Brenda SparksYou know how it is: sometimes, you’re just in the mood for a good alien seduction story. That’s why the premise of Brenda Sparks’ “Weaver of Dreams” caught my interest immediately. “Weaver of Dreams” is the story of a young woman who is being tormented in her dreams by a life-draining “Dream Stalker” from another dimension, and a handsome, manly (though not human) Energy Being is sent from the same other dimension to protect the woman and kill the Dream Stalker. What more could you ask for?

I began reading this fantasy/sci-fi/horror/suspense/thriller/alien romance novel with high hopes. I was delighted to find far fewer typos, grammatical errors and other mechanical problems than have plagued many of the indie-published books I have read lately, and I counted this as a major plus. I was grateful for the attention to those little details.

Unfortunately, however, I found it difficult to become involved in the story.

I immediately had trouble empathizing with the main character, Maggie. She’s a guidance counselor at a high school, and for the most part I felt that the author handled this part of Maggie’s life reasonably well. But Maggie is also severely sleep-deprived, has a mean, vengeful ex-lover for a boss, is under tons of pressure at work, suffers from a paralyzing public speaking phobia, has terrible eating habits, is being stalked in her sleep by an evil alien, and has no personal life to speak of.

With all of those things on her mind, I just couldn’t believe that the only thing she can seem to think about is having sex with Zane, an imaginary being from another dimension.

Zane’s superiors – who reminded me of the subway-dwelling Mensa mutants at the end of “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” – have sent him into Maggie’s world to kill the Dream Stalker that has violated their version of a prime directive. He is the white knight riding to Maggie’s rescue, the romantic interest, and the hero. Yet his behavior towards her is more like that of a Peeping Tom, his manner condescending, possessive and patronizing. Here is an excerpt from one of the early scenes in which he secretly watches Maggie while she sleeps:

“One of the woman’s legs now peeked out from under the quilted comforter. Her dainty foot flexed slightly in her sleep to draw his attention… Before his mind registered his intention, his hand stroked the smooth skin of her calf. He felt the warmth of her skin on the pads of his fingers. They moved up her leg in a slow glide, allowing him to savor the softness of her skin.”

To me, this is more creepy than romantic or erotic. I mean, this woman is asleep. She’s totally vulnerable and unaware that her home has been invaded and that she’s being fondled by some voyeur from another dimension. Zane is supposed to be the Good Guy, but his actions are just as predatory as the Dream Stalker’s.

To make matters worse, not only is our hero engaging in inappropriate touching – it turns out that Maggie’s into it. I could not understand why this professional, strong, intelligent and independent young woman would think that what he’s doing to her is okay. Better than okay, in fact.

There is a lot of daydreaming about sex, thinking about sex, and talking about sex in this book, which is fine. But the actual sex, when it eventually happens, seems forced and artificial. The tongue-sucking scenes are more amusingly gross than erotic, with Maggie and Zane apparently competing to see whose tongue can drill down to the other one’s duodenum first: “His tongue danced with hers in a sensual waltz. Each pass by his tongue a thorough examination, he left no part of her mouth unexplored.” And later, “Their tongues danced between their mouths, each seeking dominance.”

Sex scenes are very hard to write convincingly. They are the quicksand of romance writing. The thing is, I think that if the characters of Maggie and Zane been more substantially and believably written, all of that passionate lust they share could have been conveyed without the need for scenes of dancing tongues probing into damp nasal cavities.

Eventually, they do get beyond the tongue wrestling. But I was never sure if what they were having was real sex, dream sex, or hallucinated sex. I could never figure that out.

I also couldn’t figure out why the author would suddenly introduce a previously unheard of and conveniently psychotic major character, along with a new subplot, 80 pages into the story. It was like starting to read a whole different book. And then, 40 pages later, there is yet another new character – Maggie’s friend since high school, the person she always calls first “when things get rough”. If that’s true, then where has this person been for the last 119 pages?

Things like this bother me as a reader because they seem to happen for no other reason than that the author needed them to happen in order to get to the next chapter. I feel tricked, somehow, and that makes me not care about what happens anymore. If I feel tricked too many times, I lose interest and stop reading, which is what I did halfway through this book on page 125.

The idea behind “Weaver of Dreams” was a good one, and Brenda Sparks definitely has skill as a writer. I just wish she had devoted more of her talent to giving her characters greater depth and dimension, and spent less time describing their oral fixations.

The bottom line, for me, is that there wasn’t enough substance here to sustain an entire novel. It may have worked a lot better as a short story or novella, but there were too many repetitive passages, mechanical sex scenes, and not enough character development to maintain my interest beyond the halfway mark.

Book review for Fight for Your Write

About the Author

Brenda Sparks has always loved all things spooky and enjoys incorporating paranormal elements in her writing. She refuses to allow pesky human constraints to get in the way of telling the story. Luckily the only thing limiting her stories is her imagination. Her characters are strong, courageous, and she adores spending time with them in their imaginary world.

In real life, she is married to a loving, supportive husband and together they have one grown son who has brought much joy to their lives. Her idea of a perfect day is one spent in front of a computer with a hot cup of coffee, her fingers flying over the keys to send her characters off on their latest adventure. Follow her on Goodreads, Twitter, or her website.

About the Reviewer

Kerry Hartjen is a retired magician/clown/playwright who has recently returned to pursuing the life of a writer. He has had poetry, short stories and nonfiction published in “RipRap”, “The Journal of the San Juan Islands”, and more recently at www.helium.com . Two of his one-act plays were produced at The Uprising Theatre in Long Beach, CA and his full-length musical comedy “Little Red Riding Hood, The Musical… Sort Of” was commissioned by and produced at The New Wharf Theater in Monterey, CA. He is a graduate of The Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute and was a script reader for the Monterey Film Commission Screenwriting festival for three years. His blog can be found at: www.raviolithewriter.com .

Book Review: Tethers by Jack Croxall

Guest Review by Lisa Lester

Tethers by jack croxall ReviewSet in Victorian-era England, Jack Croxall’s Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy #1) introduces us to Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson, two teenagers growing up in the sleepy rural town of Shraye.  (From the descriptions, I imagine it’d be something like growing up in Tolkien’s the Shire.  Only, with less hobbits.)  Like teenagers the world over, they long to escape the confines of their small town lives and small town destines; Karl is being groomed to enter the teaching profession, while Esther is expected to continue on in the family business.  Everything changes, however, when Karl discovers a notebook with curious diary entries, the last of which mentions he and Esther by name.  Determined to find answers, the two embark on a journey that drastically alters how they view the world and each other.  Along the way, they discover that the diary isn’t a diary at all, and each question answered only leads to more questions.  Drawn into a tangled web of conspiracy, murder, and science, only a strange gem called the Viniculum seems to hold the answers they seek.

This story was a fun change for me.  I really like YA lit, as a general rule, and Jack Croxall’s tale was no exception.  Our main character, Karl, starts off the book as a loveable rogue, but through the course of the story we begin to see glimpses of the man he will become.  Esther, however, was far and away my favorite character.  From her witty dialogue, to her take-no-guff attitude, she doesn’t just break the mold of the proper Victorian lady, she shatters it.  I loved that the author made her such a strong supporting character, rather than the damsel in distress she could have been.  She’s also such a strong role model for girls in this story, because she definitely kicks butt and takes names, and makes no apologies for who and what she is.  I also loved the strong bond Karl and Esther share, without having that romantic element; they are two friends who love and support each other through thick and thin.

I also really enjoyed the premise of this story; it had a nice mix of supernatural and science to be intriguing without tipping the balance into too much of either.  From the lush and vivid descriptions of their surroundings to the diction used by the characters, you really get a feel for what life was like in that time and place.  The prologue also gives a nice bit of foreshadowing, but keeps things vague enough that when the first chapter starts and we meet Karl and Esther, you keep reading trying to figure out how it’s all connected.  My only (and very minor) complaint was that in the last few chapters, the climax seemed a bit rushed compared with the pacing previously in the story. However, the humongous cliffhanger at the end of the book definitely will have you wanting to know what happens next in the story.  I know I’m definitely looking for book two!

Book Review Tethers by Jack Croxall

About the Book

In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.

The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.

About the Author

Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books. A YA Victorian fantasy, Jack’s debut novel, Tethers follows Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson as they become embroiled in a treacherous conspiracy. The book is available through Amazon and you can find out more by visiting Jack’s blog or the book’s GoodReads page. You can also follow Jack on Twitter or Facebook.

About the Reviewer

Lisa Lester lives in a humongous house with three cats, three dogs, two dudes (one of which she’s married to, the other one is a refugee from New Jersey) and a partridge in a pear tree…okay, just kidding about the pear tree.  And the partridge too. When she’s not working for the Man. she’s reading or killing stuff on World of Warcraft. She also enjoys nerdy things like Star Wars, crocheting, and pretty much any kind of music.

Book Review: Collector’s Item

Guest Review by Michelle Schaffer

book review denise golinowski collector's itemCollector’s Item was an interesting read with a great story line potential. There was a great deal put into a novella. Though the book had promise, it fell a little short for me. To sum it up, I wanted more details, less story angles. The span of the story could have been expanded into a full book instead of a novella.

The book is about KT, a were-jaguar trying to find her aunt who has gone missing. KT is a part of a royal were-family who are trying to find the people behind the Collectors who view supernatural’s as game to hunt. I enjoy supernatural stories, and loved that the lead in this book was a female alpha. KT is a great lead character…strong, smart, saavy, who know’s who she is and what she wants. Where I was thrown was her were-jaguar form, Andi, and the way in which they communicate. I actually went back to read it again to understand. Once I understood, I loved it. It was different than any other supernatural story I had read.

The lead male character is Peyton. He is all male in every way…in every good way possible. Peyton is strong, sexy and domineering. He is a great match with KT, someone who can stand up to her and put in her in her place. He is an alpha-male that is looking into the Collector’s for his own personal reasons. Their were personas recognize a connection immediately, it takes KT and Peyton more time to catch on. The connection between the two is strong and intense, and I wanted more.

Where the story lost me was the missing details. Without giving any spoilers, I wanted more information about KT’s family and the Alliance. I wanted more details about her aunt, her decisions in the end. It felt like there were many parts of the story that were left vague and unclear. If you aren’t paying very close attention you will miss key parts that will require you to go back. An example of that the communication between KT and Andi. It is stated in one sentence and wasn’t clear until I read it twice. I like a story in which I am completely lost and absorbed into the story to where you don’t miss a single detail. The book gets there, just not initially. Where I think the story excelled is the connection and story between KT and Peyton and their were form connections. The scenes between the two of them had me smiling, frustrated, laughing and consumed in the book.

Overall, I liked the book. The story has great potential as well as the author. I would read more from this author when there is more time to divulge in the details of the story. This was the first book I read from Denise Golinowski. I like her writing style around characters and romance. She paints a great picture around romance, love and lust.

Book review Collector's Item

About the Book

Alpha were-jaguar, Katarina “KT” Marant is trained to protect the pride so when her aunt disappears, KT naturally takes up the hunt. Her suspicion settles on the Collectors, humans who view shapeshifters as the ultimate big game.

Peyton Allers can’t believe he’s got to blow his cover to rescue a shapeshifter “princess.” Even harder to believe is that she wants to stage her own kidnapping in order to catch the leader of the Collectors and find her aunt.

Everything goes sideways when KT is kidnapped for real and by someone she never suspected. Will Peyton find her before time runs out? Or will she become a true Collector’s Item?

About the Author

Denise Golinowski has always been a writer. A hopeful romantic, she gravitated to fantasy and romance.  Collector’s Item is her second enovella with the Wild Rose Press and is currently availableexclusively on Amazon.com for Kindle.  Her first enovella, The Festival of the Flowers: The Courtesan and The Scholar, is also available from The Wild Rose Press.  Denise is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America, Virginia Romance Writers, James River Writers, Writers Endeavor, and RichWriters.  A native of Richmond, Virginia, Denise lives with her uber-supportive husband and one devoted lap kitty. She is currently working on a Contemporary Paranormal Romance involving another member of the Marant Clan—KT’s older brother, Peter Marant.  You can find her on facebook at Denise Golinowski/Author and at her blog, Golinowski’s Gambol. You can buy Collector’s Item for Kindle at  www.collectorsitembook.com. Visit her blog, Golinowski’s Gambol, and visit Denise on Facebook atDenise Golinowski/Author.

About the Reviewer

Michelle is a lover of books, all shapes and sizes, but a big sucker for a great romance and the search for a new fictional boyfriend! When not taking care of three demanding persons in her home, one being the man she married and the other two co-created with her husband, she works full time in a job that pays the bills. She dreams of down time to lose herself in another book since she has more books on her TBR list than she does food in her refrigerator.

Book Review: It’s a Wonderful Undead Life

Guest Review by Tsuki Mew

book review it's a wonderful undead lifeI really hate giving books a “Did Not Finish” rating but usually it just means I didn’t like it enough to trudge through it in order to give it a one-star review.  When it gets to that point I wrestle with the concept of reviewing it when I did not even finish it.  How can I truly give a review when I never got to the end and in this case, only 45% in?

This is my reasoning behind my decision to review it anyway.  I am a negative review reader.  I want to know what the problem was for some people.  Sometimes it is the price and other times it was inconsistencies in plot or poor storytelling.  In this case it was a little of everything from characters to plot to mythology.  I pretty much had an issue with everything.

The story begins with a vampire killing a human.  The opening seems like an attempt to set the stage like in many paranormal romances.  The reader gets a glimpse of the paranormal elements and the first (or sometimes only) conflict.  Quickly the story shifts to Cailey who is having a terrible time with the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life(hence the title).  Cailey is attacked by the vampire in the prologue and left for dead.  From there she meets vampires and becomes one herself.

I pretty much stopped reading right after she became a vampire. At that point I realized I couldn’t stand another moment of the vampire family or Cailey’s ridiculous behavior.  I also cared very little for the villain, secondary characters or pretty much anything.

Cailey is completely unlikeable and unrealistic in most of the scenes.  She whines about the movie and Christmas.  She rationalizes walking home in a seedy part of town in the dark because her ride needs five more minutes at work.  Frankly I was hoping the vampire would just kill her by this point.  She then gets attacked and runs away from the people trying to help her.  She rationalizes her need for blood and sensitivity to light in about three paragraphs and just accepts it.  She actually formulates a plan to survive, which I respected, but she implemented it horribly.

Gabe (the hero, I guess) was also so childish and unrealistic as an ancient vampire I had to put it down multiple times to get over the laughing.  Gabe acts like he’s twenty-two years old or younger.  He has insta-love with Cailey or at least instant attraction.  When she says something about her ‘mentor/sire’ being horrible he gets offended even though it is obvious she is talking about the vampire who attacked her.

The entire vampire family is unrealistic.  I understand sibling dynamics and I love them in paranormal romances but this was ridiculous.  The siblings act like four twenty year olds with little wisdom or actual life experience.  Michaela (Gabe’s sister) wants to let Cailey die although she believes in healing people.  Metta (Gabe’s other sister) spends the time while Cailey is dying to rhapsodize about the hero.  Rafe (Gabe’s brother) is like the kid brother everyone finds annoying.  They act like a group of people no one would want to hang around.

Not only are the characters unrealistic but events shift so much I couldn’t keep up.  Cailey mentions she’s dying and sort of seems like one more breath will kill her.  She then spends a few pages discussing Michaela’s research, Cailey’s ex husband, and political correctness in vampire society. If I was dying those would all be the last of my concerns. Also I might want them to start going on and on about how my becoming a vampire saves their butts.

The other major issue I had was the technical terminology used.  I understand Cailey worked in the medical profession but anything pertaining to medicine was overly complicated and spiffed up to sound pretentious. The author used words/phrases like ‘sphygmomanometer’, ‘oximeter’, ‘subnormal temperature’, etc.  As someone who is not in the medical profession this threw me out of the book and made me skim through hospital scenes.  Say her temperature is low and they’re monitoring her and then move on please.

I had trouble with the writing style and the ‘as you know’ writing. The mythology seemed thrown in to easily explain ‘good vampires’ and ‘convenient plot points’ rather than a real grasp of vampire mythology.  I have no problem with creative mythology but it seemed like it was a hybrid of a bunch of different mythologies to the point it made vampires seem normal and humans abnormal.  Also the combination of Nyx and Cassiopeia seemed a little too convenient.  It left me wishing for better story-building.

I struggled on each page to read about Cailey and Gabe.  I hated both characters and the situations in the book.  When she became a vampire I actually thought it would have been a good ending place.  All the book would have required was a quick stand-off between Gabe and Vincent.  That was it!  That point in the story would have set up another novel and left things shorter.  I would have much preferred it.

This was not my cup of tea at all.  I wish the author had taken a little more time developing the characters and building the world around them.  It had potential with the general premise and the idea of the vampire family but if fell way short.

About the Book

It’s been a rough couple of years for Cailey Kantor. Facing her first Christmas alone and bad financial news, she prays for an angel to fix her problems. Instead, a sadistic, sociopathic vampire, with the goal of starting a vampire war, attacks her and forces her to drink blood stolen from the Nosferatu Gabriel Blautsauger.

Gabe must complete Cailey’s turning or she will die. In doing so he risks losing his yet unfound soulmate. But something about the lovely mortal speaks to his heart. Once her transformation is complete, he and Cailey find themselves embroiled in a battle that could cost them all they hold dear.

Faced with lies, abduction, and betrayal Cailey wonders if the vampire she is falling fangs over heart for is in it for love or if she’s just a means to stop a war.

About the Author

 R. E. Mullins was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri. She has also lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mt. Clemens, Michigan, Springfield, Missouri and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Though she has loved each area, the Ozarks hold a special place in her heart. That is why she set her fictional town of Amber Heights there.

She worked as a Phlebotomist for ten years and assisted in a Continuing Education Course in Phlebotomy for several years. Now she is concentrating on writing. Visit her at any or all of the links below.

Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Wild Rose Press

About the Reviewer

Tsuki runs her own reading/review blog at http://tsukibooks.blogspot.com. She’s  a lover of all things romance–which means Happily Ever Afters are a must. (Frankly the tragedies can stay on the shelves for the most part.)