Review of ‘Cold Blood’ by Genevieve McCluer

‘Cold Blood’ by Genevieve McCluer is a vampire story set in Toronto. I’ve read her previous books set in the city and have enjoyed them very much. This is the story of Kalila, a vampire seeking revenge for the murder of her wife and son, and her own turning. A newcomer to Toronto, she must first find out where he is hiding – and for that she needs the help of an information broker. Dorenia has a somewhat similar tale and seeks revenge on her nemesis too. By working together will they be able to find peace, and maybe something more?

I like Genevieve McClure’s writing style. It is fast and immediate and draws me in. I loved the nod to a previous novel ‘Olivia’, and to some recognisable areas of the city. She makes monsters sympathetic characters and gives them entirely plausible lives alongside the other residents of Toronto. I like this world she has invented.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Dying For You’ by Jenny Frame

‘Dying For You’ is the story of Victorija Dred, Principe of the the Dred Clan, and arch enemy of Byron, Principe of the Debrek Clan. Feared by all, Victorija has a reputation for ruthlessness. So when she unexpectedly becomes blood bonded to Daisy McDougall, why won’t she take her? Even when blood sickness weakens her, she refuses to force Daisy to submit. Daisy feels a pull towards Victorija. Has her family history a part to play? As the pair struggle, threats within the Dred Clan could change everything. Is Victorija strong enough to fight? 

I’ve read all of the books in this series and love it. I was delighted to find that Jenny Frame had decided to write Victorija’s story. At this difficult time we all need a bit of escapism – and this story did it for me. It had it all. Love, family and magic. It was fascinating to find out more about the Dred Clan, and the other paranormal elements working with them. Although this was Victorija and Daisy’s story, we still got to spend time with Byron, Amelia and the rest of the Debreks. And Jenny Frame has shown that there is so much more to this world. I can’t wait for the next one.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘This Charming Man’ by C.K. McDonnell

‘This Charming Man’ by C.K. McDonnell is the second in The Stranger Times series. I haven’t read the first one, but got most of the jist pretty quickly. That said reading the first one will give a greater understanding of what on earth is going on from the get-go. 

The Stranger Times is a publication reporting on the very odd things happening around Greater Manchester and beyond. This weird group of characters involved in the paper work together in the most bizarre circumstances. Yet they manage to keep a sense of humour – well most of them do. When it appears vampires are on the loose in the city, wreaking havoc and leaving bodies in their wake, an investigation is demanded. What will they uncover – and can they really trust what they find?

It was funny, irreverent and just plain bonkers. But lots and lots of fun. This urban, supernatural fantasy kept me laughing. The author sees the bizarre in every situation and keeps the reader engaged until the end.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Enchanted Autumn’ by Ursula Klein

‘Enchanted Autumn’ is an engaging romance, full of magic, interesting characters and the perfect setting. Hazel is a Salem witch – and a real one at that. With a black cat, her very own broom stick and a penchant for potion-making, she is proud of who she is. That is until English academic, Dr Elizabeth Cowrie, arrives in town. The history researcher has an interest in the Salem witch trials, but does not believe in magic. In fact she scoffs at the very idea that it may exist. Hazel’s attraction to her is going to be a problem, as she must decide if she’s willing to give up her true self in pursuit of love. 

I loved that the story was set in Salem. The author managed to weave some historical details from the witch trials into this modern romance. But it was ultimately about the triumph of magic, of love. Hazel was an astute businesswoman, but still managed to stay true to her roots. Her witchcraft was important to her and to the whole community, even if some of them were not aware of her true nature. Elizabeth may have been a sceptic, but she was kind, passionate and intelligent. I adored the ‘Britishisms’ scattered throughout the story. They were spot-on. I also enjoyed the writing style, which pulled me into their world, a world I’d like to revisit. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Longing For You’ by Jenny Frame

‘Longing For You’ takes us back to the Debrek clan of vampires and those around them. We get to see Amelia and Byron as they get used to their life together. This is the story of Alexis and Katie though. Alexis has kept other women at a distance for many years, but she has her reasons. Katie is the Debrek’s housekeeper and part of a long family tradition. There is an obvious attraction, but the fact that Katie is human is a stumbling block to love. 

I enjoyed being with the Debrek vampires again as I believe that there is huge scope for stories in their world. The tension between Alexis and Katie was well done and passionate. I liked how this thread was woven with others regarding Amelia’s background and a threat from less honourable vampires. There was certainly a lot going on in the background. I expect some of that will pay off on future books. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Moon Fever’ by Ileandra Young

Danika has a fight on her hands, whichever way you look at it. Within SPEAR she has to assert her authority in the face of interference, her love life with girlfriend Rayne is never going to be easy- and she has rogue werewolves to deal with. 

I haven’t read the first in the SPEAR series, but I didn’t find that a problem. I was able to get into the story and understand Danika and her world. And what a world! I like the whole premise. Ileandra Young has a wonderfully irreverent and forthright style and it works. It’s particularly effective in the first person narrative she has chosen. Her imaginative writing and compelling characters kept me gripped. I’ll be looking forward to more from this particular author.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Olivia’ by Genevieve McCluer

Olivia is a centuries-old vampire living in Toronto. After years of persecution and worse, she prefers a quiet life with her pet parrot, Harvey, but when he becomes ill, she has to seek out the help of a human vet, Mia. Because of her PTSD, it takes therapy to even get her as far as the front door of the surgery. Mia has some significant problems of her own, but she’s more than willing to take a chance on the gorgeous vampire. The unlikely pair find they have an affinity and when someone from Olivia’s past reappears, they have to join forces, if Olivia is going to survive. 

The story his told in 1st person and  puts us in Olivia’s thoughts, making it easier to feel her fears and worries. We also get to experience Mia’s reactions once the story begins to switch between their POV’s. The writing is perky and there’s also a sarcastic humour to it.  There’s a  playfulness at times, but then the seriousness of the situation hits the reader square in the face. At the halfway mark it suddenly took off for me. There was one heck of a surprise, that I did not see coming at all. I enjoyed the story and would like to read more in this world.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘In The Shadow Of Darkness’ by Nicole Stiling

‘In The Shadow Of Darkness’ by Nicole Stiling got my attention straight away – because who doesn’t love vampires, right? As a newly turned vampire Angeline Vallencourt, has to leave behind everything she knows and those she loves. Her life may now be long-lived, but without someone to love, it’s not all its cracked up to be. She has no choice but to spend time with the vampire who turned her – but is that really the best option for her?

Megan Denham meets Angeline under very strange circumstances. She can’t quite believe what has happened or the story Angeline tells her. But when people start dying in their small town, Megan has to decide who she trusts, and whether her feelings for Angeline are enough. 

I really enjoyed this story as it had excitement, romance and characters I could really feel something for. Angeline’s story is told both in the past and present day, so we got to know how she became the woman/vampire she is now. She had to do things she wasn’t proud of and make the best of her situation. I liked her a lot the more I got to know her. Megan was braver anymore determined that she gave herself credit for. She was a loyal friend and open-minded. Angeline deserved to be with someone like her. This was a love story, but it was also edge-of-the-seat stuff too. It had me hooked and I couldn’t put it down. A great, well-written story.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Embracing Forever’ by K Aten

K Aten makes the unbelievable, believable. ‘Embracing Forever’ is the second story in The Blood Resonance series and is the ideal blend of paranormal, mystery, romance and hot, hot sex. The world she has built was beautifully done and felt so real to me. It seemed perfectly natural that vampires and werewolves live among us. 

Sarah Colby, a fairly new vampire, lives with her lover Keller, a woman who has lived for centuries, always looking for her soul-mate. Their life together, and that of their family, comes under attack, and they must find who is threatening them. Before it’s too late. There was an interesting tension throughout as they struggled to find and subdue those who wished them harm. There was also a sexual tension that was amped up to eleven! It was scorching – and very imaginative. Some of these scenes should be read in private, that’s all I’m saying. I loved the family vibe of the story, as those with other blood became bonded to each other, out of necessity but also out of love. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, ‘Running From Forever’, but this is even better. I highly recommend it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Hunger for You’ by Jenny Frame

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In ‘Hunger for You’ Jenny Frame has written the most intense, emotionally charged love story between two women. Byron Debrek is the head of her vampire clan and lives a controlled life, forever afraid to let go incase the world sees the real her. When she meets Amelia Honey, a Savile Row tailor, she is torn between keeping this control and opening up to the one woman who fuels a hunger in her that cannot be satisfied by any other.  Byron knows that if Amelia gets close to her she will be in danger from a rival clan and she will do anything to keep Amelia safe.  This rivalry lends so much  tension and threat to the story and introduces us to a world of vampires, fae, witches and the like.

Byron is a stylish butch and head of a multi-billion dollar banking dynasty as well as Principe of her clan. I loved her. She was kind, thoughtful and put everyone else before herself. Amelia was strong and more capable than she ever imagined she would be. Their passion and powerful connection made the sex scenes amongst the best I’ve ever read. They are guaranteed to get the reader all hot and bothered. Jenny Frame writes brilliant love scenes in all of her books and makes me believe the characters crave each other.  She made me crave more of Byron and Amelia. The world she has set up in this book is so well imagined and there is so much more to the story. I didn’t want it to end and I found myself trying to drag out the last chapter as long as I possibly could. Five Stars and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC by Bold Strokes Books and Netgalley in return for an honest review.