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Winter Kissed, a two author anthology by Michele Hauf and Vivi Anna


Published by Harlequin’s Nocturne line, Winter Kissed is actually two short novels, under a hundred and fifty pages each. I was very excited when I got this book in a giveaway because I had not read anything by either of the two authors. Having heard good things about both, I was anxious to try their work.

I am rather sad to say that I didn’t enjoy either of the stories, for different reasons.

While both stories share a basic setting and general premise-paranormal beings and winter myths-they are not connected in any way. Please note that there are spoilers in this review for the first story. Since I’m extremely allergic to spoilers myself, it is not done lightly in my reviews; consider yourselves warned. (more…)

Scions: Revelation, by Patrice Michelle

Third and last title in Ms Michelle’s Scions trilogy published by Silhouette Nocturne, Scions: Revelation comes out in December 1st. The first book, Scions: Resurrection, introduced the reader to a world where man-made vampires called Sanguinas exist. Scions: Insurrection, the second novel, revealed the existence of lab-made werewolves, self-identified as Lupreda. In this one yet another kind of paranormal being vies with the two other groups for supremacy… or at least, to carve out a niche for survival.

The three stories are connected by a prophecy which promises a way to a more peaceful future for all these paranormal beings.

Here is the back cover blurb:

They thought they understood the prophecy. They were wrong.

Caine Grennard was a werewolf, living among humans and lacking purpose–until the night he met a woman with an exotic, irresistible scent. A woman who might be his deadliest enemy.

When her aunt is kidnapped, Emma Gray swears to do anything to get the older woman back. Even if it means trusting the mysterious—and sexy—stranger named Caine.

But more is at stake than one woman’s life: Emma’s past holds the last key to unlocking a prophecy Caine’s clan is depending on. The fate of both their clans rests on them trusting the impossible, electric connection between them, even in the heart of betrayal…

Scions: A prophecy reveals hidden secrets and holds the key to fulfilling their ultimate desires.


The Dark Gate, by Pamela Palmer

A paranormal romance published by the Nocturne line of Harlequin/Silhouette, The Dark Gate is Ms Palmer’s debut book. The novel introduces us to the world of the Esri and their human descendants, the Sitheen, and bears witness to the clash of their cultures, their ambitions and their powers.

Here’s the back cover blurb (yeah, I know, almost worse than nothing):

An ancient evil has found its way back to our world…

And the only ones who can stop it don’t know it exists.

Larsen Vale has a secret: she sees things. Terrible things. Deadly things. And her latest vision features a strange albino man… and her own death. Haunted and afraid, she trusts no one, not even the handsome cop who seems fascinated with her.

Washington, D.C., detective Jack Hallihan has one mission: find the man who is assaulting young women. But the police have not clues, no leads and no witnesses. And Jack has a deadly secret of his own—a secret Larsen holds the key to.

Time is running out. If Larsen and Jack can’t learn to trust their attraction to each other, the Gate will be opened—and the world will be forever changed…


Wild Hunt, by Lori Devoti

Third in Ms Devoti’s Unbound series by Nocturne, it was my introduction to her writing.

Here’s the blurb—which has nothing to do with the actual plot. Not that anyone is surprised anymore, right?

Natural Enemies—Hellhound and Valkyrie—their alliance made them more powerful than anyone could anticipate.
Alongside his hellhound brethren, Venge Leidolf was summoned to start the Wild Hunt anew. But in this dreaded pursuit of souls, Venge sought to free himself from his infernal bondage—by claiming the heart of a fierce Valkyrie…
Geysa never questioned the alluring gifts that set her apart from the other Valkyries, or her hatred of hellhounds—until Venge fell under her spell. Drawing the alpha hellhound so close made Geysa doubt her every instinct. To stop the Hunt, the two blood-born enemies would need to cast aside old vows and allegiances. Only then could no one question the strength of their union…
Unbound: Unleashed by passion… saved by love.

Well, okay, if you want to get technical about it, I lied: the blurb has some facts from the book. Her name is Geysa and she is part Valkyrie, and his name is Venge Leidolf and he is a hellhound. Everything else is… well, not in the book I read.

Basically, there’s this magical horn used by the ErlKing to summon the hellhounds to join the Wild Hunt, whose goal is to take and destroy the souls of its prey. For a while prior to the beginning of the book, the Valkyries have held the horn, thus thwarting the ErlKing. But now, this magical artifact is missing, and the wild hunt—and its attendant destruction of souls—could begin anew.

The Valkyries, who are charged with taking the souls of worthy warriors to Valhalla, have obvious reasons to want to find the horn. Venge has different reasons—namely personal revenge—and later we find out that there are a couple other entities after the horn, also for their own reasons. (more…)

Scions: Insurrection, by Patrice Michelle

This is the second novel in the paranormal romance “Scions” trilogy put out by Silhouette Nocturne. You can read my review of the first, Scions: Resurrection, here. The third and last, Scions: Revelation, comes out in the Fall.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Humanity had reason to fear vampires. But they didn’t know about werewolves. Yet.
When Detective Kaitlyn McKinney responds to a call about a strange, burned body, she discovers something far more complicated—and dangerous.
Landon Rourke is a werewolf, exiled from his pack and dedicated to keeping a protective watch over Kaitlyn. A prophecy has said that his kind and vampires would one day come to a truce. But that day has yet to come.
Landon has his own past to deal with, too, involving Kaitie herself. A dark truth that has kept them apart for years. When Kaitlyn gets caught up in the battle between vampires and werewolves, the long-simmering attraction that she shares with Landon ignites. And in that attraction they find the secret that will bring them together…
Scions: A prophecy reveals hidden secrets and holds the key to fulfilling their ultimate desires.

In Scions: Resurrection, we learn that, unbeknownst to their human creators, the vampires in turn created the werewolves to satisfy their need to hunt. Obviously, werewolves resented the vampires control over their very existence, and took advantage to break free and hide when, at some point after the vampires rebelled, the latter started dying from consuming poisonous human blood. (The timeline is still fuzzy for me, by the way.)

During this period, Landon accidentally kills a human who was trying to kill one of his packmates, and has since felt deep guilt over the incident. Kaitlyn for her part has always felt a compulsion to follow in her father’s footsteps and so becomes a detective. What no one knows is that she has always had the ability to see dead people’s auras—or energy imprints—which has helped her in her career. (more…)

Scions: Resurrection, by Patrice Michelle
First in the “Scions” trilogy put out by Silhouette Nocturne, it is a novel take on vampires and werewolves. The second installment, Scions: Insurrection, comes out in May, and the third, Scions: Revelation, in the Fall.

Back cover blurb:

Everyone believed vampires were extinct. Everyone was wrong.
When Ariel Swanson wrote a novel about vampires, she hoped it would exorcise fear of the creatures that had, not so long ago, terrorized the human population.
Instead, it brought her to their attention.
And to the attention of Jachin Black—a man banished from the Sanguinas, a vampire pack, and forced to hunt among the despised humans. For he clung to the prophecy given years ago, of a better way for his kind to live—a prophecy Ariel unknowingly used as the basis of her novel.
Ariel hates and fears vampires. Jachin despises humanity. But the prophecy—and passion—binds them in ways they could never have imagined. Ways that may heal the past, and change the future.
Scions: A prophecy reveals hidden secrets and holds the key to fulfilling their ultimate desires.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect to get sucked into this book as quickly as I was. I have read so many paranormal novels (vampires, shapeshifters, Fae, wizards and witches, and so on and so forth) in the last few years, that I thought there was little chance of something truly different left in the genre. Can’t tell you how glad I am to be proven wrong. (more…)

Last Wolf Standing, by Rhyannon Byrd.

This book is the first installment in a new series put out by the Silhouette Nocturne line. The next two titles, Last Wolf Hunting and Last Wolf Watching, will be out in April and May respectively. The series is yet another take on werewolf lore.

“Blood Runners.
Caught between two worlds, these half-breed protectors will stop at nothing in their pursuit of justice… and love.”

Back cover blurb:

Five seconds earlier, Mason Dillinger would have sworn it could never happen…
… that a woman who was his perfect match even existed. And that he’d find her in a bustling café. Yet just the scent of sweet, mortal Torrance Watson ignited a driving, explosive need to claim her that he knew his pack would never sanction. Worse, the rogue werewolf he’d been hunting had sensed that attraction and made Torry his prey. Forced to safeguard her from this ruthless assassin, who already posed a threat to his pack, Mason now faced the ultimate challenge. Did he have the courage to cross the line by sealing the blood bond that would make Torry his alone—a disloyalty few of his kind ever survived—or would he live an eternity without love?

As usual, more than a bit of the blurb is overdramatic and doesn’t quite correspond to the actual world the author created for her characters—at least as far as what is revealed about Ms Byrd’s Lycans in this book. For example, nowhere in the novel is it either mentioned or implied that werewolves are immortal—or even have a longer than normal lifespan. And apparently, despite the blurb’s claims, Mason has never formally belonged to the pack so it would likely be irrelevant to him whether they would sanction his mating with Torry or not.