Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review & Tour: Claimed by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol

Title: Claimed by the Cyborg
Author: Cara Bristol
Genre/Age: Sci-Fi Romance/Adult
Series: Cy-Ops Sci-Fi Romance Series (Book Five)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Goddess Fish Promotions
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisMarch Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.

The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty.

Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives.

Claimed by the Cyborg is a standalone read in the Cy-Ops Sci-Fi Romance series.

“If Naimo should…pass, what will happen?”

“The seer will choose another mate for me.”

“You will go through with it?”

“I will be required to.” The idea sickened her, but responsibility only could be delayed; it could not be shirked. Each postponement shortened the time available to produce an heir. She and Naimo or his replacement would have to couple often to ensure she got pregnant by the deadline.

“I hope for your sake he recovers, and you live a long and happy life together. I apologize for interrupting your solitude.”

She would never see him again. Her heart seized, but she didn’t dare watch him go. Julietta gripped the pillar of the tacani for support. Tears trickled down her cheeks.

For a big man, he moved quietly, his footfalls making the merest pitter patter on the floor. In seconds the door would open and—

She whirled around.

March stood in front of her, his face stony, his blue eyes lit with an emotion she couldn’t read.

He grabbed her and yanked her against his chest. Her feet left the floor. One strong hand slid under her hair to grip her nape and tilt her head. His mouth slammed down on hers, would have forced her lips to part, but she was already opening for his kiss, drowning in it. Waves after wave of need swamped her body, eradicating all thought and will, except for the need to get closer, to meld into one body so no space, no cultural divide, no duty could separate them.

His tongue lashed hers, but she accepted his anger as penance, craved more, incited more as she lashed back. Teeth gnashed, deliberate and accidental, drawing blood that mixed with the decadent taste of him. Her head swirled, and she grabbed at his shoulders for support. Taut muscle, as hard as rock, offered no give, like his kiss. He didn’t coax, he took, anger and pain evident in the crush of his mouth, the steel grip of his hands.

Scalding tears of love and despair poured from her eyes and into their mouths.

When he dropped her on her feet and thrust her away, it was like tumbling into the abyss again, like returning to Xenia all those years ago.

He wiped his lips as if to erase her touch. “Have a good life, Jules.” He left and never looked back.

USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband.

Cara’s Website:  http://carabristol.com
Author Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/9aRJj
Twitter: @CaraBristol https://twitter.com/CaraBristol

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.** 

Confession time: This book (number five) is the first I have read of the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series. However, it isn't my first Cara Bristol book. She actually recommended this series to me before, but I hadn't been able to fit it in until now. So glad I decided to read it!

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March is a cyborg. Part man and part machine. He has abilities most men could never have while still maintaining his human self. He has searched the galaxy (no, really!) for the love he lost years ago when the girl slipped out of his bed and disappeared. Memories of their time together have plagued him for too long. When his job takes him to a new planet, he knows the chances are slim that he will find his Jules, but he is determined to try.

Julietta has run out of time. She left her studies and lover behind in order to return to her home planet and face her responsibilities as the next empress. Before she can take up the scepter she must be bonded to another. A man that she doesn't love and probably never will.

The years have passed, but Julietta still desires the man she fled. And when he somehow shows up a day before her bonding ceremony, she is convinced that this is fate giving them another chance. Unfortunately, tragedy occurs and her future with March is once seems impossible. If they want to be together, they must battle against scheming enemies and a long-standing tradition that prevents mating with alien beings. 

This was a quick read for me. The setting was a creative new world with strange creatures and unique customs. The world-building in no way bogged down the story. It was pieces of info here and there as the plot progressed. There was plenty of time to get to know each of our main characters before the romance began, too. 

And even though this is the fifth book of the series, I wasn't ever confused by the sci-fi elements or secondary characters. The story flowed smoothly and there were a few twists that I couldn't have predicted.

I thought the ending wrapped up well enough, but I do wish there had been an epilogue. I would have liked to see how the planet fared with the new diplomatic changes headed their way.

In closing... 
First of the series for me but definitely not the last! Four cyborg suns!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Blast: New Year ~ New Novels


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RABT Book Tours - As You Lay Sleeping  RABT Book Tours - Crashing Into Me  RABT Book Tours - No Second Chances  RABT Book Tours - Sheik's Rule

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: A Theft of Magic by Cara McKinnon

Title: A Theft of Magic
Author: Cara McKinnon
Genre/Age: Historical Paranormal Romance/Adult
Series: The Fay of Skye (Book Two)
Publisher: Stars and Stone Books
Format: ebook via The Romance Reviews
Rating: ✺✺✺
SynopsisA woman sworn to truth. A man who deals in lies. A passion lighting the way to love...or loss. 

Sorcha Fay, known to the world as the reclusive Seeress of Skye, lives alone on the Fay clan properties in Scotland. Beneath the veneer of mystery is a lonely woman who has learned to live for duty. 

Ronan McCarrick is a thief, smuggler, spy, and Irish republican. The new Duchess of Fay hires him to secretly retrieve some relics from the vault in Fay House on the Isle of Skye. 

When Ronan arrives on the island, he stumbles into one of Sorcha’s wards and tries to free himself with magic. A defensive spell triggers, incinerating his clothing and everything he’s carrying—including the letter that would have told Sorcha why he’s come to Skye. 

Despite an instant attraction to the naked and furious Irishman, Sorcha believes that Ronan is an interloper who has been attacking her wards for months. She binds his magic and puts him under a spell until she can find out the truth. But while she has him in custody, someone else steals the most powerful and dangerous artifacts in Clan Fay’s possession. 

Now Sorcha needs Ronan’s help to steal them back. But the longer they’re together, the more she fears that what he’s stealing is her heart. 

The Fay of Skye series is a gaslamp fantasy, set in an alternative Victorian Era with magic. The first book in the series is Essential Magic.

The Romance Review

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.**

A man crosses a magical ward and loses his... clothes. Oh, and his heart.

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Sorcha has been tasked with protecting items of extreme importance. To do so, she lives mostly secluded and surrounded by magical wards of protection that she must maintain. But when a man approaches her shores and trips her guard, she finds herself and her magic being tested.

Ronan was sent to retrieve a few things from the vaults that Sorcha guards. Unfortunately, when he arrives and loses his letter, Sorcha doesn't believe that he is who he says. Even though she feels inexplicably drawn to the man, she isn't sure if she should trust him.

But keeping their distance from each other is nearly impossible to do when all they can think about is the fiery chemistry between them. Soon, they give in to their impulses and develop a relationship of the intimate variety. Their happy bubble bursts when someone actually does break through Sorcha's wards and steals items from the vault.

To recover the property, Ronan and Sorcha must disguise themselves and track the thief across land and sea. With the aid of a student of magic, a duchess, and her husband, the group fight to retrieve the magical objects. Politics, schemes, and betrayal happen along the way.

This book was a pretty quick read for me. I started it in the morning and was finished by dinnertime. It never lost my interest and the main characters were easy to get used to and root for. The sex started early and got steamier as it went. This was a lust first and love later story, which I can appreciate and believe.

As for the plot, I found the magic to be mostly simple to understand. We get to see plenty of magic used so this is definitely filled with that fantasy element. I would say that it's pretty equal on magic and romance. There are a few twists that I definitely didn't see coming and even one that made me want to pull my hair out. Thankfully, I forgave the guilty party for a momentary lapse in judgement. I won't name names but he knows who he is...

In closing...
The epilogue seems to set up the couple for the next book and I am certainly interested in reading the first and future installments. Four suns!

Book provided by and reviewed for:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review & Tour: When Ash Rains Down by Cecelia Earl

Title: When Ash Rains Down
Author: Cecelia Earl
Genre/Age: Paranormal/YA
Series: Kingdom Come Series (Book One)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via YABound
Rating: ✺✺✺.5
SynopsisBeing crowned homecoming queen and enduring a week at the center of her classmates' attention is eighteen-year-old Julia White’s worst nightmare—even with Cole, her long-time crush, as her date. But when Julia is attacked by a green-blooded demon that vanishes in a plume of smoke, she comes face to face with what real nightmares look like—in the flesh, and all of the homecoming stuff hardly matters anymore.

As a frightening wave of crime infiltrates her small Wisconsin town, Julia tries to avoid Nicholas, a brooding, infuriating relative of Cole’s, who insists she’s the reason behind the corruption. He claims the culprits are demons who are after powers that only she—a human-angel hybrid—possesses. It’s unbelievable, of course, until he takes her to a hidden battlefield where warrior angels train to fight soul-siphoning demons—and her own angelic wings unfold.

When angels and demons draw battle lines, endangering everyone in their way, Julia has to find a way to protect them all, including herself. Because as it turns out, she’s the devil's most powerful weapon against the angels, and he’ll stop at nothing to claim her. 

The final battle between Heaven and Hell has begun.

When Ash Rains Down is the first book in debut author Cecelia Earl’s Kingdom Come series.

This scene takes place after Cole throws Julia up over his shoulder because the fire alarm just sounded…and well, not accidentally. In When Ash Rains Down, you’ll learn that Julia’s not a huge fan of fun, and Cole wants to change that. So, that’s the topic of discussion here:
“Hey,” he whispers, nudging me with his shoulder. “I thought it’d be fun for the royalty to entertain the crowd. Like I said, harmless prank.”

“You wouldn’t actually set a fire to show your power of crowd control, would you?”

His eyes widen in horrified shock that looks sincere. “That wouldn’t actually be harmless, would it?” There’s something behind his words, something chilling, but his dimple returns and his eyes look like a sassy puppy’s, checking to be sure he’s still loved and adored.

Everyone is laughing and elbowing him and bowing around us like we’re actual royalty, only I feel more like the court jester. My entire lunch hour is being eaten up, and I have no idea how I’m going to get through my checklist of things to do for the day before the stroke of midnight.

“So, what can I do to convince you fun is actually fun? That it’s worth your time?”

I shrug. “No idea.”

He takes my limp hand, shakes it, and announces, “It’s a deal, then. I will do whatever it takes to help you discover fun this week. Or as long as it takes.”

“I’m not sure it can be a deal if it’s only one-sided.”

“We shook.”

“Um. You shook. I wasn’t an active participant.”

“Well, I’m committed enough for the both of us.”

Book Trailer

Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold. She’s a teacher by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic. 

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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for honest review.** 

Julia is having a rough time in her life. She's unhappy with her home and her mother's diner. She spends all of her time either caring for her brother, doing schoolwork, or at her nighttime job. She doesn't have time for friends or dating.

Yet, she's suddenly nominated as homecoming queen? That's odd. And weirder, yet, are the things that begin to happen around her. People behaving strangely, robbers with morphing faces, and men showing up out of nowhere.

Then something horrific happens that shakes her entire core and leaves her family's future uncertain. Julia is told some disturbing news, that she is half-angel and her help is needed to stop demons from destroying everything she knows. Wait... what?

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This book started off a little rough for me. I am all for complex characters with baggage. Julia is definitely one of those characters. However, the way she speaks to her mother and thinks of her situation at home just baffled me. She was rude, bitter, and incredibly angry for a teenage girl. I shook my head a few times in the first several chapters.

Eventually, the story does pick up. Julia's interactions with Cole were a surprise. It was refreshing to see the ice queen's heart melt a little when it comes to a guy that she likes. However, even that relationship goes south when secrets come to light.

The action sequences were pretty good, though. I expect there will be plenty more of those in future installments of the series. The whole angel and demon paranormal angle was mostly easy to understand. And there were a few twists along the way that I didn't see coming. I just wish I could have liked the main character a bit more.

In closing... 
Overall, a pretty good read about ruckus-causing demons and angels with a tough side. 3.5 suns!