GIVEAWAY!!! Signed, paperback of Tim O’Rourke’s latest novel ‘Witch’

WitchGIVEAWAY!!! As Tim O’Rourke’s new book ‘Witch‘ has just been released we have a signed paperback copy to giveaway! To enter, please add your name below and a lucky winner will be picked at random on Thursday 7th February 2013. Good luck for all entrants. *Please take note that this novel is recommended for mature readers due to content, and therefore we recommend mature readers to enter the competition* Good luck! Caroline @ARR

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED

CONGRATULATIONS to JANE BARRON for being our first giveaway winner. We hope she enjoys her signed paperback copy of Tim O’Rourke’s ‘Witch’! Thank you to everybody who entered. Good luck for next time! Caroline @ ARR

Enchanted Immortals 2: The Vortex by C.J. Pinard

Enchanted Immortals 2: The VortexAs an Immortal, it is Jonathan Murphy’s responsibility to ensure the safety of the sylph and humans; to protect them from other Fae, such as the vampires and shapeshifters. His closest companions (also Immortals), Thomas and Kathryn, are always by his side as they work together to police these dangerous Fae.

‘Enchanted Immortals 2: The Vortex’ focuses on Jonathan Murphy’s character; the man he once was to the Immortal he is now. As a human he was living a humble family life as a carpenter and his story is full of love, romance, wonder, action and heartache. He is a strong man, making plans for his future. However, that future was not to be. Well, at least not the way he thought it would be.

From early on in the novel there are very exciting action scenes which open up the readers’ eyes. These action scenes, and those throughout the novel, are very dark, dramatic, quick-paced, detailed and intense. At the same time they are violent and gorey in parts. We can imagine how dangerous the vampires and shapeshifters are, at the same time as being completely shocked at their very existence. This enables the reader to empathise with Jonathan’s character from the beginnning as he becomes involved with events that are otherwise unbelievable.

Whilst certain shapeshifters are being searched for by Jonathan and his friends, the vampires are planning their next venture. And it was reading this scene that my heart began to race, as one vampire asks about what they are to do next and the reply is, “We’re going back to the Oregon Vortex”. The reader stops in their tracks at this point, knowing that there is a great deal of trouble to come.

There are so many areas of the ‘Enchanted Immortals’ series that I love, one of them being the flashbacks. In this novel, we follow the journey of Jonathan in the present day, we are taken back to the early 1800’s when he is human and in-between we find out more about Kathryn and Thomas’ relationship with him. The reader also has an insight into what happened when Thomas became an Immortal and Thomas’ relationship with Malina, a sylph Queen.

I, personally, find the sylphs adorable. They all seem very beautiful and feminine. They are caring and loving towards the Immortals, humans and each other. However, they still have to be realistic when bearing the vampires and shapeshifters in mind. Therefore, at times when protecting their allies and friends they have no choice but to harm their enemy.

It was the sylph’s that began the existence of the Immortals with a potion they call ‘Enchantment’. This potion allows the Immortals to be very strong and each Immortal to have their own ability. In ‘The Vortex’ the reader discovers the history and origin of this magical potion.

The whole novel has a great storyline, with really likeable characters, action and adventure. ‘Enchanted Immortals 2: The Vortex’ has simply everything that you would want to read in a fantasy/paranormal novel. As mentioned in my review of C.J. Pinard’s debut novel, ‘Enchanted Immortals’, the style of writing is somewhere in-between that of Laurell K. Hamilton (Meredith Gentry series) and J.R. Ward (Fallen Angels), leaning more towards the J.R. Ward style. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Please click on the link to view my review on C.J. Pinards’s ‘Enchanted Immortals’:- https://areadersreviewblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/201/

If you would like to contact C.J. Pinard you can reach her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CJPinardAuthor or you can e-mail her at cjpinardauthor@gmail.com.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Update from Tina

Christmas 2012 and January Snow 112

This week after finishing and posting a review of Christine Pope’s Dragon Rose (Tales of the Latter Kingdoms #2), I have started to read Kerrigan Byrne’s Unleashed, a collection of three novellas set in medieval Scotland. The collection, comprising Unspoken, Unwilling and Unwanted features some very alpha males in the form of beserkers and their different paths to finding their fated mates. Although the novellas can be read alone, they are interconnected and I am enjoying reading them together. So far they have been a very hot read, with plenty of humour and drama! I plan to post a review soon. I would describe them as sensual in content and therefore recommend them for readers aged 18 and above.

There are so many books hovering near the top of my ‘to read’ pile and what I pick up next very much depends on where my mood takes me! Larissa Ione’s Lethal Rider, book 3 of her Lords of Deliverance series featuring the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is pretty high on the list, as are Erica Stevens’ Renegade and Refugee, books 2 and 3 of her Captive series. I am also itching to get back to Elizabeth Vaughan’s Chronicles of the Warlands in Warsworn, book 2 in the series and plan to read a contemporary or two!

What are you reading this month or what do you plan to read?

Dragon Rose (Tales of the Latter Kingdoms #2) by Christine Pope

Book cover of Dragon Rose

True Love versus Sorcerer’s Curse

As a re–interpretation of the fable Beauty and the Beast, this was a must read for me as it was one of my favourite fairytales as a child! I enjoyed Christine Pope’s, “Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain” (see my review earlier this month) and Dragon Rose (Tales of the Latter Kingdoms #2) is a compelling read which has you rooting for a seemingly elusive HEA for the cursed Dragon and his Bride!

Dragon Rose is set in Lirinsholme, a town that forms part of “the Latter Kingdoms,” lands which have prospered since the end of the mage wars and the decline of magic. Rhianne, a potter’s daughter, is expected to marry well to secure the financial stability of her family and fund dowries for her younger sisters. In ages past, when sorcerers ruled, Theran Blackmoor’s form was cursed by a mage and he become known as the “Dragon of Black Keep.” The town of Lirinsholme, over which the Dragon presides, is bound to provide him with a Bride when he demands one to avoid the destruction of its property and its citizens. All know that marriage to the Dragon means certain death for the unfortunate Brides as none are ever heard of once they enter the Dragon’s keep.

Rhianne’s actions inadvertently cause a scandal, which threatens her family’s livelihood and reduces her chances of making a good match. The town also learns that the Dragon is demanding a Bride. Rhianne and all unmarried women between the ages of 16 and 20 are summoned to the selection, where Rhianne’s best friend Lilianth, who is affianced to her sweetheart, is selected, by virtue of her name being drawn. Rhianne volunteers in her stead, leaving Lilianth is free to marry her fiancé and ensuring that her own family is compensated generously for their loss.

Rhianne is immediately whisked away to the Dragon’s keep and married to Theran Blackmoor, the Dragon, who has the appearance of a tall, slender man, hidden beneath a cloak and a cowl. Although there is a wedding banquet of sorts, there is no wedding night and Rhianne is given sumptuous chambers, clothes and jewels to wear and is treated kindly by the servants. Theran even indulges her love of painting. Theran initially remains aloof from Rhianne, however, they slowly develop a friendship and Rhianne finds herself falling in love with him. Secrets abound in the castle and Rhianne embarks on a quest to get to the truth of the fate of the Brides and the curse. Rhianne is plagued by vivid dreams, the content of which she becomes obsessed with. She also hears strange voices and grows increasingly melancholic as she becomes terrified of what will be her eventual fate. All seems hopeless but the author manages to secure a HEA with an unexpected twist.

Rhianne is a wholly likeable heroine. Although self-sacrificing and modest, she is also unconventional and has a strong determination to find out the truth. Once she is convinced that the Dragon is not going to eat her, she becomes to regard the castle as home. Her attraction to Theran grows over time and she becomes drawn to him more and more as the tale unfolds, although she feels her love is unrequited as whilst she craves his touch he draws away. Theran remains a mysterious figure throughout the early part of the tale, although his kindness towards Rhianne is shown early on. We also witness him in his Dragon form on a number of occasions, which are terrifying to behold. We see that he grows to admire and care for Rhianne through his speech and  actions, but like Rhianne are left wondering at his reticence to invite further intimacies and to not reveal fully the details of the curse and what it means for his Brides.

The story is told from Rhianne’s POV, which enables us to experience her changing emotions, encompassing feelings of fear, pity, love and increasing desperation first hand as the story progresses. The descriptions the author gives of the castle and the town of Lirinsholme and the rest of the kingdom are vivid. Roses and the rose garden at the castle feature prominently, paying homage to the fairytale we know and love. I particularly liked the way the author’s descriptions of the castle and its environs were used to reflect Rhianne’s increasing melancholy towards the conclusion to the book.

I would recommend this novel to all those who enjoy a sweet romance, especially those who enjoy fantasy romances. I was intrigued by Christine Pope’s references to other parts of the world she has created and will be reading the prior novel, “All Fall Down (Tales of the Latter Kingdoms #1)” and the next instalment,  “Binding Spell,” the release of which is planned in late Spring this year, details of which are given on the author’s website. At the time of writing this post I noticed that the author also has details of some easy to enter book giveaways on her site, so it might be worth checking these out. if you think you may like her work

Copyright 2012 by Christine Pope www.christinepope.com

Published by Dark Valentine Press www.darkvalentinepress.com

Cover art by Nadica Boskovska www.theswanmaiden.deviantart.com

Cover design and ebook formatting by Indie Author Services  www.indieauthorservices.com

Reviewed by Tina Williams

 

 

Dead Wolf (Keira Hudson Series Two Book 5) by Tim O’Rourke

Dead Wolf by Tim O'Rourke‘Dead Wolf (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book 5)’ draws the reader in from the very beginning, especially for those of you who have followed this series, as it picks up from where we left off in ‘Dead Seth (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book 4)’. However, for those readers that are not familiar with the Keira Hudson series yet, the beginning of this novel is well-explained, easy to follow and provides the background knowledge that is needed to follow the story.

As a fan of the series, I would urge those readers that haven’t already done so, to read the entire Keira Hudson series for the stories of each of the characters. This is because they all have their own story to tell in-between the main focus of their adventure and these stories are written from each characters point of view. It is amazing how Tim O’Rourke places himself in the mindset of each of his characters and describes every emotion that they are feeling intensely.

So, ‘Dead Wolf’ is told mostly from Murphy’s point of view. However, it does begin from Keira’s, after she has found out a great deal about Jack Seth’s history and about herself. Keira is still at a crossroads when it comes to choices and the information she has learned will not make her choice any easier to make, if she makes one at all.

Keira and her friends are in a world that has been ‘pushed’ from the one that they knew before, there are statues that appear to be sending them signs and, without making a decision, it is highly possible that Keira herself will turn to stone. The only lead they seem to have at the moment between the world they knew and this new ‘pushed’ version is that of a mystery photographer who has managed somehow to go from one world to the other, leaving photographs for some of them to find.

Meanwhile, Murphy, Kayla and Sam have an ordeal of their own in Chapter 2. This chapter really excited me due to its intensity, passion, action, violence and gore. There are moments where I found myself cringing, but loving every word. I truly feel alive as I visualise every movement as if I am there when reading this series, and this scene was no exception. My heart is racing as I am hoping for a positive outcome. I worry for the characters and long to be of assistance. The reader is completely gripped as the story then moves on.

Shortly after, ‘Dead Wolf’ becomes Murphy’s story, as he narrates his history of family, friends, relationships and his career. Murphy’s story throughout is full of emotion. The reader finds out how Murphy became a police officer, how he feels about the Vampyrus and Lycanthrope, who has touched his heart and, on a lighter note, why he wears his beloved slippers! Although Murphy’s story is emotionally intense as it is full of sorrow, lies, deceipt, betrayal there are also some lighter moments and I found myself laugh out loud on a few occasions.

The emotional rollercoaster that Murphy has been on does not seem that different in one way than that of Jack Seth’s. They have both seen their fair share of deceipt and lies and they have both lost people that are dear to them. They are two sides of the same coin in one way: they have both been through great ordeals, they both care about family, they have both been deceived. However, one is Vampyrus and the other Lycanthrope. They are possible enemies under most circumstances.

Tim O’Rourke always brings something new and fresh to each instalment of the series. ‘Dead Wolf’ introduces the reader to different characters that have played parts in Murphy’s life, such as his mother, Pen, Chloe, Marc, Steve and Annie. We are also made aware of how much Rom, a character from earlier in the series, has supported Murphy and helped him with his career and his ordeal.

It was lovely to read this book as it was snowing out of my window, as was the setting for some scenes in ‘Dead Wolf’. This assisted me even moreso (not that it needed to whatsoever) to relate to the scenery in the story. We are taken on a scenic journey as well as an emotional adventure in regard to the scenery, as always with this series, as we go deep in the caves at The Hollows to the forest and the lake.

The end of this novel is written from Keira’s point of view, which I feel wraps it up really nicely and brings us back to the here and now with Keira and her friends. The reader has travelled a long journey with Murphy, but then returned to the present situation that the characters are in. Will they find the photographer? Will Keira turn to stone? How are Potter and Keira going to be with each other? Will they all return to the world they once knew as their reality/home?

The next instalment is ‘Dead Water (Keira Hudson Series Two, Book 6) which should be out soon! I really cannot wait to see where the characters will go from here, on their next adventure, to try and get their lives back on track.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker