*BLOG TOUR* The Antithesis: Renovatio by Terra Whiteman


By Terra Whiteman

Genre: Grimdark Sci-Fi / Dystopian Sci-Fi

AntithesisrenovatiocoverSynopsis: Civil war between demons and angels lies just on the horizon.

Alezair Czynri, member of the Purgatorial Jury, is thrown into a world of murder, exploitation, chemical substances, betrayal and bureaucratic red tape as he and his court attempt to diffuse escalating conflicts.

Yet things are not as they seem. Ever since his induction into the Celestial Court, Alezair has been treated with cool indifference by the Justice Commander, Leid Koseling. A former prisoner of the Nexus Initiative, Justice Czynri exists without any memories of his former life, the consequence of being a slave merc for hire.

But Purgatory is strangely familiar, and slowly little pieces start coming back. There might be a good reason why Alezair’s boss keeps him at arm’s length.

Author Bio:

terrawhitemanTerra Whiteman is a clinical scientist who writes dystopian science fiction in her spare time. Her life is a dish of pipettes, refractometers and immunossays, heavily seasoned with grimdark worlds and their battlegrounds. She’s profane, opinionated, and if you met her you’d think she’s really weird.


Author & Purchase Links:

Website: http://terrawhiteman.com

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/YT7Dwa

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1p1CzAk

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/476379


Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark #1), by Gena Showalter

wickednightscoverfinal[1]Heavenly Match between  Human and Angel

Wicked Nights is the first book in Gena Showalter’s Angels of the Dark, a spin off series from her fantastic Lords of the Underworld series. Gena writes hot paranormal romances with uber alpha heroes, snarky heroines and passionate and toe curling lovemaking scenes. The scorching cover of this novel certainly lives up to its promise!

In Wicked Nights, the brutal and emotionless angel, Zacharel, whom we met briefly in her LOTU series, is put in charge of a ragtag army of warrior angels. Zacharel’s deity  is frustrated with his lack of compassion and both he and his army have to work together as a team and above all refrain from killing humans in their war against the demons, or risk falling and losing their wings – not easy when you meet the less than angelic warrior recruits who all have mega issues! As part of their duties, Zacharel’s army are given the task of destroying demons attacking an institution for the criminally insane in the human realm.

The human Annabelle has been incarcerated there since being wrongly convicted of slaughtering her parents, her claim that they were murdered by a demon being dismissed. Since the attack, Annabelle has been tormented by other demons and is often heavily sedated to minimise her violent outbursts, in which she defends herself against demon attacks unseen by others. She has also suffered physical abuse from other inmates and wardens and  sexual abuse from one warden in particular.

During the attack, Zacharel is drawn to Annabelle. He becomes intrigued by her and takes her to his cloud, despite realising that she is in fact a demon’s consort. Things then get complicated as Zacharel’s frozen heart begins to melt and he starts to feel strong emotions for Annabelle, wanting to protect her. Annabelle in turn is attracted to her captor and decides to use the opportunity to learn from him how to fight demons.  However, it is not long before demons attack Zacharel’s cloud and Annabelle is put in danger. Yet what will happen when the demon high lord who has marked Annabelle as his consort decides to claim her? Will Zacharel and Annabelle consummate their relationship, when Annabelle struggles with deep seated fears of intimacy and trust? What long term future do they have when angels live for thousands of years, yet a human life is over in the blink of an eye? As usual Gena Showalter has plenty of tricks up her sleeve before the action packed plot concludes.

Zacharel, a truly tortured hero,  is a complex character, despising demons with a passion and for very good reasons. He is not only an alpha, but a VIRGIN to boot and has locked away his emotions since a personal tragedy devastated him and gave him major guilt issues. Annabelle is a strong heroine. She has somehow kept hold of her sanity, but is also deeply vulnerable due to the horrors she has endured. She will fight the demons and the demon high lord who wishes to claim her, even if it leads to her own demise.  She finds Zacharel attractive from the off, but is fearful due to her prior experiences.

I loved the developing romance between the couple in this book, which I felt was truly a match made in Heaven. The banter was both poignant and amusing and I enjoyed the fact that the hero, once his emotions had come to the fore, would do anything for his woman. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Zacharel finds himself wanting to bond with a woman who has been marked by a demon, a race he despises. The lovemaking scenes are both sweet and hot, as Zacharel strives to overcome Annabelle’s fears and assert his new found sexuality. Fortunately for a virgin he is a fast learner!

I enjoyed meeting the other angels of Zacharel’s army, who no doubt will each have their own story. I also welcomed the appearance of some of the characters from her Lords of the Underworld series. The demon foes are truly hideous and there are plenty of violent, gut spilling scenes full of blood and gore to keep readers entertained and to contrast with the romance. The author has done a great job of balancing the main story with the world building and the introduction of major characters to feature in subsequent books, which can be difficult in the first book in a series.

I am looking forward to reading the next book, Beauty Awakened, which tells the story of Koldo, one of Zacharel’s men, whom we are introduced to in this book. I recommend the series to lovers of steamy paranormal romance which is also full of humour, passion and action.

Reviewed by Tina

Gena Showalter’s website

Goodreads link to Wicked Nights reviews

Publisher Harlequin’s website

Archangel’s Storm, by Nalini Singh

9738483[1]-001Sensual Tale of Love and Vengeance

Nalini Singh is one of my automatic ‘go to’ paranormal authors, where I know that I can be guaranteed an awesome read. I have been following her series of Guild Hunter Novels and also her Psy/Changeling Series for some time now and they are both amongst my favourite paranormal series. The Guild Hunter Series novels, the first of which was Angels’ Blood, take place on an earth where the Cadre of Ten Archangels, supported by vampires, rule across the various continents. These angels however, are far from angelic. They are thousands of years old and have become jaded in their immortality, indulging in great power games to stave off their boredom and trying to avoid the madness that can overcome them.

In Archangel’s Storm, Jason, the taciturn spymaster for Archangel Raphael, is sent on a mission to the court of Archangel Neha. Neha’s consort Eris has been murdered and her rage threatens cataclysmic devastation unless Jason uses all his skills to unearth the killer. Neha, like many of the Cadre’s Ten, is deadly and capricious and to earn her trust necessary to complete his mission, Jason is compelled to tie himself to her bloodline through a blood bond to the princess Mahiya. Jason believes that Mahija will pose no threat to his investigations. However, Mahija has secrets and an agenda of her own and neither she nor Jason is willing to trust each other. Neha’s court is dangerous however, and there is a great deal more than politics at play as the body count continues to rise. As Jason and Mahija are thrown together they are blindsided by an unexpected passion they feel for one another. Yet can Jason, who has kept his emotions tightly controlled after a horrific childhood experience, find it within himself to let Mahija in, and will Mahija survive the machinations of the Archangel and her court and other dark forces that are at play?

Mahija and Jason, like all of the author’s heroines and heroes are a great couple. Mahija has been abused both physically and mentally by Neha, her aunt. Her crime being that she was born out of a liaison between Neha’s sister Nivriti and Neha’s consort Eris. Neha murdered Nivriti as soon as she birthed Mahija, who has paid for her mother’s sin on many occasions. Despite her tortured past, she has not allowed her aunt to poison her mind. Indeed, she has an inner strength and optimism, despite her outward facade of compliance, which many see as weakness. Jason soon sees through this outward show however and connects with the strong but vulnerable woman within.

Such was the extent of Jason’s childhood trauma, that he has closed his mind to any close emotional attachments. He tells Mahija that he can never offer her a long term relationship. However, I loved that Mahija little by little, through her acceptance of what Jason was willing to give, managed to break down the barriers that he had put up for his own protection. It was beautiful to watch how the relationship developed between them and there were plenty of sensual and erotic lovemaking scenes, which the author excels in.

I also enjoyed the character of the Archangel Neha, who we meet in previous books. Although not at all likable, she is complex and unpredictable, with her own code of honour, which Jason and Mahija must play on to survive. It was also gratifying to meet other characters integral to the Guild Hunter world, such as Archangel Raphael and his consort Elena, the vampire Dmitri and his new wife, the Guild Hunter Honor and other characters such as the vampire Venom.

Nalini Singh has a fantastic ability to create a beautiful love story at the heart of each of her Guild Hunter novels, setting them within the framework of the overall story arc, neither of which detracts from the other. Her novels also contain vivid and beautiful descriptions of the magical world she creates. In this novel, for example, many of the buildings comprising Neha’s court she has based on forts in Rajasthan, India. This beauty contrasts vividly with the violence which she does not shy away from featuring in great detail. Her descriptions of broken bones, blood and internal organs ripped from body cavities is not for the squeamish, but reflect events which can occur in the world she has created.

I recommend this novel for lovers of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Whilst I feel that it could be read as a ‘standalone’, the reader would gain maximum enjoyment by reading the Guild Hunter Series novels in sequence.

Cover art by kind permission of Patrick Knowles

Author Nalini Singh’s website





Rapture by J.R. Ward

 Rapture (A Novel of the Fallen Angeles, book 4)
Compelling Urban Fantasy

Rapture is the fourth book in J.R. Ward’s Fallen Angel’s series, which focuses on the battle between good and evil for the souls of seven chosen humans. The chief protagonists are Jim Heron, a fallen angel, representing Heaven and Devina, a demon, who bats for Hell. I will try not to give away any spoilers in this review, in relation to events in previous books.

The soul up for grabs is Matthias’, Jim’s boss when he was human and worked for XOps. We met Matthias earlier on in the series and he has now been sent back to Earth and given a chance to redeem or eternally dam himself. Jim, aided by co fallen angel Adrian are doing all they can to influence him to make the right decision when he comes to the crucial cross-roads – except, as in previous books, it is not always obvious where that crossroads will be or what the decision is. Devina, on the other hand, is doing all she can to ensure that Matthias makes a very different decision, so that she wins this round.

Mels Carmichael, a reporter at the Caldwell Courier Journal, runs into Matthias when he stumbles in front of her car. Feeling guilty, she seeks him out in hospital to find out the extent of his injuries and apologize. Matthais is suffering from amnesia and Mels offers to help him find out who he is and they form an instant attraction that quickly turns to passion. As Matthias’ memory slowly returns he realises what he must do to redeem himself and seeks to distance himself from Mels to protect her from the dangers that begin to present themselves. Devina plots to thwart any signs of salvation for Matthias’ soul, taking actions against him and Mels and also measures to undermine Jim’s sanity so that he is less effective in supporting Matthias.

Matthias’ character is fundamentally alpha, even when faced with mental and physical challenges, loyal to his friends and devoted to his woman, to the extent of thinking that he is not good enough for her. He is also coldly efficient when it comes to dealing with his enemies or anyone he thinks is a threat to those he cares for. I loved the fact that even though he is suffering from amnesia he soon realised what his previous work had likely been and that he even seeks to protect Mels from himself. However, he is vulnerable due to past events in the series. Mels too is a strong, capable character, who can look after herself. However, she too has vulnerabilities since the death of her father, a cop and Matthais makes her feel more alive than she has felt for a long time. She is attracted to him, despite some initial suspicions and quickly finds herself drawn to his side and that of Jim and Adrian. She becomes more and more embroiled in his life, although she is ignorant of Jim and Adrian’s true nature and the wider forces at play.

Jim is becoming more confident with his powers, although he is not immune to Devina’s machinations, with the  intent of tormenting him, due to his reaction to events in previous books. His ongoing preoccupation with what is happening in Devina’s ‘Well of Souls’ linfluences his actions at the end of the book. Adrian is in self-destruct mode for much of the novel, as he too has been affected by previous events. Jim fears that Adrian cannot be trusted to keep his eye on the mission and provide the appropriate back – up. Both Jim and Adrian grow to both like and respect Mels and Matthias and the development of Jim’s relationship with Matthias, his former boss, is a powerful factor within the novel. Jim realises early on that Mels is the key to Matthias’ salvation and both angels do all they can to foster a relationship between the two.

Fewer scenes in the book take place in Heaven and Hell,  than in previous books, though the references are certainly there and Nigel, Jim and Adrian’s boss, does make a few key appearances. Ward does not shy away from describing violent scenes within the story and the horror that is Devina and we also have rather gruesome depictions of her actions. Devina’s character is as complex as ever and it is clear that her fascination with Jim is not going away. I liked the way Ward continues to highlight Devina’s weaknesses with her visits to the therapist.

I am a fan of this series and also Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Vampire series. I love how the author teases us with the occasional references to places and people who form part of the Black Dagger world. To me this adds both depth and breadth to both series and I am eager to see at what point, if any the two worlds will collide in earnest. I would recommend Rapture to all readers who are already following this series and to all those who love reading about the paranormal or urban fantasy and who love a complex plot and characters. Although the book could be read alone I feel that the reader would find it even more enjoyable if they had read the others in the series, which I also recommend.

Reviewed by Tina Williams