Where Secrets Lie, #1 in The Where Secrets Lie Series, by Ebony Kent

19292862[1]Promising Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Debut

Where Secrets Lie  is the debut novel of author Ebony Kent. I found it an appealing, fast paced read, containing an intriguing take on the vampire myth.

Kara, a police detective, takes a break from her job to ensure the safety of her sister Alyssa, after she discovers that she has become the servant of a vampire Logan – Kara has become aware of the existence of vampires, which most humans are unaware of, due to her work for the police. Kara not only fears for Alyssa’s life but is also afraid that she may be persuaded to want to become one of them, a creature which Kara considers a monster.

To protect Alyssa, Kara infiltrates the vampire clan  led by the brooding and enigmatic Michael. Michael only allows her entry to his mansion once she agrees to be his own personal servant, willing to do anything and everything her asks of her…. Michael is intrigued by Kara as she is a strong and independent woman and she is also immune to vampire enthrallment. At first he is determined to break her and make her beg him to kill her before he is done with her. Michael has two other personal servants, Amy and Kate, the latter who is eager to please him on all levels, especially in the bedroom!

Whilst in the mansion, Kara fights a losing battle to protect Alyssa from falling in love with the suave and attractive Logan. She also seeks to protect her own sanity and fight a growing attraction to Michael, who demands that she spends more and more time in his company, whilst jealous rivals for Michael’s attention seek her destruction. The plot thickens when another clan of vampires, headed by Michael’s uncle Elijah, seeks a formal merger with Michael’s clan. This represents a further threat to Kara and her sister. Will Kara and Alyssa escape unhurt from the vampire word that they have become so immersed in? And what of Michael’s plans for Kara and her own feelings for him?

Overall I enjoyed the characters and the story. I liked the immediate chemistry and sardonic humour  between Michael and Kara and welcomed their growing relationship. Michael has a bad boy reputation but the more I found out about him the more I became attracted to him as did Kara. I also liked Logan, who is a sympathetic character, who appears to have Michael’s, Kara’s, and Alyssa’s best interests at heart. Some of the other vampires, who view humans as little more than servants and pets to meet their needs and provide blood, are suitably evil. The sex scenes were not explicit and were generally sweet between the hero and heroine. There is some violence in the novel.

I found that the novel had an intriguing plot and set of characters. It was very fast paced and there was always something happening to Kara or one of the other main characters. I did however feel that it could have benefited from some contrast in pace here and there and perhaps fewer new characters introduced near the end, which I found a little confusing. However, I do appreciate that the novel is the first in a series and as such the plot and the characters are designed to set the scene for future instalments. The ending of the novel set up the next book, Where Secrets Lie: The Return, very nicely. I would be interested in reading future novels.

I recommend it to readers who enjoy urban fantasy or paranormal romance containing vampires and other supernatural creatures.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received this book for free from Story Cartel in exchange for my unbiased review.

 http://storycartel.com/

Contact Ebony Kent:

https://www.facebook.com/ekent89

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEbonyKent

 

Renegade (The Captive Series, Book 2), by Erica Stevens

15102674[1]-001Vampire Prince and his Rebel Love

If you have not read Captured, the first book in the Captive Series, please note that this review contains spoilers, as it contains refrerences which relate to it. I recommend that this series be read in order gain maximum enjoyment. Please check out my earlier review of Captured if you are interested.

Like the first book in this series, Captured, I found it hard to put this down until I had finished it. The main couple, Arianna and Braith are fated to be together, yet they seem doomed by birth and circumstance to be forced apart.

Renegade picks up the tale of the romance between the human Aria and Braith, the heir to the vampire throne, a few months after Arianna and Max escaped from the palace. Although Arianna knew that as Braith’s captive and blood slave they had no long term future, she is still angry and heartbroken after discovering that he is engaged to marry a female vampire. She seeks solace in the natural environment, but is a husk of her formal self. Matt, her childhood friend and fellow escapee, seeks to support her, believing like her family that Braith brainwashed her into thinking that she cared for him.

Braith has felt betrayed and filled with rage, since Arianna escaped, filling his days with violence and taking blood slaves to try and satisfy his bloodlust. He hopes to forget Arianna as his memory of her only pains him. Palace scouts catch sight of Arianna one day and give chase, but she escapes. Rather than let his brother Caleb or another vampire get their hands on her, Braith goes in search of her to exact his own revenge. He spies Arianna in the woods and gives chase in an extremely quick paced and emotional scene. We find out if Braith can bring himself to harm her or not and also what happens to the couple after Braith later takes her far away from the bosom of her family. The world beyond the palace and its environs opens up to us in this novel and are introduced to some new characters from Braith’s past and the real reasons behind the start of the war between humans and vampires. We also learn more about Braith and Arianna’s special bond. There are some startling revelations towards the end of this novel which set the scene nicely for the next book and impact on the future of all the major characters.

Arianna is on yet another emotional roller coaster with the return of Braith into her life. She is torn between her loyalty to her family and the rebels and her love for Braith, who as a vampire is their enemy. We see more of her prowess as a warrior in this book. Braith, despite his initial anger at what he sees as her betrayal, is as protective of Arainna as ever. He does not like the thought of her ever being with another and hates it when another male touches her. Their bond is such that they cannot bear being parted. I  hope  that Arianna manages to maintain her individuality in subsequent books and does not become subsumed by Braith’s alpha personality.

We do not see a lot of Caleb in this novel, but he remains an ever present threat. We do, however, learn more about Jack, Braith’s vampire brother, who has defected to the rebels, led by Arianna’s father. Jack is very protective of the seventeen year old Arianna and wants to protect her from Braith, as does her family.  Max wants Arianna for himself, despising vampires,  since his torture as a blood slave, and Braith in particular because of what he believes she suffered at his hands.

I love the intense and emotional way that this author writes this tale, leaving the reader in no doubt as to Braith and Arianna’s special connection, despite the many obstacles in the way of their love. It is an incredibly romantic tale; their sharing of each others’ blood in particular is very emotionally charged and for a novel aimed at young adults quite erotic. I recommend this book and the series for those who like to read paranormal romance with great world building, an ever evolving plot and intense characters. Refugee is the next book in this series and I will be posting a review of it fairly soon.  The author’s website indicates that the final novel Salvation will be published in June this year.

Please note – this book is classed as New Adult as it contains some language, violence, and sexual situations. Recommended for ages 16+

Author’s website http://ericasteven.blogspot.co.uk

Cover art by www.EbookLaunch.com and image used by kind permission of Erica Stevens

 

 

 

Captured (The Captive Series Book 1) by Erica Stevens

 Captured (The Captive, #1)

Captivating Vampire Romance

 My sister recommended this book to me, knowing that I like a good vampire romance and I’m glad that she did as I found it to be a really entertaining read. It has an interesting take on vampires and is a sweet romance, with enough potential for violence and evil to satisfy my darker needs!

The world of Captive, is set in the future where vampires have come out of hiding and have gained supremacy over the humans who are either subservient to them or live on the fringes of society in the woods and caves, forming part of a human resistance. Arianna, daughter of rebel leader, is captured and sold to Prince Braith as a blood slave. Arianna is kept captive in the Prince’s apartment at the palace. Despite her status as blood slave she is treated well by Braith, and they form a friendship, which develops into more, although they both in their own way struggle with their feelings. Relationships between masters and their blood slaves are forbidden and both Braith and Arianna realise that there is no future for them.

Just as they begin to acknowledge their mutual attraction, the return of Braith’s younger brother, Jericho, after an  absence of six years, leads to shocking revelations, impacting on Braith’s and Arianna’s burgeoning relationship and paving the way for Book 2 in the series.

Although Arianna is young, 17, compared to Braith’s 952 years, she is a strong heroine.  Indeed, she was captured whilst saving a small boy from the vampires. When being put on the auctioneer’s platform to be sold, at first she prefers death, to the constant torment of being purchased and used as a blood slave. However, once she discovers that her childhood friend Max has also been captured, she resolves to help him escape. I loved how she was captivated by the beauty of the palace and its gardens, which contain luxuries she has never before experienced. Arianna is at first suspicious of Braith’s motives in being so kind to her, fearing that he plans to gain her trust, only to then cruelly destroy her. She comes to care for the prince against her better judgement.

Braith, the first born prince, has a fearsome reputation and demands respect. I liked the fact that although he was instantly drawn to Arianna and was compelled to purchase her, it was not for the usual reason in vampire romances – he does not immediately desire to mate with her or dominate her sexually for example! Indeed, she is not the type of woman he is usually attracted to. However, she does have a strong physical effect on him, which I will not divulge here as it would spoil the book for those who wish to read it.

He is both protective and possessive of Arianna, although there are scenes where he does dominate her and barely keeps his violence in check. He is also fearful of her being taken away from him if anyone discovers that she is anything more to him than a blood slave. I loved how he became increasingly attracted to Arianna, begining to empathise with her. He does not desire anyone else’s blood but hers, but at the same time will not force his attentions on her. Braith recognises the importance of gaining Arianna’s trust and it is this that he wants in the end more than her blood, which I found to be endearing.

There are many tender scenes between Braith and Arianna in the book. The tale is different from many vampire novels I have read in that the relationship between the hero and heroine is a slow burn, rather than them jumping into bed with each other from the start. However, I did not think that this detracted from the romance and it made it all the more meaningful. For example, I found that the scene where they experienced their first kiss and was very moving. Moreover, the level of heat certainly increases as the plot develops.

The main secondary characters in the book included the human Max, Caleb, Braith’s brother and Jericho, the youngest of his brothers. Max seeks to help Arianna escape. He believes all vampires are evil and his experience of being a blood slave is vastly different from Arianna’s. Caleb is pure evil and suspicious of Braith’s relationship with Arianna and Braith takes special care with how he treats Arianna when he is present. Jericho, who returns after an absence of six years is an interesting character. Whilst Braith is wary of Caleb and his motives, he feels more affinity with Jericho. However, it is Jericho’s actions, not those of Caleb, that have a profound impact on Braith and Arianna’s relationship at the end of the book and set the scene for the next instalment.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style, which was fresh and direct. The story flowed easily and at its core focused on the relationship between the two main characters, which I liked, whilst still making me want to know about the world they inhabited and the other characters. I will certainly be purchasing book 2 in the series very soon as I am eager to learn what happens next. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages from young adult upwards, especially those who enjoy a good vampire romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Author’s website http://ericasteven.blogspot.co.uk

Cover art by www.EbookLaunch.com and image used by kind permission of Erica Stevens