Title: Arctic Bite (Forgotten Brotherhood #2)
Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Date Published: May 18, 2020
Being immortal doesn’t mean you can’t die. It just means you’re damn hard to kill.

When Alexei Medvedev joined the Forgotten Brotherhood — paranormals hired to assassinate other paranormals — he knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk. But his next target is one of Death’s own Reapers gone rogue. For the first time since he started this gig, “damn hard to kill” feels more like “damn near impossible.”

Tracking Cassie Dobbs brings him to a remote bar in small-town Alaska, where this hot-as-hell Reaper is casually serving drinks, as if she doesn’t have a bounty on her head from Death himself. Alexei is dangerously intrigued. Everyone in the Brotherhood knows the first rule: don’t fall for your target.

But Alexei soon has bigger problems to face than an unexpected attraction. They only send assassins after those who deserve to die…or so he’s been made to believe. Now that he’s met Cassie, though, he’s not so sure.

What if everything he’s been told is a lie, and the person he’s been sent to kill is the only one who knows the truth?

Each book in the Fury Unleashed series is STANDALONE:
* Fury Unleashed
* Arctic Bite


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First thing that attracted me to this book was the cover, I've got to be honest. It's beautiful! This author was new to me, but between the cover and the blurb, I couldn't resist. Arctic Bite by N.J. Walters was a fun read with great chemistry, and a few twists thrown in.

Alexei is a member of the Forgotten Brotherhood, and he's been hired to hunt down and kill Cassie. Cassie is a reaper that has been reaping since the beginning of time, and she decides she no longer wants to reap souls. Problem is no reaper has ever successfully walked away. They have great chemistry throughout and I loved all of the reveals throughout the book. They both have great backstories and a lot of issues from their past to work through.

Although it's the second book in the Forgotten Brotherhood series, it can be read as a standalone. I didn't read book one, Fury Unleashed, first and now I just have to go back and read it after being introduced to the hero Maccus! I'd also love to see Death get his own book at some point, fingers crossed! Overall, it was a great read!
Title: Circle of the Moon
Author: Faith Hunter
Publisher: Ace
Date Published: February 26th, 2019
Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately she's been using it to help the Psy-Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned--and to find true friends.

Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank--he's naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there's a dead black cat, sacrificed in a witch circle and killed by black magic, lying next to him.

Then more animals turn up dead, and team rushes to investigate. A blood-witch is out to kill. But when it seems as if their leader is involved in the crime, the bonds that hold the team together could shatter at any moment.


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I loved this whole book, in fact this is one of my favorite series! Nell is an amazing main character. She is honest and good, smart and independent, and despite all of the obstacles against her she perseveres. Also, she is crazy powerful! We get a bigger glimpse into Nell's powers in Circle of the Moon and man is she off the charts!

Circle of the Moon also gives us a much bigger look into Rick's past as well. Things and events that make him who he is, and, I'm hoping, an end to some of the suffering he has endured. *Fingers Crossed*. A hero can only take so much torture & suffering and I'm ready for Ricky-Bo's to end. He deserves to be happy too.

The book takes place after the last Jane Yellowrock series book, Dark Queen. So if you're reading Circle of the Moon before Dark Queen, you're going to get a few spoilers for Dark Queen in there. If you are a Yellowrock fan then you will love finding all the Easter Eggs in this book. More of the characters you know from the Yellowrock series and more from newer characters we see in Dark Queen.

There is tons of action, and like I said before, more of Nell's mysterious powers are revealed. We also get some more of Nell's sister Mud, and more info on the rest of the Nicholson clan. And God's Cloud of Glory Church. And the Vampire Tree. I don't want to give spoilers, but lots of story development in this one.

It was a great story that is wrapped up neatly by the end. If you've enjoyed the Jane Yellowrock series, or the Soulwood series, then I'm sure you will love this one. If you haven't tried either, then I highly recommend them! Faith Hunter is one of the author's I actually keep tabs on to see when her new books release, she's amazing.

Cowboy Wolf Trouble
By Kait Ballenger
Publication date: 1/1/19

"Kait Ballenger is a treasure you don't want to miss." —GENA SHOWALTER, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Seven shifter clans call the Montana mountains home.
But a new evil will stop at nothing to tear their world apart.

For centuries, the shifters that roam Big Sky country have honored a pact to keep the peace. Even bad-boy rancher Wes Calhoun, former leader of a renegade pack, has given up his violent ways and sworn loyalty to the Grey Wolves. But his dark past keeps catching up with him...

Human rancher Naomi Evans cares only about saving the ranch that was her father's legacy. Until a clash with Wes opens up a whole new world—a supernatural world on the verge of war—and Naomi, her ranch, and the sexy cowboy wolf stealing her heart are smack dab in the middle of it.

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Naomi came to on a jolt of energy and fear. Dreaming. She had been dreaming. Closing her eyes again, she slowed her breathing. A gentle sway moved beneath her as she lay on her stomach, her spine curved in an upside-down U. Where the hell was she? Her head throbbed and her thoughts somehow felt fuzzy. Was she on a horse? The oily scent of coat polish permeated her nose, and from the gentle sway it certainly felt like it. But she didn’t trust her disoriented head. Hadn’t she been at home just moments ago? As she attempted to push herself up, a soft tug pulled at her wrists. She shifted until her wrists were in front of her face. Loosely tied rope wrapped around her wrists. Panic flooded her. She scrambled in an attempt to sit up. Immediately, she slipped from where she’d been perched and her back hit the cold mountain ground with a hard thud.

A nearby male voice cursed.

The moon above bathed the normally pitch-black forest in pale moonlight. A horse’s hooves leading up into thick muscled legs stood less than a foot away from her; its coat was as dark as the night sky. Equus ferus caballus. A black American mustang, a typically free-roaming species. She scrambled to sitting despite the ache in her shoulders from the fall. It took her all of two seconds to ascertain she’d been riding passed out on the back of the horse. And this horse was decidedly not free-roaming.

She didn’t think. Jumping to her feet, Naomi darted into the trees. She had to escape. Hadto get back to her ranch. Her feet flew over the hard mountain terrain as she ran downhill. Ten yards in a rock caught the toe of her boot and she toppled into the dried autumn leaves. She started to scramble to her feet again.

And that’s when she saw him, looming in front of her. Her captor.

He sat on the back of the dark horse, hands clutched in the beast’s mane, those same yellow wolf eyes narrowed in her direction. Thankfully, he was clothed now.

He rode before her as a man. But his eyes told the true story.

“Werewolf,” the word fell from her lips.

“Glad we’ve gotten that out of the way,” he said.

She jumped at the deep rumble of his voice. His voice was human, but those dangerous yellow eyes...

He dismounted the horse, and her eyes widened as she took in the full sight of him. Mangy blond hair brushed beneath his chin, wild and unkempt. He stood unnaturally still, wolf eyes ablaze through the darkness. Harsh, brutal features comprised his face. Jagged cheekbones, a bladed nose, an angry slash of a mouth, and a strong jaw lined with a thin layer of coarse blondstubble clenched tight. He watched her with relentless intent. Violent battle scars marred the skinof his chest, highlighting the bloody wound at his shoulder from where her shot grazed him, and the deep slashes of the now removed wolf trap in his forearm only served to make him appear allthe deadlier.

Wild, fierce, virile.


In her work as a biologist, she had developed a brief, flirting fascination with large apex predators. After she’d finished her degree, she’d accepted a brief summer internship at a large catrescue in northern Florida, where she’d worked with the rehabilitated predators up close. She’d been captivated with the languid way they moved, their ability to become so still in anticipation before they struck or lunged at lesser prey, a trait common among predators across varying species. Being so close to such strength and power had filled her with both excitement and fear.

She remembered once observing a cougar crouch in anticipation of a live rabbit that had been released into its cage. The intense, deadly look in its eyes had both thrilled her and terrified her. Making her want to draw closer while also being thankful a cage had stood between them.

She had no such protection now.

It was the cold, ferocious intent in his golden wolf eyes that paralyzed her, that held her captive. Even in this form, he was lethal, standing well-over six feet, his body unforgiving muscle and sinew that moved with predatory fluidness.

Few would have called him handsome. Terrifying seemed more accurate, yet she couldn’t pull her gaze away. She didn’t want to.

He wore nothing but a pair of loose jeans covered with riding chaps. The combination hung low enough on his hips to serve as a reminder there was nothing underneath. Her eyes followed the trail of blond hair on his muscled abdomen. The material covering him seemed so precariously perched there, that it sent a wave of embarrassed heat straight to her cheeks.

Slowly, she shifted her legs underneath herself until she crouched over the tree roots. Though she naturally loved the outdoors, having grown up on a ranch, she’d never been a very fast runner. But she had to fight, had to try. She knew these mountains. She could find her way to her ranch, even in the dark. Right? He took one step toward her, and even that small movement was predatory, not fully human.

And she was his prey.

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Title: The SEAL’s Contract Baby
Author: Katie Knight
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date Published: November 29th 2018
After an “incident” on his last SEAL mission, Zachary “Z” Raybourn has been relegated to babysitting duty. He’s spent the last six months guarding the daughter of a small foreign nation, a girl so valuable to the US that she apparently can’t buy milk without him trailing along like a lost puppy. He’d joined the military to make a difference and stayed enlisted because of the SEAL team he considers family. Now all he wants is to get back to them ASAP.
Esme Hollycombe is her country’s last hope. Her father the King controls a very important port that serves as a naval base for the US. But with her father’s rapidly declining health, and her US-hating cousin next in line for the throne, Esme has been frantically searching for a loophole in her country’s law that says only a man can rule. The only thing she finds is that she can rule in the stead of any male heir she gives birth to. Unmarried and certainly not pregnant, the loophole isn’t of much use to her. Until her attention turns to the hot SEAL protector who has been pacing the palace for the last six months like a caged animal. He’d do anything to get back to his squad; and she’d do anything to keep her cousin off the throne, leaving him unable to evict the US and all their military protection from her country.
Esme offers a contract to Z: get her pregnant, marry her so the heir will be legitimate, and he can have his life back. Z eventually agrees. But being the partner of a princess comes with far more action and intrigue than he’d ever dreamed. He also finds that making a baby is an easy way to fall in love. Now, Z will have to choose: the military family he misses, or the nuclear family he’s creating.


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“I’m twenty-eight years old. I don’t need a babysitter.” Her Royal Highness, Princess Esme Hollycombe of the tiny southern European country of Prylea, squared her shoulders and raised her chin. “I’ll take a regular security team with me to Washington, DC and be done with it.”

Her father’s intelligence advisors exchanged a look, then the head of security—a slightly hunched older man named Greaves who’d been hired by her father before Esme was born—gave her a quizzical stare. “Yes, your grace. But please remember that this trip is not only about you. Your ailing father, the king, will also be making the journey to get a second opinion on his condition. We cannot afford to leave either one of you unprotected during these turbulent times.”

Darn it. He had a point. And he knew just the right buttons to push. Esme would do just about anything for her father, as Greaves was well aware. Never mind the fact that the king was dying. This new opinion he was seeking in Georgetown would only slightly prolong his life, at best, or put another nail in his already well-sealed coffin. But she couldn’t turn down the chance to extend her time with him, even by one more day.

She swallowed hard against the lump of sorrow that had been lodged in her throat since her father had first been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years prior. Since then he’d been in and out of treatments, traveling the world to seek a cure for what was, as of yet, incurable. Still, if it gave her father some small measure of hope, she’d do whatever she could to ensure he got to see the specialist in DC.

Her fingers itched to pull out the knitting she’d brought along in her purse, but she clenched her fists instead. The hobby kept her busy and sane during these dark times and also helped her with one of her dearest charitable causes. All of the blankets she made were distributed to a charity for Prylea’s poor—under a fake name, of course. It wouldn’t do to have the royal family seen as nothing but a bunch of crafters, even for a good cause.

Esme took a deep breath and looked across the room to where her usual contingent of security guards stood. Most of them were middle-aged and indistinguishable from the others. They blended into the background as their job demanded. Silently watching and waiting for danger to rear its ugly head, then they’d spring into action to defend and protect.

One man, though, a relative newcomer, stood near the window, the sunlight striking his blond hair and making it look like spun gold. After six months of service, he was still an enigma to Esme. She was intrigued by him, watching him as closely as he watched her, and not because he was gorgeous either. Sure, the guy had the ripped physique of an ex-military man. He was a former Navy SEAL after all. But there was something more about him, a lingering haunted look in his gray-green eyes that had her wondering exactly what had happened to him during his time as a SEAL. She’d tried to find out by snooping through his employment records, but with everything else going on, she hadn’t had time to do a proper in-depth search.

“Your highness, we need an answer before you leave tonight,” Greaves said, his stern, jowly look setting her nerves on edge again. She didn’t like being forced into a corner. “We must insist on the security detail, princess. If you refuse, we’ll be forced to send your cousin Silvester in your place.”

Oh, he was good.

Silvester had once been a friend who’d now turned rival. The guy was only interested in power—namely the throne of Prylea. Unfortunately, Esme’s father had failed to secure her place in the line of succession for the country by changing the outdated rule in the Prylean constitution that said a woman could not rule. So very nineteenth century. So very irritating.

The last person on earth she’d want representing her or her country in the United States was her cousin Silvester. Esme was having a hard enough time trying to figure out how to get around her country’s antiquated rules without thrusting her power-hungry cousin out on the world stage to strut about like the overblown peacock he’d become.

“Fine.” She took a deep breath. “But I choose the team lead.”

“Fine.” A muscle ticked in Greaves’s cheek, but otherwise his face remained stoic. He leaned closer to whisper to his cronies then turned back to Esme. “We agree. But you must choose from the current team members already in the room.” His beady black eyes glittered behind his wire-rimmed glasses, as if he’d just pulled off some wonderful coup. “May I suggest Sutherland. He’s quite accomplished and has long served your father with loyalty and distinction.”

Sutherland was a short, stout man of brisk manners and few words. He and her father were old friends. “He’s fine to guard the king. I’ve got someone else in mind for head of my detail.”

Greaves raised a bushy white brow but remained silent.

“I want him.” She pointed to the blond Adonis still leaning against the wall by the window, looking for all the world as if he were bored to tears. “Zachary Raybourn.”

“But, your grace—” Greaves sputtered. “He’s not even been with the team for a year yet. And he’s not a Prylean citizen. He’s American.”

“All the better.” Esme bit back a smile at the way the old man said that last word, more like an unsavory curse than a nationality. She pushed to her feet, blood pounding and knees wobbling. Her late mother had always said that being a good monarch demanded firm judgment and a will to succeed. Esme had the drive to become the next queen down pat. The judgment part was still in question. But Raybourn was really the only choice she had. All the other men were loyal to the Prylean constitution. At least Raybourn didn’t give two hoots about her country or its dark-age ways. He was here for the job, at least from what she could tell. And he kept his mouth shut, which was even more important. Heck, he’d barely said more than two words beyond the normal civilities to Esme the entire time he’d been in the family’s employ. “I want him to be the lead of my personal team or no deal.”

She gave a quick side-glance to see Raybourn had straightened and was looking as stunned as she felt. Good. She raised her chin to him. “Do you accept the position?”

Raybourn hesitated, then smoothed a hand down the front of his black suit coat. “Yes.”
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The House of Fire and Rain 
by Victoria Lynn Osborne
(Firemountain Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: November 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Dave Dobrowski is a detective in Firemountain. Things haven’t been the same in Firemountain since Dinah Steele took down Gleebelix. Now illegal prostitutes are dying in droves. Yet the legal brothel, The House of Fire and Rain, on tribal land is immune to a curse that is killing not only working girls but their clients. Dave and his alchemical partner Jolene Anderson, race to discover why legal girls are protected why illegals are dying and discover there is more than just morality at stake.

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Reykjavik Airport was deserted when the United Airlines jet landed. Dave and Father Conrad disembarked.
“We need to go to an ancient Viking worship circle,” Father Conrad had told him on the plane. “There should be enough residual energy there to activate a portal.”
“Why Viking?” Dave asked.
“Because they were the last of the pagans. This dimension is pagan, and we need to access the energies.”
“Doesn’t God deny the worship of false gods? Don’t you believe there is only one God?”
Father Conrad shrugged. “We are a complex people. Even the Church had to admit that certain pagan sites had power. In fact, several pagan gods were made into saints. These days, we acknowledge the energy. Or at least, my order does.”
A black SUV pulled into the passenger loading and unloading zone. Two men in black suits with dark sunglasses approached them. They had thick blond hair and were tall.
“Father Conrad, Detective Dobrowski. Welcome to Iceland.”
The two Americans looked at each other. “Who are you?” Father Conrad asked.
“We are from the council enforcers. We have heard of your mission and are here to help.”
“You know of our mission?”
The big men laughed hearty laughs. “Even in our small country we have heard of Firemountain. We are here to help.”
“What do you know of Iceland?” Dave whispered to Father Conrad.
“That in the year one thousand AD they voted to become Christian. That is why their pagan sites still retain so much power. They were not taken over.”
“We need to go to an old pagan site.” Dave leaned over the back seat. “We need to open a portal.”
“We know just the place, though there are not many who can summon that much power.”
“Do you have any grimoires or tomes from before, when your people were still pagan?”
“We saved them in libraries. I can take you to the archives. Maybe you can find your ritual there first.”
The country of Iceland was surprisingly green, and tall mountains surrounded lush, fertile valleys. In the distance, the volcano glowed, and hot springs warmed the waters.
The archives were housed in a modern building. Huge glass windows looked over a view of the ocean. “Welcome to the archives.”
“Most archives are kept in old vaults,” Father Conrad commented. “Why the modern building?”
“To protect the manuscripts. It is important that we stay ahead of the times.”
They entered the great glass building. Inside, it was divided into sections kept in low light and low oxygen to avoid degeneration.
“Here are the tomes that you are looking for. They are written in Old Norse. We have one of our students willing to help you translate.”
The room was cool and dry. They punched the code into the regulator to increase the flow of oxygen. The student was about thirty years old with a shock of bright red hair and green eyes.
“I think this is the book that you need.” He pulled out a tome and took it over to the desk. Wearing linen gloves, he opened the ancient tome.
“You said you saw a library? That could only be the Library of Celeon. Well, not the only place, but more than likely. Here it is.” The student examined the pages of the tome. “Ah, we need to go to pagan site thirty-three seven. Apparently, during the latter part of the tenth century, they needed to go there.”
“Can you perform the ritual?” Conrad asked, peering over the student’s shoulder.
“No, I am just a student of languages. I think I might be able to help you out, though. My roommate is a runemaster.”
“What is a runemaster?” Dave asked.
“Well, they are special men that have the ability to manipulate runes. They belong to a secret organization. I know because, well, I have seen him work. They often hide in plain sight.”
He took out his cell phone and punched in a few numbers.
“Brian, Joel here. We need your assistance at site thirty-three seven. Yes, two men from Firemountain need your help.”
Joel transcribed the ritual and carefully put the book back in the case. Before they left the archives, he lowered the lights, temperature, and oxygen.
The two officials were having coffee at a local café when the three of them left the archives.
“We need to get my roommate. He is the only one I know who can open the gate.”
“We need to go to Celeon and rescue the woman and the child.” Joel gave directions and the black SUV pulled out into traffic.
Brian was a tall, pleasant man who wore a button-down Oxford shirt and a tan sports coat with dark brown patches on the elbows.
He had a leather messenger bag slung over his shoulder. He grinned an easy grin as he got into the SUV.
They left Reykjavik and went deeper into the valleys of the mountains. As they left the city, the urban sprawl gave way to rolling farmlands of winter barley and cattle.
They soon left the paved roads and bounced along a dirt track. They stopped when they approached a chain stretched across the road. There was a notice that no trespassers were allowed. The driver got out and unlocked the chain before he drove the SUV through.
The site was on a hill overlooking the valley. Rocks carved with ancient runes surrounded the area. Brian smiled and went to the runes, touching each one in turn. The scent of pine filled the air.
He opened his bag and took the sheaf of paper from Joel. He traced some runes onto parchment. He started a fire in a small open area surrounded by rocks.
The runestones thrummed with energy so profound that Dave’s fillings vibrated. The stones glowed a rainbow of colors. Brian called out something in Old Norse.
Light flared up from the stones and shot into the sky in one rainbow beam. Brian sang out the words again and burned the paper with the runes in the fire.
Energy swirled about him and a portal opened. The sight of millions of tomes shot in a wide panorama and then narrowed down to one part. The gate swirled and sputtered.
“That is as close as I can get you,” Brian said in heavily accented English.
“How long can you keep it open?”
“I will leave it open for three days. If I leave it open much longer, other things will come through, things that we don’t want in our world.”
Father Conrad and Dave nodded, stepping through the portal.
The scent of moldering paper and parchment assailed their senses as they entered the Great Library of Celeon.
“Do you have any way to fight other than your cross?” Dave asked.
Father Conrad’s cross was ancient and heavy on the end of a staff. The priest shook his head as he leaned on the staff.
“We are ill-equipped to venture forth here. This is not an evil place, but it still belongs to powers greater than ourselves. We need to be careful.”
Dave loaded his pistol with cold-forged iron bullets. “Do you know where we are going?”
“I do,” a voice hissed from the darkness. “You seek the child, the one who is protected by your adult.”
A figure melted out of the shadows, his cloak pulled over his face, and two glowing red eyes piercing the deep shadows.
“What and who are you?” Father Conrad demanded, brandishing his staff.
“I am naught but a simple guide. You have no cause to fear me. But we must move quickly. Already your gate is attracting beings. Ways to Earth haven’t been opened in centuries. Now two portals have been opened. We must take precautions. Your friends journey here. Come, follow me.”
Dave pointed his gun at the cloaked figure. “How do we know you aren’t going to lead us into a trap?”
“I want this gate closed more than you do. Do you have a choice? Can you find your way around this place without assistance?”
Dave and Conrad glanced at each other. “If you prove false, may God and all his angels throw you into the blackest pit,” Conrad said.
“Fair enough. Come, we must go quickly.”
Dave holstered his weapon and followed the cloaked figure deeper into the labyrinth that was Celeon.

About the Author:

Victoria Lynn Osborne has always had a passion for telling stories. She wrote her first short story at the age of five and has kept her finger on the artistic impulse of writing. This has taken the form of plays, Dungeons and Dragons, short stories, and now novels.

Her greatest passion is fantasy, especially epic, and urban fantasy. She also loves mysteries. Her book series Jason and Mortyiene mysteries are murder mysteries in a high fantasy setting. Her epic series The Great Wyrm Saga is due out in 2015.

Author Links:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

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Print copy of The House of Fire and Rain

White Hot
Hidden Legacy #2
By: Ilona Andrews
Releasing May 30, 2017
Avon Books

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm . . . and their relationship burns hot.
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada's "talent." But there's no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice.
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Ilona Andrews has really lived up to all of my expectations for White Hot! Action, romance and mystery with a paranormal world that will reel you in, they've nailed what I've been waiting so long for. Their world building is fantastic and they make unforgettable characters that are both charming and damaged in just the right combination.

White Hot is set a few months after the first book Burn for Me and finds Nevada on another case that leads her crashing back into Connor. I don't want to give too many spoilers but I can say that White Hot reveals secrets from both of their pasts that will lead you to even more questions. Nevada finds out where she comes from and it's going to lead her to make some tough choices to protect her family in the future and the outcome is still murky.

I loved it from the first page to the last! But I didn't expect anything less from this talented duo, White Hot lived up to its title! Easily 5 stars!

“My wife is dead.” His voice shook with barely controlled emotion. His eyes glistened. “She’s my light. She found me in the darkest time of my life and she saw something in me . . . She believed I could be a better man. I didn’t deserve her or the happiness we had. She loved me, Nevada. She loved me so much, in spite of my faults, and I was the luckiest man alive because when I opened my eyes in the morning, I saw her next to me. She had integrity. She was kind and intelligent, and she tried her hardest to do the right thing so this world would be a better place for our child to grow up in. She didn’t deserve this. She deserved to be happy. She deserved a full and long life. Nobody had the right to rob her of it.”

His face contorted with raw pain and grief. I was trying so hard not to cry. “I love her determination. I love her spirit. I’m proud to have been her husband. And now she’s dead. Someone took this wonderful—this truly beautiful—human being and turned her into a corpse. I saw her on the morgue table. She’s just . . . cold and lifeless as if she never was. Everything is gone except for our daughter and my memories. I have to strive to be the man she thought I was. When my daughter grows up, she’ll ask me why her mother was murdered and I’ll have to answer her. I have to account for my actions. I want to tell her that I found those responsible and I made sure they wouldn’t hurt anyone else.”

He brushed moisture from his eyes with a furious swipe of his hand. “Nobody else will do this. Her family doesn’t have the means, my family doesn’t care, and her employer might have murdered her. There is only me. Will you help me? Please.”

He fell silent. He was sitting here asking for my help and I couldn’t throw him out of my office. I just couldn’t. I remembered when Mom sold our house to pay for Dad’s bills. I remembered when we mortgaged the business and kept it from him, because it would’ve killed him faster than any disease. If someone I loved was murdered, I would do the same thing Cornelius did. He had nowhere to turn. If I slammed the door in his face now, I wouldn’t be able to look my reflection in the eye.

I reached into the top drawer of my desk and took out the blue new-client folder. I opened it so it faced him, placed it on the table, and wrote $50,000 in the margins on the front. “This is my retainer. This stays with the agency no matter what happens. It’s nonnegotiable.”

I used my pen to circle the bottom number on the right side. “These are our rates. This job is likely to be high-risk, so the top rate right here will apply. As you can see, it’s a daily and not hourly rate. Depending on the situation, I may have to charge you hazard pay or additional expenses. The retainer acts like a deductible. Once the amount billed to you exceeds it, you will make additional payments in installments of $10,000. After we’re done here, you may want to go to the bank and withdraw at least $20,000 in cash. We may have to bribe people . . .”

“Thank you.”

“This is a bad idea. Please reconsider.”

He shook his head. “No.”

I walked him through the privacy policy and had him sign all of the waivers. “What happens once we find whoever is responsible?”

“I’ll take care of things from there.”

“Meaning you’ll kill your wife’s murderer.”

“It’s the way Houses handle things,” Cornelius said.

“Well, I’m not a House. I’m a person with a family, and I respect and try to obey the laws of this country. I won’t hesitate to defend you or myself, but I won’t condone murder.”

“Understood,” Cornelius said. “How do we start?”

“I need to be able to speak to Matthias Forsberg. I need face-to-face time so I can ask him some questions. I can make the necessary calls tomorrow, but he’ll refuse to see me.”

“You don’t have the social status and you work for his competitor.” Cornelius nodded. “Matthias is an active participant in the Assembly. He never misses a session. Tomorrow happens to be December 15th. The session starts at 9:00 a.m.”

“I don’t have admission to the Assembly.” The Assembly was an unofficial executive body that governed the magic users at state and national levels. The Texas State Assembly met in Houston. A family had to have at least two Prime-caliber magic users in three generations to be considered a House and each House had a single seat. Technically the Assembly had no power within the US government, but, practically, when the Houses spoke in one collective voice, both Congress and the White House listened.

“A family name has to be good for something, right?”

Cornelius smiled. It never reached his eyes. They stayed bitter and haunted. “As a Significant and a scion of a House, I’m free to attend the Assembly and bring a companion of my choice. I intend to be an active participant in this investigation, Ms. Baylor.”

“Call me Nevada,” I told him. “Good. Then we’ll meet here tomorrow at seven.”

About the Author:

“Ilona Andrews" is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.


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Wolf Hunt by Paige Tyler
SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team, #6
ISBN: 9781492642343
Pub Date: June 6, 2017
Remy Boudreaux has kept his distance from women ever since his partner and girlfriend was killed on the job. From his point of view, you can’t be hurt if you never let anyone get close. Everything changes when Remy reconnects with the beautiful forensic scientist—and his high school crush—Triana Bellamy. Remy is determined keep things casual. But when a mysterious wolf pendant ropes them both into danger, Remy may have to reveal his true self...and hope Triana accepts him just as he is. 

Excerpt from WOLF HUNT:

 Triana was having so much fun, she was disappointed when they finally reached her mother’s voodoo shop and the apartment over it. Even though it was after two in the morning, she didn’t want the evening to end yet. The shop hasn’t changed much, but do you want to come in and look around anyway?she asked hopefully. He grinned. Yeah. I’d like that.Triana unlocked the door, then closed and locked it behind them quietly, so she wouldn’t wake her mom. When she turned back around, Remy was already walking around the dimly lit shop, taking in the shelves upon shelves of knickknacks that had mesmerized her since childhood. The overhead lights were off, so the red, green, and purple neon tubes that edged the display windows were the only source of illumination, but it was more than enough to guide her steps as she moved to Remy’s side. She watched as he picked up the various dolls, candles, beads, tarot cards, potions, books, and other trinkets that filled the store. For such large hands, he handled everything he touched with a surprisingly gentle touch. Everything is exactly the same as I remember it. He turned to smile at her, a warm glint in his eyes. Well, not everything. You’ve changed quite a bit.The heated way he looked at her made her tummy quiver. Really. How so?Remy took her hand and tugged her closer. The tips of her nipples grazed his muscular chest, sending tingles spiraling through her. I tend to remember you as a shy, somewhat awkward girl who was all knees and elbows back then.She laughed softly, a little embarrassed. Yeah, that was a pretty good description of her when she was in high school. She had been what her mom called a late bloomer, so everything had changed her freshman year in college, when her body had made up for lost time. And now? she asked in a near whisper. He bent his head until his face was so close to hers that she could feel the warmth of his breath on her skin. His left hand came up and found her hip, slowly gliding back and forth across the silky material and heating the skin underneath.
And now, you definitely aren’t shy, you move like a cat, and all those knees and elbows have turned into some serious curves I’d love to explore, since I’m smart enough to know what I want.She blushed at hearing him put all that into words. No one’s stopping you.The glint in his eyes flared brighter for a moment as the neon lights caught them. Then, one of Remy’s hands was in her hair and he was kissing her. A moan involuntarily escaped her lips as his mouth came down on hers and his tongue slipped inside. He tasted so delicious she couldn’t help it. She slid her hands up the front of his shirt and grabbed his shoulders, squeezing hard as she pulled him even closer, urging him to kiss her harder. Remy must have understood what she was trying to say because the hand in her hair tightened possessively and his tongue teased hers more aggressively. At the same time, his free hand moved around from her hip to her lower back, fitting her against him so firmly she could feel every ripple and bulge in that perfect body of his. And one of those bulges suggested he was enjoying the kiss just as much as she was. Triana melted against him, surrendering to a kiss she’d been fantasizing of for over a decade. She’d heard women talking about going all weak kneed from a great kiss, but she’d never experienced it or even believed it. She believed it now. If Remy hadn’t been holding on to her so tightly, she was sure she would have just collapsed to her knees right there in front of him. Isn’t that an interesting thought?

About the Author: 

PAIGE TYLER is a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast. Visit her at www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

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