Amelia Faulkner – Blood Moon Rising (Review & Excerpt)

Blood Moon Rising by Amelia Faulkner

Series: Tooth & Claw #2
Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by Author
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

A pack in turmoil. A ray of sunlight. A moon that demands blood…

Tooth & Claw, Book 2.

Randall Carter is in love. If only he could say it to Ellis’ face, but he’s been too busy – or too much of a coward – and now he may never get that chance. With the threat of a blood moon looming in the night sky his Alpha is on the warpath against both a new pack invading his territory and the vampire lover he ordered Randall to destroy.

Ellis O’Neill’s problems are mounting fast. Randall’s Alpha wants to kill him, a vampire neighbour invites him to join some sort of coup, and his secrets are stacking up like firewood waiting for a single spark to set them ablaze. The last person he expects to betray his trust is the man he’s fallen in love with.

Torn between love and obligation, Randall soon realises that he can’t satisfy both. He’ll have to choose, but the cost may well be more terrible than he can imagine.

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Amelia Faulkner – Blind Man’s Wolf (Review, Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway)

Blind Man’s Wolf by Amelia Faulkner

Series: Tooth & Claw #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by Author
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

A night-blind vampire. A werewolf with lousy self-confidence. And a whole hell of a lot of danger…

Ellis O’Neill is an art dealer with too many problems: his eyesight has deteriorated to the point of night-blindness; he’s estranged from his family, to whom he owes a considerable sum of money; and his guide dog went right off him the night Ellis died. Without his dog, Ellis is trapped in a life bouncing between home and work, dependent on his personal assistant.

Werewolf Randall Carter has problems of his own. He loves his pack, he really does, but as their Omega he’s always the one to bear the brunt of their rage. It’s a role he can’t avoid, and Randall isn’t sure he can take it for much longer, so he buries himself in his day job. Randall’s the best dog trainer in the city, and when he’s offered a client who needs him to work evenings he’d be a fool to turn it down.

Soon Randall is falling for someone he should despise. Everything about the undead is anathema to his kind, but Ellis is exactly the kind of guy Randall would want to ask out on a date – if he were still breathing. Worse, they may not have too long to figure their feelings out. Someone or something is gunning for Ellis and anyone else who gets in the way; they won’t rest until the vampire is destroyed.

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J.R. Ward – Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #7
Source: Personal Library
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels have introduced readers to a “different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing” (All About Romance)world. Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male’s loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested-and his dangerous mixed blood revealed…

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

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Rehvenge’s Story brings back the hard-hitting action and suspense we’ve come to expect from this series!

((BEWARE OF SPOILERS))

…every once in a while, from out of the blue, someone reaches the quiet place where you spend your private time and changes the way you see yourself…

I’m cautiously optimistic… I feel like we’ve reached a turning point with this installment, and I sincerely hope the momentum continues with the subsequent books.

As usual, the stories surrounding all of the secondary and tertiary characters stole the show:

  • Beth and Wrath feature prominently in this book.
  • John Matthew has a giant role.
  • Doc Jane has several cameos.
  • There’s a shift in the Brotherhood.
  • Lassiter the Angel has some awesome dialogue.
  • The Scribe Virgin is moping around like an empty-nester.
  • Lash plays a great big part in this book, which I think will appease the readers who have been less than thrilled with the amount of pages taken up by the Lessers

But the Stars of this book were Rehvenge and Ehlena:

REHVENGE

His glowing amethyst eyes saw everyone and cared about no one.
Rehv – or the Reverend, as the human clientele called him – was a drug lord and a pimp who didn’t give a shit about the vast majority of people. Which meant he was capable of, and frequently did, anything the fuck he wanted to.

Rehv is the infamous Zero-Sum club owner who has a larger than life personality which is only enhanced by his Sympath heritage… Talk about a hard-ass with a heart of gold…

EHLENA

“Must the world always be so harsh, I wonder,”

Ehlena is a nurse in Haver’s clinic – and what do you want to bet she was the nurse who helped Phury evacuate the patients in Lover Enshrined? I bet she was… Anyway, Ehlena is your quintessential care-giver who believes that every soul is worth saving… Plus, she winds up being a smart female with a spine of steel. I mean, the woman goes toe to toe with Xhex! :O

Unfortunately, the Romance portion of the plot between these two was firmly in the whole “I love her but I don’t deserve her” vs. “He’s dreamy but he’ll never love little ‘ol me” trope, which I loathe… Complete with some “I’ll push her away so I don’t break her heart” behavior. Not cool, J.R. Ward… Not cool..

Now for the more spoiler-y thoughts:

(Read at your own risk)

Wrath is now completely blind. I have to admit, it hurt my heart to know he wouldn’t be able to fight with this Brothers any more… I don’t think anybody wanted to see him lay down his daggers for good.

Also, you know I’m a dog lover… So I was stoked to meet Wrath’s Seeing Eye Dog, George… but that’s not nearly a bad-ass enough name. I think he should be Ghorge… You know how much the Brotherhood likes to throw an extra H into a name 😉

The scenes from inside the Sympath Colony were amazing… J.R. Ward really tapped into a cinematic quality with the visuals on that one. The cell which held Rehv, as well as the apparatus he was attached to… Not to mention the darkness and creepy-crawlies…


John Matthew has long been my favorite character of this series, but he needs to get his shit together. His little emotional roller-coaster throughout this book was exhausting… He’s had to go through so much shit in his life before his transition, and he seemed to be in such a good place… Then he found Tohr, had sex with the Symath of his dreams… And he just checked out, got drunk, and started driving me nuts.


I know J.R. Ward is a fan of making characters hit rock-bottom before she gives them their own book, but seriously… Get it together John!

Aubrey Rose – Blind Wolf

Blind Wolf (A Werewolf BBW Shifter Romance, #1)Blind Wolf by Aubrey Rose
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Series: A Werewolf BBW Shifter Romance, #1
Source: Review by Request
ARC Receiged from Publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Julia has never been on a date in her life. She’s a curvy girl with no money, no education, and no way out of the town she works in as a library assistant… until Damien shows up. He’s just like the prince charming Julia always imagined would sweep her off of her feet. There are just a few things standing in the way of true happiness: he’s blind, he’s dating someone, and he’s WAY out of her league.

Oh, and he’s a werewolf.

Damien lost his eyes two years ago in a wolf battle. Ever since then, the straggler pack of disabled wolves he leads has been searching for a place to call home. One house seems like the perfect choice, but Damien realizes too late that the person who lives there is the girl he met at the library. The human girl. Damien is torn between loyalty to his pack and raw lusting desire for the girl who haunts his dreams day and night.

She’s a human. How could she be his true mate?

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This was a sweet little BBW romance between a shy librarian and a blind WereWolf. It was cute, even if it was a little angsty at times. A merry band of misfits.


I don’t mind BBW romances when the heroine owns her body image, but Julia didn’t have an ounce of self worth. It was kind of cringe worthy to be honest. Our Big Bad Wolf Damien wasn’t much better… he had a lot of self loathing and he wasn’t the confident, dominate Alpha male I thought he should have been.

There were a ton of unanswered questions, but I’m not sure this book was really awesome enough to send me out reading the rest of the series.

***I received an ARC of the Shifter Romance Boxed Set in exchange for an honest review***

Shifter Romance Boxed Set

Shifter Romance Boxed SetShifter Romance Boxed Set by Multiple Authors

Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lions and tigers and bears…oh, yeah! This collection of shifter romances is guaranteed to heat up your cool autumn evenings with ten stories (350,000 total words!) of curve-loving werebears, sassy werecats and, of course, everyone’s favorite: alpha werewolves. Pick up this boxed set today and get in touch with your animal side tonight — just 99¢ for a limited time! (Regular Price $9.99!)

Stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Aubrey Rose, Eliza Gayle, Adriana Hunter, Terry Towers (writing as Elixa Everett), Tawny Taylor , Aphrodite Hunt (writing as Dawn Steele) and Marina Maddix ,as well as #1 Paranormal author Celia Kyle, Top 20 Shifter Romance author Cynthia Brint, and Top 100 Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling and award winning author Selena Kitt. 

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For a 99¢ I say go for it… One or two of the books were really enjoyable. However, this collection is clearly quantity over quality. I wouldn’t have finished a few of the books if I weren’t reviewing an ARC of the collection. There were Shifter Bears, Cougars, People, Lions, Rabbits, and Housecats… So there is certainly a lot of variety to choose from.

I started to get the feeling that this was a grab bag of “firsts” as in, the first book in a series and the collection was compiled under the assumption that readers will fall in love with one or more books and continue the series. Unfortunately, I didn’t fall in love with any of them. The collection ranged from Good, to Mediocre, to Downright Awful.

The Good:
He Ain’t Lion (Laugh out loud funny)
Whatever He Needs Her To Be (Original premise)
Wanted By The Alphas (Complex and full of weirdness)
Lucas (Sexy and fast-paced)

The Mediocre:
Laid Bear (Forgettable but not terrible)
BEARed to You(I liked the shifter origin story)
Blind Wolf (main characters were twits)
Until the Flood (Angsty NewAdult / Young Adult)
Cat Lover (Pretty sure that was Furry Erotica…)
Better Mate Than Never(Amusing but formulaic)

The Downright Awful:
Desires of the Wolfman (Just… Skip this one…)

When I review anthologies, I like to write up individual reviews for each of the books and then base my rating on the overall impression of the collection. Especially considering this set features eleven individual authors with distinct styles and writing quality. You can find links to the full reviews for each book below the blurbs I’ve written.


Marina MaddixLaid Bear

Curvy Bethany can’t believe her luck when her devastatingly hot neighbor Max falls for her. But his secret threatens her future…and her life.

It was a quick read, your standard M/F Paranormal shape-shifter romance, but with BEARS. It was nice, but ultimately it was nothing special…
You can find my full review here

 
Tawny TaylorBEARed to You

Curvy city girl Abby is thrilled when a hot, naked man shows up on her cabin’s front doorstep and stokes a blaze or two, in the fireplace and in her body…until he turns into a bear…and the two of them are forced to run for their lives through the untamed Alaskan wilderness.
More BEARS! I really liked the fresh explanation of how Tarik Evert became a WereBear. There were several steamy sex scenes and some lovely pillow talk, but other than that it was kind of a bust…
You can find my full review here


Celia Kyle – He Ain’t Lion

Life sucks… And then you get turned into a werelion… And then have lotsa awesome sex…
This was an unapologetic hilarious read. It was sexy and silly and never took itself seriously. There was rude language, WereLions, tons of sex, and one seriously sassy plus-sized woman.
You can find my full review here


Elixa Everett – Whatever He Needs Her To Be

What would you do to win over the man of your dreams? For shapeshifter Selena, it’s simply a matter of being whatever he needs her to be.
A promising storyline completely ruined by the writing. Disappointing. I really wanted to like this book because the premise was fresh and intriguing, but I wound up completely unsatisfied.
You can find my full review here


Dawn SteeleWanted By The Alphas

New girl in a new town, Shannon, meets two extremely gorgeous and extremely different men who are vying for her attention — but who happen to be a witch and an alpha werewolf at war with each other.
I thought this book was a vast improvement on the previous books in the set, in both plot and prose. We had Witches, Were-Panthers, Drug Cartels, Were-Wolves, Love Triangles, Fights to the Death, a brief trip to the after life for one of the characters, and one of the most baffling endings I’ve ever read.
You can find my full review here


Aubrey RoseBlind Wolf

A blind werewolf leading a pack of stragglers finally finds his one true mate — then realizes she’s human…
This was a sweet little BBW romance between a shy librarian and a blind WereWolf. It was cute, even if it was a little angsty at times. A merry band of misfits.
You can find my full review here

 


Cynthia Brint Until the Flood

Fiona believes the love of her life died years ago, so how will she handle his return…and the fact that he’s no longer human?
This was a rather huge departure form other books in the set because it was heavy in the YA/NA genre while others had been firmly Erotica. The story was cute enough, young love and all that…
You can find my full review here


Julianne ReyerDesires of the Wolfman

A newlywed couple faces their deepest fantasies and fears as they’re thrust from their little rural community into a world of werewolf turmoil and mystery.
I really didn’t like this book. It was actually severall little novellas crammed together, but I was ready to carve my eyeballs out with a spoon by the time it was over.
You can find my full review here

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Selena Kitt – Cat Lover

Sebastian and Katie are having relationship issues when her ex shows up to complicate things, but that’s the least of their worries, because Katie is finally changing–into something not quite human.
Told from the boyfriend’s perspective, this was a twisted tale of watching his girlfriend slowly become possessed by the Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast.
You can find my full review here


Adriana HunterBetter Mate Than Never

Caleb Stone has wanted Paige for as long as he can remember but there’s a reason he’s always kept his distance. Wolves, more specifically, Lycan’s, can’t mate with humans. Worse, he can sense her incredibly intense hunger for him but he knows that he can never give her what she wants, or needs.But when Paige is kidnapped by a powerful enemy Caleb has no choice but to go after her even if it means revealing his true identity…even if means risking it all.
I enjoyed this short story. It was a sweet little “I want you but I can’t have you” story between an Alpha-Male Werewolf and a curvaceous redheaded lawyer.
You can find my full review here


Eliza Gayle – Lucas

An uneasy alliance, a mating call that won’t be denied, rituals that must be honored, and unrelenting enemies who will stop at nothing to get what they want. In the end, there’s really only one choice… for Lucas.
The final book in this boxed set really surprised me when I was becoming fatigued by the Shifter Genre. It had a lot of action, some suspense, and some great dirty talk. Overall, Lucas was a decent “forbidden mates” style of Shifter Romance.
You can find my full review here

***I received an ARC of this collection in exchange for an honest review***

J.R. Ward – Dark Lover

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

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An Adult Vampire Series worth sinking your teeth into!

“You don’t know this yet,” he said grimly. “But you are Mine.”

Every now and then, some one will begin talking about their favorite books/series and on the off-chance I haven’t read it, they will positively freak out… In the case of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, several people were shocked and appalled that I hadn’t picked it up…

“What do you mean you’ve never heard of this series?!? You must read it!
ONE OF US! ONE OF US!”

That’s precisely how I was introduced to the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series (complete with Tod Browning reference).

I’m so incredibly glad I picked it up.

The story switched point of view like crazy, but it was well executed. I was gripped with suspense, I laughed out loud, (and Gods help me) I almost cried.

I really enjoyed meeting all of the characters – there were a ton of people in this book, it’s easy to get bogged down when we’re being set up to understand everyone’s individual personalities, but J.R. Ward does a great job of easing us in.

She gives us enough information to understand someone’s motives while keeping us from getting overburdened with information. I think it’s safe to assume the majority of the characters we met in Dark Lover will be getting their own books, so we really just needed to get a taste… And it was a lovely taste.

I can see how this could easily become a new series for me to call favorite. I just ordered the next 10 books from Amazon… Hurry up UPS man!

Tenaya Jayne – Forest Fire

Forest Fire by Tenaya Jayne

Series: Legends of Regia #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Banished to Earth. Hunted by the queen’s assassins. Forest must fight to find a way back to Regia. Lonely and brokenhearted, she waits for Syrus to break through her banishment.

Separated from Forest, Syrus lives his days in anguish, trapped in a portal that goes nowhere. While Regia’s civil war ravages the land and the balance of power tips, the world will learn it’s the Rune-dy pulling the strings.

Forest must face the horrifying secret of her origins and learn her father’s identity. Attain her freedom through retribution and wage war inside her own heart. Will she be able to accept the gift Syrus offers, or will one mistake separate them forever?

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THIS REVIEW INCLUDES A FULL CHARACTER MAPPING – IN THE HOPES THAT A THIRD BOOK MIGHT BE ON THE WAY.
(and I apologize in advance for repeating some of the things I said in my review of Forbidden Forest)

Legends of Regia has the potential to be an amazing Epic Fantasy series! The world of Regia is full of complex societies – Elves, Shifters, Werewolves, and Vampires (plus various crossbreeds and spirits). Each have their own ideals and customs which weave a detailed narrative even before one considers the multitude of individual characters (who are fully developed with political aspirations, sometimes scheming, and generally suffering from some sort of emotional upheaval).

I find this richly developed world to be highly entertaining and well crafted. It’s a series which leaves me both happily sated and starving for more.

I adore Forest (I’m a sucker for badass female leads) Forest’s struggle to find her place in society is relateable, even in this high-fantasy setting.

I loved this little dialogue with a handmaid “doll” she fired from the court in Onyx Castle:

“Just who do you think you are?” screamed the doll. “I can trace my lineage back six centuries.”
“That’s nice,” Forest said acidly. “I’m the bastard child of two races. And I have a party to get ready for. So get out of my sight and stay out.” Forest gave them all a broad grin. “Welcome to the new world order.” She slammed the door in their shocked faces.

Naturally, Forest struggles with the rapid changes pressed upon her in this book (and she is entitled to a mini-meltdown), but as soon as her emotional struggles became too over the top for me, the author blessed us Netriet who stepped in to literally slap some sense into Forest:

“Look, Forest, I think you’re pretty awesome.” Forest snorted and rolled her eyes. “No, really,” Netriet pressed. “You’re an amazing person. You’re just an ingrate.”

(Thank you, Tenaya Jayne)

Syrus is a dreamy leading man, though I wish we could have learned more about what HIS aspirations were for the future of Regia and his birthright.

In the hope that additional books will be published in the Legends of Regia Series, I’ve mapped out the characters and settings so that they can be reviewed. (I tried to pick up Forest Fire Three months (and 40 books) after reading Forbidden Forest and quickly realized that I needed to re-read book one to refresh my memory. In my opinion, there is no hardship to repeated readings of either book, but if you want to jump straight into a book three (assuming there will be a book three – hint hint, Tenaya Jayne) here is how things left off in the World of Regia by the end of Forest Fire:

MAIN CHARACTERS:

Forest – Operative for Fortress who had a hatred of Vampires. A bastard half-breed Elf/Shifter – and therefore born into the lowest class possible. She guards an inter-dimensional portal (from Regia to Austin), reluctantly drafted as a bodyguard for Prince Syrus, who she discovers is her predestined life mate. (By the end of book two she is appointed Hailemarris, a sort of supreme judge. A position created by the Rune-dy)
Syrus – Vampire Prince, heir to the throne. Believed to be dead after an assassination attempt which left him blind. Master of the Blood Kata (a sword and Vampire martial art), given the title Sanguine Mage (By the end of Book Two, the general population of Regia still does not know he is alive. Forest and Syrus take up residence at her cottage and are on good terms.)

THE HIGH COUNCIL:

Devonte – the Wizard. Considers himself superior and above the law. – in book two, he heals Leith of the thorns.
Nahcaan – the Ogre. One of the most educated, talented, and easy-going ogres in all of Regia.
Zefyre – the Elf priestess. Forest’s aunt. Had a longstanding affair with Lush. The Mole within Paradigm, Plotting the overthrow of Regia by pitting the Vampires and Werewolves against each other. By the end of Book Two she is facing possible death at the hands of the Rune-dy for sending sacrificial messengers to Philippe.
Frost – the Werewolf. A superior politician, posh, slick as they came.
Gagnee – the Shape shifter. Changes her appearance more often than any other shifter in the whole of Regia (probably to eavesdrop on her underlings).
Lush – the Vampire. “Nobility scum, condescending with every syllable. Everything from his clothes to his tone of voice was calculated precisely. Arrogant and ambitious. Nothing more than a successful social climber.” Had a longstanding affair with Zefyre. Becomes the accidental accomplice of Zefyre by trading classified information. By the end of Book Two, his scheming is known, and he will soon face the consequences of his actions.

SECONDARY CHARACTERS:

Leith – Vampire, owner of Forest (he branded her with a combination of lover and slave markings which bind her to him.) his ownership of Forest is a secret. In book two he is imprisoned by Rahaxeris and infected with thorns (which cause him to relive all the hurt he has caused others) he is sprung from his prison by his prison by his fater, cured by the Wizard Devonte, and killed by Syrus when he attachs Forest.
Kindel – manages the operatives of Fortress, reports directly to the High Council, recommended Forest (who he is secretly in love with) for the mission of escorting Prince Syrus to Wolveswood (by the end of book two he has been appointed as Forest’s personal assistant)
Lorcan – Twin brother of Leith, also holds a grudge against Forest. Threatens to expose Forest’s slavery to the court at Onyx Castle. Murdered by Syrus.
Maxcarion – Rouge wizard and mercenary who blinded Syrus in the assassination attempt. He is the goal of the journey in book one, but is unable to cure Syrus. He does, however, save Forest for the collar placed on her by Philippe.
Redge – Syrus’s bodyguard, best friend, all-around right hand man. Soldier in the Vampire Army.
Philippe – Leader of the Werewolves. Wears a cloak made of the wolf pelts of his enemies. Forced his subjects to learn and speak only French (and they’re rubbish at it) – Murdered by Netriet at the beginning of Book Two, throwing the pending Civil War into action.
Cristiana – Vampire Queen, conniving. In book two she separates Forest & Syrus, imprisoning Syrus in Onyx Castle and banishing Forest to Earth before sending countless assassins to kill her. She is finally stopped by Rahaxeris who banishes her from Regia, frees Syrus, and pulls all the Vampires from Earth.
Zeren – Vampire King
Netriet – Vampire, a sacrificial messenger sent to Philippe by the Mole inside Fortress. Forced to wear an enchanted ring (the “collar”) to deliver her message, then tortured by Philippe as he sought to master the ring. In the beginning of book one she Murders Philieppe, and nearly dies but it saved by Shi and the Heart. Unfortunately, the Heart was tainted and has changed Netriet into a Golum like split-personality.
Rahaxeris – Elf. Head of the Council of the Rune-dy. Zefyre’s brother and Forest’s father – though nobody knows his association to Forest except for Zefyre. By the end of Book Two, his relationship to Forest is made public. He reveals that he has been looking after Forest her whole life, achieved the position of head of the Rune-dy to protect her, and is restructuring the entire political system of Regia in order to make a better world for her.
Shi – the ghost of a Dryad – an extinct race. She’s the keeper of the Wood (kind of like an Ent) ally, confidant, and adopted mother to Forest. In book Two she saves Netriet after she falls from the Lair, her use of the healing power of the Heart in its weakened state causes her to believe that Netriet is probably changed for the worse.

SMALL PARTS AND “RED SHIRTS”

Pipha – Vampire, long dead life mate of King Zeren. Presumably murdered by Christina.
Tek – Werewolf merchant at the Fair who deals in human contraband
Martia – Ogre and Tek’s mate, attempts to befriend Netriet in Book Two
Kitch – Elf patroller outside Kyhael, unlucky enough to have stumbled upon Forest & Syrus’s campsite. Murdered by Rahaxeris.
Susa – Elf clerk inside Kyhael who relayed the report of Forest’s presence to the Rune-dy
Prefect Camber – Elf, a high profile “gofer” and the Rune-dy’s go-to-guy.
Liasia – Shifter, long dead mother of Forest
Ithiel – Vampire, legendary Lord Master of the Blood Kata who trained Syrus.
Marius – Werewolf Ambassador to Paradigm
Gahu – Werewolf, an officer of Philippe’s army
Mindy & Rachel – human girls who come into contact with Leith. They call Forest to kill him
Hezeron – member of the Council of the Rune-dy (specializing in experimentation)
Abshael – member of the Council of the Rune-dy
Cassian – member of the Council of the Rune-dy
Menjel – member of the Council of the Rune-dy, he is also the former high priest of the Rune-dy whom Rahaxeris overthrew to gain his position
Baal – assistant to the Rune-dy Council members, unofficial assistant to Forest
Plixtz – assistant to the Rune-dy Council members
Merhl – the ogre in Onyx Castle with skill in portals, feels he owes Forest a debt
Dracula – yes, that Dracula. Member of the Royal Family
Ena – The lowest ranked handmaiden of Christina’s court & the only to be retained by Forest. By the end of Book Two she is hired as Forest’s Personal Secretary at Fortress.
Vladien – Vampire, nephew of Dracula, father of Leith & Lorcan
Merick – Vampire juggler in the Fair, secretly saves Netriet from two Werewolves
Guyas – a “newbie mage” in training at Obsidian Mountain
Taurus – a “newbie mage” in training at Obsidian Mountain

PLACES:

Austin, Tx – Forest’s home on Earth
Regia – a world in another Galexy
Paradigm – capital city of Regia
Wolveswood – a labyrinth Forest on the edge of the Werewolf city
The Lair – Werewolf stronghold at the base of the Eastern Regian Mountains
Desert of Halussis/Dreaming Desert – barrier to the Vampire city, comprised of highly toxic because black shadow sand which causes hallucinations.
Onyx Castle – Vampire stronghold within the Desert of Halussis
Fair – a gypsy-like open black market of Regia
Kyhael – The elf city.
Brigadoon – the world Queen Christina was banished to
Obsidian Mountain – where the masters of the Blood Kata go to train

IMPORTANT POINTS:

  • Vampires have been in power for a long time in Regia
  • By the end of Book Two we are working toward a Republic-based system of Government
  • The Rune-dy is a secret order of Elves who specialize in experiements and tourture and are feared
  • Werewolves and Vampires have always been enemies
  • Ogres are the constant allies of Vampires
  • Shifters are considered second-class citizens
  • Any Halfling (combination of the 4 pure races) is shunned by society…

UPDATE:
I found the following blurb on Tenaya Jayne’s Website

“I’m not able to throw down any dates for you yet, but I can tell you things have moved from concept to Work-in-Progress! The Legends of Regia #3, DARK SOUL(working title) may well turn out to be my favorite of the series. Social unrest, terrorism, murder, romance, a triangle, new villains, new heroes, and a new, one-of-a-kind heroine! I’m excited!”

Tenaya Jayne – Forbidden Forest

Forbidden Forest by Tenaya Jayne

Series: Legends of Regia #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Born in shame. Cast from society. Shape Shifter/Elf hybrid, Forest must fight for any respect she can get. Targeted in her youth by a vampire noble who placed an illegal slave mark on her, she is forced to obey him, no matter what.

Slipping the grip of her master and abandoning the prejudice of Regia, her native world, Forest takes a job on Earth, guarding the portal, using her skills as a warrior to enforce Regia’s laws. Now, called home for a black ops mission, Forest must put aside her own prejudice to transport the vampire prince, Syrus, through enemy territory in a time of war.

Prince Syrus, mage and master of the Blood Kata, wants Forest more than he’s ever wanted anything. In spite of their mutual mistrust, their attraction cannot be denied. Through the danger of their mission, and the secrets they both keep, it doesn’t matter what they feel. Forest is forbidden.

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I am a HUGE fan of the Legends of Regia. It truly has the potential to be an amazing Epic Fantasy series, and I certainly hope that Tenaya Jayne continues working on it.

In the world of Regia, Earth is only accessible through portals guarded by elite operatives of Fortress. One such portal is located in Austin, Texas as is guarded by Forest, a half-breed Elf/Shifter Hybrid. She is a fantastically badass female character, and had me from the very start. Despite her well-known hatred of Vampires, she is drafted by Fortress for a Secret Mission – escort the Vampire Prince into Enemy Territory.

A ton of adventure, action, espionage, mystery, suspense, and romance… This book has it all. I can’t say enough about how happy I am to have stumbled across it, and I recommend it highly.

This is definitely one of those books I wish more people knew about…

By the way: This book is FREE on iTunes, so really there’s no excuse not to pick it up, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

UPDATE: OCTOBER 5, 2013

I finally downloaded Forest Fire, read the first few chapters and realized that in the Legends of Regia series, Tenaya Jayne has created a world so detailed and full of complex character relationships that I needed to re-read Forbidden Forest just to get my bearings. Its been two months and forty books since I read Forbidden Forest the first time, and I definitely needed a refresher. It wasn’t much of a hardship to re-read this book, I do enjoy this world. 🙂

Erica Stevens – Salvation

Salvation by Erica Stevens

Series: The Captive #4
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4th and last book in the Captive Series.

Imprisoned by Caleb and at the mercy of the king, Aria is determined not to let them break her. However, the more atrocities she witnesses, the more she realizes there are some horrors no one can withstand, and sometimes survival isn’t always the best option.
Tormented by the loss of Aria, Braith is forced to choose between his need to rescue her, and the impending rebel war he’s been chosen to lead. Fighting against the darkness which threatens to drag him into its tempting depths, Braith struggles not to become like the one thing he hates the most, his father.
Faced with their own separate challenges, Aria and Braith must come to terms with who they are, what they want, and the likelihood that they can never be together as the inevitable war looms on the horizon. A war that all of them will fight but not all of them will survive.

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The final book of the series ends the story of Braith and Aria in an enchanting way, and makes up for the drag of Book Three

“Now they were here, back where it had all started, and where it would finally end one way or another.”

War is escalating.
Can Braith save Aria from the clutches of the King?
Will Aria and Braith get their happily ever after?
Will Humans and Vampires finally learn to live together?

“…If he comes back from a beheading I think we can just give him his crown, throw him a party, and admit defeat.”

Erica Stevens – Refugee

Refugee by Erica Stevens

Series: The Captive #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Whispers, rumors, and horror stories abound about The Barrens and the strange creatures that lurk within them. Determined to find the remaining vampires that stood against his father in the war, Braith knows that it’s dangerous to enter the inhospitable land, but that they must if they are to have a chance at gaining allies to help overthrow the king. Though he once knew the powerful vampires that are rumored to reside within The Barrens, he is unsure what to expect if they succeed in finding them. He will do whatever is necessary though to ensure a future for himself and Aria.

Aria is fearful of entering into the land she’s heard nothing but cautionary tales about, but she’s determined to help Braith locate the vampires that may help them with their cause. She is fascinated and amazed by the world they uncover within, one that is unlike anything she has ever seen before. However, the more immersed they become in a world that she doesn’t entirely understand, the more she realizes that it won’t be the war, or even the king that will eventually tear her and Braith apart.

It will be her.

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A lead up to the final book, preparations are being made, and Aria’s life is in danger…

(BEWARE OF SPOILERS)

“He would come for her, she knew that, but would it be the vampire that came for her, or the monster that vampire could become.”

So Here’s my BIG ISSUE with this series…

If Aria thinks that she must die in order to save Braith…
If everyone believes Aria must be turned into a Vampire in order to stay with Braith as his Queen…
If Braith believes Aria will die if anyone attempts to turn her into a Vampire…

THEN JUST FUCKING TURN THE GIRL INTO A VAMPIRE ALREADY!!

If she dies, then nothing really changes…
She wants to die anyway…

Also, I have a prediction about book four:
I’m betting that Aria has Vampire DNA in her bloodline, and Xavier can sense it…

One more thing…
Let the poor girl have sex already!
Yes, that might just be my love for Erotica bleeding through to a genre which doesn’t deserve to be sexualized… But for the love of god, I cannot handle all this will-they-or-won’t-they UST!

This series is starting to spin out of control into an angsty YA nightmare… Which I kind of remember it doing the last time I read it… I certainly hope that the final book addresses this nonsense.


“You know, for an immortal vampire you’re a bit of a wimp,” Aria informed Ashby.
He flashed his dashing smile as he grinned. “I never said I wasn’t.”