Throwback Thursday: Karen Marie Moning – Faefever

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Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Series: Fever, #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Darkfever and Bloodfever returns to Dublin’s Fae-infested shores in a bold, sensual new novel. Hurtling us into a realm of seduction and shadows, Karen Marie Moning tells the enthralling tale of a woman who explores the limits of her mysterious powers as she enters a world of ancient sorcery—and confronts an enemy more insidious than she could ever have imagined.

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences.…

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Tenaya Jayne – Dark Soul (Review, Excerpt, & Interview)

Dark Soul by Tenaya Jayne

Series: Legends of Regia #3
Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by the Author
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thief. Murderess. Sacrificial messenger. Netriet has faced death many times but she never consented to the transformation she endured the last time her life was pulled back from the edge of death. She’s compelled to live a solitary life for fear the shadow inside her will terrify others. Lonely, Netriet longs for acceptance and friendship. Joining up with the Fair, a haven for misfits, she believes she’s found home and love with Merick.

The ghosts of Merick’s past haunt him. Helplessly attracted to Netriet, he’s sworn to help her destroy the shadow within, but losing his heart to her cripples him with fear. Mistakes and misunderstanding push her away and Merick’s forced to watch her flee into the arms of another man.

Torn between two men, Netriet’s true nature is drawn to one, while the shadow yearns for the other. At war with the darkness, Netriet must choose, or let the shadow swallow her completely.

The fate of Regia’s new republic hangs in the balance as a new enemy arises, backed by a group of violent insurgents bent on destroying everything Forest has worked for. Desperate for intelligence about the terrorist group, Forest learns the leader wants not only to claim the throne, but also her life.

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Tami Veldura – Blood In The Water (Review & Excerpt)

Blood In The Water by Tami Veldura

Series: An Act of Piracy #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Kyros Vindex, treasure-hunter, has a problem. He’s carrying a torch for a fellow pirate with the sexual awareness of a teaspoon. Rumors say the man has killed hundreds. He’s determined to knock some sense into the work-a-holic that captains the Midnight Sun, but damned if he knows how.

Eric Deumont has more pressing concerns than the treasure-obsessed Kyros. There’s a creature inked into his chest that no witch in the seas will lay hands on for all the gold in the world. He knows it gives the Midnight Sun a cursed reputation and that doesn’t make living any easier. He has heard stories of spirits trapped for lifetimes inside spelled puzzle jars. Eric tracked down three of the pieces for such a jar with a lead number four. The fifth is still out there.

Even then, the spirit of vengeance that lives in Eric’s skin has no intention of giving up such easy access to the mortal realm. It craves blood and the light of the moon allows it to wreak unchecked havoc. Cursed is an insult. This is madness.

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Susan Arden – Dragon Heart (Review, Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway)

Dragon Heart by Susan Arden

Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by the Author
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Leopardess Shay Barclay has a choice: go along with her family’s political plan to marry her to a ruthless shifter older than her grandfather or categorically claim her life and sensual nature as hers to rule.

She wastes no time in choosing freedom, but in her haste to establish her own boundaries, she just may have trusted her heart to the wrong man – a dragon shifter who’s too dangerous to resist…

Former Navy SEAL Drake O’Connor personally guaranteed he’d protect his buddy’s daughter to the death. But when his explosive chemistry with Shay finally boils over and they end up in bed, her family’s political enemies are the least of their problems.

Because although Shay doesn’t know it, she’s crossed a line with Drake that will alter their future for an eternity…

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Jean Maxwell – The Witch Doctor (Review, Excerpt, & Interview)

The Witch Doctor by Jean Maxwell

Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where do witches go when they’re feeling a little poorly? To the Witch Doctor, of course.

Sexy, brilliant Valor McCaine is a warlock making his way in the modern world as pharmacist by day and witch-healer by night… sometimes both day and night! While his patients find relief in experiencing Valor’s formidable sexual prowess, his race is slowly being decimated by a sinister virus he has been tracking and researching for decades. Will a breakthrough ever come? Valor’s best chance walks through his pharmacy door one afternoon in the form of a young student named Darcy deHavalend, doing secret research of her own. Will they become partners or adversaries in a fight to save witchkind?

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Eliza Gayle – Lucas

LucasLucas by Eliza Gayle
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Series: Black Cougar #1
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kira MacDonald is in trouble. Plagued by false visions and erotic dreams of a man she’s never met, she fears losing both her psychic powers and her sanity. The cure? Finding and bonding with her mate. The stubborn red-haired warrior might not want one, but fate has other plans, plans that include her rescuing Lucas Gunn.

As the Guardian of his shapeshifting clan, Lucas Gunn lived a quiet, solitary life until he was kidnapped, examined, and tortured. Now imprisoned, his only tie to the outside world is the memory of his dreams and the passionate woman who appears in them. He thought she was nothing more than a vision. Then she came for him.

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. It all comes together in the first of Eliza Gayle’s sensational Black Cougar Series. Passion and pride. Duty and danger. In the end, there’s really only one choice…for Lucas.

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I read this book as part of the Shifter Romance Boxed Set. 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.


Lucas is a Black Cougar, and Kira is powerful psychic.
They’re predestined Mates, but their union is forbidden (blah blah blah, you know how this plot line goes).

I really liked Kira at first, she was a badass military trained single lady who LITERALLY rescued the man of her dreams from certain doom. How awesome is that?
…Unfortunately, the awesomeness started to deteriorate quickly. Not going to give away spoilers, but she went a little nuts.

There were some nice sexy-times, and Lucas had a talent for dirty talk, but his bark rarely lived up to his bite.

Most importantly, there were a distracting number of typos in this book… And one unforgivable misuse of your/you’re in reference to the possession of one’s lady parts…

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

Adriana Hunter – Better Mate Than Never

Better Mate Than NeverBetter Mate Than Never by Adriana Hunter
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Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Caleb has wanted Paige for as long as he can remember, but there’s a reason he’s always kept his distance. Wolves can’t mate with humans. Worse, he can sense her intense hunger for him, even though 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 risking it all.

* Better Mate Than Never is a new adult werewolf romance that contains sexual content, coarse language and mature subject matter. For adults only.

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This was a sweet little “I want you but I can’t have you” story between an Alpha-Male Werewolf and a curvaceous redheaded lawyer.


It was a decent short story, even if the ending was a bit rushed and anticlimactic.

I liked that the heroine, Paige, was a strong character; she didn’t cower and had a good head on her shoulders. Caleb was a sexy Alpha, his dirty talk was top shelf. When the two came together it was steamy and passionate. Since they had known each other since they were in high school, the attachment didn’t seem rushed or improbable.

It would have benefitted from an editor – in addition to the little mistakes which permitted the work, there was a moment when Caleb’s eyes were blue instead of brown/gold. It had several silly but distracting mistakes like that.

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

Dawn Steele – Wanted By The Alphas

Wanted By The AlphasWanted By The Alphas by Dawn Steele
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Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shannon is a new girl in a stormy town, trying to pick up the pieces from a mysterious past life.

Just when she thinks she is all set, she meets Lucien Walker – tall, blond, mega-rich and superhot with his scorching blue eyes and flirty charm. She has one night of torrid sex with him and leaves. After all, guys like Lucien never come back for second helpings. Right?

So even though her heart is torn, Shannon walks away, expecting never to see him again.

Then she meets Dr. Kirk Fitzpatrick – extremely handsome, harried, beyond kind in that ‘I have to save the Pacific Northwest’ manner. Only problem is that he is also her new boss. But she can’t help finding him wonderfully attractive, and apparently, the feeling is mutual even though he is fighting his personal ethics to date an employee.

Then Lucien calls. He can’t get her out of his head. It’s a first for him.

Shit.

But a storm is brewing in the town between the old clans. One of Shannon’s suitors is a powerful witch, and the other, the powerful alpha shapeshifter of his pack. Both are at war, and both will make her the ultimate prize.

In this kind of war, there can only be one victor.

WANTED BY THE ALPHAS is a standalone, extremely sexy, paranormal shifter novel.

WARNING: There is a threesome in here, but the mysterious circumstances leading to it are not what you think. You will just have to read it to find out!

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I read this book as part of the Shifter Romance Boxed Set. 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.

So Shannon had the hard decision to make… Poor girl…

Lucien Walker
The Witch.

“…the passionate and volatile Lucien, who is giving up everything for her – his family, his fortune, the world he has known and lived in for so long…”

OR

Dr. Kirk Fitzpatrick

The WereWolf

…the measured and matured do-gooder Kirk, who rebels against his shapeshifter nature but does what he does admirably to keep the peace, and who loves her just as fiercely in his own right…”

And seriously, that was one of the most ridiculous, nuts endings I’ve ever read. Not going to spoil it for you but I was making this face:


Buying the box set just became worth it. You’ve got to read this ending of this story for yourself and tell me what you think 😉

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

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. 🙂