Just when I thought Terry Spear’s Wolf series couldn’t possibly get any better, I read Heart of the Highland Wolf. Sure, all Terry’s wolves are sexy and alpha to the core, but this really wasn’t fair.  Be still my wolfen heart….meet Laird Ian MacNeill: Scottish Alpha werewolf in a kilt! Oh and did I mention he’s a quadruplet? Really do I need to go on with the review because personally that would be enough to get me to read it!
Heart of the Highland Wolf gives us nonstop suspense-filled action, steamy sexual tension, and stomach churning emotional struggles that keep us on the edge of our seats. With Spear’s smooth storytelling and incomparable attention to detail, you simply become a part of the world you’re reading. Heart of the Highland Wolf is one not to be missed!
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Laird Ian MacNeill is the leader of his gray werewolf pack in Scotland. His pack is in serious financial trouble and they are about to lose their ancestral home, Argent Castle. Reluctantly, he agrees to allow an American film crew to come in and use the castle for their set. Leaving all the details to his 3 brothers, he planned to stay clear of anyone that had anything to do with the film.  But as soon as he set his eyes on a pretty, little American redhead, he knew he was in trouble.
Julia Wildthorn, romance author and red werewolf, is posing as an assistant to her friend who is working with the film crew. Suffering from some serious writer’s block, she figures that spending several days in a Scottish castle surrounded by Highland men in kilts will be just the thing to get her creative juices flowing. Unfortunately the Laird of Argent Castle is a grumpy brute who wants nothing to do with the American film crew and won’t be too happy about someone writing a story about him, his clan, or his castle. What no one knows is that Julia is there for more than a great romance story; she is on a search and retrieve mission for a mysterious box belonging to her ancestors.

From Amazon.com
It’s a matter of pride…
Modern day werewolf laird Ian MacNeill reluctantly allows a film production company to use his castle, but he knows his secretive clan has a big problem when a beautiful red werewolf female who insists she’s working on the film keeps showing up in the wrong places… and a matter of pleasure…
Julia Wildthorn is not who she says she is-she’s sneaking into Argent Castle to steal an ancient relic for her grandfather and to do research for her next werewolf romance novel. When she catches a glimpse of Ian, she realizes he’s the perfect hero…

Almost Human is one of those books that was pleasantly surprising. After reading the description, I was leery because it just screamed TWILIGHT. I got this book in the 3 in 1 binding and I’m glad I did–each book ends so abruptly, I would not have enjoyed it had I not had the following book immediately. It is a large book and was pretty intimidating when I sat down to start reading it, but the stories flow so well, that was a detail easily forgotten. I can’t review this as 3 separate books because I didn’t see them as truly separate. The books progress from one right into the next with barely a breath of time between the end of one and the beginning of the next.

The characters in this book were very enjoyable and easy to relate to. The beginning of the book was a bit slow until Felicity comes out of her shell a bit. I loved the friendship between Alli, Ben, and Felicity. The dynamics of their friendship seemed very true to life, like any new friendship you’d make when you go off to school. Cain and Felicity’s relationship bothered me some at first because Felicity was so young and naïve, falling in love very hard and very quickly. Cain was a fascinating and complex character. He would’ve been a great character in the book even without his relationship with Felicity. I was surprised at how my feelings for Sindy changed throughout the book. One minute I hated her evil ways and the next I felt sorry for her and wanted someone to just give her a chance.

The story itself is filled with deep emotional struggles and twists and turns that keep you desperate to know what happens next. Each character had his/her own struggles throughout the story so that you always had something to look forward to instead of reading about only one couple. The end of the book was definitely not what I was expecting; Ms Nowak certainly left us a cliffhanger!  I would recommend this book to someone who is looking for something a little more mature than Twilight, but not quite ready for a purely adult vampire romance.  It’s well-written and unique in a genre inundated with young vampire romance books. I look forward to seeing what twists the author throws at us in the next trilogy.

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From Almost Human’s Amazon page

 

ALMOST HUMAN ~ The First Trilogy ~ 3-in-1 Edition

In this paranormal fantasy, chapters alternate perspective between a vampire and a young woman, as they join an ensemble cast of characters to navigate difficulties of addiction and desire; perils of zombies and vampires; and struggles with abuse, morality and… college.

Vol. 1: Fatal Infatuation
Felicity views going away to college as an opportunity to mature into a confident young woman, but her new beginning turns out to be more of an adventure than she bargains for when she finds that her school is plagued by vampires!
Cain is an elder vampire who displays quiet confidence even as he struggles to overcome sins of his past. Surprisingly, he found that in losing his life he gained his faith and a purpose.
His mission: find the hostile vampires that inhabit this small college town, and educate them to live in peace with humans. Their leader, Sindy, is a wicked temptress who has set her sights on Felicity’s new friend Ben. She will be difficult to control, but after meeting Felicity, Cain’s most difficult task lies in controlling himself.

Vol. 2: Lost Reflections
Felicity has helped her friends to escape the venomous vixen Sindy, but cannot divine the motives of Cain, the vampire who captured first her gratitude, and then her heart.
She finds the historical account of Cain’s past enthralling and frightening. Now she must determine whether the addictive venom in Cain’s kiss is clouding her judgment, and if his thirst for her blood is a driving force too strong for their love to conquer.
It’s difficult to contemplate such questions while under the attack of a vengeful vampire and his zombie slaves. Felicity’s heart has already been lost to Cain; will she lose her life as well?


Vol. 3: Evolving Ecstasy
The relationship between Cain and Felicity has crested to a peak that leaves them unsure whether to step back from each other for safety, or jump into a future united in death.
The venom of Cain’s bite could protect Felicity from hostile vampires, but it would give him a measure of psychic control over her as well. Would Felicity only accept becoming a vampire, due to his addictive venom, coupled with the foolishness of a young girl in love?
Perhaps there is a brighter future for her in the human world. Is Cain’s desire for Felicity’s love worth the loss of her life?

 

 

Have you read Almost Human? If so, leave a comment and let us know what you thought.

I enjoyed reading Through The Veil.  There is action, deceit, love, despair, laughter and all the strong emotions one expects when reading a paranormal romance novel. Lee is a strong heroine and doesn’t take the alpha men at their words; she must figure things out on her own. She’s not so headstrong, however, that she refuses to see logic.  Kalen, her otherworldly lover and mate is notas domineering as most alphas.  He reminds me of a Laird, one who is in love with his land, his people and will stop at little to protect either one. He’s waited for many years for Lee to recognize her magickal self and embrace him and their home.  Lee is the key to saving the world, but Kalen is mistaken on how exactly she will do so.  She’s determined to help, but when she is offered the choice of more war or turning herself over to a silk prison, she has to make a choice.  In Anqar, they treat women like her as broodmares, for the sole purpose of perpetuation of the race.  She is willing to give herself over to save everyone from the further threat of attack and annihilation.  The question is, who saves her from having to do so, and what are the motives? Not everyone is who and what they claim to be.

Walker does a nice job of tidying up this story, but leaving a nice option for segway into the next novel.  I look forward to reading more about this intriguing world.

I give it 3 stars for story content, 3 ½ flames for heat, and 1 star for otherworld characters (there really isn’t any other than the magic)

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From www.shilohwalker.com

Found wandering in a field as a child, Lee Ross was given a name by the state and placed in a foster home–without anyone realizing she wasn’t entirely human. All her life, she’s tried to dismiss the odd dreams that have plagued her, dreams of monsters creeping through the night and a man, fighting demons by her side. But the bruises she wakes up with are all too real to ignore.

Then the man from dreams appears in the flesh. His name is Kalen and he insists that her destiny lies in his world, the world of her dreams. To save their people, he must convince Lee to give up everything she knows, follow her heart
and cross into the Under Realm, even though once she does, she’ll never be able to return.

Kian MacTiernan is a fantastic beginning to the Vampires of the Chesapeake series. Kian and Darcy are the type of characters that you care for immediately. I really like the way the author started the story off with Kian and Darcy’s individual histories before jumping into the story of them together. Knowing their history upfront made the story much deeper because you know what they both went through before meeting each other and you can understand their behavior without a lot of “flash backs” to explain it all.

Kian’s character isn’t your typical vampire. Yes he’s handsome and powerful, but you get a very real sense of his vulnerability and deep “human” feelings. He makes mistakes and he feels guilty for them. Darcy is a strong woman who has some insecurity and trust issues that makes her character very real. I love the beginning of their relationship with the mixed signals and misunderstandings. It made it more like any normal new relationship with all the same issues, notwithstanding one of them is a vampire. Darcy had more problems excepting that Kian owned an escort service than she did when she found out he was a vampire!

Ruth is a poster child for the evil jealous ex girlfriend. As a vampire employee and sometimes lover to Kian she does everything in her power to destroy what Kian and Darcy have together. When flaunting her sexy body and revealing Kian’s secret doesn’t work she pulls out all the stops and shows how truly devious and evil she can be. Talk about the ex from hell.

I’m very anxious to see where Rhine takes this series. It’s not obvious in this book who she will write about next. I will certainly be reading whatever comes next!

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From http://darhine.com/index.php

Kian MacTiernan enslaved in 1654 was shipped to a Virginian plantation. Forced to leave behind his wife, children, and Ireland, Kian focused his energy on escaping, reclaiming his family, and his life. One night, he fled the plantation and encountered a stranger who promised him freedom. Unfortunately, Kian had to die first.

Over 300 years later, Kian, now a successful owner of an escort service, advertised for an administrative assistant. When Darcy Engel walked into the interview, his urge to possess her startled him. She awakened needs he’d thought long dead. Resolved to maintain a professional relationship, regardless of his body’s desires, he hired Darcy without revealing his vampiric nature or initially his business’s product. But Ruth, an immortal employee and occasional bedfellow, threatened his facade and Darcy. At war with his own body and integrity, Kian found himself caught between two women, two worlds, and too many lies.

Skyler White’s In Dreams Begin is the most interesting novel I’ve read in years. It mixes Victorian study of the occult in Europe, the interweaving of two love stories, and historical fiction, as well as modern day scenes. Everyone from the Victorian era was a real person.  Ms. White’s characters are real and compelling. While Laura is awake, she is in love with her new husband, Amit. However, her dreams take her to Ireland of years past where she is conjured into and possesses the body of another woman, Maude Gonne, and falls in love with William Butler Yeats. Days pass for Laura; months and years pass for Will. In between chapters are poems by Ireland’s late poet laureate that can be read to apply to the storyline. This book held me entranced as if it contained a magic all its own. I read it twice.  Laura’s emotional turmoil as she feels pulled between Amit and Will is tangible. The passion between both couples is amazing. The antagonist is a character like no other, you cannot fully hate her, but you cannot wish her well in her endeavors.  In the end you feel sorry for poor Ida Jameson.  The ending will truly amaze you, leaving you spellbound.

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From http://www.skylerwhite.com/

Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de siècle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.

With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.

 

Have you read In Dreams Begin? If so, leave a comment and let us know what you thought.

Here are the known upcoming releases by your favorite author’s for May 2011.

If we have missed a title, please leave comment with the title, release date, and author name.

ANT: ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES 

A: ANGELS/GUARDIANS/GODS

AGT: AGENTS/SPY/SPECIAL OPS/FEDS

D: DRAGONS

DE: DEMONS

E: EROTICA

FE: FAE/FAERIES/ELVES 

FY: FANTASY

GH: GHOSTS/SPIRITS

H: HISTORICAL

HL: HIGHLANDERS

HMR: HUMOR

MG: MAGIC

MY: MYSTERY 

OMN: OMNIBUS

PSY: PSYCHIC/ESP

RR: RE-RELEASE

SCI: SCI-FI

SH: SHIFTERS/WERE

UF: URBAN FANTASY

V: VAMPIRES 

VK: VIKINGS

WH: WITCH/WARLOCK

WR: WARRIORS/BROTHERHOODS

YA: YOUNG ADULT

Z: ZOMBIES

 

May 1st
 

A Bloody London Sunset: Sunset Vampire #2
Jaz Primo

V

 

Bastian: Lords of Satyr #6
Elizabeth Amber

E, SH

 

Big Bad Beast: Pride #6
Shelly Laurenston

SH

 

Awaken the Highland Warrior: Highland Warrior #1
Anita Clenney

HL

 

The Legend of Michael: Zodius #1
Lisa Renee Jones

SCI

 

May 2nd
 

Dead is Not an Option: Dead Is #5
Marlene Perez

YA, SH, V

 

The Discovery: Ghost Huntress #5
Marley Gibson

YA, GH

Vampires Rule: Rules series #1
K.C. Blake
V

 

May 3rd

Edge of Heaven
Rhiannon Leith

DE, A, PSY, E

 

Dark Obsession: Shadow Destroyers #4
Sydney Somers

UF, E, DE

 

Sanctuary Redeemed: Red Rock Pass
Miora Rogers

SH, E

 

Dream Lover: Paranormal Tales of Erotica
Misc Authors

ANT, E

 

Warrior of the Isles: Lord of the Isles #2
Debbie Mazzuca

WR, HL

 

Enemy Games: Enemy series #2
Marcella Burnard

UF

 

Chosen by Blood: Para-Ops #1
Virna DePaul

SCI

 

Bite Club: Morganville Vampire #10
Rachel Caine

YA, V

 

Illusions: Laurel series #3
Aprilynne Pike

YA, FE

 

Dead Reckoning: Sookie Stackhouse #11
Charlaine Harris

V, SH

 

The Vampire Diaries: Stephan’s Diaries vol. 3: The Craving
LJ Smith

YA, V

 

Shift: Shade series #2
Jeri Smith-Ready

GH

 

The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons:
Light Dragons #2

Katie MacAlister

D

 

Always the Vampire: Oldies City Vampire #3
Nancy Haddock

V

 

 

Darkfire Kiss: A Dragonfire novel #6
Deborah Cooke

D, WR

 

Jace: Shadow Wranglers #3
Sarah McCarty

V

 

Hard Bitten: Chicagoland Vampire #4
Chloe Neill

UF, V

 

Blood Law: Blood Moon Rising #1
Karin Tabke

SH

 

Dragon Bound: Elder Races #1
Thea Harrison

D, FE

 

Almost Final Curtain:
Vampire Princess of St. Paul #2
Tate Hallaway

YA, V

 

Warrior Betrayed: Sons of the Zodiac #3
Addison Fox

WR

 

May 8th
 

After Midnight: Youngbloods #1
Lynn Veihl

YA, V

 

May 24th
 

The Vampire Narcise: Recency Draculia #3
Colleen Gleason

V, H

 

Zombies Sold Separately: Night Tracker #4
Cheyenne McCray

Z, UF

 

May 31st
 

Embrace the Night
Crystal Jordan

SH, MG

 

Concrete Savior: Dark Redemption #2
Yvonne Navarro

A, UF

 

Sinful Magic: Wing Slayer #4
Jennifer Lyon

MG, D

 

Changeling Moon: Changeling Series #1
Dani Harper

SH

 

Blood of the Wicked: Dark Mission #1
Karina Cooper

WH

 

Devil Without a Cause: Devil’s Bargain #1
Terri Garey

DE

 

The Darkness Beyond: Paladin #8
Alexis Morgan

WR

 

Demons: The Fallen #2
Kristina Douglas

DE, A

 

Kiss of Snow: Psy/Changeling #10
Nalini Singh

SH, PSY

 

My Dangerous Pleasure: Immortals #4
Carolyn Jewel

MG

 

Magic Slays: Kate Daniels #5
Ilona Andrews

UF

 

The Reluctant Vampire: Argeneau #15
Lynsay Sands

V

 

The Neon Graveyard: Sign of the Zodiac #6
Vicki Pettersson

UF, DE

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