Laura Kaye’s novella Hearts in Darkness simply blew me away! I found this book while researching her website for a review of her paranormal romance, Forever Freed (another fantastic must read!) I saw the cover for Hearts in Darkness and immediately clicked on it because, well, it’s so damn hot, who wouldn’t? I was surprised to see it was a contemporary romance and not paranormal, but after reading the excerpt I was hooked. The novella was a quick read, but it felt like I had read a full length novel because of the emotional connection I felt with the characters. At no point did the story feel rushed like so many novellas can.

Caden is a surprising character, with his tattoos and piercings, you’d expect a tough alpha male type, but his personality and his past make him someone you’d love to snuggle up to and take care of. While we learn a lot about Caden throughout the story and not as much about Makenna, she is still a well-developed character with whom she’s easy to identify. Their time alone in the dark elevator is filled with witty banter, sensual physical romance, and emotionally intimate conversations. The story keeps you intrigued and entertained throughout and disappointed that it’s over at the end.

Hearts in Darkness is a must read for any fan of romance. Think you can’t judge a book by its cover? You’re right, this book is so much better than the cover and that cover is pretty close to perfect! Well, just to be sure, I think I’ll go look at the cover again.  Mmmm, yep, perfect!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From Laura Kaye’s Website

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Laura Kaye’s Forever Freed is unlike any vampire romance I’ve read to date. With characters that grab you from the start this is a book that will stay with you long after you finish. Lucien Demarco is a vampire, over a century old, with a tortured soul that is crying out for the happiness that he lost so long ago. When Samantha and her very special daughter Ollie come into his life you can feel the hope in Lucien grow as his feelings for these humans, his girls, are written out on the pages. Lucien’s family is filled with interesting characters that I would love to read more about. The family dynamic is so special and the care and support they give to Lucien, Ollie, and Samantha has such a genuine feel you can’t help but love them all.

Forever Freed had me emotionally drawn in from the very beginning. Many times throughout the book the author had my heart racing, my eyes tearing, and my stomach fluttering.  Laura Kaye has been added to my auto-buy list!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From http://www.laurakayeauthor.com/foreverfreed.html

 

My heart may not beat, but that doesn’t mean it’s not broken.

After an isolated century mourning the murder of my long-ago family, I crave the irresistible scents of joy and love that radiate from my new neighbors, a single mother and her young daughter. I’m starved for their blood, and for the healing respite from my ancient grief that will accompany drinking down their life-giving emotions. Now to lure them in.

But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear or reservation—talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and calling to the forgotten man in me. They lure me in.

Aw, Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can…

 

Kane knows how to bring the reader into the story by first introducing some arcane poetry dedicated to what he calls demons or the spawn of Cain, or in this case, vampires. This poem indicates they are all powerful, dangerous and thrive on being lively in the dark regions of the night.

Told in the first person by Aleron himself, he tells of his life in the seventeenth century as a young man filled with ideas of what he would do with his life.  The way he narrates the story makes it sound like several diary entries of his early life in Alexandria, Egypt. He has all the bravado and fun-loving attitude that an early Lestat would have.  One day Aleron meets a woman, Mynea, who will change his life forever.  She has chosen him, above all others to be her ‘vampire offspring’.   Through it all, Mynea has to tell him what he is and why she has made him one of her kind out of all the possible men in the world.

The attention to detail is what draws the reader into this novel. The setting is perfect, and has enough impact for drawing the reader into the book. The cover for Aleron is dark and seductive, giving the reader a glimpse into the blood and gore.  Unlike some writers, who would approach the vampire lifestyle with rose-tinted glasses, Kane tells it as it should be, with not many positive points other than having eternal life and a lot of sexual contact.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

From http://thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com/2011/05/vbt-aleron-kane.html

 

Aleron must cope with a timeless existence, seeing those he loves suffer the fate of mortality, while he remains cursed with eternal life. What if your immortal origin as well as others of your kind were hidden from you by the one you loved most; the one who gave you into a life of darkness and a lust for the sweetest nectar? These dilemmas and more face Aleron, but he must first learn to live, to survive, and most of all, to feed.

Seduced by the alluring vampire Mynea, Aleron learns what it truly means to be immortal as he adapts to his new life and new insatiable lust. She is teaching him to give her what her maker never has. She desires a new king and a new coven. Hearts, minds, and vampire souls intertwine as long kept secrets crawl out from the grave, refusing to remain buried beneath earth and lies. A blood kiss between them reveals a darker and even deadlier soul that has learned of Aleron’s blasphemous existence. Vlad is the beginning, the father of them all. Mynea must not let her young prince learn of her ancient king. Can a vampire truly love and trust another of his kind when their very lives depend on skilful deceit?

Walking a thin line between life and death, Aleron is certain of one thing, if love is, then blood is.

I am delighted to be able to tell you about a wonderful addition to vampire romance.   I felt as though I were reading through a dark, romantically poignant dream as I read Vampire Free Style.  This is a beautifully written tale of lost love, ancient mysteries, and magic.  The story line is tight and fresh and so is the medium.  Hold on to your hats because I’m talking about ….dum ta dum!…..comic books!   There is nothing funny about these comics though, they are outstandingly awesome and suitable for ALL ages.  In other words, all you readers that are 20, 30, 40, and beyond, will LOVE Vampire Free Style just as much as the under 20 crowd.

The story begins with a cat that crosses the path of two men.  One of them, Edward, sees a woman when he looks at the cat.  The other is a sad young witch in training named Pedrocino.  He is sad because his girlfriend has mysteriously disappeared without a trace and all efforts to locate her have failed.  The cat follows Pedrocino home where she begins to have memory flashbacks of being with Pedrocino as a human girl.  Meanwhile, Edward begins having his own visions of the girl he saw, and forgotten memories from 300 years ago begin to emerge.

Vampire Free Style is beautifully illustrated with a gothic/emo style.  Done in black and white, each page still conveys light, texture, and emotion.  The transition from frame to frame is immaculate.  The pages have the slick and glossy look and feel that is found in illustrated books of high quality.  Sometimes in manga the characters all look pretty much the same, but here, each character is uniquely drawn and easy to identify.   The women are lovely and far from being the sexually exaggerated Barbie dolls often associated with comics.   The style is charming and inviting.  The plot line is complex, but easy to follow, and holds the attention of the reader.   The supporting characters are interesting and mysterious as well.

I strongly recommend this series.  You will not be disappointed and will find the uniqueness of the medium to be a positive rather than a negative.  Reading a great story and looking at quality illustrations is something that grownups can enjoy just as much as the young ones.   Readers will be enchanted.   I was left craving more and will definitely be a follower of this series as new volumes are released.    More info on Vampire Free Style can be found at Neptunefactory.com.

Thank you AllRomanceEbooks for this information…..

It is with profound sadness that we have received news that, Leslie Esdaile, (“L.A. Banks”) is most gravely ill. She is facing an uphill battle in her struggle with serious illness.  Please know that as Leslie needs all of her energy in this fight, she is absolutely not able to receive visitors, answer emails, texts or phone calls, or receive flowers.

While your prayers and thoughts are most welcome and needed, a special support website, including an auction has been set up in order to help Leslie with the mounting medical expenses facing her and her family. We’d like to ask if you would consider helping us spread the word about this auction by placing this button on your website, blog, facebook and in your newsletters with a link to this website:  www.labanksauction.org for the duration of the auction.

Share Your Heart Auction for Leslie On Ebay

*June 21-July 1, 2011

*Bids begin at : 9 AM EST (6/21)

*Auctions end: 9 PM (7/1)

*you must register with Ebay to place bids for the auction (if you are not registered)

 

Another way you can help:

 

*Contact coordinators, Jo Carol Jones (jocaroljones@gmail.com) or Anne Elizabeth (mail@anneelizabeth.com) before June 21 if you’d like to discuss your donation of an auction item.

Congratulations to Shanna (#4)! You are the lucky winner of Love Bleeds, the first book in the Only After Dark series by Maggie James! You will receive an email shortly with instructions on how to claim your prize.

If you weren’t the lucky winner, you can still get your own copy of Love Bleeds in print or ebook.

Buy Now!

 

Thank you to the wonderful Maggie James for this great giveaway!

 

*If the winner does not notify VRB within 14 days a new winner will be picked.*

I’m please to introduce you to our Featured Author Maggie James! Maggie is the author of the fantastic new series Only After Dark. The first book, Love Bleeds, was releases in March 2011.

Maggie has stopped by on her book tour to answer some questions for the readers and future fans on VRB.

Be sure to check out VRB’s giveaway section for your chance to win a copy of Love Bleeds!

Now, without further ado, I give you Maggie James’ VRB Interview.

Ladies and Gents, our Featured Author Maggie James is offering one lucky winner a copy of her new hit book Love Bleeds, the first book in the Only After Dark series.

 

To enter for your chance to win read our Featured Author Interview with Maggie James then come back to answer one of the following questions.

Who would Maggie invite to dinner?

What is the name of the band in Love Bleeds?

What author would Maggie love to work with?

 

One random winner will be picked on Wednesday June 15th.

One entry per person. Multiple entries will be thrown out. This contest is open to those with US mailing addresses only.

Congratulations Mina (#10)! You are the lucky winner of an autographed copy of Scott Prussing’s Breathless! You will be receiving and email shortly with instructions on how to claim your prize.

A big Thank You to Scott Prussing for offering everyone a second chance to win a copy of Breathless!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even if you weren’t the lucky winner, you can still have your very own copy of Breathless!

Purchase your Ebook here!

Purchase your Hardcover here!

 

**If winner does not respond within 14 days, another winner will be chosen at random.**

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am excited to announce that Scott Prussing is offering a second chance for a lucky VRB reader to win a hard cover AUTOGRAPHED copy of his hit debut Breathless!

Breathless has been sweeping through the paranormal romance community and readers are loving it!

Don’t miss out on your chance to own your own Autographed copy!

Buy now for Kindle.

Buy now in print.

 

To Enter, simply visit Scott Prussing’s Breathless website,

then leave a comment here with the correct answer to this question…..

What is the name of Leesa’s boyfriend?

A random winner will be chosen on Thursday June 9th, so hurry and get entered now!

Good Luck! One entry per person. Multiple entries will be discarded. Open to those with U.S. mailing addresses only.

 

To read more about Breathless or to purchase your own copy visit the Breathless Website.

Recent Forum Posts