Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stone Guardian (Entwined Realms #1) by Danielle Monsch

Author: Danielle Monsch
Title:Stone Guardian
Series:Entwined Realms
Cover Rating:

Book Rating:

Buy This Book:

Gryphons flying past skyscrapers? Wizards battling it out in coffeehouses? Women riding motorcycles with large swords strapped to their backs? All normal sights since the Great Collision happened twenty-six years ago.

Well, not normal for everyone. Larissa Miller may have been born after the Great Collision, but as a history teacher who lives in the human-only city, she has never come into contact with any other race or species, nor has she wanted to. Her life is as ordinary as it gets - that is, until one day she walks out of her apartment and is attacked by a mob of Zombies, only to be saved by a Gargoyle.

Gargoyles trust no one outside their Clan, but due to a cryptic prophecy, Terak, Leader of the Gargoyles, has been watching over the human woman for months. While he can find no reason why the woman has been singled out, something about her stirs every protective instinct within him. When the attack confirms that the threats against her exist and are real, he convinces Larissa that though their races have never been allies, the best chance of discovering why she has been brought into his world is by working together.

In the course of their investigation Terak becomes entranced by his little human. But when he discovers why Necromancers want her and the great reward that awaits him if he betrays her, he must choose between the welfare of his Clan and not only Larissa’s life, but the fate of this New Realm as well.


The creature set her on her feet again. She stepped back a few paces, gauging his reaction as she moved away.
He did not try to keep her near and let her roam as she wished. With the speed of the night’s events, Larissa hadn’t had the chance to study him. She took advantage of this quiet interlude to do so now.
His wings appeared leathery, and though they were currently draped over his shoulders, she remembered the full wingspan well enough that she was sure it equaled his nearly seven feet in height. He had a tail, the tip of which currently rested beside his booted foot. He was thick with muscle, every part of his body defined. His arms seemed the size of support beams, his legs thick as oaks, and his clawed hands looked as if he could encircle her waist in them.
Outside of the wings, tail, and claws that tipped his fingers, his features overall were almost human, just a little – more. A little sharper, a little harder, a little bigger.
And almost…beautiful, in a rough-hewn, alien way.
He called her a guest and hadn’t yet tried to harm her. She owed him an acknowledgment of what he had done for her. “Thank you for saving my life.”
His eyes widened in surprise at her words, as if gratitude was the last thing he ever expected to receive. He inclined his head a fraction. “You are welcome,” he said in those deep tones that relaxed her against her will.
“Your name is Terak?”
“I assume from your conversation-” Larissa waved her hand toward the ceiling, “-with the others, you are the leader here?”
“I am.”
“So can you tell me what you are?”
His head tilted as he studied her. “You do not know?”
“I’m a human who lives in a human-only city. I know elves have pointy ears and dwarves are easy to trip over. Too much beyond that, I’m at a loss.”
The question unsettled him, if the way he broke off from her gaze and stared into the blazing fire was any indication. “I am a gargoyle,” he said at last, tension in the rigid set of his shoulders.
There was a time when Larissa had wanted to learn about the other races, before she realized why her father carried such stress at the mention of any creature that had appeared since the Great Collision and set aside any curiosity in favor of pleasing her father. She only knew the big ones – dwarves, elves, werewolves…vampires. Still, for the first time since she was little, Larissa wished she had read some books on the sly and spent a little more time learning about the new race.

I really loved this book from the first sentence this book began its adventure and kept me enthralled. Danielle Monsch has reached into the paranormal realm and scored the motherload. Entwined Realms is a tasty mixer of creatures still fresh, unused and abused by other authors. Larissa and Terak are wonderful together.
I especially came to favor Terak the most because despite him being the lead in a romance and the obvious automatic star to heart struck attachment, he isn't the typical hero that overwhelms or over powers his female. He actually holds her up and supports her own personality and her own personal strength, believing and enforcing her own capabilities. Larissa may have started out as a sheltered girl but she doesn't wilt next to Terak and she isn't shadowed by any competition for who is better or more capable.
Several times I had to stop myself from peeking and jumping a head of myself to see what would happen next. I was so into this book every step of the way that I do not regret the lack of sleep it took to finish the book by sun up. 5 stars for Danielle Monsch! I can't wait to read more of her work in the very near future!
Until next time book lovers...

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. 
All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!
Thank you so much for stopping by!


Krissys Bookshelf Reviews has a QR code for your phone!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Lady's Secret Weapon (Nexus #3) by Tracey Devlyn

Author: Tracey Devlyn
Title: A Lady's Secret Weapon
Series: Nexus
Cover Rating:

Book Rating:

Buy This Book:

Seduction is His Duty to King and Country
Ethan deBeau has charmed his way into the beds of countless women, enticing them to whisper all kinds of state secrets in his ear. But his latest assignment is completely different: find a missing young boy. It’s practically child’s play for a master spy such as Ethan. Until Miss Sydney Hunt threatens to unravel all his carefully laid plans. Who is the world is this woman?
But Tempting Her is All for Pleasure
Sydney has worked hard to maintain a facade of respectability—all while keeping a network of contacts among London’s underground world. When she hears of strange activities at a local home for orphans, she’s determined to find out what’s really going on. Until she runs headlong into a notorious rake eager to expose every inch of her…

Preview Excerpt:

Pain splintered inside Ethan's skull the moment his head slammed against the cold surface. Against his will, a moan ripped from his throat, and his body curled into a tight, protective knot.
"Dammit." His breath huffed against the floor, forcing a cloud of ancient dust into his face.
"Careful, my lord," a voice rasped, a moment before something soft slid beneath Ethan's head.
He tried to open his eyes but managed only a small slit, barely enough to discern the broken crate to his left and the hooded figure kneeling at his side.
"Where am I?" Ethan made another attempt to open his eyes, to no avail.
"In a warehouse near the London Docks."
Docks. Images flashed through his mind like the blast of a firing squad. Three Goliaths, an uncomfortable carriage ride, a sound beating in a dockside alleyway. A cool hand pressed against his throbbing forehead.
Ethan's jaw clenched. He'd been so close to locating the Frenchman who had brutalized his sister. The anticipation of snapping the man's neck had made him lose sight of his surroundings, for which he'd paid dearly.
"How did I get here?" He struggled to a sitting position. "Who are you?"
The cloaked figure's gloved hands halted his clumsy attempt. "You were carried, and my identity is of no consequence."
Unable to resist, Ethan eased back down. Even though the cloak's hood hid his savior's features, Ethan felt the stranger's intense scrutiny. "Why do you protect your face? You have nothing to fear from me."
"What makes you think fear is the reason behind my need for privacy?"
Ethan sensed, more than saw, his savior retreating. An unfamiliar terror gripped his gut. "Wait."
"Rest, Lord Danforth. You are safe here."
Quiet confidence laced the stranger's raspy voice, soothing the edges of Ethan's fear. Never had he felt so helpless, or so tired. He fought the pull of oblivion for all of ten seconds. Before he slipped into darkness, a single thought registered.
How did the stranger know my name?


Sydney paused to give her eyes time to adjust to the large, gloom-filled room. The moment the makeshift bed against the far wall took shape, she moved quietly to the viscount's side.
The low light hid most of the destruction to his handsome face, as did the cold compress over his swollen eyes. However, she could still see the darkened flesh across his jaw. The apothecary she brought in to assess the damage had discovered severe bruises covering his torso and lacerations dotting his face and body. Thankfully, she had detected no broken bones, though the woman had cautioned her that he might have sustained injuries inside his body. Only time would reveal what's hidden beneath the flesh.
Rest, cold compresses, and beef tea would see him through the worst of it, the apothecary had said. Sydney had no doubt. His lordship had youth, strength, and sheer stubbornness on his side. Besides, he'd likely survived far worse. Still, she didn't want to wake him from his healing slumber. He'd hardly moved an inch since they placed him on the narrow cot hours ago. Every so often, she would hold her fingers below his nose to make sure Death had not visited while she'd been away.

Sydney sighed. No matter how difficult, she would follow the apothecary's prescribed orders. The quicker his lordship healed, the quicker she could send him on his way. She set the tray containing a bowl of beef tea, a linen filled with ice chips, a glass of water, and a bottle of laudanum on the floor and then perched on the edge of his bed. The frame creaked, and his lordship shot upright, his steel-like fingers clamped around her arm, digging deep. The spent compress covering his eyes dropped to the floor with a splat!
"What are you doing?" he asked between gritted teeth. He angled his head back to better see her, blinking several times for focus.
Sydney hunched her shoulders and tucked her chin to protect her features, even though she'd already rubbed coal dust on her face and pinned a large, frilly maid's cap on her head to protect her identity. "I've brought you food and something to relieve your pain, m'lord." She prayed her tone carried the right amount of submissiveness. "How are you feeling?"
His harsh breaths penetrated the short space between them. Finally, his grip slowly eased, though he did not release her. As he lowered himself back down to his mound of pillows, his hand slid along her arm until his fingers bracketed her wrist.
"Like a ballroom full of drunken lords trampled my body."
"Better then."
He squeezed her wrist. "How long was I out?"
"All of a day and most of a night."
"So long?"
"The apothecary gave you something to help you rest."
A long pause. "I don't remember."
"You were fighting a fever." Sydney pressed her palm to his forehead. "Much better now."
"I have to get out of here. My sister-" He sent her a wary glance. "She'll be worried."
"You mustn't move for a few more days." She smoothed her hand over her rough, threadbare skirts. "If you'd like to give me her address, I'll have a note sent around."
An emotion Sydney didn't understand hardened his jaw a moment before he shifted his attention away.
She bent to collect the tray but was unable to balance it with one hand. Pausing, she slanted a meaningful glance at her wrist.
He opened his fingers.
"Thank you." When she reached for the tray again, his hand moved to her leg. She whipped her head around to peer at him, jarring a lock of hair free. "Kindly remove your hand, m'lord."
His lips quirked into a spare smile. "I'm hardly in a position to ravish you."

Sydney could barely think above the hammering of her heart. The heat from his palm penetrated the rough layers of her skirts, directing her attention to that small four-inch-by-four-inch area. Setting her jaw, she lifted the tray to her lap and tucked the loose skein of hair behind her ear. Then she laid the icy compress across his eyes.
He sucked in a startled breath. "Perhaps a little warning next time," he said through gritted teeth.
"The same could be said to you, sir." She opened a small bottle and tapped several drops of the reddish-brown liquid in the glass. She swirled the water around before removing the compress from his eyes. "Drink this."
"What is it?"
"Water laced with laudanum."
His lips firmed into a thin line before raising the shaking drink to his lips. Liquid splashed over the rim. "Damn me!"
"Here, m'lord." She wrapped her hands around his, steadying the glass. "All of it," she commanded when he tried to stop halfway.
When he finished, he shoved the glass away, scrunching his face at the bitter taste. "Next time, dribble your poison into some brandy. Might be a little more palatable that way."
Ignoring his surly remark, she retrieved a bowl of broth and raised a brimming spoonful to his mouth.
"You're not feeding me like a greenling cub."
She returned the spoon to the bowl. "Then you'll go hungry."
"How do you figure, Miss-?" When she did not fill in the blank, he continued, "I've been feeding myself for a rather long time."
"Not with those trembling hands." She ventured another spoonful up to his lips. He waited a belligerent three seconds before opening his mouth.
Relief spread through Sydney. She didn't know what she would have done if he'd refused the beef tea. For some men, pride forced them into making poor decisions that had terrible consequences. She was glad Ethan deBeau was not one of them.
Her relief quickly faded into agitation. She could feel the intensity of his stare all the way to her bones. An insistent quiver started at the base of her spine and worked its way up. The darkened chamber and his swollen eyes would limit his visibility. She knew this, believed it. But she could not shake her sudden, desperate sense of urgency.
"Where's the cloaked chap that dragged my carcass in here?" Fatigue laced his words.
"I couldn't say, m'lord."
"I owe him my thanks."
She quickened her pace, refusing any further attempts at conversation. The less he knew, the less likely their paths would ever cross again.
"Rest your head on the pillow again, please."
"You're leaving." His voice was hollow, resigned.
Empathy gripped her heart. She glanced around the desolate chamber, hating that she had to keep him here. "Would you like a candle? A book? Perhaps another blanket?"
He grasped the ice-filled linen and placed it over his eyes. "No."
Sydney gathered everything onto her tray and made her way to the door. An odd reluctance to leave him held her immobile. She chanced a glance over her shoulder at the same time he delivered a low, unmistakable warning.
"I won't be this helpless forever, little maid."

A Lady's Secret Weapon really wasn't what I was expecting, it was better. A Lady's Secret Weapon is like a spy thriller in a historical romance novel. The book is book 3 in her Nexus series but it can be read individually from the other books. 
Sydney and Ethan are fabulous together, both have egos and a fire together that match their personalities perfectly. 
The plot and excitement Tracey brings to her book gives it more of a thriller feel than a historical feel but it doesn't take away at all from how well she developed London's underworld. A spy and an informant join sides in a struggle to solve a mystery. 
A fun and exciting read from the first page to the last, Tracey Devlyn is fabulous.

Until next time book lovers...

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!
Thank you so much for stopping by!


Krissys Bookshelf Reviews has a QR code for your phone!

Life's Too Frantic

So I haven't been around to blog since late November early December, I hope you all are doing well. I am keeping busy wi...