Monday, October 7, 2013

REVIEW: "The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice" by Mike Carey

Disclaimer: I received an e-galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: September 18, 2013

Type: Graphic Novel, Series, Origin Story, Meta, Writing, Magic, Babies, Oh my!

About the Book: This exciting, original graphic novel explores the world of the Tommy Taylor novels in a visceral and direct way and is a great entry point for new readers.

Twenty-five years ago Tom’s father, Wilson Taylor, devised his subversive literary masterpiece. Now the blueprint of how a father gave his son vast power in order to accomplish a greater scheme is revealed. Partly told through Wilson’s own journal entries, juxtaposed with Tommy’s swashbuckling deep sea adventures with his trusty companions Peter and Sue, the story is at once a prequel and a parallel story to the ongoing series.
[From Goodreads.com]


My Review: This book made me have faith in the Unwritten series again. I loved the first couple volumes, then it seemed to fall in my esteem.. but the previous volume and this one really made me excited about the series. Stuff is happening again! And in this volume specifically, we get to know more about Tommy Taylor's beginnings - both the character and the man. And while Tommy Taylor (the man)'s beginnings were quite fascinating, the font style chosen was difficult to read, especially on an electronic copy, at least in my opinion. Also, I found Tommy Taylor (the character)'s origins to be much more enjoyable to read. And only part of that was because the font was a better choice.

The art was very well done in this volume - and you could definitely see a difference between the world of Tommy Taylor within the book series and Tommy Taylor in the real world. The book world was almost comforting, and the real world felt a bit more harsh - which I found to be an excellent choice and well played. Over all, I can't wait to continue with this series. I'm sad that I have caught up now, because that means I'll actually have to wait between volumes. Sigh.

Cover Lovin': I really liked this cover, and I think it fits in incredibly well with the rest of the series. It also has a Harry Potter-like feel, which definitely makes sense considering the subject matter and history of the series.

Recommendation: For fans of graphic novels. If you love graphic novels, meta fiction, and Harry Potter, you will definitely want to check out the Unwritten Series. Fantastical beasts and wonderous stories await you, if you're up to the challenge.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). Definitely worth a read, but only if you are already very familiar with the Unwritten series. As I mentioned above, this volume has done much to restore my faith in the Unwritten comics, and I cannot wait for the next volume to see what they come up with next!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Review will be cross-posted to Goodreads.com and Netgalley.com.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

REVIEW: "Aphrodite: Goddess of Love" by George O'Connor

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: December 31, 2013

Type: Graphic Novel, Series, Book 6, Mythology, Love, Gods and Goddesses

About the BookIn volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O'Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War.
O'Connor has outdone himself with this volume: the story is riveting and the artwork is beyond compare. Greek mythology has never been so vivid! (Description from Amazon.com)
My Review: This is the sixth volume of the Olympians series by author George O'Connor. Each volume (series order below) tells the tale of one of the Olympians from Greek Mythology, mixing story and art to tell each God or Goddess' most well-known stories. The first ones I read was done so for an assignment for a young adult services class. This whole series is a great suggestion for anyone that needs a visual reference for Greek myths, or anyone seriously in love with Greek mythology - like myself.
The art is very well done, and while it might be a bit cartoonish in places - it fits. I mean, these Greek gods aren't exactly human. The art fits the story, and everything is told well without being too long or going into too much detail. I do think the choices of stories told were great! Aphrodite's entrance was included, the Pygmalion story, as well as the apple Discord threw to the goddesses. While I would have loved to see Aphrodite's little tryst with Ares played out, I'm glad the author chose to give us stories that show Aphrodite as a strong female lead instead of a lusty lady. 
A fun, great read, I would suggest it to anyone that wants a great Greek Mythology graphic novel!
Cover Lovin': This cover is in line with the rest of the series, and does a good job depicting Aphrodite's stories without giving too much away.
Recommendation: This is a great book, and indeed a great series, for fans of Mythology. For students or avid readers that want a visual retelling of Greek mythology.
Final Rating: FIVE out of FIVE (5/5). I'm a big fan of this series. The art is very well done, and it is a wonderful retelling of the mythological stories featuring Aphrodite. I would definitely reread it in the future.
Series in Order:
1. Zeus: King of the Gods
2. Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess
3. Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory
4. Hades: Lord of the Dead
5. Poseidon: Earth Shaker

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Review will be cross-posted on Goodreads.com.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner! Winner of the Kat Martin contest!

We are here today to announce the winner of the Kat Martin giveaway!

One lucky duck from the previous week's contest will win their choice of a print or eBook copy of "Against The Mark" by author Kat Martin! She graciously took the time to visit us here at Novel Addiction - share some information about the book and answer questions.. And, of course - giveaway a book!

So now for the big reveal, the winner of the Kat Martin giveaway is...


BARB!!!

Congratulations Barb! I'll send your contact information off to Kat Martin and her promotions team. Thanks for vising Novel Addiction and joining our celebration of "Against the Mark!"

And to everyone that didn't win, be on the look out for "Against the Mark" in stores! It's a great read.

Happy Reading!

~!~ Amanda ~!~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

REVIEW: "Against the Mark" by Kat Martin

Hello everyone! Going along with my author promotion from yesterday, today I have my review of "Against the Mark!" Don't forget to follow the link above to enter the GIVEAWAY for a free copy of the book!!

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Type: Series, Romantic Suspense, Private Investigators, Art Thieves, Hunky Heroes and Dishy Damsels

About the BookThe perfect murder is a work of art

In one catastrophic instant, Haley Warren's estranged father was taken from her. She never got the chance to reconnect with him, so now she's doing it the only way she's got left: by proving the explosion that killed him was no accident.

When Tyler Brodie, the provocative and handsome P.I. hired by Haley, discovers that her father was investigating a suspected art theft, he knows his death is no coincidence. After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art could motivate a thief to go to any lengths—including getting rid of anyone poking around where they don't belong.

As Haley and Ty get closer to the truth, the truth gets ugly: Did Haley's dad know too much…or was he in on the take? And although Ty's a consummate professional, he's having trouble focusing on the facts of the case, and not the figure of his gorgeous client. The two are determined to get to the bottom of the case, even if it means they die trying.


My Review: I have had Kat Martin on my to-read list since the original trilogy was released. In fact, I bought all three and they are sitting on my paperback-shelf-of-dreams, which houses all the ones I haven't gotten to just yet but really want to. So when I got the opportunity to read "Against the Mark," I jumped at it. And it was definitely a good decision - I enjoyed this book, and I found myself clicking well with Kat Martin's writing style.

As characters, I enjoyed Ty and Haley. Haley's reaction to her step-mother that she had never met felt incredibly genuine, and while I wanted her to just break down and hug Betty Jean (the stepmother) - it would have been out of her character to do so. And for that reason, I respect the author that much more - she had these characters stick to their guns. Ty was rather hard-edged at times, but that seemed to fit well with his background and experience. He could be calm and cool when the situation required it, and grinning and making jokes during his down time.

Next, the story. I found all the plot turns to be plausible, and made sense considering the case and Ty & Haley's budding relationship. My only criticism would be their big plan for catching the bad guy red-handed. I would never spoil the ending for any excited reader, but the "big plan" just rubbed me the wrong way. I figured Ty to be too smart to agree to something like that.. and even if he thought it would work, I'm not sure he would have been so okay with taking Haley. But you know, even with this little hiccup - I had way too much fun with what was going on to care that much.

Cover Lovin': I like this cover. It's a bit of a change from her previous covers, but I think it's well done.

Recommendation: For fans of romantic suspense - or maybe for fans that like their heroes of the private investigator variety (like myself).

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE (4/5). I really enjoyed this book, and it moved quickly for me. I wasn't so sure about their plans to catch the bad guy, but it was definitely an enjoyable read.

Series order:
1. Against the Wind
2. Against the Fire
3. Against the Law
4. Against the Storm
5. Against the Night
6. Against the Sun
7. Against the Odds
8. Against the Edge
9. Against the Mark

Happy reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Review will be cross-posted on Goodreads.com.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GIVEAWAY, INTERVIEW, GUEST POST AND MORE WITH AUTHOR KAT MARTIN!!

*** CONTEST IS CLOSED, THANK YOU ***

Today, I am so very pleased to welcome author KAT MARTIN!! Kat Martin is joining us to celebrate the release of her newest novel "Against the Mark," the ninth book in her Raines of Wild Canyon series. We have an interview, guest post, and a GIVEAWAY! Plus, stay tuned for my review of "Against the Mark" coming up tomorrow (8/21!)

** Make sure to check the bottom of this post for information about the giveaway!!**

Up first: Interview!

1) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Or maybe a mix of both? 
     I used to be totally a plotter.  Then  I ran out of time.   It takes months to completely plot a book, so now I do a little of both.  I know my basic story line, but I move forward as I write, working to figure things out as I go.  I prefer being a plotter.  A lot less stress. 

2) What does your perfect writing day look like? 
    Get up casually around seven thirty...watch the news and have coffee, shower, then sit down at the computer.  I do my email, go to my current novel and backtrack from where I ended work the day before.  I re-read what I wrote, make necessary changes, then charge forward.  I usually end my day between five or six and start over again the following day.

3) This is the 9th book in the Raines of Wind Canyon series - did you expect it to go this far, or did the characters take over?
    I intended to write a Romantic Suspense trilogy about three brothers, but Dev Raines needed help to rescue a little girl in Mexico and he called on Trace Rawlins, Johnnie Riggs, and Jake Cantrell.  They were such great heroes I had to give them a story of their own.  By then I was hooked on the series.  Since Trace owned a security firm in Houston where Alex Justice and Ben Slocum worked, they had to get their own stories.   Ben needed help--Ty Brodie showed up and now he has his own book.  That book is AGAINST THE MARK.  Of course in MARK, Ty’s cousin Dylan shows up and now I’m working on Dylan’s story, AGAINST THE WILD.    It’s been a crazy ride, but I love these guys.  I’ve got at least two more books planned.

4) I just have to ask - out of all of your books, do you have a favorite hero? 
    I have several favorites...  I love Chance McLain, the Montana cowboy in THE SECRET.  Dev Raines in AGAINST THE LAW.  I really like all my AGAINST heroes,  particularly Jake Cantrell and Alex Justice.  Of course I fell a little in love with Ty Brodie...  Oh, I am just so fickle. 

5) What inspired you to write this story? 
     Ty Brodie showed up as a friend of Johnnie Riggs in AGAINST THE NIGHT.  He was just so cute, kind of funny and clever, yet a total macho man.  What could I do?  I had to give him a story, thus AGAINST THE MARK.

6) And finally - readers love your books, and eagerly anticipate the next one, who is on your "instant buy" shelf? 
   Laura Griffin for suspense, Joanna Bourne for historical.  M.L. Buchman is a new find.  None of them write fast enough for me.    I love Nora Roberts for her big romantic suspense novels. 

I appreciate your time, and thank you for letting me be involved in your promotion!
Amanda Toth

  Thanks for having me, Amanda.  Hope readers enjoy AGAINST THE MARK!

Next up: Guest post!

COVERS--CURSE OR BLESSING

The cover of a novel is the single most important factor in the success or failure of a book.  It’s not something authors want to believe and it’s not always true.
If the book is special enough and it gets loads of word-of-mouth, even a bad cover can’t stop the book from being a success.  Also, if the author’s name is well enough known--and I’m speaking here of New York Times bestsellers with very large print runs--a bad cover can’t stop the novel from being a hit.  Books like Di Vinci Code, where a bad cover wouldn’t matter.
However most of us fall in the category where the cover of the book can be the difference between strong sales and failure. 
For the past eight of my AGAINST books, starting with AGAINST THE WIND, I’ve had phenomenal covers.  Gorgeous men on the front, interesting backgrounds that hint at the story line. 
With my new book, AGAINST THE MARK, the publisher decided to make a change.  It’s an interesting cover, but a little too comic book for me.  The book is out the end of August, Tyler Brodie and Haley Warren’s story.  It’ll be interesting to see what readers think. 
Ty Brodie first appeared in AGAINST THE NIGHT, working with Johnnie Riggs.  He also made an appearance in AGAINST THE EDGE with Ben Slocum.  It was past time for Ty’s own story.  In AGAINST THE MARK, he meets Haley Warren, a sexy blonde from Chicago who hires him to help her uncover the truth about her father’s death.
Was the explosion that killed him an accident?  Or was it murder, as her stepmother believes? 
Fighting a fierce attraction neither of them wants to feel, they follow a trail of clues that takes them into the art world, where old master paintings sell for tens of millions of dollars--plenty of motive for murder.  
Over the years, I’ve had good covers and bad.  One of the prettiest covers I ever had was on an historical called MIDNIGHT RIDER--just released as an ebook.  The problem was the cover was completely white.  The lovely embossed bird on the front didn’t show up until the reader picked up the book.  Not many did! 
A cover is always a risk.  I’d love to know what you all think of the cover on AGAINST THE MARK.  I hope you enjoy Ty and Haley’s story, the ninth book in the series.  And that next year, you’ll look for Ty’s cousins, the Brodie brothers, starting with sexy, ruggedly handsome Dylan Brodie, in AGAINST THE WILD.
Tell me the types of covers you like? Feel free to name the book!
Till then happy reading and have a great summer.   Kat 

P.S. Visit my website www.katmartin.com. Or join my Facebook page.  

And next: An except from "Against the Mark!"

“I’ve got another client for you.  Tyler Brodie, I’d like you to meet my grandniece, Haley Warren.  Haley’s out here from Chicago.  Her grandmother was my sister.”
Just to regain a little of his dignity, Ty let his gaze roam over her, starting at the frosted-pink toenails peeking out of strappy high-heeled, open-toed sandals, sliding up a pair of long legs in snug fitting jeans, across that bare midriff with its glittering bellybutton ring over a set of nicely rounded breasts to a pretty face framed by long, softly curling honey blond hair. 
She had big blue eyes, and an Angelina Jolie mouth that made him think of dirty sex.  Maybe she read his thoughts for a faint blush rose in her cheeks.
Good.  A little payback only seemed fair. 
Besides, she was a real pleasure to look at.  Not beautiful in the classic sense like some of the women he knew, but with those dimples and big blue eyes, she was way beyond cute.
“Nice to meet you, Ms. Warren.”
The smile was gone and she assessed him coolly.  “Aunt Ellie tells me you’re a friend, as well as an investigator.”
“I like to think that’s true.”
“Of course it’s true,” Ellie said.  “That’s why I know we can count on Ty to help us.”
Wariness slid through him.  Ellie had a way of bringing him clients who were nothing but trouble.  “How’s that?”
“Well, you see, three months ago Haley’s father died when his power boat exploded.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said to her.
Grief flashed in her eyes an instant before she glanced away.  “Thank you.”   
“At the time everyone thought it was an accident,” Ellie continued, “a gas leak of some kind that turned deadly.  Haley’s stepmother doesn’t believe it.  About a month ago, Betty Jean started emailing Haley, trying to convince her to come to Los Angeles and help her find out the truth.”
Ty focused on the leggy blonde.  “And you think she’s right because...?”
“I don’t know if she’s right or not.  I’ve never met her.  Before he died, my father and I had been estranged for nearly five years, ever since he left my mother and ran off with another woman.”
“Betty Jean,” he said, just to make sure he was getting this straight.
“That’s right.  After he moved to L.A., Dad tried to mend our relationship, but I just...I couldn’t get past his desertion.”  She glanced down and her eyes misted.  “Now my father’s gone.”
Ty nodded, beginning to get the picture.  “So your dad’s dead and you regret not mending your fences.”
“Yes, I do.  Very much.  But the thing is, some of the things Betty Jean says make sense.  I owe it to my father to find out what really happened.”
He flicked a glance at Ellie, whose features looked a little too bland to suit him.  “I take it you’re here to convince me to help her.”
“That’s right.  You know how good you are at these things, Tyler.  Johnnie’s out of town on some case or other.  And Haley will be helping you.  That’ll save you from having to do everything by yourself.”
Haley would be helping him.  He could think of any number of things he’d like her to do for him, but none of them had anything to do with business.  The fact was Haley Warren was Ellie’s niece.  Seducing her probably wasn’t a good idea.
“Have you talked to the police?”
“Betty Jean has,” Haley answered.  “The police said there was nothing to indicate any sort of foul play.  But my stepmother isn’t convinced and if she’s right--“
“I’ll tell you what.  I’ll look into the circumstances of the accident, see if anything looks suspicious.  I’ve got friends in the department.  If something’s not right, I’ll talk to them myself.”
Haley reached over and caught his arm.  He felt a little zing of awareness and figured she must have felt it too since she stepped back as if she’d been burned. 
She glanced away, took a deep breath and forced her eyes back to his face.  “I want to be involved in this, Mr. Brodie.  I need to find out for myself.  I owe it to my father to find out the truth.”

About author Kat Martin:

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History.   Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker.  During that time she met her husband, L.J. Martin, author of thirty western, non-fiction, historical, and suspense novels.  A resident of Missoula, Montana, Kat and her husband spend their winters in Ventura, California.  She is a currently writing her next Romantic Suspense. 

With fifty five novels to her credit and more than fifteen million copies of her books in print, Ms. Martin has been published in twenty-one foreign countries including France, Japan, Greece, Argentina, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, China, and Spain.

And now, this is your chance to WIN a copy of "Against the Mark!" Kat Martin is offering one copy of the new release, be it print or eBook - winner's choice! To enter, be sure to fill out the form below. The winner will be picked via random generator on 8/31! Make sure to read the rules before entering.

GIVEAWAY! One print or eBook copy of "Against the Mark" by Kat Martin
RULES and GUIDELINES:

~ Fill out the form below to enter. Comments are always appreciated, but do not count as an entry.
~ There will be ONE winner.
~ Contest ends SATURDAY, AUGUST 31st, 2013 at 11:59 PM. Winner will be announced sometime thereafter.
~ You must be at least 13+ to enter. This book is of a romantic nature, and is therefore suggested for someone 18+
~ Novel Addiction is not responsible for items lost in the mail or publishers failing to deliver prizes.

*** Giveaway has closed, the form is no longer open for entries. Thank you! ***

Thank you so much to Kat Martin and her promotion team for visiting! 
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

Friday, August 16, 2013

REVIEW: "Patrick Eats His Peas, and other stories" by Geoffrey Hayes

Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Type: Graphic Novel, Juvenile, Patrick needs to listen to his mother, Cute, Great for parents to read to their kids.

About the book: Patrick Bear is the perfect playmate. Equal parts adorable and bratty, this endearing hero transforms daily routines into fun adventures. As he keeps his parents on their toes from breakfast to bedtime, Patrick also keeps early readers coming back for more. In this second Patrick TOON Book, four classic stories beloved by parents and librarians are given new life by the uncontested master of children’s comics. (Description from Amazon.com)

My Review: This graphic novel for kids actually features several stories - including "Patrick Eats His Peas," "Patrick Helps Out," "Patrick Takes A Bath," and "Patrick Goes to Bed." I do not have small children myself, but I am very familiar with babysitting, and I occasionally work in the Children's department of my library - and this is something that I believe would fly off the shelves. Children can really relate to Patrick, heck, I can relate to Patrick! And parents will enjoy the expressions and exasperation expressed by Patrick's Mom and Dad.

Each story has it's own charm, and the book itself includes a guide on how to read graphic novels to your child. As a big graphic novel reader, I never really thought about how one might teach a child to read graphic novels, or how to read one to a child - but the publisher thought of everything, and included some tips for a confused or unsure parent. Definitely pick up "Patrick Eats His Peas, and other stories" by Geoffrey Hayes!

Cover Lovin': I think this cover is adorable - mostly because that is my exact reaction when I am forced to eat peas. The cover fits the book perfectly, and it is definitely something that a child would be interested to read, or have read to them.

Recommendation: For young children, definitely. This is a great book for a parent to read to their kid - the child will totally understand where Patrick is coming from, and the parent will love Patrick's parents facial expressions. Cute and worth a read for families.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE (4/5). Great children's book, and something I would recommend in my own public library.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~
 
(Review cross posted on Goodreads.com)

Monday, August 12, 2013

PROMO BLITZ! Author Felicity Heaton is offering "Love Immortal" for only 99 cents!!!


Felicity Heaton is offering fantastic savings on one of her vampire romance novels, Love Immortal. Between August 10th and August 23rd, this long paranormal romance is available for the bargain price of only $0.99 / £0.99 at Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and Apple iBooks/iTunes stores. That’s a $3 saving on the normal cover price, so grab this perfect vacation book while you can and let it whisk you away to London, Paris and Greece!


You can also grab the first books in her three major paranormal romance series for absolutely FREE. Read about the books and find all the links at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/paranormal-romance-ebook-offers.php

Here’s more about Love Immortal, including a peek at the book:

Love Immortal
Felicity Heaton
Rescued from werewolves by the most breathtaking man she's ever seen, Lauren is dragged into the fight of her life and a dark world she never knew existed. There, she discovers that she's the latest reincarnation of a goddess and must drink the blood of her immortal protector, Julian, in order to reawaken and continue her three thousand year old mission to defeat Lycaon, the original werewolf.

With the help of Julian and an organisation of people with supernatural abilities, Lauren fights for her life, their future and the fate of mankind against Lycaon and his deadly army, but can she succeed when Lycaon has killed all of her predecessors?

Can she crack the armour around Julian's heart and seize her happily forever after with him? And can Julian bring himself to trust Lauren with the fragments of his heart after everything he's been through?

 

Grab the offer at these ebook stores:



 

 

Love Immortal – Excerpt

 

Julian leaned forwards, his elbows coming to rest on his knees. She could see down his collar. The light was dull but she could see enough to tell that he was good looking. Her gaze darted to the lamp beside her bed. If she could just turn that on, she would see him properly at last. She would see that her instinct about him had been right.

He was more handsome than anyone she’d ever met.

Her heart skipped.

A soft look entered his eyes, his expression earnest and open.

“I am your guardian, Lauren,” Julian said in such a calm and gentle tone that the tight feeling inside her began to melt away. She liked how he said her name, pronouncing it slowly and carefully as though he was savouring it. “I would bleed myself dry if you willed it. I am yours to command. It is not a matter of strength, but if you believe it is, then use mine until you find your own.”

Her heart thudded now, hard and heavy against her ribs. God, could this man be any more wonderful? All of her tension melted and her bones began to follow it. Warmth glowed inside her, happiness that this man believed in her even though he barely knew her. He believed that she was strong and she could feel the truth in his words. He would do everything he said. He would lend her his strength, and he would bleed himself dry for her.

“Would you really do that? Bleed yourself dry?” she said, captivated by the romantic notion of him doing anything for her, even risking his life. She wanted to hear him say it again.

His pale eyes narrowed slightly and she couldn’t take hers away from them. There was something about his eyes. She could look into them for forever. The world could end and she wouldn’t care if he were looking at her as he was now.

“If you desired it,” Julian husked. Tingles chased down her back, spreading through her. “My blood is yours. If you needed it all, you would have it.”

Even when he talked about blood, she felt intensely drawn to him, willing to do whatever he asked if he could promise her eternity with him. It was crazy. Insane. She didn’t know enough about him to be dreaming that kind of future. Perhaps she’d been alone too long. But then, a man had never looked at her the way that Julian did.

With love.

With intense passion.

With need that said he might die without her.

If he kept looking at her like that, she would go through with the awakening just so he would continue.

“How much blood do I normally need… to awaken?”

“Enough that I am too weak to protect you. Should Lycaon attack, we will be vulnerable.”

Those words sent an unpleasant shiver through her and made her realise that she didn’t like the idea of Julian bleeding himself dry for her after all. She didn’t want him to die. She wanted him to live. Even the thought of her awakening weakening him left her cold. Had he learned from experience that they were vulnerable during her awakening?

“Is that why we’re here?” Lauren leaned forwards a little, her eyes still locked on his, searching them for answers.

He nodded. “It is. The Ghosts will protect us. They do not fully understand the situation, but they will not fail us should there be an attack.”

“Would you fight?” That question made her stomach turn.

He nodded again, solemn and slow.

“Why?” She sat back in the armchair, horrified by the thought that he would risk his life for her by fighting when he was weak.

“Because my duty is to protect you.”

Lauren didn’t have a response to that. He really did believe in his duty, and he’d carried it out for millennia. He knew his purpose in life and he was sticking to it. She knew hers and couldn’t decide whether to embrace it or bury her head in the sand.

It wouldn’t get her anywhere if she did that though. Burying your head in the sand didn’t stop death.

Julian was still looking at her with a soft tenderness in his eyes. How far would he go for his duty? She tried to think of a way to test him, to plumb the depths of his dedication to her.

“Would you do anything I asked?” Lauren said cautiously, looking deep into his eyes to check if he was telling the truth when he answered.

He nodded again. The look in his eyes hardened for a moment and a shadow of pain crossed them. Lauren leaned forwards again. What had he been thinking? She hated seeing hurt in his eyes. When he’d left her room this morning looking so sad, it had torn her apart inside with worry. Something terrible had happened to him in his past. It had to have to make him look at her as though he was dying inside.

“Even kill Lycaon?” she said.

“If I could.” His voice was low and as cautious as hers had been.

“If?”

He took a deep breath and sighed. “It is forbidden. The death of Lycaon is your duty and yours alone to carry out. I cannot interfere in that battle, just as Lycaon cannot interfere with my existence. When Illia died, Zeus realised his mistake. Zeus did what he could to help you. He made me immortal as you wished, and he made me invulnerable to the threat of Lycaon, but he could not change your curse to make you invulnerable to Lycaon’s blade. He could only ensure that you would be reborn and that I would be there to awaken you.” Julian leaned closer, his eyes on hers, and then cast them downwards at the floor. “If I could spare you from the horrors of battle, I would.”

There was an edge to his voice. Lauren could read between the lines. He wanted to protect her and it seemed duty didn’t have anything to do with it.

Lauren stared out at the night through the crack in the curtains of the middle window. The sky was growing light in the distance above the building opposite. The air in the room was heavy, hard to breathe, thick like tar in her lungs. She didn’t know what to say. Did Julian want to protect her for another reason? Was that reason anything to do with the way he looked at her sometimes?

Did it have anything to do with her, or was there more to her reincarnation than she knew?

“Am I always the same when you meet me?” she said slowly, unsure of whether she wanted to know the answer to that question.

“Your instincts sometimes carry on,” he said in a distant tone. She continued to stare out of the window. “There is a reason you are drawn to swords and combat.”

“A shinai is very different to a real sword… but when I’m facing my opponent in kendo, when I’m fighting, I feel a strange kind of peace, as though everything is right in the world. Is that my instincts too?” She glanced at his katana where it rested on the bed beside him. She’d never held one before. How was she supposed to fight with a sword when she was used to nothing more than a glorified bamboo stick?

“Perhaps. The principle of combat is the same in real life as it is in kendo, and I will train you.”

Her gaze darted to him long enough to see he was looking at the sword now, and then went back to the window and the beginning of dawn.

“I will see to it that you can fight, Lauren. Do not fear.”

The niggling feeling of doubt and fear in her stomach disappeared. She was sure that he would keep his word and teach her how to fight. She just wasn’t sure how good she would be at it. She was only at second grade level in kendo.

She pushed away her worries and watched the sky. The dawn was fast becoming beautiful, as peaceful as she felt inside. Pink traced the sky. Gold lined the scattered clouds.

“Do I always look the same?” It was the question she’d originally wanted to ask and the one that she feared the most.

“Yes.” His eyes were on her now. She could feel them. A blush touched her cheeks and she was glad that the low light would hide it from him.

“Sound the same?”

“Yes, but the language is often different.”

Lauren looked at him, her heart on the verge of falling into her stomach. It had risen so high, so far into her throat that the drop was dizzying, like plummeting down a rollercoaster.

Julian had mentioned that Illia had changed him. She had desired him to live. In her heart, Lauren knew what that meant. Illia had loved Julian.

Had Julian loved Illia?

Lauren was just a carbon copy, a replication of the original that he’d loved.

Her heart hit her feet. She frowned at the sky, trying to pretend that she found it interesting even though it had lost all its colour and warmth the moment she’d realised that all the looks Julian had given her were really about Illia.

She tried to say something but the words stuck in her throat. She coughed to clear it and then breathed deep in an attempt to steady herself so he wouldn’t hear the hurt in her voice when she spoke.

“Will I remember my past lives when I awaken?” Her voice was still tight. She feared that he would notice her change in feeling—her hurt. If he did, he didn’t mention it.

“I do not know.” His gaze was still on her. She could feel it and she wished she couldn’t. She wanted to make him leave. She ached for her old life—for the time when she’d been normal, not some reincarnated demi-goddess. “Sometimes you remember little things.”

Lauren stared into the distance, hoping that she remembered nothing this time. The thought that she was continually reincarnated had begun to feel comforting but now it choked her. It made her feel small and insignificant. To Julian, she was just another Illia. It was probably instinct making her fall for him, not her real feelings.

She was such a fool.

She’d been an idiot to think that someone like Julian would really look at her that way. When he looked at her, he was looking at Illia. Well, whatever he believed, she wasn’t Illia. She didn’t know who that woman was, but she was sure that Illia had been strong and brave and everything that Lauren wasn’t.

Lauren wanted to laugh at herself but her gut twisted when she thought about Illia. She pressed her hand to it, surprised by the violent feeling. Jealousy had never hurt like this before.

Gentle fingertips against her jaw made her start. Heat danced around the spots they touched. Julian slowly brought her head around so she was facing him. Her gaze dropped to her bare feet. She couldn’t look at him now. If he saw her feelings, she didn’t know what she would do. Right now, she felt vulnerable and weaker than ever, and one wrong look from him could break her.

His fingers brushed through the strands of her wet hair, his caress tender and soft, very careful.

“You seem so different this time,” he whispered and her heart started at a pace, lodging itself in her throat and trembling. “Your hair…”

“It’s dyed,” she said, eyes shooting to his.

“I know.” There was a faint hint of a smile in his shadowed face. Her insides flipped. What he said next made them jig and her head spin. “It suits you. It brings out warmth in you that I have never seen before.”

Her eyes widened. Warmth that he’d never seen before? Were all her predecessors cold? Even Illia?

“I understand that this is difficult for you, Lauren. Each time you are so different, you react so differently, but it is always hard for you to come to terms with what is happening.” His fingers paused in her hair, resting gently against her scalp. His palm brushed her cheek and she was tempted to lean into it. “I should have reached you sooner. I am sorry that I took so long… and that because of me you have less time to make your decision.”

There was such an earnest look in the depths of his pale blue eyes, tinted with regret, that Lauren found herself reaching up and covering his hand with hers, wanting to comfort him. Her fingers closed over his, pressing into his palm. His hand was so warm.

“How did you find me?”

“I told you. I can sense things. That sense is strongest when it comes to you. It guides me to you.” He paused and drew a deep breath. This time, he didn’t sigh. The hurt was back in his eyes. “I normally find you faster, but I was… delayed.”

Lauren knew better than to probe into that answer. Whatever the delay had been, it had pained him. As much as she wanted to know, she couldn’t ask. After the way he’d looked at her this evening, she never wanted to hurt him.

Because he already held a world of pain in his eyes.

His hand left hers and she sat back, again becoming aware that she was only wearing a towel, only now she didn’t care.

Lauren stared deep into Julian’s eyes, mesmerised by every dark fleck against palest blue. A sense of calm filled her, as though she’d found a haven in a storm and knew that she was safe at last. The things he’d told her lost their frightening edge. Everything seemed strangely normal.

Everything felt fine again.

Julian was immortal—a vampire of sorts. She’d lived thirty lifetimes and was on a mission to stop the king of werewolves before he managed to get revenge on the ancient Greek gods. Soon her latent abilities would awaken and she would become immortal again. Perfectly normal. Completely insane.

When she looked into Julian’s eyes, the world was right again. When she looked into his eyes, strength surged through her and she was ready to take on Lycaon and defeat him at last.

It felt so warm and quiet here with him, drifting through her life one breath at a time, one heartbeat after another.

Lauren frowned.

“Is the hypnotism thing a power of yours too?” It had to be a power. He hadn’t told her all of his abilities yet and she was sure that this was one of them.

“Hypnotism?” His left eyebrow rose and then they both knitted into a frown.

“Yeah. You did it the night we met and you’re doing it now. When I look into your eyes—” She cut herself off when it struck her that he wasn’t hypnotising her. There was another possibility. She really did like him. First, the instant attraction, then the jealousy and now she turned into a daydreaming little girl whenever he looked into her eyes. She might as well just melt into a puddle around him. It was fortunate that she could speak or look at him at all without falling apart. Lauren chided herself. She was stronger than this. No man was about to reduce her to a quivering wreck. “Forget I said anything.”

The ardent way he looked at her sent a blush blazing across her cheeks. Standing, she turned away and walked into the bathroom, taking her clothes with her.

She stopped in front of the mirror and looked in the reflection at Julian. Her stomach flipped. He was watching her, his gaze drifting down her back towards her legs.

Was she really different to Illia? Warmer? If anyone would know, it would be Julian.

When Julian looked at her, did he see her or did he see Illia?

She hoped that he saw her.

Because when she looked at Julian, she saw a man who was stealing her heart piece by piece.


Grab the offer at these ebook stores:



 

 

About Felicity Heaton:

Felicity Heaton writes passionate paranormal romance books as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. In her books she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!

If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, Felicity Heaton’s best selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series she writes as F E Heaton or any of her stand alone vampire romance books she writes as Felicity Heaton. Or if you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try Felicity Heaton’s new Vampire Erotic Theatre series.

In 2011, five of her six paranormal romance books received Top Pick awards from Night Owl Reviews, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews, and many of her releases received five star reviews from numerous websites.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:






 
Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~