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I Belong

Review of Night’s Surrender by Amanda Ashley

November 24th, 2015 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Roxanne under Review Tags: , , , ,

Night's SurrenderTitle: Night’s Surrender

Author: Amanda Ashley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Children of the Night

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1420137352 (Kensington)

ISBN-13: 978-1420137354 (Kensington)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


Aspiring actress Abbey Marie Cordova knows more than most people do about vampires—she was born among them, the only human child in a centuries-old family of the undead, and determined to stay that way. But a chance encounter with dark, mysterious Niccola Desanto rocks her to the core. Nick is a vampire, and he’s the only man who has ever made her feel so beautiful, so cherished, and so passionately desired …

Nick has spent hundreds of years on his own, and the decadent pleasures of the world have lost their appeal. Rumor has it the vampire who made him has regained her humanity—the temptation to find her and demand to know the secret is overwhelming. But one glance at innocently alluring Abbey changes everything. Drawn to her with dangerous, consuming passion, Nick will need more than a lifetime to love her…

Quick & Dirty: A chance meeting, a secret, a human surrounded by the supernatural, will there love find a way?

Opening Sentence: “Abbey Marie Cordova stood on the balcony of her small New York apartment.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Abbey is an aspiring actress who has just begun to realize that she just doesn’t have what it takes when a chance meeting with Nick changes everything. She agrees to go out with him, and they have a great date and make another date for the next night. However, that night there is a car accident and Abbey wakes alone in his condo, but Nick is no where to be found. Only when she gets home and her father asks about the new vampire does she realize that Nick is a vampire.

She then leaves New York to return with her vampire father to California. Only to have Nick follow her there, and they all find out he is over 2,000 years old. Mara is his maker, and they have a secret past. Edna and Pearl have disappeared, and everyone is concerned because the hunters are in a up roar about the death of the most famous hunter. It also turns out that Edna and Pearl have a cure for vampirism. In fact, the hunters that kidnapped them are looking for that cure. Nick is also intrigued by the cure, although no one is sure because of his age if it will work or not.

Nick and Abbey are firmly in love by this point despite her insecurity about Mara (who is also her friend). Her vampire parents have misgivings considering he is a bit older than her and not human. But this cure could change everything!

I really enjoyed this book, it was pure paranormal romance, with a little bit of mystery thrown in. I just have to say that as for the usual, I haven’t read this series. I don’t know if this picks up from the last book, but considering I wasn’t horribly lost, I am going to go with each book focuses on a couple instead of a larger continuing series. Although, I am sure most of these characters would be familiar if you are a fan of the series and not picking up book 7 like I did. I did laugh a little bit, I mean Abbey doesn’t know Nick is a vampire, despite being raised by them, I thought that aspect was crazy. However, overall I really like the cure, and the fact that this book had witches, werewolves and vampires!

I mean if you are going to read paranormal it should have it all! Night’s Surrender was a quick easy read, and not heavy on the sex and light on the story! So if you like paranormal romances this series is right up your lane!

Notable Scenes:

“She had a .22 semiautomatic in her purse-a going away present from her father.”

“They never realized he was there, never suspected they were in danger until it was too late.”

“If there was one thing she did know it was that hunters were often more ruthless than the vampires they hunted.”

“The pair looked more like bingo-playing grandmothers than blood sucking vampires.”

“A man who wouldn’t look at eleven helpless humans and think of them as lunch.”

“She had to realize the cure was failing.”

Children of the Night Series:

1. Night’s Kiss

2. Night’s Touch

3. Night’s Master

4. Night’s Pleasure

5. Night’s Mistress

6. Night’s Promise

7. Night’s Surrender


FTC Advisory: Zebra/Kensington provided me with a copy of Night’s Surrender. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

November 24th, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Zed under Review Tags: , , , ,

The Dead Girls of Hysteria HallTitle: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall

Author: Katie Alender

Genre: YA Horror

Series: N/A

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545639999 (Scholastic)

ISBN-13: 978-0545639996 (Scholastic)

Reviewed by: Zed


In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time …

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females — an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.

But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia becomes trapped. And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.

Ghost girls wander the hallways in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia learns that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, too, harbors shocking truths within its walls — truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.

And she’ll need to act quickly — before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.

Katie Alender brings heart-pounding suspense, gorgeous writing, and a feminist twist to this tale of memories and madness.

Quick & Dirty: Another exceedingly long read about spirits trapped in what was once a house for troubled women.

Opening Sentence: You know that feeling when someone’s eyes on you – watching you, studying your movement, your breathing?

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I think there might be something wrong with me of late. Every book I read ends up dragging out so long that I literally count down the pages until the end. I can understand why this story was so long, there was so much going on, so many events took place, but still it was far, far too long a read.

We see Delia’s story from just before her death to her becoming one of the many ghosts trapped in Hysteria Hall. It’s an interesting concept, spirits trapped in a hospital for troubled women but I think this topic has been overdone one too many times. I guess the difference here is that Delia is murdered and she wants to leave the house and go back to her family but can’t. Regardless, the overall story felt too ‘been there done that.’

“Okay?” I said. “Say okay.”
“Okay,” she said, glaring and pursing her lips. “But I don’t see why you have to threaten me.”
“Sorry,” I said. “You were acting pretty crazy.”
She cracked a small smile and looked at me through eyes that looked less insane than just plain exhausted. “We’re all crazy here,” she said. 
“Yeah, well,” I said. “Maybe not all of us.”

I liked reading about the interactions with the other ghosts from the house, and the air of mystery added the suspense needed to keep the story going. I think the author tried to make the story creepy but I wasn’t spooked, so that didn’t work too well either.

In spite of my many unhappy years, I have always managed a decent amount of self-respect. So I gave myself credit that others did not extend. In the end, we must always be the judges of our own consciences.

Theo was a good addition, and I had hoped he would add something more to the story rather than just the one boy ghost Delia could possibly have a romantic interest in. Unfortunately, I think he was there just for eye candy because I can’t recall him contributing until a little at the very end.

To conclude, this is not going on my recommended reading list.

Notable Scene:

“The dead and the living don’t belong together,” Theo said. “That’s why you hear stories about haunted houses. Because no matter what the living do, they flaunt their life. They can’t help it.”


FTC Advisory: Point/Scholastic provided me with a copy of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Bite of Winter by Lauren Smith

November 23rd, 2015 @ 12:10 am
Posted by Kristie under Blog Tour Tags: , , , ,

Lauren SmithDark Faerie Tales is pleased to have author Lauren Smith on the blog today! The Bite of Winter is a paranormal erotica novella set in the Love Bites series. Check out Lauren’s Top 10 list of what she loves most about vampires below. I have to say I agree with almost all of them! The Bite of Winter will be released tomorrow, November 24th, from Samhain Publishing.

Be sure to enter the contest below! Three lucky readers will each win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and winner’s choice of any backlist title of Lauren’s from Samhain.

About Lauren:

Amazon Best-Selling Author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

You can visit Lauren around the web here: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

Want to read more from Lauren Smith?

The Gilded Cuff The Gilded Cage The Gilded ChainWicked Designs His Wicked Seduction Her Wicked ProposalThe Shadows of Stormclyffe ...The Duelist's SeductionThe Bite of WinterForbidden Seduction ClimaxTempted by a RogueBlood Moon on the Rise


Dark Faerie Tales- Ten Things I Love About Vampires – Lauren Smith

I love vampires. Seriously. I could read and write about them all day. There’s something about their dark, magnetic pull that sucks you (pun intended) and I can’t seem to get them out of my head. So here’s my top ten things I love about Vampires.

1. Immortality- Who doesn’t want a man that’s young and beautiful forever? Maybe you’ll talk him into turning you into a vampire too.

2. Brooding- They have that whole bad boy tortured act going on, and you just love the mystery of it.

3. Blood- They need you to survive, or at least to have a drink now and then *wink

4. Hypnotic eyes- You can just lose yourself in their gaze for hours.

5. Sensual lips- It seems like they always have full kissable lips and there’s a hint of fang when they smile.

The Bite of Winter

6. Tall- They are usually tall, towering over you and making you feel small and delicate, which is sort of nice if you’re a bigger gal like me.

7. Preternatural Strength- They can lift you up and carry you off to their sexy lair and you’re just along for the ride. Who wouldn’t love that?

8. Neck nibbling- In their quest for blood, they might take a little nibble out of your neck, a well-known erogenous zone. Yes please!

9. Bed-time- No, I don’t mean go to sleep time, I mean sexy time. Because they’re sensual creatures, they have seduction down pat and making love with a vampire will be mind-blowing.

10. Shifting- Depending on your favorite type of vampire, you might have one who can shift into a wolf, or maybe a bat. How cool is that?



This giveaway is provided by Lauren Smith!

Three lucky readers will each win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and winner’s choice of any backlist title of Lauren’s from Samhain!

The Bite of Winter

Available November 24, 2015 from Samhain Publishing

About this Book:

Zoey is down on her luck, homeless and jobless over Christmas. When she’s attacked in an alley, she’s rescued by two century old Irish vampires named Ian and Connor. It’s up to them to win her heart over Christmas.

Zoey Blake is about as far down on her luck as she can get. A car crash took her parents, leaving her destitute and on the street. When she’s attacked by another homeless person, her lifeblood drains away as her fading vision is filled with the face of a handsome stranger.

Ian Kennedy, a century old Irish vampire, never could resist rescuing a stray. As a few drops of his blood heals Zoey’s wounds, he realizes she’s a sweet, tempting, flesh-and-blood woman. But there’s one problem. Connor, who made Ian promise decades ago: no more mortal lovers.

After another vampire murdered his soulmate, Connor O’Shea swore never to let a mortal woman pay the price for loving him. Until he feels Zoey’s skin and tastes her lips. She makes him want to break that vow.

Zoey finds herself caught in their web of seduction. But as Christmas draws near and her grief deepens, happiness seems far out of reach. And Ian and Connor join forces to prove their love is sacred, special…and forever.

Warning: This book contains two scorching-hot Irish vampires, one lady with plenty of pluck but zero luck, naughty lingerie, and enough Christmas cheer to redeem even the darkest creatures.

Pre-Order from


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Review: Zodiac by Romina Russell

November 22nd, 2015 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Review Tags: , , , , ,


AuthorRomina Russell

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: Zodiac (Book #1)

Publication Date: December 9, 2014

FormatHardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595147403 (Razorbill/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-1595147400 (Razorbill/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Quick & Dirty: This novel took place in a collection of galaxies, each representing a different Zodiac sign, and is a whirlwind of action and adventure.

Opening Sentence: When I think of home, I see blue.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Zho had an unusual childhood. She grew up on Cancer, in a galaxy where nurturing is prized above all, and yet her mother was a more strict teacher than loving parent. Nevertheless, her rigid education during her upbringing allowed for her skill to grow immeasurably. When disaster strikes and all four of Cancer’s moons collide, the current Guardian of the house dies, and Rho is appointed. She will face many conflicts – her age, her growing feelings for two mysterious boys – but the largest of all is the threat that still looms.

Rho is positive that there is a reason that all of the galaxies have had such horrifying tragedies the past years. Her belief is based on intuition and her rare gift, and she is sure that the immortal leader of the lost 13th house is coming back. Ochus is an evil deceiver, wrapped in mythology and folklore, but it seems that he is more than just a story. But how will she prove it to a whole civilization? Can she impress the gravity of the threat to the other, disbelieving Guardians, before its too late?

I had heard some less-than-complimentary reviews heading into this one, so I was a little wary. Some reviewers had found the story confusing or slow, but I went into the novel with an open mind and was actually excited to try it out. The concept was so unique and the cover was so gorgeous – plus, my galley was signed (thanks to the amazing Mysterious Galaxy bookstore for the copy)! However, while it was true that I had some trouble getting into the story, I found that once I adjusted to the world, I couldn’t stop reading.

It’s not false that the story is complex, and at times, confusing. There are quite a few new concepts being introduced to the readers that those of this world, and our point of view Rho, take for granted. At first they were hard for me to grasp, but eventually they clicked, and once I understood what was happening I was able to fully appreciate the story. A lot happened in just one book: adventure, suspense, action, intrigue, and a fair share of tragedy. Nothing was easy for Rho, and she was questioned at every turn, but she stayed strong. I liked her character. She had her moments, but she always tried to do the best thing for the whole of the galaxy, and unite all twelve houses.

There was a love triangle, and yes, those can be my pet peeves. It was executed in a way that was a slow burn, then bam!- hit the ground running. So no insta-love, thankfully. I did enjoy both boys, one more so than the other, and some of their conversations made me laugh. I think that the choice was made in book one, but it was kind of forced onto Rho, so who knows where book two will take the romance?

Anyway, I really enjoyed this novel. It had plenty of action, suspense, and romance. I loved the balance between Rho’s personal life and her duties to the galaxy. Though it did take some getting used to, the world building was enjoyable and I found that this was just what I expected of a Zodiac themed space book. It was vibrant and exciting; the cover matched the inside. If you have some trouble getting into this novel, I would encourage you to wait and adjust to the world, because it will be worth it!

Notable Scene:

A flash of heat surges up my neck, searing my cheeks, nose, and eyes, and I can feel the tantrum, the storm of tears, the meltdown I’m yearning to have at the unending injustice of it all.

I’ve done what they asked. I read the stars, and I swore to always act in the best interest of Cancer. That oath led me to sacrificing everything I would rather be doing – searching for my family, helping to rebuild my home – and it’s sent me all over the galaxy on a crazy quest thats made me the laughingstock of the Zodiac.

And now my own people want to turn me into something I’m not.

Zodiac Series:

1. Zodiac

2. Wandering Star


FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of Zodiac. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Mirrored by Alex Flinn

November 22nd, 2015 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Review Tags: , , , , ,


AuthorAlex Flinn

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: The Kendra Chronicles (Book #3)

Publication Date: September 15, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062134515 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062134516 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


Celine’s life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. She’s beautiful, talented, and brave. Unfortunately, her tale comes complete with a wicked stepmother! When Violet steps into Celine’s life, everything changes and weird things begin to happen to her—bizarre accidents, strange illnesses, and rabid animal attacks. Celine doesn’t feel safe anywhere. It’s almost as if some hateful witch is out to get her.

And there is. Violet has been waiting all her life to have Celine’s father to herself. Getting rid of his gorgeous daughter is child’s play for a witch as powerful as she is. Happy-ever-after isn’t enough for Violet. She wants to be the fairest of them all, and Celine is in the way . . . but not for long.

Forced to take refuge with her friend Goose and his family, Celine gives up everything she loves and goes deep undercover. But will it be enough to fool Violet, or will Celine’s fate be decided by a reflection in a magic mirror? And where do you find Prince Charming in Miami anyway?

Quick & Dirty: A predictable and underwhelming novel that was enjoyable, but didn’t stand out among all of the retellings.

Opening Sentence: I was a strange child.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Violet has never been beautiful. Her eyelashes seem non-existent, her nose is misshapen, and her chin is weak. Her mother is too beautiful and glamorous to appreciate her ugly daughter. To top it off, Violet isn’t well-liked at school – she is bullied constantly. The only friend she ever really had is named Greg, and she’s falling in love with him, until he ditches her for the popular crowd and leaves her all alone. When Violet discovers Kendra, a witch, and learns that she too has magic powers, it changes her world. Suddenly she has the power to make herself beautiful. Although she thinks her new supermodel appearance could change everything, she is still hated around the campus, and Greg is still dating her nemesis Jennifer.

Flash-forward many years, when Greg and Jennifer have married and have had a daughter, the gorgeous Celine. Her beauty is almost ethereal, and its completely natural. When Celine’s mother dies in a freak accident at the zoo, Violet and Greg reconnect and soon marry, giving Celine a stepmother. She doesn’t understand the strange things that keep happening to her with Violet around: the scowls, the jealous and spiteful words, her cats attacking her and her hair appliances burning her. It seems almost  . . . like magic. When Celine is almost killed, she takes refuge with the goofy, short boy from her drama class, Goose. But is that enough to save her from Violet’s vengeance?

When I saw the author’s name, I immediately recognized it from somewhere, and soon connected it to Beastly. I’d heard good things about the book, and Vanessa Hudgens starred in the movie, so I assumed that the novel must have been incredible. That being said, I expected a gorgeous, unique writing style – after all, Alex Flinn has written her fair share of books! She must be talented, right? Sadly, I found that the writing style was very simple, using language that didn’t seem experienced or mature. The novel would have fit more as a middle grade book, in my opinion, as it scooted around topics of sex, drugs, and alcohol anyway.

Luckily, there were some things about the novel that kept me reading and made it enjoyable. I actually liked Violet’s character the most; she was the most interesting. Her story was touching and sad, and watching her develop from the victim to the villain was a truly intriguing story arc. I found Celine’s part much less fun. Her character was almost too perfect: gorgeous, compassionate, empathetic. While I understand the part her perfection played in the plotline, it was not believable how little flaws she had, and that made her a hard character to relate to. The magic aspect of the story was okay, but not very original.

Altogether, I found the book alright and think it was a decent read. There was a love story as well, obviously, which was cute enough. I liked Goose’s character and found him more relatable despite the many differences between us, just because he was flawed. I enjoyed his backstory and seeing from his perspective as he developed as a character. Again, the magic and the characters weren’t anything too special, and the writing style was simpler than I had expected. I also found the plotline to be very predictable. I understand that it’s a retelling, and it will be closely related to the original, but there wasn’t anything that really stood out about this novel among a slew of Snow White retellings. However, I think that readers will enjoy it, especially younger ones (I’m still convinced it would fit in the middle grade genre!).

Notable Scene:

“I want to be beautiful. Can that happen?”

It sounded so bare, out in the open like that, out in the empty street. Yet, it was the only thing I wanted, had ever wanted. Well, that and Greg. I knew beauty was nothing. But it was also everything.

“Yes, yes, I can do that.”

The Kendra Chronicles:

1. Beastly

2. Bewitching

3. Mirrored


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Mirrored. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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