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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Seal Of Surrender by Traci Douglass - Review, Excerpts and Giveaway

Excerpt #1:
Chago walked across the open Montana field toward the broken fence in the distance. He lugged the heavy toolbox one-handed and glanced sideways to see his herd while they grazed on the nearby plain. A small calf trotted in his direction and nuzzled his hand, searching for its daily treat.
“Hola, Ernie.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out an apple. The calf chomped his prize and cantered away. Chago shook his head at the tiny cow’s retreating waddle and pushed the rim of his Stetson a tad higher before he continued on his way. After a short trek, he reached the broken section of fence and knelt to examine the damage. Hammer in hand, he squinted into the bright light of the rising sun, placed the first spike, and pounded away.
Domesticated wasn’t a word most people would use to describe him. Most said he possessed more brawn than sophistication, more muscle than grace. Chago had learned long ago to use his bodybuilder physique and unsettling manner to his advantage. Few knew the true extent of his intelligence or the depths of his emotions and he intended to keep his brawn-over-brains persona intact.
The ranch’s open expanses and fresh air suited him in a way no other place had in eons and reminded him of his human childhood in the Pyrenees. He planned to retire here as soon as he could figure out a way to convince Divinity. A millennia as the Scion combat expert had taken their toll.
Finished with his repairs, he climbed through the slats to view the other side of the fence and stopped short. A familiar burn ignited around the sigil on his lower abdomen. Duty called. He glanced toward the sky with exasperation. “Really?”
One second he was standing in the field, flies buzzing around his head. The next he was the star attraction in a white marble room. The only other occupant of the grand hall stood dead center. Her sharp gaze assessed him from top to toe.
“Chago.” The older woman’s expression held a hint of humor before she hid it behind a mask of calm.
“Divinity.” He bowed in deference and caught a whiff of fresh cow patty.
Fantastic. He spied a telltale clump on the side of his well-worn boots and an image of the small calf flashed into his mind. Chago chuckled and raised his gaze to hers, his wry smile accompanied by a small shrug.
“Doing some farming?” She surveyed his overalls, her eyes bright with suppressed laughter.
“Ranching,” he corrected her.
“Hmmm. I’m afraid your recreational activities will have to wait.” She stood in front of him and craned her neck to meet his stare. “I have work for you.”
Dammit. What now? They’d secured the first Seal only months before and stopped the Apocalypse. Where was his much-deserved vacation? He looked away and sighed. No point in arguing. “Yes, ma’am. 

Seal Of Surrender
Seven Seals Series: Book 2
Traci Douglass
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Number of pages: approx. 270
Word Count: 72,000

Book Description:

Love, like War, will always find a way…

War has shaped every aspect of Irena Soldan’s life—her childhood, her work, her DNA. Unaware she is the genetic host of the second Seal of the Apocalypse, Irena battles for those who cannot fight for themselves. As a top human-rights operative for The Omega Consortium, her company provides both the financial backing required to undertake her task and a charismatic, publicity-loving boss to promote her cause. Life proceeds on plan for Irena until a mysterious, sexy stranger arrives claiming to be her guardian and Irena’s path takes a sudden, inauspicious turn for both the erotic and the lethal.

Chago has always been the quiet one amongst his warrior Scion brethren—the brooding, Spanish combat expert with a hidden soft side.  A member of Divinity’s covert special forces, he’s protected humanity for more than a millennium. Still, his greatest joy comes not from the battlefield, but from tending the cattle herd on his remote Montana ranch.

Irena’s new assignment takes her straight to the heart of a bloody civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa and Chago’s mission demands he follow. Expecting a seething cauldron of female whoop-ass, he instead discovers a harbinger of peace amidst a world of ever-increasing violence. The explosively tense situation is further magnified by the cunning Omega Consortium leader, his ambiguous personal agenda, and an ancient foe whose audacious rise to power threatens the world’s very existence.

Despite the cataclysmic circumstances, an undeniable attraction ignites between Chago and Irena. Together, they must unravel the ancient puzzle of the Seals and discover her employer’s ulterior plans before they both become casualties of War. Soon, both are forced to choose between a past riddled with old torments or risk everything they treasure on a love capable of defeating evil incarnate.

Excerpt 2:

Irena dropped her gaze and took a sudden interest in her shoes. Funny. She’d been asking herself the same question all night. “And Drake is not my boyfriend.”
“Oh, so he’s just your sex buddy then?”
“He is not my sex buddy!” Her sexual affairs were none of this man’s damn business anyway. Why should he care who she slept with? Still, she couldn’t seem to stop the excuses. “He was ... available.”
Cringe. Her overloud pronouncement echoed through the vacant lobby. The words sounded crass, cheap. Things she’d never meant to imply. How could she tell a man she’d met only hours before about the terror of the bombing raids? About the deep, gnawing loss she’d experienced when the Burmese school had been struck by mortar fire. About the unquenchable need to reaffirm life. Those were things he couldn’t possibly comprehend.
The elevator arrived and they both hustled inside. Chago reached to push the button then returned to his corner, his arms crossed and gaze averted. Irena shuffled uncomfortably in her own space and tried to pretend his presence didn’t disturb the hell out of her.
“Look, I’m not easy with my affections, okay?” Shit. There went her mouth again. She didn’t owe this man any explanation for her behavior. So why couldn’t she stop talking? “When you’ve seen the things I have, you need some kind of life affirmation to keep going.”
“Hmmm. Is that what they’re calling it these days?”
Irena glanced up to find him focused on the ceiling. She returned to studying the carpet.
“Look. I’m a man of war. I understand the need to affirm life.” Chago sighed, stepping closer to rest his hand on the wall beside her head. “But what occurred in that office was not affirming anything except the fact Drake Benedict is a supreme ... douchebag.”
Her bottled-up stress erupted into a catharsis of giggles. To hear such an intimidating guy call her boss a douchebag had been the highlight of Irena’s disastrous evening. His poleaxed expression only made Irena laugh harder. Soon helpless tears streamed down her cheeks. “I—I’m sorry. I can’t stop thinking about the look on Drake’s face when you came out of the closet. Priceless!”
He studied her for several moments before cracking a smile of his own. “You really do have shitty taste in men.”
“Beware, mister.” She chucked him on the arm, her giggles subsiding. “For a minute downstairs, I thought you were pretty hot too.”
His gaze narrowed. “Hot?”
“Don’t worry. The minute has now passed.” “Maybe your taste is improving, querida.”
Chago moved closer and grasped her chin, raising her gaze to his. His thumb traced over her lips and incited a tingle that nosedived straight between her legs.
Irena’s pulse raced and her throat went arid. The scent of his aftershave, cassis and vanilla, surrounded her. He hovered, allowing her an opportunity to break free. When she didn’t move, Chago closed the miniscule gap between them and his lips brushed softly over hers.

 Dustykatt's Thoughts:

 Chago is the quite one who also happens to be one of Divinity’s warriors, a member of the Scion brethren. He has protected humanity for thousands of years and lost everything in the process. Now all he wants is to retire to his ranch, and tend his herd. When he is given the assignment of protecting the second seal, he strikes a deal with Divinity to make this his last job.
Irena Soldan is a human-rights activist who also happens to be the host of the Seal of War. With war having always been a part of her world, her push for peace is understandable. Even though her boss is as slimy as they come, she truly believes in the work she is doing. Although extremely tough, determined and can kick some ass, she is still feminine.

Archon is Lucifer’s son and also happens to be Chago’s archenemy. He has escaped from Sheol (demon prison) and puts Irena’s life in even further danger. Archon was responsible for the death of Chago's mate, so now it’s payback time. “Bring it on!”

Everything comes together in the middle of a civil war with the two of them fighting Archon, warlords, the militia and a mysterious villain that no one suspects. The heat is intense and it’s not just from the fighting.

I enjoyed this book so much that I’m off to buy the first one now and am eagerly awaiting the next one.

A five star read for me. 
 Excerpt 3:

Something rustled in the nearby bushes, commanding Chago’s attention. “Show yourself!”
A figure broke through the brush, looming just beyond of reach of the torch. Chago inched closer and leaned into the blackness.
Inhuman snarls shredded the silence. Decay and moist earth reeked from the unwelcome intruder. Torchlight glinted off rows of impossibly long teeth shoved sardine- tight into a gaping, circular mouth reminiscent of a pool drain. Archon.
Chago focused on the abomination before him and struggled to keep his tone calm. “Innocent, get everyone together and leave.”
Innocent hesitated.
Goddammit. He stepped closer and speared his host a furious glare, his patience at an end. He’d not allow Archon anywhere near Irena. “Now!”
Innocent handed over the shotgun and rushed inside to herd the others out the backdoor.
Equipped with a weapon in each hand and an endless supply of vengeance, Chago stepped off the porch. “C’mon, you sack of shit! Fight me!”
Archon swung at him and Chago took a reflexive step back. Fangs were the only sharp feature on his opponent’s face. The rest of the bastard’s mug resembled a crazy quilt of purplish-gray scars and bulging yellow eyes. Whatever other terrors Lucifer fashioned, his son was a whole mess of ugly. Killing him would be an act of mercy.
He raised the shotgun and fired. The bullet ricocheted off Archon’s thick hide, ineffective. Aimed for the head and tried again. This time, Chago clipped what appeared to be an already mangled ear. Smelly, greenish slime oozed forth. Archon grunted but continued advancing.
Shit. He tossed the gun aside and sliced ahead with his dagger. Archon parried with razor-sharp claws. Together, they circled in a macabre recital of the death ballet. A mottled hand swung close and Chago ducked then thrust his blade up toward what he hoped was his opponent’s chest. Missed. Fuck. He’s miscalculated Archon. Again.
Archon’s massive arm struck Chago on the side of the head and knocked him to the ground. Pain exploded through his nervous system as a scalpel-sharp claw cleaved across his thigh. Archon roared, his breath a putrid cocktail of human waste.
Santo Cristo. He struggled against his opponent’s overwhelming grip. Numerous assaults slashed his chest, his neck and soon the blood loss made him easy quarry. Death called to Chago for the second time in twenty-four hours and once again it promised to hurt like hell.
Into the silent pause before his demise came a soft echo of reprieve—the snick of a cocked gun.
“Move away or I’ll blow your head off, asshole!” Irena’s ironclad tone carried across the humid air.
Archon turned and she shot. Green slime splattered, falling from his wounded mouth as he stumbled, tripping in his rush to escape. He gave a final shout of defiance before disappearing into the brush.
Through a pain-induced haze, Chago marveled at the precision of Irena’s strike. She’d hit the abomination square in its soft spot. Maybe he’d underestimated her.
About the Author: 

 Traci is the author of paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.
Traci is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of Seal of Destiny won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.

Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

She loves hearing from readers! Connect with Traci here:
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I received a Copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Monday, 22 April 2013

Blizzard by Taryn Kincaid - Review and Giveaway (US only)

Title: Blizzard
Series: The Edge
Author: Taryn Kincaid
Genre: Erotica, Erotic Romance, Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Format: Ebook
Length: 20 pages
Purchase: Decadent | Amazon | Barnes&Noble | All Romance | Smashwords | CoffeeTime
Book Description:
Mandy Malone ditches her pharmaceutical convention and the married male colleagues hitting on her to hurry home to her waiting family. But she doesn’t bank on the blizzard that forces her off the road and into a deserted rest stop. When she meets another road refugee, their attraction is immediate and molten hot. Suddenly, getting stranded doesn’t seem like such bad luck after all.
Although totally unprepared for Mandy’s unvarnished proposition, Jack is intrigued by the erotic offer of a promising night of no-questions-asked sex. But when he notices the wedding band on Mandy’s finger, will he forego the lure of a torrid clandestine affair, or give in to the fantasy of blazing hot sex on a wintry night?

A delicious hot short read. I loved it. Nothing but pure hot steamy sex. The best one night stand story I have ever read. I think I'll have to use this as a bedtime story the next time I don't want to sleep. The ending is amazing. 
5 starts for sure. 
  Taryn Kincaid lives in scenic Serendipity-By-the-Sea. (Go ahead. Try to find it on a map. If you do, Taryn will send you a smooch. Also a Nutter Butter.)  She is an Olympic caliber athlete in egg rolling contests and spends a great deal of her time petitioning the U.S.O.C. to introduce fantail shrimp competition. When she's not bungee jumping off the Palisades or parasailing up and down the Hudson River, she devotes her time to caring for her aging pet walrus,  arranging her voodoo doll-pin collection and practicing rhythmic chants.  At this moment, she is busy picking up loose wholewheat spaghetti sticks that spilled out of the cupboard and onto her kitchen floor. Wait. Is that something…sparkly?
Website | Blog | Twitter: @TarynKincaid | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Amazon Author Page |

April 21st
April 22nd
1 ebook copy from Taryn Kincaid's back list (not BLIZZARD) and swag goodies. (Swag to U.S. mailing addresses only.)
Go here for the giveaway: