paranormal romance · urban fantasy

Review Time! Blood Bound – Lindsay J Pryor

blood-bound

Sequels are tough to write, there’s no doubt about that. Writing a sequel to a successful, well-received, debut novel is even tougher, but when you are seven books into a series? Even some of the most famous writers of the past forty years (I’m naming no names!) can struggle with that kind of pressure, so for Lindsay J Pryor to still maintain the adrenalin-filled, fast-paced buzz of her four-year old debut Blood Shadows is seriously no mean feat.

There’s always something rather wonderful about discovering a new author when they debut, diving headlong into the pages of a book that seems so fresh and exciting and knowing that you have found a new fictional world and characters that will go down on your all-time favourites list, and it’s been an absolute pleasure over the past four years to stick with Lindsay’s Blackthorn series and feel the thrill of an imminent new release. But, to be fair, I could have said that about a lot of authors over the years, because debut novels and new literary voices are always exciting – the difference with Blackthorn, is that Lindsay’s writing just seems to get better and better with each new book in the series. With each book, the tone gets a little darker, Lindsay gets a little braver with just how far she’s going to push her readers and there’s nothing I appreciate more than a writer who is willing to not just push the boundaries, but to hurdle right over them, not to be controversial, mind you – because it has to be right for the story – but to take a story in a more challenging and unpredictable direction.

Blood Bound starts where we left off in Blood Instinct, with the war mounting between the third species and the effortlessly twisted Sirius Throme, who seems to know just how to outwit his enemies at every turn. Forced to try and find a way out of Blackthorn via the tunnel system and now faced with another potential threat much closer to home, Eden, ex-Curfew Enforcement Officer and angel envoi Jessie embark on a mission that threatens to tear them apart forever.

I’ll admit that of all the Blackthorn pairings, Eden and Jessie were never really my favourite, having had my heart claimed already by Jask and Phia (swoon Jask!), but I have to say that Lindsay really turned my head with these two in Blood Bound. At times, the imagery that exploded out of the pages was hard to ‘watch’, particularly with the short, choppy chapters that Lindsay uses so well that you can’t help but feel like you’re watching a movie, seeing the action switch back and forth at speed between the characters, but I realised partway through that I was wincing and shifting uncomfortably in my chair much more than I would usually, because I’d grown to really love Eden and Jessie as characters. I saw depth here that maybe hadn’t captivated me the first time round in Blood Deep. I felt connected to them in a way that hadn’t been obvious to me before and it wasn’t long before I wished I could reach in and save them both, even if it was strangely and morbidly fascinating to witness all the trauma and horrors that both were forced to experience.

In all honesty, I had thought to myself prior to reading Blood Bound, that to have Eden and Jessie as the focus in the penultimate book was possibly going to be hard work for me, but as usual, in her own inimitable style, Lindsay has once again pulled me in and reminded me just why Blackthorn is still my favourite PNR series of all time.

The hot scenes were hotter than ever. The action scenes were gripping and edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster rides. And just when you think Lindsay can’t surprise you with any more plot twists, you get hit between the eyes by some new, jaw-dropping revelation that has you reeling because you just never saw it coming. Seven books into the series and I am still, completely and utterly addicted to Blackthorn. That, my friends, is testament to great writing and that is why you should all pick up this series today and fall in love just as I and many other Blackthorn fans have.

Blood Bound is a heart-racing, soul-pounding instalment and thoroughly deserving of five shiny, sparkling stars!

Advertisements
paranormal romance · urban fantasy

Review time! Blood Instinct by Lindsay J Pryor

Logging onto my WordPress blog in what was simply forever, I couldn’t help but smile when I realised the last blog post I made was a review for Lindsay J Pryor’s last instalment of the deeply delicious Blackthorn series. I should, of course, blog here more often, but if I only ever venture into the world of WordPress to review Lindsay’s books, then that’s totally fine with me and well worth the visit. 

So in my last review of Blood Dark, I made a point of declaring that it was Lindsay’s best work to date and that no doubt, I’d be saying the same thing for the next release and guess what? Yup. I was right. I’d love to say that I hold some supernatural psychic abilities to predict the future and THAT’S how I knew the sixth instalment in the series would be the best yet, but I’m afraid it has more to do with Lindsay’s talent and far less to do with my superhero spidey senses. The plain facts are that Lindsay is to writing, what Helen Mirren is to acting – a freaking do-no-wrong goddess!!! 

Having been a fan since Blood Shadows, I don’t think I could ever have predicted just how the story would unfold. For me, it’s gone from a dark and gritty paranormal romance set in the dangerous backstreets of a fictional world, to something that has reached epic proportions, where the sizzling relationships between our characters sits alongside key themes of social inequality, segregation, prejudice and supremacism. Now I know that might seem a little heavy for your average PNR, but the facts are that Blackthorn has NEVER been your average PNR and I believe, it’s part and parcel of what has kept me desperate for more after each release. What’s intrinsically powerful about Blackthorn is that it creates incredible empathy and passion in its readers – the world that Lindsay has created in Blackthorn, with its devilish politics, power plays and twists, had made a massive difference to the allure of the series and Lindsay’s world-building skills, in my opinion, are not praised nearly enough. Yes, we know she can write captivating characters. Yes, we know she can write hot scenes to rival JR Ward. Yes, we know she can inspire FEELS by the bucketload. But it’s the world that she has created behind all that, which provides the whole backdrop to the story – this is what makes it so blooming REAL. Quite frankly, open up a Lindsay J Pryor book, and you’re opening up a three-dimensional feast for the senses and if you’re going to step into that world, well, you’d better be prepared to start running because the action in Blackthorn never stops. 

This is definitely the case with Blood Instinct. Back to everybody’s favourite lycan, Jask Tao (he’s certainly mine!) and his partner Sophia, we find Jask battling to prevent his pack from being unjustly slaughtered by the powerful political forces at work in Blackthorn, while Sophia is battling forces of a very different kind. I loved the dark turn their relationship took in this book, it was at times difficult to stomach but captivating none-the-less, when being together became far more risky for them – Jask and Phia have always been effortlessly hot, but Blood Instinct takes things to a much darker and more gut-wrenching level. Combined with the ever present threat of the vampire prophecy and the sinister presence of the fourth species lurking in the shadows, the action in this book was so exciting and so thrilling that I almost wished I could strap myself in, just in case I fell off the sofa in shock of it all. In fact, I’m not even sure how I managed to reach the end without turning blue and passing out, because I definitely felt I should be holding my breath throughout!

As usual, I’m not going to say too much else regarding the plot, mainly because by book six, it’s REALLY hard to discuss without hitting everyone around the face with big fat spoilers, so I’ll just say that if you want an intoxicating read that will leave you breathless and reeling for days afterwards, then Blood Instinct is the book for you. 

Just don’t forget the safety harness. 

Five beautiful big glittery stars for this wickedly wonderful read! 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Instinct-Blackthorn-Paranormal-Romance-ebook/dp/B01DWURCFU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1462481615&sr=1-1&keywords=blood+instinct+lindsay+j+pryor
  

Playing Dead

Playing Dead is on Facebook!

Evening bloggers, readers, friends and weirdos,

It’s been a while hasn’t it? But the good news is I have been writing like a demon and posting new novel Playing Dead to Wattpad.

So far the reaction has been amazing. 67,000 reads and over 3000 votes, it’s currently nestling happily at #15 in the vampire charts (highest position was #8). Already I can see it will overtake the Dark Sanctuary series in the popularity stakes, something I never expected, so I decided that it deserved it’s very own Facebook page.

Please do come along and give the page a big LIKE and if you haven’t checked it out already, please come and read it on Wattpad.

http://www.facebook.com/PlayingDeadSeries

In the meantime, here’s a little taster…..

“You angels, you see nothing. You’re blind to the real world. You don’t want to see it. All you want is beauty and perfection and this wonderful little bubble you put yourselves in, where nobody can touch you, nobody can defile you with reality. When I met you, I was so surprised at how close you already were to the edge. It was so easy really. All you needed was a little push. And trust me, there is nothing in this world more pleasurable than watching an angel fall to her death. Nothing at all.”

Excerpt taken from chapter 17, copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013 all rights reserved

20130924-233140.jpg

Playing Dead

#SampleSunday Excerpt from Playing Dead

20130901-225851.jpg

Sitting up straight on his lap, with my hands on my thighs, I turned and looked out of the window; the same one that just a few moments ago I had stood on the other side of, looking in at this man so full of life and now motionless and extinct. I could see nothing beyond the window pane. The street was gone. The world seemed filled with shadows; so many shadows pressing themselves against the glass, crushing into every space until there was nothing but a grotesque mass of their twisted black bodies, writhing and undulating as they watched me. Leering faces painted with wicked grins and a thousand terrible teeth were grinding themselves against the window, licking their lips in lustful appreciation.
The old Megan would have been shrieking in undiluted terror now. The old Megan would have literally lost her grip on her sanity as reality was ripped violently away from her. The old Megan was lost and as dead as the thing now laying beneath me.
The new Megan was here now and as I slipped silently from the house, grinning with dark menace, I felt the cool hush of night air soothe my burning skin and I opened my arms wide and embraced the waiting shadows, welcoming their company and wondering how I had ever lived without them.

– taken from Playing Dead, now being posted on Wattpad.com

http://www.wattpad.com/story/7745041-playing-dead

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013 all rights reserved.

Playing Dead

#SampleSunday “You don’t think I belong amongst the demons?”

“Do you know why the type of men in that place can’t resist you? Because you stand out from the rest of the crowd. You might as well dress all in white and stick a pair of fucking wings on your back. In fact, your wedding ring makes a damn good halo. You represent something forbidden, something….untouchable and when you come across something so untouchable, well, it just makes you want to touch it even more.”
Hands now. His hands. Touching me. We were in that hotel room and his hands were on me.
“Men don’t really want what they are allowed to have. Where’s the fun in that? It’s easy. It doesn’t fuel their ego. It doesn’t turn them on. They want the chase. They want the hunt. They want the battle. They’re all warriors at heart, or at least some like to think they are. They wander around that club, decked out in their battle garb, too much hair gel, way too much cologne, and there are plenty of women who will make it so easy for them, because they want the same thing. But those women blend into one, same clothes, same hair, same make-up, the same faces over and over again. And then there’s you. Tucked away in some corner, so desperate for them not to touch you. And they can sense that, you can see them all, sniffing at the air, trying to find you where that sweet smell is coming from. You don’t belong there, you’re an angel amongst demons.”
I swallowed, wishing my mouth didn’t feel so dry. “Well, no offence to you, but you don’t look like you belong in a place like that either.”
His emerald eyes sparked with interest and he leaned forward again, closer this time. “You don’t think I belong amongst the demons?”
I held my breath for a moment.
His lips were on mine and he was sucking gently on where I had made my mouth bleed.
“It’s just….and please don’t take this the wrong way….it’s just you don’t look like the guys that hang around in there. You’re……” I cast my eyes over his tattooed neck and beard. “Well, you’re just different that’s all.”
“Slightly less hair gel?” he teased.
“Only slightly,” I shot back, smiling now. “Sorry, I’m not being rude, you understand?”
His smile broadened and I felt something tickle in the base of my stomach. He really was very handsome, under all that hair of course. And as for his hair, under the bright Starbucks lights, I could see it was thick, dark and glossy, cut slightly into the neck at the back, but longer at the front. If I was any closer, and if I had dared, I would have leant forward to see if it smelled as good as it looked. Tonight, he wore a grey t-shirt emblazoned with some band name that I didn’t recognise under a black leather biker jacket. And he really did have the longest eyelashes for a guy, something I always thought quite unfair considering the amount I spent on mascara.
“Of course,” he replied. “I admit, it’s not usually the type of place I would hang out.”
“So what were you doing there?” I said, my curiosity burning. “Fancied a change of scene?”
He looked at me from under those long lashes that I envied and he chewed pensively on his bottom lip. “Hmmm,” he pondered. “I want to tell you, but I’m afraid that view over my shoulder will suddenly become irresistible and you’ll run for the door.”
“I’m not sure whether to be intrigued or nervous,” I smiled but I already knew the answer to that one. My heart had picked up a rather frantic beat.
“Okay, well, the first time, I was there on business.”
“What line of business are you in?”
“Removals,” he replied quickly and I wondered if he was lying. After all, why would someone in removals be at a nightclub for business?
“Okay….” I said, trying to ignore the little alarm bells that were now resounding loud and clear in my head.
He hesitated for moment before continuing, exhaling deeply before he spoke as if the confession was a heavy load for him to admit. “Anyway, the truth is, I saw you and I went back this week, hoping that you might be there again.”
I stared at him and quickly dropped my hands into my lap, wiping the moisture on my palms on the skirt of my dress. Okay, so I wasn’t just nervous now, I was downright scared. I didn’t want him to say anything else. And I certainly didn’t trust myself to say anything.
“You want to run, don’t you?” he said, the glint in his eyes challenging me to do just that.
“Yes.” It came out in a whisper. I felt the walls closing in, sweat peppering the back of my neck and I clenched my fists, digging my nails into my palms in an effort to focus and not give into wild panic.
“If you want to, I’ll understand. I won’t stop you.”
“You said this was just coffee,” I said, shooting him an accusatory look. It was a pathetic response and I wanted to curl up into a ball as soon as I had said it. I sounded like a kid, naively piling the blame on him and yet what girl goes for coffee with another guy without knowing it is probably more than just coffee.
“And it is. We’re in a coffee shop drinking coffee aren’t we?” he smiled reassuringly, but the challenge was still there. I could see it, burning across the surface of his eyes.
“But, you said….” I furrowed my brows, feeling confused and embarrassed.
“I wanted to see you again. I want to continue seeing you. There’s no point in me saying otherwise, after all, we’re both adults so why bother pretending?”
“You think I’m pretending?”
“Not at all. On the contrary, you’ve been quite clear. Probably more than you realise.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I met his challenge with one of my own, irritated by the intonation in his voice.
“Well you’re here aren’t you?”
“So in other words you think I’m like all those other girls at the club? An easy target?”
“If I thought you were that then I wouldn’t be here,” he replied, shrugging. “And neither would you for that matter. We’d have no interest in talking to each other over coffee of all things. In fact, we’d have no interest in just talking at all. But I’m not going to lie and neither should you.” He leaned forward again, almost conspiratorially. “I wanted to see you again and I think maybe you wanted to see me too. There’s nothing wrong in admitting that.”
“Yes there is,” I said, wanting to scratch at the guilt that itched under my skin. “You don’t understand.”
“But I do. Really I do and I respect you for your need to stay true to what you think you believe in.”
“I do believe in it. And I don’t think you respect me at all, if you did, you wouldn’t push the issue.” I felt my face flare in anger now and resisted the urge to reach out and slap his arrogant face.
He met my anger with a small smile, but his eyes were serious and flashed darkly as if he sensed the aggression threatening to spill to the surface. “There’s a big difference between disrespect and desire. Experiencing one doesn’t automatically cancel out the other. I do respect you, Megan, but it doesn’t stop me wanting you.”
I flushed furiously at how candid he was being with his words and glanced around anxiously, sure that everyone in here must have frozen and were now listening intently to our conversation.
“No one can hear, Megan. No one cares. You can say whatever you want and the world will continue to turn just as it did before. The heavens will not collapse into the sea. God will not send his armies to battle the legions of the Underworld. Try it out. Just this once, say what are thinking. Let down your guard.”
“I can’t.” I could barely breathe.
“Say it.”
“If you already know, then why do I need to say it?” The panic gripped me now, vice-like around my throat, cutting off air and making my head fuzzy.
“Because I want to hear you say it. Please.”
He reached out across the table, almost imploringly, holding his hand palm up as if he wanted me to put my hand in his. I was scared to touch him and he knew it.
“Megan. Just say it.” His tone was softer now, pleading and when I stared deep into his eyes, I felt my resolve begin to crack and peel away.
Lifting a trembling hand, I watched as it crept tentatively into his, almost as if I were on the outside looking in. This wasn’t my hand. It couldn’t be.
“I want you,” my traitorous mouth confessed.
His fingers interlocked with mine and he turned my hand over, running his thumb gently across my palm, making the skin there tingle furiously.
“You see, even the best of the angels was capable of falling.”
“If I’m an angel, what does that make you?”
His eyes never left mine and for a split second I saw a glimpse of that fire-breathing beast I had seen on the first night we had met. I saw the darkness rippling under his gaze but still I couldn’t let go of his hand. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to let go anymore.
“The one who is going to catch you, Megan.”
The demon smiled and I fell instantly, plummeting, plummeting, no longer wanting to prevent the fall and yet inside I was screaming. Hopelessly, desperately screaming, only I knew that no one would hear me.
No one cared and the world still turned.

Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013