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Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady

Hearts of Darkness
By: Kira Brady
Publisher: Zebra
Published: Ausgust 7, 2012
Genre: Futuristic, Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: February 12, 2013

Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister's murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies...and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He'll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what's left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

Ms. Brady did a very fine job on her first novel. There were a few bumps; some small, some big, but all-in-all, a very entertaining read.

Kayla is light and Hart is dark. She is a healer and he is a killer. Put these two together and something special is made.

Kayla has returned to Seattle to expose her sister’s murderer. From the very start, things aren’t what they seem. Seattle is not the city she expected; shadows are everywhere, buildings are crumbling, electricity is sparse and even more questions arise the moment her eyes are set upon her sister’s dead body. Unknown to her, her life is going to be thrown into a world she never heard about and to her surprise, a world that she was forever to be a part of.

Hart is bound and determined to get free from his blood bond. Only two more jobs and he will be a free man. His plans of running in the wilds are derailed the moment he sets his rifle scope on Kayla’s face. She sparks something in him that makes his wolf sit up and take notice. He is too close to fail now and he will not let one woman ruin his plans.

Warring factions, prophetic futures and raising passions have forced these two to work together. Can they trust each other? Can they save the world? Can they find solace in each other’s arms? With time ticking away, neither have time to think on their choices or the consequences. All they can do is hope for the best.

Hearts of Darkness is a hard novel for me to rate. The plot is fascinating, the characters have been developed nicely, the setting is chilling and the book as a whole is rather well written. I really liked the idea behind the book, but what I didn’t like was inconsistencies in the story telling.

I have to admit first off that I’m a stickler for continuity and reasoning. There were several areas in the book that something would be clearly stated and then a page or so down the road it would be contradicted and then explained away even further in the book. If the order of the story telling would have been laid out better, I believe a better product would have been achieved.

To not give any spoilers I’ll just use one example: The villain states that the dragons can’t have children; why I won’t divulge. But his mistress was pregnant. He also states that while he is very old, well over a century, he has a brother that is two hundred years old. So wait…they CAN have children? Much later in the book the reasoning was explained, but if the subject came up, prior to the explanation, I was sent back into confusion. What it turned out to be was that they can’t have children within their species. Yes, I know a minor spoiler, but this type of problem popped up more than once. Make a rather important statement, contradict it and then explain the real reason much later. It was very frustrating. When this type of problem came up, it yanked me away from the novel and made me engage my brain to think it out, when it should have been lost in the storytelling.

I do have to say, I am rather interested in the base story. I have not read many steam punk or apocalyptic type novels, but I enjoyed how these two ideas were merged. When I think of the genres, steam punk is set in the past and apocalyptic in the future, but Ms. Brady gave it a very contemporary feeling. She also did a great job with her imagery and the premise of the trilogy is superb.

For her debut novel, I give her two thumbs up and I foresee with time, patience and hard work, her storytelling will only get better. I have very high hopes for this author and I will keep an eye out for her future works.

Dangerous Love by EB Walters

Dangerous Love
By:  EB Walters
Publisher:  Firetrail Publishing
Published:  February 1, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length:  Novel
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  February 10, 2013

She has her emotions on a tight leash... Born to a Las Vegas showgirl, fashion designer Faith Fitzgerald's childhood was not easy, until her father found her and whisked her off to L.A. to join his wealthy family. The rejection by some of her family members hurt, but Faith has moved on. Or so she thinks. She works hard and never lets her guard down, until the day she discovers that someone stole and sold her designs to her competitor and former mentor. To catch the thief and salvage her collection for Fall Fashion Week, Faith turns to her ex-lover, a man who works under the radar and gets results fast. The problem is she has not seen him since she dumped him so unceremoniously. He's laid-back and spontaneous...

When former-FBI-agent-turned-security-consultant Kenneth 'Ken' Lambert receives a call from Faith asking for his services, he sees a chance to payback the gorgeous designer for the way she used him then walked out on him. But then he learns that she is being victimized by a man whose idea of love is both dangerous and toxic, Ken pushes aside his personal agenda and agrees to help her. 

As their investigation progresses, Ken discovers that Faith's calm exterior hides a woman of character and strength, a woman on the verge of falling apart. Can he help her find the answers she seeks or will she accept his offer instead-acceptance, unconditional love and support?

Fool me once…Shame on you…Fool me twice…well you better watch your back because I’m coming after you with guns blazing and the ability to take you down.

Faith has had it. She about to have one of her most amazing shows of her career and an unscrupulous ex is out to rip it away from her…AGAIN. Well she will not have it. He has been a thorn in her side for years and she knows just who to call to make sure she has the proof to ruin him and his stealing ways. She calls another ex. Well he really isn’t an ex; he is more of a one night stand that has never left her mind or her body alone. Cue in sinfully sexy security consultant and all around hottie – Ken Lambert.

Ken has never forgotten how Faith burned him. Never quite knowing what to expect from their night of passion, he was blindsided when Faith loved him and left him. They scorched the sheets, and her rejection of him has left a bad taste in his mouth and his body wanting much more. Faith is drop dead gorgeous, witty, and the most maddening woman he has ever met. He may have had reservations taking on this case, but he is not going to waste this opportunity for another chance with Faith. He is going to pull out all the stops and she won’t know what hit her.

Now they are working together to get the proof they need to bring down her ex. With the help of his employees, her family and her aunt’s feisty friends, they get what they need and entertain us along the way. Old pains are healed, laughter is shared, face fanning is invoked and love blossoms, and in my book that is a great combination.

Once again we get to visit the fascinating Fitzgerald family. Dangerous Love is book four in this ever growing contemporary series. Ms. Walters has written a delightful story with strong willed and fascinating characters, and the love of a great family. While the mystery is light, it is still a fun ride along the way. We know “who” the bad guy is, but finding out the what, where and why is all the fun. Along the way we get to be witness to Faith and Ken’s reluctant affair. As readers, we know they are the perfect combination to ignite the pages and keep us clamoring for more, and boy, they do not disappoint.

Ms. Walters sure does satisfy with Dangerous Love. The story is engaging and packed with goodness. A sexy couple, revisits from past characters, spicy interludes and some action to top it off. The combination is perfect and I have yet to be disappointed with The Fitzgerald Family series and Dangerous Love is another keeper for me. Can’t wait for more from this author or about this family!

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