Cassandra Faye-Dangerous Magic

Dangerous Magic is a re-edited version of a book that Cassandra put out under her Jennifer Bene pen name. It wasn’t called that back then, it was called The Rite. The book hasn’t changed significantly, other than just being polished and edited. I totally recommend rereading it under the new name, but then again, I love to reread, so it works well.

Here’s the story. Heather is a member of a magical and witchy family. She doesn’t have her power though, because to get their power, the women in her family have to do a special rite in order to appease their patron, a Valkyrie named Harja. When they do this special rite, they get their magic. Of course, that rite includes sex, and well, the guys don’t come out the better for their experience. She’s now 24, and most of her family would’ve done the rite by now and gotten their magic. Heather’s under pressure now to get the rite done, because there’s a big event coming up, and she needs to have her magic for it. When her cousin shows her the leaflet for a speed dating thing coming up, Heather decides that she’ll do it then.

Neil is one of the men Heather meets at the speed dating thing. They have a connection immediately, so Neil, of course, does what guys do, and asks her out for another date. Of course, if that’s all that happened in this story, it would be a really short story, and while this is a pretty quick book, it’s not that short.

I like Heather. She tries to do the right thing, or at least the right thing as she sees it. I don’t think it’s necessarily that she’s squeamish when it comes to performing the ceremony, but I think that she really just doesn’t want to have that magic all that much. The magic takes different forms for different people, and she’s seen good and bad. I have to wonder if she sees that and worries that she could end up with not so good magic.

Neil isn’t anyone that I would really want to be around, but maybe that’s because I’m seeing that after reading the book. During the story, he seems like he’s nice enough.

This is a fun little story, full of sexiness. I barely touched on any of that, so if you want to have more info about them, go read the book.

There aren’t any spoilers today, because it’s such a short book. Definitely go check it out.

Off topic, on a personal note, you might remember I had a car fire 3 weeks back. Yeah, it’s been that long. Well, I got everything worked out with insurance and all, and after spending the last 10 days looking, I finally got a car. Well, I own a 2014 Kia Soul. It will be to me sometime in the next 5-15 business days, and they will deliver it directly to my house, which ought to be interesting coming down my small dirt road, lol.

 

Cassandra Faye-One Crazy Bite

Jennifer Bene’s magical alter ego Cassandra Faye is back with a new book, One Crazy Bite. You would think with a title like that this book would be a romcom. It is a total romcom type title, right? Well, if you looked at the author’s name, you can probably guess that this isn’t a romcom. There are some rather amusing moments in it though. And it is romantic, in places. But nope, still not a romcom. As a side note, do you know that when you type “romcom” a bunch of times, it starts to look really weird? Also, Grammarly doesn’t like it and keeps trying to autocorrect it.

Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the story. We start with Grace. She’s on the way to meet with a friend for lunch. As happy as she is to see her friend, she is slightly frustrated by the fact that she’s running a little late. They arrange to meet in front of the museum, and while Grace is waiting, she looks at pictures for an exhibit that the museum is running, featuring monstrous statuary. A week later, Grace is back at the museum, once again waiting for her perpetually late friend. This time, she is drawn into the exhibit, where she sees a huge demonic statue with an enormous schwanstucker. First thing she does is to take a pic of said member to her friend, and then take a selfie with the entire statue, which she touches.

Then we have Nicomachus. He’s been a statue for hundreds and hundreds of years. A statue with a ginormous schwanstucker, to be precise. He’s alive and aware in there, but can’t do anything about it. Then, all of a sudden, he senses his other half. She’s only there for a moment or two before he loses her. After some time, she comes back and he uses his powers to draw her to him, where he manipulates him into touching him and breaking his curse.

Grace seems to be very nice and I tend to like her. I say seems because for a good part of it, she’s pretty sure that she’s having a psychotic break, and I don’t blame her. I totally would be positive I was too, if I had a naked invisible man just pop up in front of me at work and then disappear into nothingness. She’s positive that she’s hallucinating, and for the evidence that she’s got, it seems like a perfectly reasonable conclusion, you know? I think that she is pretty strong, because she manages to keep going, even while she thinks she might be in a padded cell somewhere. I think that she needs to be strong in order to balance Nic.

I love Nicomachus. He makes me laugh. I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to be my reaction to him, but it is. I think that he’s funny. Dangerous, but funny. There’s just ways that he says things that tickle my funny bone. I also think that he’s amoral, but that’s probably because of the length of time he’s lived and the time he spent trapped in a statue. That’s got to do something to you, you know?

OK, no spoilers today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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Anthology-Bite Me

So, several of the usual suspects, plus a couple new ones, have gotten together and given us 9 lovely vampire stories. Bite Me has stories from Addison Cain, Zoe Blake, Alta Hensley, Myra Danvers, Eris Adderly, Livia Bourne, Sara Fields, Anita Gray, and Cassandra Faye. Cassandra Faye may sound like a totally new person, but that is Jennifer Bene’s new pen name for her more paranormal stuff.

As with any anthology that includes these ladies, there is dark and then there is DARK. That’s one of the nice things about anthologies, if you ask me, you are going to get a wide variety of darkness plus different takes on the subject. All the stories are about vampires, but there are 9 different ideas. The stories also vary in length. Some of them are prologues to new series, which I am dying for. So, with all that being said, let’s dive in, shall we?

Addison Cain-Cathedral

If you remember When the Darkness Wins, you might remember Pearl and Catacombs. Addison also released it as a standalone. Well, Cathedral is about Jade, Darius and Pearl’s daughter. I feel sorry for Jade. Having Darius as a father can’t have been easy at all. She’s nothing but a pawn in the hands of her father.

I was really excited to see this one come out, because I’ve been dying for more of that story and that world since I read Catacombs a million years ago. Or at least a few months back, whatever. Of course, Addison being the tease she is, there’s more to the story that we don’t know yet. But I’m sure we will, sooooooon. 

Zoe Blake-Till the End of Time

Zoe went back to the 1400s, and the most well-known vampire, Vlad Tepes, Voivode of Wallachia, Son of Dracul, aka Dracula. Only this origin story doesn’t start with the Impaler. It starts with his wife, Mirella. It also spans a lot of years.

I love how much research that Zoe had to have put into this one to get the true flavor of 1400s Romania. You get a real feel for Mirella and the whole geopolitical situation of the day. A whole lot of historical fact was wound into this story as well as the fiction, and it makes for a really rich story.

Alta Hensley-Master of Ceremonies

You know, I’ve often thought that a traveling carnival is a good place for supernaturals to hide, and apparently Alta did too. Cirque Romani’s MC, Valian, is more than meets the eye, and the Cirque’s audience is perfect to feed all his various hungers. Ada is his mortal assistant who madly loves him.

I really, really, really want more of this story. I mean, like sell my son’s soul for more of this story. I’d offer to sell mine, but that’s assuming that I still have one. There’s so much that happens here, and I want to see how all the events play out.

Myra Danvers-Enthralled

Myra, who is now one of my favorite authors, has given us a prequel to this. I can’t tell you exactly when it’s set, but I’m guessing mid-1800s. Axton is a new vampire, who follows his Dark Queen, his Night Princess, his Dam, Selma.

One of the things that I like about this is Myra’s language. She uses all kinds of euphemisms for various genitalia and sexual acts. It could sound silly in other places, but it really works well in this story. On top of that, I think that Myra also did a really good job of drawing us in and getting us involved in Axton’s feelings.

Eris Adderly-V Is For Vampire

Eris’s story is a prequel too. And being Eris, she gives us a totally different take on vampires. Her vampires in a couple of hundred years in the future. It’s also a genetic thing with them. You either carry the gene or you don’t. If you have the gene, you live in the underground as a vampire. If you don’t, you’re a normal and you live on the surface. November is 22V positive and a gate guard, keeping her people underground and normals aboveground.

I really like the whole futuristic dystopic world that Eris has created. I’m not quite sure that I could call it post-apocalyptic, but maybe post-apocalyptic adjacent? I’m really looking forward to what is going to happen with this, because it looks like there are some major, major changes coming.

Livia Bourne-Blinding Salvation

This is another prequel, and I may have to start counting down the days to this one. Hopefully, Livia hasn’t been taking too many lessons from Addison and won’t be a sadist. Lily was abducted to become food to Armand, a trapped vampire. But, you know, it’s never quite that interesting.

I really like Lily and Armand. Lily is very smart and very canny. I think that she is going to be really good for Armand. I like him too. I want to see more of how his mind works, because I think that he’s good and sneaky, and really creative when it comes to revenge.

Sara Fields-The Devil’s Game

Sara likes to play with us, I think. She gives us the story of Cain and Ruby. They are both strong, in their own ways, doing their own things, but then, they meet up, and sparks fly. They are fantastic together.

I wonder if there is going to be more of this. I hope so, I would really like there to be more. I think that Ruby and Cain play off each other really well. I like the whole premise of the story, and it plays back to some of the old vampire origin myths, which was always fun.

Anita Gray-To My End

Oh, this is definitely an Anita story. There’s probably a mindfuck in there somewhere. We have a Hunter named Sonny who is chasing down the Potentials and has to kill them. Then we have Vi, who doesn’t know exactly how special she is. But she sure knows how sexy new guy in town Sonny is.

You know, when I first read this one, I wanted so much for there to be more. I mean, I still do, don’t get me wrong, but I also think that the way that it ended is actually pretty much perfect. I think more story might ruin that perfectness. Does that mean I won’t read more if Anita gives it to us? Hell no. I will definitely read it. I’m sure that Anita can fix it.

Cassandra Faye-Sweet Ruin

Grace had a sexy, sexy dream. Probably a dream. Maybe a dream. Then she has a hallucination. A sexy, sexy hallucination named Nic who keeps showing up wherever she is. Sometimes he’s even dressed.

Sweet Ruin is probably the lightest story in the book. When you realize it’s a Jennifer Bene story, you might be surprised by that fact, but only if you haven’t read some of her PNR. It fits in pretty well with her books in that genre. It’s a totally different flavor to some of her other books. I loved Grace and Nic, and I think that they are really cute together.

OK, that’s all the stories and how I felt about them all. I’ve always loved a good vampire story and 9 of them is even better. Go check out the book and tell me what you think! Happy reading!

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