In the Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling

Nicole Stiling’s latest novel gives us vampires. What is it about vampires that draws us in so much. Paranormal isn’t usually one of my go-to’s but this was a fun and well-written change of pace.

Megan Denham is in the wrong place at the wrong time and all hell breaks loose. The 30-something realtor stops by a local gas station and walks right into an armed robbery. I won’t give away all the details but know, all hope was lost for Megan until something stepped in and saved her.

Our other main character is Angeline. Angeline is definitely not what she seems. The gorgeous veterinarian has secrets that she has kept for a very long time. She is drawn to Megan in a way she has not been drawn to another woman in ages. As the book progresses you learn of Angeline’s story, often through flashbacks. Stiling does a great job of giving you the history of this enigmatic character and how she become who she is today.

There is romance, there is a lot of action, history and well, vampires. It is a well-written book, my only hang-up is that at times it felt too rushed. There is a lot of detail coming at you in regard to Angeline’s character and her past life. That took away from the romance in my opinion. I would have liked more emotion between our leading ladies. It felt superficial in the love department. Lust, yes, I got that, true love, I needed more.

Overall, this was an engaging story that was a fun and exciting change of pace. If this book continues into a series, which I felt like that was the direction the ending gave us, I am totally here for it. Stiling is a great writer and I am so interested to see what direction she takes us next. Give this book a chance if you love vamps, history or you just need to switch things up from your regular les-fic.

3 out of 5 stars

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Candice Cushing and the Lost Tomb of Cleopatra by Georgette Kaplan

I adore the way Georgette Kaplan writes. Her style is fast, witty and laced with humor and sarcasm. I know her writing can be a bit hit or miss with some readers but I just love it. Her latest book takes us back to the desert for a continuation of her The Cushing-Nevada Chronicles. If you have not read Easy Nevada and the Pyramid’s Curse, you definitely want to start there before picking this one up. This is not a sequel you can just jump into.

Easy Nevada and Candice Cushing reunite for an epic adventure full of sexual tension and more danger than an Indiana Jones could ever handle. Our two badass ladies are headed to Sudan to acquire the final skull of the Greek Gods for an unhinged billionaire who wants all the power his money and influence can buy.

As wild as this book is, we find tiny pockets of downtime where Candice and Easy begin to drop their walls around each other. Kaplan slowed the story down just enough to give the reader a hint of romance and focus on character development. You see behind Easy’s mask of deflection and wit. You see why she uses her humor to avoid dealing with insurmountable pain. Her loyalty to Candace in the face of epic danger endures you to her. Candace finds that as much as she misses what her life was like before Easy, she is drawn to the woman and this epic adventure she has been thrust into. A tiny seed of love has been planted in book two.

This series is unlike anything you have read in lesfic before. It’s smart, it’s zany, it’s violent and you just cannot stop reading. I did not want it to end! Such a fabulous read and I cannot wait for the next one in this series.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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