Blog Tour: The Vampire’s Protege by Damian Serbu

Title:  The Vampire’s Protege

Series: From the Vampire’s Angel universe

Author: Damian Serbu

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: August 21

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 99600

Genre: Horror, paranormal, abduction, action, blood and gore, cisgender, contemporary, crime, dark, death, gay, paranormal, vampires

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Synopsis

A sinister vampire offers Charon a choice he can’t refuse: play a deadly game of winner takes all, losers die.

Charon relishes the competition and molds himself into a sexy vampire who defies vampire law, savoring his power and embracing the role of villain. He also loves surrounding himself with hot young men. But when an alluring vampire stalks him and threatens to turn him into the Vampire Council unless he helps with a seemingly impossible task, will Charon risk his perfectly narcissistic life on the challenge? Does he have any other choice?

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Review: Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop by John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan

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Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop

By John Brhel and Joseph Sullivan

Retired stage magician Dr. Marvelry prefers to stock his antique store with strange and occult items. He has always enjoyed meeting odd people and hearing their stories, the legends attached to mysterious objects. A phonograph that seemingly replays a tragedy. Fertility dolls that are more than decoration. A bedeviled mannequin. These are just some of the relics this eccentric shopkeeper has collected over the years.

No two customers will have the same experience in his curiosity shop — some walk away satisfied, others are never heard from again. But one thing is certain – when you purchase an item at this store, you often get more than what you paid for.

Follow Marvelry and his hexed objects through twelve tales of suspense, magic, terror, and transformation. Meet his new assistant, fellow illusionists, and some irregular characters along the way. Whatever macabre artifact of the human psyche you’re seeking – you’ll find something special in Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 5 stars

This novel is a collection of 12 short stories which centre around Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop which is a second hand store unlike no other – in that your purchase could kill you! The short stories are either unsuspecting customers dealing with the consequences of their purchases, being connected to a customer in some way or Marvelry’s own experiences.

This is very well thought-out and put together collection of tales. Short story telling is an art that the two authors have clearly mastered. Each tale was wonderfully imaginative and a fun read, with an unexpected twist at each end.

Marvelry himself was…well as curious as his shop! I couldn’t decide whether he knew just what the object he was selling could do or whether he really didn’t know at all. Either way, I found him to be rather likeable and endearing in a quaint old-fashioned way. I also liked that some of the stories were about Marvelry himself so I gained some more insight into the character.

Overall Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop is an excellent read and one that I recommend to lovers of short stories and spooky tales.

Review: Leave It All

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Leave It All (Saint Lakes #1) by April Kelley

Lucas just wanted to be a normal human being, but normal is highly over-rated.

Lucas Speck had been just some guy who worked at an office supply store and house-sat for his snowbird parents. He was nobody special. Or that’s what he thought before the headaches start and weird things start to happen to him. When people start chasing him his whole life gets turned upside down.

Bennett Somerset is a dragon shifter, who likes his quiet life in his quiet town. He isn’t looking for complications. He already has a family that defines the words, weird and crazy, to perfection. Good thing they live in a small town where nothing ever happens. That is until he smells the most delicious thing in the world and realizes it’s his mate. His little witch of a mate just made things way more complicated.

Purchase Link: www.amazon.com

Leave It All on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 2.5 stars

I really liked the premise to this novel.  The main character Lucas thinks of himself as a normal guy until he starts to experience severe headaches. Before he knows what is happening he finds himself on the run and struggling to come to terms with powers that he didn’t ask for and can’t quite explain. Whilst on the run Lucas meets shape shifter Bennett who he soon discovers is his mate. Bennett is determined to do whatever it takes to protect Lucas from the vampires who are hunting him.

Leave It All is a good story with plenty of action and romance. However, I do feel that the pacing and lack of development did let it down. Things seemed to happen almost too fast and I felt that perhaps more time should have been taken to set the scene and develop the characters more. The dialogue was quite poor in places and I felt myself cringing, especially during conversations between Lucas and Bennett. It could have been much better and I felt that it made the characters seem very immature. Taking these points into consideration I can really only give Leave It All 2.5 stars. That being said I would read the next book in the series.

Review: The Story of Lucius Cane: Book One

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The Story of Lucius Cane: Book One by Vanya Ferreira 

London, 1794. Lucius Cane, a peculiar sort of vampire, comes upon an opponent the likes of which he has never seen before – a brute with remarkable abilities. But not all is as it seems as their encounter unfolds in a manner that neither of them expected.

Purchase Link: www.amazon.com

The Story of Lucius Cane: Book One on Goodreads


Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 3 stars

Lucius Cane is a vampire living in late 1700s London. Book One introduces the reader to the title character as well as antagonist Jack ‘The Hound’ who is trying to kill him.

This is a short, but enjoyable read. Lucius is an intriguing character with a certain amount of empathy for humans. I do prefer vampire novels where the supernatural beings are given a more human side, but still connected to their vampire natures too and this certainly is the case here. Lucius’s vampire side comes across as an inner voice inside of him, which he tries to dismiss, most of the time successfully.

There is a good use of description within the novel and the fast pacing swiftly concludes with the inevitable showdown. This ends on a cliff-hanger and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next!

Review: Wind Down by Mark Ewig

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Wind Down by Mark Ewig

Aaron Starks survived a near death experience when he was stabbed by an unknown assailant. All of his college roommates were suspects. However, investigators could turn up nothing to catch the attempted murderer.
Fifteen years later, Aaron is all grown up with a family. Things are going great until he starts experiencing strange blackouts and other paranormal visions. During the blackouts he still interacts with others, but he cannot remember anything he said or did. Doctors are unable to provide an answer. It is not until Aaron has an encounter with Ju’van, a local shaman, that he realizes what he needs to do. He is sent on a journey to meet up with all his old roommates to discover the truth on what really happened the night he was stabbed in the back.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Wind Down on Goodreads


 

Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 2 Stars

Fifteen years ago university student Aaron Starks was stabbed in the back and left for dead. His attacker was never caught and Aaron had always suspected that one or more of his friends and flatmates may have been involved. Fifteen years on and Aaron is married to his university sweetheart, has three children and his dream job. Then his perfect life is shattered when he starts experiencing blackouts. When doctors are unable to find a reason for these, Aaron learns that his blackouts are connected to the attack on him all those years ago.

I really liked the concept of this novel. The ideas are very clever and original, and this had the potential to be an excellent paranormal/mystery. Unfortunately there were quite a few things that let it down.

The grammar is very poor. It jumps between tenses almost constantly making it very difficult to read, and also punctuation has been used incorrectly throughout. Whilst the characters have potential they are undeveloped and very immature for their age. They act more like primary school children than university students. The writing itself isn’t bad, but it yo-yo’s from either rambling long descriptions to very short sentences.

However, as I said this has great potential. In my opinion it needs to be longer with a lot more time taken to character build (especially the university part of the novel). A revision that adds to this good start combined with addressing the points I made above would make this a really unique and page-turning read.

And I loved the twist at the end! I never saw that coming!

Review: Boy Versus Self by Harmon Cooper

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Boy Versus Self by Harmon Cooper

There are moments when a creation pushes its creator to the brink of their imagination, to the fine line between true ingenuity and blistering insanity. Boy is such an artist, an artist who can’t seem to shake the demon he has himself created – Glass Wings. With his career taking off, will Boy overcome the darkness within? Will he reconcile with his family, his sister, his demons? And the people surrounding him – his erotic novelist girlfriend with violent night terrors, his drug dealer friend, the married Irish woman who brings him to New York, the mysterious Japanese man financing his art – where do they fit in all this? Will he ever be able to tell them the truth?

A serrated existence that runs from Texas to Mexico, New York to Tokyo, BOY Versus SELF is a disquieting journey into the mind of a penniless artist as he struggles with shocking hallucinations that could kill him. The novel is a psychological coming of age story full of suspense, horror, struggle and ultimately, triumph.

True fear is easily created and rarely destroyed. True art is always the opposite.

Purchase Link: Amazon.com

Goodread Link: Boy Versus Self


 

Review

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review *

Rating: 5 Stars

Boy Versus Self is a part psychological horror, part paranormal novel. The protagonist, known only throughout the novel as Boy, is an artist who is tormented by visions of ghosts and a terrifying monster whom he calls Glass Wings. Glass Wings first appears as an apparition devouring his sister’s glass collection, but as the novel progresses Boy is continuously haunted by its presence.

Boy Versus Self is a very original and cleverly developed novel. The main character and those supporting characters who are closest to him are referred to only as Boy, and Mom, Girl (his sister) and Friend. Not knowing the real names of the characters isn’t really that critical and the lack of them actually adds to the atmosphere and tone of the story. Told entirely through Boy’s eyes you get a real sense of his struggle against his visions and also his real life problems to do with his family and relationship.

I really enjoyed reading Boy Versus Self. It is a very unique, compelling and dark read. The ending is left open, but not frustratingly so, and I highly recommend Boy Versus Self to lovers of horror and paranormal novels.