Jun 012012
 
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Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry… … in a new, horrific, unimaginable way… Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature. All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what’s worse is that he’s a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind. But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation… or her death?

I loved this book. It was scary, full of gore and even had me laughing. I was so caught up in the story that right after I finished reading the book, I searched for book 2 (coming soon). Frater writes in a way that makes you feel for the characters- whether that is love, sadness, or hate, you become invested in the characters. Frater has some other series that has received some well deserved attention but really, I think this book is her best.[button color=red] Review [/button]
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After the unexpected death of her father forces eighteen year old Layken and her family to move across the country, away from everyone and everything she knows, her outlook on life is anything but hopeful.

Enter Will Cooper: the attractive twenty-one year old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry. After a night together that turns out to be everything but the expected, both Layken and Will are left with feelings they never knew they could have. Unfortunately in Layken’s life, things are never what they seem. Just as quickly as it develops, their relationship is derailed by a shocking revelation, sparking a tumultuous battle between their hearts and their ethics.

As if the dramatic turn of events in her life isn’t enough, Layken is slammed again when her mother reveals a secret of her own. A secret so intense, all of Layken’s current problems pale in comparison to her seemingly insurmountable future. Unable to confront the changes that lie ahead of her, Layken ignores her conscience as she turns to Will for solace. Struggles ensue as both Layken and Will search for a balance between that which keeps them apart and the feelings that pull them together.

Wow, talk about character development. I laughed, and cried, and laughed, and cried. I could not stop reading this book, I felt so emotionally invested not only with the story but with the character’s well-being. The author is genius in making the reader fall in love with her characters. The book is an easy read, and I was so surprised when I quickly reached the end. I’ve already book 2 and loved that one as well. I’m confident that we’ll be hearing much more from Ms. Hoover in the future.[button color=red] Review [/button]





Heart-pounding, stomach-kicking, and noir-drenched, The Man Who Crossed Worlds is urban fantasy with a twist of pulp and served in a dirty glass.

All freelance Tunneler Miles Franco wants is a bit of freedom and a couple of bucks to rub together. So when the cops haul him downtown for illegally smuggling the natives of another dimension to Earth, he’ll take any chance he can get to stay out of the pen. And funnily enough, the cops have just the job for him.

A mysterious interdimensional drug-smuggler is staking his claim on Miles’ city, and a drug war is about to kick off that will make the city look like the set of a post-apocalyptic horror movie. As a Tunneler, Miles knows all about interdimensional transport, and the cops need his help cutting off the drug lord’s supply before it reaches Earth.

But it doesn’t take long playing police lapdog before Miles realizes this ain’t no ordinary drug he’s dealing with. Snooping around in gang business is a dangerous job in a city where everyone’s on the take and the gangsters play for keeps.

And there are a lot of ways a nosy Tunneler can disappear.

I’m not sure what made me read this book but I’m super happy I did. It had everything you would want in a dark fantasy novel. Like the other books on the list, the strength of this book is the characters especially Miles. Don’t be turned off by the unique cover, and you’ll never regret reading this book![button color=red] Review [/button]






When Ryan meets Sara, his new next-door neighbor in a rickety old San Francisco apartment building, both are in a state of emotional turmoil. Ryan, a high-priced prostitute, is trying to break free of his old life, but his handler, Catherine, won’t let him.

Sara’s medieval mystery series has just been terminated by her publisher, and she is now trying to write a historical thriller. Sara doesn’t dare make the first move toward deepening their relationship because she is older than Ryan, not as physically attractive, and halfway convinced he is gay and that if she pushes him she will lose his friendship, which she values.

In this realistically gritty, sometimes violent, and gripping tale, Leone reveals the seamier side of society’s maneuvering while she spins an unconventional romance between two unhappy people who find that love, like respect, can grow out of friendship and shared experiences and that new beginnings are indeed possible for those with the determination and courage to pursue them.

If you have a heart, be prepared for some breakage. This book is dark, gritty, and beautiful. It is raw, and very powerful. I found myself searching for books just like this right after I read it. Nothing came close. I have a major crush on Ryan. Not just because he is a hottie (ok, so that does help) but because he is a beautiful soul. You’ll understand once you read the book. [button color=red] Review [/button]






Plus-sized fetish model and aspiring chef Indigo Hartley has plenty of tattoos and a fiery attitude to match. When she’s offered a job as a sushi model for one of Miami’s trendiest restaurants, she jumps at the chance. Little does this country-mouse-turned-city-vixen know that what starts out as a modeling job will end up the answer to all of her kinkiest fantasies. Three days serving as a sub to this hot chef is too tempting an offer to refuse.Banner Faust has worked his ass off and sacrificed his love life to become a rock star in the culinary world. On what should be the biggest night of his career, he realizes something is missing from his life-the submissive woman he’s always craved. The curvy new model with the blue-streaked hair and innate submissive nature just might be the one he’s been waiting for. And when he gets her home-and in his bed-he soon realizes three days will never be enough.

This book is magic. Ms. Blake has done the impossible. She takes a erotica novella (less than 100 pages) and creates a story about a woman not only discovering her sensuality but also her self worth. It doesn’t hurt that the small novel is full of hot, steamy sex scenes and one of the most erotic uses of food. I will never look at ginger the same after reading this book! [button color=red] Review [/button]






For the past couple years Laurel’s been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined-to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice-let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.Reader Advisory: Although all sex acts are 100-percent consensual, Willing Victim contains role-playing scenarios that may upset some readers who are sensitive about rape, even in a simulated capacity.

Regina recommended this book to me but truthfully, I was nervous. What is up with this weird title? You cannot be willing and a victim at the same time. Not only that, but the cover is cheesy and well, it’s a novella so how good can the story be? (Note- yes, I am aware that two other books on this Hidden Gems list happen to be erotic novels, it really is just random chance. If the book is great, I don’t care what genre it is). I am so happy I gave this book a chance. It was so much better than I expected. Besides having a great storyline, this book has my new fictional boyfriend- Flynn. Seriously one of the sweetest, hottest, sexiest characters ever created. The only bummer in this book was the ending. It came way, way too soon. [button color=red] Review [/button]








Marianne is confined to bed after a serious illness and to wile away time she takes to drawing with a pencil she finds in what used to be her Great-Grandmother’s workbasket. To her surprise she dreams about her drawings and they come to life in an extra-ordinary way that she struggles to understand. Jumping between the real world and that of her dreams Marianne slowly becomes conscious that world she is creating is making itself felt in the waking world and affecting not only herself but another sick child called Mark who she has never met but who is fast becoming an important part of her life.

I read this book when I was a young child (I believe 9 or 10). I found it in my adopted grandmother’s dusty old chest of books. It was so haunting, and so addicting that I skipped trick-or-treating, and homemade root beer floats to finish the book. Luckily, I was able to keep the book and I treasured it everyday. I even went so far to order an extra copy as an adult. Yes I still have the original book. I can’t begin to explain this book so I won’t. I wouldn’t want to ruin the beauty of it.


Now that you heard from us, we want to hear from you! Tell us your hidden gem. I’m going to have plenty of time to read (I’ll be in surgery the day this is posted on the blog), so fill me in on some great hidden gems.

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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker

Michelle, the Bookshelf StalkerWhen I'm not with the family, with the dog, at work, playing outdoors, or watching football, I'm reading. I LOVE to read. In my dream world, I'm getting paid to read and I do it all day, everyday. In the real world, I do it as a hobby but would love if it was my career. I'm the ONLY reader in my family and I've found that people CAN become jealous of books. I'll read almost anything but prefer urban fantasy, paranormal romance, post-apocalyptic, horror, historical romance, erotica (especially dark erotica), and some historical fiction. However, if it is good, I'll read it! I have an e-reader that I love and a Mp3 full of audio books, I don't mind waiting in lines, sitting for hours at doctor's offices, or being stuck in traffic, it is the perfect opportunity to get just one more chapter in!

  2 Responses to “Badass Hidden Gems Volume II”

Comments (2)
  1. I first encountered Rhiannon Frater through her epic-ally brilliant Vampire Bride Series. A-MUST-READ!!! I have Pretty When She Dies kindle edition on my TBR. I’ll get to it soon. She’s one of my top favorite authors!! :)

  2. Thank you for mentioning PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES. It was recently edited by Felicia Sullivan, editor for Permuted Press, so it’s better than ever! Hopefully, PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS will be out very soon.