Dark Ink Tattoo
Dark Ink Tattoo
Cassie Alexander (Author), Kellie Dennis (Illustrator)
paranormal, vampire, demons, devils
(1 Aug. 2016 -7)
Jack's back in this new installment of Dark Ink Tattoo! No good deed goes unpunished -- and doubly so if you're already dead.
After the events of book 4, Jack thought he'd finally earned himself a break -- or at least a few fun nights -- but now that his Mistress is dead Maya needs help holding the club against other vampire gangs, he's got a bloodslave following him around like a puppy, a sacred warrior is hunting him down for his part in her partner's murder, Paco's going to become a vampire in three nights, Francesca won't let him forget he owes her, Dark Ink staff are about to riot, and the perpetual temptation of Zach still lives next door.
If you enjoyed the prior Dark Ink Tattoo books, you will continue to love the action and heat of this one -- and if you haven't read the first four, this book is a good place to start.
This is a series of box sets from KU that total up to 15 books – and I read them all in sequence!!!
Set in Las Vegas, in a seedy area, where the tourists come for an experience which often ends up being a tattoo. Each book tells the story of a different member of staff starting with the owner who sets up the first 24/7 tattoo parlour and who employs supernaturals of all varieties from the vampire who takes the night shift, to shifters to magic users and more… and sex is consensual, often rough and gender irrelevant.
The stories tend to be complicated, full of fights and difficult relationships from ex’s to current partners. There are nightclubs and bars and parties and motorcycle gangs. So, don’t expect a set of light and frothy stories – these are dark as the tattoos that are illustrated in the text. But somehow compulsive reading. Oh and nice illustrations too.
Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies
(Grave Concerns #1)
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Ghosts, corpses and four hot men—what’s a girl to do? Abandoned at three—whose parents want a kid who sees ghosts?—I learned the world is quick to punish misfits. I try my best to be a normal, boring human, but the call of the supernatural just won’t be ignored. When a stranger shows up on my doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s no sexy tryst. Instead, I’m off to the graveyard, digging up the corpse of a murder victim at the demand of the local vampire coven—and that small felony is just the start. The spirit of the woman has gone missing—something that shouldn’t be possible—and everyone is looking to me for answers. There’s Kase, a vampire who’s both terrifying and secretive. Grant, a mage with a bad attitude and a lot of power. Troy, the possessive werewolf-detective next door and Hunter, a mysterious bad boy who isn’t even close to human. It’s a race not just against time but against everything to figure out where the spirits are going, who’s behind it and if I can trust the men who now share my bed. And all because of a little grave robbing…
Hunter didn’t remove his hand from my mouth. It made me realize he was also entirely pressed against me, and despite it not being possible, he felt better than he’d looked. His skin was warm, even through my robe.
He took his hand off my mouth but didn’t move away. “Stay still,” he whispered against my ear.
“Why? Is it coming back?”
“No. I just really like looking down your robe.”
As soon as his words sank in, when I moved past the adrenaline and the purr of his voice, I realized that yes, my robe had bagged open and he had a perfect view down the front.
I elbowed him, but he didn’t seem to even feel it. He released me, though the way he did it implied my little move hadn’t meant a thing.
“I am so tired of people breaking into my house,” I said.
“You aren’t human, and you don’t have any wards. That’s the same as a ‘come on in’ sign in our world.”
“I am human.”
“Sure, shadow-girl.” He sent me a conspiratorial wink, as if we were on the joke together.
“No, I actually am. No funky teeth, no freaky eyes. Human.” I pointed at my face as though that drove the point home.
He waved at himself. “No funky teeth, no freaky eyes. Very much not human. Sure, though, if you want to pretend, I’m not one to turn down a bit of good roleplay. You want to be innocent Little Red Riding Hood? I’ll play the wolf.”
His suggestion derailed me. How could it not? Any girl who claimed she hadn’t had entirely inappropriate dreams about the wolf in that story was a damned liar. Once I’d reached a certain age, ‘all the better to eat you with’ had taken on a very different meaning.
I pictured a dark, heavily wooded forest as I ran, something on my heels, gaining ground. His warm breath on my neck when he caught me…
Suddenly I didn’t care what he’d said, why he was there or what exactly he meant by him ‘not being human’.
Until I recalled he’d broken in, and clearly him showing up at my office wasn’t a coincidence.
He snorted. “I liked where your mind was going before.”
“What are you doing here? And what was that thing?”
“Don’t we have better things to discuss? Or we can do away with talking all together.”
“I don’t sleep with people who might kill me, but thanks.”
“If someone might not kill you, are they even worth sleeping with in the first place?”
I nodded, then handed the ice pack back to him. When he took it, he frowned at a red mark that remained on the white pack.
“Sorry.” I turned my hand over, the one Grant had cut, to find that sure enough, I’d managed to tear open the scab.
“Grant needed my blood for the wards.”
He frowned, as though he disliked the idea. “He could have done less damage.”
“That’s what I said, but he said it was about the sacrifice of the action.”
Kase lifted his thumb to his mouth and pressed it against the tip of his fang. He didn’t grimace, didn’t show any reaction to the wound.
Blood welled at the top, a red so dark it was almost purple.
Which sent me bolting. I jumped to my feet, wanting that blood nowhere near me.
Kase didn’t grab me—and I knew damn well he could have, because vampires were terrifyingly fast—but he stared. “Really?”
“I may not always love my life, but I do love being alive. No thanks to that.” I waved at his thumb.
“How can you be so ignorant of our world? You can’t be turned into a vampire from a little blood.”
“That sounds like men who say a girl can’t get knocked up because it’s just the tip.”
“I am sterile, so that isn’t an issue I deal with.” Kase spoke with such flatness of his voice, I almost missed that he’d made a joke, even more so because he so quickly moved on from it. “To be changed from mortal, a person has to die. My blood will help to heal you, but it won’t change you since I, again, don’t plan on killing you.”
I pressed my lips together, then responded slowly. “You know, I normally don’t spend so much time around people who have to keep telling me they don’t plan on killing me.”
“Would you rather I not tell you that?”
“I’d rather you not need to tell me that.”
“You need to do something,” I said as Kase and Troy struck a wall and knocked off a painting. Sure, it was a cheap one I’d picked up at a chain store, some mass-produced image of cherry blossoms I’d always thought would make me a calmer person, but it was my stupid painting and they’d ruined it!
“You’re right,” Grant said and snapped his fingers, whispering a few words.
The two fighting seemed unaffected, however, as Troy flung Kase off him and Kase sailed back, almost faster than my vision could follow.
I was about to tell Grant it hadn’t worked when I realized he held a bowl of popcorn now.
Had he really used his magic to summon popcorn? Hunter reached over me to grab a handful.
“You said you couldn’t use magic for frivolous things,” I stammered.
“You used it to get popcorn!”
Grant lifted the popcorn as though to make a point. “This isn’t frivolous, Ava. There is a man-on-man fight here—that requires snacks to properly watch. Get your priorities straight.”
My mouth hung open. Every time I thought I had my feet under me with these men, they showed me how wrong I was.
“They could kill each other,” I finally said.
“Sure, but they won’t.” Hunter stole another handful of popcorn and tossed some in his mouth, a few pieces falling to the couch. “Troy hasn’t fully shifted and Kase isn’t biting. This is just one of those macho alpha dominance shows. Let’s all be glad they’re doing this instead of actually measuring dicks. Trust me, that just hurts feelings.”
I went to get up, but Hunter wrapped an arm around me to keep me there. “Nope. This? This is the sort of thing where an accidental stray punch could end a fragile thing like you. Best to stay out of fights between immortals.”
“They’re wrecking my place,” I complained and winced as they destroyed yet another small table. It splintered into a million pieces, and even though I couldn’t for the life of me recall where I’d gotten it from, the loss made me sigh.
“They’ll fix it. Hell, they’ll probably get you nicer stuff just because they feel bad. Make sure you milk that. I want a large-screen TV here,” Grant told me before offering me some popcorn.
And, really, what was a girl to do? I couldn’t stop the fight and the two people who could—Hunter and Grant—didn’t seem all that driven to do so.
So I took some of the popcorn and joined in on the show.
Apparently saving the world would need to wait for these two to work out their little testosterone-driven fight.
It seemed all men were alike, immortal or not.
Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing.
Death Watch by
(Soul Reader #2)
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: April 27th 2021
A prison break, a secret admirer, and a boatload of lies. Just about everything Sloane Cabot knows about her past is a big old pile of malarkey. Couple that with the blank spot of how her family died, and she needs answers, like, yesterday. But when a man shows up dead on her family’s grave, she knows it somehow has to be tied to that fateful night a year ago. Too bad you can’t question the dead… or can you?
Death Watch Excerpts
A pair of guards opened the giant doors, bowing at Thomas as he guided me through. It was an actual struggle not to freeze at the entrance and stare. But man, did I want to. This place—while definitely what I would consider on-brand for a vamp nest—was one of the most magnificent buildings I’d ever been in. I wasn’t particularly interested in other churches, but this cathedral was just a beauty. A gallery of pews sat to the left and right of a wide aisle that led to a raised dais. Vampires filled the seats, dressed similarly to Thomas and me, their voices a low buzz of conversation. More people were sitting in the upper gallery, their opulent gowns and sharp tuxedos a happy reminder that Thomas had my back. Had I walked in here with leather pants and a whip on my hip, I had a feeling I would have been just a touch out of place.
Thomas continued his leading, guiding me down the aisle toward a stunningly severe woman sitting on what appeared to be a throne. Skin paler than death, eyes vamped out in a way that seemed permanent, and painted lips the color of blood, she was the most beautiful and yet most frightening woman I’d ever seen. Dark hair was piled on her head in purposefully haphazard curls, a few tendrils snaking out of the complicated up-do to artfully caress her neck. She wore a brilliant green gown that was so simple, and yet so achingly complex, it had to have cost a fortune.
We reached the end of the aisle, and Thomas bowed his head slightly. I copied him, wishing I would have received an etiquette lesson on the hour-long drive here. All I’d gotten was Thomas’ clenched jaw and silence.
“You have some nerve,” a woman growled, drawing my gaze from what had to be the queen of this nest to her right.
I quickly realized that the voice did not belong to a woman at all but a child. Pale-blonde hair and blue eyes were set in an elfin face of a vampire who had likely been no more than ten when she was turned. And that had to have been centuries ago. This little whisp of a “girl”—and I use that word lightly—had the look of a being older than dirt. Dressed in a black lace confection appropriate for a child beauty queen, she stood from her chair.
She then launched herself at Thomas.
I couldn’t exactly say why I did it. I mean, she had me by centuries, and Thomas could take care of himself. But as soon as her feet left the dais, I had the knife Clem had given me yanked from its sheath and was in front of the man in an instant.
Thomas owed me, not the other way around, but he’d been kind to me when I’d needed it, and I wouldn’t let him get attacked. No way, no how.
It was as if everyone froze. Conversations halted, guards stood stock-still, and even this slip of a thing stood arrested at the end of my blade, which was poised at her throat.
To this tiny—but by no means less deadly—vampire at the point of my knife, I said, “Settle down there, Blondie, or we’re going to have a problem.”
I had a feeling we probably already had one.
“Haunting rooftops again, I see,” Bastian called from behind me, startling me out of my intense stare-down of an inanimate object, namely, a door.
The only thing special about this door was that behind it lay a raging arcane club. The music radiated up from the ground, through the building, rattling my bones even from across the street, but that door was nothing more than a metal barrier to the world beyond. I’d always wondered what went on in clubs like those. Would it be sex and alcohol and dancing bodies—which wasn’t much different from a human club in that scenario—or would it be darker? Blood and death and all the dark things about the arcane world that I hated? I was smart enough to know that the human world had its darkness, too, but it seemed the more I lived in this world, the more I realized that what I thought was evil didn’t even begin to scratch the surface.
“It’s a hobby,” I muttered, shaking my head to clear the dark thoughts as I stretched from my crouch, my joints protesting loudly. One thing about this life that was the same were the aches and pains. I’d sat in one spot too long, staring at that stupid metal door to that stupid arcane club that wouldn’t provide any more answers than the last one had.
My search so far had given me one dead end after the other, and after two straight months of nothing, I was starting to get annoyed. It was bad enough that I had the habit of haunting rooftops before the man who’d killed my parents left a note on my pillow.
Now, it was an obsession.
In the last two months—in between bounties and training—I’d been scouring every nook and cranny of Ascension. And my questioning methods hadn’t exactly been in line with what I would call pleasant.
Bloody would be a better descriptor.
Hopping off the ledge, I knocked the dark hood from my white hair, letting the spring air cool me down. Sweltering under my lightweight jacket, I yanked it off, trying not to rip the fabric. Clem would be pissed if I ripped another one, and as the house’s weapons keeper and person in charge of my solid food intake, pissing her off would not be a smart move on my part. Plus, if Bastian found me, there would be no more sleuthing tonight, and the need to hide my beacon of a hair color was no longer necessary.
I’d need to pick harder to find locations if I wanted him off my ass. Well… I kind of wanted him on my ass, just not while I was in the middle of my special project. I stared down at the skull don’t-find-me ring I’d conned Simon into making for me. Leave it to Bastian to find a way to work around Simon’s magic.
Bastian stood in the darkness, the faint light barely kissing the high points of his face and leaving the rest in shadow. To everyone else, he was a bruiser with his heavy dark brow and bulking frame. To me, he seemed akin to a big teddy bear—a giant, angry teddy bear, but one, nonetheless.
Even if he was spoiling my stakeout.
“Some hobby,” he groused, snagging my hand and reeling me in. “You know, instead of skulking around, you could actually go inside one of those clubs. Take a night off from your ‘creature of the dark’ persona and actually have fun.”
Fun. It was a struggle not to audibly scoff and even harder not to show the derision on my face. I hadn’t had fun in ages. Hell, I didn’t even know what that word meant anymore. And I couldn’t remember the last time I’d taken a night off—definitely pre-orphanhood, for sure.
“‘Creature of the dark?’ What am I, a Batman villain? Do I get a cool costume? Is there a car in this deal?”
Bastian’s smile gave me legit butterflies, the wide, white pull of his full lips making me all giddy.
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.
#1 The Hush
Paranormal Demons & Devils Romance, Paranormal Vampire Romance, Fantasy Romance
(4 May 2020)
A vampire warrior. A shrink. This could get uncomfortable.Kyr, leader of the Vampire Defense Agency’s elite ground team, doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Either he participates in this bullshit psych eval, or his team gets suspended.But this isn’t about Kyr’s mental health. This is an investigation. Because the director wants to know why the Hush hasn’t been joining the company singalong lately. The reason? A traitor at the VDA is betraying vampire females into the hands of a demon lord.Yeah. Kyr doesn’t trust anyone, not even—especially not—the gorgeous agent assigned to evaluate him. The only thing more difficult than dodging her questions?Denying the intense (and inconvenient) attraction sizzling between them…
So, this a vampire novel, but vampires are actually aliens. We discover that they travelled to earth – through a portal – around 2 thousand years ago from their planet, which had been made uninhabitable by the war against demons.
Now, headed up by their Queen, they were well settled but hidden in the human population. Still at war with demons however, who had followed them to earth and still popped up through portals. They also still popped up on their original planet and certain trained agents were sent there to eradicate them. Which was not a nice gig.
When a human mated with a vampire, the vampire side sometimes didn’t come out and they remained human. However, when it did, they became vampires and needed to be carefully looked after until they were adjusted to their new life.
So that’s the background to this story.
The actual story was a vampire romance with the usual issues for a romance – with a cliff hanger.
There were still a few typographical and grammatical errors in the ARC but not bad enough to spoil the writing.
It was a competent book but not exciting unless this genre is really your ‘thing’.
Cursed by Magic
ghosts, witches, angels, vampire
Bayou Moon Press, LLC
(27 Mar. 2017)
Immerse yourself in the riveting world of vampires, shifters, mages, witches, ghosts, mediums, angels, and all things magic. A thrilling collection of the finest in urban fantasy. Sit back and binge on five full-length novels that will have you on the edge-of-your-seat. Romance, magic, mystery, and shocking twists that will leave you breathless. * * *
A 5 full length set of firsts in series. Some have been reviewed separately here on this site.
Spirits, Stilettos, and a Silver Bustier – Deanna Chase Pyper Rayne–medium and coffee shop owner–seems to have attracted a ghost. But he’s not just any ghost. He’s a witch and able to appear in solid form…sometimes. If only he’d stop disappearing on her. And Pyper needs his help. When she becomes target numero uno and the prime suspect in the shop owner’s death, it appears her ghost holds the key to solving the murder. In between stolen kisses, Pyper will need to get to the bottom of all of his secrets if she wants to stay alive and out of jail…and maybe finally get that date he keeps promising her.
Whiskey, Vamps, and Thieves – Selene Charles Meet Scarlett Smith, Southern Vampire Detective…
Not too long ago she was just a regular Southern Belle in love with her soldier, dreaming of a life full of babies and white picket fences.
Now she solves murders and drinks a little type-O on the side. No big deal, she’s certainly nothing special or amazing…right? Except every once in a while she senses something stirring inside of her. Something dark. Something ancient. And something very, very powerful. But for now it’s just easier to pretend she’s nothing more than a vampire with a badge and a gun who just so happens to have the hots for not one, but two different shifters one of whom is her step-brother.
Sterling – Dannika Dark
Zoë Merrick knew nothing about immortals until she was brutally attacked by one and left for dead. When she awakens, a strange power is coursing through her veins. It’s not until a warrior named Justus De Gradi walks into her life that she discovers she’s a Mage–able to manipulate energy and use it as a weapon. Justus vows to serve as her protector and teacher, but she’s still struggling with letting go of her past. Will Zoë learn to accept her fate and trust those around her, or will she fall victim to the predators in the Breed world?
A Spirited Manor – Kate Danley
Grieving widow Clara O’Hare accepts an invitation to a séance in the remote country home of Lord Horace Oroberg. Joining her around the table are Oroberg’s cad of a son and his mousy fiancée; her overbearing mother; a renowned scientist; a lovely suffragette; and the dashing young medium, Wesley Lowenherz. But before long, the group’s fascination with the spirit world calls up something sinister, and Clara and Wesley are pulled together to solve a murder most foul.
Cast in Angelfire – SM Reine
As a half-angel, half-human mage, Marion Garin is the most powerful witch in the world. Or so she’s been told.
Unfortunately, she’s lost her memory, and now Marion doesn’t know much of anything. Casting magic? Forget about it. It’s not an accident, either. Someone powerful wanted to take Marion out of preternatural politics, and they succeeded.
She’s told that a man named Seth Wilder could help, but she’ll have to find him first. He’s been missing for years. Marion needs to track Seth down and fix her memory before her unknown enemy finishes the job…