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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Comic Review: Ten Grand #2 by J. Michael Straczynski

cover B Sienkiewicz
Ten Grand #2 
Story by: J. Michael Straczynski
Art By: Ben Templesmith
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: APR130575
On Sale: June 05, 2013
Series: Ten Grand
Image Comics
FDA (Federal Demon Association) Advisory. Contents contain: one cult church where incantations are encoded into the playlist; one flesh-dwelling, food-obsessed demon; one seer capable of perceiving the spirit world but blinded to this one; one missing woman; one murder; one angel with an agenda of his own; and one rendezvous between supernatural investigator Joe Fitzgerald and the woman he loves, now deceased, in what may or may not be heaven. Warning: do not operate heavy equipment while reading.

"Angels Never Lie," the second issue of Ten Grand, sees Joe following every lead he can to discover what happened to Sarah Thomas, after her sister, Debbie, sought Joe's special talents after she went missing. Joe's reasons for taking the case are two-fold: each case he can solve affords him a chance at seeing his dead lover, Laura, in the afterlife--if only for a few minutes; and the person Sarah was last seen with is the same guy Joe killed two years earlier--the same guy who killed Laura.
Divine Will, the cult Sarah had apparently joined, is one of Joe's first places to sniff around. And to do that he calls on an acquaintance with a terrible gift for seeing the demons and doorways we were never meant to see. Johnny, the guy with the second sight, struck me as a character that could really be explored further, especially since he only shows up for a couple pages.

Once Joe busts up the party inside the cult's little nondescript headquarters, he finds a demon he hopes has the answers he's looking for, but the gluttonous creature winds up leaving Joe with more questions than he'd bargained for. And when Joe tries to find Debbie to grill her some more about her sister, Sarah, things take a very grim turn.

Evocative imagery and a bevy of brutal characters add up to one of my favorite new comic book series. Between Straczynski's deftness with dialogue and Templesmith's near-psychedelic illustrations, I'm tempted to call it a deadly combination and about as close to perfect as a reader could dare ask for. This issue is a bit of a downshift from the inaugural issue, but the universe has been fleshed out even more, and a new wrinkle introduced that could really sabotage all of Joe's efforts.
A variant cover Templesmith
Can't wait to tear into the third issue.

4 1/2 Sheep

Guest Reviewer: Gef Fox

Sunday Swag: Darynda Jones

Now you have 5 chances to get your swagger on

Today's feature author: Darynda Jones

About the author:

NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA, a Golden Heart, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin's Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at

Pen and matching notebook!

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sheep Comic Review: D.O.Z.D. It Begins + giveaway!

D.O.Z.D. Department of Zombie Defense: It Begins
Issue #1
Storyline and Author: Shaun Hayes
Illustrator: Kip Mussatt

As the title would suggest, issue one is more about laying the ground work for any upcoming books to follow this book. “It Begins” opens up with our group of heroes just doing their normal job of you, taking down terrorist…nothing big or anything. The event and the fact that’s it’s one of the guys’ last day on the field with them brings them together and it’s nice that they throw in some banter and what have you to give a sense of the group of men and their bond. The men are celebrating the day, tossing back a few, when *dun dun dun* unbeknownst to our heroes all hell is quickly breaking loose at the jail and they have to report back to work to help out with the riots at the jail. 

So this is how it begins and the events quickly escalate from there; the story moves at a solid pace and there’s a nice amount of guns, blood, and hey! Even some undead dudes! What more could you want!? I would say more zombies but like I said, this issue is about laying the ground work so I’m sure further issues will have plenty of zombie butt kicking going on. I think for the DOZD's first venture out, this is a solid effort and also I enjoyed guessing which character was which guy from D.O.Z.D. 

Overall I give Issue #1 “It Begins” 3 zombie sheep heads

Guest Reviewer: Bunni Darling 

To find out more about the D.O.Z.D you can check out their website HERE


In honor of the zombie theme, we have a fun giveaway of 'winners choice' t-shirt. (Size M, L XL) Plus zombie stickers, zombie hunting license and sheep swag! 
Leave the following in the comments below to enter. 

1. Your email address
2. Do you follow us? Let us know and get double entries! 
3. Your best friend turns into a zombie, what would you do? 
Contest is open to US only 
Ends July 5th 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Book Review: DraculaVille - New York Book 1 by Lara Nance

DraculaVille, (New York #1)by Lara Nance
Super Ad/Publicity Agent, Talia Quinton, is poised at the top of her career to receive a much coveted job representing the world’s largest advertiser. She’s shocked and humiliated when the account is given to a rival agent with much less experience. Instead, Talia is ordered to come up with a publicity plan to bring tourists to Romania. An account not worth a tenth of the one she’d hoped for. 

But she’s not called Talia the Tiger by the New York ad world for nothing. When she discovers a newly made and abandoned vampire named Drake, she takes on the job of healing and grooming him into the face of her new campaign.

Instead of touting the ancient country's rolling hills and historic castles, she turns the advertising world on its head by bringing Romania’s dark past to the center of the presentation. She proposes they build a fantasy themed amusement park/resort for adults called, DraculaVille, right in the heart of Transylvania. And Drake will pose as Dracula, their spokesperson. A vampire pretending to be an actor, pretending to be a vampire.

Talia’s disturbing attraction to Drake is only one obstacle in her path. She soon discovers New York fairly swarms with warring vampire communities and she and Drake have landed right in the middle of their biggest conflict. On top of that, the odd members of the Romanian National Publicity Committee begin making strange demands that keep Talia constantly on the edge of losing the account and her reputation as New York’s most formidable Account Executive.

As a last straw, Talia and Drake are kidnapped by a ruthless vampire gang and forced to fight for their lives as the clock ticks on completing the assignment necessary to retain the DraculaVille account. Their only hope of gaining freedom is to consent to an ancient vampire bonding ceremony. There's one problem. To complete the ceremony, Drake must kill Talia and turn her into a vampire. But despite her unavoidable attraction to the hunky vampire she saved, Talia's not ready to die.

I admit it; I judged this book by the cover. If I hadn't promised to review it, I probably would haven’t picked it up and I would have missed out on a sweet romantic urban fantasy. The story is fast paced for the most part. There is a section near the end where things got a little too drawn out, but that is a minor issue. And hang on to your panties… there is no sex in this book! I know, right? There are some scenes where you thought it might happen, but no. I liked this aspect of the story. There is a lot of sexual tension, but the characters aren't focused on it because they are fighting for their lives! This is why I call it a sweet romance. Drake and Talia are going to have sex and it is going to be HOT, but not in this book. I am hoping in book #2 we get some action.

This was a nice mix of PNR and urban fantasy. A good gate-way book for those who might want to see what it is like on the other side of the genre fence. Talia is the tough as nails ad executive whose nickname is “The tiger”. She gave up having a life to be at the top, at least that is what she tells herself. The book starts out with what should be the best day of her professional life. Instead she ends up passed out in the gutter. There she meets one of the sweetest and charming vampire heroes. I loved both characters and their little Scooby-doo gang of friends. The author manages to be campy and not cliche which is fun. The book arc finds closure, but the series arc is a small cliff hanger.

If you are looking for a fun and fast summer read grab a copy. I mean who wouldn't want to visit a Dracula theme park?!


“You’re giving me Romania?” Her voice rose on each word, and she came to her feet. She planted both hands on the table and leaned toward him. 
He took a step back and frowned. “What’s the matter?”
“You told me I was getting Fizzola. I can’t do Fizzola and this creepy little country, too.”

“Don’t you want to stay and play with our vampire?”

”Until you strip away all the meaningless crap from your life, you’ll go on being lonely, friendless and without love.” He came to the sofa and ran a finger over her bracelet. “Nice bracelet, by the way. dZi beads if I’m not mistaken. To ward off evil, right? Want to know why they don’t work against me? It’s because I’m not evil, Tal. I’m not evil.”
[swoon! That was me, not the character… well she probably did too]

4 “I’m staying to play with the vampire!” Sheep


About the Author:
Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cities throughout the South. She loves to write in a variety of genres, but the basis of all of her stories is a great tale of entertaining women's fiction that will take you on an adventure of imagination. Smart stories that make you wonder, and live the romances you dream about.

If you want to escape and lose yourself in a novel, you've come to the right place. Choose your genre and settle in to be entertained. From thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales to paranormal romance and adventure, she's willing to explore a variety of compelling stories full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance.

Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.

Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: Dire Desires by Stephanie Tyler

Dire Desires (Eternal Wolf Clan #3) by Stephanie Tyler 
Jinx is a Dire wolf without a pack. Kicked out of the house by his king, and living with a vampire named Jez, Jinx has been trying to undo the damage he unintentionally caused during the reign of the Dire ghost army, which unleashed some of Purgatory’s worst monsters on the world at large. But when he hears that an unshifted Were is being held in a psychiatric hospital, he immediately drops everything to help her. 

Gillian Black has no idea what’s happening to her—and Jinx discovers that she’s not just any Were, but a Dire wolf from the original Green- land pack. He helps her escape and promises to keep her safe from the men—and the wolves—who are hunting her and to teach her everything about being a wolf.

He must also fight his feelings, wanting to claim her as his mate…at least until after he defeats the supernatural enemies that threaten all of them

Dire Desires is a bit complicated for anyone who didn't start at book one (this is book three). The first chapter itself led me to believe that Vice was the lead character when it is in fact, Jinx. Once I cleared up the subject of who was the hero I still had to figure out what had gone on in previous books that lead to the situation Jinx is in now.

There were many other little facts that I had to figure out, like who was mated and to whom? And the back stories of each character that appeared in previous books. Most of the information was scattered throughout the entire book so I had to wait to find out the answers to questions that were driving me crazy. There are a whole lot of characters in this book and it wasn't easy keeping them all straight, in fact, it was rather tiring at times.

However, Stephanie Tyler kept me interested by way of all the action scenes, great characters and humor. Jez the vampire in particular was highly entertaining and I found myself wanting to know more about him. Jinx is a steady hero, who has deep regrets and punishes himself constantly for what he's done in the past, but he is always ready to help his friends and family. He's loyal, stubborn, and self sacrificing. Gillian, the heroine is intelligent, tough, unpredictable and wild. All fitting for someone who didn't know they were a wolf.

Bottom line: I'll be adding the previous books to my TBR.

Dire Desires is a hard core paranormal romance, it's full of creatures that go bump in the night, bloody, graphic battles and sexy scenes, but before you read this one, do yourself a favor and read the series from the beginning, it will save you time, a bit of a headache and, I believe, will make Dire Desires much more enjoyable.

4 sheep

Comic Review: Five Weapons #4 (of 5)

Five Weapons #4 of 5 
By: Jimmie Robinson 
Image Comics 
On Sale: May 29, 2013

Impersonating Tyler Shainline is becoming quite hazardous for Enrique. He's not really cut out for the whole assassin thing, but he's faked his way through the school of Five Weapons remarkably well so far. Trouble is, the longer he is there, the more enemies he acquires as Shainline, and the more determined they are in seeing Master Shainline's downfall.

The fourth issue picks up at the end of a target retrieval competition, one that was stacked against Shainline from the get-go, pitting him against his new friend, Loon. With his guile and wit, he manages to avoid defeat--and even death--but the powers that be inside the school, namely Principal O, have had enough of the upstart student. Wheels are in motion to take him down once and for all.

I was wondering when the other shoe would drop in this mini-series. The motivations for Enrique's subterfuge had yet to be laid out for readers, but the cat is out of the bag now, and it seems there is a new player in the fray, an assassin with connections to the Shainline family and members of Five Weapons' faculty. It's a cool twist that is not just out of the blue, but raises a whole slew of questions about what all is going on at Five Weapons. The trouble is that there is only one issue left, and I have a gut feeling that the big finale is going to be a crowded house of revelations and resolutions.

I'm very much on board with this series, but the fact that there is so much that needs to be answered, and there's only one issue left in which to answer them, I'm a little perplexed at how Jimmie Robinson is going to pull it off. Bully for him if he can do it. Bring on Five Weapons #5.

4 Sheep

Guest Reviewer: Gef Fox 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sheep Book Review: Wolf With Benefits by Shelly Laurenston

Wolf With Benefits (The Pride Series #8) 
By: Shelly Laurenston 
Paranormal Romance 

Ricky Lee has no plans of getting serious about anyone, but he will protect Toni Jean-Louis Parker. Not just because he's been hired to do so, but because it's the right thing to do. And if that means travelling around the country with one complicated She-jackal, dealing with chocolate-eating wild dogs, instigating trouble between his brothers, and having the most amazing sex he's ever had...well, who said his job didn't have perks? Toni doesn't know how she keeps getting herself into these situations. But even she has to admit there's something about Ricky Lee Reed that she finds kind of interesting...and downright sexy. Now they just have to survive long enough to figure out if what they have is worth fighting for...

First off let me say, I really like this author's previous stories. The saga as a whole is well written, funny and very entertaining. I did not however enjoy this installment of the very colorful pride series. 

We start with the tale of Toni and Ricky, a coyote shifter and wolf shift. It's abundantly apparent from the start that our main guy is out for some fun in the sack and not much else. As the story develops, we somehow jump from a hookup to "she's mine". With not much going on in between. Sure, he follows her around and they hang out, but there's no growth as a pair. No match made in heaven feel. With a romance novel, you expect that pull of the main couple. That was lacking. 

Since Toni is one of about 10 siblings, a huge portion of this story revolves around their hectic schedule. All of her siblings are prodigies in some way. Be it the arts, music, math, or dancing. Each one is advanced beyond their young years and each one has some form of OCD or ADD. Possibly a mix of both. I found this very tedious to read about. The constant going on's about the schedule these kids have, the fighting between each other and over the top antics were a serious justification for birth control. Anyone looking to have kids, should read this book. You may think twice. 

As previously stated, the kids schedules and Toni managing them is the main focus of the book. Really, her superpower is scheduling. I'd ask for a refund. There's so many different characters jam-packed in here that I had a hard time keeping track of who's who. Let's not forget about the abundance of meaningless violence going on. The packs are constantly at each others throats and there seemed to be a glorification of the fact that the men are just pushy. Animals they may be, but it got old, fast. 

After chapters and chapters of filler we finally get to something worth while! But that does not happen until the final few chapters. I always try to finish every single book I start, but this was really hard to read. The split focus of multiple characters was overwhelming and took away from what should have been about Toni and Ricky. This left me both frustrated and let down. 

If you like family drama and unruly kids, who will make you want to take a long walk off a short pier, then you'll find it here. I strongly recommend skipping this story altogether and waiting for the next. You wont miss much and Shelly does a good job of catching you up on previous stories with each new edition. 

Getting 2 Sheep 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Character Courtroom: Devlin Dalcon vs the Court (Taken For His Own by Tara Fox Hall) +giveaway

Tara Fox Hall has a sexy PNR series called Promise Me written from the point of view of the human Sarell. She is caught between 3 sexy vampires and holy "vampire magnet" in book #4  Taken For His Own, she gets another one, Devlin. Did he coerce her or did she act on her own desires? Let's listen in... 

(A courtroom that is oddly empty, save for a tall brunette woman in a tailored suit and heels as plaintiff, a tall handsome blond man in an Armani grey suit as defendant, an older woman judge, a mixed jury, and a short man in black near the door. The plaintiff’s expression is venomous, as is the countenance of the man in black. The blond defendant’s face carries an easy smile, but his eyes glitter with anger. The judge’s face is stern as she picks up her paper.)

Judge: Mr. Devlin Dalcon, you have been summoned here to stand trial for your actions in the latest Promise Me book, Taken for His Own. Now that the District Attorney of Supernatural Affairs has presented all her evidence, do you have anything to say for yourself?

Devlin: <stands, with hands in pockets> Of course. This is all a farce. You have no case.

DA: Objection!

Judge: Sustained. Mr. Dalcon, if you have any witnesses to call or any evidence to present, please do so now.

Devlin: There is no evidence; how could there be? The only ones who really know what happened are Sar and myself. <sneers> You were put up to this by Sar’s doctor, weren’t you? His examination found nothing—

DA: Objection! Who reported the violation is not relevant. We've already clearly established that Sar was very anemic after her encounter with Devlin—

Devlin: Of course she was. I drank some of her blood, as she asked me to. <looks over with a seductive smile at DA> I always aim to please my lovers.

Judge: Enough, Mr. Dalcon. Now do you have anything to say in your defense or not?

Devlin: <stands> Yes. <he walks out from behind the desk and then leans back on it, facing the jury> You have charged me with coercing Sar into a relationship—

DA: A sexual encounter.

Devlin: <glaring at DA> A sexual relationship, admittedly, but one we both desired. And yes, I do have evidence to that. <motions to the man in black> Lash, please take the stand. <The man in black narrows his eyes, but does as requested, including swearing to tell the truth>

Devlin: Tell them what you made me agree to close to a hundred years ago, as a condition of our friendship and working relationship.

Lash: I told you I wouldn't have any part of hurting women. And I told you if you ever did it again, I’d quit our friendship and your employ.

DA: <incredulous> You expect us to believe the word of a weresnake?

Lash: <hisses, his eyes shifting briefly to snake then back to human> It’s the truth, lady. And as far as I know, Devlin never broke his word on that. <smiles nastily> He never has to. Your sex falls all over yourselves trying to get into his pants.

Judge: <bangs gavel> Enough! Please step down, Mr. Lash. <looks to Devlin> The word of your best friend and a known assassin is not sufficient evidence.

Devlin: Then how about from Sar herself? Read page 189 of Taken for His Own. It’s all there, that she’s not sorry we took our relationship to the next level. Hell, read the series! It’s all there in the pages, how she wanted me all along! That woman reeked of her desire every time I was around her!

DA: <jumps up> Objection! A woman can desire a man and retain her right to refuse his advances. We are not in the 1900’s, Mr. Dalcon.

Devlin: <smiles> Alas, as you are definitely a shrew that needs taming—

Judge: <strident and angry> Mr. Dalcon, one more comment like that and you’ll be held in contempt. Am I making myself clear?

Devlin: Of course.

Judge: Your rebuttal that she wanted you cannot be proven. The law says that a woman reserves the right to change her mind.

Devlin: Very well. Then I offer you the hard data that my brother Danial used to show Sar that her actions were not coerced at all. Pages 219-220. Firstly, Sar has some special feature about her that allowed her to bear a vampire’s child for my brother. Dr. Camlyn is researching the data he collected now. We believe that the cause is something rare in her blood: whatever causes it to be so unnaturally fresh and sweet compared to usual human blood—

DA: Objection. We do not need to hear about the virtues of the victim’s blood—

Devlin: <suddenly angry> I tell you there is something different about her blood, and about her! My point here is that making her a vampire would destroy that forever. There is no way I would logically do that, not for any reason! Well, unless Sar were dying and I had to turn her into a vampire to save her from certain death.

DA: Objection, counsel just perjured himself.

Devlin: <very angry> I care about her. I know how she feels about being mortal. No one responsible makes vampires on a whim. <Brings a thick book up to the judge> This is the vampire handbook. I was one of its coauthors close to 200 years ago. It is forbidden worldwide to make someone vampire against their will. I've enforced that rule since its enactment. I, along with my brother Danial, was forced to become a vampire.

DA: <sifting through her papers> Isn't turning something you've done as punishment to vampire hunters in the past? <gives Devlin a malicious look> And to their families?

Devlin: Yes, on occasion. But you’re taking the rule out of context. That rule was meant to protect innocent humans from being turned by irresponsible vampires. Hunters who attack vampires are fair game for reprisal. I don’t need to be wounded first to strike a fatal return blow, if I see someone is intent on killing me.

Judge: Understandable if not exactly something I can empathize with, Mr. Dalcon. Do you have anything else to offer?

Devlin: One final argument: that all of the Promise Me books to date are from Sar’s point of view alone. We don’t know anything that she does not, at this point in the series. Therefore, if she chooses to exclude something, readers don’t know about it.

Judge: What exactly are you saying?

Devlin: That Sar is bound by mortal laws, and she wants readers to like her. She is also married to Theo. Admitting that she wanted me and we made love immediately jeopardizes her standing with readers. That is why she has no answer for all of the logical arguments about why she didn't find a way not to give into my desire. <tone softens> The real reason is that she had desires of her own, and it was to be with me.

Judge: This might be the most logical thing you've said so far, Mr. Dalcon. However, like your previous evidence, this also cannot be proved.

Devlin: The only truth here, Your Honor, is that your court has no power over me. As a vampire, I am subject to my brother’s rule, not yours. He is a Vampire Lord. If punishment is given, it will come from his hand. And his assessment of the situation is that I am blameless. <sits down> As I've said, this trial is a farce.

Judge: <grimaces> I declare this a mistrial. <bangs gavel>

DA: <jumps to her feet> Your Honor, you can’t believe that this vampire—

Judge: What I believe is that of all Sar’s romantic interests, Danial both loves her best and understands her the most. He also likely knows his brother better than we do. Mr. Dalcon is right, that his brother has declined to punish him. That evidence is known as the truth to anyone who follows the series, and it does cast light that there is much more to this situation than we have been made aware of. <turns to Devlin> I understand that Sar is experiencing the symptoms of turning at the close of Taken for His Own. Would you say that this is the cause for her behavior?

<DA glares at judge, gathers her papers, and leaves. Jury files out, some of them arguing Devlin’s and Sar’s guilt and innocence>

Devlin: <worried> Possibly. If that’s the case Sar has a real battle in front of her. Almost all humans that begin to turn into vampires complete the transformation eventually. I’ve been consulting with my brother on how best to handle the situation. Danial and his sorcerer Terian have come up with a daring solution, but it’s got to have Theo’s approval, which Danial is still waiting for.

Judge: Then I suppose I should offer your brother and Sar good luck. <sternly> And I don’t want to see you back here again, Mr. Dalcon. Understand?

Devlin: <bows> It is much appreciated. And yes, I’ll do my best not to return to see you too soon. <grins> Adieu. <turns and strides toward Lash as set fades to black>

Taken for His Own (Promise Me Series #4)
Vampire romanceFormat: print and e-book 
Pages: 247
ISBN: 9781612356228
Date Released: late April 2013
Amazon Link
After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York; Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins still seeking her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her: her old adversary, Devlin.

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK 
Melange/lulu link for Print, PDF and HTML copies 
All Romance E-books 


“What about what you did to me?” I whispered, gazing at him and biting my lip. 

“That wasn't a whim,” Devlin said, dropping his eyes. “That was my bad judgment. Sadly, it wasn't the worst mistake I've made in my life.”

“What was?”

Devlin didn’t answer. I reached out and took his cool hand in mine.

“When you lead others you must do whatever you have to in order to save your people,” he said with a sigh. “Compromising values should matter less than saving lives.”

“I agree with you,” I said. “If you rule others, you have a responsibility to them above the responsibility to yourself. But even then, I think your family should come first.”

“They should,” Devlin said in a cracked voice. He swallowed hard. “But the past can’t be undone.”

I squeezed his hand. “What happened to Danial wasn't your fault.”

“Yes, it was,” he said softly.

“How is it your fault?” I said curiously, easing closer to him.

“Because I should have known what the thing was when it attacked. I didn't know anything back then, except strategy and tactics. I was too concerned about rising through the ranks as fast as possible, so I could leave my family behind and become someone important.”

“What did you want to be?”

“A commander of men, either soldiers or police.”

I was surprised that Devlin would want to uphold the law or spend his life guarding others. Yet it made sense. When he’d taken me from my house years ago, he’d insisted on taking me to Danial, because I wore the choker. He was here putting himself in danger now to keep me safe.

“I knew something had attacked a few people on that road in that last month,” he continued. “I knew that there was a chance we might be attacked transporting the prisoner. But the road was the quickest way to our destination. I’d been assured that if I made the journey in good time, I’d get the promotion I wanted, and Danial would get my old position.”

“You aren't at fault for what you did. It wasn't for an evil reason.”

“Yes, I am,” he said despondently. “It was my greed and pride that doomed us.”

Carefully, I reached for Devlin and put my arms around him. He tensed at my touch, then relaxed.

“You did the best you could. You aren't damned.”

“Yes, I am. You have no idea what I've done.”

I shifted uneasily.

“And I wouldn't want you to,” Devlin added, his arms snaking around me loosely. “My ends have always justified the means, no matter what they were. I've done great evil in the hope of averting worse evil. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not. Still, it’s likely that given the chance to do my life over, I’d do the same things, make the same choices. I’d find myself here, at this same point in time, a fallen king.”

“In case you’re wondering,” I said deliberately. “I’m waiting for you to add into your speech somewhere that you regret everything you did to me while you were king…um, ruler.”

“I regret hurting you,” Devlin said quickly. “Yet I don’t regret coming for you that night or taking you to Danial.” He looked up at me. “You might not have gone back to Danial after Theo went missing, if I hadn't  Theoron might not be here. I can’t regret any action of mine that led to him being born.”

I didn't reply, considering his words.

Devlin laid his head against my chest, and his arms tightened on me slightly. We lay there like that for a few moments, not speaking, then I slipped into sleep.

I woke sometime later when Devlin stirred. According to the bedside clock, it was almost dusk.

“I have only one regret,” Devlin said finally, propping himself up on his elbow, his expression intent.

“What’s that?” I said, covering my yawn with my hand.

“That it wasn't me you found in your quarry that night,” Devlin said, kissing the back of my hand with cool lips. His golden eyes locked on mine, transfixing me, as he drew my hand away from my face.

He was going to kiss me. My lips parted as my breath caught in my throat.

About the Author:
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her first full-length action-adventure novel, Lash, published in April 2012. Her vampire series begins in June 2012, with the 1st novel Promise Me. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Try the Promise Me series

Thank you to I Smell Sheep for graciously hosting this Character Courtroom! 
I will give away a black T-shirt (lg) with the cover of Taken for His Own on the front and on the back say "He risked his life to safe her. Now he will claim her for his own." to the best commenter!

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