A Guest At Secret Cravings!

In October, I have a paranormal novella, Leesea’s Books and Babbles, coming out from Secret Cravings Publishing.   I am excited about this and can’t wait to share Leesea’s story with you all.  With that being said, I am guest blogging over at Secret Cravings today, so please stop by if you get the chance.

Introducing upcoming SCP author Ava Riley


Happy Reading!

Ava Riley


Review of Once Burned by @Jeaniene_Frost … 5/5 Stars

Book one in the Night Prince series.

June 26th, 2012

She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred  her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a  person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of  solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out  with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest  vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most  feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against  him – a beautiful mortal with powers to  match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them,  threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop  an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

(Taken from Frost’s website)


Oh my, my, my, my, my!  I will automatically start off by saying that if you have not read this book, run do not walk, to your nearest book store (or computer) and get your copy NOW!  I have absolutely loved all of Frost’s books (Cat and Bones are two of my favorite heroines/heros), but Vlad and Leila are AMAZING together.

Before I started reading Once Burned, I had read a few reviews on it (which I don’t normally do with authors I’m already familiar with because I don’t want to read any spoilers).  I saw some complaints about how the story was in Leila’s POV.  Let me just say this: I LOVED that it was her point of view.  She is a funny, intelligent, and strong woman.  I believe if she were anything less, then her POV wouldn’t work.  Also, we already know that Vlad is a badass, hello he’s the Prince of Night!  Seeing this story unfold from Leila’s perspective actually made me fall in love with Vlad even more than I already was (from seeing him in Frost’s Night Huntress series).  Add to it that she is sarcastic as hell and he can read minds added quite a bit of humor to the story.

We are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with Vlad and Leila.  I found myself getting caught up not only in the danger they found themselves in but also in the love story as it unfolded.  Frost does an amazing job at showing how natural this relationship is.  Two very strong-willed people, with two extraordinary abilities doesn’t normally mean a successful relationship (especially when one is an arrogant vampire), but Frost made it work and made it work well.   To say Vlad is “sure” of himself and the fact that women (including Leila) would fall at his feet is an understatement.  Normally I am turned off by characters who are overly possessive or, but when it comes to Vlad, it absolutely works for him.  This sexy vampire and beautiful, strong-willed women heat up the pages in the bedroom (and other places) made this an exciting sexy read as well.  Every woman needs a Vlad in their lives!

When I got to the end of the book, I was both disappointed and excited.  Disappointed that it had ended and excited to know that this is not the only/last time that we will see Vlad and Leila.  Now I have to wait :(.  This is one of those books that will be added to my very short list of read again books.

I am giving Once Burned 5/5 Stars – this is a MUST read!!!!  If you have a huge To Be Read list, bump this one to the top – you will not be disappointed.


Happy Reading!

Ava Riley

Under a Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands – 3/5 Stars Review

Christian Notte’s story, the sixteenth book in the Argeneau series is set on an island paradise called St. Lucia. After a bad relationship and an even worse divorce, Carolyn decides to go on a long overdue and much needed vacation with the ‘girls’. Only the rest of the vacationers didn’t get the memo. Around every corner there seems to be another couple celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary and the few single men she does see are far too young to even consider, including an irresistibly attractive rock violinist she meets. It’s really too bad he’s so young but in the end it doesn’t matter because according to his cousin, Giacinta, women in general aren’t Christian’s type. But there’s a catch, Christian needs Carolyn’s help. He needs her to be his beard (to play the part of his fake girlfriend) for the week to appease his ‘machismo’ family. Carolyn just can’t seem to say No and decides to help Gia’s cousin. The only problem is that being around Christian and acting like they are a loving couple is wreaking havoc on her emotions. Carolyn’s thoughts keep drifting back to places they shouldn’t, like kissing his full lips or feeling his broad shoulders under her fingertips… good lord, she’s in trouble.

(taken from Lynsay’s website here)


I am an avid reader of Lynsay Sands…I have read all of the books in the  Argeneau series and have loved them all (some more than others).  This I did not like, with the exception of a few sections (mostly the sex senes…the dream sex and the real sex, but even that at times felt a little rushed).  I was disappointed in Under a Vampire Moon because I really expected more from it.

Here are the issues I have (I may have spoilers…but I’ll try to keep them out):

First – I DID NOT like Carolyn.  She was not a likable person to me.  I honestly would have loved to have seen Christian get with Genie.  Carolyn was just one of those heroines that doesn’t have a backbone, is wishy-washy, and too many times I wanted to shake her or smack her around a bit.  I understood the reasoning behind her insecurity and honestly I didn’t have an issue with that, but I found her to be one of those women I run from for a friend because she’s such a buzz kill.  She’s in her 40’s but some of her language (speech) and mannerisms don’t fit her age.  All of the other women in the previous books have had issues, but they also had backbones and that’s what made them likable.  Carolyn is not likable.

Second – The dialogue (with the exception of a few places) felt forced.  It was so hard to sit and listen to the characters speak because honestly it wasn’t believable for me.  Now mind you, it wasn’t like this throughout the entire book, but for the majority of it and that took me out of the story someone.

Third – Paranormal – was almost non-existent!  Other than them drinking from blood bags, Carolyn seeing fangs, and Christian revealing that they were immortals, there was pretty much nothing.  And Christian spent and awful lot of time in the sun and we only really say one time where he was affected by it.  The second problem I had with the paranormal side of it, was that when Christian revealed it to Carolyn she almost immediately accepted it and we are talking about a woman who has major trust issues.  So with that, it made the characters unreliable.  Christian didn’t even bite her while they were having sex, which hello…it part of the eroticism of the sex between life mates.

Fourth – The ending!!!!!  It felt rushed and as if the author just wanted to finish the book.  It didn’t feel finished and honestly when I got to the end at 3 AM this morning, I was left with a feeling that there were pages missing.  The ending was not complete.

Things that worked for me (spoilers):

First – Some people were upset with Christian “playing gay” in this book to get to Carolyn, but I didn’t really have an issue with that.  I’ve seen that happen in real life.   So I think that actually worked.  Christian is actually the one character who worked in this piece (and Genie…which again I wish she had been the heroine).  Christian is hot, in a rock band, and knows how to play a woman for sure.  My only issue with him is that he seemed so “young.”  Yes, he looks 25, but um, he’s 500+ years old.   His personality seemed to have changed from the last time we saw him and he seemed more like a boy than a man.  Still hot though!

Second – As stated earlier, the sex scenes worked fabulously.  The were hot, sexy, and I found myself taking my time reading through them.  Again, my only complaint is that Christian never bit her.  Even after Christian told Carolyn everything and she accepted it, we never saw that intimacy we are used to in the other books.

Third – the secondary characters worked – the band members (I especially liked Zanipolo) and of course Julius and Marguerite were great (although at times their dialogue didn’t work for me).

I just didn’t get out of this book what I was hoping for and I was really looking forward to this one because of Christian.

I am giving Under a Vampire Moon 3 out of 5 Stars.


Happy Reading!

Ava Riley

Review of Dark Peril by Christine Feehan

Dominic, of the Dragonseeker lineage—one of the most powerful of the Carpathian lines—is desperate to go to the very heart of the enemy camp and learn their plans.  There’s only one way to do so: ingest the parasitic blood of a vampire.  He knows that it is a mission from which there is no return. With little time before the blood takes effect, he’ll get the information he needs, relay it to the leader of the Carpathians, and go out fighting.  There is no more honorable way to end his life.

Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people, a royal pureblood, a dying species that cannot recover from bad decisions made over hundreds of years. She has long been alone, fighting to save the remaining shapeshifters from the hands of Brodrick the Terrible: her own father, who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved.  Wounded and weary, she plans one last battle, hoping to stop the man who has made an alliance with the vampires, accepting that she will not come out alive.

They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone.  Now, at the end of their time, they find each other—an obstacle neither can hope to ignore.

(taken from Feehan’s website)


Christine Feehan delivers another wonderful story of the power of a lifemate.  Dominic is a sexy, powerful Dragonseeker, the most powerful of all the Carpathians who has come to terms with the fact that he will die without a lifemate, but he will do all he can to rid the world of as many vampires and jaguar-men as he can before he passes over to the other side.  He resigned himself to that, until Solange, his lifemate, comes along and changes all that for him.

Together Dominic and Solange are strong together, working side by side.  This was a story filled with excitement, unexpected turns, and a powerful love story.  Solange’s fear that having a lifemate, a man in her life, will change who she is and change the jaguar within her, but Dominic’s love goes beyond that and he loves her for the person she is, not who she thinks he wants her to be.

This was a refreshing story that had me waiting to see what happened next and relieved that by the end of it, Solange and Dominic found peace in each other’s hearts.  Feehan does a great job of bringing about the hot, steamy sex and still keeping it beautiful between two lifemates.

I am giving Dark Peril 4 out of 5 Stars.


I am currently reading:

Love Cat and Bones!

Happy Reading!

Ava Riley

Adam by Jacquelyn Frank Review

The Nightwalkers- Book 6

Haunted by magic, beset by evil, the Nightwalkers face their darkest hour yet. And when they unthinkable happens, only one legendary male has the power,
the will, to save them: Adam….


From their first tantalizing touch, Jasmine knows he is different. What other lover could unlock her tight control, flood Vampire senses jaded by a lifetime of decadent self indulgence? Centuries ago, when he disappeared without a trace, she had given up hope of ever fulfilling the promise of incomparable passion. But here he is, against the very laws of nature, ready to bring down their most vicious enemy, ready to bring her blood to the boiling point…. If she will only let him.

(taken from Frank’s website)


Jacquelyn Frank has always been one of my favorite authors.  I have read all of the Nightwalkers  Series and the Shadowdwellers Series as well.  When Adam came out, I bought it right away because I was so excited to continue on the journey of the Nightwalkers.  Demons, Vampires, Lycanthropes …Oh my…I love them all.  Because of time constraints, I was unable to get to Adam until recently.

This is the very first book of Jacquelyn’s that I have been disappointed in.  Without giving away any pertinent information and spoilers, the very beginning of the book took me out of it.  An event takes place (that later in the book makes sense), but right off the bat I was very pissed off because of said event.  And to be honest with you, I didn’t recover quick enough from it because it took too long to get where I understood what had happened and where Frank was going with the story.

The second issue I had with the book is that I don’t feel like enough of it was centered around Adam.  I never got enough of him.  And although really even a full book of all Adam wouldn’t be enough, there really wasn’t a whole lot of time for me to appreciate this book being about him. The story seemed to center more around Leah (Jacob and Bella’s daughter) than Adam.  I understand the need for Leah of course having a major part in the story, but I feel like she should have been secondary to Adam, but it felt like it was reversed.   I will say that what I got of Adam I LOVED.  He is definitely one hot sexy Demon!  Jasmine is one lucky little Vamp.

The third issue I had, is that the majority of the book felt very depressing.  There wasn’t a balance of emotion and it was a struggle for me to pick up the book and continue on.  I also was hoping for more intimacy between Adam and Jasmine but that didn’t really come until the story was almost over.  The story as a whole just didn’t feel complete to me.  That is the best way I can describe it.

Although this is definitely not one of my favorite books to date that I have read from Jacquelyn, I certainly will not be throwing her books to the wayside.  I enjoy her writing, just expected more from Adam.

I am giving ADAM a 3 out of 5 Stars because I honestly never recovered from the WTH moment at the very beginning of the story and because the story didn’t grab my attention to make me want to give up sleep to read.


Happy Reading!

Ava Riley

Lover Enshrined Review

by J.R. Ward
Published by Signet Eclipse
June 2008
Book six: Phury’s Story

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now, a dutiful twin must choose between two lives…

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself- she sees the emotionally scarred male behind all his noble responsibility. But while the war with the Lessening Society grows more grim, and tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, Phury must decide between duty and love.


(taken from J.R. Ward’s website)


Phury has always been one of my favorite brothers since Dark Lover.  Although each brother has his own personal pain he is dealing with, something has always struck me with Phury.  Some may say he is a martyr or that he has brought on his own drug addiction, but I have just always had a soft spot for him.  So I was very excited to finally get to his story.

I heard a lot of mixed feelings about Lover Enshrined.  Quite honestly, a lot of people told me it was their least favorite book in the series.  Because of that, I went in expecting it to be the most horrible story I’d ever read.  This was not the case for me.  Maybe it was because I was expecting less, when in reality what I got was a good story.  Not the absolute best story I ever took time to read, but definitely a good read.

I will say that there were times while reading it that I thought to myself, “is this section of the book ever going to end?” but all in all I enjoyed sitting down and reading it.  There are definitely some turn of events that I didn’t expect and some revelations that came about that gave me an “ah” moment.  Without giving anything away, however, I will say that one scenario that seems to be unfolding has me saying, “oh hell no please don’t go there.”

I am giving Lover Enshrined a 4 out of 5 Stars mostly because although I did enjoy the book greatly, it didn’t leave me with a satisfaction at the last page and because of that “Oh hell no” scenario.  I do recommend it, especially if you’ve come this far already.

Happy Reading!

Ava Riley

Happy New Year ~ Six Sentence Sunday

Before I post my Six Sentence Sunday, I would like to say a very Happy New Year to everyone.  2011 was a very exciting year for me in many ways, but especially in the literary sense.  Two of my books were published, along with a story in an anthology.  I am excited for what 2012 will reveal.  I have several things in the works, including a few short stories to be posted here, so keep your eyes open.  I also have set a goal to read AT LEAST 100 books and review them here.

Now for today’s Six Sentence Sunday.  This has been taken from a story I am working on called Leesea’s Books and Babbles.  This is a paranormal about Annalisa and Braeden.


Annalisa wrapped her arms tightly around herself.  Suddenly the air around her became so cold, sucking all the heat from her body as her extremities began to numb. Sound ceased to reach her ears, and with the exception of an overwhelming sense of fear, she felt nothing…until she heard that familiar voice.

“Drake, Drake, Drake. Will you never learn your lesson?” Braeden’s voice filled the alley.

Annalisa felt her knees begin to buckle.  Before her legs could give out on her, she pressed her shoulder to the alley wall. She refused to go down again.


Happy Reading!

Ava Riley