Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne – Book Review

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SYNOPSIS:

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

MY THOUGHTS:

Atticus O’Sullivan wants nothing more than to be left alone to run his bookstore, Third Eye Books and Herbs and to chill with his dog, Oberon (who is a trip and a half :)). But Atticus is a man of many secrets. Not only is he a shape-shifting Druid and over 20 centuries old, but he did a very bad thing back in the day. In the words of my grandpa, Atticus done teefed a sword from Aenghus Og, this crazed Celtic god of Love (of all things) who’s been chasing him down ever since.

I just loved it.

There’s a coven of psycho witches, murderous Fae, Vamps and Weres that charge by the hour and a few goddesses who think nothing of  twisting Atticus’ feelings inside out for their own amusements. He’s friends with this sweet old lady who loves a bit of whiskey in the morning and has a new apprentice who’s got issues of her own. Oh and he also has a nasty neighbour across the street who calls the cops on him every chance he gets.  The poor dude just wants to be left alone in peace lol.

There’s so much going on that it would be crazy for me to try and explain it all. The story is well paced, very rich in detail and generously sprinkled with humour. I felt like I was getting a history lesson as well as a great story.

 As a die-hard Jim Butcher fan (who is having a slow-meltdown waiting for the next Harry Dresden novel) it is very refreshing to come across yet another author who is worth following. Pick up Hounded and see for yourself.

I’m picking up Hexed on my next trip to the bookstore 🙂

5 stars

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LvZ Presents: Nether Regions by Jadette Paige

click on cover to buy

Jadette Paige will take you on a journey back in time to the days of the Amazon with this bold new twist in the

Lesbian vs. Zombies series.

BLURB:

In the age of Amazons, fighting spirit and a courageous heart revealed a warrior’s true strength. Threso proved her prowess a decade earlier, in an epic battle against invading Spartans. Now, as she enjoys the continued peace, she looks forward to a possible future with her young recruit, Kreousa. But the gods lay a challenge to discover who has the strongest warrior spirits: Amazons or Spartans.  Because the gods have a wicked sense of humor, the Spartans are undead. To make matters worse, they have chosen the unseasoned Kreousa to accompany Threso. Will Threso lose the one woman who has instilled a song of love in her?

EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE;

Threso leaned back on her hands while she soaked her tired feet in the pool under the small waterfall. Her naked body still glistened from the quick swim she’d taken to wash off the sweat. Mist floated in the hot summer air, soothing her skin with a light, cool touch.

The run through the hills had revealed that her new apprentice, Kreousa, was in prime condition. The past two days’ drills with sword and spear had revealed the same, along with an admirable ability to move in time with the senior trainer’s drumbeat, but nothing tested a trainee’s endurance like a run that began at dawn and lasted into the afternoon.

Kreousa lay not far away. Threso let her gaze wander to the reclining figure. Thick, red hair, streaked with blonde strands, spilled about the young woman’s slender shoulders and away from her face, revealing the gentle curve of her ear. Lithe legs stretched straight, then bent at the knees, and the taut belly muscles moved up and down in a controlled rhythm. Her breasts, though small, were firm. Threso’s mouth watered to taste one of the peach tinted, pebbled nipples.

Kreousa had arrived in the city scant days ago, to train and learn a warrior’s art. Threso had not foreseen an immediate attachment forming between them, much less the nagging distraction of lust. Simply put, she wanted the young warrior. But she hesitated to act on her desires.

While she had at times been assigned to school a student in the gentler arts, such was not the case with this one. And the queen preferred the new recruits to couple with others of their own generation, to instill stronger fighting bonds among them.

But seeing Kreousa like this brought to mind the type of future she dreamed of, enjoying their hard-won peace with the right woman.

Here in this secluded spot, a stopping point on the return to the city of Mytilene, magic surrounded them. The waterfall played a peaceful, soothing melody solely for their ears. Even the low chirps of the birds overhead added to the serenity of the moment.

Plucking several blades of grass, she tossed them at Kreousa’s bare breast, hoping to distract her wayward thoughts. But the grass clung to the younger woman’s damp skin, raising a sudden desire to take back the grass as an excuse to touch that beautiful, golden skin.

“Are you not exhausted?” Kreousa’s sudden question cut across the peace surrounding them. Kreousa looked over, her lips curving in a smile as she brushed the grass from her breast.

The young woman’s gut growled with hunger. Threso stifled a grin; the young ones were always hungry, and denial of that hunger was part of their training. But those blue eyes seemed to shine with another hunger, which perhaps need not be denied.

Threso’s heart thudded in a faster rhythm. “Do I look so aged? A morning run is nothing but a child’s playtime. And you? Has this jaunt tired you so much that you cannot even sit upright?”

Low laughter came from Kreousa. The slightly raspy tones added to Threso’s need to taste her.
Rising so that she, too, leaned on her hands, Kreousa licked moisture beading above her plump lips. “If you were to say it was time to learn of the more sensual aspects of a warrior’s life, I would somehow find the strength to act accordingly.”

“Truly?” The teasing was close enough to impertinence. “Come hence and display your meager knowledge, so I might judge your worthiness.”

Kreousa sat straight and slanted a wicked grin at her. “Oh, ho, is this a challenge, my teacher?”

Impertinent indeed. Yet impertinence could be a delicious spice. Threso tilted her head in assent. The heat of anticipation traveled over her skin as she pulled her feet from the cool water. She waited until Kreousa had crawled nearer before she braced up on her hands and knees.

How long had she held back her desire to touch, and to feel this woman’s touch? Only two days? The need had budded the first time she’d heard the young woman’s voice, and bloomed the first day they’d worked together, wrestling in the sandpit, straining muscle to muscle, sweat-slicked skin to sweat-slicked skin. But the need was deep-rooted, like a lifetime without fulfillment.

She stared into Kreousa’s clear eyes. The scent of grass and water filled the air about them. Soft wind swayed the trees, dancing in the leaves, throwing spots of moving shade and shadow. “Have you ever visited a woman’s nether regions?”

Kreousa’s throat worked. She shook her head.

Threso half smiled. She let her gaze wander over Kreousa’s breasts to stop on the hard nipples. “But you have played with yourself. Sliding your fingers across the bud there, yes?”

A pink tongue swept over Kreousa’s bottom lip. Yes, she was ready and willing.

Threso blew out a soft breath. “I want you to explore my hidden bud of pleasure.”

Trembling so slightly the movement showed only in her braids, Kreousa hesitated. Then she nodded.

“But . . . .” Threso sat amidst the softer grasses. She spread her legs wide so the young warrior had a full view of what lay between them. “You are student. Remember that.”

Moments drifted by as she allowed Kreousa to look at what awaited her.

Once Kreousa lifted her gaze to meet hers, Threso continued, her own breathing slow and shallow with expectancy.

“You may touch me with your fingers only to spread my nether lips. Your tongue and lips are all that is allowed to caress what lies between.”

Without hesitation, Kreousa nodded.

“Then, shall we begin?”

The moment had arrived. She would for the first time experience the touch of a woman she desired, rather than one she must educate for the benefit of another.

Reclining with her hands resting loose in the grass at her side, she kept her knees bent and legs spread. She didn’t watch as Kreousa drew near. The suspense of waiting added to her spiraling need. Anticipation beat against her chest as she awaited the first touch.

It came gently, sweetly. She grasped handfuls of grass and bit down on her bottom lip. Pleasure throbbed deep in her core as Kreousa spread her nether lips.

Her first tongue-swipe arched Threso’s back. Oh, the wonder! Desire flooded her pussy.
Kreousa’s tongue was a magical tool sent down by the Goddess Cybele. The young Amazon swept a second lingering touch over the tiny button between Threso’s legs. Erotic heat pulsed deep in her pelvis.

“Ah, so good. Again, faster, followed by a slow lick,” she managed to pant instructions.

A soft pinch to her left nipple along with the slight suction on her pussy brought Threso’s hips back to the ground.

“Uhh, yes. Just so.” She tried to control her speech, but with the intoxicating ecstasy throbbing near completion, she had difficulty keeping her breathing even. She concentrated on the water falling over the jagged stone wall to drop into the grotto below, holding the climax at bay. I am a warrior. I can control—Aah!

Misty, shining droplets turned to diamonds raining over their bodies, and sparkled in dazzling undulations. As if water could catch fire. Could become tiny sparks of sunlight. Desperate joy burned through her. By the goddess!

Threso relaxed slowly, the tension draining from her body. She sighed, stretching in the cool grass along the edges of the rocky outcrop overlooking the small pool. Kreousa crawled and rested her head on Threso’s belly.

The swollen languor of her release stayed with her, and she drew comfort knowing Kreousa felt at ease to lie upon her.

At this moment, the young warrior belonged to her. With a lazy move, Threso threaded her fingers through the loose red strands of Kreousa’s hair. The goddess not only blessed the young woman with a fluent tongue but with shining beauty, as well.

Releasing a chuckle, Threso brushed a kiss on Kreousa’s brow. “You’ve drained me, kitten.”

She glanced at the lowering sun. “It is time for us to return. The ceremony will begin shortly, and our queen would look with disfavor if we are late.”

“But she would understand, wouldn’t she?”

The queen would understand all too much, and might separate them.

She patted Kreousa’s head, scratched behind one ear. “Rise, Kitten. We must return.”

Kreousa smiled shyly as she leaned closer.

“Tonight, my sweet, your turn will come.”

A low giggle escaped the young woman. She nodded and came to her feet.

Laughing, Threso slung her bow and quiver over her shoulders, and stood. Side by side, they started toward home, the city of Mytilene.

“Run with me,” Threso called, and broke into an easy lope along the trail.

Naked but for the sword-belt, and the bow and quiver across her back, Threso thrilled with the rush of air across her skin, the sheer joy of the run, and knowing the footsteps behind her were Kreousa’s. Life was good; peace was good; yet she was still young enough to fight and die for queen and goddess.

The path narrowed and steepened. She half slid down one section, then jumped the last few feet. She landed on her feet and stopped. Apriate, the Queen’s General, was running up the flat strip of the path toward them.

The older woman hailed them.

Threso saluted, though she made no effort to hide her grin. “Hail, Apriate. What brings you so far out?”

“Looking for you. The celebrations are about to begin and your mother was worried.” Apriate nodded at Kreousa before facing Threso. “She promised me some almond loaves if I came to hurry you along.”

“She has a way of tempting people.” Threso very well believed her mother had manipulated the older warrior. Of course, almond bread would be merely the excuse, but a well-trained warrior knew when to exercise discretion. “Let us go then. I would hate to delay you from receiving your payment.”

Apriate laughed and motioned for them to lead the way.

Threso sprinted ahead, enjoying the fresh wind against her face. The trees and vines along the path blocked the view to the city. The way opened up wider as they drew nearer to the city’s high gates.

No guards stood on the threshold.

She halted and reached for her blade, drawing it out. Holding the blade up, she motioned for Kreousa and Apriate to stop.

She glanced at the other two warriors. Both held their weapons in hand, ready for whatever they might find.

Threso led the way. She ran, bent over, until she reached the wall surrounding the city. A few strides from the gate, she slowed. She brushed against the rough stone, her eyes and ears and even her nose alert for any cues, until she reached the opening. Easing forward, she took in the interior of the marketplace beyond. Nothing stirred. The unnatural silence weighed upon her.
Slipping the gap, she worked her way through the empty streets.

Surely the harvest ceremony had not already started. If so, her caution was making them even tardier, but she’d rather be careful than walk into an ambush.

Cybele, Blessed Goddess, be with our warriors.

She repeated the plea over and over as she covered distance to the spot where she was sure the queen would have gathered everyone. In times of crisis, all residents knew to go to the Petra stone, which rested deep within the confines of their great temple of Panagia.

After a final turn, the massive stones of the temple came into view. There, before the columns, stood the residents of Mylitene. They were frozen in stone, their faces lifted to the heaven above.
Threso stopped, and motioned the others to hold position behind her. Had everyone become an unliving stone? Everyone in sight. Rage surged through her. By the Great Goddess! Who and what had done this? She spoke softly. “Do not look up. The people have become stone, frozen by something in the sky. Whatever did this might still be there. We must look no higher than the temple.”

“You remain here, young one,” Apriate told Kreousa.

“I am a warrior also! I will fight.”

“You are yet a virgin to battle. Errors will be made. We will not risk your life.” Only the care with which Apriate enunciated gave sign of her irritation.

Threso gestured for silence. “Let her be. She will fight with us. If the goddess so decides, then she will die with us.”

With such magic in play, they seemed destined to fight against the heavens themselves, which did not bode well for them.

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