Welcome to The Knight Stalker; a blog where PNR Author Shelbie Knight chats about what she loves most - reading and writing!

Do you have a specific Author that you would like to see featured, or a book you would like Shelbie to review? Or possibly you would like to hear occasional updates on Shelbie's own personal journey on the road to publishing? Feel free to email any requests - it's all fair game!

On these pages, Knight rules and brings to life the sexy supernaturals from your wildest imagination!

September 22, 2014

Review: The Heaven's Rise by Christopher Rice

The Heaven's Rise
by Christopher Rice

Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Hardcover/e-book, 336 pages
Published: October 15th 2013 by Gallery Books

Rating: 5 of 5 stars - Recommended Read!


New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice brilliantly conjures the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou—where three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface—in this intense and atmospheric new supernatural thriller.

It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.


Having never read Christopher Rice's work before, I went into this with my eyes wide open - and it wasn't long before I wished I had left them closed. Tightly closed.

As I worked my way through the story, I could feel my anxiety and trepidation building as my adrenaline and pulse spiked and my palms started to sweat. Realistically, I knew I was displaying the physical symptoms of distress, but it confused the hell out of me. After all, I was only REA-DING. I'd never had such a visceral reaction to reading a story before. Sure, my pulse had spiked and "things" had hummed and thrummed during hot romance scenes, but this...this was different.

In addition to the physical mess my body was fast becoming, I found my mind at odds as well. One of the characters I truly felt sympathy for and liked, another I genuinely wanted to Mother - and yet another I wanted to wrap my hands around his spindly throat, throttling him myself. My emotions, along with my body, were a complete mess.

Continuing through the story, it became creepier and more malevolent as I read on. Talk about chilling! I won't give specifics, because that would give away the key factor in the story, killing it for everyone. But, I will say this - you will never, and I mean never, expect what Christopher brings to the forefront in this novel! It's as unique as it is unexpected and creepy-chilling.

I found myself racing through The Heaven's Rise - I couldn't put it down until I had fully absorbed each slimy, crawly, little devious word.

Afterwards, I found myself desperately wanting to take a bath; I felt so...dirty...and cold. Oh God, *shivers* I was so cooold. But, as luck would have it, I was too damn afraid to get in the water at that precise moment, thanks to the images still circulating in my mind.

Instead, I found myself sitting back in my reading chair, with my arms drawn up, tightly encasing my up-drawn knees with my blankie wrapped tightly around my shoulders desperately trying to warm the deep chill I had sunk into, quietly shaking back and forth trying to sooth myself.

And that is exactly how my husband found me - something I know I will never live down. Thanks Christopher Rice for briefly turning MY mind to gelatin, thus allowing my husband to capitalize on my temporary weakness.

My husbands first words? Were they words of comfort? Maybe an arm draped around me to offer comfort? Na-ope! His exact words were, "Guess you finished reading that Novel, hu? My turn!" he yelled, as he snagged it off the edge of my chair, turned and ran down the hallway.

Seriously? I'm almost catatonic with fear, my mind in a continual terror-loop, rewinding and replaying the days after I watched Jaws for the first time and was so afraid of any water, even my parents couldn't get me to sit on the toilet, and he...jokes, running down the hall with his prize? If I'd had my full wits about me, I would have charged him for the privilege of reading the damn thing before he snagged it, wiping the smile off of his smug face. ! I have one word to describe the feeling - BETRAYED.

The only thing that made me feel better? The next day I could tell he had finished The Heaven's Rise; the vacant look of terror now occupied his eyes...along with his hands rubbing over his body as I laughed. *snickers* =)

In ending, Christopher's characters had depth, carried their individuality through the story and were well-developed; when you love, hate and somewhere in-between, you know that the author has made a perfect hit.

The premise of the story is new, unexpected and incredibly original; a thrilling suspense-horror surprise in a market too often overwhelmed by the "alike."

The scene-building is astounding! As I read, it felt as if I was walking through the story, able to visualize every detail and clearly see the grit and grander that makes up the amazement of the Louisiana Bayou. New Orleans is the one place in all the world I long to visit and I was thrilled (when not shivering or heaving) to get the opportunity to see the environment through this authors eyes.

I RARELY give 5 stars - but this novel deserved it.

Highly recommend, but remember, you have been warned...

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September 20, 2014

Review: Night's Honor (Elder Races #7) by Thea Harrison

Night's Honor 
(Elder Races #7)
by Thea Harrison

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Trade Paperback/e-book, 304 pages 
Published: September 2nd 2014 by Berkley

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life, and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…


First, I want to start by saying that I have loved the entire Elder Races Series; Thea has hit gold with this series, of that there is no doubt. However, as I started reading Night's Honor, I found myself in an unusual position... I was a little bored. Meh.

The characters didn't appeal to me as they usually do; I found they had little to offer, at least that stood out right away, nor did their plight draw me in. Honestly, being Julian's second-in-command (of the entire Vampire Nation) and all-around tough ball-busting Vampire, I was expecting more of a bad boy - or a bad ass. Instead, I found a fairly decent, loving, HUMAN acting Vampire beneath the surface and it ticked me off. Isn't that saying something? Ha! Normally, we would be thrilled to have a decent character, but in this case I (still) wanted to see that he had IT.

It wasn't that I didn't like his decency, or more specifically, his humanity, it was that I felt he was SO human, it took away from his naturally more feral vampire nature. I hadn't ever "met" a vampire in this world that didn't have a feral quality about them. This one was so...abnormal. It threw me.

Fortunately, I waged on, convinced that Thea had to have SOMETHING up - I knew there just HAD to be more to it than I was seeing - Thea's past work has just been THAT good.

As to not ruin if for those who have yet to read it, I will say this: by the end, I was satisfied - not thrilled, but satisfied. The problem may be mine; I have become so accustomed to Thea's characters being bad-asses who embrace their feral-sided natures (Dragos, Carlling, etc.) that running into a "tamer" one threw me off-balance. Thankfully, he's not all that tame between the sheets, but you get the idea. =)

In addition, I kept looking for Carling to make an appearance... Where the hell was she? Would she make a showing? I knew the history between her and Julian was, at best, contemptuous and because of this I expected her to at least make a cameo, especially knowing Julian's book is coming next.

As I neared the end, I had to accept that Carling wasn't due for her appearance in this novel and I can only guess the reason for this - Thea is (likely) saving her appearance for when it will have the biggest hit, the most impact - Julian's story. Ah-ha! =)

All-in-all, I enjoyed reading Night's Honor. While it is not my favorite of the Elder Races' Novels/Novellas, it still made a strong showing. And the way it ended? It leaves me chomping at the bit, anxious for Julian's story!

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Review: A Very Levet Christmas (Guardians of Eternity #11.5) by Alexandra Ivy

A Very Levet Christmas 
(Guardians of Eternity #11.5)
by Alexandra Ivy

Genre: Paranormal Romance
e-book, 77 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 by Zebra

Rating: 5 of 5 stars - Recommended Read!


A gargoyle of Levet’s charm and intelligence should not be facing a solitary Christmas. True, he may appear a little unconventional—not to mention unconventionally little—even for a gargoyle. 

But what Levet lacks in height he makes up for in loyalty, and being banned from the festivities surrounding the Queen of Weres’ new pups is quite unfair. So when a beautiful Christmas angel begs for help in fulfilling her duties, Levet has nothing better to do than agree. 

Armed with a magical wand, Levet confronts Damon, a pureblood Were intent on seizing the throne. Challenging the King will put the pups at risk—and drive away Damon’s potential mate, Gia. Who better to convince Damon to choose love, not war, than a gargoyle expert in amour? With a little magic, and a lot of Levet, this may yet be a truly wonderful Christmastime…


(I was provided an advance copy of A Very Levet Christmas in exchange for an honest review.)

A wonderful story, with the main character being our most beloved, disastrous gargoyle, Levet.

As to be expected, Alexandra instantly ensnares the reader in her story, brining them along on her adventure, filled with challenges, love and, anytime Levet is involved, disasters and humor abound!

I have been very anxious to "see" Harley & Salvatore's pups, so it was nice that was an added addition in this story (but I still want more). This was a perfect story for Levet, who always loves being the Knight-in-shinning-armor; starting out with him feeling shunned, then (hysterically) running into a damsel in distress, which he is now smart enough to be leery of but is too big of heart to ignore, and after a few typical Levet disasters, TA-DA! hero time again for Levet!

The story may be short, but it's impact is no less powerful, bringing me through a full range of emotions from start to finish. I went from feeling sad for Levet, to laughing at his suspicions and disasters (love the pointed tail as he's whisked from one place to another!), to feeling warmth of heart at his basic HUMAN need to be loved and accepted. He may be all gargoyle, but he's all heart - not a mean bone resides in his body. This shows how talented Alexandra a Ivy really is; it's hard to design a character that EVERYBODY loves, but I have no doubt that she has done this with Levet.

I love Levet - how could I not love A Very Levet Christmas!

A perfect story to bring us into the holiday season! I would highly recommend this novella!

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Review: The Highland Dragon's Lady (Highland Dragon #2) by Isabel Cooper

The Highland Dragon's Lady
(Highland Dragon #2)
by Isabel Cooper

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Trade Paperback/e-book, 352 pages
Expected publication: December 2nd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: 2.5 stars of 5


Regina Talbot-Jones has always known her rambling family home was haunted. She also knows her brother has invited one of his friends to attend an ill-conceived séance. She didn't count on that friend being so handsome... and she certainly didn't expect him to be a dragon.

Scottish Highlander Colin MacAlasdair has hidden his true nature for his entire life, but the moment he sets eyes on Regina, he knows he has to have her. In his hundreds of years, he's never met a woman who could understand him so thoroughly... or touch him so deeply. Bound by their mutual loneliness, drawn by the fire awakening inside of them, Colin and Regina must work together to defeat a vengeful spirit - and discover whether their growing love is powerful enough to defy convention.


(I was provided an advance copy of The Highland Dragon's Lady (#2) in exchange for an honest review.)

I hate to say this, because I know the work, love and commitment that goes into writing a book, but I have to be honest; I couldn't even finish the second chapter. I can't remember the last time I rated a book this low, but the reading was very difficult with over-use of complex and non-sensical words (in context), thus making the story and characters get buried under it all. I couldn't even track where the story was going, or gain anything from the characters because of the wordiness - and word choice. 

Deciding to look at the authors other titles (I was curious if it was just me), I see a common theme - my observations are fairly standard. I suspect if she re-thought her word usage, simplifying her descriptions, that her ratings would go far beyond three because there is no doubt she is creative. Sometimes, the best story told is with the fewest use of words (or complex words). In this case, it worked my brain too hard to be enjoyable.

As a reader, when I have to re-read the same sentence repeated times, trying to understand what the author was saying, it gets frustrating. Reading should not be work; this was laborious. As an Author...I honestly do not understand why this wasn't send for re-writes the minute it hit the editors desk. In all fairness, it could be that, had I trudged on, the story evened out, or the author calmed down her wordiness,. But as we all know, the first chapter can make or break the story and, sadly, the first chapter shattered it for me, ending it all.

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Review: Out of Control (The Sentinels #0.5) by Alexandra Ivy

Out of Control
(The Sentinels #0.5)
by Alexandra Ivy

Genre: Paranormal Romance
e-book, 109 pages
Expected publication: October 28th 2014 by Zebra Books
Previously Published: January 1, 2013, Predatory

Rating: 4 of 5 stars


New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy quenches your thirst for illicit desire with this seductive tale of the Sentinels—outcast humans with the ability to tread the line between life and death—and pleasure and pain…

Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other...


(I was provided an advance copy of Out of Control in return for an honest review.)

I didn't realize that this was the same novella as was in Predatory, but was quickly reminded once I started reading. However, this was one of the novellas that I really enjoyed in Predatory, so it was a pleasure to read it again. I find myself quickly falling for this new series; supernatural alpha-males do it for me every time!

Alexandra has a masterful quality to her storytelling, enabling the reader to journey with her into her world, bonding with her characters - or hating them - whichever she has devised. I have no doubt that The Sentinels series will hold the same weight as her other work has. This is just the beginning, and already, I am ensnared, anxiously awaiting the next in the series.

Predatory (original) Review:

A real mixed bag for me. While reading this group of Novellas, I had an experience I can honestly say was a first for me. One minute, I was reading a Novella I loved and the next not. It was a strange reading experience, to say the least. 

I'm not sure if it was simply a few of the stories weren't my cup of tea, or the Authors together didn't work for me. 

Summing it up? Two of the Novellas I loved. One I liked. One I could have done without. A hard review for me to give, putting it mildly, as I respect all of these Authors and, an Author myself, I know the challenges and work which go into creating a story. But, I have to be honest. I will not say which was which, letting you read the Novellas and make your own decision. Enjoy!

Note: One of the novellas that I spoke of loving above, was Out of Control!

Purchase Links:

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Review: Copper King (Takhini Shifters #1) by Vivian Arend

Copper King
(Takhini Shifters #1)
by Vivian Arend

Genre: Paranormal Romance
ebook152 pages
Published: May 6th 2014 by Vivian Arend 
Previous Published: March 26th 2014, Alphas After Dark

Rating: 3.5 stars of 5


Three things make billionaire Jim Halcyon’s to-do list: women, work…and more women. It’s a perfect agenda for a rich shifter who has no problem letting his inner grizzly out to play. From the bright lights of Vegas, to the sophisticated action of New York—he’s got the money and the power to do anything he wants.

Anything, except resist the lure of Lady Luck, an ancient copper coin he gambles yearly to possess. Jim is determined to regain control of the pretty penny, and damn if he’ll let any bit of eye candy distract him from his goal. Not even the mesmerizing woman in the middle of the casino floor with the shimmering hair and enormous green eyes.

With a life-changing move ahead of her, Lillie’s finagled a temporary layover en route to her future. She’s got five days to soak in new experiences, and while Vegas is too big and shiny and loud for her shy bear self, she’s eager to do this up right. It’s the last chance she’s got to let her hair down.

Until his challenge begins, Jim is more than willing to oblige Lillie’s wish for a final fling. Only Lady Luck has some twists of fate planned for them both…


(I was provided an advance copy of Copper King in return for an honest review.)

Adorable story, of that there's no doubt. However, I hate to use a reference to the characters last name (Halcyon - a sleeping pill for those of you who may not know), but there were times where I felt almost as if I were ready to fall asleep. 

Normally, Vivian's stories keep me on edge; the character's capricious, the sex scenes hotter than hell. However, in Copper King I found two cute bears who seemed like they were still in hibernation. Seriously? An alpha-male Grizzly should not be cute. I was expecting lots of growling (I did get some) and for him to be a bit more...demanding. Making matters worse, the way the story was written (technically - sentence structure) was stilling, affecting the overall flow of the story. 

To explain what I refer to when I say stilling: rather than smoothing the way through a scene, blending, the sentence structure was abrupt, cutting the scene/thought/action right then and there. (Example) "She walked to the door. Opening the door, she stepped back." As opposed to a smooth transition that I normally see in Vivian's writing, this is what I experienced throughout Copper King. It made the entire story feel...abrupt. As if it was written in rapid speed, quick, get it out!

Additionally, the sex scenes were so quick and lacking such detail, I felt as if I were rushing through the experience with them. It was unpleasant. One minute he's pushing into her, the next it's over. So unlike VA and it only added to the abrupt, rushed feeling of the entire story. As I said earlier, the overall story is CUTE, but it felt like I was eating food made from a recipe that was lacking key ingredients - Vivian Arend's normally smooth transitions and HOT sex. 

Because of this, overall I was left feeling...meh. Cute story with a great ending, good bi-play between the best friends (I am anxious for the next in the series, to see an ego-driven wolf brought back down to four paws), but Copper King was missing what I have come to expect from Vivian Arend.

If you like reading with sexy bears, a wolf with a playful attitude and light on the descriptive sex, this is the book for you! 

Enjoy! =)

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Review: Son of No One (Dark Hunter #14, Hellchasers #6) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Son of No One
(Dark Hunter #14, Hellchasers #6)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Hardcover, e-book,  432 pages
Published: September 2nd 2014 by St. Martin's Press 

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


It’s not easy being life’s own personal joke, but Josette Landry has made an unstable peace with the beast. Life will continue to throw every bad thing it has at her, and she will continue to not put her head in an oven. But that’s okay. That which doesn’t kill her will just require a few hours of mental insanity. Completely down on her luck, Josette takes a job with a local paranormal group trying to get their own cable show as a photographer and camerawoman. Yeah, they’re even crazier than she is. The only paranormal thing she believes in is the miracle that keeps her rusted out hoopty running. But when her group accidentally releases something truly evil into the world, they are forced to call in reinforcement.

From the moment Josette meets Cadegan, she knows something about him isn’t quite right. And it’s not just because she can’t even begin to pronounce his last name: Maboddimun. Mysterious and armed with lethal sarcasm, he seems a lot older than his apparent age…

Centuries ago, Cadegan sold his soul for vengeance against the betrayer who cursed him. Forced against his will to do good, he hates everything in life. All he wants is a way out. But for the damned there is only eternal suffering. And yet there is something about Josette that intrigues him as much as it irritates and frustrates him. Something he can’t seem to fight, and the last time he felt this way about a woman, it cost him his soul.

He knows he has to stay away from her, but the evil her friends unleashed is hellbent on consuming her soul. Something he cannot allow. If one more innocent is taken, he will be sent back to an unimaginable prison that makes his current hell look like paradise. But how can he keep her safe when his being with her is the greatest threat of all?


I don't quite know what to say about this one. I don't want to sound negative, but at the same time I feel I need to be honest.

I've been a fan of Sherrilyn's work from the very start; her Dark Hunter Series is one of my all-time favorites. However, when it comes to Son of No One, I felt as if I was reading a book written by someone else (at least in part).

On top of that, there were shockingly careless editing errors (missing periods, mis-spelled words) and, no matter how hard I tried to look for it, I didn't pick up the "classic" SLK "tone" that underlies all of her work. It was simply missing. Non-existant. I felt as if I was reading a novel written by a ghost writer and worse, re-reading the same thing over and over - it's one thing to repeat something, assuring the reader of the impact you want to make, but this was nothing but...filler.

Not to be repetitive myself, but I have to emphasize this because it is so unlike SLK - The writing was, at times, so repetitive I started to get angry. We all know how (he) feels about himself and that (he) has trust issues, thank you. There were times I felt as if I was reading someone else's work and the story actually *gasp* lagged, which I've never once said about a SLK Novel. Never.

Then we get to the specifics of the story - The "instant love" got me above all. Who, In their right mind, drops into a hellish environment, having been ignorant of it to begin with, meets a tortured demi-God and falls in love? BAM! Nope. Where's the meat of the story? The character-building, the escalating storyline? It all felt absent in this book - as evidence by the space-filler I discussed earlier.

And this may seem a minuscule concern, but, especially considering the next DH Novel (dragon character), I have to bring it up... Who the heck made the final design decision on this cover? This is not to say that it wasn't beautiful, because like all SLK Novels, the cover was beautifully designed, but a dragon? Seriously? I felt as if the cover had been designed for the NEXT DH Novel and they decided to slap it on this one. In this Novel, the dragon only made a BRIEF appearance. Usually, her covers are completely in-sync with the context of the story; this cover had me thinking one thing, yet reading an all together different one.

As if I wasn't aggravated enough by all of this, there was something that topped it all; there is NOTHING I dislike more than a publisher who attempts to make a book APPEAR longer than it is in actuality, by shrinking margins (disgustingly so) and upping the font to "If I were half-blind I could read it" status. Heck, I wear glasses and the font was so large, I had to remove them to read it!

Take the issues with the (filler) story, careless editing errors, a cover that confused the hell out of me and then add in the almost 3" margins with 18pt font and I was one unhappy camper!

Readers are not dumb - if you write a (shorter) story, then advertise it as such. Don't shrink down the margins and increase the font simply to keep the page count up, and therefor the selling price. It just pisses readers off, as it did me.

When I pick up a thick book, I expect (especially with SLK) to have hours of quality reading ahead, making it more than worth the money. As per her normal, I expected this with Son of No One - only to be left feeling cheated in the end.

In summary, taken as a whole, I was extremely disappointed in Son of No One. When I received the book I was giddy with anticipation; hours later, I slammed it shut in frustration.

Sadly, this is the FIRST SLK Novel that will NOT make it on my favorites shelf. Here's to hoping that the next Dark Hunter Novel will be back on track with what we have all come to expect from Sherrilyn Kenyon!

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