Love Rocks: Realms Strange and Otherworldly

Love Rocks is a biweekly look at new self-published romance titles from the community of writers at Rock*ItReads.


The days grow colder, nights longer. Halloween decorations fill the shelves, promising fun along with fright, magic with mystery. Out come the vampires and weres, and in paranormal romance, each has their own power to tempt and seduce. In these stories, danger lurks around every corner. Strong protectors use everything they have to hold back the encroaching dark—fists, weapons, wisecracks, and yes, sometimes a kiss. The fights are desperate, stakes high, but ultimately love vanquishes evil when all else seems hopeless and lost. What’s not to like?


Caris Roane’s Embrace the Dark is an escape into a realm parallel to our own, but one where the passions run a little higher and a whole lot hotter. Cupcake store owner Abigail Kirkland is branching out: she’s got a shop in Flagstaff, Arizona, and now she’s opening one in the magical world of Merhaine. Mastyr Vampire Gerrod is constantly on guard for the Invictus, a scourge on his people, and doesn’t have the patience for the human interloper Abigail, who ensnares his senses and gets under his skin. It’s the fate of a mastyr vampire to be always starving for blood; he finds that he cannot resist this rare blood rose, a woman who satisfies his every need. But she’s from another realm, and he cannot even hope to keep her.


Embrace the Dark, the first in the Blood Rose series, is a dark, sexy read on just the other side of imagination. Gerrod and Abigail set fire to the page. Both are fighters, and when all seemed most bleak, I was rooting for them to overcome.  This story is rated SH for Smoking Hot.


Gini Koch mixes romance with humor and action in The Night Beat. Two universes coexist like flip sides of a coin: Prosaic City, where humankind lives blissfully unaware of the fact that monsters are real; and Necropolis, city of the undead, where the weres, vampires, lichs, and many other creatures make their home. Victoria Wolfe is an undercover cop on the night beat, working for both Prosaic and Undead law enforcement. Her partner, hunky Jack Wagner, is a human to die for; he just doesn’t know her true nature. Or does he? Their investigation takes twists and turns, assisted by a motley cast of undeads, including H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, both professors in Necropolis. But most dangerous and intriguing of all is the romance threading through the story.


The Night Beat is a romance for the urban fantasy lover. It’s fast-paced, suspenseful, and full of quick wit. Victoria is a tough fighter, with a vulnerability that makes her almost…human. And her hero is growly enough to make this reader sigh. The story is rated DL, for Dangerous Liaison. Literally.


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 Erin Kellison is the award-winning author of the Shadow series, the Shadow Touch novella series, and the Shadow Kissed series, all of which share the same world, where dark fantasy meets modern fairy tale. RT calls her latest, Soul Kissed, “a dark fairy tale with a twist, perfect for readers who love passion with their fantasy.”


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship.

The People's Platform

Why is the Internet - once touted as the democratizer of the future - ruled by a few corporate giants, while countless aspirants work for free? Astra Taylor diagnoses why the web has failed to be a utopian playing field, and offers compelling ways we can diversify the marketplace and give voice to the marginalized.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.