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Saturday, December 21, 2013

{Blog Tour Review} The Nightlife Omnibus (Books 1-4) by Travis Luedke

Title: The Nightlife Series Omnibus (1~4)
Author: Travis Luedke
Series: The Nightlife Series
Genre: Paranormal/Erotic/Vampires
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 2 2013
Source: Tour Organizer for Honest Opinion
Edition: eBook with Print Coming Soon

The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.

Vampires, strippers, escorts, night clubs, pimps & dirty cops – the Nightlife Series is never boring.

Can decadence, corruption and prostitution go hand in hand with self-control? Over-indulgence, illegal activity and vampires lurk in darkness when night falls on the city.

The Nightlife Series explores the sexy, dangerous misadventures of vampires and an interesting assortment of wickedly corrupt men and women of the night. Gangs, pimps, prostitutes, cartel, mafia, drug dealers, addicts, alcoholics, and all those wonderfully colorful people you find rubbing elbows in the back alleys, night clubs, and strip joints.

These creatures inhabit a world of constant blood, sex, and arousal. The act of feeding is highly erotic, victims often experience multiple orgasms. A vampire’s bite is the most powerful drug imaginable, ecstasy, euphoria, and an ever-present potential for nightlife quietly, unobtrusively, until cornered. Then it gets ugly, people die. addiction. Lethally violent predators, they can cut through flesh like a hot knife through butter.

The Nightlife Series Includes:
Places to find The Nightlife Series

Amazon | ARe | Barnes and Noble | EBook Eros | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords
Sony Reader Store | Goodreads

Book #1
Release Date: Aug 18 2012

Amazon/Barnes and Nobles/Smashwords/Goodreads


Aaron Pilan’s life is forever changed when he’s shot trying to rescue a drop-dead gorgeous woman on the streets of New York. Aaron is thrust into the shocking world of vampiric slavery when Michelle shares her blood to save his life.

Michelle's existence as a solitary vampire is also altered when she accepts this naive young man into her life. Bound by her blood, Aaron is subject to her authority. He walks a tightrope of strictly controlled feeding regiments and intense sexual adventures while catering to the neurotic control-freak tendencies of his new master. She vows to eliminate him if he proves too difficult to control.

This story is bold and evocative, infusing blood, sex, love and turmoil in an urban drama about two vampires battling evil outside and within themselves.

 Poor Aaron was just responding to a damsel in distress. What did it get him? Shot by a dirty cop and then turned into a vampire by the aforementioned damsel.  
This first dip into the Nightlife introduces us to Michelle, the damsel, and Aaron Pilan, her newly turned protege and lover. For most of the book, I liked Aaron. I liked Michelle. I did not like them together however. Their dynamics were stilted, odd, and weirdly tense. And that is why I liked this first book! Lust, sure! The weird dynamics are totally realistic when you're suddenly thrown together with someone you do NOT know at all. You are charged, fraught with tension, awkward, dealing with your issues, etc. I liked Michelle's nippy jealousy when Aaron seems to have a better power than she does; he can read minds, she can read auras. I like how he is overwhelmed and she grounds him. And I especially enjoyed the development of their relationship. It was fun to read. Some seriously hot sex scenes, a serious mess up by Michelle which starts with an assumption, resolution happens, woo. And a non-cliffhanger ending, but leading perfectly into the next book. I also enjoyed the intensely sexual feedings. I would much rather vampires be like this (intense, bloody, sexy) than de-fanged. At the end of this book, I was eager for more Michelle & Aaron. 

Book #2
Release Date: Nov 17 2012
Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords/Goodreads


Vampires, Aaron Pilan and his master Michelle, live by one rule - no bloodslaves. EVER. Aaron breaks that rule when he meets Anastasia. All Anastasia wants is to be loved and cherished, but the predatory men she’s attracted to bring her only pain and abuse. Escaping one train-wreck relationship for another, she finds happiness with Aaron and Michelle as a bloodslave, a 'pet'.

When Aaron uses his telepathy to win thousands at the gambling tables, he attracts the deadly attention of the Colombian Cartel and Aaron and Michelle are 'disappeared'. Addicted to the bite of her vampire lovers, Ana is desperate to find them. But, Las Vegas isn't ready for vampires mixing heroin, sex and vengeance. Ana is trapped in the spiraling chaos.

 Aaron is using his mind-reading abilities to make a killing in Las Vegas at the poker tables. Unfortunately, he ticks off the wrong player gaining the ire of a sore loser named Demarco, a corrupt drug runner. 
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I liked the first one. We have no more information on Michelle's history, no true lessons, no development in their relationship. Instead, Aaron picks up a new blood slave/pet, Ana, convinces Michelle to keep her, and then the whole book is sex and drug use. There is the plot of Demarco being ticked off, hauling in his friends to help him steal Michelle and get rid of Aaron, the drug use stemming from that, and then a couple violent action scenes, but mostly it focused on sex and drug use, both for the vampires who were injected with heroin forcibly and the pet, Ana, who is addicted to the vampire venom and constantly looking for another fix while they are asleep during the day. The insta-love for the whiny, annoying Anastasia and lack of development of relationship just left me flat. I am the anomaly though as many people seemed to have love this book best. I guess erotica is hit or miss for me. However, if YOU like erotica, or books that focus mostly on sex with a few declarations of love tossed in, you will like this.  The sex is copious and energetic with occasional bursts of primal, possessive, predatory violence from Aaron. The ending has this private detective, seemingly popping out of nowhere, an afterthought to go along with the Demarco plot, witnessing the carnage and deciding he wants to be a vampire so he follows them to Paris, sneakily... 

Book #3
Release Date: April 30 2013
Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords/Goodreads


Vampire master Michelle, and her slave, Aaron Pilan, flee to Paris, leaving behind the slaughter in Las Vegas. Aaron made the costly mistake of taking a bloodslave, and then married her. The tragedy of his wife's death has driven a rift between them and Michelle is desperate to heal the breach.

Struggling with his predatory alter ego, Aaron is fractious, rebelling against his master. He desires another bloodslave, and that Michelle cannot allow. She opens her heart and soul to Aaron and he relives, through her memories, her dark, gritty tale of survival in the savagery of WWII Paris under the German occupation. Michelle's staggering revelations are deeply disturbing. The confrontation of master versus slave comes full circle as the couple faces death and separation.

And they are not alone in Paris. An investigator has followed them from Vegas seeking the unique gifts of Michelle’s blood. He’s watching and waiting for the opportunity to make his move against them.

 Four days after the death of Ana, Aaron already wants another pet, something Michelle is adamantly against. All those declarations of love sound really realistic, huh? See? That's why I didn't like book 2. Nightlife: Paris however is much better. It is a thorough history on Michelle, how she became a vampire, how her view became so twisted, etc. And along with her history, we have this story line of the private detective who followed them to Paris, and then another storyline of an ancient myth is introduced as Aaron and Michelle become separated. As depraved and twisted her history is, I liked getting to know Michelle's history to understand what made her the way she is. As the tension rises and there is a lightbulb that seems to go over her head, things come to a halt as Aaron and Michelle are separated. He seemingly learns just how much he does love her although their master/servant bond is now severed and he belongs to someone else. There is a lot of mystery and things left hanging with a menacing cloud. You have to wonder what is going to come next! 

Stand Alone With Similarity to the Nightlife Series
Release Date: Dec 23 2012
Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords/Goodreads


Her mother named her Esperanza Salvación - Hope for Salvation. But when a girl works as an escort for Colombian cartel in the ghettos of Spanish Harlem, there wasn’t much hope, or salvation.

Hope’s telepathic ability keeps her a step ahead of ruin, but her unusual gift attracts the attention of a psychotic vampire bitch. Trapped in a Manhattan penthouse with the psycho, she thought she was dead meat.

Her survival lies in the hands of Vampire Master Enrique. He seems to respect her, perhaps even care. As a measure of protection, he makes her his personal Bloodslave. Helplessly addicted to his bite, Enrique rules her every moment. As always, Hope must adapt to survive.

Swept into the decadent nightlife of Manhattan's elite, she falls in love with Enrique and prays someday he may grow to love her, too. But is it simply a relationship of convenience? Is she nothing more than a concubine desperate to satisfy his nightly demands for blood and sex?

And forever in the background is the fear that one day the cartel boss she abandoned will hunt her down to collect on old debts.

 This fourth book in the omnibus, Blood Slave, was actually my favorite. The characters seem more real, even with telepathic powers, the danger certain, the horrors of life ringing true. While Hope has lead a most brutal life, she is very accepting of it in a strange, boiling anger kind of way: a fighter attitude just simmers beneath her supposed complacence. Sold into sexual slavery by her own father at the tender age of 14, life hasn't been easy for the 22 year old. Now in the US, she is a prostitute under the thumb of the Colombian drug cartel. Although not wholly aware of her telepathic gift, El Tiburon uses Hope more as a lie detector than a prostitute, allowing her to work for an escort service. Although her debt to him is paid off tenfold, he is continually raising it and demanding more and more money for the privilege of her being in the US, not allowing her to renew her visa, holding her hostage as an illegal. 
After a lesbian client from the escort service ends up biting her and failing to hypnotize the telepathic Hope, Hope is kidnapped and presented to lesbian Lia's master, Enrique. Enrique turns Hope into a blood slave, exchanging her drug cartel prison for a shinier cage. Hope is terrified of Lia who is a total psycho just dying to rip her to shreds. For one who has lead such a harsh life, you have this hope (punny!) for Hope that her life is getting better. Not just a sex toy, she gets her legal visa and goes to work as an interpreting secretary and telepathic spy for Enrique's business ventures. And all is well until Enrique leaves her at the mercy of Lia when he goes to Panama for a business trip. I admit, it was hard to read. Poor Hope is tortured thanks to that psychotic so and so, tossed back to the brutal Arana of the drug cartel, raped, beaten, tortured, raped again, and then nearly killed when she tries to save Enrique from Lia's murderous intents. This book was one heck of a ride. Again with the copious amounts of sex, but it seemed more right in this instance. I'm not sure if it is because of Hope's profession or due to her intense, sad story that you were happy that she was finally getting some sex that focused on her. 
Overall for this omnibus, I would say it is gritty, dark, and intensely sexual. I love how every author I've read approaches vampires slightly differently and Travis Luedke is no different. These vampires have a unique flavor to them that is all them and unmistakable for someone else's vampires. I'd like to continue in Michelle and Aaron's story and see where Urvashi takes them. I wouldn't mind reading more of Hope, too, and see her become a vampire instead of just a pet. I think she and Enrique complement one another well. 

Travis Luedke is a husband, father, and author of Urban Fantasy Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi. He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it.

As the author of the Nightlife Series novels, Travis lives very vicariously through his writings. He invites you to enjoy his macabre flights of fancy, but be warned: The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.

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From The Nightlife: Paris

“Do you have any flights leaving New York after sunset that arrive in Paris before sunrise?”  Aaron Pilan stared unblinking at the travel agent, assaulting her with the full bore of his gaze.
“No sir, not commercial flights.  I’m not sure about the charter flights.”
Aaron glanced at the nameplate on her desk and tried a more personal approach.  “Penelope, I need your help.”  He drilled into her mind with his telepathic probe, digging through her thoughts and emotions.  “How long is a flight to Paris?”
“Well … it’s a seven hour flight at minimum, but the time zones …”  He read Penelope’s every thought with ease.  His eyes seemed to swallow her very soul with the wondrous intensity of his gaze.  She fell under his spell in a matter of seconds.  “Um … Paris is six hours ahead of New York, so it’s really thirteen hours …”
“Help me, Penelope.  Help me find a flight that leaves by 7:30 p.m. and arrives by 7:00 a.m. in Paris.”
His eyes owned her as he read her mind.  She couldn’t imagine disagreeing with him.  She would give him anything – her heart, her body, her soul – just to know the truth behind his eyes.  He read her infatuation as she moistened between the legs, staring at him like a love-struck teenager.
“Um … one of the Gulfstream charters might be able to do that.”  She thought hard, considering one company in particular that would fly anyone anywhere, under any circumstances, for the right price.
“I knew you could help me.”
He took her hand and she wet her underwear in anticipation.  A blush of rosy heat crept up her face and her little pink tongue darted out to swipe her dry lips.  Her desire to be kissed flooded her mind, washing over him as he sifted through her thoughts.  She focused on the gleaming white teeth of his smile, and he knew she wished he’d drag her into the alcove and have her up against the wall.  Too easy.  He could bend her over the kiosk right there.
He read all her fantasies, a series of delightfully wicked things she hoped for.  Uncomfortably hot and bothered by his brief touch, Penelope’s fingers moved unsteadily over the keyboard.  She tried not to look at him, but she couldn’t help herself.
She cleared her throat. “Executive Pathways can expedite a transcontinental flight tomorrow night for $16,000.  Oh wow, that’s really expensive, but they’ll leave whenever you like.  Are you sure we can’t make one of these commercial flights work?  I can get you first class at a discount …”
“No thanks.  I’ll take the charter.”  His exacting flight schedule could not be compromised.
She continued trying to dissuade him.  “It’s only a couple hours difference ...” 
Two hours made all the difference.  Vampires don’t do daylight.  “I need two tickets.”
“Two?  But there’s no discount for the second ticket …”
He followed her mind as she imagined accompanying him overseas.  A foreign rendezvous, endless hours of sex in a French hotel suite.  She’d let him do anything he wanted, repeatedly.
Michelle arrived, slipping her arm around him intimately.  Gorgeous, blonde, glamorous, she could’ve been a model fresh off the runway.  Penelope’s fantasy crashed and burned, the screams of dying dreams echoing in her ears.
He smiled at her again, and winked.  “We’ll take two tickets.”
Penelope swallowed her demolished pride.  He felt a twinge of sympathy as Penelope realized she could never compete with a woman like Michelle.  His master was so beautiful it hurt to look at her.
“That’s $34,945.00 with taxes and fees.  How will you be paying for that?”  Penelope’s eyes kept drifting to the fabulous blonde draped around him.
He handed over his gold card, the plastic so new and shiny it still smelled of Las Vegas.  Well over six figures backed that account from his nights as a high roller in Vegas.
She swiped his card and managed to smile without faltering.  It touched him that Penelope wondered why she couldn’t have a man like him in her life.  And then she glanced at Michelle under his arm, and she knew those women always stole all the Aarons for themselves.  Penelope would have to make do scrounging for leftovers.
He leaned towards her, stealing her breath with his proximity.  “Penelope, why don’t you join us for a drink when you’re off work?”
He followed her thoughts as she asked the question, is he worth sharing?
“I promise you won’t regret it.”  He smiled again.
She bit her lower lip in anticipation.  Yes, he was worth sharing, and the blonde might be fun too …

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