Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Featured Spotlight ~ Entangled Publishing & Paige Cuccaro

Entangled Publishing is an exclusive, boutique publisher of romantic fiction. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Entangled's goal is to bridge the gap between traditional and indie publishing, giving both readers and authors the best of both worlds.

Entangled Imprints ~ Select, Teen
Digital Imprints ~ Flirt, Ever After, Indulgence, Bliss, Covet, Brazen, Scandalous, Suspense, Ignite

Author Paige Cuccaro
 Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun.
Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, and three daughters. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.
*Books source ~ Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing review copies of the following books in exchange for honest reviews.

Title ~ Commencement
Series ~ Hellsbane, #0.5
Author ~ Paige Cuccaro
Published ~ 27 September 2012
Genre ~ Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble out of 5

Emma Jane Hellsbane is different than her fellow college students. Not only can she sense other people’s emotions, but she experiences them, too. She’s had to work to keep feelings not her own at bay, but sometimes they overwhelm her. When her boyfriend Justin suddenly doesn’t feel right to her, she seeks help from the one person who she can talk to and not expect him to call her a freak. Mihir is a fifteen-year-old genius, a Junior in college and his family believes in all things mystical. So, even though he hates Emma’s boyfriend because he’s lusting after Emma himself, he’s there to help her figure out what is wrong with Justin. What’s wrong with Justin is way creepy and dangerous. It’s up to a skeptical Emma to save the day.

A good start to a new series this short introduces us to Emma and her freaky ability to sense and feel the emotions of others. Even though she has been able to do this since she could remember, she has a hard time believing Mihir when he starts tossing out ideas as to what is wrong with Justin. I was irritated with her at this point. She’s living with some weird ability and yet she completely doesn’t believe anything else weird is out there? Give me a break. I’d be more apt to believe all kinds of stuff rather than bury my head in the sand and pretend the boogeyman isn’t out there. Other than that though I enjoyed the introduction to the Hellsbane series. Oh, and Justin? He’s an idiot that got what he wished for even if it wasn’t quite how he wanted it.

Title ~ Hellsbane
Series ~ Hellsbane, #1
Author ~ Paige Cuccaro
Published ~ 13 November 2012
Genre ~ Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5

Emma Jane Hellsbane has always known she was different from other people. She can sense and experience their emotions as if they were her own and it took some serious practice to block them out. Though there are times she doesn’t always succeed. When former schoolmate, Tommy Saint James, shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep and he’s wielding a sword, wounded and jumpy she wonders what the heck is going on. Tommy had disappeared his Senior year, eight years ago and yet here he is not looking a day over 18. With a big ass sword. I mentioned that, right? And when Emma lets in the mailman who’s not a mailman, but a demon Tommy uses the sword to defend himself, but when he’s disarmed by the demon, Emma picks up the sword to protect him and in that very moment her life is changed. Emma thought her life was weird before. She ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Emma is a nephilim, part human, part angel and when she picks up Tommy’s sword against a demon she becomes an illorum, or warrior for God. Her mission now is to kill demons and the Fallen, but if she can kill her own Fallen father then her life can go back to normal. Easy, right? Um, not so much. In addition to Tommy we’re introduced to Tommy’s and now Emma’s magister, Elizal (or Eli), another illorum named Liam and Officer Dan. Mihir, Emma’s friend from Commencement is not in this book and I was disappointed by that fact. For a first full book in the series it does a good job of bringing everyone up to speed about Seraphim, Fallen, angels and other things that Emma needs to know in order to survive her new life. All-in-all a great book with lots of action involving swords. I love swords.

Series ~ Hellsbane, #2
Author ~ Paige Cuccaro
Published ~ 27 August 2013
Genre ~ Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

My Rating ~ 3 bites and a nibble out of 5

Emma Jane Hellsbane is an illorum, a warrior for God and she fights demons and Fallen angels because her own father is a Fallen. If she can find him and send him to the abyss then she can get a normal life back. At first, that’s all she wanted, but after a year of fighting demons she’s beginning to wonder, even with Officer Dan as her boyfriend, if that’s what she really wants anymore. When magisters are being killed by demons and gibborim (nephilim who fight for Fallen instead of God) Emma has to decide between searching for her father with the only lead she has or fighting the ones who are killing magisters and taking their swords. If she can send her Fallen father to the abyss she would never have to fight again. She would be off the radar. However, Emma’s own magister is at risk and since she loves him she decides to fight the gibborim instead. But is forbidden love the right reason?

I had some problems with this book. First, there are two glaring mistakes. In Hellsbane, Officer Dan says he has five children, four boys and a girl, yet in this book he has only a boy and a girl. Second, the holy water necklace Emma wears is supposed to look like it did when Tommy wore it not like when Joan wore it. Emma told Eli in Hellsbane to make it look like how Tommy wore it, but in this book it looks like Joan’s necklace.

There’s also a lot going on and sometimes all the terms and explanations were confusing to me. In addition, Emma acts very foolishly quite a bit in this book, always insisting that ’she can handle it’ and I consider that pure arrogance considering how little training she has in fighting. On top of that, the love that Eli and Emma feel for each other just didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t believe in it and it ended up being an annoyance. And her thoughtless disregard for others when she traipsed off to Italy, well, she lost a lot of my respect there and even more when she said she’d handle it and be back in a few hours. Really? *shakes head* She acts too much like a bratty teenager and not a 23-year old. Yeah, I’m not liking Emma too much in this book. I certainly hope she grows up in the next one. It was very interesting to learn about her father though and I would love to know more about how much different Emma is from other nephilim. All-in-all if you can buy into the Eli/Emma romance then this is an excellent book, but since I couldn’t it’s only a good book for me.


  1. These books sound fun! I love Angel/Demon fantasy books. It sounds like these books have a ton going on in them. Am I likely to get confused? Lol