Eternal Service Giveaway: Regina Morris

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Vampires exist among us. They can be our neighbor, best friend, our child's teacher ...

They alter their aged appearance based upon the amount of blood they consume. They move to a new area, drink a lot of blood, and appear young. Slowly they limit their intake of blood and age, right in front of our unsuspecting eyes. After decades, they fake their death, move, and do it over and over again.

Most live quiet lives in an effort to blend in.

Some however want power and control.

The Colony is an elite group of vampires sworn to protect the President of the United States from these rogue vampires.

When Raymond Metcalf, vampire coven master of the Colony, teams up with a federal operative of the human female persuasion–who has no idea that vampires even exist–will his mission or his heart be compromised first?

Career military woman, Alex Brennan, is being offered the promotion of a lifetime and with it a romance that she has desperately been seeking. Does she dare accept the position as Director of the Colony, an elite group of deadly creatures of the night and risk a dangerous romance with a man who isn’t even human? 

Together, can they save the President?

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Kim's Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars

Kim's Review:
Covert Ops, Vamps, and Romance all rolled into one!

I was intrigued by the fact that Enduring Service crossed all of those genres. This is book 1 in the Colony Series. The Colony is an Elite Ops group of Vampires that protect the President of the US along with the FBI human team. Raymond is the Coven Master of the Colony. The Director of the Colony has to be human to interface between the vampires and the President. As their previous Director Dixon plans to retire, enter female agent Alex. She has no clue that vampires exist and Raymond has not been comfortable around a human woman in about 180 years. 

Raymond: a 199-year-old strong Alpha vamp who takes care of his coven/family. He is lonely, guilt ridden over the death of his wife despite the fact it happened when he was really young, and has a fear of intimacy.

Alex: A tough female FBI agent who has been career driven at the expense of her personal life. She has issues in her past that cause her anxiety and fear in personal situations. She is looking for her "Butch Manly" to settle down with, but cannot seem to find anyone that meets her criteria. She is "intelligent, caring, and goal oriented." She is excited about the prospect of a promotion, but is shocked to find out what it really entails. 

"My career is great, but what I really want is a passionate relationship. I want a family. Where are all the real men out there?" She looked at her therapist, "I mean I have this unclear picture of who I want. He's perfect. He's a Butch Manly...I just can't seem to find him."

"God, I'm helpless." Alex found it ridiculous to be attracted to a creature she would have run from just a few days ago. Why did he have to be so handsome and charming? Of course, many of the Hollywood vampires were gorgeous hunks as well....

...he found himself less lonely when she was nearby. He never would have guessed that talking to a woman would seem so enjoyable and easy. She hadn't yelled for help or run away from him as if he was a bloodthirsty monster. 

Regina Morris creates a world of vampires that is fascinating. I loved some the characteristics her vamps have. It was especially different that they could alter their age based on how much blood they drank so they could go from young vamps to older ones based on their feedings. They also appeared more human-like despite their strength and special gifts such as gaining info from touch, mind reading, and sensing auras. And they could mate with humans that opened up a whole world of "half-breeds."

She really developed her characters well. Not only the main couple, but all of the secondary characters are rich and have their own stories to tell. The story line was detailed and thorough. You learn the history of the vamps, the colony, the government and agencies, and the character's back-stories. My only criticism with it is that due to the attention to detail and fullness of descriptions, that it was slow building. Sometimes I really wanted to move the relationship of Raymond and Alex along faster. They had a spark, chemistry, rapport, and were really good together. There were a lot of internal monologues, mixed signals, and others talking about their obvious feelings, but it took quite a while for Alex and Raymond to admit or act on their feelings. They took the time to get to know each other and learn about their differences and you actually see a real courtship.  They had some lack of communication, despite the fact that he could read her mind. I would have liked for it to happen a little faster so that we got to see more of them as a true sexy couple. But the parts where they were really together were hot and emotional. And I really liked them together. They were both strong, determined, loving, and looking for the same things. I think the relationships will probably move faster in the rest of the books of the series because readers will already know the characters and the about the vampire world.

Alex fought back a tear. This wonderful man, someone that she had been waiting for all of her life, wanted her. The butterflies returned and mentally she could feel the conscious decision as pieces fell into place. Her career was on the bench this game. Love was the star player, and love was up to bat.

"Were you looking for me?" she asked..."All my life." he  replied. 

Mixed in with the romance, are threats against the President, Government,  and The Colony. The Colony and FBI work together to try to keep everyone safe and take down the hostile parties. The teams are working machines and each team member has their place and talents to contribute. The last part of the book became really exciting, suspenseful, dangerous and led to a pulse-pounding climax of the situation. 

So there was romance, action, suspense, and a sense of brotherhood and family in this book. This series has a lot of potential due the intriguing story lines and richness of the characters. I am interested in the other stories and will read them. Book 2, United Service is expected in September 2013 and  is about Raymond's half-breed son Sterling.  Book 3 Enduring Service is about Raymond's  sister Sulie and Former Director Dixon. These characters were well defined in the first book, I really liked them, and I look forward to their stories. 

Thanks to Regina Morris for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review

Teaser from Eternal Service : 

Raymond smiled at Alex. It was a beautiful smile, not fake or forced. Alex
could always tell when it’s real. His black colored eyes held the smile,
not just his luscious, full lips. She noticed his hair was a bit damp,
probably due to a last minute shower on his way over. His hair was
parted tonight, and a curl of bangs hung lopsided onto his forehead. It
gave him a Superman appearance. She always did like Superman.

Alex knew her pulse sped up as she took in the visual strip tease

in her mind. She thought back to their earlier conversation. Humans
and vampires could have sex together. Sex. She swallowed hard. She
hadn’t thought of having sex with a man in a long time. Her heart
sped up even faster. She wondered if he could hear it. If he did, he
didn’t show it. He just sat sipping his wine, looking sexy as hell.

Her glass was in her hands, and she took a gulp of wine hoping

to squelch the heat she was feeling. Instead it fueled the flame. Would
sex with a vampire be different than with a human? If it was, she was
betting it would be better. The sexual relationships she had in the
past, if she could remember that far back, were moderately satisfying.
Definitely not romance novel, page turning, steamy … but satisfying.

Blinking a few times, she realized she was staring at his crotch.

Could she be more obvious? She knew in her heart that she was going

to take this promotion. She couldn’t start a romance with a team

member, it wasn’t professional. She wasn’t that type of woman. Plus,
there was no guarantee that he was interested in her that way. He had
treated her with nothing but respect.

His black eyes beheld hers, and her breath caught. The glass she

held suddenly seemed slippery in her hands due to her now sweaty
palms. He was clean shaven today. The last few days he had a
scruffy, rogue look about him, which was a great look for him.
Today, with not a whisker in sight, he looked down-right sinful.

Actually, the blackened eyes gave him a mysterious quality. Maybe

she could be that type of woman? Perhaps an exception could be
made this one time. She stared at his lips, wanting so desperately to
taste them.

“Alex?” he asked.

Alex looked up, making eye contact. “What?”

“Are you okay? You’ve been quiet for several minutes.”

More about this series from author Regina Morris: 

Vampires. Is there no greater (or sexier) hero out there? Shape-shifters do catch my eye, but for me, vampires are the sexiest heroes in paranormal romances. I’ve always preferred the lighthearted romances compared with the darker stories. Put a misunderstood, lonely vampire in a novel that doesn’t want romance, or doesn’t know he wants it, and introduce a love interest that steams up the page? Yep. That’s a good story!

There are so many vampire novels out there to read. For me, what makes each one unique is their individual worlds. Some authors have their vampires unable to be in sunlight, some authors have their vampires dead all day, while others, like me, prefer vampires around 24/7. It really is up to the author what vampire lore they want to keep for their stories. Plus, some authors throw in a twist to make their vampires even more unique. The vampires in my Colony series novels can alter their age based upon the blood they drink. A lot of blood daily, they're young. Wean off of the blood, they can be old. This comes in handy when you live multiple lives as federal agents protecting the presidents of the United States over the last 150 years.

My novel Eternal Service is the first book in the Colony Series. This story follows the coven master, Raymond, who is a lonely individual with great responsibility. He has noble beliefs, but falls short. He’s a flawed character, and who doesn’t love that? His only friend is the token human of the group who is the human liaison between the team and the President. This human is retiring, thus the story introduces the love interest, Alexandra Brennan, who is the man’s replacement. Raymond secludes himself from interacting with humans, especially female humans, but he is drawn to Alexandra. Will his heart or is mission be compromised? Alexandra has a past that haunts her and she’s un-trusting of men. Will she follow her heart or her career? Together, can they save the President?

Book #2 of the Colony Series, United Service, will be available in the fall of 2013. It is the story of Raymond’s half-breed son Sterling. Sterling is a modern-day vampire who clashes with his father’s antiquated ideals. Being the half-breed of the group, Sterling knows he’s the team’s weakest link and he hates it. Sterling jumps at an opportunity to do some field work rescuing kidnapped vampire children and is accompanied by a nanny of one of the kidnapped children. The nanny, Kate, is a purebred vampire. Can Sterling put behind his philandering ways and woo the lovely Kate? Will Kate accept the advances of a half-breed? Can they save the children from a religious cult who wants to kill them?

Book #3 of the Colony Series is called Enduring Service and will be available in 2014. Sulie (Raymond’s sister) has been in love with the same human man for nearly thirty years, but refuses to allow herself the joy of true love because her love is unrequited by her human boss, Dixon. As Dixon’s retirement looms near, and his memory of Sulie and the last thirty years of his life is about to be erased, does she confront her fear of intimacy and take a leap of faith before it's too late? Dixon has decided that it’s time to retire and enjoy what time he has left. When Sulie is kidnapped during a medical emergency, Dixon realizes that retirement means giving up everything, and everyone, he’s known for the last three
decades. Will he risk his life, and his heart, to save her?

I’ve read many vampire romance novels and have discovered five critical elements that exist in the books that I love and read over and over again. When I began writing my novels I made sure that all of these elements made it into my books. First, I made my vampires not want for money. Who wants to read a story of a broke vampire who lives on the streets? I’d rather have them in a stately mansion that is exquisitely furnished. Secondly, the vampires are not loners. I wanted my vampires to work together in a group and have a close bond to one another. Third, I didn’t want blood to be an issue where they spend half the novel hunting humans. The Colony receives bagged blood from Uncle Sam. Fourth, I like
when the vampires have a common enemy or goal. Lastly, I enjoy stories where there is some sort of ruling body governing the vampires. In my Colony series the Vampire Council arranges marriages, blood deliveries and much more for the vampires.

I have outlines for at least another three books in the Colony series and have outlined a YA mystery that I plan to release next year. If you visit my website (www.reginamorris.com) you can connect with me in
various social medias.

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