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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
May
16

Review: The Thief by J.R. Ward

Review: The Thief by J.R. Ward The Thief Author: J.R.Ward Reviewer: Una Rating: B What I’m Talking About: The Thief is the sixteenth novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) series.  Though some overarching plot lines are resolved and/or made more convoluted, it was as gripping and intriguing as I’ve come to expect.   Suffice to say, The Thief resolves the romantic plot lines between Assail (drug/arms dealing vampire) and Marisol (aka Sola the human thief).  However the new threat that Throe presents is only intensified in this novel as we learn more about his plot as well as the origin of power.  As always with this series, there are multiple plot lines running through with only a few being resolved.  Yet die-hard fans will be happy to know that some Ward teasers and “spoilers” finally come to fruition, for example; Murhder, the current state of the Scribe Virgin, Saxton’s HEA, the nature of Boo the cat, and a few other tidbits. For those (strangely) unaware, Saxton’s HEA took place in the spin-off series, Black Dagger Legacy (BDL).  Though not necessary, his mate’s background is important to understand why he makes a worthy escort to Saxton when conducting the King’s business. I feel, now after The Thief and Blood these series need to be read in order to fully appreciate the complete world.  Which would make The Thief technically book number nineteen.  Though we do not see BDL characters in the BDB novels, the reverse is true.  In fact, BBD characters are prominent in the BDL novels, in fact one BDB mated pair tend to parallel the BDL main characters.   Unlike in all of the previous BDB novels, the question of Sola’s mortality is not resolved.  Unlike for Mary, Jane and even Manny, Sola’s mortality (along with her grandmother’s) is not addressed.  Assail only believes that since a miracle occurred for the other brothers, he may well be able to have one for his family.  Hence, I wonder what may transpire in a future novel in either of the “series”.  But with the appearance of Murhder and the issue of resolving the inheritance, this tangled plot strand is finally being woven into the story.   There are numerous other plot strands that seemed to just be touched on in The Thief.  But I am sure that Ward is only giving us the teasing taste of what is in store.  These books are truly starting to have the feel of a chess board.  Though a...
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May
13

Sunday Snippet: Harbinger by Emily Meredith

Sunday Snippet: Harbinger by Emily Meredith  About the Book Harbinger Author:  Emily Meredith Publisher:   Self-published Released:  March 13, 2018 Genre:  Paranormal Romance Purchase links:  Amazon Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37515866 Snippet: Aamon narrowed his eyes on Annabel as she let out a deep sigh and stared at the paper still threaded through the typewriter. She sat cross-legged in front of it, absently chewing on her bottom lip as her gaze bore a hole through the words. She was hopeless. Beyond hopeless, in fact. She was a liability. That a**hole had left over twenty minutes ago. Twenty minutes and she still had yet to get up, walk across the room, and lock the door behind him. Instead, she sat there in her own world, examining every corner of that goddamn piece of paper while anyone could just waltz in. Had she completely forgotten that she was followed home only a few nights before? Or that the Katechon were keeping tabs on her? Sh*t, they were probably just one of dozens of groups after her at this very moment. And then there were always the one-off nutjobs who wanted to take the fate of the world into their own hands; she only needed one of them on her trail for her to wind up dead. And here she sat, with the f*cking door unlocked.
He paced in front of her. How the hell was he supposed to watch over her when she seemed hell-bent on putting her life in jeopardy every five minutes? Easily. Because you’re not watching over her. He stopped as the thought landed squarely in his mind and stayed there, seeping into every corner. It was the truth, after all. He was her tormentor. Her curse. If anything, he should have been reveling in the peril, finding satisfaction in her complete lack of common sense. Instead, the anxiety grew ever more present, as did his watchful eye. A line had been crossed. You’re losing your edge. She sighed and the curls that had fallen in front of her face danced along her cheeks. He was distracted by it, by all of it, and the realization infuriated him. He was better than this. He was better than her. It was time to bring order to this house. He stared at the front door and concentrated. It suddenly swung open then slammed shut, rattling the picture frames on the walls. The sound echoed through the house and reverberated in the living room. He turned and saw her eyes, wide and alert,...
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May
7

Review: Hawkyn by Larissa Ione

Review: Hawkyn by Larissa Ione Hawkyn Author: Larissa Ione Reviewer: Jen Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Hawkyn is a special earth-bound angel known as a Memitim, and his job is to protect his Primori: humans, who for whatever reason, are destined to make an impact on all humankind. Hawkyn has lived centuries under the strict heavenly rules, waiting for the day he can ascend and sit on the Memitim Council so he can make changes to their archaic ways. But when he steps in to protect Aurora from his serial killer Primori, Hawkyn begins to stray from the path. Aurora is a Wytch; the fabled species that is a mix of human witch and incubus. She’s chosen to live a human life, keeping her powers under wraps and not fulfilling her warrior destiny. But when she’s attacked and taken by a mad monster, Aurora’s eyes are open to a world she had only heard about.  Hawkyn is another 1,001 Dark Nights novella set in Ms. Ione’s Demonica world. While the romance is standalone, I feel that previous knowledge of the world would be useful when reading the story due to the large number of characters and types of beings that inhabit the world. For example, there is a significant side-story involving Azagoth, the father of all Memitim, and his mate, Lilliana, which takes up a bit of the book and isn’t resolved by the end.  While the author does a solid job of building the story and conflict around Hawkyn and Aurora, I feel that the romance aspect is lacking. There is much build up around why Aurora is kidnapped, what to do to save her, and how to change the Memitim, which is all interesting and mostly entertaining, but leaves little room for actual romance (and I don’t mean just sex). The pair spends little time really getting to know one another, and there aren’t any romantic overtures until well after the 50% mark of the book.  In the end, Hawkyn was an interesting story, but the romance fell flat for me. There wasn’t much build up or chemistry. Ms. Ione is making a lot of changes in her Demonica World with these novellas, which is cool and all, but the novellas lack the richness of the full-length story. I love the world, but I need more. My Rating: C+ Liked It, but I had issues About the Book: As a special class of earthbound guardian angel called Memitim, Hawkyn is charged...
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May
3

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Claimed in Shadows by Lara Adrian

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Claimed in Shadows by Lara Adrian Welcome to our feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Claimed in Shadows Author: Lara Adrian Narrator:  Hillary Huber Audio Speed: 1.5x Series: Midnight Breed #15 Genre: Paranormal Romance Source: Tantor Audio Aric Chase is trained and ready to finally take up his own position within the Order. As the day-walker son of two of the most formidable Breed, he is nearly royalty within the Order and Breed society. But he works hard and is ready to prove himself when his special gifts are needed for a covert mission in Montreal. Meanwhile, Kaya was raised by an abusive mother and in poverty. She never understood what family could be like until she became a trainee of the Order and friends with Mira. Now Kaya works hard to prove herself and become a member in her own right, but if her past ever comes to light, she may lose everything. Claimed in Shadows is the fifteenth book in the Midnight Breed series, and the fifth since “New Dawn,” when the author shook up her world and moved it 20 years into the future. I honestly wasn’t certain I was going to stick with the series as it just hasn’t been as solid and consistent since the changes. However, the opportunity to listen and review this audiobook presented itself, and I’m so glad I took it. Between the exciting story and Ms. Huber’s narration, I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate the Order all over again. Claimed in Shadows is exciting and engaging. I like that the focus was fairly narrow, keeping side stories relevant to the overall plot and staying away from the Atlantean storylines. The Order is working to take down Opus Nostrum (ON) and its associates, yet ON seems to always know what the Order’s plans are. There is a pretty good twist in this one, and I like how it played out. Kaya and Aric are friendly from the start. Although she’s human and fairly new, Aric treats Kaya as his partner and equal. They allow their mutual attraction to burn and dance around the fact that he’s going to be leaving as soon as their mission is complete. Both are considerate and thoughtful, which makes things work out for the better, even when Aric discovers Kaya has been lying to him and the Order. I appreciate why Kaya kept her secrets and the severity was enough to place fear in her that Aric would not want her,...
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Apr
9

Review: Blood Veil by Megan Erickson

Review: Blood Veil by Megan Erickson Blood Veil Author: Megan Erickson Reviewer: Jen Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Celia Valerie is the half-human, half-vampire, daughter of the Valarian king, enemy of the Gregorie Clan. But she has no clue who she is or where she came from. Raised in the human world, abandoned by her parents, she made her way through the system and works as a nurse at Mission Hospital. Idris, the once future king of the Gregorie Clan, feels more comfortable in his roll as military leader now that the truth of his father’s betrayals is out. He wants revenge on the Valarian king, the vampire who turned his own father, the former Gregorie king, into a traitor to his clan. Watching Celia for weeks, waiting for the best time to take her in and use her to draw out her father, his plans change when an assassin breed of vampires attacks Celia. Blood Veil is the second, action-packed vampire adventure in Ms. Erickson’s Mission series. Overall, I enjoyed the tale, but felt it held too many echos of the first story. Once again, the story centers on a female who grew up without knowledge of the vampire community, although she’s strongly tied to the community. And once again, even though she’s a bit horrified, she’s oddly okay with the whole vampire thing. She’s attracted to her captor. It’s a bit redundant and I wish it had been a bit fresher. I also feel like it’s just too easy… how well Celia accepts she’s part vampire. Even with the similarities with the first title, I found myself engaged in Celia and Idris’s journey. Idris is bent on revenge and I enjoyed watching him mature and grow as he experienced the world through Celia’s eyes. For a tough and fierce warrior, he’s kind, considerate, and remorseful of his actions. And it’s Celia’s gentle nature that allows room for Idris to forgive himself. I struggled a bit with some of the descriptions in the story. For example: “… his body was the sun and I needed to feel his warmth on my face.” YET… exposure to the sun would kill Idris, so I found that to be an odd comparison. And then there is “But Idris’s seed-reached everywhere inside me,-from fingertip to fingertip, to the top of my head and the bottoms of my feet” That’s not sexy; it’s weird. In the end, all works out for Celia and Idris, but they made some...
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Apr
5

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston Welcome to our feature that focus on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: Hot and Badgered Author: Shelly Laurenston Narrator: Traci Odom Audio Speed: 1.25x + 1.5x Series: Honey Badgers Chronicles #1 Source: Tantor Audio Hot and Badgered, the first book in Ms. Laurenston’s new Honey Badgers Chronicles is a crazy ride full of over-the-top shifters with a thirst for blood… and honey. While it is a new series, I learned from others after I started listening, that it is set in the same world as and features characters from her Pride series. Perhaps I would have enjoyed Hot and Badgered more had I read the earlier series, because one of my issues was the sheer volume of characters and side stories. It was confusing and difficult to follow at times. The story is shared from multiple POVs and can make your head spin a bit. Hot and Badgered is billed as the romance between Honey Badger/Wolf shifter, Charlie MacKilligan, and Bear shifter Berg Dunn; however, there is very little romance in the book. The story follows Charlie and her half sisters, Max (full Honey Badger) and Frankie (Honey Badger/Tiger), as the run for the lives from an array of dangerous threats. Their father is a major lowlife, who is constantly putting his own kids’ lives in danger, and the Irish MacKilligans are a crime family. So… there is a lot to run from. Good thing Charlie and her sisters know how to fight and take care of themselves. Their adventures are outlandish and there is never a moment’s rest. Eventually, there is a bit of courting between Charlie and Berg – who are adorable together – but the romance is a very small part of the overall story. While the tale itself was somewhat interesting, definitely exciting, and mostly entertaining, the characters could be mildly annoying. They are always fighting, and they are all completely over-the-top. Everything is outlandish and dramatic. I will admit that after a LONG while, the Mackilligan sisters and Dunn triplets grew on me, but the story went on way too long and had too many side characters and subplots. The narration from Ms. Odom was solid. She used distinct voices for each character, easily recognizable whenever I picked up the book and started listening. Some of the voices felt cartoonish or exaggerated at first, but as the book went on, I realized that those voices fit the nature of the characters. She pulls of several accents, some better than...
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Mar
29

Review: Dearest Ivie by J.R. Ward

Review: Dearest Ivie by J.R. Ward Dearest Ivie Author: J.R. Ward Reviewer: Una Rating: A-/B+ What I’m Talking About: Dearest Ivie is a novella in the world of Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB).  I enjoyed this short story of romance that alludes to a previous novel but instead of following the heartbreaking ending, this one is happy and hopeful. I really enjoyed Ivie’s character.  She is a nurse working in Haver’s clinic.  Though a commoner and more mainstream “American” than members of the aristocracy, I liked her strength of self.  She is unapologetically Ivie, daughter of a biker and a forthright and intelligence female.  Though we encounter a few of the mainstream BDB characters, the story truly is focused on Ivie and Silas. It is an attraction of opposites as Silas is an aristocrat, older and moneyed.  Ivie is compassionate and outspoken, definitely not a wilting, wealthy female.  Through this whirlwind romance, Silas learns everything about Ivie, while keeping himself shrouded in mystery.  But when his secrets come out, it is a heartbreaking realization.  Yet, Ivie is a fighter and her determination and willingness to speak and work to find a solution is endearing.  The happy ending was worth the anxious tension while reading. For fans of the series, this is a must read.  I am overjoyed that love wins in the end and there is a happily-ever-after.  I eagerly look forward to catching a glimpse of Ivie and Silas in future BDB world novels. My Rating:  A-/B+ Liked It A Lot About the Book: The last place Ivie expects to be approached by a devastatingly handsome male is in a crowded, smoky cigar bar rarely frequented by vampires—yet here he stands. Silas is flirtatious, gallant, and, above all, mysterious. Ivie is anything but. A nurse at the healer’s clinic and the daughter of a biker, Ivie is accustomed to speaking her mind. So she does. Since aristocrats rarely pick up females of her class, Ivie asks Silas just what kind of game he thinks he’s playing. Despite her guarded exterior, Ivie surrenders to the fierce desire she feels for Silas. And yet, just as their courtship is heating up, he reveals that it cannot last, for he is bound to return to the Old Country. Their bond only deepens as they make the most of their precious time together. But when she learns the truth, Ivie must find a saving grace—before all is lost. . . . Release Date: Ballantine Books Publisher: March 13, 2018...
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Mar
21

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon Author: Kerrelyn Sparks Reviewer: Una Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Ms. Sparks continues to enthrall me with her Embraced fantasy romance series.  I thoroughly loved Gwen and Silas’s journey and look forward to the next installment. I was most intrigued by the hint in the last book, So, I Married a Sorcerer that Gwen would be the next heroine.  She is the most unique appearing of the Isle of the Moon “sisters”; her elven features easily distinguish her ethnicity.  Though accepted by her sisters, many others do not. It was sad to see that the animosity from the extended wars between the elves and humans color how the majority of folks treated her.  This was most emphasized by her reception after being kidnapped and dropped among Silas’s people. Silas is no stranger to be ostracized, even though he is a prince.  Unfortunately a curse seems to plague not only his country but himself.  Gwen’s personality; her wit and intelligence combined with her unique beauty calls to Silas.  I enjoyed their courtship, even though Gwen fought stubbornly against it.  She feared she would never be accepted by Silas’s people and therefore would rather her heart break than his.  Though it was trying at times, I could understand Gwen’s reluctance to place Silas in a more negative position than he already was.  Thankfully true love wins, as always, giving Gwen and Silas a happy, though bittersweet ending.  The revelations of Gwen’s past along with the mystery of the curse was gripping. As I said, I continue to love this world and witness how these embraced sisters are bring about a positive world impact. The world is rich, the characters are endearing and the plots are intriguing.  I am eager for the next novel in hopes that our heroes will finally banish the evil that is trying to take hold. My Rating:  A, Loved It About the Book: Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. But when the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a...
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Mar
19

Review: Guardian of Darkness by Katie Reus

Review: Guardian of Darkness by Katie Reus Guardian of Darkness Author: Katie Reus Reviewer: Jen Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Vega is the half-werewolf, half-vampire daughter of two very powerful supernaturals and has long been the darling of her father’s pack. When we met Vega in the first Darkness book, she was a teenager, and although we didn’t see most of her years since then, she’s now a recent college graduate who is ready to make her mark in the world. Knowing her parents may object, Vega joined a secret government supernatural Black Ops team and is heading out on her first mission. Gabriel has known Vega is his destined mate long before he even met her, and when his feelings started to become more-than-a-Guardian in nature, he put distance between himself and Vega. He thinks staying away from her will prevent the vision of her death coming true; however, when he sees her strike out on her own with a dangerous group, he is compelled to intervene. Now he’s part of her Black Ops mission and heading straight into the heart of his former home, where he foresaw Vega die. Ms. Reus’s Darkness series is a favorite of mine. I enjoy the breadth of the mythology, bringing in all types of supernatural beings, including different half-breeds, each unique and with interesting abilities. Vega is a wonderful example; she was something different and new to the Pack when we first met her, and her abilities continue to evolve as she matures. One thing I adore about Vega and Gabriel’s story is the straightforward nature of relationship. Don’t get me wrong – there is subterfuge, and both keep secrets, but once they are together and working on the mission, they open up. For example, Gabriel’s vision was used in the past as a way to keep the pair apart, and could have easily continued to remain a secret, but he shares with her his knowledge and concerns rather than allow them to fester. Likewise, Vega could have hidden her sleuthing activities from Gabriel, but she is honest, and they work as equals on a team. The mutual respect and admiration ignites their sexual chemistry, and they cannot keep their lust at bay. Guardian of Darkness introduces several new interesting individuals to the Darkness world, each with ties to existing characters. While the addition of so many new players could feel cumbersome, Ms. Reus integrates each with a solid storyline, and in the process has created several...
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Feb
15

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: How to Date Your Dragon Author: Molly Harper Narrator: Amanda Ronconi + Jonathan Davis Audio Speed: 1.5x Series: Mystic Bayou #1 Genre: Paranormal Romance Source: Purchased How to Date Your Dragon is the initial offering in Ms. Harper’s new audiobook-first Mystic Bayou series. The book takes place in modern-day Louisiana, in a world where a limited number of humans know about the existence of the paranormal beings who live among us. The League for Interspecies Cooperation is one group who knows about the paras and is preparing for the day everyone else finds out. Jillian is sent to the town of Mystic Bayou by the League to study how different paranormal species and humans coexist peacefully, and catalog it so that it can be used as a guide for future towns once the general human population discovers paranormals exist. She is sent at the last minute because her boss was injured in an accident involving a unicorn. The town’s folk are generally welcoming of Jillian, most especially the mayor, Zed who is a bear shifter, and Jillian’s love interest: Bael, who is a dragon shifter and the sheriff. However, after she arrives, a few of the paranormals are murdered, putting Jillian in the middle of a criminal investigation. Overall, I really enjoyed listening to How to Date Your Dragon. It’s trademark Molly Harper humor, but a little less snarky. Jillian is smart and kind; she can be precious and darling, but also a firecracker. And Bael is a perfect match for her (and she for him). Bael is gruff, but he cares about the residents of Mystic Bayou, something unique among dragons, making him a bit of an outcast in his family. I love how Bael just jumps headfirst into his feelings for Jillian, even if she’s a bit reluctant. In addition to the romance, the book features a solid mystery. Residents are being brutally murdered, something that hasn’t happened in the small town in years. I like how Bael and Jillian work side by side to solve the crimes. And then there is the aspect of the rift, about which we learned very little, but is exciting, and I hope we get more soon. The narration from Ms. Ronconi is exactly what I’ve come to expect. She hits all the southern dialects and seems to alter her voice just right to fit high-speed Jillian and more laid-back Bael and...
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