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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Aug
6

Review: Chase the Darkness by J.D. Tyler

Review: Chase the Darkness by J.D. Tyler Chase the Darkness Author: J.D. Tyler Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: The Alpha Pack series continues to be a solid, fun, escape read with release of Chase the Darkness, the seventh book in the series.  Overall we liked Micah and Jacee’s story and the ever intriguing character and world. This novel continues the story of Micah, an alpha pack team member who was imprisoned and tortured by Bowman in an attempt to create super soldiers.  Micah has been in a state of long-term healing from the physical and emotional trauma he suffered.  Scarred on the inside and out, Gikany and Una have been waiting to watch him find light and an HEA.  We were not disappointed in his journey to Jaycee, his bondmate.  Nor were we disappointed with their courtship – though for all of Micah’s desire to court her properly, they did fall into bed pretty quickly.  However, with the mating urges, we understand the urgency and speed.  The struggle of Micah with his personal demons was also an interesting element.  We admired Micah’s determination. Jacee is a coyote shifter and the bartender at the closest bar to the Alpha Pack’s compound.  We met her previously in Jax’s novel.  Jacee and Jax dated before Jax met his bondmate.  We really liked Jacee but did not care for the initial response and reactions of Micah’s team when they found out who she is.  We could understand Micah’s reaction, along with that of Jax and his mate Kira, when the four were confronted with each other, but the rest of the team’s response struck a sour note with us.  It didn’t detract from our enjoyment but it did rub us the wrong way.  Jacee has a fascinating back-story and personality.   We look forward to seeing the continuation of their HEA in the future novels. Gikany and Una really liked the antagonist and conflict he posed in Chase the Darkness.  It was fascinating and darkly suspenseful.  The race to uncover the antagonist’s identity and thwart him was compelling and gripping.  Through this we find out that there still lurks a larger big bad, and we look forward to more in the series. The Alpha Pack series continues to be a fun and gripping paranormal military romance series.  We like the characters and the varied paranormals involved.  The series should be read in order and do read the extra novella’s as they enhance the experience.  We...
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Jul
28

Review: Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler

Review: Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler Wolf Trouble Author: Paige Tyler Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Wolf Trouble is the second novel in the SWAT series.  Gikany and Una enjoyed Xander and Khaki’s journey and thought it was even better than the previous novel, Hungry Like the Wolf. The chemistry between Xander and Khaki sizzled and we enjoyed watching them try to deny their attraction to each other.  Once they stopped denying their connection, their passion exploded.  As they pursued their relationship, we did find it a bit silly that they insisted on hiding their relationship from their boss, Gabe, since he would understand the nature of finding “The One”.  However, we could understand their fears.  Their journey was gripping and we truly liked how it was seamlessly woven with the other aspects of the novel. The overall plot of the bank robbers was intriguing.  We enjoyed how it was entwined with Khaki’s crazy ex.  Though the pace of these elements was slow, the addition of other missions helped to keep the action moving.  Although we enjoyed how the pack quickly and thoroughly integrated Khaki into their ranks, we did find her ability to catch on to SWAT procedures and skills a bit of a stretch. We continue to like this series and wonder whose story will be next.  If you enjoy a bit of paranormal shifter in a law enforcement setting, you might just want to pick up the SWAT series. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: He’s in trouble with a capital T… There’s never been a female on the Dallas SWAT team and Senior Corporal Xander Riggs prefers it that way. The elite pack of alpha male wolfshifters is no place for a woman. But Khaki Blake is no ordinary woman. When Khaki walks through the door attractive as hell and smelling like heaven, Xander doesn’t know what the heck to do. Worse, she’s put under his command and Xander’s protective instincts go on high alert. When things start heating up both on and off the clock, it’s almost impossible to keep their heads in the game and their hands off each other… Release Date: August 4, 2015 Publisher: Sourcebooks Series: SWAT #2 ISBN: #978-1492608509 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Military Format(s): Paperback (352 pages), e-book Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley Purchase Info: Wolf Trouble (SWAT #2) Reviews in the Series: Hungry like the Wolf by Paige Tyler (SWAT...
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Jul
23

Review: Sarai’s Fortune by Abigail Owen

Review: Sarai’s Fortune by Abigail Owen Sarai’s Fortune Author: Abigail Owen Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Sarai’s Fortune is the second novel in the Shadowcat Nation series.  Gikany and Una liked this novel more than the first novel and look forward to more in the series. First, the world-building was much better.  We were able to stay fully immersed in the story while learning about the world at the same time.  Through Sarai, we learned more about the Kuharte, those shifters that have a little extra supernatural ability such as healing, seers, etc.  Zac introduced us to the polar bear Timiks and culture.  But this was much more seamlessly woven into the story and less noticeable.  Plus it is interesting to see how this new Shadowcat Nation is still growing and changing. Second, we enjoyed the slowly burning romance between Zac and Sarai.  Although their story didn’t go in the direction we anticipated, we enjoyed the journey.  Zac and Sarai are bounded by loyalty to their individual groups, but they find a way to be together.  Their communication and their give and take as they danced closer to each other was captivating. Lastly, we enjoyed learning more of the overall plot against the Shadowcat Nation.  We were introduced to an overall ‘big bad’ that we assume will continue through the series.  However, the story of Kyle was resolved and we liked how poetic justice was served. All in all, we liked Sarai’s Fortune and look forward to continuing the Shadowcat Nation series.  If you like slower paced but action filled paranormal romance, you might just want to pick up this new series. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: Zac Montclair’s first priority is to protect his people. With the escalating war between factions of shifters over land and resources, he has agreed to an alliance between his polar bears and the Shadowcat Nation of cougar shifters. But the treaty comes with a condition…he must accept one of their Seers into his Timik and put her under his personal protection.  Sarai Bouchard doesn’t need her supernatural gift to know that Kyle Carstairs’s obsession with controlling her ability will eventually result in her misery and demise. Her power is essential to her people’s survival, so when Kyle goes rogue, she’s sent to Zac Montclair to keep her safe. However, her visions reveal that while staying will lead to their becoming lovers, it also leads to his death. Leaving Zac will...
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Jul
21

Review: Harmonized by Mary Behre

Review: Harmonized by Mary Behre Harmonize Author: Mary Behre  Reviewer: Una Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: For fans of the Tidewater series, I think Harmonized is a must. It can be read as a stand-alone novella, but it is much richer knowing Zig from the previous novel, Spirited. I enjoyed revisiting with Zig and seeing him have a happily ever after. I liked Karma as well and felt that she and Zig complemented each other.  It gives a nice background to what I assume will be the serial killer plot in the next full novel, but I don’t believe that it is vital to read Harmonized before the next book.  However, for those who enjoyed seeing Zig in the first novel, it’s great to see him again, healing and doing better.  Plus, the tension between Zig and Karma is well worth it. The premise of the missing child was compelling and I enjoyed how it played out.  Though it didn’t go as I was expecting, I really liked how Ms. Behre resolved the mystery.  Although the story moves quickly, with the past history between Karma and Zig, the pacing felt right.  The urgency to find the child helped to add to the tension and keep my fingers glued to the page. Again, for fans of the Tidewater series, I think you will enjoy seeing Zig again and watching him find his happily-ever-after.  For those who are thinking of trying the series, you can try this novella out, but know you might not have as deep a connection to Zig or understand the full ties between him and some other characters that make an appearance. My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot About the Book: After nearly dying on assignment, Tidewater police officer Zig Harmon has been awarded the Silver Star and desk duty. But handling every case that walks through the door while his entire department is out hunting a serial killer is nothing compared to dealing with his former flame, Karma De La Cruz. As much as she hates it, Karma knows that her best chance of finding the kidnapped baby haunting her visions is the man she once left behind. Forced to work together, Karma and Zig start to realize that they may have let go of something incredible. But now, time is running out, both for the missing infant and for their chance to start again… Release Date: July 21, 2015 Publisher: Intermix Series: Tidewater #2.5 ASIN: #B00NMPN2NW Genre: Paranormal...
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Jul
14

Review: SEAL Wolf Hunting by Terry Spear

Review: SEAL Wolf Hunting by Terry Spear SEAL Wolf Hunting Author: Terry Spear Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Lori Greypaw has never been subordinate to anyone. Fiercely protective of those she loves, she has always known just what to do to when any of her pack needed comforting. Even as a cub, she was able to soothe the grieving, headstrong son of their fallen leaders. Now, she’d be happy if she could do the same for the man he’s become. Paul Cunningham is alpha to the core. A highly capable SEAL, he’s no stranger to threats and has never backed away from a challenge–especially the she-wolf who has captivated him all his life. Still, settling down wasn’t something he thought he’d ever be able to do. That is, until a visit home proves that a true leader will always have things that are worth fighting for, and that he could have everything his heart desires, if he’s just strong enough to stay. It seems like ages since I’ve read about Ms. Spears’ SEAL wolves, so I was very happy to see that SEAL Wolf Hunting was available for review. This series is expansive, and ranges over several continents, but many of the characters are related, either by family, circumstance, or both, so reconnecting the links between these specific stories wasn’t too difficult. As I’d hoped, this newest entry in the Heart of the Wolf series was packed with romance, humor, and suspense. The affection that is evident between Lori and Paul was definitely one of my favorite things about this story. Their interactions shift from playful to serious and mildly antagonistic to passionate, their lifelong camaraderie making the transitions seem effortless. Theirs is a relationship built on loss and perseverance, but most of all, faith in each other. The undeniable lust that is smoldering between the two of them only adds to it, and is a highly enjoyable bonus. While I enjoyed seeing the wolves face down their enemies, I felt that the bad guys might have benefitted from a little more duality. They were so obvious and shallow that the rest of the wolves spent much of the story waiting for them to do worse and worse things. Which they did. On the other hand, there was an additional mystery playing out in parallel, and the resulting conflict brought the entire narrative to an excitingly satisfying end. I have yet to read a Heart of the Wolf story that I didn’t like...
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Jul
8

Review: Beyond the Darkness by Katie Reus

Review: Beyond the Darkness by Katie Reus Beyond the Darkness Author: Katie Reus Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Keelin is a dragon shifter who recently awakened from Protective Hibernation. Although she’s considered royalty among her pack and is sister to the pack alpha, she was sheltered her whole life by parents. After surviving an attack (in the previous book), she decided it was time to live life on her own terms and has moved to Finn Stavros’s wolf pack, working at Bo Broussard’s bar, striking out on her own while her parents are still in Protective Hibernation. One month ago while helping Keelin’s pack, Bran Devlin, alpha of another dragon clan, recognized that his dragon wants to mate with Keelin. Although she rebuffed his advances previously, he’s come to town to find her and win her over. However, when it becomes evident that Keelin’s life is in danger, Devlin’s dragon decides it is time to take Keelin sooner rather than later. Although Beyond the Darkness is the third book in Ms. Reus’s paranormal Darkness series, the story is written so that one can enjoy it without knowledge of the previous two titles. The author works in enough backstory and world-building to engage new-to-the-series readers, but it is not overly repetitive for those who have read the earlier titles. The story and romance are standalone, without any over-arching plot between books in the series. The story elements are typical of paranormal romance, including shifters, danger, an alpha male, and the insta-love mating that drives the couple together. However, that’s where the similarities end. What I enjoyed most about Beyond the Darkness was how atypical Bran’s alpha male is when relating to Keelin. He recognizes her need to have freedom of choice and be an equal among warriors, and his motivations to win her over follow. He never once “dumbs down” his efforts to woo her, yet he uses his fierce desire to show Keelin that respects her needs and wishes. I really like Bran and Keelin as a couple. Not only are they well-balanced and respectful, but they are smokin’ hot. The pair has an immediate attraction that kicks off the mating process right from the start. There is conflict, however, because Keelin doesn’t care for an over-protective alpha male or any mate, ever. I like the back and forth play that the pair go through until they find compromise and learn to believe and trust in the actions and words of the...
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Jul
1

Review: Flight from Death by Yasmine Galenorn

Review: Flight from Death by Yasmine Galenorn Flight from Death Author: Yasmine Galenorn Reviewer: Gikany & Una Rating: C+ What We’re Talking About: Flight from Death is the debut novel in a new spin-off series, Fly by Night, from Yasmine Galenorn.  Although the premise was promising with a fascinating world, it just did not deliver for Gikany and Una. First, we need to say that we did not read the original series.  If we had, the story might have made a little more sense, and we may have been more invested in the story.  There are several flashbacks during the story that takes us from the action and mystery of the ‘now’ and throws us back to learn more of Shimmer’s back-story.  We would have preferred having all of Shimmer’s back-story at the beginning of the novel so once the story commenced we could have been nicely immersed in it without the repeated distractions.  The back-story was useful in learning more about Shimmer (especially for those of us who did not read the founding series), but it really interrupted the flow of the story and would have been better to have all at once at the beginning as more of a prologue. The story is intriguing.  The nature of the big bad and the ghost story element were fascinating and well woven.  The variety of supernatural creatures was interesting.  However, the story meanders quite a lot.  It felt as if it took a long time to get to the final conflict with lots of unnecessary twists.  There are scenes that were not really necessary. One of the aspects that truly bothered us was the relationship between Alex and Shimmer.  Although Shimmer has been attracted to Alex since she arrived Earthside, Alex was in a relationship.  However, Alex felt the same attraction and ended his relationship so he could have Shimmer (which he does right at the beginning of the novel).  Two things that are deep strikes against Alex: 1 – If the relationship is over, don’t just hang around waiting for the next great thing (stringing along your girlfriend) – break it off now, don’t wait to break it off until you have something better to go after. Be an adult. 2 – Break it off honestly – don’t cheat on your girlfriend to drive her away so you can be rid of her. Shimmer seems completely fine with this.  Their love scene is early in the novel and in a strange point in the storyline. ...
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Jun
26

Review: Fandemic by Jennifer Estep

Review: Fandemic by Jennifer Estep Fandemic Author: Jennifer Estep Reviewer: Gikany & Una Rating: A What We’re Talking About: Fandemic is the fifth novel in Ms. Estep’s wonderful Bigtime series.  If you love fun, exciting, quirky, colorful superhero type worlds, then you are seriously missing out if you haven’t picked up this series yet. Ms. Estep delivers another well written, joyously fun, and exciting novel in the Bigtime series.  We loved Piper!  She is a normal girl in a superhero world.  She loves following the superheroes, and cleverly figures out who some of them really are, but loyally and trustworthily keeps this highly prized information to herself.  It backfired on her when she confessed to her boyfriend, Kyle, that she knew he was secretly the superhero Swifte.  Despite suffering that blow to her heart, Piper continues on, trying to mend her broken heart after Kyle ends things with her.  It is hard to move on when your heart still yearns, but she manages until she discovers a nefarious plot and the next victim is Swifte. It is easy to inhale these novels, which is okay because they are just as much fun to reread.  Gikany and Una feel this is one of our favorite series.  Ms. Estep masterfully creates and presents this colorful, fun, and exciting world through down-to-earth characters that nicely contrast with the over-the-top colorful and expressive superheroes and villains.  However, what makes Fandemic standout from the previous novels is the theme of “it’s okay to be yourself” woven in.  We loved how Piper dreams of being a superhero although she is pretty super just as herself.  Kyle and Piper’s love story is sweetly and passionately woven within the exciting plot of evil villain hell-bent on his dastardly goals. If you haven’t picked up this series, you should.  You can jump in with Fandemic, but the world and characters will have more meaning if you start with the first novel, Karma Girl.  You won’t be disappointed, trust us! Our Rating:  A, Loved It About the Book: Piper Perez has always wanted to be a superhero. Always wanted to wear a cool costume, have amazing abilities, and save the day. There’s just one problem—Piper doesn’t have any superpowers.  So she focuses on other things. Facts, figures, memorabilia. Piper knows and collects it all, about both the superheroes and the ubervillains who roam the streets of Bigtime, N.Y. Piper’s friends jokingly call her a fandemic—someone who is a superfan of all things superhero. The...
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Jun
25

Review: Bengal’s Quest by Lora Leigh

Review: Bengal’s Quest by Lora Leigh Bengal’s Quest Author: Lora Leigh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C- What I’m Talking About: Note: this book is not a standalone nor a good starting point in the series, as there is a convoluted, confusing overall story arc that has spanned several books. The opening prologue flashback helped me recall key parts of the ongoing story, but it’s not enough for a newcomer to the series. Jumping into the mix… Cat was born a human, but was genetically altered into a Breed in an effort to save her from a childhood illness. For years she posed as Claire Martinez, hiding from the Genetic Council and the Breed who swore to kill her. Claire’s Native American spirit and family kept Cat safe until Claire’s father attacked her, revealing he is part of the Council. Now she has exposed herself as Cat, a Bengal Breed. Many years ago, Gideon aka Graeme Parker, saved a little girl he called his own. Even though he swore to kill Cat for saving him when she transfused some of her blood into him all those years ago, Graeme did it to protect her from the mating heat. Now that Cat is a grown woman, Graeme knows it is time to claim what is his. CONFUSED? Yes… this story has been confusing from the start. The multiple personas and vague descriptions of transferring spirits and souls into other bodies has always bothered me a bit. However, as crazy as the storyline has been, I feel that the author did a better than usual job detailing what happened to Cat and others all those years ago over the course of Bengal’s Quest. I finally feel like all of the puzzle pieces have been locked into place and the bigger picture makes some sense. Although the story was a bit more streamlined, I found I just didn’t care about the romance between Graeme/Gideon and Cat. I kept waiting for that moment when I’d feel something and cheer for the couple, but it never really came. I liked that Cat was strong-willed and appreciated her efforts to reach both Gideon the “monster” and Graeme the alpha. However, I was disappointed with Gideon. After watching his character and actions from the periphery for multiple books, I expected more than what was delivered. And as a mated pair, their romance was mediocre, while the infamous Breed sex scenes were missing their typical edginess. Additionally, I found myself annoyed with the side...
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Jun
23

Review: Andromeda’s Fall by Abigail Owen

Review: Andromeda’s Fall by Abigail Owen Andromeda’s Fall Author: Abigail Owen Reviewer: Gikany & Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Andromeda’s Fall is the debut novel in the Shadowcat Nation series.  Overall, Gikany and Una liked the interesting world portrayed, the mythology, and the story of Jaxon and Andromeda (Andie). This shifter paranormal romance was fascinating.  It started with Andie breaking into Jaxon’s territory and took off from there.  We enjoyed how Andie’s storyline wove into Jaxon’s.  Although their meeting and subsequent romance could have easily been clichéd, it wasn’t.  Ms. Owen gave us a few twists and turns that kept it fresh and intriguing.  We enjoyed how well matched Jaxon and Andie were and their journey was as emotionally charged as it was exciting. Although there isn’t a lot of world-building, there is enough to give the feel of the world while leaving room for us to learn more through future novels.  The building of the mythology didn’t slow down the pace of the novel.  This is a world that appears to have both shifters and non-shifters, though this novel focuses on the shifters primarily.  The shifters are broken into different groups with the shifters who naturally form groups (wolves, lions, etc.) hunting down the more solitary shifters to gain territory.  The normally solitary mountain lions have banded together to form groups loosely allied as the Shadowcat Nation.  Since this book focused on the Shadowcats, most specifically Andie’s and Jaxon’s packs, we look forward to learning more about other animal packs in future novels. Una did have one hiccup that Gikany did not.  As Una read, she felt that the novel vacillated between an urban fantasy feel and a paranormal romance feel.  This was most notable to her when Jaxon and Andie’s mating ceremony and their first full sexual encounter were glossed over.  Though we see them intimate later (and they have a passionate interlude prior), if this is a true paranormal romance, the mating ceremony and their first full “mating” should have been included.  Though this didn’t detract from Una’s enjoyment (and again, Gikany noticed no lack), it still struck her as odd. The way the novel ends leads us to the next couple that will be the focus of the next novel.  Gikany and Una look forward to reading the next novel in the Shadowcat Nation series and hope to learn more about this fascinating world of shifters. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: Andromeda Reynolds is being hunted....
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