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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Sep
22

Review: Dance with the Devil by Angela Dennis

Review: Dance with the Devil by Angela Dennis Dance with the Devil Author: Angela Dennis  Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Dance with the Devil is the first book in the Soul’s Harbor Pride series.  We had not previously read any books by Angela Dennis, but her new paranormal series sounded interesting.  Overall, we are glad we picked it up. This lion shifter series shows promise, and we look forward to more. The beginning of Dance with the Devil is heavy on the sex, but the novel ends up being pretty well balanced between the romance and the mystery plot lines.  We liked the political suspense provided by the issues of the Council and their prejudice against half-breeds. We also enjoyed the suspense of whom Jillian would choose to mate with – would she take Lucas and follow the dictates of the Council or would she choose her heart and pick Carrick. The mythology was interesting, and we look forward to learning more in the upcoming novels in the Soul’s Harbor Pride series.  We have read a lot of paranormal novels that focus on shifters, and we found this one to be fascinating.  We liked how the half-breeds are actually stronger than the pure-breed shifters.  The prejudices and politics that come from that were an interesting quirk. Although we were concerned with how Carrick and Jillian’s story started, we were pleased with how they ended up.  They do share a history, and with the mythology of mating, their desire makes sense.  But to have them mate at the very beginning of the book was a bit much.  The novel shows the points-of-view of both Carrick and Jillian, which helped to give weight to their connection and feelings.  Their journey was compelling and we liked how they finally came together. We do wish that the antagonist’s backstory and character had been fleshed out better.  His identity was supposed to be shocking, but with so little information given about him and with us having no contact with him, it isn’t all that surprising.  Although the manipulations and assassination attempts were not particularly surprising (nor was the identity of who was behind them), the story was still compelling and engaging.  We liked how it progressed and resolved as we watched Jillian, Carrick, Lucas, and the Council appointed Regulator, Quinn, work to find out who perpetrators were and who was pulling their strings.  We especially loved Jillian’s two best friends, Garth and Abbey.  We were a bit...
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Sep
17

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 3

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 3 Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… What I’m Listening To: Title: Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever Author: Molly Harper Narrator: Amanda Ronconi Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Jane Jameson #3 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Chick-Lit Source: purchased/Audible Audiobook Review: Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever After suffering much of the downside of being turned into a vampire in the previous two books, I feared that Jane Jameson was going to be one of those characters who never learns, doesn’t really change, and is the unfortunate recipient of lots of bad luck. So, I’m happy to report that things turn around for Jane in her third adventure, Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever. While there are still several less desirable things that happen in Jane’s life, overall, this book marked a significant turning point for Jane. The book begins with Jane determined to make the most of her relationship with Gabriel as they tour Europe; however, Gabriel has grown distant, while acting extremely suspicious. I frankly did not like the man he’d become and cheered Jane on as she walked out on him, although my heart also broke for her. Moving on without Gabriel, Jane successfully opens her bookshop, but her life takes several bumps along the way, and now Jane doesn’t have Gabriel to help her through. Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever follows Jane as she navigates her romantic relationship, meddling family, friendships, running her own business, and protecting herself from a stalker. Like the previous two titles, the story bounces all over the place, reflecting Jane’s own thoughts and actions. She’s a bit spastic and neurotic, making her enduring, but a bit hard to follow at times. There are scenes, which initially felt a bit random, only to have Jane come back around to that issue/topic down the road. Sometimes it felt a little overwhelming, but overall the story flowed well, especially with Amanda Ronconi narrating the tale. And Jane’s sarcastic wit stoled the show, allowing me to laugh away any little irritations. I will admit, I was initially a bit frustrated with Jane and all the crap tossed her way. But then Jane started standing up for herself and making better decisions. I cheered as she was able to find herself, while continuing to stick her foot in her mouth from time-to-time. I especially enjoyed watching as Jane grew closer to her own family, despite the obstacles that were in the way. By the end of the book, I felt that Jane reached a...
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Sep
14

Blog Tour + Review: Base Instincts by Larissa Ione

Blog Tour + Review: Base Instincts by Larissa Ione From the author: Hi, everyone! I’m so excited to be on the Base Instincts blog tour. Raze and Slake’s story was a labor of love for me, and while theirs isn’t the first m/m story I’ve written, it’s a first for the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series. If you’re curious about how it all started, be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the first two books set in the Demonica/LOD universe (details below), and for more information, head on over to www.LarissaIone.com! That’s What I’m Taking About Review: Base Instincts Author: Larissa Ione Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- Damon Slake (aka Slake) never quite fit into his violent demon family, so he made a deal with a demonic law firm to escape his home. As a weapon specialist and bounty hunter, he successfully brings in any sort of prey his employer demands. His current assignment is to track down a demon named Fayle, and if he doesn’t bring her in ASAP, he’ll lose his soul to the law firm. Raze works for Underworld General and at a high-end demon club as a paramedic. As a Seminus demon, he must have sex with a female every day or die a painful death; however, Raze is only attracted to males. Luckily, when he reached sexual maturation, his parents found Fayle, a succubus, to help ease his needs, and the pair has been together for 30 years. While the couple does what is needed for each to survive, it’s cold and impersonal. Raze is beginning to realize just how lonely his arrangement has made him when he meets the mysterious Slake. Base Instincts is an exciting and entertaining novella set in Ms. Ione’s uber-sexy Demonica world. For those who know the series, you will delight in seeing several familiar characters who play relevant roles in Raze and Slake’s story. Although it is part of the Demonica series, the story is certainly standalone, although could be spoilerish if you aren’t up-to-date with the books. Raze and Slake share an intense and immediate attraction. Unfamiliar with the biological requirements of Seminus demons, Slake pushes Raze’s buttons, demanding a sexual response. Once Raze gives in to his lust for Slake, he must explain the need for Fayle to be part of their passion. I loved that Slake didn’t let his feelings for Raze diminish because of his job and connection to Fayle. Both are two lost souls searching for that missing piece,...
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Sep
10

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Archangel’s Enigma Author: Nalini Singh Narrator: Justine Eyre Listening Speed: 1.0x Reviewer: Una Overall Rating: A Audiobook Source: Tantor Media/publisher What I’m Talking About: This was my first time listening to a Guild Hunter series book rather than reading it.  I truly enjoyed the experience and may do it again.  This series continues to be one of my absolute top series to follow. I loved Naasir and Andi’s story in Archangel’s Enigma.  At first I was apprehensive about Naasir, the glimpses we got from other characters’ perspectives made him seem far more juvenile than he is.  I wasn’t sure I wanted such a youthful story of love.  However, I need to have more faith in Ms. Singh and her ability to craft a story.  Through this novel, we truly see him as he is – all of his uniqueness, intelligence and mirth.  Nassir possesses a childlike core of truth and honesty, even with his mischievousness.  I now truly understand why he is a part of the Seven and he certainly belongs there. Andi was the right mate for him and I absolutely loved the honesty between them, their communication, their playfulness and the honor that they both hold so dear.  They truly are a wonderful couple.  Andi was far braver and stronger than I gave her credit for in the beginning.  Her will is of iron and her loyalty absolute.  I loved her strength of character, and her ability to abide by what she knows is right.  The contrast between her and her family is staggering, but the glimpse of the true character of her mother at the end was bittersweet.  I really loved the journey Andi takes. So much happens in this installment of the Guild Hunters series:  the awakening of another ancient, the thickening of Lijuan’s plot to rule the world, and the evolution taking place due to the Cascade (and the continuing effects it is causing).  It was completely gripping.  Though we are given no clues to who will be the focus of the next book, I look to the complexity of Illium and the effects of the Cascade on him, the continued healing of Aodhan and the possibility of Venom, or perhaps a book that focuses back on Raphael and Elena.  No matter what I eagerly look forward to more in the series, it is truly one of my favorites. It would be...
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Sep
8

Review: Midnight Hunter by Kait Ballenger

Review: Midnight Hunter by Kait Ballenger Midnight Hunter Author: Kait Ballenger Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Midnight Hunter is the third book in Ms. Ballenger’s intense and action-filled Execution Underground series. Mixing both traditional and unique paranormal mythologies, the author has constructed an exciting world that successfully pairs opposites to create dynamic romances. Dr. Shane Grey is a popular professor of Religious Studies at the local college and serving as a Witch Hunter for EU on the sly. While equally as rough and tough as his EU counterparts, Shane has that straight-laced, nerdy professor vibe going for him. He’s attracted to one of his students-a former black magic practitioner at that-which causes him endless internal strife, especially since he needs her help on a case. Vera Sanders has worked hard to distance herself from her notorious father and get over her addiction to black magic. In a moment of weakness, she falls off the wagon and indulges in spell-casting with a dark coven. When her heart-throb-of-a-professor comes seeking her help to find the very coven she’s recently met with, Vera tries hard to help without revealing her secrets – or act on her desires for Dr. Shane Grey. Overall, I enjoyed the story and premise behind Midnight Hunter. The mythology of magic was interesting, and thankfully, wasn’t nearly as complex and confusing as the were and demon mythologies found in the previous two stories. I liked how everything was pretty straight forward. I also loved how the EU team worked together and had a camaraderie which has been building over the course of the past few books. I found the author did a good job creating a likable hero. I liked seeing the more personal side of Shane via his home life. I felt like I understood his motives and actions, even his uptight, stick-to-the-rules personality. Similarly, we got to see Vera, but she had a less three dimensional feeling. For too long, her primary motives revolved around hiding her black magic nature, understandable so, but it didn’t allow me to see as much of her character. She was very defensive and felt immature at times, making it harder for me to connect to her character. While I enjoyed watching each of the primary characters grow and work to uncover the truth behind some gruesome deaths, as a couple, they fell a bit flat. The fact that each worked so hard to maintain a professional distance and fight their mutual lust,...
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Sep
3

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Masters of Seduction, Volume 2

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Masters of Seduction, Volume 2 Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Masters of Seduction, Volume 2 Author: Lara Adrian, Donna Grant, Alexandra Ivy, Laura Wright Narrator: Arika Rapson Listening Speed: 1.0x Reviewer: Una Overall Rating: A- Audiobook Source: Tantor Media/publisher What I’m Talking About: Although I did not read the first volume of Masters of Seduction, I enjoyed Masters of Seduction, Volume 2.  To make this review a little bit easier to follow, I separated thoughts on each of the four stories below, followed by my thoughts on the performance of the narrator, Arika Rapson.  Overall I enjoyed this novel.  I really liked how, even though each story can stand alone, they are linked in an overarching plot line.  The world was fascinating and rich and the passion burns your fingers (or ears). The novel begins with Priceless: House of Ebarron, which is the story of Sorin and Ashayla.  I enjoyed their story, even though it starts strangely in a casino over a bet.  Ashayla’s determined need to get her family’s lost necklace pitted against Soren’s need to possess her was captivating.  The story moves quickly, but it is understandable as this is a collection of novellas.  The premise of the mating need of a Nephilim and an Incubus master gave the speed of the plot believability.  It was satisfying, and I enjoyed their chemistry and passion.  I really enjoyed how this story was linked to the subsequent ones, being the start of an overarching plot line for the novel as a whole. The next story, Boundless: House of Drohas, is the story of Javan and Naomi.  I enjoyed their story as well, especially as it added more to the overarching plot of the novel.  My curiosity was piqued by the background politics of the incubi.  I liked that we get glimpses of the overall world as we experience the journey between the main characters.  Javan and Naomi were an interesting couple and I enjoyed their unique story.  Though the mystery of Naomi’s sister’s murder was quickly resolved (mostly in the background), it did work as a way to introduce the pair and give them a purpose to be together.  Their chemistry and passion were palpable and I enjoyed their communication. The third story is Dauntless: House of Trevanion which tells the story of Cass and Lia.  Sadly, this was my least favorite story in the collection.  It was a bit clichéd with it being a retelling of...
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Sep
2

Review: Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh

Review: Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh Archangel’s Enigma Author: Nalini Singh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Archangel’s Enigma picks up the story of angels, vampires, and Hunters roughly seven months after the conclusion of the previous book. Readers learn that Archangel Lijuan is, in fact, alive, yet not whole. Still viewing herself as a goddess, she seeks to act on a prophecy by killing one of the Ancients while he Sleeps. It is up to Raphael, with the help of Elena and his Seven, to prevent Lijuan from finding and harming Alexander. As a scholar and an expert in Sleeping Ancients, Andromeda is Raphael’s best bet to stop Lijuan. However, she is also Charisemnon’s granddaughter. (Charisemnon is the one who caused the Falling and a deadly vampire disease, and was aligned with Lijuan in the past). Since Andromeda has cut all family ties, Raphael trusts her and sends one of his Seven, Naasir, to protect her from Lijuan and assist her in her endeavors. When he meets Andromeda, Naasir, who has been on the hunt for his mate since the conclusion of the previous book, decides she may very well be his hidden mate. There are so many wonderful things about Archangel’s Enigma. Both the romantic storyline and over-arching plot of the brewing war between the Archangels, are entertaining and completely engrossing aspects of this tightly woven story. The two parts are well balanced, creating an almost perfect reading experience: urban fantasy action and intrigue together with a sensual paranormal love story. And once again, Ms. Singh proves how she is the master of character development. I’ll admit that I didn’t know how she’d be able to pull of a romance for Naasir. A little known and rarely seen member of the Seven, Naasir came across child-like, innocent, and almost feeble-minded in his actions and dialogue during the previous book. Yet at only the 12% mark of Archangel’s Enigma, I saw Naasir as a viable sexual being while maintaining his curious and innocent persona that made him feel childlike. Reading how his mind works and how he sees the world on a large scale and in ranging situations from lust to vengeance, sincerity to hurt, created a genuinely lovable character. Similarly, Ms. Singh creates the perfect match for Naasir in Andromeda. Both a scholar and a warrior, she understands and sees more than most others, and values Naasir for the person he is under the enigma of his species. She’s patient...
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Aug
27

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 2

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 2 Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… What I’m Listening To: Title: Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men Author: Molly Harper Narrator: Amanda Ronconi Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Jane Jameson #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Chick-Lit Source: purchased/Audible Audiobook Review: Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men picks up the story of Jane Jameson’s newly turned vampire life shortly after the conclusion of the previous book. Listeners discover that Jane’s BFF, Zeb, and his beloved, Joelene, are getting married, and Jane is the maid of honor. We also discover that Jane and her mom have found some sort of peace, but that her sister is suing her. The book generally follows the day-to-day going-ons of Jane’s crazy life, tossing in Jane’s familiar humor and quirky observations. Overall, I enjoyed the second offering in the Jane Jameson series. I love Jane’s snark and the general humorous mood of the story. Jane’s life is one crazy event after another, and generally, she handles everything with a sense of humor and a few tears. However, both Jane’s and Zeb’s family are overly cruel, making some of the story difficult to digest with the lightness intended in the story. Jane’s grandmother and sister are outrageous and mean. The same goes with Zeb’s mom, Ginger, who does everything and more to get Zeb and Jane together. It got to the point where I could no longer listen to her manipulations; they went beyond outrageous and straight into despicable. Although Jane handles herself with her typical sarcasm, it got to the point of annoying, and I was frustrated at how much Jane put up with. Don’t get me wrong, I really did like the book, and fortunately, those scenes weren’t as numerous as the good ones. I did like seeing Jane learn how to maneuver in the vampire world and learn to stand up more for herself. I also liked seeing her somewhat odd romance with her sire Gabriel evolve and grow. My favorite parts of the book were those interactions between Jane and her boss/surrogate-grandfather, Mr. Wainwright. Additionally, I found Dick Cheney to be my favorite character as he matures just enough to be lovable but retains his core personally. Amanda Ronconi turns in another excellent portrayal as Jane, along with the host of other southern characters. She nails both the charm of a southern lady, as well as the guilt of the southern mama. And the few things that slightly bothered...
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Aug
26

Review: Blood Sky by Traci L. Slatton

Review: Blood Sky by Traci L. Slatton Blood Sky Author: Traci L. Slatton Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: When we started The After series, it was a trilogy, but as book three ended, it was obvious that the trilogy had turned into a series.  Gikany and Una thought that the fourth book, Blood Sky, would be the end of the story.  It is not; it is a transitional novel that sets up another novel. Blood Sky flowed well even though it languished a bit in some parts.  Although many of the stops along Emma’s journey were necessary to the overall plot, some of them could have been cut.  We understand that in the After, they are traveling by horse and it takes a lot of time to get across long distances.  We do not need it illustrated in such a detailed manner.  It would have been nicer if some of the traveling were summarized while the story moved more quickly to the next milestone. This novel began and ended with Emma in the same place.  That is not to say that it was not engaging and that nothing happened.  Along the way Emma does confront Haywood and, though it isn’t surprising how it ends, there is some hope for Emma and her relationship with her children.  We continue to hope that if Emma can complete the mission she has chosen, she will succeed in eradicating the deadly mists from the Earth.  We wish that Emma would start to toughen up a bit more in her thinking.  In the After, she has got to understand that she does have a choice.  Even when the choices are between awful and horrible, there is still a choice.  Emma needs to learn to accept the responsibility for her choices and stop claiming she didn’t have a choice. One aspect that we continue to struggle with is Emma and her two love interests: her husband Haywood and her seemingly soul mate Arthur.  We struggle because Haywood continues to demonstrate he is a selfish and cruel man, even though we can understand his heartache at Emma’s adulterous relationship with Arthur.  Although we can see that her relationship with Haywood is over, we don’t quite understand why she hasn’t had a discussion with him regarding how to end it and keep a relationship with her children.  We dislike Arthur and can’t seem to understand why Emma is compelled to be with him.  Arthur is arrogant and deluded.  We...
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Aug
19

Review: Energized by Mary Behre

Review: Energized by Mary Behre Energized Author: Mary Behre Reviewer: Una Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: I’m happy to say that some of the critiques I had of the previous novels in the Tidewater series have been smoothed out, making Energized my favorite so far.  Niall and Hannah’s story was gripping, heartwarming and enjoyable. I really did enjoy Niall and Hannah’s journey.  Hannah is funky and flexible – open to life and anything really.  Her optimism is refreshing even when faced with continuing overbearing negativity.  Her determination and strength of character was admirable and I enjoyed that though she is a strong independent woman, she does need Niall.  Someone to watch over her and protect her from the dangers her visions pose to her sanity. Niall and Hannah are true compliments to each other.  Where Hannah is hope and honest Niall is cautious, careful and reserved.  I liked how Niall’s post-traumatic stress issues didn’t keep him from living life, though it does affect his daily life.  I feel that their relationship was helped by the fact that they had met previously.  Though they did have this one-night stand, I liked that they took time to get to know each other once they reconnected.  It was not all just lust and passion.  It was truly touching to watch them heal each other, especially in ways that they didn’t realize they needed. Though some of the characters were a little flat, overall the supporting characters were fascinating.  The mysterious serial killer plot was engaging and nerve-wracking.  I enjoyed how it played out, but I will say, it was uber-creepy.  The suspense of figuring out who Mercy is, as well as the race to save the latest victim, was gripping.  What I loved most about the mystery was the inclusion of Ian and Ryan, the private detectives (*ahem* private security specialists as they prefer to be called).  I hope that the series continues or spins off so we can see more of Ian and Ryan and their adventures.   I loved how the police procedures were improved along with good ‘ole Plan B between the private detectives (security specialists) and the police detectives. I hope the Tidewater series continues, as it seems to get better and better.  Though the premise of the three sisters appears to be finished, I can’t help but feel there are plenty of other characters that can continue the series (possibly some half siblings out there?).  Naill and Hannah’s story was the...
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