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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Jan
12

Review: Of Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson

Review: Of Flame and Promise by Cecy Robson Of Flame and Promise Author: Cecy Robson Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B+ What We’re Talking About: At first Gikany and Una thought we were getting Taran’s novel when we received Of Flame and Promise.  However, this is a prequel novella that gives Taran’s back-story and sets up what will be her journey in the coming novel. This novella was a breath of fresh air.  We liked seeing behind Taran’s brash bravado into a sweet and vulnerable soul.  We also loved seeing her sisters through her eyes, especially her view of Celia.  Throughout the previous novels, Celia was unsure of herself and was plagued with worry about her relationship with Aric and the welfare of her sisters.  Taran sees Celia as the head of the family and a rock of support and guidance.  She also witnesses Celia’s absolutely devastating heartbreak and learns through Celia’s example that she cannot allow herself to be that vulnerable – no matter how much she loves Gemini. This is the basis of what we think Taran’s journey will be.  We know she has buried deep inside of herself a trauma that prevents her from being able to commit fully to Gemini.  Even though they are mates, Celia’s experiences prove that sometimes even being fated mates isn’t enough to prevent heartbreak.  Taran would rather suffer the loss now than allow herself to feel a greater joy and risk an even greater heartbreak. Despite the heavy emotions of this novella, it still has the characteristic humor that is rampant in the Weird Girls series.  We thoroughly enjoyed the disaster of Taran meeting Gemini’s parents.  It is an epic disaster that will leave you in stitches.  Anything that could go wrong goes horribly wrong. Although this novella is labeled as book six, we think the events in the novella, make it book 3.5 or 4.5.  Knowing what happens in book five, we look forward to seeing through Taran’s eyes some of those events.  For fans of the series, this is a must read and we hope you enjoy its heartbreak and humor as much as we did. Our Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot About the Book: Cursed by a spell meant to destroy them, Taran Wird and her sisters instead developed unique magical talents. With the power of fire and lightning literally at her fingertips, Taran doesn’t fear much. Demons, vamps, whatever—bring ’em on! Only one thing terrifies her: commitment. Taran is crazy about her boyfriend,...
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Jan
6

Review: Tempted to Death by Jessica Jarman

Review: Tempted to Death by Jessica Jarman Tempted to Death Author: Jessica Jarman Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Tara Wilcox and her brother, Ben, are paranormal hunters. They track down evil, violent paras, hoping to stop them. Ben’s wife Nicole has been captured by a soul eater demon, and Tara knows the only way to find her is with the help of the best hunters in the business, Oliver and Luca. The problem? Tara and Ben are paras in hiding, while Oliver and Luca believe all paras are bad. The other issue? Tara is in love with the couple and left the pair without a word months ago. Tempted to Death is a fun romp in the paranormal romance genre, without being all sunshine and roses. Shared in the shifting third person POVs of Tara, Oliver, and Luca, the reader gets good insight into all facets of the trio’s relationship. The story isn’t overly long, and I appreciate that Ms. Jarman establishes a strong backstory romance for the trio right up front. It makes their romance more believable and allows me to understand and feel their pain over the break up and relate emotionally to Tara. Another great thing about Tempted to Death is that Luca, Oliver, and Tara each love the another: it’s a true menage. I found I enjoyed the story more because it’s three in love and not just two on one. While Oliver and Luca were in love before meeting Tara and remained a couple after she left, they both love her as well, and love being all together. Tempted to Death is an enjoyable, fairly quick paranormal erotic romance. The multi-person POV, gives a balanced view of the relationship and events. The characters are all likable, and with their off-page history, the bonds are stronger and more emotional. It’s one of those stories where you pretty much go in knowing what will happen, and the journey to get there is what makes the book so entertaining. My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot About the Book: Months ago, Tara Wilcox ran away from Luca Castell and Oliver Gordon. She’d fallen hard for the pair of hunters and feared their growing feelings for her. But what truly terrified her was the possibility that they’d discover what she really is. That she’s the very thing they hunted.  Luca and Oliver are partners, in every sense of the word, and their lives are spent running toward danger. Falling for Tara...
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Jan
6

Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire by Sara Humphreys

Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire by Sara Humphreys The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire Author: Sara Humphreys Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: The Good, the Bad and the Vampire is the fourth book in the Dead in the City series.  This latest offering is another fun and witty romp in this ever-expanding mythology.  Gikany and Una liked Dakota and Trixie’s journey and we wonder what will happen next in this world. First, we enjoyed the dynamic between Dakota and Trixie.  They are two vampires who appear to be polar opposites, yet are magnetically attracted to each other.  Although Trixie tries to fight her growing attraction to Dakota for her own personal reasons, Dakota is determined to win her over.  We loved the banter between them as they danced around this mating urge.  It was fun to watch as Trixie came to terms with the fact that Dakota may not be what she expected or wanted in a mate, but was exactly who she needed. Dakota was a fascinating character that was able to give Trixie the space and time she needed to make her own decision. One interesting aspect of this series is the ever-evolving mythology.  The first book in the Dead in the City series, Tall, Dark and Vampire, had a half-demon vampire mating with a full vampire.  Then in the third book, Vampires Never Cry Wolf, we were introduced to werewolves.  Now, we have gargoyles and witches thrown into the mix.  Yes, gargoyles.  Although the plight of the gargoyles was fascinating, we wonder what could possible be next.  What we find most intriguing about this world is the ability for all these different species to interbreed.  We really wonder what the future holds for this world.  Could there be a cross breed of all the supernatural creatures eventually?  We really did enjoy the addition of these creatures and wonder if we might get a story within the gargoyle world. This is the final book in the Dead in the City series.  We hope that Ms. Humphreys changes her mind and gives us more, since we like the romantic adventures in this world.  The characters are fun and the mythology is fascinating.  We would even be content with a spin-off set in the same world: maybe we can have a demon/gargoyle pairing?  Either way, we do hope that there will be more in the world. Our Rating: B, Liked It About the Book: He wants eternity? Dakota Shelton is a...
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Dec
31

Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward Blood Kiss Author: J.R. Ward Reviewer: Una Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Blood Kiss is the debut novel in Ms. Ward’s spin-off series, Black Dagger Legacy.  For fans of the series, it is a fascinating look at how the Black Dagger Brotherhood will increase the number of soldiers along with checking in on previous couples.  Those new to the world may enjoy it, but won’t have the full appreciate as followers will. I enjoyed the continuing story of Marissa and Butch: that the happily-ever-after (HEA) continues but not without work and choice.  The fact that Butch tries to shield Marissa, even though her work brings her face to face with domestic violence victims, causes conflict.  It is also fascinating to see that Butch hasn’t lost any of his detective skills and intuition.  I look forward to seeing how his desire to protect the innocent (and by connection, helping Marissa find justice for some of her clients) will bring about change in the vampire community.  The seeds were definitely planted in this novel. The other couple followed in this novel is Paradise and Craeg.  Their initial meetings and dealings reminded me of the early novels of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  However, as their story progressed there was a bit of some clichéd moments and obvious foreshadowing.  Regardless, their journey was compelling even with the “big bow” wrapped around the HEA at the end.  I admit, the ending gave me warm fuzzies that I enjoyed.  Though Ward has admitted that she finds writing female characters difficult, I thought she did a good job portraying Paradise, a cosseted aristocratic female that seeks to find herself.  She enters the training program as a means to find out who she is and what she is made of.  I liked that though she is naïve in some ways, she is stubborn and tough.  It was enjoyable to experience through Paradise as she learned how strong she really is. Though Craeg is drawn to Paradise, he tries to fight the attraction.  Craeg was a fascinating character.  He is not an aristocrat, he is a commoner who seeks the training program to find his vengeance on the lesser that slaughtered his family.  But there is more to Craeg than just this vengeance.  The journey between him and Paradise was destined to have its issues, but I liked how they resolved themselves.  However, those who are well versed in the BDB mythology might have a few moments...
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Dec
15

Review: In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler

Review: In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler In the Company of Wolves Author: Paige Tyler Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: In the Company of Wolves is the third installment in the action packed and passionate SWAT series.  Overall, Gikany and Una liked Janya and Becker’s story and the continuing evolving mythology. ***Please note that the novels could be read as stand-alone, but they are better if read from the beginning as the mythology builds from book to book.*** Janya and Becker’s romance was fascinating: the story of the officer falling for the thief – but it isn’t quite that simple.  We liked that Janya was a reluctant thief, her story and loyalty to her pack was endearing.  Though she was a victim that needed rescuing, she wasn’t completely defenseless nor a wilting flower.  Janya was stubborn and smart.  We enjoyed her moxie.  Although the issue of her reluctance to commit was a bit out of the blue for us at the end.  It had felt that they were together, so when the issue came up, it was a little surprising. We liked Becker since we met him in the first novel.  It was interesting to have his point of view and learn more about him.  His bond with Cooper was interesting, and we liked how important that played in the overall story. We liked seeing Cooper, being a fairly intuitive character and a vital one in the previous novel and this one.  However, we wondered how Becker could go off and run an undercover operation without letting Gage know.  It felt odd with the understanding of the legend of “The One” (that there is a true mate for a werewolf) that Gage wouldn’t be understanding of the situation and helpful.  But without Becker going off on his own, the suspense and tension wouldn’t be as strong. The story starts a little slowly, but the action is strong right from the beginning.  The plot of Becker freeing Janya and her pack-mates was nail-bitingly gripping.  Though it felt that this plot overshadowed the romance a bit, both were woven together nicely.  However once we reached the end, the action and pace was almost too much.  The ending went very quickly and was almost a bit abrupt.  But considering all the moving pieces, it is not surprising.  However, we liked how Gage and the SWAT team assist Janya’s pack-mates so they can start over. As we saw in the previous novel, it seems that...
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Nov
25

Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens

Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens Heart Legacy Author: Robin D. Owens Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Robin D. Owens continues to keep the world of Celta alive and—hotly—kicking with her newest Celta’s Heartmates release, Heart Legacy. As the fourteenth book in the series, I always wonder how an author can breathe new life into the same world. Ms. Owens managed to keep me hooked from first word to last. I was happy to revisit the world of Celta, as it’s one of my favorite magical places to go. One of the great things about this series is getting to see the progeny of main characters from other books. I appreciate the fact that Ms. Owens hasn’t created a spin-off for these sons and daughters. In Heart Legacy, we get to learn more about Draeg Blackthorn. Oh. My. He’s a bad boy that is conflicted. Watching him grow—first as an undercover spy to discover what the deal is on the Yew estate, and then as his love for Lori matures—was… different. Many times, I wanted to shake this hunk-o-man that was so clearly smitten with Lori. Other times, I wanted him to admit his deception and clear the air with her. As I read each of his interactions with people he’d grown to care for, I realized how truly damaged he was as a hero. The heartbreak he’d endured. I found I empathized with his character, and had a common kinship because he played a role in which he had to hide away who he *really* was. Lori also drew me in. Many of the same things I liked about Draeg were paralleled in Lori. Ms. Owens crafted these characters so they would have several integral emotional traits in common, creating believable characters in her world of Celta. I think what connected me most with Lori was how she hid her true self from her family—a fact Draeg couldn’t grasp. Lori knew her family, and what they expected of her. She played a role, and had a function within the Yew family unit. What made her believable to me was her connection with animals—they seemed to be her place of peace, especially when her family pressures became too much. She found something from which she could derive joy and drew from that joy in times of upheaval. Another thing I really liked about Lori was the way she developed a plan to leave the only home she’d ever known, and stuck with...
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Nov
2

Review + #Giveaway: Fangs for the Memories by Molly Harper

Review + #Giveaway: Fangs for the Memories by Molly Harper Fangs for the Memories Author: Molly Harper Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Fangs for the Memories is a delightful novella set in the always hilarious Jane Jameson/Half-Moon Hollow world. The story spans the time of the second Jane Jameson book, Nice Girl’s Don’t Date Dead Men. This time around, the events are shared via the first person POV of Jane Jameson’s best friend, Andrea, who has always been in the background and very important to the plot and stories, but never front and center. The book shares the story of how Andrea and vampire Dick Cheney fall in love. As a long time fan of Ms. Harper’s Half-Moon Hollow, I loved seeing the more gentle, caring side of Dick that we don’t witness often, especially in the first couple of Jane books. He’s one of my favorite characters because he’s goofy, yet extremely caring and loyal to his friends. He’s the kind of guy who would do anything for those he cares about. As always, Ms. Harper’s wit and laugh-out-loud humor makes the stories light and enjoyable, even at the more dire of times. Here is just one example: I couldn’t talk to Jane about this. She tended to do jazz hands when she did her little “I told you do” dance. No one deserved smug jazz hands. Of all the weapons in a vampire’s arsenal, they were the most demoralizing. The story is an excellent companion piece for fans of Ms. Harper’s works and those who’ve read Jane Jameson. Although it is listed as a part of the Half-Moon Hollow series, I believe it is best enjoyed if you’ve read the first two Jane Jameson books. There are spoilers, all referenced offhandedly but present, from those first two books, which allowed me to recall all of the events and emotions tied to them. This helped fill in the emotional ties to the characters, making Fangs for the Memories a more fulfilling read. Fangs for the Memories is short and sweet; a one-sitting read. It’s best enjoyed by fans who have read the earlier books in the series. As always, Ms. Harper brings to life a group of genuine characters who overcome outrageous obstacles with humor and friendship. I completely enjoyed reading more about Dick Cheney: one of the best characters in Half-Moon Hollow. My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot Giveaway: Pocket Star is generously donating a digital copy of Fangs for the Memories and...
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Oct
26

Review: A Silver Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear

Review: A Silver Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear A Silver Wolf Christmas Author: Terry Spear Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Laurel MacTire never considered joining a large wolf pack with her two sisters until moving to Silver Town under the pretense of renovating the derelict hotel there. But, with a shortage of female wolves in the pack, the entire town had gone out of their way to convince she and her sisters to stay—one frustratingly intriguing male wolf, in particular. It would be the perfect place to settle down, if only they didn’t suspect that at least one the town’s residents might have been involved in the disappearance of their beloved aunt fifty years ago. Although he would like to get closer to the independent, beautiful she-wolf who has occupied his thoughts so often since moving to town, CJ Silver can’t shake the idea that the MacTire sisters aren’t all that they appear to be. Still, if finding out what they’re up to means getting to know Laurel better he certainly isn’t going to complain. But, it seems like nothing is simple when it comes to solving one of the biggest mysteries that Silver Town has ever seen, and figuring it out will take the help and support of everyone in the pack. In A Silver Wolf Christmas, Ms. Spear takes us back to Silver Town, Colorado, where things are definitely not what they seem. This time, the Silver pack must deal with not only betrayal and a possible murder, but ghosts and obnoxious ghost busters, too. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Heart of the Wolf tale without sexy wolf shifters and plenty of romance, and this story has lots of both. I thought that Laurel and CJ made an excellent team in every way. As the story takes place about six months into their acquaintance, the speedy courtship that Ms. Spears’ wolves usually engage in felt more solid than it might have had Laurel and CJ just met. Both wolves are headstrong, yet cautious, and the respect they have for each other’s strengths and abilities is evident as soon as they join forces to uncover the truth. Laurel’s determination to find answers, and CJ’s equally resolute desire to win her over made it easy to accept that they truly are a good fit. Of course, once their romance begins in earnest, there was absolutely no doubt about it. Some of the most enjoyable parts of the Heart of the Wolf stories are...
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Oct
21

Review: Stroke of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Review: Stroke of Midnight by Lara Adrian Stroke of Midnight Author: Lara Adrian Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Stroke of Midnight is a delightful novella set in the Midnight Breed series and loosely related to the events of the primary storyline. Jehan is a prince from a Moroccan family, who hasn’t been home in over a decade. He found out 12 months ago that he would have to participate in an accent custom of prearranged marriage to a Breedmate from a neighboring tribe. Supposedly it won’t be forced, but he has to participate in an eight day handfasting ceremony. He’s only participating out of obligation to his disappointed father. Seraphina was called home by her parents for an emergency, which she later discovered was a prearranged marriage to a Breed from the neighboring tribe. She wants nothing to do with it, but agrees because her father will release her trust fund to her – which she will use to help refugees and orphans. However when the pair meet, neither Seraphina nor Jehan can deny their mutual attraction. Stroke of Midnight is a quick story, one I enjoyed immensely. Although the story takes place only days after and refers to the events of the thirteenth story, Bound to Darkness, knowledge of the previous book and series is not necessary to appreciate Jehan and Seraphina’s romance. In fact, I think I liked this story more than some of the recent novellas because it generally takes place away from the Breed politics and events of the Order. Although the pair shares an immediate and strong attraction, both Seraphina and Jehan have independent lives away from their respective families and have no desire to follow the silly rules of an ancient custom which would have them mate for life. I appreciate that both characters recognize not only how a coupling would impact his/her own life, but how it would impact the other. And as the romance progresses, each continues to keep in mind the other’s needs outside of the relationship, giving the pair and equal and balanced footing. While overall the characters’ status was on equal ground, there were a couple of times I cringed because a female character made some offhand remark about how a man fulfilled her, as if life before was meaningless, or that the reason a character and her mate were meant for one another was because of the way he looked at her. I am a romantic at heart, but these...
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Oct
20

Review: The Single Undead Moms Club by Molly Harper

Review: The Single Undead Moms Club by Molly Harper The Single Undead Moms Club Author: Molly Harper Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Libby Stratton is a widowed, single mom fighting an incurable cancer. Faced with the prospect of leaving her six-year-old son Danny to be raised by her in-laws, Libby places an ad looking for someone to turn her into a vampire. After waking into her new life as one of the undead, Libby starts to realize the ramifications of her actions. Luckily Jane Jameson and her undead circle of friends help Libby make the necessary adjustments, and then there is Wade, hunky human father of her son’s best friend, who is willing to help Libby in ways the Vampire Council can’t. I always enjoy my time with the denizens of Half-Moon Hollow. Ms. Harper’s southern small town is filled with crazy mischief, lots of humor, good friends, and the occasional mishap or five. The regular cast of characters is extremely likable, and I want to befriend each as I cheer for a happy ending. On the flip side, her antagonists are generally despicable yet complex, and I enjoy that sometimes they aren’t as they seem. And while the Half-Moon Hollow series, as well as the original Jane Jameson series, feature the struggles of women who have been recently turned into vampires, The Single Undead Moms Club stands out because Libby must integrate herself back into the human world and raise her human son. I really enjoyed Libby and Wade as a potential couple. They shared an awkwardness and a “I don’t give a damn” attitude that bonded them right from the get go. Their initial spark smolders a bit until their passion ignites into flames. They just fit so well together, and they made me smile. I adored how much Wade cared for Libby and wanted to help her without smothering her. I also loved and appreciated Jane’s constant help, especially with the frame of reference that Jane didn’t have it when she had been turned. What I didn’t really care for was Libby’s unexplained attraction to her Sire, Finn. Having never met him, I didn’t understand Libby’s strong desire to make nice and almost please him. He came across quite creepy to me, and therefore her actions around him felt misplaced and odd. I felt similarly about his mysterious companion as well. Overall, I simply enjoyed The Single Undead Moms Club and found it to be an engrossing, quick read. Ms. Harper’s...
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