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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
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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Aug
17

Review: Bound to Darkness by Lara Adrian

Review: Bound to Darkness by Lara Adrian Bound to Darkness Author: Lara Adrian Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Bound to Darkness continues the story arc, which was first introduced in Edge of Dawn, of a world where vampires (Breeds) and humans exist side by side. As the thirteenth title in Ms. Adrian’s highly successful Midnight Breed series, Bound to Darkness is not the place for new-comers to begin. While the author does a good job bringing in enough world-building and background to keep readers up to speed, I feel that much of what makes this series so good would be lost if one started with this book. This time around, the romance focuses on Carys Chase (daughter of Chase and Tavia) and Rune (cage fighter), both of whom were introduced back in Edge of Dawn. The pair has been a couple for just under 2 months, which puts the entire time line since Edge of Dawn at about the same. It’s hard to believe so little time has passed over the course of three books and two novellas. Since the pair has been together for a few titles, I felt the quickness of their romance and falling in love worked better than had they just met. I enjoyed Bound to Darkness for several reasons, most of which stem from this book being a bit different from prior titles. When misunderstandings could have caused problems for the couple, the strong, smart characters utilized the seeds planted along the way to figure out the truth. I can’t tell you how refreshing this was. Other factors that made this a good book include: 1) the couple was together in the previous titles. They are already in love and the focus is more on shedding the past and growing into the person each was meant to be. 2) The “I’m not worthy” trope, which is one overused in the Midnight Breed series, isn’t a factor in this one – in fact Rune FIGHTS for Carys and to be with her. Even after things turn south, he never gives up the idea that eventually they will be mated. 3) Carys kicks major butt and Rune supports her fully. I LOVE how totally badass Carys is and that Rune doesn’t pout or whine about it. Generally, the sexy times are hot and heavy, but never overdone. There is a good balance between the smex and action. And dialogue… finally we have a couple that talks about their secrets and...
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Aug
13

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 1

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 1 Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs Author: Molly Harper Narrator: Amanda Ronconi Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Jane Jameson #1 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Chick-Lit Source: purchased/Audible What I’m Listening To: Jane Jameson lives a pretty low-key life in her hometown, Half Moon Hollow. She loves her job as the juvenile librarian at the local library, so when she’s let go due to budget constraints, Jane has one too many drinks at the local bar. Although a mysterious stranger helps her sober up, on the way home, Jane is mistaken for a deer and shot dead by another local. Luckily, Gabriel, the stranger, was following Jane to make sure she made it home, and he offers her the choice of eternal life as a vampire. Rather than die, Jane accepts his offer and begins her life as one of the undead. Having already read and/or listened to the Molly Harper’s spin-off Half Moon Hollow series, I’ve already met Jane, Gabriel, her BFF Zeb, and most of the other characters who appear in Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs. So it was a bit odd at first, listening to Jane talk about becoming a vampire and having so many awful things happen to her. And she does run into a lot of bad luck within the first few months of being changed over to a vampire. Someone is out to get Jane, but who? and why? It took listening for a few hours to feel comfortable with Jane’s persona and how she tells her tale, and I think that’s partly because I’ve read/listened to books that chronologically come later in the world, but it’s also Ms. Harper’s narrative style. It’s as if Jane as ADD and jumps from one subject to another while telling her story. At first I didn’t like when Jane would suddenly jump into a recollection or, worse, telling us something that was yet to come, but by the midway point, this jumpy story-telling didn’t happen as often and/or didn’t seem to bother me at all. Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs is the story of Jane’s life after being changed into one of the undead. There is romance involving her sire, Gabriel, but it’s not the primary storyline. Gabriel finds himself fascinated by Jane and doesn’t always understand her crazy ways, but he’s completely head-over-heels for her. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t know how to let Jane know this in a way she understands....
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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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