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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
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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Oct
1

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 4

Listen Up! Nice Girls Don’t… #Audiobook Review Part 4 Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… What I’m Listening To: Title: Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors Author: Molly Harper Narrator: Amanda Ronconi Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Jane Jameson #4 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Chick-Lit Source: purchased/Audible Audiobook Review: Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors is the final book of the Jane Jameson vampire series. This time around, Jane’s life is finally coming together. She’s living happily with Gabriel, has made up with her estranged sister, Jenny, and her book shop is successful. But this is Jane, and something is bound to go wrong. When an errant car strikes and kills Jamie, the dairy delivery teen, he asks Jane to turn him into a vampire. Now Jane is a sire, and has to deal with the fallout of changing a beloved hometown high school student. Oh, and it looks like maybe someone is out to kill Gabriel in an act of revenge. Overall, I really enjoyed this final book in the series. Although at first, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like it. The book starts light and happy, but turns dark very fast. Jane’s horrible grandmother sets out to ruin Jane’s life and frankly, it’s a bit much for me. It hurt to know how awful her own grandmother is to Jane. Additionally, Jamie’s parents and friends don’t take his turning into a vampire well at all, causing me additional sadness. Luckily, the issues are both dealt with head-on, and I found myself really enjoying the talk between Jamie’s mom and Jane. It was realistic and a little bit hopeful. I was also a bit put off by the circumstances surrounding Jamie’s death, which are revealed at the end of the book. I know this is just fiction, but it was a little too over-the-top and manipulative in a way. However, I love how Jane dealt with the news. She’s a great sire/mom. The overall story of Jane’s life preparing for her wedding and being a new “mom” to Jamie were both highly enjoyable. I also liked the mystery of who is trying to kill Gabriel. The story is filled with Jane’s wonderful sarcasm and wit, making me laugh out loud more than once. The supporting cast just gets better with each story. By now, this the fourth title, I find comfort in Amanda Ronconi’s performance. I love each voice she gives all of the characters. She’s pretty consistent from title to...
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Sep
23

Review: Autumn Moon by Jan DeLima

Review: Autumn Moon by Jan DeLima Autumn Moon Author: Jan DeLima Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Autumn Moon is another exciting tale in the Celtic Wolves series. Ms. DeLima has found a way to make shifters and paranormal romance exciting and engrossing again. I love her mix of mythology, even if I get confused by the terms from time to time. What I’ve learned is that I don’t have to remember every single detail to enjoy the story. Cormack and Elen have a romance that is a few hundred years in the making. Long-time friends, hampered by the fact that he was born in his wolf form and unable to shift, the pair spent countless hours together. The fact that he was wolf wasn’t weird because it never was sexual; however a deep bond did form. Once Cormack became human, each realized that bond equated to love and desire. I admire how Cormack wanted to learn to be a human – a man – without Elen’s assistance, and I like that Elen, while frustrated by his distance, understands his logic. While the story could have been bogged down by misunderstandings, keeping the pair apart, the author did a good job minimizing the impacts of communication breakdowns. And while the couple didn’t come to terms with their true feelings after the midpoint of the book, the coupling didn’t feel prolonged because of silly issues between the pair. Both sweet and innocent, yet passion and flames, the pair’s chemistry was perfect, and they made up for any inexperiences with enthusiasm. The overall story involving the Guardians and a pending war moved forward over the course of Autumn Moon. There were some great twists within the book, especially one that I didn’t piece together until it was “too late.” It was evident by the conclusion of the book that all the pieces are falling into place to create a maelstrom of violence against the “lesser” wolf packs. I worry that things are going to get worse before it gets better, but I look forward to the journey. What I love about the Celtic Wolves series is that the overall plot has an urban fantasy vibe to it, yet every book has a stand alone romance, therefore, the reader gets a happy ending with each title. Overall, I enjoyed Autumn Moon and look forward to finding out what’s going to happen next for Dylan, his family and friends, and his pack. My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot...
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Sep
22

Review: Summer Moon by Jan DeLima

Review: Summer Moon by Jan DeLima Note: As I was preparing my post for tomorrow’s review of the third book in Ms. DeLima’s Celtic Wolf series, I discovered that I never posted my review of the second book! Eep! So here is a no-frills review of the title; no links, no book info, etc. I hope you enjoy the review! Summer Moon Author: Jan DeLima Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ Summer Moon is the follow up title to Jan DeLima’s delightful debut, Celtic Moon. Set in northern New England, the series follows a werewolf pack/community who views its Celtic roots and the Guardians of its race with unease. Summer Moon picks up the story of these wolves and their families shortly after the conclusion of the first title. I do recommend reading Celtic Moon first, as the story provides a great deal of world building for the series and setting. Also note, this review has spoilers from the first book. When Dylan exacted his revenge by killing Math, a Guardian married to Rosa, he unknowingly sped up Rosa’s secret plans to take over Avon, her home, and protect its citizens. Seeking out Dylan’s help in protecting her home from the Guardians, Rosa proposes an arrangement of marriage with Dylan’s brother, Luc, in an effort to thwart the Guardian’s plans to use Rosa to produce werewolf offspring. Soon, Rosa and Luc find themselves torn between duty, history, and the desires of their wolves. Summer Moon is an enjoyable story and excellent addition to the Celtic Wolves series. I really liked how the author brings Luc and Rosa together though an arranged marriage of convenience rather than having them long for one another for days and weeks. However, preventing the couple from a simple romance is both Rosa’s history of mental and emotional abuse from her first husband and the memory of Luc’s only love and long-decesed wife, Koko. Their romance had both emotional and physical fulfillment. I found myself even tearing up once or twice. “‘I want her,’ he whispered to the woman who’d taught him how to love. ‘I’m sorry, Koko… I’ll never forget you. Never. But I ache for another and I don’t know how much longer I’ll last.'” While I found their romance both sweet and steamy, and I enjoyed it immensely, I do wish that more time was spent on the pair’s relationship during the course of the book. It’s not that their story was lacking, but I felt that at times their...
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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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