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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Mar
1

Review: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

Review: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days Author: Kerrelyn Sparks Reviewer: Una Rating: A What I’m Talking About: After enjoying several of Ms. Sparks vampire series, I thought I would check out her new paranormal/fantasy series.  The Embraced series is off to a great start with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days. This world is intriguing: though it is fantastical in nature, it has a bit of a historical feel.  I enjoyed the mythology of the embraced moons.  In this world, a child born is born with special abilities if born on the night of the embraced moons (when the two moons eclipse).  These special children are called the embraced.  One would think that they would be revered when in fact they are reviled.  If the nobility discover them, they are typically killed.  Many who are unable to kill their children have secretly exiled them.  The world is composed of a series of patriarchal continental kingdoms, which worship the sun god, and one island kingdom that is matriarchal and worships the moon goddess.  It is there on the island that such embraced orphan children are hidden away. Luciana is one of these orphaned children.  Raised with several other young embraced girls, they consider themselves family.  Each girl has a special ability but all seem to have a touch of foresight to some degree.  Luciana’s ability is to commune with the dead.  She is able to converse with spirits, which comes in quite handy when her father comes to have her fulfill the king’s decree that she marry his nephew, The Beast of Benwick (Leo).  She must hide the fact that she is not only embraced, but is actually a twin of the intended sister.  Twin embraced children are even more feared by the patriarchal society.  Her father comes for her only because her twin sister has died and he must have his daughter marry Leo or lose all his holdings to the king. Leo is also an embraced child, but due to his ability to absorb and harness the power of lightning, he has been allowed to mature.  The king has used him since he was a young teenager as his warlord and pawn.  Leo has yearned for a woman of his own but due to his abilities he is unable to touch another without killing them.  He is loyal to his people and diligent in his duties.  Watching as Leo met his match in Luciana...
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Feb
16

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Vacation Hell by Eve Langlais

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Vacation Hell by Eve Langlais Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Princess of Hell Series Book: Vacation Hell Author: Eve Langlais Narrator: Rebecca Estrella Audio Speed: 1.5x Series: Princess of Hell #4 Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance / Urban Fantasy Source: Tantor Audio Vacation Hell Vacation Hell opens with Muriel and her family settling into their new lives as parents and lovers. Although everyone is extremely happy, Muriel is being called to the beach, someplace she does NOT like to visit, indicating larger forces at play. Yet with her precocious, meddlesome daughter, Lucinda, driving Muriel to emotional and mental exhaustion, the gang decides a family vacation to the beach is in order. Vacation Hell is the fourth addition to Ms. Langlais’s wild Princess of Hell series. Although the story is mostly standalone, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one – too much of the world is developed over the course of the previous books. With the nature of Muriel’s sexually charged magic, jumping in here may be confusing, and not as emotionally satisfying. The story contained within Vacation Hell is light and short. Keeping in concert with the previous stories, Muriel must take on a new lover to feed a different aspect of her magic. This time she is practically shoved at Tristan, a merman and son of King Neptune, by someone in her own family. I like that Muriel is learning to be more at ease with her needs and the part other sexual partners play in her life. However, I am not happy with the fact that she was placed in the situation via manipulation. I also enjoyed that different than the past, Tristan is not ready to jump into the orgy as easily as her previous lovers. The author has made each male unique, with their own sexual needs, which keeps the stories fresh. After eliminating the “big bad” from the prior books in Hell’s Revenge, the author creates a new story arc that will clearly span into the next book, as there is a huge aspect of this story that remains unfinished by the end of Vacation Hell. Since the ending isn’t a true cliff-hanger, I don’t mind that the story arc continues forward; however, the book is very short, and I felt the plot line was weak. So I would have preferred the author continue the story, creating a longer, more fulfilling book. Ms. Estrella’s familiar performance creates a bit of comfort in this, the fourth title....
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Feb
2

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Snowballs in Hell by Eve Langlais

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Snowballs in Hell by Eve Langlais Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Princess of Hell Series Book: Snowballs in Hell Author: Eve Langlais Narrator: Rebecca Estrella Audio Speed: 1.5x Series: Princess of Hell #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy Source: Tantor Audio Snowballs in Hell One month has passed since Muriel’s encounter with the mysterious Hooded One; the night she nearly died. Her reoccurring, daily nightmares are making her feel weak and worse, shameful. She does not like being afraid of anything. The changes in Muriel are especially tough on her soulmate, fallen angel Auric. He will do anything to protect his love and help her get better. I’m going to say this right up front: Snowballs in Hell is FULL of graphic sex. So much so, that I actually started skimming and forwarding through the scenes. Additionally, due to issues with her sexually-charged powers, Muriel must add another male into her and Auric’s bedroom. While I have no issues with threesomes (also note: this is not a true menáge situation), the way that the threesome came about really irritated me. Honestly, I admired Muriel’s stance on adding another to her existing love life, especially after waiting years for Mr. Right to come along. However, her soulmate felt it necessary to manipulate Muriel into adding another to their bedroom. The fact that Auric blatantly tricks her into the situation made me furious! If the author had instead allowed Muriel to accept her body’s need for sex without the subterfuge, I would have enjoyed the storyline. But the over-the-top emphasis that Muriel would deny herself out of love, which lead to the secret sex plot, ruined it for me. The overall storyline of discovering who is behind the attack that nearly killed Muriel was interesting; however the climatic scene and unveiling of said bad guys left me wanting a bit more. I love how kickass Muriel is, and when she takes charge of her own situations, she’s a wonderful heroine. Add in a touch of humor and sarcasm, and Muriel is one of the best UF characters. However, when she gets wishy-washy, she can be annoying. There was a bit too much focus on whether or not Muriel should sleep with another, but it did tie into the plot. Rebecca Estrella provides a solid and consistent narration. Muriel’s voice is perfect. The array of male voices works for the story. Typically, I tend to enjoy a narrator more by the second or...
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Jan
26

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Last Dragon Standing by G.A. Aiken

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Last Dragon Standing by G.A. Aiken Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: Dragon Kin Series Book: Last Dragon Standing  Author: G.A. Aiken Narrator: Hollie Jackson Audio Speed: 1.5x Series: Dragon Kin #4 Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Source: Tantor Audio Beginning two years after the conclusion of the previous book, we learn that the dragon-human twins of Queen Annwyl and her mate Fearghus are in danger, and there is a possible coup to overthrow the Dragon Queen, Rhiannon the White. The Queen seeks assistance from her newest ally, Ragnar the Cunning, Dragonlord Chief of the Olgeirsson Horde, a Lightning Dragon. Of course, the Dragon Queen always has ulterior motives in her plans, and this time around, they involve getting Ragnar to “save” and return her youngest daughter, Keita the Viper, to her family. Last Dragon Standing narrates as an unfolding mystery with multiple subplots. The Dragon Queen is a master manipulator and strategist, and we follow Keita and Ragnar as they are forced to unravel the threads the Queen has knotted together. There are layers upon layers of subterfuge, making the plot utterly engrossing. However, the romance of Keita and Ragnar is more of a side story to the main plotlines, and if you want the same steamy, love stories found in the first three titles, you will be in for a disappointment. This story was more about both the human and Southland Dragon politics rather than a romance. And so much happens. We learn more about a pending war, as well as new enemies and allies. This book takes us into a new chapter in the lives of the characters, and with it comes a new maturity of sorts. It left me wanting for more – unfortunately, I don’t know when Tantor will be publishing more on audio! I loved learning more about Keita. She’s a complex dragoness, who is equal parts cunning spy and royal princess. She is BOTH roles – not “playing” one or the other. She’s a royal princess snob, but not because she’s stuck up. She honestly thinks she’s being nice or helpful. It’s not fake. She’s that, but also the dangerous spy and protector of the throne.  Ragnar of the Lightning Dragons is the only one who can see and appreciate both parts of Keita. While their relationship takes a LOT of time to develop, their interactions are always enjoyable. I loved watching Ragnar witness and come to realize who Keita truly is. And while Keita doesn’t change in...
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Jan
25

Review: Bait N’ Witch by Abigail Owen

Review: Bait N’ Witch by Abigail Owen Bait N’ Witch Author: Abigail Owen Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: A- What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una enjoyed the latest story in the Legendary Consultants series.  Greyson and Rowan’s story was compelling and filled with humor and passion.  Although the novel has a lighthearted feel, neither the passion between Greyson and Rowan, nor the anxiety of the plot as Rowan tries to hide her identity while also trying to protect Greyson’s triplet daughters, is diminished. We were introduced to Rowan in the previous novel.  She was the unfortunate witch forced to do the bidding of Kaios.  Now the Mage High Council has their top enforcer, Greyson, hunting her down.  When Rowan turns to Delilah for help, she decides to have Rowan hide in plain sight.  Which is how Rowan finds herself the new nanny to Greyson’s out of control teenage triplet daughters.  As crazy and clichéd as it sounds, it works.  The mystery of the girls’ powers, the hunts for Rowan, and the attraction between Greyson and Rowan all weave together through the story creating a nicely balanced plot. Rowan needs to hide from the Mage High Council for more than just her role in Kaios’ plot.  She has secrets she must hide, not only about her own abilities, but also her training.  Rowan is innately a good witch, and we really loved how she did her best to be a good nanny.  Her genuine care for the girls was sweet and we enjoyed the honest relationship that developed between them.  We also liked how Greyson and Rowan’s relationship wasn’t forced but slowly built. Although the novel is short, the story is rich and completely satisfying.  We are intrigued by the ending and continue to wonder about what and who Delilah is.  Hopefully she will get her own happily ever after story.  If you enjoy lighthearted but passionate fantasy romance, you might just want to pick up the Legendary Consultants series. Our Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot About the Book: In love with the witch hunter father of her charges… Rowan McAuliffe has been hiding most of her life. Secretly trained in her powers by an unusual source, she’d been taught not to trust anyone. Especially other witches. However, after she was forced to perform a hateful act against her will, she now hides from the Mage High Council who seek answers, and possibly her life. Greyson Masters is the Council’s best enforcer–a witch hunter who lays...
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Jan
17

Review: Legacy of Lies by Jillian David

Review: Legacy of Lies by Jillian David Legacy of Lies Author: Jillian David Reviewer: Una Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I have found something new!  When I picked up Legacy of Lies it was with the understanding that it was going to be something different.  A paranormal western – that’s right, never thought to put those two words together.  However, Ms. David makes them fit and I enjoyed it! Legacy of Lies is the first book in the Hell’s Valley series.  From my research to put this review together, it seems it is spin-off from another series that I’m completely unfamiliar with.  That being said, I do not feel I missed out on anything.  The story of Garrison and Sara stands well on its own.  Thought it had the feel of a first novel, some of the mythology is a bit shadowed, but I expect these things will begin to be explained as the series progresses. I liked Sara and Garrison, they fit well for being opposites.  He is an uber-gruff alpha male while Sara is in contrast soft and gentle.  But she is no push over!  I enjoyed how she made Garrison work for it.  Especially those moments where he would stumble over his words to convey those pesky feelings, his male blundering was a bit endearing.  For all of Sara’s softness, she has a spine of steel, working hard and makes the tough decisions to do what is right.  They truly complement each other and deserve their happily-ever-after. The plot flows pretty well thought not entirely smoothly.  It took me a minute to realize that western didn’t mean historical.  This is a modern western…  I’d like to say it is a rural fantasy as opposed to urban.  The mythology was intriguing though we are still much in the dark.  I like that the family may have these psychic gifts but they exact a price for their use.  I look forward to learning more about Garrison’s siblings.  I will say that even though Garrison thwarts the enemy at the end, I still do not understand all the forces at work (though I suspect).  I hope we will learn more in the next novel. I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel.  It is not heavy into the paranormal aspects, but it was a nice introduction to the world.  I have a feeling things will thicken from here.  Legacy of Lies was an intriguing new start to the Hell’s Valley series and I...
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Jan
12

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: My Wild Irish Dragon by Ashlyn Chase

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: My Wild Irish Dragon by Ashlyn Chase Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Boston Dragons Series Book: My Wild Irish Dragon Author: Ashlyn Chase Narrator: Felicity Munroe Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Boston Dragons #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance Source: Author My Wild Irish Dragon Chloe wants to stay in America rather than return to her solitary life in rural Ireland. She’s worked hard to become a U.S. citizen, and now she wants to help others and her adopted community by becoming a firefighter. As a dragon, she’s well suited for the job. She cannot burn and is preternaturally strong. She just has to learn how to fit in and how not to over do it in front of humans. Ryan also comes from a family of paranormals-Phoenix shifters. His family is Boston-breed and every male in his huge family is a firefighter. He’s worried about embarrassing or disappointing his family if he doesn’t make it at this particular firehouse. Oh and by the way, the chief is his father’s best friend. Chloe and Ryan go out for the same position within the fire department, but since both are so well-qualified, the chief finds the funding to hire both. Although the competition for the job is off the table, the pair continue their little rivalry during training. However soon the pair learn to respect the other, become friends, and fall for one another. I found myself liking My Wild Irish Dragon right from the get go. I enjoyed the premise of two noble paranormals trying to make a difference in their community. I also liked how each fell for the other without knowing exactly who, or what, the other was. Of course the attempts to hide their paranormal status from the other made for some fun laughs. I also loved how Chloe’s innocence and lack of modern upbringing allowed her to be more open with Ryan. Although they have a rocky start, the author does a great job bringing each around in his/her own way. Their relationship development felt honest and deep. While I also enjoyed the several side characters and supporting family members, I didn’t care so much for Chloe’s cousin Aiden and his storyline. His misogynistic attitude and overbearing presence just annoyed me. And when he did something so completely against Mother Nature’s rules, I was shocked that there were no repercussions at all. It felt completely out of character for Gaia as presented in the story. Additionally, while I appreciated that the...
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Jan
10

Review: Two Stories from the Legendary Consultants series by Abigail Owen

Review: Two Stories from the Legendary Consultants series by Abigail Owen A Ghost of a Chance (Moon, Mist & Magic Anthology) Legendary Consultants #2.1 This is a short and sweet story about Josey and Brice and what is really a second-chance at romance.  We haven’t met these characters before in the series, but their story is a quick and fun read. Gikany and Una liked that Josey and Brice had a history.  It made their connection and journey that much more believable.  The fact that Josey tries to hide her abilities (because who would believe she sees ghosts) makes sense, especially considering how sensitive she is.  Though it was short, we did enjoy the chemistry and romantic romp between them.  The plot of finding and saving Josey’s brother was compelling and we enjoyed the banter and humor of it. Though the ending was a bit abrupt, we did enjoy this story and look forward to more in the series.  If you enjoy some light-hearted paranormal romance, this might be the series for you.  A Ghost of a Chance would be a great introduction. Our Rating: B, Liked It Psyched (Good Things: An Urban Fantasy Anthology) Legendary Consultants #2.2 Psyched was a quirky little novella about a translator who hears more than you think and things she shouldn’t.  Gikany and Una liked this paranormal lighthearted cloak and dagger thriller. Quinn is an interesting woman.  As a psy she can understand any form of communication.  While working as a translator she overhears the discussion of human trafficking, but not just any humans, gifted humans like Quinn.  Through Delilah (the owner of Legendary Consultants) Quinn connects to a group that will hopefully thwart the plans of the traffickers and save those imprisoned.  Quinn was once a victim of people like that and she decides to do whatever she can to help. Daniel Cain is the leader of the (extra) special forces group that will work to bring down the trafficker’s ring.  The paranormal abilities that the four men have all compliment each other making them an effective team.  With Quinn’s help, they should be able to discover the location of the ring and bring them down.  However, plans never go as easy as planned.  Yet with the increasing connection between Daniel and Quinn, they won’t rest until they can thwart the bad guys. We liked the connection between Daniel and Quinn.  Though there are a few quirky plot points, the story overall flowed well and ended nicely.  We really enjoyed their journey and the overall...
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Dec
15

Review: A Mate for Christmas by Katie Reus

Review: A Mate for Christmas by Katie Reus A Mate for Christmas Author: Katie Reus Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B  What We’re Talking About: Mate for Christmas is simply a beautifully wrapped gift from Ms. Reus to the readers and fans of her Moon Shifter series. Through this novella she wraps up the series (for now) and allows us to say goodbye. Through the story of Noel and Nathan, we are able to check in with the previous couples from the series as well as showing us the happily-ever-afters for a few other couples.  Although Noel and Nathan’s story was short, it was sweet and emotionally satisfying.  We enjoyed Nathan’s patient nature as Noel learns to move on and heal from her grief. Although the novella was a little disjointed due to the nature of the flow (checking in with other characters) it was a delightful read.  As Noel and Nathan’s story weaves through, it branches out to touch base with all of our favorite characters.  We enjoyed the embrace of the pack as the holiday approached.  Watching the mated characters in their happily-ever-afters was a wonderful treat for us. Again, this is not a novella for new readers but a treat for fans.  If you have enjoyed the Moon Shifters series, then A Mate for Christmas is a must-read.  Gikany and Una have our fingers crossed that Ms. Reus will return to this world someday.  Until then, we look forward to whatever world she brings to us next. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: It will take a miracle to survive the holidays… After recently losing her parents, packmates and a sister, Noel Cordona isn’t even close to being in the holiday spirit. It seems that everyone around her is moving on and happy, but she can’t seem to get it together. When an unexpected kiss changes everything she thought she knew about her packmate Nathan O’Neill, she feels alive for the first time in a year. She’s too broken for him though. At least that’s what she tries to tell them both.  But Nathan’s been waiting patiently for Noel. He’s not going to lose faith now. With a little holiday magic, he can help her overcome the weight of her grief and show her that opening her heart to him is the best Christmas gift he could ever give her. Author note: A Mate for Christmas is not meant to be read as a stand-alone. Set in the Moon Shifter world, this...
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Dec
14

Review: Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Review: Blood Vow by J.R. Ward Blood Vow Author: J.R. Ward Reviewer: Una Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: The Warden has truly brought us back to essence of what made her Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) series so addictive at its inception.  Blood Vow is an emotionally charged, grittily gripping, and darkly sensual read. ****Please note that this review may contain spoilers from the previous Black Dagger Legacy (BDL) book as well as from previous BDB novels.**** I fully admit that I am a BDB addict.  Though I was very disappointed in a previous BDB novel that I will not name, I decided to continue the series.  On a whim, I volunteered to read the spin-off series since it was a “return” to the early feel of the BDB.  Blood Kiss grabbed me from the beginning and I felt like a return to the fold of BDB.  Long term fans, you will understand when I tell you, Black Dagger Legacy feels like home. In Blood Vow we follow the romantic journey of Axe – a new trainee with the BDB and Elise, the daughter of an Aristocrat.  Though it appears to be the usual highbred daughter who falls for a commoner tale, it is more than that.  Axe bears an understandable grudge against the aristocracy and with mating in general.  However, as he grows to understand himself and mature past the anger and disappointment, he finds his true inner strength. Elise is no shrinking violet; she is not the typical aristocrat’s prized daughter.  She is striving to be more than her station would deem her, as well as what thousands of years of cultural bias expect of her.  I loved Elise.  Most couples in romantic novels suffer from not communicating.  Elise has no problem communicating, but needs to work on listening and not projecting her own opinions on others.  However, she is the first to admit fault and seek forgiveness.  Her earnestness in trying to understand others and help truly defined her.  Though Axe and Elise’s story isn’t unique, their choices and personalities make it unique.  I really loved watching both of them grow and mature. One drawback that may be a cause of annoyance to some fans will be the connection between this series and BDB.  The story of Rhage and Mary did not end in The Beast.  It is continued in this story (surprise… surprise).  If this trend continues, I could see fans being irritated that they are not truly standalone series that...
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