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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Aug
7

Review: SEAL Wolf Undercover by Terry Spear

Review: SEAL Wolf Undercover by Terry Spear SEAL Wolf Undercover Author: Terry Spear Reviewer: B. Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: I was very excited when I first learned that Ms. Spear would be intertwining the worlds of her wolf and jaguar shifter stories. Having read so many of both series, combining the two seemed like the perfect next step. And even though there was a good deal that I enjoyed about SEAL Wolf Undercover, I admit that my feelings are somewhat mixed. On the plus side, many of the more prominent things that appealed in earlier stories—including errable but lovable alpha males falling for tough, capable women—are present in SEAL Wolf Undercover. Jillian is confident, strong, and perfectly able to take care of herself. Vaughn is mostly a loner, a little arrogant, and can’t help but be instantly attracted to Jillian the moment he sees her. The feeling is mutual, though, and the inevitability of the two main characters getting together is something of a hallmark of the companion series. Additionally, Ms. Spear incorporates familiar characters and a healthy dose of humor into this new world, which is something I’ve always appreciated. Vaughn and Jillian’s introduction isn’t at all how most couples would get their start, but it creates a running gag throughout the story that establishes surprisingly solid footing for the rest of their relationship. Carrying the original groundwork and characters of the “United Shifter Force” into SEAL Wolf Undercover also provided a recognizable foundation on which additional stories might build. Although SEAL Wolf Undercover is consistent with the others in the series I’ve read, there were a few concerns that made it difficult for me to fully settle into the story. Various technical issues that hadn’t been addressed in the ARC I received for this review were hard to ignore, but will hopefully be resolved in the final version. Repetition of phrasing, occasionally confusing establishment of the chain of events, ambiguity in regards to which character is speaking in some scenes, spontaneous POV shifts, and so forth, all kept the narrative from feeling as solid as some in the past have been. Though it has a rough patch or two, SEAL Wolf Undercover has many other good things to recommend it. Like the other stories, it includes a mystery to be solved, a whirlwind romance, and a loving forever that fans of the series are sure to enjoy. Regardless, the introduction of the groups of shifters has unlocked an expansive set of new...
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Aug
1

Review: Chasing Destiny by Megan Erickson

Review: Chasing Destiny by Megan Erickson Chasing Destiny Author: Megan Erickson Reviewer: Jen Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Bay has had something missing in his life since losing his best friend and future mate when they were teens. But to lose Nash again after he was rescued then sacrificed himself to save the Silver Tips from a Nowere attack, left Bay empty and near ruin. Volunteering for a highly dangerous and potentially deadly scouting mission, Bay finds life again when he discovers Nash living in isolation with the Whitethroats. Nash has spent over half of his life in deplorable conditions as a prisoner; used for experiments and worse. Now that Bay has found him, he’s torn between his love for Bay and a pack long forgotten and the need to protect them from his once captors. With warring emotions, Nash walks the fine line between redemption and hell. Fans of good ol’ shifter romance and sizzling m/m lovin’ rejoice! Ms. Erickson’s Silver Tip Pack series is just what you need. After enjoying the world building and character development of first book, Daring Fate, I found Chasing Destiny all the more intense and exciting. The raw need between Nash and Bay is tangible: emotional and sexy. The years of unfulfilled lust and love explode as the pair reconnects. It’s a push and pull story, with a solid foundation established when the pair was younger. While Nash can do little to control his body’s need to be with Bay, his heart and head push him away, thinking he is too broken to be loved by Bay. Their story is emotionally gripping and satisfying. While the romance between first book couple Reese and Dare was the “True Mate” kind, I am thankful that Ms. Erickson did not utilize the same for Nash and Bay. True Mating is rare and special, but the author shows us that it isn’t necessary for true love to develop between a couple, leaving no question of how exceptional Bay and Nash relationship is. Additionally, I appreciate that the author gives Nash the time he needs to be with Bay, rather than skip over his years of physical and mental abuse. Yet, they are firmly a couple before the big climax of the book, solidifying their connection in a powerful way. Ms. Erickson continues to develop her world, as we learn more about surrounding Were and werewolf packs, making connections with other packs, and witnessing anomalies involving the zombie-like Noweres. Having to spend...
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Jul
19

Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter The Darkest Promise Author: Gena Showalter Reviewer: Jen Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Cameo, the keeper of Misery, remembers forgetting someone. A dark man who made her… happy?! She thinks it could be Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual, but her demon has blocked it from her memories. She has found her way to Lazarus’s realm using the Paring Rod in hopes of finding out the truth. Lazarus is stuck in a land of the dead, but he is not dead; sort of. His thoughts revolve around vengeance: to kill his father, Hera, and the harpy who banished him to this realm. He found his “one true mate” in Cameo, and he is obsessed with finding her after she left his side never to return. He is also slowly dying from crystallized veins, something that occurs once the male of his species finds their “true mate.” Now he’s torn between his need for vengeance and desire for Cameo, which is killing him. Due to the fact that The Darkest Promise follows a couple story arcs that began a few books ago, I don’t recommend anyone new to the Lords of the Underworld series start here. It is probably the best of the most recent books, as it mostly stays focused on the romantic storyline and only one overarching plot line, keeping the book moving without creating a lot of unnecessary confusion. I am especially thankful that the book didn’t spend time on the Gilly/William issues. Cameo and Lazarus are good together and “meant to be.” I enjoyed their back and forth, and the fact that both wanted to protect the other more than life itself was rewarding. Many times, I got the mushy, squishy heart feeling because of an action or words thought/spoken. Both Cameo and Lazarus have personal issues they must hurdle in order to get to their HEA. Calling this “Cameo’s book” would be unfair, as it is equal parts Lararus’s story. Outside of the primary romance, the book addressed more in the on-going war between Hades and Lucifer. I honestly can’t recall how this story started, and I still wonder what happened in the “real world” with the rise of the Titans. I know the Lords took down the leadership, but aren’t there temples or something out there? I don’t know how the Sent Ones (from the spin off series) and all the conflicting mythologies tie in together, but I just go with the flow of...
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Jul
12

Review: The Mech Who Loved Me by Bec McMaster

Review: The Mech Who Loved Me by Bec McMaster The Mech Who Loved Me Author: Bec McMaster Reviewer: Jen Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: We first met Ava McLaren, blue blood and former Nighthawk, when she was captured and tortured in Perry’s book, Forged by Desire. Hague infected her with the craving virus and replaced her heart with a working, clockwork heart. She was recruited by Lord Malloryn as part of the Company of Rogues. Ava had been crushing on the only man who was nice to her after her ordeal. However, Byrnes’s wedding to his love, Ingrid, is where The Mech Who Loved Me opens, about six weeks after conclusion of previous book. While Ava may be a bit forlorn, she confides in Perry she has had recent feelings towards fellow Rogue, Kincaid. Liam Kincaid spent much of his life as a slave to the blue blood Echelon after receiving his mech arm. He blames the blue bloods for the deaths of his brother and sister, leaving him to ponder why Malloryn recruited him as a Rogue. He finds Ava attractive, but the fact that she’s a virgin, wants to marry, and is a blue blood is enough to keep him away. Yet the more time he works with Ava, the less cynical he becomes. The second story in the continuing tales of blue bloods and humans in an alternate London is a hit! Ms. McMaster continues her exciting, well-spun storytelling with another beautiful, sexy romance, while continuing to unfold the mysteries of the Sons of Gideon, Lord Ulbricht, and the secretive dhampirs. The overarching storyline involving a plot against rogue blue bloods and humans alike progresses nicely. But the heart of the story is the romance between shy Ava and weathered Kincaid. The pair is simultaneously sweet and sexy; reserved and passionate. Ms. McMaster started with two very interesting characters in Ava and Kincaid, then allows each to grow and develop over the course of The Mech Who Loved Me. Watching both find their own way in this new and changing world was rewarding; seeing them find friendship and love was wonderful. Theirs is a relationship of give and take until they find their own new normal, accepting the other as both a whole, yet their own missing half. The mysterious and complex plots to bring about chaos and anarchy gain momentum and focus over the course of the book. I like that the story took one avenue of this conspiracy to its end, while...
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Jul
5

Review: Over the Moon by Hailey Edwards

Review: Over the Moon by Hailey Edwards Over the Moon Author: Hailey Edwards Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A+ What I’m Talking About: I think Over the Moon is an excellent end to the Lorimar Pack books in the Black Dog universe. Don’t get me wrong—I’m definitely up for more books in the universe—as matter of fact, I think Ms. Edwards sets us up well for at least a novella for Theo—but Dell’s story arc feels complete in a satisfying way. That makes sense, right? You guys know what I’m talking about. I’ve been very vocal about adoring the Black Dog universe since it started. The world-building is killer, and any time I have questions, I can guarantee they’ll be answered by the end of the plot arc for the main character. And the end of Dell’s books is no exception. As matter of fact, I think a lot of things are tied up in a neat little bow at the conclusion of Over the Moon. What killed me: Making hard choices in the best interest of the pack—and Earth. What wrecked me: “How do you do that?” I wondered. “How do you always know?” “You’re my heart, Dell.” His fingertips skated down my arm. “You think I can’t tell when it’s aching?” What finally made sense: Dell’s revelation about Abram. What I loved the most: How all the beloved characters from the series rallied during a time when they could’ve all just hid away to keep their own safe. But, most of all, I loved the relationship between Dell and Issac—and, the interplay with Theo (who I still have questions about). Readers will get the most out of Over the Moon if they read all the Black Dog books first. Thierry and Shaw as well as Cam and Cord have a HUGE role in this book. We even get to see a little kitsune and her mate 😉 But, the appearance of other favorite fey & shifters doesn’t overshadow the whole aspect of Dell’s growth. When we first met Dell, she was a shell of herself. She was hiding from who she really was in an effort to protect herself. After she leaves Bessimer’s pack, she falls naturally into the leadership role of Beta for Lorimar. However, there’s still things—even though she’s mated to Issac—that need resolution for her. She needs to feel like she can stand on her own and that she has value. I think Ms. Edwards did a phenomenal job with Dell’s character arc,...
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Jun
12

Review + Excerpt: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Review + Excerpt: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh Silver Silence Author: Nalini Singh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Valentin Nikolaev is the alpha of StoneWater clan, the dominant bear shifters that surround Moscow. He is a fairly new alpha, one of a fractured clan, and who is trying to adjust to this new and changing world. Valentin recognizes that the icy and powerful Silver Mercant, Kaleb Krychek’s right hand, is his mate. He’s trying to woo Silver by being sneaky like a cat (he knows that Lucas was able to win the heart of his own Psy, so he’s trying to be both a bear and a cat). Silver Mercant is the heir to the Mercant clan, currently run by her grandmother, Ena. They are a strong family unit, one that has survived through Silence with more “life” than most other Psys. And although the world is starting to shift away from Silence, it is not a choice for Silver who lives with a genetic defect. Yet, she feels her walls breaking every time she’s around Valentin. Silver Silence is the first book in Ms. Singh’s Psy-Changeling Trinity series which continues the Psy-Changeling story in a post-Silence world. While one could start their journey into this wonderful world with this book, I feel that the first 15 titles are equality important in setting the tone and feel for this new world – one with human, Psy, and Changeling turmoil and celebrations. I absolutely adore Valentin, who has known Silver is his mate since he met her ten months prior. He’s utterly adorable as he attempts to win her over with his treats and notes. He knows Silver is Silent, but that there is more to her than the cold, emotionless facade, and he gets his chance to see more with the attempt on Silver’s life at the opening of the book. Forced to move into Denhome for her own safety, Silver must adjust to being around the emotional bears. I love that Valentin pushes Silver – challenges her to see if there is another way than Silence now that she is an adult. And Silver takes up his challenge. Silver is the perfect match for Valentin and visa-versa. They are both strong “alpha” characters that carry the weight of their respective families on their shoulders and in their hearts. They understand one another and the responsibilities that come as part of the package, which allows them to bond through opening up and sharing...
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Jun
6

Review: Wolf Hunt by Paige Tyler

Review: Wolf Hunt by Paige Tyler Wolf Hunt Author: Paige Tyler Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una really enjoy this series.  It’s a fascinating, engaging, and fun series.  How can it not be fun?  It mixes werewolves, SWAT, and romance together.  Ms. Tyler delivers yet another satisfying SWAT novel in Wolf Hunt. Although the series is best read from the beginning, Wolf Hunt would be a reasonable start for the series. The best part of Remy and Triana’s romance is that it is a second chance at love.  Remy and Triana were unrequited high school sweethearts.  Friends for most of their childhood, they never took that next step fearing it wouldn’t work out.  When they run into each other on a visit home they receive that second chance at love.  Their romantic journey, although overshadowed by Remy’s past, was sweet, passionate and fulfilling. We enjoyed learning about Triana’s family.  Her mother, Gemma Bellamy, runs a Voodoo shop and seems pretty knowledgeable about things that are supposedly only a legend.  Triana’s mother provided not only a little comic relief but also a strong supporting character.  We enjoyed her courage and strength of character.  The way she helps Triana accept the supernatural despite Triana’s scientific mindset was touching. We enjoyed how the nefarious plots of the drug kingpin, the hurricane, and the insistent mysterious buyer for Triana’s father’s necklace all seemed to weave together.  The twists and turns were enjoyable, although they were a little predictable. SWAT continues to be a fascinating series.  In each novel we learn a little more about the nature and mythology of werewolves in this world along with a satisfying romantic journey with a bit of action and suspense.  If you like a little hunky werewolf in uniform, you may just want to check out this modern day paranormal cop drama series. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: A STORM IS BREWING… Remy Boudreaux is back in his hometown, New Orleans. He’s there with three of his fellow Dallas SWAT officers for a week of training with the NOLA PD. On the eve of a tropical storm, Remy and his buddies prowl the French Quarter. One tantalizing scent captures Remy’s senses, forcing him to follow until he is face to face with Triana Bellamy—his beautiful high school crush. After reconnecting, Remy and Triana are close—very. Remy struggles to keep things casual. Ever since his partner—and first love—was killed on the job, he’s kept...
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May
23

Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons Dating the Undead Author: Juliet Lyons Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: It’s been awhile since I’ve read something paranormal. I miss it. I was really excited about reading Dating the Undead, the first title in the Undead Dating Service / V-Date.com series. I wasn’t disappointed. Ms. Lyons did a fabulous job setting up her vampire world so readers would easily buy-in and suspend belief for the rules of her universe. Which is important when there’s human-vampire interaction going on. Silver is an independent young woman and she is sassy, stubborn, pretty much fearless, and able to function on her own without the assistance of a man. I love her unique way of dressing, and her thought process. Silver is who I imagine myself to be, were I 20-something and on the market 🙂 We get a lot of information about her, too. I like knowing her background and how she came to be the way she is. Logan is a vampire. He’s almost 200 years old. He’s not afraid to tell Silver about his past, either. Mostly. What I like about Logan is that he’s honest with Silver (to a point). He is a bit of an AlphaMale, but I don’t think he crosses into alpha-hole territory. Which is important. Although, he does have a few missteps with regard to info that should have been divulged to Silver much sooner—but then again, it creates conflict and we all need conflict in our books! Not only were the sexy times super hot and well-written, but I definitely saw the relationship build between Logan and Silver. Initially, it felt like a huge case of doing-it-like-bunnies lust, but the intimacy between the couple increased in wonderful ways that made the ‘I love yous’ believable. I really was impressed with the whole vampire world. The hierarchy. The rules. It all made so much sense to me. While there was some suspense tossed in along the way, it enhanced the plot and the overarching romance for me. I can’t wait to read the next installment of Undead Dating Service—and I hope we get to see more of Silver and Logan. A second title in the series is due out October 2017. My Rating: A, Loved It About the Book: When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year’s Eve, she knows other humans just won’t suffice. Convinced she’ll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site,...
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Apr
27

Review: The Chosen by J.R. Ward

Review: The Chosen by J.R. Ward The Chosen Author: J.R. Ward Reviewer: Una Rating: B What I’m Talking About: The Chosen is a novel that I have both wanted and dreaded.  This fifteenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was to be a make or break book for me.  Suffice to say, the WARDen found and worked that special magic.  Though there are some highs and lows, overall I liked it – my crack is back! ****Needless to say, this is the 15th book in the series…if you haven’t read the series, there will be spoilers.  If you haven’t read through The Beast, there will be spoilers.  There are a few elements to the plot I will hint at since I can’t review the novel without it.  You have been warned.**** From the beginning I have never been a fan of the pairing of Layla and Xcor.  Romeo and Juliet had a more promising future than these two.  At the beginning of the series, Layla was endearing.  Quirky and sickeningly sweet, she was the poster girl for a Chosen.  Once liberated by the Primale, Layla floundered.  However, she still seemed to have the best interests of the species at heart. Once she was duped by Xcor, however, and all but threw herself into his machinations, I was irritated.  Layla went from being selfless to selfish.  I kept waiting for her liaisons with Xcor to be discovered, her betrayal of her “family” brought to light, the train she fought so hard to get on was going to wreck, it was just a question or when and the amount of collateral damage.  It does early in the novel and it is HUGE.  I found myself torn from feeling sorry for Layla and being angry. Xcor rubbed me the wrong way from the first moment we met him.  I did not believe that I could understand him nor root for him.  As the novel begins, we experience Xcor’s parents at the dawn of his birth.  I never thought Xcor’s life would have been easy, I expected it to be tragic – I wasn’t prepared for how awful it was.  Xcor is a male of worth from birth, but the environments he was raised in, honed him into the male he became.  I feel that it was not his meeting Layla that transformed him, contrary to his belief.  It was the revelation in Payne’s book that he is not the son of the Bloodletter that is the catalyst...
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Apr
10

Review: Sanguine Moon by Jennifer Foxcroft

Review: Sanguine Moon by Jennifer Foxcroft Sanguine Moon Author: Jennifer Foxcroft Reviewer: Nima Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Sanguine Moon is the second installment in the young adult paranormal romance Camazotz Trilogy.  It picks up right where Sanguine Mountain left off.  I appreciated the fact that this was not a filler book, but had its own, valid plot.  While it is a complete story, this is definitely a “read in order” trilogy, also setting us up for book three in the last chapter. With two years between the release of the first and second installments, there is a character list in the back to help the reader keep multiple players in order. I found the first story was unique enough that I did remember most of it and have been looking forward to this read. I’m enjoying continuing this alternate version of the vampire myth.  Camazotz are a species of shape-shifting vampire bats—more zoology, less Bela Lugosi.  They shun modern technology and outsiders in an effort to keep their secrets.  Main heartthrob Rockland “Rocks” is desperately in love with aeronaught (ordinary human) Connie Phillips. Unfortunately he’s also heir-apparent to leadership of his colony. Connie has her own troubles as the identity of her biological parents prove to be more than problematic. In fact, they become very adult problems which is why I was frustrated by Connie’s lack of faith in the adults in her life—parents who are perfect in a way only fictional characters can be.  Keeping them from the action of the story felt a little contrived, even if necessary.  Academy Award winning director Keith Merrill once said, “If you’re a screenwriter and understand the essence of drama, and you want to plunge your characters into conflict and keep them there, then you probably need to ‘lose the mom.’ Mothers go missing in movies because leaving them in the lives of characters in crisis makes sustaining conflict difficult. Mothers listen and understand, solve problems, and resolve conflicts. They are selfless and love without conditions. You want to stir up a heap of trouble and make it believable? Better keep Mom out of it.”  Foxcroft’s justifications for keeping good parents “out of it” wore very thin before being resolved.  To her credit, however, when we finally got there, it was almost a physical relief.  I hope it is appropriate to give them a larger support role in book three. Rocks has his own problems with his colony.  Their fear of the outside world, especially...
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