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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Apr
2

Review: Drowning in Fire by Hanna Martine

Review: Drowning in Fire by Hanna Martine Drowning in Fire Author: Hannah Martine  Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: Drowning in Fire is the third novel in The Elementals series.  After much discussion, Gikany and Una liked this offering, but with one strong reservation. First, we love this world that Ms. Martine has created. This sizzling mix of paranormal romance with a hint of science fiction is thoroughly fascinating.  The different Secondaries (Primaries being those from Earth) with their own abilities linked to the elements are intriguing.  With Drowning in Fire we are finally able to see each of these secondary groups: the Children of the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  There is one other group, Spirit, but they are absent during the course of this novel.  We hope to learn more about that elemental group in future books.  There is much that transpires in the other elemental groups, most notably the Air and Children of the Earth.  We eagerly wait to see what happens with Aya and Jase. However, Gikany and Una did have an issue.  Keko, our heroine, was just the type of personality that we could not relate to.  She is a perfect product of the Chimeran people – a strict caste warrior-like culture.  This is not a compliment.  We found her for most of the novel to be selfish, brash, and quick to action without any thought of consequences or circumstances.  It is not until over halfway through the novel, and some serious introspective growth on her part, that we began to stop disliking her.  By the end, we would still never be buddies with her, but she was at least palatable.  As much as we love Griffin, we just could not see the connection between the pair.  We understand that it must be one of those soul-deep opposites attract and find balance connections, but it is just not something that we were able to connect with as readers. As Drowning in Fire concluded, we were pleased to see that some of what created and fueled those aspects of Keko we disliked, are the elements that faced major changes.  We are happy to report that it does seem like Griffin and Keko will have a happily ever after, although we are still wondering if Griffin still has his job as this conflict was not resolved by the end of the book.  In The Elementals series, each book has a different couple as the focal point and the ending...
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Mar
31

Review: Dangerous Angel by Stacy Gail

Review: Dangerous Angel by Stacy Gail Dangerous Angel Author: Stacy Gail Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Nikita Tesoro and Kyle Beaudecker are two of Miami’s top bounty hunters. They’ve worked in the same circles and been associates for years, but Kyle has always wanted more. Now that the evil demon lord, Dantalion, has set his sights on Nikita, Kyle may have to reveal his hidden secret – that his is a human descended from the biblical Nephilim, and he has the power to control lightning. Dangerous Angel is the fourth and final story in the Earth Angels series by Stacy Gail. While each story is a stand alone romance, the book concludes the over-arching plot that involves a demon who has been targeting the Nephilim descendants. For this reason, and the fact that this is an highly entertaining series, I suggest reading each story in order prior to picking up this title. One thing I adored most is that Kyle and Nikita share an intense and immediate chemistry. They have known each other for a few years, and their shared history comes helps foster a more powerful relationship. Right from the start, their play is highly sensual and attractive. What makes their dynamic so explosive is that Kyle and Nikita both are full of pent-up passion, yet both keep their emotions under tight control. When they are together, they each tempt that control, and together they are an explosion ready to detonate. So hot! Although I felt that the pair make a great couple, I had misgivings with a particular circumstance, which brought the pair together. NOTE: POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH Kyle, determined to uncover information that Nikita was leery of sharing, uses sex to pry that information from her. By no means is it rape, but using Nikita’s own body’s sexual response to his touch, and then not telling her the truth right away, made me uneasy. I didn’t like the idea of mixing her horrible memories and mental/emotional anguish with sexual pleasure. At least once it is over, they discuss the fact that he shouldn’t have tortured her like that; however, the quasi apology rang hollow with me. It also frustrated me that I had to wait until the near conclusion of the book for Kyle to realize how much of a jerk he’s been. END OF POTENTIAL SPOILERS Unfortunately, I feel that these actions created some apathy towards the couple. The mystery of where Dantalion would strike...
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Mar
14

Review: Cole’s Redemption by JD Tyler

Review: Cole’s Redemption by JD Tyler Cole’s Redemption Author: J. D. Tyler Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Cole’s Redemption is the fifth offering in the Alpha Pack series.  In this novel, the healer, Zander, finally meets his mate, and the main plot arc of the secret government official who is trying to destroy the pack is resolved. Firstly, Gikany and Una enjoy the Alpha Pack series.  It’s a sensual blend of military and paranormal romance.  We also enjoy the balance of romance to action and drama.  The mythology is varied and fascinating.  Seriously, how could you go wrong with a shape-shifting alpha man in uniform?  (We are swooning). The men that make up this elite force of shifters are tough, insightful and varied – even in their alpha male tendencies.  Zander Cole is one who had caught our eye.  Wounded in previous battle, he is a healer and will risk his own life to help those of his alpha pack brethren.  We have been keeping our fingers crossed, waiting for his Bondmate who we hoped would help to heal him. Suffice to say, we were captivated by Zan. It should be no surprise that his mate also has some serious baggage.  Selene is Nick’s (the Alpha Pack’s leader) estranged daughter.  She has sworn to seek revenge on Nick for killing her mother and abandoning her.  When she tries to carry out her plan, she is thwarted by Zan and in the process becomes his Bondmate.  At first Una felt that their relationship was too heavily weighted towards the bedroom – they had just met.  However, Gikany pointed out that they were in fact giving into their inner wolves.  It was, in a sense, a way for their inner wolves (who knew they were mated) to bring the human halves together. Although the book is somewhat divided between Zan and Selene’s mating and adjustment and hunting down a band of rogue vampires, the story does flow well.  Selene’s growth through the novel is inspiring considering the dark place she comes from.  Through Zan, she is able to step outside of herself and really evaluate what she sees and decide the truth for herself.  It was heartbreaking at time to watch the painful healing Selene and Zan undergo as they both struggle with their own demons. Cole’s Redemption does appear to be a somewhat transitional novel in that the plot arc of the evil high government official is resolved along with Nick’s...
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Mar
12

Review: Spirited by Mary Behre

Review: Spirited by Mary Behre Spirited  Author: Mary Behre  Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: Spirited is the debut novel in the Tidewaters series.  It is a paranormal romance with a detective drama twist.  Overall, Gikany and Una liked Spirited, but we did have a few small issues. The novel mainly follows Jules, our ghost whisperer, who has returned home to start over after a messy divorce.  Jules is hoping to get back to working at the family flower shop and pretend that she doesn’t see, hear, or get pulled into awkward situations by ghosts.  Try as she might, she is not home long before a pesky spirit kicks her into the adjacent apartment.  But this isn’t just any apartment: it’s the apartment of Seth, a local detective who mistakes Jules as a prostitute.  Yup, we have to admit, it’s a funny way to start a novel! The humor and light-heartedness of Spirited was refreshing.  The banter between Seth and Jules was pretty humorous.  Jules’ personality lends itself well to keeping things unexpected and light.  We enjoyed her character.  Although Seth seemed to lack a bit of depth and was a tad black and white, we can see how these unlikely two are drawn together.  However, it was disturbing near the end when Jules bares a little of herself only to be repudiated by Seth.  He seemed overly harsh and not quite keeping with what we had seen building over the novel.  Yet, we do understand that Jules and Seth both come together with quite some serious baggage.  Watching them work through those issues inspired hope and had us rooting for them. Gikany and Una enjoyed the flow of the novel and how everything seemed to move and progress.  Although the mystery of the murders, the ghost, and the robberies is dark, it is lightened by the people and the absurd situations that Jules finds herself in.  Some aspects of the story were foreshadowed, but we were pleased that some twists and turns did take us by surprise.  The story was not super easy to figure out. One aspect that seemed to glare was the police procedures.  Gikany and Una enjoy a good police procedural, and we felt that the practices that Seth and some of the other officers employed were not by the book.  In fact, there are several instances that just didn’t seem in keeping with standard police procedure.  These moments interrupted the authenticity of the novel and...
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Mar
11

Review: Silence of the Wolf by Terry Spear

Review: Silence of the Wolf by Terry Spear Silence of the Wolf Author: Terry Spear  Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: The latest addition to the Heart of the Wolf series, Silence of the Wolf, follows a familiar, yet welcome, pattern that has been a hallmark of the series since I began reading it. Elizabeth Wildwood is independent, self-sufficient, a skilled photographer, and completely uninterested in finding a mate. Ever. She is also a lone werewolf who is being hunted by someone from her past. Tom Silver, sub-leader for the Silver pack of Colorado, isn’t interested in finding a mate right now, either. Pack business, as well as helping out with his brother’s pups, among his other duties, keeps him busy. Fortunately for them both, fate has other ideas, and the rest of Tom’s pack are more than willing to give them a helpful shove or two in the right direction. While Silence of the Wolf primarily revolves around Elizabeth and Tom’s journey, it is also an enjoyable mystery, the task of answering the many questions driving the story thereby contributing to the main characters’ acceptance of one another. Even though I had a good idea who was behind all the trouble fairly early in the story, a subplot involving a few of the secondary characters was prominent enough to make me second-guess myself, which made it difficult to put this story down. In addition to providing the suspense I’ve come to count on in this series, Silence of the Wolf offers a closer examination of pack dynamics and prejudices than I’ve seen before. Not only does each member of the Silver Town pack have a unique place within its numbers, compared to the other main group of wolves mentioned in the story, they are impressively open and inviting, giving more weight to an individual’s skills and strengths than their DNA. Once they began to consider Elizabeth one of them, they were immediately protective and nurturing towards her, even though she hadn’t made any sort of commitment to them in turn, leaving the decision to stay or leave entirely up to her. Attributes like this made me like the Silver pack a great deal. As has been the case with most of the stories I’ve read so far in this series, all of the characters have strong, distinct personalities. I’ve always had a soft spot for Ms. Spear’s shifters, in part because the women are so adept at keeping the men off balance, and the...
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Mar
11

Review: Reaper’s Touch by Eleri Stone

Review: Reaper’s Touch by Eleri Stone Reaper’s Touch Author: Eleri Stone Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Abby is a Ranger. The star-marked Rangers have a natural immunity to Reaper bites and can even use the Reaper parasite in conjunction with their own DNA to heal. Reapers are former humans who have been infected with a virus that turns them into zombie-like creatures. But Reapers aren’t the monsters portrayed in horror films of past; they can be clever, they are fast, they don’t rot and are quick healing. It is the Ranger’s job to protect the nearby settlements and keep the Reapers at bay. Abby is a lone female Ranger, and society isn’t always kind to females in this alternate-world wild western. While most believe that female Rangers should be kept safe behind the gates of the fort, producing more Rangers, Abby prefers the front lines. Shunned by her captain and sent as a messenger to keep her from danger, Abby ends up in the midst of an even more hazardous plot. Fate pairs Abby with Jake, a man she describes as, “Her cowboy — dirty and disturbing and hot as hell.” Jake is mysterious and a tad dangerous, but his mission seems to be a noble one, so Abby agrees to help him. Yet the secrets he keeps could end up costing Abby her life. Reaper’s Touch is something altogether new and exciting. Mostly a paranormal romance, the setting and plot are also part western and part alternate timeline; this book has something for everyone. Even though it is the first story in a new series, the world-building is seamless and gripping. Ms. Stone plunges her readers head-first into her exciting and original new world of Rangers and Reapers. Right from the get go, the reader is brought up to speed on the makings of a Ranger (especially the rare female Ranger) and perils of the Reapers; we learn about society’s upper crust, the Scrapers, and life on the frontier. It is a lot to digest, but the world-building is interesting and canny. I don’t know that I’ve read anything quite like Reaper’s Touch. The book itself is well-written, and the overall plot engrossing. I felt the tempo Ms. Stone sets is perfect – slow enough to enjoy the intricate details such as moss growing on rocks in the river – creating vivid imagery and polished scenes. But fast enough to keep me engaged and even a little anxious. I really...
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Feb
28

Review: Yesterday’s Kiss by Carly Fall

Review: Yesterday’s Kiss by Carly Fall Yesterday’s Kiss Author: Carly Fall  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: I really like Arizona, ghost towns, and historical sites. I can sit and imagine history unfolding around me as I take in the ambiance of an area. I’ve always been fascinated by ghosts, the paranormal, and anything that could be remotely construed as horror or the occult. I was pretty excited to read Yesterday’s Kiss, since I’m jonesing for warmth in the middle of this frigid Michigan winter, and Arizona is fabulously warm! I did like a lot of things about the story. Ms. Fall is great at writing details. Sensory details. I felt as though I was right there, in the moment. I liked the way the characters traversed time, and the way the author showed us what happened. I’ve never been to Bisbee, but it seemed as though the descriptions were authentic, and completely believable. I liked Joseph. I thought he was a genuine character. I liked the way we got to see his history with ‘Margaret’. I could feel his love for her. I could also feel his pain. Really. I may have dabbed at my eye a time or two, to keep the mascara from running. Maggie was truly a lovable character. Readers will probably have a lot of compassion for her, and many will probably identify with her. I, on the other hand, wanted to protect her from early on in the story. For some reason, she just felt as though she needed protecting. I’m not even totally sure why I felt that way about her. I also liked her inner monologue throughout the title. She was constantly trying to talk herself out of the whole Joseph thing. I did have a few issues with Yesterday’s Kiss. I felt as though the plot was stifled; I felt there was so much growing it could have done! Sentence structures and complexity also irritated me. The sentences were quite simple throughout, it felt. The dialogue for Joseph felt almost authentic for the time period, but the rest fell a bit flat for me. There was one plot issue that bothered me, but not enough to stop reading. And the end. No. Phreakin’. Way! I actually had no idea how Ms. Fall would tie up the loose ends on this title! Kudos for keeping me in the dark for so long! Rating:  C+ Liked It – But I had issues About the Book: Is...
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Feb
27

Quickie Review: Whisper of Sin by Nalini Singh

Quickie Review: Whisper of Sin by Nalini Singh This week, Nalini Singh released the novella, Whisper of Sin, a Psy-Changeling Prequel story that was originally published as part of the Burning Up Anthology in August 2010. In honor of the release, I’ve reposted my original review of this wonderful story. Whisper of Sin Author: Nalini Singh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Ria (a human) is attacked and nearly raped before DarkRiver enforcers step in. Changeling Emmett is immediately attracted to Ria and serves as her protector. The story follows the couple as they learn about one another, and learn to trust each other. This is story set in Ms. Singh’s amazing Psy/Changeling series (one of the best PNR series out there). It is set back in time, so you do not have to have knowledge of the series to enjoy this novella. Ms. Singh does a fabulous job of drawing me in by creating characters I care about. The story moves quickly, but doesn’t skimp on plot development or hot romance. My only issue was the final “hurdle” placed in front of the couple, which felt forced and unnecessary. The couple was already together and in love. I did not see the purpose in tossing them one more issue to deal with – especially one so minor and silly. But it was just that – silly – and the story is still a good one. Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot About the Book: San Francisco is under threat from a violent gang…a gang that has no idea who they’re challenging. The DarkRiver pack of leopard changelings has already claimed the city as their territory, and they will fight with wild fury to protect its residents. Emmett, a lethally trained leopard soldier, isn’t about to let outsiders muscle in on his home ground—especially when they target a human named Ria. Emmett has one word for the smart stranger with her curvy body and tough spirit: mine. Possessive, dominant, unyielding in his demands and desires, Emmett is unlike anyone Ria has ever before met. But while the sexy leopard changeling makes her body ignite, his kisses molten and his touch addicting, she’s no pushover and she has a few demands of her own. This leopard has met his match… Release Date: February 25, 2014 Publisher: Jove Series: Psy-Changeling #0.6 ISBN: #here Genre: Paranormal Romance, novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased original anthology with my own funds Purchase Info: Whisper of Sin (Psy-Changeling #0.6) Reviews in the Series:...
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Feb
21

Review: Sex, Wolves & Rock ‘N Roll by Mina Carter

Review: Sex, Wolves & Rock ‘N Roll by Mina Carter Sex, Wolves & Rock ‘N Roll Author: Mina Carter  Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Trent Savage, drummer for the Lyric Hounds, the most famous werewolf band in the world, has a big problem. He’s found his mate, the one wolf for him, but can’t have him. “Sav” is out and proud, but his mate isn’t interested in anything but sampling as many different women as he can. The other wolf also just happens to be his band’s guitarist, and watching “K” choose all those nameless groupies over him is tearing Sav apart. Sav isn’t the only one with troubles, though. Primed by the Hounds’ management to be the wild, straight party boy of the group, Karlan Rixx has played his part well for a long time. Except that he’d rather be with the only wolf in the band whose rhythms help him connect with his music like no one else’s ever could. He’s also got another big secret, one that’s made him feel separated from the other wolves for years—a secret that could keep him from ever finding his true mate. Sav and K seem like typical rock stars with all the fame, parties, and groupies that go with it. Except that they’re wolves. And that Sav is gay. Star-crossed lovers with a twist, they are brought together by a single, terrible event, the repercussions of which could very well be the thing that tears them apart forever. Initially told from Sav’s perspective, I found it easy to feel sorry for him in the face of K’s perceived cruelty. By turns, once I got to know K better, I was disappointed for them both. The real problem, of course, is that each has been too stubborn and afraid all the time they’ve known one another to tell the truth. And that made me want to kick them both just a little. Thankfully, this is a 1Night Stand story as well, and anyone familiar with the series knows that nothing is impossible with Madame Eve and the 1Night Stand dating service. Her ability to help those who are lonely and hurting find their hearts’ desire is nothing short of magical, and her gifts were extremely welcome in this case. Telling any more here would give away the story, since wanting K and Sav to find their way back to one another made Sex, Wolves & Rock ‘N Roll a pleasure to read. The 1Night Stand series is...
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Feb
17

Review: A Kiss of Venom by Hailey Edwards

Review: A Kiss of Venom by Hailey Edwards A Kiss of Venom Author: Hailey Edwards  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: It’s no secret I’m a big fan of the world created by Hailey Edwards in her Araneae Nation series. When I was offered the opportunity to read this novella, I was quite excited to get back to the Araneidae people. I love Lourdes and Rhys, and even catching glimpses of them made my day. I also am quite fond of Henri, as he plays a major role in the fourth novel of the series (actually released before this novella). Because of Anne Rice and The Vampire Armand (not to mention the contributions of Armand to Interview with a Vampire), I definitely have preconceived notions about every character I meet with that name. Seriously though? Ms. Edwards didn’t disappoint! Appearing to be a playboy, he’s used to having women clamoring to get in his bed. I picture Armand to be beautiful with lavender eyes – so beautiful, it hurts to gaze upon him for too long. How can someone resist his beauty? Nicolette certainly tried. Nicolette certainly poured on the sexuality! Using her feminine wiles, she was definitely a powerful opponent throughout most of the story. With all the secrets … Well, I think you’ll need to read this tale to understand. Argh! The plot for this little novella certainly packed a punch. Everything is woven together intricately. The reader is strung along for the journey. The amazing way Ms. Edwards reveals truths. The character’s inner conflict. The external conflict. Attraction, intrigue, deception. This title’s got it all. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot I can say about why I loved this novella without spoiling it for readers. Whether you’re new to the Araneidae people and the Araneae Nation series, or swore allegiance ages ago, this title could stand alone. But to achieve a greater appreciation, I recommend reading the titles in order. I see how this story fits in before the fourth novel, but reading it after the latest full-length story in the series didn’t diminish my enjoyment whatsoever. Rating:  A Loved It About the Book: Betrayed by her lover and exiled from her clan home, Nicolette has carved herself a new identity from the heart of her old life. Hardened by grief and desperate to survive, she hones a new skill set…and the daggers that go along with it. Armand is heir to the wealthiest clan in the Araneae Nation. His entire life is...
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