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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Jan
2

Review: Lord of the Hunt by Shona Husk

Review: Lord of the Hunt by Shona Husk Lord of the Hunt Author: Shona Husk  Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: A- What We’re Talking About: After reading the first novel, The Outcast Prince, we were not sure what to expect with the second novel in the Court of Annwyn series.  We are delighted to say that Lord of the Hunt was an intriguing and different novel than what we expected and therefore we enjoyed it. As the novel begins, we are introduced to Taryn, a fairy who was born in Annwyn but has lived her entire life as a mortal.  Taryn was not brought up as a typical fairy, she went to human schools, and worked at human jobs.  Due to her upbringing, she has been sheltered from the cunning and dangerous world of Annwyn.  However, with the coming of Winter in the Court, her father’s banishment could be the death of her parents unless someone can bargain with the Fairy King to end her father’s exile.  Taryn is sent by her family to secure the bargain, by any means necessary.  Yet, Taryn is only given a down and dirty lesson by her mother in Fairy politics.  A lesson that is too little and too late to prepare her for what she will face. Verden is the Lord of the Hunt and is completely loyal to the King. However, he sees the writing on the walls and knows his position is coming to an end.  The new Prince, although friendly with Verden, would never keep him as the Lord of the Hunt.  Like any new leader, he would appoint someone whose loyalty is without question to him.  Verden worked hard, bargaining and “dancing” to earn his position.  He is not just loyal to the King but friends and nothing had ever tested that friendship and loyalty, until he meets Taryn.  He finds himself in a position he never imagined, wanting something other than the job of Hunter, wanting only the love of a woman. Gikany and Una really enjoyed the story of Taryn and Verden.  Their journey is not straight forward, it is fraught with twists and turns due to the politics and scheming of those with their eyes on the King’s throne.  Although the politics can be mind-numbingly burdensome, it is realistic.  Fairies do not care for love or friendship (typically), but desire power above all else.  They will do anything for power.  Verden’s life is an excellent example of this.  He slept, bargained, and clawed...
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Dec
30

Review: A Breath of Winter by Hailey Edwards

Review: A Breath of Winter by Hailey Edwards A Breath of Winter Author: Hailey Edwards  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I have to start by saying that it’s difficult to categorize Haley Edwards’ books into a genre. I enjoyed A Breath of Winter and basically read it in a day, but I feel that others might find this title problematic if they’re not avid readers of the Araneae Nation titles. Here’s what new-to-the-series readers may find lacking in this title: original information that moves the plot forward. The reason this wasn’t a problem for me was because I found the info provided valuable to the backstory and cleared up some things left over for me from other titles. This is the ONLY reason I’m not giving it an A or A+ rating. I felt, while this was a transitional book in the series, that Ms. Edwards moved the plot arc forward, which is critical in all titles of a series. I really liked the use of the harbinger as a plot device, and especially the way Ms. Edwards tied up loose ends toward the end of the book. I wasn’t sure why the harbingers had been introduced in Book 3, but now I completely understand why, even though I still have more questions that I’m sure will be answered in Book 5 of the series. As far as minor characters, I really enjoyed Zuri’s brothers. They were important to the plot, and moved things forward. They were typical brothers, and wanted nothing more than to protect their sister. Even though she didn’t need it, most of the time. The importance of the Ursas cannot be down-played, however. I felt that by giving Zuri’s Ursa personality and emotion that we learned more about this domesticated animal, and their purpose within the plot. Henri, Maven Lourdes’ brother (several steps removed from the possibility of taking the throne) entered the story as a doctor/alchemist/herbologist. What really drove the plot for Henri was searching for a cure for the ‘plague’. While the romance simmered under the surface between Zuri and Henri for, like, ALL of the book, I found that I was rooting for them to take things further from nearly the beginning. Henri was, however, a character steeped in guilt because of his reasons for bringing Zuri and the harbinger to their nest. Even with his sister’s blessing, he still felt as though he were entirely responsible for the outcome. Which I didn’t like. The ‘plague’ seemed...
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Dec
28

Review: Starry Night by Lea Griffith

Review: Starry Night by Lea Griffith Starry Night Author: Lea Griffith Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: When the Unseelie King, Iomlan, discovered his favorite lover, Inuit Queen Cikuq, slept with Jack Frost and has been passing off their love child as Iomlan’s, he banished the girl to another planet. Talini has spent 300 years alone on an ice planet, with only two reminders of home, her mahogany bed and her pet fox, Tiktok. Kian was hired by Jack Frost to find his long-lost daughter. Kian and a small crew have been searching for five long years to find Tal. During this time, Kian has become a bit obsessed with Tal and imagines a little more than just a rescue when he finally finds her. I enjoyed Kian and Tal together. The pair’s childish verbal sparring is cute and funny. Once the pair gets past the silliness, and Kian is honest with his heart, the pair’s romance becomes touching and their sex is hot. There is a side-story about a soul-angel, which I think is a lot like “soul mates;” however, it was a little strange and confusing. Rescue and such aside, the ending is sweet. Everything is tied up in a bow like a lovely Christmas package. I enjoyed Kian and Tal’s chemistry, even with the silliness. Rating:  B-    Liked It – But I had a few small issues About the Book: She was banished but has never given up.  Three hundred years spent on a deserted planet in the Serens constellation has not broken Talini. As a daughter of the Fae, Jack Frost, she is made of all things ice and snow. But then she meets a man who warms her as no one ever has and she is set adrift with desire.  He has contracted to find a woman lost for three centuries.  Kian has searched for a long time and he’s come to the end of the line. Jack Frost has agreed to pay him a lot of money to find his daughter and he’s determined to see his goal met. Then he meets a woman who makes him shiver and shake, thawing his cold heart and making him believe in things that are impossible.  She has been lost but now he has found her.  Together they will set on a journey that will lead them down a perilous road. Stuck on an uninhabited planet, they will forge a bond as fragile as a snowflake but as...
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Dec
28

Review: How Zombies Stole Christmas by Sidney Bristol

Review: How Zombies Stole Christmas by Sidney Bristol How Zombies Stole Christmas Author: Sidney Bristol Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C What I’m Talking About: It’s the day before Christmas Eve, and Evelina must rescue the kidnapped Snow Maid and the magical staff that belongs to Ded Moroz, the Russian Santa. Because of her mixed heritage, daughter of Jack Frost and a human mother, Evelina has always been somewhat of an outsider in the Ubezhishche, a haven for magical creatures near Siberia. During her attempts to rescue Snow, Evelina and her husky are attacked by ice zombies and rescued by a Yeti. Kameron hides a secret… he is the Yeti. Originally from Scotland, he was magically cursed to live as the Yeti. He has been alone and solitary for years. Now he finds himself utterly attracted to Evelina and all of her self-perceived faults. He must decide if he should share his secrets before time is out for Evelina. Evie has a lot of issues-she has a huge chip on her shoulder because of her past history, both romantically and with her family life. Because of her fears, she won’t allow anyone close to her. So when she feels an attraction to Kameron, she brushes it off as something not real. It became a bit annoying as Evie continued to make excuses why she wasn’t good enough or that her attraction isn’t real. Kameron doesn’t seem to have as many issues, but he’s been alone for so long, his social skills are in great need of polishing. Romantically, the pair felt off to me. They are overly goofy, sharing   awkward dialogue while sexing it up. However, as a dynamic duo fighting off the ice zombies and saving Christmas, the pair make a great team. Overall, the story had some exciting parts, but it just didn’t keep my interest during the entire tale. I liked the concept and mythology, although at times I felt a little lost. While the romance didn’t work for me because it felt too goofy, the rescue story and battle scenes were intense and exciting. Rating:  C  Finished It About the Book: Every creature in Haven snuggled down in their beds, ready for another Christmas, they liked it a lot. But not everyone in this magical land shares their holiday cheer. . . Evelina Frost is a woman used to staying in the shadows, but this year Christmas needs a hero, and with Santa away, it’s up to her to save the holiday from...
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Dec
16

Review: Flamebound by Tessa Adams

Review: Flamebound by Tessa Adams Flamebound Author: Tessa Adams Reviewer: VampBard Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Tessa Adams’ second book in her Lonestar Witch series, Flamebound, had promise for me. I absolutely adored the blurb, but when I actually got to the meat of the book, I was left feeling meh. I was actually kinda geeked about the whole love-triangle thing with Xandra, Declan and another of Declan’s ex-girlfriends, and this trope managed to materialize for a hot minute. I did receive an ARC of this title, so I’m hoping that several things that made me cringe were taken care of with a last pass prior to publishing. I also wasn’t keen on Xandra’s voice. She seemed whinier than in the previous book. More needy, dependent on Declan. I can see where it would be integral to the plot, to create this co-dependence to strengthen the soulbond. I just wasn’t a fan. I did absolutely adore several things about this title. The first was the way Ms. Adams crafted the very dimensional conflict in the title. We were treated to conflict at every turn. Seriously. Xandra’s ‘gift’ for finding dead people hauled her to some gristly scenes. A new ‘talent’ for reaching people in trouble – especially a small girl named Shelby – provided some delicious tension between Xandra and Declan. The conflict is layered so well that I didn’t actually know who the bad guy was until very nearly the end. I may have missed a clue earlier on, but it was one of those OHMYGOSHNOFREAKIN’WAY things. Also, I still want Nate to get a HEA. I thought that the way Xandra and Declan’s relationship evolved was super fast, I thought it was a natural progression and there were natural reactions to different situations. Well, as natural as it can get for witches and all the crazy stuff going on. This was one of the most endearing things about the story for me. It wasn’t all wham-bam, I love you, man. The characters actually grew and evolved. Ms. Adams did an excellent job writing in first person point-of-view, as well. I think the fact that Xandra and Declan are soulbound helped with understanding Declan better. Excellent plot device. We got to get a bit of insight about Declan through their bond versus outside observation-only. I have to talk about broody alpha-male Declan. I thought he was positively delicious throughout the story. I thought that in the first book he was a little...
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Dec
12

Review: Reaver by Larissa Ione

Review: Reaver by Larissa Ione Reaver Author: Larissa Ione Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Warning: If you have not read the Lords of Deliverance four-book spinoff series, and plan to jump into Reaver after reading Demonica book #5, Sin Undone, you will have missed significant events that relate directly to the telling of Reaver’s story. Plus, they are just awesome books, so go read them!! So with that heads-up, be warned that this review contains “spoilers” from previous books. Reaver, once a Fallen-angel doctor at Underworld General Hospital who has no memories of his thousands of years of existence, turned world-savior, turned full angel, turned Horseman of the Apocalypse watcher, who recently found out that he is the father of said Horsemen, is fed up with not knowing the truth. Never having been one to follow the rules (and probably part of the reason why he was cast out of Heaven in the first place), Reaver is determined to save fellow Horsemen watcher, Harvester, from her captivity in the demon realm of Sheoul. Although Harvester has played for the wrong team as a Fallen angel for the past thousands of years, Reaver recently discovered that she did so in order to protect his children – the Horsemen – and save the world from the demonic apocalypse. Now the Reaver and Harvester will have to survive the evils of hell, and each other, if they want to make it out of Sheoul alive. Confused? Don’t be! Ms. Ione does a marvelous job reminding readers of the complexities associated with Reaver and Harvester’s history without coming across as repetitive or an information dump. The brief opening prologue sets the stage, giving readers a glimpse at Reaver and Harvester’s angelic history, and it provides those of us with faulty memories enough recap to jump right into their story. I loved the prologue because it also gives the book an air of an epic romantic story in the making. Reaver, going against direct orders, makes his way into Sheoul with the help of a few hired assassins, including a Sem demon named Tavin. Reaver wants to rescue her for a few reasons, one of which is to find out more about his forgotten past. Since Harvester knew Reaver before he fell, but doesn’t know Reaver is that same angel, he figures he can learn a thing or two from her. He also wants to have Harvester help him locate Gethel – the evil angel...
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Dec
11

Review: A Cursed Moon by Cecy Robson

Review: A Cursed Moon by Cecy Robson A Cursed Moon Author: Cecy Robson  Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B+ What We’re Talking About: A Cursed Moon is a novella that takes place between A Cursed Embrace and Cursed by Destiny.  This is a special novella as our narrator is Bren and not Celia (who is our point of view for both the series and the prequel novella, The Weird Girls).  We are given the opportunity of seeing Celia through someone else’s eyes.  It allows us to see that for all her strength and protectiveness, she is truly fragile when it comes to her self-esteem and happiness.  Bren sees a beautiful woman who doesn’t seem to know her own true worth.  He also touches on the anguish he sees from her break with Aric. One of the best scenes (keep an eye on Sunday Snippets) is between Bren and Aric.  For all his strength and perceptiveness, Bren can be truly dense, especially when he ignores his own inner voice.  But what is truly fascinating about Bren is his history.  We learn why he is a lone wolf and why he is content to have the Wird girls and his best friend Danny, be his pack. For any fans of The Weird Sisters series, this novella is a must.  Plus, there is a huge game changing element that occurs in this novella that will have ramifications on the next installment, Cursed by Destiny.  I’m sure you can read it without reading the novella first, but if you are a fan… you definitely want to experience this and not get the summary. The Weird Sisters series is a fun and exciting series well balance with both dark and light elements.  If you haven’t tried it yet, please pick it up! Rating: B+   Liked It A Lot About the Book: Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had… Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil… Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they...
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Dec
10

Review: Prince of Shadows by Tes Hilaire

Review: Prince of Shadows by Tes Hilaire Prince of Shadows Author: Tes Hilaire  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I really like Tes Hilaire’s style of writing. She’s consistent, and I know what I’m in for when I pick up one of her books. The Paladin Warriors series is something I look forward to yearly, and I can’t WAIT to read the next installment – pleasepleaseplease tell me Bennett & Annie are the next book! There. Now that the whining and begging are out of the way… let’s hit the good stuff! First, I want to talk about Camp Half Blood. Well, not really. That’s a different series, but it kinda works! See, the humans with ‘gifts’ were all congregating under Jacob’s leadership in an old school. They’re training to fight the ‘good fight’ and be victorious over evil. Yay for exterminating baddies!  Of all the people hangin’ out there, Annie was the most important, in my opinion. She’s what they termed a ‘null’ – she could nullify the powers of anyone, including the Paladin. Pretty cool trick, huh? A lot of the story took place here, and around this pretty militant gathering. I liked. It was structured, but not insanely so. Annie also has eyes for Bennett, one of the Paladin. Ooh la la! We were introduced to Gabby and Valin, our main couple, in previous titles. I was ecstatic to read their story. The chemistry between these characters is pretty stellar. I was also glad to hear a bit about Logan – even though he’s not doing too well *sadface*. Seeing Roland and Karissa was awesome as well…and speaking of them, they’re part of a pretty cool plot twist! I am standing mute on the bad guys, however. I don’t want to be spoiler-y. Ms. Hilaire did a great job developing the nefarious plot, and I gotta respect that. Y’all are going to have to pick up Prince of Shadows and say a whole lotta ‘oh, HECK no!’ just like I did! Even though this is the third book of the Paladin Warriors series, it could probably stand-alone. Although I wouldn’t advise it. You’ll most definitely be intrigued enough to read the next title, and heck, probably want to go pick up the first two titles, as well. Alpha male fan? Valin’s your boy. When I read PNR, I really like my males alpha. Practically beating their chests with overloads of testosterone. When one of these drool-worthy hotties finds his other half,...
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Dec
5

Review: Unclaimed by Sara Humphreys

Review: Unclaimed by Sara Humphreys Unclaimed Author: Sara Humphreys Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: Unclaimed is the fifth book in the Amoveo series.  Although we felt it was a bit transitional, we liked this latest Amoveo novel. Tatiana has been purposely avoiding her both mate and the Amoveo.  Even though her sister is happily mated, she is still not sold on finding a mate.  However fate has a sense of humor and Tatiana finds herself doing a favor for the Amoveo prince by going to his compound to discover the cause of sickness among his wife’s prized horses.  Upon her arrival she makes the shocking discovery of meeting her mate, Dominic. Dominic isn’t worried about finding his mate. He would like to, sure, but his first and foremost duty is protecting the Prince.  Everything else comes second.  He is even at peace with knowing if he doesn’t find his mate, he will only continue to be a Guardian until he is physically unable to do so.  However, once he meets Tatiana – well, let the ping-pong games commence. Gikany and Una found the hot-cold, yes-no, a little annoying.  Tatiana thinks that by becoming a mate, she has to give up her life.  After meeting Dominic, it is easy to see how she came to that conclusion.  However, if the two of them had actually had a real conversation instead of just verbal sparring, they might have had an easier journey.  Not that they wouldn’t have had strife and obstacles, but that the connection would have been stronger between them.  Their journey did not keep us glued to the novel as much as the mystery of who was harming the horses and what was the status of the rebels.  However, the final confrontation between the Loyalists and the Purists was a tad… lackluster.  When we finally discover the state of the Purists, it was a bit anti-climatic.  What was surprising was the confession from the Purist’s leader’s daughter, Savannah.  This and the reactions from those present were staggering.  We hope that the next novel will concern her and her mate.  We were absolutely struck by her when we met her in the previous novel and we cannot wait to see more of her. Although the story of Tatiana and Dominic was not the focal point for us, we did enjoy their journey.  However, we are intrigued on what holds in the future of the Amoveo’s, will their ancient enemies return? ...
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Dec
3

Review: Legend Of The Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper

Review: Legend Of The Highland Dragon by Isabel Cooper Legend Of The Highland Dragon Author: Isabel Cooper  Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: When Mina Seymour arranged to have tea in the home of the handsome laird who recently stormed into her employer’s office, she only wanted to make sure he meant the older gentleman no harm. Being attacked by shadow demons and encountering a snarling dragon was certainly not what she’d anticipated. Neither was being offered an enormous sum of money and a stay as Lord MacAlasdair’s in-house secretary in exchange for her silence, for that matter. But, Mina has never been “conventional” by anyone’s standards, and the life of adventure she’s always wanted may just be closer than she ever imagined it could be. Lord Stephen MacAlasdair never thought that, when he initially met the young woman guarding his old friend’s office door, she’d be anything more than an unpleasant memory. He never guessed that she’d soon be both a liability and an accomplice, much less a capable ally in his fight against a vengeful enemy. Yet, now that she’s seen too much, he has to convince her to stay, and in the process learns that the maddening woman who’s upended his carefully structured existence is exactly what he needs to truly feel alive for the first time in centuries. I initially had no idea what to expect from this story, but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. Both Mina and Stephen are well-written, fun characters, each being possessed of intelligence, heart, and a similarly wry outlook that makes quite a few of their conversations seem more like sparring matches. Raised in a time when women had few opportunities open to them, Alice has reinvented herself by becoming a professor’s secretary, even changing her accent to conceal her true status. She is adventurous, clever, resourceful, and fiercely loyal, not to mention determined enough about her own opinions to make her an anomaly. As a result, I liked her a great deal. Stephen is also something of an oddity, certainly among humans, but also among his own kind. Heir to his family’s fortune and legacy, his earlier pursuits left him unintentionally altered and reluctant to shoulder his duty. Additionally, the potential apathy which his species’ near-immortality has imbued him with could have easily rendered him a very two-dimensional character. Yet, his own love of adventure was nicely paired with an endearing awkwardness, which made him seem more approachable, however, and his conviction of...
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