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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
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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Feb
11

Review: Avenger’s Heat by Katie Reus

Review: Avenger’s Heat by Katie Reus Avenger’s Heat Author: Katie Reus  Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: A- What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una like the Moon Shifter series and have enjoyed the previous three novels.  Since the conclusion of Mating Instinct, we have been eagerly waiting for Avenger’s Heat.  We wanted to know more about Erin’s past and see her become an enforcer.  We didn’t expect this to be our favorite book in the series! Please note that there are no spoilers in this review, but we do suggest that you start this series from the beginning.  Each book builds on the next, and you will have a better understanding of characters and relationships if you do. Erin Flynn is a new enforcer on her first case.  She knew with this job she would travel and be challenged, which is what she wanted.  What she didn’t expect was to have Noah, the wolf who helped to find her and nurse her back to health, tagging along on her first mission.  She didn’t want to be faced with the challenge of fighting both her need for Noah and the inferno of attraction between them, while trying to find the enemy that is kidnapping and killing pregnant shifters. The chemistry between Noah and Erin is palpable.  The tension and humor between them as Noah calmly but fiercely courts Erin is gripping.  When Noah first meets Erin, she is broken and badly wounded.  From the moment he sees her, he knows she is the one.  What we love so much about Noah is his patience.  He takes his time, giving Erin all the time and space she needs to heal.  He lets her, for the most part, lead the dance but never lets her go. Erin knows that Noah is the only male she’ll love, but something about her past keeps her from claiming what her heart wants.  The mystery regarding why Erin is so certain she is not the right mate for Noah was intriguing and shocking once revealed.  Noah’s response is priceless – his love for Erin is THE most important part of choosing a mate for him… everything else is insignificant.  Noah truly embodies that tough and dangerous alpha that is yet so patience and loving to his intended – a beautiful balance! Through our reading of Avenger’s Heat and our discussion we discovered why this story stood out and is therefore our favorite.  We are given multiple points of view through the story. ...
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Feb
10

Review: Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden

Review: Burn for Me by Cynthia Eden Burn for Me Author: Cynthia Eden Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Burn for Me kicks off a new paranormal romance series by author Cynthia Eden. The Phoenix Fire series features a world in which paranormal beings have revealed themselves to the human world, roughly ten years prior to the start of this book. Unfortunately, there are some humans that have known about the paranormals long before then and are exploiting them for research and “humankind betterment.” One such person is Dr. Richard Wyatt, who heads the Genesis Labs, and is a monster when it comes to basic morality. Eve Bradley, undercover at Genesis, is working to obtain evidence of the atrocities rumored to happen. When she meets Subject Thirteen (Cain O’Conner) sparks fly – literally. He can withstand any amount of torture Wyatt tosses his way, only to die, burn, and be reborn with a fiery beast inside. Cain and his beast are attracted to (and maybe even calmed by) Eve. Eve uses this to her advantage to help Cain and others escape Genesis; however, now she is on-the-run and in danger of becoming Wyatt’s next experiment. Burn for Me is my first Cynthia Eden title, and I was immediately drawn in. She has created a familiar world, with just enough differences and uniqueness to make it engrossing. I was fascinated with Cain and his nature. The mythological phoenix is not a creature normally found in PNR, and I want more! Besides Cain, there are other fire-related paranormals, as well as vampires and shifters/weres. However, what really puts a twist in the world-building is the genetic experimentation that Wyatt and his father perform, giving rise to all kinds of possible creatures. Wyatt’s obsessiveness for twisted torture in the name of science is dark and oddly captivating. Cain and Eve share an immediate attraction and act on their lust fairly quickly. While overall their scenes were hot, I didn’t feel a strong emotional connection to the pair. I enjoyed their ups and downs, routing for them to not only survive, but earn their HEA. Yet they each had flaws that began to annoy me after a while. Eve is a strong woman, and someone I can get behind. However, she was a little to “good” for me. She wanted to save everyone, to include Wyatt at one point. She took too many extreme or dangerous risks in the name of saving another. I understand she is...
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Jan
31

Review & Giveaway: Rule Breaker by Lora Leigh

Review & Giveaway: Rule Breaker by Lora Leigh Rule Breaker Author: Lora Leigh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Yes… Rule Breaker is the twenty-ninth title in Lora Leigh’s Breed Series (this includes all of the novellas). I know that sometimes I can’t believe I’ve stuck around with this series for this long. But I just can’t quit it. It’s my crack. And while there have been some not as great titles in recent history, I am happy to report that Rule Breaker is an exciting and passionate story – better than the last few. Nine years ago, Gypsy Rum McQuade was kidnapped by council Coyote Breeds and forced to watch her big brother murdered. If not for Jonas and his Breed enforcers, she would have been raped and killed as well. Since that time, Gypsy has blamed herself for Mark’s death, and has aligned herself with a secretive Navajo group, collecting intel in hopes of redeeming herself. Rule Breaker is one of Jonas’s top enforcers and is set to take over as Investigative Commander of the Bureau of Breed Affairs and head the offices in New Mexico. Jonas needs Rule to find an informant (for the Unknown, a group of six Navajo of legend), while Gypsy, along with her sister Kandy, are suspects. Rule wants Gypsy with a fierceness nearing obsession, but he is convinced she is not his mate because he is not experiencing the signs. Meanwhile, Jonas is convinced the Unknown exist and are protecting the people and answers he needs to save his daughter, Amber. Rule Breaker is a MUST read for fans of the Breeds series; however it is a climatic story and one really needs to be up-to-date with the current over-arcing storyline before picking up this book. The story picks up with Jonas trying to find a way to save his adopted daughter, Amber. He believes the answers are with a group of individuals who escaped Breed Labs long ago. The search for these individuals has been the focus of the storyline since Jonas’ book. Finally, the pieces all fall into place, and readers are rewarded with some answers and long-awaited action. Rule and Gypsy have a passionate and heart-felt romance. While their courtship shares similarities and repeating-themes from earlier couples, Ms. Leigh created enough differences that I was never bored with the pair. I felt that their problems were uniquely their own, and the heartache was poignantly real. While Rule doesn’t believe Gypsy is his mate,...
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Jan
23

Review: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

Review: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett Bitter Spirits Author: Jenn Bennett Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I’ve been especially fortunate lately in discovering several “new-to-me authors” that I might not have otherwise chosen for myself by reviewing books. These stories have surprised me for a variety of reasons, oftentimes simply by drawing me thoroughly into the narrative from the very beginning when I had no idea what to expect. Bitter Spirits certainly falls into this category, immediately delving into several things that I’ve always enjoyed reading about, most especially the 1920’s, an impossible romance, and a good mystery. The main characters are unique as well as being a puzzle in and of themselves. Survival has made Aida independent and headstrong, while it has turned Winter into something of a controlling recluse. He bears the weight of misplaced guilt and a responsibility to care for those in his household and employ, while she refuses to be indebted to, or dependent on, another. At first glance, they are opposites in every way, which is, of course, a recipe for disaster as well as romance. Yet, Aida and Winter are remarkably well suited for one another, despite their mutually frustrating inability to acknowledge their own feelings. They are both scarred, inside and out, each finding a way to go on living, even if they aren’t being very honest with themselves. They are misfits, in more ways than one, and it is pleasantly obvious, once they allow themselves to enjoy it, that they actually fit together very nicely. Aida and Winter are also very sexual creatures who have yet to find a good match, neither of them fitting society’s definition of what a “desirable” lover should be. Aida’s independence is filtering its way into her sexual desires as it has already done in all other aspects of her life. Having been left disappointed and uncertain by her previous, inept lovers, she’s found contentment on her own. Winter, on the other hand, has gotten used to being pitied or feared, rather than desired, thanks to his scars, but the attentions of women who want him only for his fortune have made him resentful and numb. Together, however, they discover what they’ve been looking for, and don’t waste a single opportunity to make up for all they’ve been missing. Ms. Bennett is very good at crafting all her scenes, painting each one with rich descriptions, using everything from colors and textures to detailed geography, and even specific scents...
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Jan
21

Review: A Bewitching Christmas by Amanda J. Greene

Review: A Bewitching Christmas by Amanda J. Greene A Bewitching Christmas Author: Amanda J. Greene  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: I’m always excited to read a new offering by Amanda Greene. When I heard she was working on a new series, and there were vampires, weres, witches, fey, and shifters… well, you can imagine my paranormal-loving heart going pitter-patter! Under Realm Assassins promises to be an interesting and creative series. A Bewitching Christmas does an excellent job setting up the world and establishing the manner in which readers will eat up the drool-worthy alphas. With a spoon. Before talking about the fabulous characters and amazing world-building, I need to get this little thing out of the way. There were word use and proofreading errors – things WORD wouldn’t necessarily catch – that detracted from my reading experience. There were several instances of wrong homonyms, as well as spell-check errors. I did have to re-read multiple passages to ensure that I was correctly understanding the intent, and this element did contribute to my rating choice. As I’ve read Ms. Greene’s other series, this is unusual. Although it wasn’t marked as such, maybe I read an ARC version. I really found the world-building for the introduction of the Under Realm Assassins series to be stellar. I completely understand the foundations of the organization that is charged with protecting the Others. I know why the organization was created, and I know what kinds of people are usually contracted. I feel connected to the vampires and the witches, as this novella focused primarily on these two races of Others. Analette Dyson, one of the four remaining Dyson witches, is having a cruddy holiday. Trent, her werewolf boyfriend, is cheating on her. Analette has renounced her powers for years. Even though her family is one of the most powerful families of witches, she wants nothing to do with the craft. This independent, sexy, and quick-witted woman definitely has powerful voice in the story. Cole, sexy alpha-male, vampire, and assassin isn’t in town for pleasure. Little did he know, his trip wouldn’t end up being all business. It was crazy the way Cole was so sure he was only in for a one night stand. Watching the way Cole was so attentive to Analette – heartwarming. I really liked the way Ms. Greene developed his character as well as the conflict surrounding Cole. Especially his inner conflict. I appreciated the world building of Ms. Greene’s first title in her Under...
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Jan
16

Review: The Magic Between Us by Tammy Falkner

Review: The Magic Between Us by Tammy Falkner The Magic Between Us Author: Tammy Falkner  Reviewer: Una Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: The latest novel in the Faerie series, The Magic Between Us, was not exactly what I was expecting.  Although I liked Marcus and Cecelia’s story, reading it was a bit more tedious than the previous two novels.  As much as I found their story compelling – I was confused throughout the novel causing me to reread sections. First let me say, I liked Marcus and sympathized with his struggle.   I was also overcome with pathos over Cecelia’s plight and situation.  I loved how Marcus’s family stepped in to help him follow his heart.  It was all heartwarming.  I liked how the overall story arc of Mayden seemed to come full circle. Before I comment further on what I liked about The Magic Between Us, let me handle one major issue I have – my apparent overall confusion.  The book blurb on Goodreads is NOT an accurate synopsis of this book.  While working at this review, I found the book blurb on the author’s webpage.  Dear Blog Readers, please compare these: Goodreads: Love triumphs over all differences…even those of wings and magic… Marcus Thorne was groomed to be one of the Trusted Few in the land of the fae, but now he must step into his father’s title in the British ton.  Cecelia Hewitt, a half fae/half human, has always lived in the human world and is not accustomed to wings and magic.  Completely unprepared for their new positions, Marcus and Cecelia strike up a partnership to teach each other about their respective worlds. In the process, they discover they have more in common than they ever expected—including a burning mutual attraction. Authors Blog: When These Worlds Collide… Cecelia Hewitt has lived her whole life in the land of the fae, and she dreams of a future with her childhood sweetheart, Marcus Thorne. When Marcus is called upon to dwell in the human world, it means leaving Cecelia behind and breaking both their hearts… More Than Sparks May Fly… Marcus was groomed for leadership in the land of the fae, but now that he has found his human parents, he will inherit his father’s title and position in the British ton—and he will marry a human. As love and passion continue to burn between Cecelia and Marcus, the question remains: Can two people fated for different worlds find one to share? Now, when I...
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