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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
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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Nov
21

Review: Blood Brothers by Susan Arden

Review: Blood Brothers by Susan Arden Blood Brothers Author: Susan Arden Reviewer: B. Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Having returned from war soul-worn and defensive, Tristen is a prisoner of his own nightmares, only finding relief in the arms of his lover, Fin. Still haunted by his own experiences in battle, Fin has given Tristen everything he can, without having his own needs met, in turn. Bringing someone else into the already complicated situation might not be the best idea, but something has to give, and soon, or they could lose each other forever. Maybe one night with a stranger who can push both their boundaries is exactly what they need to break down the walls between them once and for all. I was torn when reading Blood Brothers, and found myself considering the narrative from two distinct perspectives. One of those viewpoints includes an appreciation for unabashedly explicit sex scenes, the other being my desire to be captivated by a well-written story that is colored throughout by the heat and eroticism shared between the various characters. As varied as the definition of “erotic fiction” has become, either fits well in this case. Tristen and Fin are both interesting creations and have evolved from “friends with benefits,” to lovers, to potential wolf shifter mates. That they care deeply about each other is obvious throughout the story, but their lack of communication is so profound that it nearly destroys their relationship. The miscues and resulting frustration became difficult to watch after a while, yet they added a great deal of meaning to what would have otherwise been an implausible attachment. Primarily, Blood Brothers is about sex. Sex with Fin is Tristen’s preferred way of dealing with his nightmares, whereas Fin prefers yoga to keep the memories at bay. By turns, Tristen’s tendency to call the shots in bed while refusing to fully dominate Fin only serves to make Fin realize that his need for an even rougher edge isn’t being met, leaving him bitter and distant. Fin’s plan to invite a vampire into their bed for one night, in the hope of pushing Tristen to accept Fin’s needs and meet them as his lover, has some unintended, yet not unexpected, consequences. The entire progression is filled with more combinations of partners and positions than I could really keep track of, which unfortunately tended to run together after a while and lose some of its impact. As to the story itself, I think reading the first...
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Nov
19

Review: Darkness Awakened by Katie Reus

Review: Darkness Awakened by Katie Reus Darkness Awakened Author: Katie Reus Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Darkness Awakened is the first book in Ms. Reus’s new Darkness series; however, it is loosely based in the same world as her Shifter Novella series (with Harlequin Nocturne). The world is full of shifters, vampires, and demons, all hidden from humankind. The story centers around Finn Stavros, alpha of the Stavros wolf pack and Lyra Marius, a noble-born vampire. Seventeen years ago, Finn and Lyra had a forbidden affair, which he broke off suddenly to protect her from the then alpha, his uncle. Although they’ve had no contact in seventeen years, Finn has never stopped looking for Lyra. He is shocked when she suddenly shows up asking for his help to find her kidnapped daughter, Vega. The pair must team up to find the girl and save her from fulfilling a frightening prophecy. Darkness Awakened is a solid first book in a new series. The world building is strong and unfolds fairly smoothly. The reader picks up bits and pieces of what this world is like, while enjoying the primary story, rather than being told what is going on. However, it is similar to some of what I had read in her novellas, making it a little repetitive for me. Quite a bit of emphasis is placed on an ancient prophecy, predicting that the blood of a hybrid child (half vampire, half shifter) will open gates of hell on the day of a solar eclipse. This timeframe creates a critical urgency to the search for Vega and adds tension and suspense for the reader. Lyra and Finn share a past, which allows for a quicker road to strong emotions. The fact that both still care for and probably love the other is evident and sweet. However, Lyra has kept hidden the fact that Finn has a daughter, and that the missing girl is, in fact, his own. While I understand the reason Lyra kept the truth from Finn, and wants to continue to do so (therefore lying to him), it bothered me how strongly Lyra believed the worse of Finn if he found out the truth. She seemed to have a lot of animosity, which tainted their reunion. In fact, I felt their story became stronger once the truth was out, which thankfully happened sooner rather than later. There are a number of supporting characters introduced throughout the story, creating a richer world (and...
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Nov
12

Book Tour & Review: Soul Resurrected by Keri Lake

Book Tour & Review: Soul Resurrected by Keri Lake Soul Resurrected  Author: Keri Lake Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A-, 4 stars What I’m Talking About: I have been waiting for Soul Resurrected since I read Soul Avenged nine months ago.  Keri Lake’s Sons of Wrath series is definitely on my auto-buy list, and for fans of PNR and UF, it should be on yours, too! What I love the most about Ms. Lake’s books is the way she builds relationships.  While the Sons of Wrath all seem to have a special connection, the reader is treated to watching the sibling relationship become even deeper as new understanding between the brothers is reached.  Even something as simple as making connections with those chatty and prone-to-gossip Gambis Demons is important to a plot line.  I totally wish I could illustrate characterization and character relationships using Ms. Lake’s titles because she does it so well. Even though I adore so much about Soul Resurrected, I must admit to skimming over some of the Draven parts.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t connect with his character as a reader.  I was kinda ‘meh’ about him, even knowing he was integral to the plot.  I mean, I caught what he did and all that stuff – but as far as having memorable moments from the title having to do with him? Um…  I also, probably, rushed through a few of the more scientific discussions having to do with the ~*new development*~ .  I understood what was said and absorbed the info, but I didn’t savor the information as much as I did everything else about this title. Moving on to all the awesomeness … Gavin, Zeke, Zayne, Calix, Mad Dog, Maddox and the other Sons of Wrath (did I forget anyone…???) give me the warm fuzzies.  Seriously.  I can’t wait to read Gavin’s story next.  My heart breaks for Zayne, and I want him to eventually have a HEA.  What is so awesome about this series is that with each subsequent book, I become more and more invested in the characters.  I actually care about what’s going on with Gavin in the next book already.  I’m worried about him.  I want to know how insane Calix will be when he finds out about Ava.  Most of all, which is pretty amazing, I care about all of them.  I don’t hate any of them, and none of them annoy the crap out of me.  Major deal, there. While some people might call anyone but...
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Nov
11

Review: A SEAL Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear

Review: A SEAL Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear A SEAL Wolf Christmas Author: Terry Spear Reviewer: B. Rating: A-, 4 Stars What I’m Talking About: Being the lone female operative among a group of tough, retired SEAL werewolves isn’t easy, but Anna Johnson has rightfully earned her place within their ranks. She certainly has no intention of giving that part of her life up for the sexy wolf who has been shadowing her and her team on their most recent assignment, even if he makes her want him more than any other man ever has. But, when their next assignment requires them play “house” during a murder investigation, Anna realizes that giving in to what she wants could not only be the key to accepting her own past, but a chance at a happier future than she ever dreamed possible. When he crossed paths with Anna the first time, Bjornolf Jorgenson knew he wanted to become better acquainted the lovely she-wolf. As a lone wolf, however, he also knew how dangerous an attraction that powerful could be. Yet, when he sees her again while on a mission he was never meant to openly participate in, he can’t help but want her for his mate. With any luck, and a lot of undeniable attraction, the holiday assignment they’ve agreed to take on might just prove to be the merriest Christmas either of them has ever had. I’ve had the pleasure of reading quite a few of Ms. Spear’s shifter novels by now, and have enjoyed each and every one. I’m very pleased to add A SEAL Wolf Christmas to that list now, too. Some of my favorite things about these stories are the humor, strength of the main characters, and suspenseful plots that drive the narratives. Anna is tough as nails outside and in, but once she starts to open up to Bjornolf, her shell begins to crack and she gains a depth that isn’t apparent at first. Her discomfort and confusion over her own reactions is endearing, and makes her a more well rounded character, while never rendering her “soft.” Bjornolf, on the other hand, is more consistent throughout the story, and may very well be my favorite of the “alpha males” I’ve read in the series yet. While he lacks the comical bafflement over Anna’s strength that works so well for some of the other men in the Heart of the Wolf series, he has a warmth to his humor that matches Anna’s disposition perfectly. Another...
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