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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
May
6

Review: Heart of the Jaguar by Katie Reus

Review: Heart of the Jaguar by Katie Reus Heart of the Jaguar Author: Katie Reus  Release Date: May 1, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin Shifter Novellas Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       Dr. Cindy Shahi is resigned to being mateless, but her inner jaguar has needs that must be sated. An encounter with a deliciously sexy stranger is the perfect chance for a night of no-strings primal passion.       Elias was content to be a lone wolf until the moment he laid eyes–and much more–on Cindy. Their intense attraction can mean only one thing: the mating call. And when it becomes clear someone isn’t happy about their budding relationship, all of Elias’s protective instincts go on high alert. He’ll do anything to keep Cindy safe–and convince her that he intends to claim her as his own, no matter what. What I’m talking about:       Heart of the Jaguar opens with the wedding of Bear Mountain Wolf Pack leader Owen and his mate, Gabriela, whom we met in the story A Jaguar’s Kiss. Here we are reintroduced to the town doctor Cindy, a jaguar shifter, who is in attendance with her best friend Israel, brother of Gabriela.       While in attendance, Cindy spies Elias, a wolf shifter, who is in town for his good friend’s wedding. Unknown to anyone at the time, Elias plans to settle down into the Bear Mountain pack and become second-in-command to Owen.       After being hurt badly in a relationship during graduate school, Cindy has remained aloof and distant when it comes to men. It’s been a while since Cindy has fulfilled her jaguar’s sexual needs, and no-strings-attached sex is just what she needs. Cindy and Elias experience an intense initial attraction, and since Cindy thinks Elias is only in town for the wedding, he is the perfect candidate to fill her desires.       Once again Ms. Reus shines with her sexy shifter novellas! Heart of the Jaguar is loosely tied to the previous books, with locale and characters linking them; however, it is not necessary to read any of the prior stories to enjoy each of them individually.       What I enjoy most about Ms. Reus’s shifter novellas, which holds true for this one as well, is that the story stays focused on the primary couple growing in their relationship, with any conflict coming from an external source and...
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May
3

Review: A Vampire’s Salvation by Virna DePaul

Review: A Vampire’s Salvation by Virna DePaul A Vampire’s Salvation Author: Virna DePaul  Release Date: April 22, 2013 (reissue) Publisher: Loveswept Beyond Human #1 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book: Francesca Marie Stewart has never wanted any man as much as she wants Jake Rios. His chiseled body and dark, intensely masculine energy draw her like a moth to a flame. But Frankie has been burned before, and now a mysterious figure from her troubled past has resurfaced with a terrifying new threat. Can she trust Jake not only with her heart but with her very life? Jake’s hunger to possess this beautiful redhead goes beyond searing desire. He’s a vampire, and his very existence depends on bonding with a mate. He aches to ravish Frankie, but he must take it slow—for what he will ask of her will require profound sacrifice even as it gives her unimaginable pleasure. And once he has claimed her—body and soul—Jake will go to any lengths to protect her. What I’m talking about: Francesca Stewart enjoys her position on staff with California’s governor. She has an impeccable work ethic, and her support of green initiatives makes those she stands with very successful. But Frankie is lonely, and after suffering a bad relationship in her youth, she is reluctant to make any type of romantic connection in her adult life. However, Frankie lusts after Jake Rios, head of the governor’s nighttime security and considers what it would be like to go out with him. Jake recognized Frankie as his mate within moments of joining the governor’s team. Realizing he needs gain Frankie’s friendship and trust, vampire Jake reigns in his alpha-nature and takes things slow. However, when he realizes Frankie’s life is in danger, he can no longer sit on the sidelines.  A Vampire’s Salvation is an entertaining novella that kicks off Ms. DePaul’s Beyond Human series which involves a group of vampires hoping to “come out” from hiding and join society. Jake Rios is optimistic that by working with a progressive governor with ambitions for the White House, he can reveal himself and his kind to the public someday. Although this novella doesn’t touch much on this storyline, I liked the idea and hope that there will be future titles that progress the story forward.  The heart of the novella revolves around the quickly developing love between Frankie and Jake. Due to the short nature of a novella, their relationship goes from zero to...
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May
2

Review: Undone by Sara Humphreys

Review: Undone by Sara Humphreys Undone Author: Sara Humphreys  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Amoveo Legend #4 ISBN: #978-1402258527 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (288 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Party girl Marianna Coltari is an unmated pureblood Amoveo who wants nothing to do with the ongoing war that took her father’s life and continues to consume her brother, Dante’s. But when she is targeted by one of the clans, she has little choice but to run and hide in a cabin with Pete Castro, a retired cop from her brother’s security firm. There, Pete and Marianna explore an intensifying attraction between them until danger is at the door and there’s no escape. What G & U are talking about:       The fourth novel in the Amoveo Legend series is Undone.  There are a few surprises in store for those that have started the series from the beginning.  Gikany and Una continue to enjoy this series, even though there are noticeable differences in store.       Undone begins a few months after the last novel Untamed ended with a cliffhanger.  The council has been split; the Purists have created their own faction, taking most of the original council with them.  Now, the Purists are actively seeking pure blooded Amoveos to join them, especially pure-blooded and unmated females.       Although the plot of the Purists is quite dark, Gikany and Una feel this series continues to be an “on-the-lighter-side” read.  We were surprised by how elaborate and secure the Purist compound was, but it gives weight to them and shows that this faction has been growing for some time, waiting for the opportunity to reveal themselves.  What is surprising is how stratified their group is, and we wonder how it will continue considering how Undone ends.       One of the great surprises in the novel is the existence of other “otherworldlies”.  Gikany and Una have no recollection of vampires, demons, ghosts or the like being referred to in the previous novels.  At the beginning of Undone, they are not introduced, but shown as fully integrated into the world.  Our heroine, Marianna is hanging out at her friend’s club.  Turns out, her friend, Olivia is a vampire and it is a club that caters to them.  Suffice to say, it was a bit of culture shock for us, but we found the inclusion interesting.  We especially loved Olivia and look forward...
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May
1

Review: Nightbound by Lynn Viehl

Review: Nightbound by Lynn Viehl Nightbound Author: Lynn Viehl Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Signet ISBN: 978-0451239815 Lords of the Darkyn #3 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: Beaumaris of York has many secrets. No human can know that he’s an immortal Darkyn assigned to Knight’s Realm, the Kyn stronghold disguised as a medieval theme park. And none of his brethren can discover that he’s a half-breed, rescued from slavery as a child. Lately Beau has been yearning for action—and he’s about to find it with his new mission.  Brilliant archaeologist Dr. Alys Stuart is infamous for her extraordinary theories—especially those concerning the mysterious Knights Templar—and she is unaware that her research is funded by the Kyn coffers. When the Kyn sends a vexingly good-looking man to assist—and protect—her, she doesn’t expect the surge of attraction she feels for him.  When a powerful Templar artifact surfaces, Alys and Beau must trust each other enough to stop mankind’s greed for immortality from sparking a war between mortals and Kyn that will destroy the world. What VampBard’s talking about: I am actually sad to see the Lords of the Darkyn series end!  It was an action-packed, quick-moving off-shoot of her previous Darkyn titles.  Guess I may have to pick ’em up for a fix! Nightbound, the final title in Lynn Viehl’s Lords of the Darkyn trilogy hit it out of the park for me!  Replete with action, adventure, and a fabulous wrap-up for the spin-off series, this book definitely was an excellent ‘closer’!  Rarely do I enjoy the last book of a series as much – or more – than the first book.  I am somewhat biased toward world-building, and generally fall madly in love with the world at that time.  Other books seem like a bit of a let-down in comparison.  Not so with this title!   HEAT INDEX:  3.5 out of 5, but there was delicious sexual tension throughout! Lords of the Darkyn was my first venture into Ms. Viehl’s world of the Kyn, so I’m not sure whether any of the others mentioned in the series had backstories in prior titles, but it really doesn’t matter.  The trilogy presented three focus couples – one in each book – and I have to say that Beau and Alys were my favorite!  I drooled over the Robin of Loxley lore in this book, and found that Nightbound expertly combined both worlds and left me with...
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Apr
30

Review: Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

Review: Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster Heart of Iron Author: Bec McMaster  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks London Steampunk #2 ISBN: #978-1402270307 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Format(s): Paperback (448 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…       Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…       Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.       With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts… What I’m talking about:       I want to open my review with a brief mention of Tarnished Night, a free novella from Ms. McMaster. You can find out how to download the novella HERE (for a limited time). This novella takes place two years after the conclusion of the first book, Kiss of Steel, and a year before Heart of Iron. Although one does not need to read the novella to understand the current release, there is a “prologue” to Heart of Iron found at the conclusion of the novella that adds a lot of value to the book. I highly recommend reading it first. With three years between the first two books, both the novella and the accompanying prologue do much to fill in the gaps, creating a smoother, richer transition from the first to second book.       Will Carver, protector of Blade –...
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Apr
29

Review: Ivory by Lola Dodge

Review: Ivory by Lola Dodge Ivory Author: Lola Dodge  Release Date: April 30, 2013 Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Manhattan Ten Book 2 ISBN: #978-1619214415 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book: That cold day in hell? It’s here… If Ivory’s fellow flight attendants whisper that she has ice in her veins, they’d be right. She’s spent years ruthlessly suppressing her dangerous ice powers, pretending she didn’t grow up wild on the tundra. Her legendary coolness has held solid—until a crazed attacker snaps her composure, unleashing her ice beast and blowing her cover. And she’s not sure if the man who defuses the situation is any less dangerous. When Panther’s trans-Atlantic catnap is interrupted by Ivory’s ice spear through his mark’s gut, he doesn’t hesitate to claim her as one of the Manhattan Ten. It’s the only way to shield her from prosecution. It doesn’t hurt that the Nordic beauty puts his inner cat on the prowl. Panther tempts Ivory in every smoldering way, but to let him melt her resistance is a risk she can’t afford. But when her past rises up to claim her, Pan is caught in the crossfire…and the only way to save him is to let the beast claim her, body and soul. What B is talking about: All Valdís, aka “Ivory,” wanted to do was to tend to the passengers aboard the sweltering airplane, keep her head down, and see the world. But, when she uses her powers to cool things down, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events that threatens to tear her carefully constructed life to shreds. Now, she’s torn between a future she doesn’t want, and a past she can’t escape. But, facing both with a gorgeously hot shifter by her side might not be so bad after all. Panther was supposed to be tailing a murder suspect to a meeting with like-minded others, not recruiting a new member to the Ten. But, when the beautiful, fierce “super” who’d been a distraction from the moment he laid eyes on her takes out his mark in the middle of first-class with an ice spear formed by her own hand, he’s hooked. And if blackmailing her with immunity is what it takes to get her in his territory and on his team, he’s certainly not above using it.  Set in modern day New York, Ivory is the second Manhattan Ten story, a series revolving about a group of superheroes living out in...
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Apr
23

Review: Rebellion by Eleri Stone

Review: Rebellion by Eleri Stone Rebellion Author: Eleri Stone Release Date: April 1, 2013 Publisher: Carina Press Lost City Shifters #3 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      Cole Brandt is a wolf shifter, sent by his pack to the Amazon jungle to negotiate a treaty. He’s unaware that the kingdom of jaguar shifters he’s meant to meet with has split—and Cole’s suspicion that jaguars are selfish and deceitful is confirmed when he’s seized by the rebel faction.      Taya Silveira, a jaguar shifter and fierce warrior loyal to the king, resents being assigned Cole’s rescue. She doesn’t approve of his pack’s involvement in her jungle—to her, wolves are greedy, weak creatures who will exploit the resources the Yaguara protect.      Struggling against centuries of ill will and prejudice, Cole and Taya must work together to prevent a devastating civil war. They can’t deny their physical attraction—with the heightened senses of shifters, their desires are plain. But if they give in to passion, they may be forced to choose between staying with their tribes, or staying together. What VampBard’s talking about:      I’m not gonna lie.  I thought Rebellion by Eleri Stone was hot, well-written, and jumped in, paws first, using a previously unread (by me) plot premise:  a mixed (shifter) couple.  While there may be other titles out there that pair “animals” of different species, I’ve not had the pleasure of reading them.  And. I. LOVED. It!      I have now consumed the first three titles in Ms. Stone’s series, Lost City Shifters consecutively.  I am entirely glad that I picked up the first two titles, Mercy and Redemption (reviews HERE), prior to reading Rebellion.  While this could function as a stand-alone title, I found that my appreciation of the world-building was greatly enhanced with the details from the other books. HEAT INDEX:  3.5 out of 5. Just enough to keep it interesting yet keep things completely blush-free in front of the family!      Cole and Taya were a fabulous duo from the start.  I immediately felt the chemistry between them, during their first meeting.  Even though neither would admit it to themselves.  As the chemistry grew into something more tangible, where the characters began to question whether the inter-species thing was ‘right’, I was completely able to identify with their internal conflicts.  Would they be ostracized for their relationship?  What if it turns in to more than a fling?    ...
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Apr
18

Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase Flirting Under a Full Moon Author: Ashlyn Chase  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Flirting with Fangs Trilogy #1 ISBN: #978-1402275692 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Chic-Lit Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: If Brandee Hanson ever wants to go from waitress to photographer, she’ll have to take some once-in-a-lifetime shots. But when she catches the gorgeous private investigator, Nick Wolfensen, on camera— transforming into a werewolf—she is thrown into a world of vampires, shapeshifters, and other paranormal misfits. In order to keep his secret and stay clear of the supernatural council, Nick will have to convince Brandee not to release the photo. Fortunately, he was looking for an excuse to spend more time with the beautiful waitress anyway. What I’m Talking About: Brandee, a wannabe full-time artist/photographer, waitresses in bar secretly known as a safe haven for paranormals of all types, yet Brandee has no clue about the beings she calls friends. One day, Brandee was told a prediction by local psychic Sadie that the love of her life is Nick Wolfensen… aka one-night Nick. After his twin brother was busted for biggest art heist in history (and later proven innocent), werewolf Nick quit his job on the police force to open up his own PI business. His first case, brought to him by a wolf friend from force, Captain Hunter, involves locating the mayor’s twelve year-old daughter who was kidnapped. Not only is the missing girl, Katie, Brandee’s cousin, she is a fire Mage but doesn’t know yet. After I started reading this story and recognized the style, I realized that Flirting Under a Full Moon is a spin-off of Ms. Chase’s Strange Neighbor series. The tie-in is that Nick’s twin brother is Konrad, the hero from the second book in that series, The Werewolf Upstairs. There are other characters who make an appearance in this book; however, there is no need to have read the earlier series to enjoy this book. Although the feel and style are the same, there are new characters and a different over-arcing plot line with the introduction of the Supernatural Council and its assumed leader, Mother Nature. Flirting Under a Full Moon is what I would classify as “chic-lit.” Although it is paranormal romance, the overall feel is very silly and light, the humor is more goofy than witty. At times I enjoyed this style of story-telling, but at other times, it annoyed me terribly. During...
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Apr
17

Review: Eternally Devoted by Stacey Kennedy

Review: Eternally Devoted by Stacey Kennedy Eternally Devoted Author: Stacey Kennedy  Release Date: March 27, 2013 Publisher: self-published Frostbite #4 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book: Tess Jennings, who has been gifted with the ability to see ghosts, struggles to help the Grand Master of the Animus, Alexander, cross over. She might even have discovered who murdered him, but she has no way to prove it. Adding to her pile of failures, Tess must accept a harsh reality—she has officially run out of time. The closer she gets to an answer to save her ghost lover, Kipp McGowen, the more she’s realizing she’s been searching for an answer she didn’t want to find. Tess will have to make difficult choices, and her decisions will lead to consequences she cannot predict. Will Kipp finally take a living breath again, or will Tess take her last and join him in the Netherworld forever? What I’m talking about: NOTE: Eternally Devoted is the fourth and final book of the Frostbite series. This review will inevitably contain spoilers from the first three books, each of which have twists that may be more enjoyable without knowing what will happen. I highly suggest if you haven’t picked it up already, start reading this series with the first book, Supernaturally Kissed. I am a huge fan of Tess and Kipp, the star players in Ms. Kennedy’s wonderful Frostbite series, and so I write this review for Eternally Devoted, the final book in the series, filled with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am overjoyed that Kipp and Tess finally have their day in the sun, but at the same time I am sad to say good-bye to this series. Eternally Devoted picks up the story of Tess and gang immediately from moment of the cliff-hangerish ending of the third book, Mystically Bound. Tess and her friends have traveled to White Castle, LA, in attempts to help a magical group known as the Animus discover who killed their Grand Master, Alexander. In exchange, their new leader, Wayde, has agreed teach Tess how to help her ghost-of-a-boyfriend, Kipp, reenter his body and wake again. At the end of the last book and beginning of the current story, Tess has just been told that the man they know as “Wayde Hagen is, in fact, dead.” This sends the whole group searching for the man calling himself Wayde in hopes he can answer the dozen questions that have...
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Apr
15

Review: Mercy AND Redemption (2 books) by Eleri Stone

Review: Mercy AND Redemption (2 books) by Eleri Stone Mercy Redemption Author: Eleri Stone Release Dates: see below Publisher: Carina Press Lost City Shifters #1 & #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: purchased with my own funds About the books:      Mercy (Release date Sept. 1, 2010):  To the Yaguara, an ancient jaguar shape-shifting people living deep in the Amazon jungle, nothing matters more than strength. Iada is their champion; genetically pure, she has been trained since birth to fight. Her destiny is to become the next Queen of the Yaguara by winning the tournament of succession–a battle to the death.      Her opponent is Gabriel, a half-blooded outcast whose mother was human. To everyone’s shock, he defeats Iada but does not strike the death blow–instead, he extends mercy, thereby claiming her as his mate.      Despite their enmity, the attraction between them is powerful, and soon they are mates in more than name only. Their mutual distrust serves only to fuel their passion–two champions bested only by their overpowering desire for each other.      But Gabriel has an agenda that threatens the most basic tenets of Yaguara society–and that will force Iada to choose between her people or her King.      Redemption (Release date Sept. 26, 2011):  Blamed for a heinous crime and banished from his tribe of Jaguar shifters, Adriano will do anything to buy back his rightful place—even steal a priceless artifact. First, he’ll have to seduce Sophie Martin, an archaeologist researching the temple ruins and the one person who stands in his way. Sophie wants to uncover the artifact as well—not to sell it, but to study it. It could unlock all the secrets of an ancient and mysterious civilization. But it’s hard to focus on her work when the distractingly sexy Adriano is nearby.      What begins as a seduction quickly turns into mutual passion as Adriano’s touch awakens a side of Sophie she’d kept hidden—and arouses his Jaguar instincts. To preserve his people’s secret and earn his redemption, Adriano needs the artifact. But when a rival thief kidnaps Sophie, Adriano will be forced to choose—between the people who rejected him in the past, or the woman who could be his future… What VampBard’s talking about:      I was really interested in the synopses I read for Eleri Stone’s Lost City Shifters series.  So much so, that I picked up the first two installments of the series before reviewing the third (review coming April...
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