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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Mar
7

Review: Caressed by a Crimson Moon by Amanda J. Greene

Review: Caressed by a Crimson Moon by Amanda J. Greene Caressed by a Crimson Moon Author: Amanda J. Greene Release Date: Jan. 27, 2013 Publisher: Self-published Rulers of Darkness #3 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book: Consumed by madness and tormented by dark memories of blood and death, Hadrian Lucretius, King of the Validus Clan, has returned after living in self-imposed exile for nearly three hundred and fifty years.   To maintain peace with the vampires, Eva Maldonado is offered as a sacrifice to the crazed vampire king by her father, the alpha of the Silveria Shifter Pack. Hadrian’s reputation is both legendary and lethal; he is ruthless, bloodthirsty, lusty, and soulless. When Eva arrives at the ancient fortress high in the Carpathian Mountains, she is shocked to find a ravaged man with dark burning eyes filled with loneliness and dangerous desire.   Would she be his lover…or his prey? His savior…or his victim? Would Hadrian lure her into madness or would their perilous passion be their redemption?   What VampBard’s talking about:      Caressed by a Crimson Moon brings the reader a fabulous continuation of the Rulers of Darkness series.  Ms. Greene brings her characters to life, and allows the reader access to the inner thoughts in a way that respects both the reader and characters.  Hadrian, the hero, is DEFINITELY on the list of favorite heroes for 2013!      I think one of my favorite aspects of Caressed by a Crimson Moon is the utter self-loathing both Eva and Hadrian have for themselves.  I mean, -zero- self-esteem for these two!  The transformation of each character, while incomplete by the end of the title, was a fabulous glimpse at mending a wounded psyche. I think that I enjoyed watching the inner turmoil of each character change and morph as much as I enjoyed the interaction between the characters.  HEAT INDEX:  4.5 out of 5.  However, this is because anticipation and the ‘pre-game show’ is extremely erotic.      One of the things that I felt was interesting about Caressed by a Crimson Moon was the sparse cast of characters.  Seriously.  We had Falcon, Hadrian’s friend and second-in-command.  There was a chef and a butler.  We caught glimpses of Dorian and Dmitri, as well as their mates, as well as Sonya, and the Shaw Healer-in-Training.  Not a lot of characters.  There was no movement for the other characters, except at the end – Sonya and Falcon – I’m guessing they’ll be the...
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Mar
4

Review: Frost by Taryn Kincaid

Review: Frost by Taryn Kincaid Frost Author: Taryn Kincaid Release Date: Jan. 30, 2013 Publisher: Decadent Publishing Sleepy Hollow #3 1 Night Stand Series Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing hot sex. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist who created the works.      Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art—until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point. He needs sex. Now.      When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine’s 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle? What I’m talking about:      Dagney Night is a succubus, therefore she requires sex to survive. She’s frozen her heart and emotions to make it through each encounter. However, she’s tired of her passion-less trysts and wants more. After seeing her sister, Lily, find love with Campbell Jones (book 1, Lightning), Dagney turns to Madame Evangeline’s 1 Night Stand service in hopes that she can get a romantic rendez-vous for Valentine’s day.      After Dagney’s studio showcases the erotic paintings of Maxwell Raines, everyone, including Dagney, exhibits increased carnal need and aggressive sexual behavior. Dagney describes the work’s effects as “A strange, sensuous vibe emanated from every painting. The compelling passion infusing them leaped from the canvas and infected the viewer with lust.” It was then that Dagney realized her 1 Night Stand must be with Maxwell Raines.      Max Raines is a fire sex-demon that pours all of his need and energy into his paintings. He is worried that his passion and heat will burn any lover to a crisp, so he stays secluded. However, he takes a chance, hoping Dagney will be the exception who will satisfy his desires.      Frost is a lovely, sensual work, full of gorgeous descriptive detail with sultry undertones. I delighted in reading Dagney’s POV as she views Max’s work. The way she describes the paintings and their erotic impulse effects is a mixture of sensual and artistic which is sublime.      Both characters are immediately likable. They are sexy and getting sex, but missing the soulful...
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Feb
28

Review: Mating Instinct by Katie Reus

Review: Mating Instinct by Katie Reus Mating Instinct Author: Katie Reus  Release Date: March 5, 2013 Publisher: Signet Moon Shifter #3 ISBN: #978-0451239600 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       As the beast within struggles to break free, he must learn to be what she needs…       Surviving for centuries, powerful lupine shifter Jayce Kazan managed to stay away from humans until he met Kat Saburova and was consumed by the need to protect her. But while Jayce shared his passion with the human seer, he refused to make her his bondmate—a refusal that caused the end of their relationship.       A year later, an attack that left Kat near death has resulted in another lupine shifter turning her. Furious that he wasn’t the one to save her, Jayce is determined to show Kat that he is the one she should rely on. But the newly turned shifter is still traumatized and worried that she’ll hurt those she loves, unless she can learn to control her inner wolf.       And as Jayce struggles to protect Kat from her own worst instincts and convince her to rekindle their love, the extremists who almost killed her are looking to finish the job… What G & U are talking about:       Mating Instinct is the fascinating third novel in the Moon Shifter series.  There was a huge back-story and build up to this novel in that it is where Jayce and Kat finally fess up with each other and make a decision.       Although the series started a bit rough for Gikany and Una, as each book progresses we find ourselves drawn more into the world and its characters.  So much so that we found the novella, Lover’s Instinct – bought it, downloaded it and read it after finishing Mating Instinct.  Although it wasn’t necessary – we love the characters too much to skip the story of how a lovely beta female mated with one of the sexy warriors.       Jayce is not just a sexy warrior, he is the enforcer for the whole council.  It is his job to put down wolves that go feral and solve issues that cause havoc in the pack – permanently.  His sexiness comes from his rugged and scarred appearance.  His face puts most people in a state of panic – but not Kat.  Not only does she not fear...
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Feb
25

Review: A Cast of Shadows by Hailey Edwards

Review: A Cast of Shadows by Hailey Edwards A Cast of Shadows Author: Hailey Edwards Release Date: Feb. 12, 2013 Publisher: Samhain Araneae Nation, Book 2.5 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: author About the book       Daraja has grown up watching her brothers journey down the river on the traditional Deinopidae rite of passage. Each returned with riches from their travels, and lovers with whom to share their lives.       Now she has reached the age where she would strike out on her own to seek her fortune—if she were male. Instead, she is expected to sit patiently, weave her nets and wait for the river to bring a husband to her.       Patience, however, has never been her strong suit.       Brynmor haunts the forest surrounding the city of Cathis, his disembodied spirit inextricably bound to the wild canis roaming his lands. Until the day he stumbles across a brazen trespasser in his woods.       Compelled to step in when the canis suspect her of poaching one of their own, Brynmor fears he has lost a piece of his ragged soul to the feisty, adventure-seeking female. And when the canis confront the real poachers, he is forced to choose which life to sacrifice. Hers…or his own. What VampBard’s talking about:       Readers of the Araneae Nation series won’t want to miss this action-packed novella, set after A Feast of Souls, the second title in the series.  Brynmor, former leader of Cathis and father to Vaughn, is running with the canis.  He lives with them.  They are now his family.  We also are lucky enough to meet Daraja, an independent woman looking for what is clearly going to define who she is, upon return to her village.       Every story has a conflict.  That’s what makes us, as readers, invested in the plot.  I struggled a little with figuring out the main conflict in A Cast of Shadows.  Once I decided to step back and read this little 100-ish page novella for the entertainment value, and for furthering my knowledge of the Araneae, all was good.  There’s enough conflict in this novella that I’m hoping some will bleed into the next novel.       Daraja was on a journey that many of her clanswomen before her had taken down the river.  She was looking for one of those defining moments.  The clarity of what her future would be.  I’m not...
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Feb
22

Review: Marked for Vengeance by S.J. Pierce

Review: Marked for Vengeance by S.J. Pierce Marked for Vengeance Author: S.J. Pierce Release Date: Oct. 10, 2012Publisher: Self-published Alyx Rayer Chronicles #1 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): E-book Book Source: Author About the book: Alyx Rayer’s existence in Atlanta, the eternally bustling capital of Georgia, is one of routine and blending in among the worker bees. But her ‘normal’ life is actually a façade for a higher calling; she’s a three hundred year old soul, encased in a human vessel and sent from the darkness between heaven and Earth to capture her Marked when summoned by her superiors. During the initial, routine stake-out of her Marked, a dream prophet named Isaac Walsh, Alyx is thrown for an emotional loop when his allure captivates her heart from two rooftops away. The event marks the very instance when her sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is brutally challenged as her contact with him is strictly forbidden. While already trapped between honor and desire, her emotional struggles are further challenged by a man in a black suit who continually pops up when she least expects it, his presence evoking a strange response from the scar she was branded with at birth. The scar tingles like a warning beacon, alerting her that something is amiss. Because her superiors never told her what this would mean, or much of anything except what to do when they summon, she can only conclude to try and keep her sanity, and her life, from completely shattering to pieces. This engaging first book of the series is a Paranormal Romance novel interlaced with twists, turns, and thrilling suspense that is sure to satisfy readers of any genre. May not be suitable for YA. What G & U are talking about: Marked for Vengeance is the first book in the new Alyx Rayer Chronicles.  It is an intriguing concept that was not flushed out well.  Gikany and Una were left with more questions than answers and some of these questions detracted from our satisfaction with the ending. In the “About the Book” section, they do say it may not be suitable for YA.  We agree.  We would be comfortable recommending this book for juniors/seniors in high school, but no younger.  Due to implied domestic violence and adult situations (involving sex and alcohol), we do not recommend this as a full young adult novel. The mysterious prologue of Marked for Vengeance is what kick starts this intriguing but faulty mythology.  We discover that Alyx, and others like...
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Feb
22

Review: Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter

Review: Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter Beauty Awakened Author: Gena Showalter  Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin HQN Angels of the Dark #2 ISBN: #978-0373777433 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (448 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      His name is Koldo. He is scarred, powerful, his control legendary-and he lives only for vengeance, determined to punish the angel who viciously removed his wings. But if he yields to the forces of hatred, he will be kicked from the heavens, eternally damned.       She is his last hope. Nicola Lane was born with a defective heart, yet this fragile human shows surprising strength as demons stalk her every move, determined to end her. She is the key to Koldo’s deliverance…and his downfall. Though he fights duty, destiny and his first addictive taste of desire, his toughest battle will be the one for Nicola’s life-even if he has to sacrifice his own… What I’m talking about:      Beauty Awakened opens with brief prologue that offers a slice of life from our hero, Koldo’s childhood. The images aren’t pretty. His mom is a Sent One (like an angel) and his dad is a Nefas, a barbaric, demon-esque race. Koldo’s mother physically, emotionally, and mentally abused him, culminating with the cutting off of his wings at the age of seven. Then she sent him to his father where he was brutally tortured for eleven years.      Flash forward to present day where Koldo is one of the members of the heavenly “Army of Disgrace,” a group of desperate and dangerous beings known as Sent Ones, each whose status with the heavenly plane is in serious jeopardy. Koldo is dispatched on a mission to kill a specific demon tormenting a man in a hospital when he sees and becomes captivated by Nicola Lane, a woman who has two demons attached to her. Nicola is visiting her very ill twin, who has been infested by a demon. One look and he knew he had to help save her.      There is a lot that happens within the course of Beauty Awakened. First, there is Koldo and Nicola’s budding romance and his attempts to save Nicola and her sister. Then there is Koldo’s desire for revenge against his mother and the sudden reappearance of his father’s people–messing with Koldo and those he cares about. Finally, the story follows a handful of the other members of the “Army of Disgrace” as they try and...
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Feb
21

Review: Soul Avenged by Keri Lake

Review: Soul Avenged by Keri Lake Soul Avenged Author: Keri Lake Release Date: Jan. 16, 2013 Publisher: Self-published Sons of Wrath, Book #1 ISBN: 978-0984851720 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (534 pages), e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Passion is blind in vengeance and love … Ayden’s suburban home was invaded by a pack of Lycans. The brutal attack is the only memory she carries of her former life. Now, one motive burns in her soul: KILL THEM ALL. The Sons of Wrath—a brood of vengeance-dealing warrior demons—band with Ayden to hunt the Lycans on Detroit’s most deadly feeding grounds. Kane Walker should’ve been her easiest kill. Unfortunately, the newly bitten Lycan has something she wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest. To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch. Time is running out. In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most. She can halt his transformation but the antidote requires the ultimate sacrifice. As the beast takes hold, Kane becomes more of a threat. Ayden must choose between her lust for revenge, or surrender to her enemy and discover a horrible truth. What VampBard’s talking about:       Keri Lake brings a well-crafted world of paranormal deliciousness to readers with Soul Avenged.  The first title in her Sons of Wrath series brings a world of sensual dreams, emotional turmoil and skillfully delivered carnage to the reader.  Fabulous description, details and delivery made this book the cause of sleep deprivation.  That’s always a good thing!       I’m not going to lie.  I have a lil girl-crush on Ayden.  She is so entirely kick-ass!  Besides being hard-core, Ayden, the central character in Soul Avenged, brought the reader a fabulous gift:  selflessness in the face of adversity.  Ayden wasn’t the only character to reach this lofty goal.  Kane, Gavin and Logan (to a certain extent) all managed to put others before themselves.  That is one difficult objective to meet, Ms. Lake.  Kudos.   HEAT INDEX:  I’d call this one a 4 out of 5.  The last third was smokin’, though…and the sexual tension through the entire title was crazy!       There were a few usage errors that made me stop & re-read some passages, but I liked this book sooooo much that my rating hasn’t been affected; content definitely trumped the few errors that caught my attention.       Logan, one of the Sons...
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Feb
18

Review: The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups by Shannon MacLeod

Review: The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups by Shannon MacLeod The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups Author: Shannon MacLeod  Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012 Publisher: Lyrical Press Arcana Love #1 ISBN: 978-1616504298 Genre: Fantasy Romance with Paranormal & Suspense elements Format(s): paperback (400 pages), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Sometimes, love lasts lifetimes.       Lily’s whole life is planned out. She’ll live, if not happily, at least ever after. Working as an insurance agent with her college sweetheart and longtime boyfriend, Lucas, she’ll eventually marry him and together they’ll take over the family agency. Then she and Lucas will start raising little insurance agents of their own. But something is missing…       At her best friend’s urging, she decides to do one last wild thing before committing her life to a future of policy endorsements–she takes a part time job reading tarot cards at a local Renaissance Faire theme park. Lucas is completely unimpressed and disdainful of her fascination with the mystical, but has no doubt she’ll settle down once they’re married. Enter Ian Kelly, mural painter, actor and…witch. He and Lily have a chance meeting at the park, and the attraction is immediate. They have a history…a lot of history. Several lifetimes of it, in fact, and their business together is unfinished.       All three have secrets, one of them deadly. Add in heaping helpings of magic, mayhem, Cuban sandwiches, one large Irish family and one very demanding feline for a story of love so strong, it’ll take more than one century to contain it. What VampBard’s talking about:       Always a sucker for foreign languages, I found Celtic Knot:  Suit of Cups to be a nice, light read for a cold winter’s afternoon.  Full of suspense elements and flashbacks, Ms. MacLeod has crafted a tale to entertain and lift up the reader.       I always like a story wherein love transcends time.  I always like a story with foreign languages…especially Gaelic.  However, what I liked the most about Celtic Knot:  Suit of Cups was the Realization factor.  Where Lucas realized that Lily wasn’t his anymore (or actually didn’t…), where Ian realized he loved Lily, and when Lily realized she was head-over-heels, I-wanna-have-your-babies in love with Ian.  And they’ve been in love for more than a lifetime. HEAT INDEX: 2.  Not the hottest, but it’s a sweet read in that area.       The beginning of the story finds Lily in a...
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Feb
18

Review: Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian

Review: Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian Edge of Dawn Author: Lara Adrian  Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013 Publisher: Delacorte Press Midnight Breed #11 ISBN: #978-0345532602 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Hardcover (300 pgs) Book Source: Author/ NetGalley About the book:      Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn-when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them-the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost.      Raised among the Order, Mira has always believed in the warrior’s code of swift-and even lethal-justice. But the one thing she desires more than the Order’s hard-won acceptance is Kellan Archer, a sexy but troubled Breed fighter. In love with him since childhood, Mira once broke through his tough exterior during an unexpected night of rapture, but the next day he mysteriously disappeared, never to return.      Kellan didn’t think he would ever see Mira again-or have to confront the truth of why he left. After abandoning the Order years ago, he now leads a band of human rebels intent on carrying out their own vigilante rule of law. Yet a high-profile kidnapping assignment brings him face-to-face with the past he sought to avoid, and the striking woman he has tried desperately to forget. And as tensions mount and the risk of bloodshed grows, Kellan and Mira must take sides-between the competing missions that dominate their lives, and the electrifying passion that claims their hearts. What I’m talking about:      After leaving readers with one hell of an ending in last year’s Darker After Midnight, Ms. Adrian revamps (pun intended) and restarts her wonderful Midnight Breed Series with the eleventh installment, Edge of Dawn. Long-time fans of the series are thrusted twenty years into the future, to a world where humans have discovered the Breed, and a tenuous peace keeps the planet from more years of war. First-time readers to the series will find this an appropriate place to start since so much is new (but really, it’s an awesome series – go back to the beginning!)      Our story opens in Boston, with the (new) Order back in the original Breed’s stomping ground. The reader quickly gets a taste of what life is...
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Feb
15

Review: Howl for a Highlander by Terry Spear

Review: Howl for a Highlander by Terry Spear Howl For A Highlander Author: Terry Spear  Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Werewolf Series Book 10 ISBN: #978-1402258930 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       Duncan MacNeill is a Highlander at heart with a mission—find gray wolf and former stockbroker, Silverman who has stolen the family fortune and is purported to be living in the Grand Cayman Islands. As a Highland wolf, Duncan rarely leaves his native homeland and taking a trip to an island paradise doesn’t appeal. But keeping the MacNeill’s ancestral castle depends on making Silverman pay. What Duncan doesn’t plan for is the American botanist who distracts him from his mission and makes him realize what an island paradise really means.       Shelley Campbell is teaching botany at a Florida college, when she receives an email from an old girlfriend, who’s renting a villa on the island and wants her to come to stay with her. Figuring she can study the old growth forest while she’s there, and lecture about it when she returns home, she has no idea the secrets she might uncover. When her girlfriend’s a no-show, a Highlander turns up instead, and she has a choice—share the villa, or send him away and pay full price for the accommodations—which on her teacher’s salary is stretching things pretty thin. Since he promises to be no trouble at all, she lets him stay. And that’s when the trouble really begins! What B is talking about:       A reluctant traveler in a Caribbean paradise, Duncan MacNeill is seeking not only the return of his family’s fortune from the wolf who stole it, but justice for the theft according to the laws of their kind. Since no wolf can be allowed to enter the human legal system for fear of exposure to humans, punishment is always swift and final, and Duncan is looking forward to the task. But, vengeance on a shoestring budget is tricky business, especially when the cheap hotel Duncan is supposed to be staying loses his reservation.       Getting paid to do research for the university she works for in a private villa by the sea sounds like the perfect getaway for Shelley Campbell—until the grant money she was counting on to fund the trip is stolen, along with the rest of the university’s money. Now, she’s stuck renting a place she...
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