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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Apr
19

Review: Enraptured

Review: Enraptured Enraptured Author: Elisabeth Naughton  Release Date: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Eternal Guardians #4 ISBN: #978-1402262128 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (416 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: ORPHEUS—To most he’s an enigma, a devil-may-care rogue who does whatever he pleases whenever he wants. Now this loose cannon is part of the Eternal Guardians—elite warriors assigned to protect the human realm—whether he likes it or not. Orpheus has just one goal: to rescue his brother from the Underworld. He’s not expecting a woman to get in the way. Especially not a Siren as gorgeous as Skyla. He has no idea she’s an assassin sent by Zeus to seduce, entrap, then ultimately destroy him. Yet Skyla herself might have the most to lose. There’s a reason Orpheus feels so familiar to her, a reason why her body seems to crave him. Perhaps he’s not the man everyone thinks… The truth could reveal a deadly secret as old as the Eternal Guardians themselves. What B is talking about: Orpheus isn’t just caught between two worlds, he’s being tossed about by three. Part witch, part demon, and now an Argonaut, he’s an incarnation that simply shouldn’t be. Resentful and angry, he claims to care about nobody. Too bad he can’t convince those he keeps saving over and over of that.  Naughton writes brilliantly conflicted characters, and tosses all sorts of trials their way repeatedly; balancing the darkness with just enough hope to keep them going. Orpheus is a perfect example of how well this type of conflict can be done and was one of the most engaging characters in the last novel in this series, Tempted. But, he absolutely owns Enraptured.  Skyla is a fun heroine, too. As the top Siren, she’s stubborn and strong, and saves Orpheus about as much as he saves her. But there’s more to Skyla, as well, and she turned out to be surprisingly endearing in her own right. As she did with Orpheus, Skyla’s strength throughout the darkest part of Enraptured really won me over, and I think she’s one of the better female characters I’ve read yet.  While the Eternal Guardians series is rooted in mythology, both of the novels I’ve read revolve around free will and destiny. And although each character is destined to follow a certain path, who they become is ultimately up to them, and decided solely by the choices they make on their journey.  Enraptured has it all:...
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Apr
18

Review: The Slayer

Review: The Slayer The Slayer Author: Theresa Meyers  Release Date: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Zebra Legend Chronicles #2 ISBN: #978-1420121254 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Western Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Winn Jackson isn’t interested in hunting nightmares across the Wild West—even if it’s the family business. Unlike his rakehell brothers, Winn believes in rules. As sheriff of Bodie, California, he only shoots actual law breakers. That’s what he’s doing when he rescues the Contessa Drossenburg, Alexandra Porter, a lady with all the elegance of the Old World—grace, beauty and class. And then he sees her fangs. Alexandra isn’t just some bloodsucking damsel in distress, though. She’s on a mission to save her people—and she’s dead certain that Winn’s family legacy is the only way. Luckily, aside from grace and class, she also has a stubborn streak a mile wide. So like it or not, Winn is going to come back with her to the mountains of Transylvania, and while he’s at it, change his opinions about vampires, demon-hunting, and who exactly deserves shooting. And if she has her way, he’s going to do his darnedest to save the world… What I’m talking about: You have to love a book that starts out in the middle of a stage coach robbery. Taunting and name calling leads to four guns cocked and aimed at our hero, Winchester Jackson. And then all hell breaks loose when the an enchanting contessa climbs off the coach and proceeds to slaughter the entire gang of outlaws. The Slayer starts off with a bang and rarely slows down. The Slayer is the second book in the Legend Chronicles trilogy, overlapping in content and time with the first book, The Hunter. Although you need not have read the first book in the series to enjoy The Slayer, a bit of background is helpful. The books are set in a steampunked version of the “wild west,” where it has been prophesied that the Jackson brothers are the Chosen who will bring together the three pieces of the lost Book of Legend and defeat the evil demon lord, Rathe. This book follows the adventures of Winn, the eldest of the Jackson brothers, each trained as a Hunter (defenders of humans against the Darkin) and each with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Winn has given up tracking down and hunting the paranormal and supernatural beings that roam the earth, but when the Contessa Alexa...
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Apr
17

Review: The Reason Is You

Review: The Reason Is You The Reason is You Author: Sharla Lovelace   Release Date: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Trade ISBN: 978-0425247129 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (326 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: In the small river town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn’t stop the talk. Now, with her sixteen year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start. Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window. Mischievous and sexy, Dani’s old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there’s a big obstacle standing in their way–Alex has been dead for forty years. With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip–both on her sanity and her heart. What VampBard’s talking about: The Reason is You, Sharla Lovelace’s debut novel, transported me to a small town, complete with small-town drama, a slight Southern feel, and a whole lot of love-triangle action!  It was easy to identify with Dani, our protagonist, as she’s in her early 40’s, has a 16 year-old daughter named Riley, and is dealing with many of the same issues with her daughter that I have had to broach with mine.  The relationships within the story are complex and fleshed-out, enabling the reader to be in the moment with the characters.  Great debut, Ms. Lovelace! Alex, a corner of our love-triangle, has been dead forty years.  Dani ‘met’ him when she was sixteen.  Seems that Alex has been around her entire life.  He made himself seen when Dani was in trouble.  There’s some complications regarding Alex that I won’t divulge (spoiler-free!), but watch for these about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way through!  Alex is utterly and completely in love with Dani.  There are several touching scenes involving them, and this dynamic makes the book well-worth the read. Jason, another corner of the love-triange, is Dani’s boss at the bait & tackle store where she is employed.  He’s purchased the long-standing business, and after his own drama, has moved to this little Podunk (as Riley titles it) town to start over.  On the outside, he appears to be rich, driving a Beemer, owning a business, and living on a houseboat.  While he maintains this outward...
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Apr
16

Review: Heart of the Incubus

Review: Heart of the Incubus Heart of the Incubus Author: Rosalie Lario  Release Date: Jan. 2, 2012 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Demons of Infernum Series #3.5 ISBN: #978-1937044824 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author  About the book: Biochemist Cresso Taylor lives the sort of lifestyle most men would envy—he has wealth, natural incubus charm, and more women than he can handle. But it’s not enough anymore. Not after meeting Genevieve Russell, the sexy scientist who works with him at Elcorp Laboratory. And she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. After her fiancé broke her heart, Genevieve has had enough of womanizers. She’s determined to steer clear of sexy-as-sin Dr. Taylor, despite the fact that his incubus allure makes her want to rip his clothes off. But when a secret admirer’s affection turns to the macabre with threatening notes and grisly gifts, Cresso appoints himself her protector. As she and Cresso hunt her stalker, she discovers there’s a lot more to the sensual incubus than she ever imagined. What I’m talking about: The story opens with Incubus demon, Cresso admitting to himself that he’d done the unthinkable – he’s fallen in love. Unfortunately for him, the object of his desire human scientist, Genevieve, wants nothing to do with him. Cresso and Gen work together at Elcorp Laboratory, where they find cures and treatments for different demon species. (Side note: Incubus demons emit a toxin during sex that will kill any creature not of their own species. Elcorp has developed an immunization so that Incubus demons can safely have sex with humans.) Gen, knowing Cresso must have sex to survive — and that he is a notorious playboy — refuses to give in to her attraction to Cresso. However, when Gen’s life is threatened by a mysterious stalker, she turns to Cresso and a friendship develops. I jumped into Heart of the Incubus without any prior knowledge of the series nor expectations of what would happen. I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Lario’s novella. The story was fun and different from anything I’ve read in recent history. Although there are familiar elements – heroine hating hero after being hurt in her past, strong heroine taking solace in arms of hero, etc. – the mythology is clever and interesting. Ms. Lario does an excellent job bring a newbie like me up to speed and giving me enough details to feel comfortable without over-burdening me with minutia.  What I noticed immediately is that...
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Apr
11

Review: A Hint of Frost

Review: A Hint of Frost A Hint of Frost Author: Hailey Edwards   Release Date: April 17, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Publishing Araneae Nation, Book #1 ISBN: (ASIN) B0065TF8Q6 Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.       Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.       Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.        Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold. What VampBard’s talking about:       A Hint of Frost, the newest title in Ms. Edward’s catalogue, begins the Aranea Nation series.  Lots of great world-building going on in this title. If you’re into conspiracy theories, dragons, and alternate universe beings, this is a series you’ll want to get into from square one!       Spider people.  Whoda thunk…  I wasn’t even the slightest bit creeped out, either!  When Lourdes, the new ‘Queen’ of Araneidae learns of the death of her parents, she snaps into action.  She seems to be one of those people that’s able to compartmentalize and get done what needs doing.  No matter what the cost is to herself.  After all, she’s the leader of her people, and she needs to do whatever she can...
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Apr
6

Review: Protector’s Mate

Review: Protector’s Mate Protector’s Mate Author: Katie Reus  Release Date: April 1, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Nocturnal Cravings Genre: Paranormal Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       After two years in a war zone, werewolf Felicia Serna has finally returned to find another pack has taken over her territory…and the new second-in-command is the very man who haunts her fantasies.       Alaric has wanted Felicia from the moment he laid eyes on her, and now he’s ready to claim her. When a threatening shifter begins stalking them, he’s determined to protect her…even if it means putting his seduction on hold. But even in the heat of danger, their red-hot passion cannot be denied. What I’m talking about:       Felicia is a wolf shifter that was betrayed and hurt by her own pack. She fled overseas to use her nursing skills in a war zone. After her service is up, she sneaks back home, hoping to make a quiet life for herself. Alaric, second command of Felicia’s new pack, has lusted after Felicia for years – always keeping a distance since she was too young to commit to the mating call. (We meet Alaric in the first book, Destined Mate.) Knowing that he cannot live without Felicia, he picks her up at the airport, and the pair come under attack.       This second novella in Ms. Reus’s unnamed shifter series starts of with a bang and keeps going. Without the need of much world-building (although you don’t need to read first novella), Protector’s Mate jumps right into the romance between Alaric and Felicia. We learn about the current situation and the characters’ pasts organically – either through scene building or since we are privy to both Alaric and Felicia’s point-of-view, we get insight into their pasts via internal thought process. The story flows smoothly, which is critical for a novella-length story.       Basically they both lust for the other. I love that Alaric has known from the moment he met Felicia that she was his mate, but he held off claiming her or bringing her to his pack because of her age (19). He didn’t trust himself not to claim her, so gave her space. So swoon-worthy. I was instantly invested in the couple and enjoyed reading how they let go of their pasts to move forward together.       The couple comes together so perfectly. Their first kiss...
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Apr
5

Review: Hunter’s Rise

Review: Hunter’s Rise Hunter’s Rise Author: Shiloh Walker  Release Date: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Hunters Series Book 14 ISBN: #978-0425248379 Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: His past is a mystery, even to him—a werewolf with memories so lost in a fog that even the Hunter’s healers cannot help him. Two hundred years ago, Toronto awakened on an unfamiliar street, naked and alone. Dogged by the unanswered questions of his enigmatic existence, he fears he will never find the missing pieces of the puzzle that is his life. The vampire Sylvia is no Hunter. She’s a take-no-prisoner mercenary that just barely skates this side of what the Hunters consider acceptable. She has no use for them, their laws, their rules. All she wants is to hunt her quarry, and make a lot of money. Her newest prey is a killer as devious as he is slippery. But her newest complication is of a more intimate sort: A blonde, blue-eyed werewolf who interferes with her plans in so many exquisite ways. What B is talking about: Having been bitten by five werewolves when he was a teen, Toronto should be dead. Instead, he not only survived the attack and the violent hunger that consumed him afterward, but he’s become a master in his own right. Tied to a past he can’t remember, he lives his life as if his future is just as empty, fighting the monsters that roam the world out of a sense of obligation, rather than purpose.  Sylvia James is a vampire and a loner, and likes it that way just fine, thank you. She’s a killer for hire, taking vengeance on behalf of those that can pay her fee…and sometimes for the ones that touch her heart. For those victims, the blood of their enemies is payment enough. But, when her latest job puts her in the crosshairs of a werewolf that breaks down every wall she’s got, she knows she in serious trouble.   This is the first novel in the Hunters series I’ve had the pleasure of reading, but there’s a lot about it to like. Hunter’s Rise has a great assemblage of characters in the mix. I absolutely adore Toronto. He’s a pain and then some for the Master vampire he serves, he’s snarky and sarcastic, but he won’t turn his back on those that need him. He and Sylvia are perfect for one another;...
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Apr
4

Review: Untouched

Review: Untouched Untouched Author: Sara Humphreys   Release Date: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Sourcebooks Amoveo Legend #2 ISBN: #9781402258466 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       From the outside, Kerry Smithson appears to have it all — beauty, brains, money, and fame. However, Kerry harbors a crippling secret. One touch will tell her your deepest secrets and cause her mind-numbing pain. Adept at avoiding even the lightest of touches, isolation and loneliness has become her way of life. However, her world is turned upside down from the moment she encounters the disarmingly handsome Dante Coltari. Little does she know that Dante harbors a secret of his own. One that would change the course of their lives and intertwine their fates, forever. What G & U are talking about:       Untouched was a well-woven and nicely paced story.  Gikany and Una enjoyed this second novel in the Amoveo Legacy.  It has some humor and very touching moments.  The action and mystery were a pleasant addition to the romance and we are already discussing whose story is next.       Dante and Kerry make a wonderful couple.  They are able to laugh at not only themselves but also each other.  There is only one moment that we found frustrating: Dante goes through the mating ceremony without telling Kerry.  Once complete, she asks him what he said…and she finds out they are mated.  This really bothered us. It does, however, go with her snarky comments throughout the story that refer to Dante as a Neanderthal.  We just felt that Kerry should have been a little more upset, or angry about his actions.       We enjoyed seeing Malcom and Sam again and enjoyed their part in this story.  Although we are not sure of the next pairing, we hope to see more of Malcom, Sam, Kerry and Dante in the next book.  We would love to see Kerry meet Dante’s family.  We would have enjoyed seeing it here, but can understand that it wouldn’t have been able to be inserted seamlessly.       While looking back at the overall story arc, we thought it may have dragged a little, but we still enjoyed the story.  The twist of the “big bad” and the involvement of some of the new characters were interesting.  The mythology is still very fascinating and enjoyable.  Although the ending is a bit vague and wide open,...
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Apr
3

Review: The Wolf Who Loved Me

Review: The Wolf Who Loved Me The Wolf Who Loved Me Author: Lydia Dare  Release Date: April 3, 2012 Publisher: Sourcebooks Hadley Brothers #1 (Westfield Brothers/Regency #8) ISBN: #978-1402263460 Genre: Regency Romance, Paranormal Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: A new sexy Regency paranormal trilogy by bestselling author Lydia Dare features hunky werewolves who need to learn how to behave in polite society. Can this pack of ‘gentlemen’ be trained in the ways of the ton, or is it too late to teach an old Lycan new tricks?  Lady Madeline Hayburn Has Money Problems… Specifically, she has so much of it that she’s dogged by fortune hunters, including her bewilderingly attractive, penniless neighbor, with his wild nature and uncouth manners… Weston Hadley Has An Identity Crisis… Specifically, he’s just turned into a wolf while Madeline was watching. Now it’s up to the regal lady to tame the wild beast…if she can… What I’m talking about: Welcome to Regency-period England, where ladies are excitable and men are werewolves. The Wolf Who Loved Me kicks off the third set of books in Lydia Dare’s enjoyable paranormal/historical setting. The current series, dubbed the Hadley Brothers Trilogy, follows the three (secret) brothers of Lord Dashiel Thorpe, who was the hero from The Taming of the Wolf. The Wolf Who Loved Me is a “fresh start” to the overall series and can be read as a stand alone. For those that follow the Westfield Brothers books – this book takes place about 3 years after the start of the last book, Never Been Bit (but four years prior to the epilogue in that book). Wes Hadley is the youngest of the three Hadley brothers – but only by a few minutes, although his twin, Gray, likes to constantly remind Wes that he is the younger of the pair. The Hadley brothers are not part of the upper-crust crowd that their brother, Dash, lives in. They are misfits and a bit rebellious. Yet, they are forced to attend the social gatherings from time to time, even if they don’t always behave. It is at one of these gatherings that Lady Madeline Hayburn catches the eye of young Wes.  Fast forward three years (and the start of this book), Lady Madeline (aka Maddie), is being preened and shown to suitors in hopes to attract the “right sort of man” to wed. She is not happy and does not want to marry someone “proper” because that is what...
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Mar
30

Review: Lover Reborn

Review: Lover Reborn Lover Reborn Author: J.R. Ward   Release Date: March 27, 2012 Publisher: NAL Hardcover Black Dagger Brotherhood #10 ISBN: 0451235843 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Hardcover (592 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:      Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been unrecognizable from the vampire leader he once was. Physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair, he has been brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel. Now, fighting once again with ruthless vengeance, he is unprepared to face a new kind of tragedy.      When Tohr begins to see his beloved in his dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld far from the peace and tranquillity of the Fade—he turns to the angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. But because Lassiter tells him he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed….                  Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past and a very hot, passion-filled future…but can his heart let go and set all of them free? What VampBard’s talking about:      Lover Reborn, J.R. Ward’s anxiously awaited title in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series was well worth the wait.  I was on pins-and-needles throughout this title.  Expertly crafted plot, with so many highs and highers, I felt as though I was on a roller coaster.  By the time I’d reached the end, ask Mr. VampBard… I’d cursed Ms. Ward several times and threatened to write her hate mail.  ‘S all good, though.  Feel me?      The first thing that I’d like to mention about Lover Reborn is that it’s a painful title to read.  It churned up a lot of emotions for me, and required Kleenex.  Prolly Puffs Plus with Aloe.  Watching the Brother, Tohrment, stuck in his grief, was even more difficult than in past BDB titles.      Lassiter continues to be a key player in Tohr’s existence.  There’s a bit of an important factoid that comes out in this title:  Wellsie isn’t in the Fade… she, and the unborn child, are in the In Between.  This place, where Lassiter was prior to his Maker giving him the option...
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