logo
Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Oct
10

Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster Mission: Improper Author: Bec McMaster Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: In the three years since the rebellion, the queen has instituted reforms that give more power to the humans, Mechs, and non-blue bloods, while diminishing the control of the Echelon. This isn’t sitting well with some, and there have been a series of unsolvable crimes aiming to lessen the queen’s effectiveness as ruler. The Duke of Malloryn has taken it upon himself to solve the mystery and put an end to the terror. He’s assembled a team of elite to find out what group has been causing riots and problems. Caleb Brynes, a highly respected blue blood Nighthawk, and Ingrid Miller, a verwulfen spy have both accepted the challenge of being part of Malloryn’s team. Mission: Improper is the first book in the new London Steampunk spin-off, taking place three years into the future after the final book in the original series. I love that the author has found a way to continue this exciting series – keeping the same formula of action-packed mystery coupled with sexually-charged romance. The mix of paranormal, alternate history, historic setting, and steampunk mech is unique and engrossing. Mission: Improper expands the established mythology, but not so greatly as to become eye-rolling. The author has added enough new, mixed with a lot of the old, to create a whole new set of concerns for our heroes. Caleb and Ingrid make for a perfect pair. I admire that the author didn’t toss unnecessary drama in their way, but let the story and characters dictate the speed and direction of the romance. They don’t have an easy path, and I like that both are uncertain about giving of themselves fully (emotionally, not physically). Each has a jaded history that puts wariness into their decision making, yet they also want to make sure not to hurt the other. It’s honest and raw emotion like this, that won me over: “I am going to pursue you, Ingrid Miller, with the intention of never letting you go. So fair warning…”  “It’s no longer about winning your body, Ingrid. When I finish these challenges, I intend to win your heart.” Ms. McMaster creates some of the best romances out there: always steamy and sexy while simultaneously emotionally gripping. However, it’s not just the love story that keeps me coming back again and again. Every story centers on some sort of mystery and huge investigation. I become...
Read More
Sep
30

Review: Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter

Review: Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter Blood Red Kiss Author: Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: The first title in the Blood Red Kiss anthology is a re-release of the first Immortals After Dark (IAD) title, “The Warlord Wants Forever,” which was originally released in 2006, and I read and reviewed in January 2011. This was taken from my original review; I did not re-read the story. “The Warlord Wants Forever” is a sexy romance between a Valkyrie warrior, Myst, and a turned vampire warlord, Wroth. She uses Wroth for information and then makes her escape, yet Myst does not kill the vampire – sworn enemy of the Valkyrie. For five years she cannot forget the warlord she left in misery and constant pain (the reason why he is in pain is pretty clever and humorous).  When Wroth finally catches up with Myst in “modern day” New Orleans, he claims her for himself. But can each overcome their pain and prejudice and fall in love? The pace of the story is quick – which makes sense giving the shorter, novella-length format. Myst and Wroth’s romance is full of tension, violence and passionate sex. At one point, Wroth claims a sacred prize belonging to Myst which gives him complete and utter control over her. He abuses this power, and although he doesn’t use it to rape her, he forces her to face her lust and desirous feelings for Wroth. What I adore about the romance is that when faced with ugly truths about themselves and their situation, Wroth allows their desire and love to come full-circle without the use of his stolen power.  The both realize “what is meant to be” and grow stronger because of it. Overall, a promising start to the IAD series. I love the snarky lines and smexy males. “Forsaken by Night” is the second offering in the anthology. It is a brand new, long-awaited MoonBound Clan novella from Larissa Ione. It features Lobo, a vampire loosely associated with the MoonBound Clan. Lobo was banished from Moonbound over twelve years ago after he shifted to resemble another vampire, a rare and much-feared power Lobo possesses as a skinwalker. Lobo’s constant companion is a smarter-than-average wolf Tehya, who continually projects the image of a specific woman into his mind. When a poacher fatally wounds Tehya, Lobo commits the ultimate taboo and shifts to look like Moonbound Clan chief, Hunter, so he can enter their...
Read More
Sep
8

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Wickedly Dangerous Author: Deborah Blake Narrator: Romy Nordlinger Audio Speed: 1.25 – 1.5x Series: Baba Yaga #1 Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance Source: purchased Barbara Yager is one of the Baba Yaga, a human, nature-witch of sorts. She was summoned to Clearwater County by an elderly Russian couple whose granddaughter was kidnapped. Right from the start, Baba realizes that otherworldly forces are at work, and that there is a menacing connection between the proposed hydro-fraking of the land and the missing children. Liam McClellan is the hardworking sheriff whose job is on the line because of the missing children. He knows there is something unusual, something more, going on, but is he ready to accept the truth? Wickedly Dangerous is the first book in an interesting UF romance series centered on the Russian mythology of the Baba Yaga. I enjoyed the premise of the book, taking a modern day spin on the witch who lived in a hut that walked on chicken legs. Baba’s powers are impressive, but she has limits and rules, which makes the entire situation a bit harried when she can’t take the necessary actions to right the wrongs. I don’t know if it was the narrator, writing, or both, but the book seemed to have a fairytale quality when the subject matter warranted a gritty, urban fantasy tone. I couldn’t always put my finger on it, but it didn’t always suit my tastes. I liked the storyline, but the almost whimsical quality turned me off. The language was often flowery and overly descriptive with odd comparisons. “His hands clenched on the folder until the papers inside crunched like dry bones in an abandoned graveyard.” “The drowsy coals flashed into sudden wakefulness, flames shooting upward as if to meet the stars halfway. Baba’s heart roared with matching fury and pain, it’s intensity catching her by surprise. One rare tear fell onto the fire and evaporated like a stillborn dream of happiness.” And then there was the awful part when the author compared a luscious roasted chicken to a Vegas show girl after a day in the sun. Just ew. Unfortunately, between the off descriptions and the constant witch hunt against Baba and Liam, the book began to wear on me, and I just wanted the issues resolved. I understand that witch-hunt mentality and type of behavior would happen in real life, and I don’t disagree with the direction...
Read More
Sep
6

Review: Her Rogue Alpha by Paige Tyler

Review: Her Rogue Alpha by Paige Tyler Her Rogue Alpha Author: Paige Tyler Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: DNF / C What We’re Talking About: This is an odd review to write since only Una finished the book, but we do that we were disappointed with Layla and Jayson’s story. Una finished the novel, but found herself feeling let down.  The connection between Layla and Jayson was forged early in the series.  Their story is one we have waited for: a shifter who just joined the X-Ops and her wounded soldier.  However, Jayson is emotionally abusive.  The abuse is substantial enough to make us feel that there should possibly be trigger warnings for this book.  In the end he does apologize for being selfishly brooding in his disability, but it was long overdue.  He was brash and reckless in the beginning, and Layla accepted that all the pain he caused her was okay because he loves her.  Their reunion in a battlefield was odd and seemed untimely.  The plot of Jayson’s mission was convoluted and far-fetched – especially his abilities.  At the end of the novel, there is a revelation about Jayson that Layla reads and then destroys – without the reader being privy to it.  This carrot dangling was infuriating to Una.  Since this part of the story was told from Layla’s perspective, we should have been privy to the message.  It would have been preferable to have her destroy the note without looking. The plot that kept Una reading was regarding a thief.  This plot line is tied to the search for the enemy within the X-Ops.  Una found this storyline fascinating and intriguing.  And knowing it is not the end of seeing the thief, we hope to see her in a future novel. Gikany did not finish this novel.  The emotional abuse that begins between Layla and Jayson was too much.  By the 25% mark, the urge to have Layla punch Jayson and leave him was too great for Gikany.  She felt that there was no way he could redeem himself, and he just didn’t deserve her love.  Gikany could not stand to read anymore. Although we do agree that this novel did not go altogether well, Una was able to finish it.  Both Gikany and Una were disappointed in this long awaited story.  Una will read the next novel in the series but Gikany will not. Una’s Rating:  C, Finished It – Liked some, didn’t like some Gikany’s Rating:  DNF – Did...
Read More
Aug
23

Review: Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh

Review: Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh Wild Embrace Author: Nalini Singh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Wild Embrace is a collection of short stories and novellas that fall at different points of the known Psy-Changeling timeline, most covering one specific point, with “Dorian” spanning several years from his youth to adulthood. Each story is standalone and falls outside the overarching storylines of the series. Echo of Silence The story shares the chaste, forbidden love between a human engineer and a telekinetic Psy in the days before Silence fell. Tazia left her small village years ago, never to return. She is from a small village with a traditional upbringing, resulting in a tight moral code. But it is also an unforgiving way of life, based in her account of her family and why she cannot return. Stephan is a powerful Psy with fractured Silence due to a tragedy that left him orphaned at the age of four. The story is sweet and simple, with the focus on learning more about each other rather than their physical attraction. The tale enhances the Psy-Changeling world through demonstrating how love existed in the Psy race before the fall of Silence. In fact, it shows why Silence needed to end. Even though I know what is in store for the future of the Psy race, it didn’t effect my enjoyment of the story, which left me with a feeling of hope. Rating: B+ Dorian This is more of a short story or collection of slices of life, rather than full novella. Fans of the series will enjoy these glimpses into Dorian’s life as he struggles with and learns to live first as a dormant shifter and second as a true Changeling. I enjoyed seeing how Dorian’s pack supported him in every step of his journey, helping to create one of my favorite characters of the series. Rating: B Partners in Persuasion Felix is a submissive wolf from SnowDancer, and Desiree is a DarkRiver leopard soldier. Desiree has admired the gentle yet strong submissive wolf from afar but fought her desire to touch him until he gives her permission. Felix was burned by a dominant female in his past and refuses to consider even a fleeting relationship with Desiree. Felix and Desiree’s romance is unlike most Psy-Changeling stories in that it features a female dominant and a male submissive (these are terms for the animal, not sexual preferences). I enjoyed the dynamics and the thoughtfulness of each...
Read More
Aug
10

Review: Her Demigod Complex by Abigail Owen

Review: Her Demigod Complex by Abigail Owen Her Demigod Complex Author: Abigail Owen Reviewers: Gikany & Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una were able to go back and read the first novella in the Legendary Consultants series after reading the second novella, The Worse for Were, first.  Her Demigod Complex tells the story of Leia and Castor, a broken nymph and a demigod.  Despite learning more of the intriguing mythology of this world from this first novella, we were a bit disappointed. We liked Leia and Castor.  Although their journey was the seemingly typical boss and assistant trope, there was a nice twist to it.  They fought their attraction for different reasons and their individual reasons for holding back were logical.  They even communicated well with each other (even when hiding their true feelings) until Leia panicked. It helped to have both perspectives in this novella to give weight to the romantic complications.  Leia’s broken status and Castor’s demigod status were fascinating.  The mix of the paranormal was enriching to the world. The overall plot of the vengeful werewolf was gripping.  But since the second novel is the same overall plot with different focal characters, we were disappointed in the rehash.  Maybe we would have felt differently if we had read these novellas in the correct order, but we don’t think so.  We have read another series by Ms. Owen and therefore know what she is capable of.  Although this is a novella series, we still expected more.  With the ending of Her Demigod Complex, we look forward to either learning more about Delilah, the owner of Legendary Consultants or Rowan, the witch Kaios forced into his dastardly plans. Although we liked Her Demigod Complex, we did have a bit of an issue with it feeling like a retelling of The Worse for Were.  We enjoyed Castor and Leia’s romantic journey, especially as it was a new twist on a familiar trope.  The world with the varied paranormal entities is rich and fascinating.  We look forward to the next story in hopes that it will give light into Delilah or provide a happy ending for Rowan.  If you enjoy a lighthearted paranormal romance, you might want to pick up the Legendary Consultants series. Our Rating: B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues About the Book: When Legendary Consultants placed Lyleia Naiad in her job as Executive Assistant to a high-powered billionaire, she was given one directive–do NOT fall in love with him....
Read More
Jul
25

Review: Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Review: Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper Where the Wild Things Bite Author: Molly Harper Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Human Anna Whitfield has many neuroses, yet pride in her work puts her on a plane to Half-Moon Hollow, where she is returning a rare and valuable book to her client, Jane Jameson. Unfortunately for Anna, there are others who want the book, going as far as crashing the plane to get what they want. Luckily (or not) for Anna, vampire Finn Palmeroy is on the plane, and he saves her moments before the plane explodes. Lost in the woods in the middle of Kentucky, the pair cannot agree on anything, yet there is an attraction sizzling between them. Where the Wild Things Bite is another fun tale in the humorous Half-Moon Hollow paranormal romance series. Taking place mostly outside of Half-Moon Hollow, the major of the book focuses solely Anna and Finn as they try to make their way back to civilization while being hunted by some crazy shifters. This allows plenty of time for the couple, and therefore the reader, to get to know one another and build a relationship. I enjoyed their dynamic; a mix between light bickering and genuine care and consideration. What I had troubles with is that Finn is a con artist who lied many times. Readers first met him in the previous book, The Single Undead Mom’s Club, and he was basically a creep in that one. It was tough for me to put aside his behavior in the previous book, as well as his actions in this one. With that said, he did have moments of tenderness, and I did believe his feelings for Anna to be true, however, in the back of my mind, there was always a small doubt. Regardless of the issues I had with Finn, the book was engrossing. At one point, I looked down and was surprised to see that I was already at the 82% mark of the book. The story flowed smoothly and the story interesting, so I hadn’t realized how much of the book had passed. Additionally, the couple, while cute and fun, didn’t bring on the heat. This is definitely a romance-lite tale. Finally, the ending was quick and easy, and a tad outrageous, but fitting for the light-hearted nature of this series. In the end, Where the Wild Things Bite is another humorous romp through Half-Moon Hollow and beyond. Ms. Harper brings her trademark...
Read More
Jul
13

Review: The Worse for Were by Abigail Owen

Review: The Worse for Were by Abigail Owen The Worse for Were Author: Abigail Owen Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: The Worse for Were is the second novella in the Legendary Consultants series.  We regretfully did not read the previous novella, but were able to pick up this world quickly enough.  Even though we thought that Ms. Owen’s Shadowcat Nation series has a tighter and stronger mythology, we enjoyed this more casual approach to paranormal romance. Although The Worse for Were focuses on werewolf shifters, the mythology includes nymphs, gods, demigods, and fae.  We are not sure if there is more background information in the previous novel, but we thought that there might be some world building we may have missed.  We were able to fall into the world, although there were a couple of off-notes in the mythology that Gikany and Una were able to debate. We were distracted by the indiscriminate use of the word alpha. For us Alpha is a title while dominant denotes a demeanor or personality of the shifter. With the journey of two Alphas marrying for convenience, a prophecy, and the numerous paranormals in the mix, there was so much potential.  The personalities of Tala and Marrok, their banter and mating urge were wittily and passionately executed.  We understand that given the nature of a novella, there can only be so much background and plot weaving done.  However there is so much potential in this story we wished it had been made into a full novel.  The blending of Tala and Marrok’s packs (unless there is more to come) could have been far more complicated and intricate.  Knowing what Ms. Owen is capable of in her other series, we just wanted more.  Since this story is a novella, we can understand some of the jumps and skips. Overall, Gikany and Una liked this novella, although we thought it was noticeable that we jumped into the series.  We recommend that you read this series from the beginning.  We also thought that there was enough in the world and the plot for a fully fleshed out novel.  We are interested in reading the next story in this series. Our Rating:  B- Liked It, but we had a couple small issues About the Book: The Canis and Banes packs of werewolves have been feuding for centuries. The Hatfields and McCoys were a tea party in comparison. Until Marrok Banes, the Alpha of his pack, decides to end the fighting...
Read More
Jul
7

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Big Vamp on Campus by Molly Harper

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Big Vamp on Campus by Molly Harper Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Big Vamp on Campus Author: Molly Harper Narrator: Amanda Ronconi Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Half-Moon Hollow #5.5 Genre: Paranormal Romance Source: Purchased Big Vamp on Campus is a fun “slice of life” with a side of growing pains. We get to see how vampire baddie Ophelia Lambert is dealing with being cut off from her precious Council. It’s definitely not the best place to start the series, although I think it can be enjoyed by a newbie as a standalone short. However, to understand the full impact of Ophelia’s banishment, one really needs to see her when she was at her prime, welding power for the Council. I didn’t think I’d ever really like Ophelia; she certainly has never been a sympathetic character. And after what she did to Gigi back in The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire, I honestly wasn’t looking forward to getting a story from her POV. However, leave it to Ms. Harper to pull this off. Not only do we see some of the brilliant crazed 400-year old vamp she used to be, but we witness Ophelia learn to adjust to life outside her comfort zone, growing and developing into a relatable, likable character. As I mentioned before, the book reads more like a slice of life or a few chapters from a larger story. New characters are introduced, and some strange and mysterious things are afoot – basically par for the course for the residents of Half-Moon Hollow. It’s pretty apparent that this novella is setting the stage for a larger story; however, it’s not the next book, Where the Wild Things Bite. It looks like Big Vamp on Campus actually comes after the next book. The narration by Amanda Ronconi is highly entertaining. In the past, I’ve struggled with keeping characters straight from book to book based on voice alone because each is a different first person POV narrative. However, because it’s been a while since I’ve listened to another book in the series, I didn’t experience any of that confusion, and found the narration to fit Ophelia’s personality. With just a touch of sarcasm and a whole lot of charm, Ms. Ronconi brings the denizens of Half-Moon Hollow to life (even when they are actually students at the University of Kentucky!) All-in-all, an enjoyable listen, entertaining story, and a must for fans of the Half-Moon Hollow series. Story Rating: B+ Narration:...
Read More
Jun
29

Review: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

Review: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter The Darkest Torment Author: Gena Showalter Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Long, long ago, Baden was once a Lord of the Underworld and keeper of the demon, Distrust. But when he was betrayed and beheaded, the demon inside was set free and he died, destined to spend eternity in a special Purgatory. Eventually, Hades found him and gave him a way to leave, recruiting him for his war against Lucifer; however Baden didn’t understand the true price of his freedom. The book opens with Baden residing in Budapest with his fellow Lords. He is angry and prone to violence and doesn’t like to be touched. He has a new, more powerful demon, named Destruction, and in order to rid himself of Hades, Baden must complete a number of tasks for him, including retrieving a coin from drug lord Aleksander Ciernik. Katarina Joelle was forced to marry Aleksander Ciernik, the evil man who has Hades’ coin. He is brutal and plans to bend Katarina until she breaks. He killed her childhood sweetheart, hooked her brother on drugs, and has threaten to kill all of Katarina’s beloved dogs. Not knowing the situation, Baden kidnaps Katarina, hoping to force Alek to turn over the coin. To be honest, I started The Darkest Torment, unsure if I wanted to continue with this series. I went back and read my notes from the previous books and remembered how confused I was and how I felt things were growing overly complex and the mythology was meandering a bit too much for my liking. However, once I started the book, I was pleased with the overall direction and tone. Baden’s struggles with his inner demon and the romance between Baden and Katarina shared many of the qualities that first drew me to The Lords of the Underworld series. There was humor and passion, with gripping storylines. Additionally, the author does a great job recalling previous important facts and storylines, keeping readers in the loop. Overall, I enjoyed Baden’s inner battle with his demons (both literal and figurative). Katarina is a great fit for Baden (and visa versa), and I found her transformation from victim to heroine entertaining. Their story tied strongly to a larger story arc involving Hades, and although I didn’t quite recall or understand how this particular story began, it didn’t really matter as I read it. Additionally, there are two side stories setting up future books: William and Gillian’s potential romance, as well as Cameo’s search for Lazarus. I understand the need to set...
Read More
Page 5 of 56« First...34567...102030...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes