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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
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....
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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...
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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...
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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:...
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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...
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Jun
16

Review: Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy

Review: Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy Blood Lust Author: Alexandra Ivy Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: Continuing directly from the storyline of the previous book, Blood Assassin, Bas must deal with the outfall of his daughter’s, Molly, kidnapping by supernatural forces. The events ruined his business, and he ended his roll as the leader of a renegade band of mercenary high-bloods. All he wants to do now is raise his daughter in peace, but that all changes when Molly’s mom, Myst, reenters their lives. Myst had a one afternoon affair with Bas which resulted in a pregnancy. Leaving Molly with Bas after her birth, Myst has been in hiding and impossible to locate. Unknown to Bas, Myst has stayed in contact with Molly via telepathy, and promised Molly she’d come visit after the horrible ordeal. Now that Myst is back, Bas won’t let her go. While you don’t need to have read the previous books in the Sentinels series to enjoy Blood Lust, the story arc started in the second book, which provides much of the background needed to better understand the high-blood mythology. I enjoyed reading Blood Lust and found the story easy to follow and straight-forward. Myst and Baz’s relationship had its bumps, but overall flowed smoothly. Their albeit brief shared history lends itself to a sexy reunion, fueled by the fact that Bas has longed for and searched for Myst ever since their one shared afternoon. I enjoyed watching the couple rekindle their feelings and act on their desires. I especially liked how open and honest Bas was with Myst, especially with his desires. While the romance was engaging, I had a few troubles with the suspense/action part of the story which involves the Brotherhood, a high-blood hate group populated by human fanatics. Unfortunately, the group felt like a stereotype of cliched cults. I also felt some of the scenes were too easy, with convenient weapons and perfectly timed coincidences. Additionally, I would have loved it if the part of the story I found most intriguing, having to deal with Molly herself, was explored more. Honestly, my favorite parts of the book had to do with the ongoing denial of Lana and Wolfe as they push the limits of their mutual desire. Ms. Ivy is building a wonderful, über-steamy relationship that drips with sexual tension. I want their book… I want to know more about their paths and how they can work out an HEA. In the end,...
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Jun
7

Review + Excerpt: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Review + Excerpt: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh Allegiance of Honor Author: Nalini Singh Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: B/B- What I’m Talking About: Nalini Singh creates a sweeping look at her entire Psy-Changeling cast of characters and previous storylines with Allegiance of Honor. Bold in scope and content, the book picks up the overarching storyline of the series, focusing on the downfall of Silence and what it means to the three species inhabiting Earth. While there are no new romances or characters featured this time around, the story continues forward the series while giving fans a look at each character and how they’ve fared since introduction. Within the book, there are a handful of primary stories: 1. There is an unknown treat to Lucas and Sascha’s child, Naya; 2. The PsyNet continues to deteriorate even after the re-introduction of Es; 3. There is a lead on one of the missing BlackSea changelings, Leila Savea; 4. Father Xavier Perez is looking for his lost love; 5. Making the Trinity Accord work and what to do with Ming LeBon; and 6. Planning a huge, joint SnowDancer/DarkHunter celebration. Each of these stories progresses, with a conclusion to some, while others may give lead to what looks to be the next story-arc of the series. While I adore the slice of life features Ms. Singh sends in her newsletter and posts online, I now realize that I best enjoy them in small doses. This book felt like it was primarily a huge collection of these short slice-of-life features, and it didn’t always work for me. Each mini-look was interesting, but when all tied together, they started to drag on. I was more interested in the overall storylines and seeing progress, rather than catching up on each character or waiting for the pupcubs to be born. When the book focused on the bigger storylines, like searching for the missing BlackSea member or working on the Trinity Accord, I was completely captivated and hungry for more. I am excited for the future of the series as the three races work together. Overall, I enjoyed Allegiance of Honor, but in the end, I wanted more. The book is entertaining, and I generally liked the little visits with every single character we’ve met in the past, but I wanted more guts to the book. More story and less all over the place. I wanted more of the solid, complex storylines and rich plots that I’ve come to expect and love from Ms. Singh. My Rating:...
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Jun
1

Review: To Love a Wolf by Paige Tyler

Review: To Love a Wolf by Paige Tyler To Love a Wolf Author: Paige Tyler Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: To Love a Wolf is another satisfying installment in the SWAT series.  Gikany and Una have liked Cooper since we met him in the first novel, Hungry Like the Wolf.  We were eager to see him meet his “One” and we were not disappointed, although the mythology took an unexpected turn. Cooper and Everly’s story is a great change of pace from the previous stories.  Shortly after meeting Everly, Cooper rescues her (and a number of other victims) from bank robbers.  However, this is an isolated event, the overarching plot is the search for a bomber.  We really liked how Cooper and Everly met and courted one another.  Everly’s background gives a new twist to the mythology and an interesting obstacle for the destined mates. At the start, the plot of the bomber is really on the back burner while the journey of Everly and Cooper is established.  As the novel progresses, the bomber becomes more prominent, but does not diminishment the romantic plot.  The bomber plot is quite easy to puzzle out.  The plot of Cooper and the bomber was only suspenseful in waiting to see if Cooper would figure it out and how it would all end. With a new twist of the mythology, we wonder if our SWAT wolves will learn more about their natures and history.  Either way, we liked the journey between Cooper and Everly.  Their story, including the love at first sight during a bank robbery, was sweet. If you enjoy a little military/police drama with your paranormal, pick up the SWAT series – it’s good fun!  We recommend reading the series from the beginning since the mythology is slowly divulged through each novel.  One thing is for certain, we look forward to the next novel in the series. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: HE’S FOUND THE ONE… SWAT officer Landry Cooper is certain Everly Danu is The One. The problem is, she has no idea what Cooper really is. And as much as he wants to trust her, he’s not sure he can share his deepest secret… When Everly’s family discovers Cooper’s a werewolf, her brothers will do anything to keep them apart-they’ll kill him if they have to. Everly is falling hard for the ridiculously handsome SWAT officer, and she’s not about to let her brothers tell her who she can...
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May
16

Book Spotlight + Excerpt: Alpha Ever After by Jessica Simms

Book Spotlight + Excerpt: Alpha Ever After by Jessica Simms About the Book: Connor’s loved Savannah from the moment he laid eyes on her. She’s his mate, no matter what she says.  Savannah’s hated the Anderson pack ever since they kidnapped her. That fateful week had big consequences, though, and now she’s pregnant with Connor’s twins. He’s elated. She’s…less enthusiastic. She wants the babies but him? Not so much. He’s a bossy werewolf who thinks he can dictate what she does. She’s a were-cougar who won’t be pushed, especially not by a know-it-all wolf alpha.  So why is it every time that she tries to move on, he’s right there waiting for her? And why does she compare everyone else to a certain tall, dark wolf? Why does she crave Connor more than pickles and ice cream? Purchase Info: Amazon Excerpt: I get to the coffee shop a half hour early just in case Savannah shows up a few minutes ahead of schedule. I scope out the best, quietest table in the place. I want nothing but perfection for my girl. Unfortunately, the best table is also occupied by a guy with a laptop. Fucker. I sit nearby and glare convincingly at him until he gets up and moves to a different table, and then I clean off the surface with a moist towelette. The chairs aren’t super comfortable, and one wobbles, so I switch it out for another. The sunlight is bright as it filters in through the blinds so I get up and adjust them a little. Everything has to be perfect for when my girl gets here. Perfect. I order one of every breakfast sandwich, cookie, bread, and muffin they have, and an iced coffee, a hot coffee, and a soy latte. I get extra napkins and steal the creamer jar from the stand so Savannah can have as much as she wants. I know she likes dairy. I…think. Fuck. I drum my fingers on the table, staring at the front door. Waiting. The sunlight is still casting too much light on her chair, I think, so I move it a little to the left. I don’t want her to have to squint. When I’m satisfied it’s perfect – again – I look up. And there she is. The sight of Savannah always takes my damn breath away. She’s an absolute dream to look at, with that beautiful oval face, those dark eyes and that long fall of silky brown hair. She’s wearing a plain blue...
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May
10

Review: Tieryn’s Fury by Abigail Owen

Review: Tieryn’s Fury by Abigail Owen Tieryn’s Fury Author: Abigail Owen Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: Tieryn’s Fury is the third novel in the Shadowcat Nation series.  Although we enjoyed the couple’s journey in this installment more, the mythology takes a bit of a turn. The Shadowcat Nation series is a fascinating paranormal romance series.  The series centers on mountain lion shifters with wolf, bear, and other animal shifters in the background.  Some of the shifters possess an additional special ability, such as the ability to heal or see the future.  They are rare and therefore protected.  The mountain lion shifter coalition has agreed to only allow each dare (community) to only have one of these special shifters each.  These shifters are cosseted, but their freedom is quite limited. Tieryn is one of these shifters: she has the ability to heal.  We appreciated her stubbornness and drive.  We enjoyed her journey with Shane.  We were intrigued when we were first introduced to this disfigured shifter in Andromeda’s Fall and we wanted to know more about him.  Tieryn and Shane are a good match and the give and take between them was gripping. We were astounded by what we learn about Charles – the odd shifter from the Bear dare.  His background opens up a new aspect to the world, one we are not sure about.  As each book slowly divulges more about the mythology, we aren’t sure where this element will lead.  We look forward to learning more and seeing how this really does fit into the overall world. The escalation of the overarching conflict reaches a pinnacle in this novel as we learn the reasons behind it.  It is shocking to find out who is behind the war and why this war is being waged, but we enjoyed this storyline.  Although the overt fighting may have eased, the war continues.  We are eager to see how this plays out in the next novel. Overall we liked Tieryn’s Fury.  The journey of Shane and Tieryn was captivating.  The revelation of the lead antagonist was gripping and we look forward to the continuing overarching plot line.  Although the mythology opened up in a strange way, we are intrigued by it and looking to learning more in the next installment. Our Rating:  B, Liked It About the Book: The day Shane Callahan lost his wife and was forced to run from the only home they’d ever known was the day he’d vowed...
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