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Currently Browsing: paranormal romance
Aug
31

Review: Sins of the Soul

Review: Sins of the Soul Sins of the Soul Author: Eve Silver Release Date: August 31, 2010 Publisher: Harlequin Otherkin Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-0-373-77483-8 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy I received an ebook (galley) from NetGalley for review. From the Goodreads: Alastor Krayl’s world shattered when he learned that his father was the Underworld god of chaos and evil. All that saved him from self-destruction were his newfound brothers and the bond they shared as soul reapers. So when one of his brothers is murdered, vengeance becomes Alastor’s obsession. And the enigmatic Naphré Kurata, a witness—or is she the killer?—has the answers he seeks.  A reluctant Underworld enforcer, Naphré trusts no one, especially not a seductive soul reaper who makes her burn with lust. Torn between duty and desire, she fights to keep her secrets safe from Alastor, even as she longs to surrender. What I’m talking about: This is the second book in Ms. Silver’s Otherkin Trilogy and it picks up immediately where Book #1, Sins of the Heart, finishes. This book centers on Alastor Krayl, the second son of Underworld Egyptian god, Sutekh. The story focuses on Alastor’s committed drive to discover who murdered his youngest brother, in hopes of reanimating his lost soul. This mystery started in Book #1 and does not finish here. Alastor meets Naphre quite by accident, but is immediately drawn to her. He survives in the harsh Underworld by letting out no emotions, so when Naphre stirs up feelings within him, he’s not sure how to react.  As he follows the clues to discover the truth about his brother, he learns that Naphre is more involved that he could imagine. This feeds his obsession for Naphre and he cannot figure out why he is so attracted to her. But as he grows closer to her, he keeps deep (and important) secrets from her – which in the end could destroy any chance of a relationship. Most of the story is spent on Alastor and Naphre and their mutual desires. We learn very little about the overall “whodunit” storyline, which frustrated me at times. The story is filled with wonderful details and descriptions. I enjoyed following their love story, which is touching (although at times I wanted to strangle Alastor for keeping so many secrets!) The mythology and players are fascinating. But I felt that there was too much time spent on all of the descriptive details and not enough on the action. I want to know what’s going...
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Aug
23

Why I love Fantasy (aka Paranormal Romance)

Why I love Fantasy (aka Paranormal Romance) I have always gravitated towards all things fantasy and sci-fi. I started watching the original Star Trek with my dad at a very young age. We also loved Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, and later Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1. I watched movies like The Last Starfighter, Tron, and Enemy Mine.  I saw the original Star Wars movie when I was 7. We saw it in the theater 3 times and that’s a lot for “back then.”  My reading tastes have also followed suit. Books that I love include Dune, Jurassic Park, and all stories by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.  My mom and most of my friends never understood how I could enjoy something that “isn’t real.” But I argue that life is too hard and “real” at times not to enjoy some reverie.  What I love about fantasy: Anything goes and it’s believable. Take a look at one of my all time favorite books, Dune.  There are giant worms that live on a desert planet. Their waste is the drug of choice in the entire known universe. It’s an absurd idea when I say it like that, but in the book, it’s so real and exciting.  Social issues can be addressed in sometimes sneaky ways. The science fiction film genre has long served as a useful vehicle for “safely” discussing controversial topical issues and often providing thoughtful social commentary on potential unforeseen future issues. Presentation of issues that are difficult or disturbing for an audience, can be made more acceptable when they are explored in a future setting or on a different, earth-like world. (taken from Wikipedia) Take a look at Pixar’s hit Wall-E… A seemingly simple futuristic cartoon for kids. But the adults all know what’s going on – it’s a commentary on obesity, laziness and pollution. There are even underlying themes of over-mechanization (and echo’s of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey).  Escapism.  Come on! There are so many great places you can go and don’t have to deal with real life. Science fiction and fantasy films can take us far away: Aliens, Star Trek(s), Avatar.  They can thrill us at home either now or in the future: Independence Day, The Fifth Element, Mad Max. They can be very serious: Children of Men, V for Vendetta, I am Legend. And they can make us laugh: Running Man, Galaxy Quest, Men in Black. So how does this translate into my love of Paranormal Romance...
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Aug
20

Review: Sin Undone

Review: Sin Undone Sin Undone Author: Larissa Ione Release Date: August 24, 2010 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Demonic Series Book #5 ISBN: #978-0-446-55681-1 Genre: Paranormal Romance I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. From the author’s website:       HER TOUCH IS DEADLY       As the only female Seminus demon ever born, master assassin Sinead Donnelly is used to being treated like an outcast. She spent decades enslaved, and now vows she’ll die before she’ll relinquish her freedom again. Then Sin’s innate ability to kill her enemies goes awry: She creates a lethal new werewolf virus that sparks a firestorm of panic and violence.         HIS HUNGER CAN’T BE DENIED       Half-werewolf, half-vampire Conall Dearghul is charged with bringing in Sin to face punishment for the plague. And she’s no stranger: He’s bound to her by blood, and the one sexual encounter they shared has left him hungering for her raw sensuality. Worse, Sin is the underworld’s most wanted and Con soon learns he’s the only one who can help her . . . and that saving her life might mean sacrificing his own. What I’m talking about:       Picking up right where Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica Series book #4) ends, the gang at Underworld General Hospital (UGH – hospital for demon/paranormal kind) face a plague that has the potential to eradicate all werewolves. At the center of the outbreak is tough-skinned Sinead (Sin), the sister of Lore – hero from book #4. She recently learned that she is the only female Seminus demon (a true “freak of nature”) and has 3 half-brothers that run UGH. She has been used, abused and all alone for pretty much her entire life.  She feels horrible about what’s happened, but cannot express any emotions on the matter, for as a master assassin, Sin cannot afford emotions or morals.       Even though this is the 5th (and final) book in the Demonica Series, it is written in a way that can be enjoyed by both long-time fans and new-to-the-series readers alike. (Of course, if you haven’t read any of the earlier books I recommend them all!) Ms. Ione gives just enough background to help new readers understand her amazing mythology, without completely rehashing the first 4 books. In addition, the story lines are fairly self-contained to this book. Sin is pretty much new to the Demonica...
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Aug
16

Review: Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver

Review: Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver Sins of the Heart Author: Eve Silver  Release Date: July 27, 2010 Publisher: Harlequin Otherkin Series Book #1 ISBN: #0373774826 Genre: Paranormal Fantasy/Romance NOTE: I received an ebook (galley) from NetGalley for review. From the Goodreads: As the son of Sutekh, the lord of evil, Dagan Krayle is one of the most powerful soul reapers. Dagan intends to use every ounce of his power to find his brother’s remains and punish those responsible for his brutal death. But he must move swiftly-and carefully-if he is to have any chance of bringing his brother back to this world, because his enemy is on the hunt.  Otherkin Roxy Tam will stop at nothing to keep the soul reapers from resurrecting Dagan’s brother. To allow Sutekh access to his remains would wreak havoc and destruction on the mortal world…and would be her unforgivable failure.  Neither Dagan nor Roxy expect to join forces for the sake of mankind. Or have their loyalties tested as they struggle against the potent desire that threatens to consume them both…. What I’m talking about: Roxy Tam led a pretty rough life and at 19-years old, it was soon going to be over. Kidnapped by a serial rapist and killer, she had no hope for escape. That is until Dagan Krayle found her.  She watched in terror as he reached into the chests of her captors, removed their hearts and an oily-like, gray substance known as the “darksoul.” He then let her go. Fast forward 11 years and Roxy is now deeply involved with the supernatural and hopes some day to find Dagan again so that she can make him pay for the horrors he brought into her life that fate-filled night. Or, so she tells herself, even though she can’t stop dreaming about Dagan in the most intimate of ways. Welcome to the exciting world of Egyptian mythology! This story is deeply routed in a complex mythology based on ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, and many other existing underworld stories. It took some time for me to get a clear grasp on each of the characters and their roles in this elaborate world, but figuring it all out was half of the fun.  In addition to the wonderfully intricate mythology, Ms. Silver spins a tale of mystery and suspense.  I found myself biting my nails as Roxy and Dagan slowly unraveled the mystery of who or what killed Dagan’s brother (which by the way, is supposed to...
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Jul
28

Guest Review – Original Sin

Guest Review – Original Sin Today I have a special guest here at That’s What I’m Talking About: My dear friend “Westie,” the West Coast Beach Wife from the site Beach Wives’ Diaries. She’s sharing with us her review of Original Sin by Allison Brennan. Take it away Westie… Original Sin Author: Allison Brennan  Release Date: January 2010 Publisher: Ballantine Books The Seven Deadly Sins Series Book #1 ISBN: #0345511670 Genre: Paranormal Romance “Haunted by chilling memories of demonic possession and murder, Moira O’Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira’s global search has led her to a small California town that’s about to become hell on earth.” Hello all and welcome to Westie’s Rear View Review of Original Sin, by Allison Brennan. The book is the first in a magical thriller series about the Seven Deadly Sins being unleashed upon the Earth.  Before I dive on in, I thought I would tell you a little bit about my brushes with feedback and why I bought the book.  So, grab a fruity drink and pull up a chaise lounge and enjoy! When I was very young, my dance training involved four-foot tall Russian ballerinas who were bitter about being displaced in a new country. Teachers would scowl and shout incomprehensible things in Russian at me on a daily basis.  Encouraging words, hope and smiles made weaklings. If one couldn’t take criticism, then one was a weakling crybaby in the Ukraine.  Yes, Madame Ufail AtLifeakov made an indelible impression on me, but somehow it made me stronger.  Book Buying Scenario: I was in Las Vegas, hopped up on decongestants and martinis at 3:00AM.  Desperately needing poolside smut, I scoured a drugstore bookshelf for anything more romantic than Sudoku.  (- Don’t get me wrong, mathy people can be hot!!) Why the Book Appealed to Me: First, Oooooohhh… Shiny. Metallic. Cover. (Damn those marketers!!) Second, it had the label “Paranormal Romance” on the back cover. Sold! What Does Westie Think: First, cheeky chapeaux’s off to Allison Brennan.  Original Sin was far better than anything I could have expected at 3:00AM in Vegas! Moira was a strong, sensual female lead. She fought her inner temptations, in a very human way, to stay on course and do the right thing.  I would trust Moira to lead gaggles of pre-teen Girl Scouts through Venice Beach.  No matter the distraction Moira fights and pulls through,...
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Jul
26

Tempting the Fire – ARC Review

Tempting the Fire – ARC Review Tempting the Fire Author: Sydney Croft  Release Date: July 27, 2010 Publisher: Bantam Books ACRO Series Book #5 ISBN: #978-0-385-34228-5 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance NOTE: An Advance Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the author for the purposes of review. From the author’s website: EXTREME HEAT. EXTREME HUNGER. A JUNGLE EDEN ABLAZE WITH TEMPTATION..      Shockwaves shoot through the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives (ACRO) when horrific video surfaces from the Brazilian rain forest. A team of Navy SEALs has been nearly wiped out by something sinister and superhuman. Now ACRO agents Sela Kahne and Marlena West head to the world’s most unforgiving jungle in pursuit of a mythical monstrosity with a taste for human blood. And the only path that will take them to the creature runs through two men, each hiding his own dark secret.      Sela is an expert on cryptozoology with a sideline skill that could prove invaluable: when she makes love to a man, she engulfs his innermost thoughts. Teamed with Marlena, Sela makes contact with the lone SEAL survivor, Chance McCormack. Meanwhile Logan Mills, the man who rescued Chance, leads his private company on a hunt that has nothing to do with saving lives. Soon, Sela will put her supernatural charms to work on Logan, determined to extract information about the creature they are seeking. But in this sweat-drenched realm of danger and deception, Logan is more than just a passive target. He has the power to lead a highly-trained seducer into a jungle without any rules, without any limits—and no end to the heat. What I’m talking about:      This book sizzles from the first page until the end! ACRO veteran agent, Sela, and first time field operative, Marlena, head to the Brazilian rain forest to find out more about the mysterious creature that was filmed attacking a SEAL team, and more importantly stop the para-military group, GWC, that is camped near the attack site, from selling weapons to ITOR (the bad guys). Even though Marlena is sent to seduce GWC head, Logan, she is unexplainably drawn to the loan SEAL survivor, Chance. Meanwhile, as Sela tries to push Logan towards Marlena, she can’t help but fall for his wicked charm and sex appeal.      The story that takes place down in the rain forest is SMOKIN’ HOT and exciting. Each individual struggles with a strong (never felt before) attraction, keeping a personal...
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Jul
21

Bonds of Justice – Review

Bonds of Justice – Review Bonds of Justice Author:Nalini Singh  Release Date: July 6, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Psy/Changeling Series Book #8 ISBN: #0425235440 Genre: Paranormal Romance From the author’s website: Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of a catastrophic mental fracture… Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy, cursed with the ability to retrieve memories from men and women so twisted even veteran cops keep their distance. Appointed as Max’s liaison with the Psy, she finds herself fascinated by this human, her frozen heart threatening to thaw with forbidden emotion. But, her mind filled with other people’s nightmares, other people’s evil, she’s standing on the border between sanity and a silken darkness that urges her to take justice into her own hands, to become judge, jury…and executioner… What I’m talking about:      In Ms. Singh’s 8th novel-length installment of the wonderful Psy/Changeling series, we have hero, Max, a hard-edged cop, who we met in Book 4: Mine to Possess. When the story starts, Max is working on a brutal case of a serial killer sociopath, with the assistance of J-Psy, Sophia Russo. The two feel a mutual attraction and both decide to act on these feelings when they are thrown together while working on a special investigation for Psy Council member, Nikita Duncan. Sophia is willing to risk “break Silence” to be with Max because she is scheduled for complete rehabilitation (read: brain wipe and complete loss of memories, personality) within the immediate future.      The story lines of the serial killer and the investigation into the attempts on Nikita’s life criss-crossed throughout the story and both were used to forward the overall story arc in the series. The information we learned about the PsyNet and Psy Council was exciting and set the series up for the final two (upcoming) books in the story arc. Learning who was behind the attempts on Nikita’s life and where allegiances lie within the Council was what kept me reading this story.  The book shined brightest when dealing with Nikita’s estranged daughter, Sascha, and the...
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Jul
20

Eve of Samhain – Review

Eve of Samhain – Review Eve of Samhain Author: Lisa Sanchez  Release Date: May 2010 Publisher: Omnific Publishing ISBN: #1-936305-20-8 Genre: Paranormal Romance NOTE: an electronic copy of this book was provided to me by the author for review purposes. From the publisher’s website: As a college senior and server at Hanaford Park’s hottest nightclub, twenty-one year old Ryann Pierce’s plan was simple: work hard, make lots of money, and avoid the ass-grabbers at all costs. What she never planned for was Quinn Donegan—the living, breathing advertisement for sinful behavior that waltzed into her life. With an angelic face, a hard body and a butt-load of charm, Quinn had a way with the ladies—a lot of ladies. Cursed with a deadly, addictive touch, his trail of indiscretion blazed across five hundred years. Tired and jaded, Ryann is a shocking revelation Quinn didn’t see coming. Filled with desire, yet unable to touch one another, Ryann and Quinn embark on a daunting journey, battling frustrating physical limitations while exploring their new love. In a race against the clock, Ryann learns she must plead for Quinn’s life before…the Eve of Samhain. Determined to end her lover’s suffering, not even the danger dogging her every move can keep her from her mission. What I’m talking about: Ryann works hard to put herself through school and it seems like she doesn’t have much time for a social life. She is required to wear a “Hooters” type outfit for her waitressing job and gets an earful from drunken patrons from time to time. In walks mysterious Quinn. Ryann’s body responds immediately, but Quinn’s personality left little for Ryann to desire. This relationship starts with the typical “I can’t stand him, but I want him” storyline.  Quickly Quinn and Ryann develop a friendship of sorts and she finds out that he is actually an Irish Faery. We also learn that there is an evil “presence” stalking Ryann, and Quinn is determined to keep her safe. This story is told in the first-person point-of-view of heroine, Ryann, which means we get only her side of the story and an insight into her feelings. This is not a detractor to the book, but it did cause a bit of frustration on my part. Due to this and Ryann’s poor body image, the first half of this book drove me a little nutty. I felt that Ryann lacked any confidence and positive self-image. The girl is 5’ 7” and ONLY 135 pounds, yet she...
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Jul
15

Demon Blood – Review

Demon Blood – Review Demon Blood Author:Meljean Brook  Release Date: July 6, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Guardian Series Book # 6 (story 10 if include the novellas) ISBN: #0425235475 Genre: Paranormal Romance From the author’s website:       Long before she was transformed into a Guardian and trained to fight demons, Rosalia knew darkness all too well. Raised by a demon, Rosalia learned to guard her heart—and her soul—until she found a man worthy of her love. Once, she thought that man would be the powerful vampire, Deacon…until he betrayed the Guardians.       After losing everything to the lies of a demon, Deacon lives only for revenge—and is taken aback when Rosalia offers to help. A vampire who has nothing—who is nothing—isn’t worthy of her attention. But Rosalia wants to do more than just look, and the explosive need between them can’t be held in check. And when Deacon’s vengeful quest creates a dangerous alliance of their enemies, she will be his only hope… What I’m talking about:       I’m going to state up front that I LOVE the Guardian series. The mythology is interesting and unique, the story lines are exciting, the romance is sizzling, and Meljean does such an amazing job with character development that I am sad to say good-bye when I finish reading each story.  Demon Blood is no exception to this.       Picking up where Demon Forged ended, we find Guardian Rosalia recovered from her “abduction” and back in her own territory fighting demons. She runs into vampire (and traitor) Deacon once night, 6 months after she saved his life.  She begins to formulate a detailed plan that will get rid of several mutual enemies and begins to convince Deacon he needs to join her.       Immediately I was drawn to this couple. They each have a longing and ache to be with one another, but their individual and mutual pasts block the way. Their story is heartbreaking and I was routing for them to get together right away. And when I finally thought it was going to happen, my heart was ripped out. [MILD SPOILER] In an intense scene that emotionally crushes both characters, Deacon assumes that Rosalia will allow him to sexually use her just to get him to help her with her plans. Oh, the drama! I was in tears for both characters.       But as much as I was cheering for Rosie and...
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Jul
6

Review of The Darkest Lie

Review of The Darkest Lie The Darkest Lie Author: Gena Showalter Release Date: June 29, 2010 Publisher: Harlequin Lords of the Underworld Series Book #6 ISBN: #0373774613 Genre: Paranormal Romance From the author’s website:      Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife.  He doesn’t remember the beautiful female, much less wedding — or bedding — her.  But he wants to . . . almost as much as he wants her.     But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free, and a future with her means risking everything.  Especially as Gideon’s enemies draw closer . . . and the truth threatens to destroy all he’s come to love . . . What I’m talking about:      We were introduced to Scarlet in the last Lords of the Underworld story, The Darkest Passion, and my interest was piqued… a Lord that was once married and happy? I didn’t think that was possible knowing their tortured pasts and battles with their inner demons. But enter captive demi-goddess Scarlet who claims that Gideon, keeper of Lies, was once her husband – yet he doesn’t recall a thing. However, he knows he must have a connection with Scarlet based on their matching tattoos and the dreams he has had about her.      The story unfolds as Gideon tries to soften Scarlet so she’ll tell him about their shared past. She is reluctant to tell him anything because she is hurt and heart-broken from all of the years he has abandoned her. Yet as they play games back and forth, they grow to trust and love one another.      I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the story of Gideon and Scarlet. To me, Scarlet wasn’t the strong warrior woman that our Lords have come to love and respect. She was wishy-washy and I felt she didn’t hold her own in the story. In the beginning she didn’t want to get her heart broken by Gideon again. She refused to tell him anything about their past even when he clearly didn’t recall a thing. By the end of the story she didn’t want to be with Gideon because she was afraid she’d be the cause of harm to him (via her aunt and/or mom). She was looking for any excuse not to be with Gideon and she...
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