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Dec
31

Review: Kiss at Your Own Risk

Review: Kiss at Your Own Risk Kiss at Your Own Risk Author: Stephanie Rowe Release Date: January, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Soulfire series, Book 1ISBN: #9781402241956 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback, ebook I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: He needed a killer woman… Blaine Underhill is one lucky man after having recently escaped a century and a half of imprisonment at the hands of an evil witch. Now he’s determined to save his still-enslaved friend, but in order to do so, he’ll need the help of one of the world’s most lethal women. She was drop dead gorgeous, literally… Trinity Harpswell is sick and tired of being a Black Widow. Having managed to go three years without accidentally killing anyone she loves, she’s one short week away from freeing herself from this killer curse forever.  When Blaine tracks her down and convinces her to help him, little does Trinity know that the next seven days are going to be murder! What B is talking about: Trinity Harpswell is a recovering Black Widow, or is trying very hard to be. Whenever she develops feelings for a man, her inner spider is triggered and she is compelled to kill him. Now, she’s seven days away from ending her curse forever. No more intentionally dating the most repulsive men she can find, no more making herself look as awful as she feels, no more “Oops, guess what I just did again” relocations for her family…just a normal life. Unfortunately, nothing is ever that simple for Trinity. Blaine Underhill has just escaped over a century of torturous captivity at the hands of the powerful Black Witch, Angelica. When one of his friends is betrayed and recaptured during their getaway, however, he becomes determined to find a way to rescue him and kill the witch once and for all. His plan only has a few flaws, namely that she can’t be killed, and any rescue attempt will only land Blaine and his friends right back where they started. Only one kind of being is guaranteed to be able to kill anything, and Blaine needs one fast: a Black Widow.  Sometimes the best books are the ones that make you laugh when you’re not at all prepared for it. Kiss at Your Own Risk, the first in Rowe’s new Soulfire series, definitely falls into that category. If this book wasn’t as much fun to write as...
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Dec
14

Review: Size Matters

Review: Size Matters Size Matters Author: Stephanie Julian  Release Date: available now Publisher: Ellora’s Cave ISBN: #9781419930294 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book (novella length) I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:      Carrie Benton’s got the best job in the world working as a reporter for the Weekly News Journal. Chupacabra picnicking at the Jersey shore? Check. Aliens in the White House? Absolutely. Bigfoot stalking the forests of northern Pennsylvania? Well, okay… but Bigfoot is so Left Coast.      Tim Sattazahn can’t believe his luck. The six-foot redhead who crashed into his forest during a snowstorm is gorgeous, funny and hot for him.  Everything would be perfect except for the fact that she’s looking for Bigfoot.      And, unfortunately for Tim, she’s found him… What I’m talking about:      Carrie Benton doesn’t believe any of the stories that her paper, The Weekly News, prints. But she’s happy to put her reporting skills and her talent for making anything sound believable to good use as a writer.  In order to follow up on a prime story, Carrie heads out to the woods in snow storm to grab some photos for a Bigfoot sighting.      After crashing her car, Carrie heads into the unknown in hopes of finding some help. Little does she know that she’s being watched by tall, dark and sexy, Tim – who is the only person living out there for miles. When Carrie passes out, Tim makes his move and rescues her – taking her back to his home for recovery. After Carrie wakes, the two hit it off spectacularly, and both realize that there may be more to their relationship than just hot sex.      I really enjoyed this novella from Ms. Julian. It’s a quick read full of fun and smokin’ romance. The mythology is very original – I can’t say that I’ve ever read a “Bigfoot romance” before.  As corny as it may sound, the story is actually very smart and well written. I enjoyed the pop-culture references (especially since I’m a sci-fi geek) and the thoughtful dialogue between Carrie and Tim.      Although it’s a shorten-length story, the characters are well-developed and interesting. Carrie is an independent woman that can think on her own and has sex because she likes it.  The romance is not based on the stars alining or any magicks, just a...
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Dec
6

Review & Giveaway: Black Wings

Review & Giveaway: Black Wings Black Wings Author: Christina Henry  Release Date: November 30, 2010 Publisher: Ace Fantasy Madeline Black Series Book #1 ISBN: #978-0441019632 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (304 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From GoodReads:       As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It’s a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.        Maddy’s position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.        Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy’s building. It’s probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.        Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell… What I’m talking about:       Black Wings is an exciting new Urban Fantasy with a new twist on some familiar mythology. The story centers on a “who’s who” list of demons and angels – but adds several new faces to create a wonderful new world full of mystery, action and adventure.  Set in modern day Chicago, the story focuses on the life of Agent Madeline Black (Maddy).  Agents are humans with wings who born into their job helping souls of the departed cross through to the otherside.  But it’s not a romantic job – full of paperwork and schedules. Even Agents of Death have to deal with bureaucracy.       Maddy lives on her own, with only the companionship of a gargole named Beezle.  Her mom was killed when Maddy was a teen and her dad was never part of the picture.  She lives a solitary life and doesn’t do anything to shake it up.  So when a mysterious new tenant moves into her building and her best friend is killed by some unknown monster, Maddy’s life changes dramatically and drastically. She finds out that she is part of a much larger world that she never dared dream existed.    ...
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Dec
2

Review: Beneath the Thirteen Moons

Review: Beneath the Thirteen Moons Beneath the Thirteen Moons Author: Kathryne Kennedy  Release Date: Hardcover December 2003     re-release December 1, 2010 Publisher: Sourcebooks ISBN: #978-1402236518 Genre: Fantasy, Romance Format(s): paperback (384 pgs), e-book I received an ARC copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: He’s a ruler in a divided world… In a magical watery world of the Sea Forest, the divide between the rulers and the people is an uncrossable chasm. Handsome, arrogant prince Korl Com’nder has lived a life of luxury that is nothing more than a fantasy to the people he rules. Until the day he is accidentally kidnapped by a beautiful outlaw smuggler and is forced to open his eyes to the world outside his palace walls.  She’s an outcast, but at least she has her independence… Mahri Zin would stop at nothing to save her village, and when they needed a healer she didn’t think twice about kidnapping one. But when she realizes that the healer she so impulsively stole is none other than the crown prince of Sea Forest, Mahri knows that she has a chance to change the fate of her people… What I’m talking about: The Sea Forest world is magical land that is completely covered in water, where massive trees grow up from the ocean floor to support an entire eco-system within their branches. There is no ground: only roots, branches, and channels.  Dwellings are carved into these magnificent trees. In this world there are two classes of humans: the Royals and the Water-rats.  The Royals control everything, including the sacred zabbaroot, which gives those with tolerance to its poison, special mental abilities.  Mahri is a Wilding, a non-Royal with an extremely high-tolerance of the zabbaroot, which gives her amazing Sight and abilities to control the movement of water and in some situations, human muscles.  Wildings are hunted by the Royals because they are viewed as a threat to their control over the planet. When Mahri’s village is threatened by a horrible disease, she kidnaps the first Healer she can locate, only to find out later that he is Korl, the crown prince of the Sea Forest.  Each feel a strong and undeniable connection from the start.  As the two make the long trip back to Mahri’s village, they learn more about each other and the culture in which they are trapped. Ms. Kennedy has created an amazing and original mythology. The...
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Nov
26

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James

Review: Firewalker by Allyson James Firewalker Author: Allyson James  Release Date: November 2, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Stormwalker Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-0425237823 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book I won an ARC copy of this book from the author. From the author’s website: Mick must face the dragon council for breaking their laws, and while he doesn’t seem too worried about his upcoming trial, but Janet will do anything to keep him safe. She’ll need a little help from her friends, old and new: Nash and Coyote; Cassandra, a powerful witch turned hotel manager; Colby a sort-of-trustworthy dragon. But now a new, dark power is stirring in Magellan that Janet must face, but even more frightening, one is stirring within herself.  What I’m talking about: **This review contains minor spoilers from the first book, Stormwalker. Firewalker is the second book in Ms. James’ Stormwalker series, and it starts a short time after the end of the first book.  Janet Begay, a Native American stormwalker, with the power of Beneath magic from her goddess mother, has settled down in Megellan and opened up the hotel she was renovating throughout all of book one.  She’s hired a witch, Cassandra, to manager her place and business is good. Mick’s been missing for three weeks, and although he has been more open with Janet since she found out he is a dragon, it still isn’t completely odd for him to be gone without notice.  But when a shifter comes into the hotel demanding to speak with her, Janet realizes that Mick is in trouble. Mick is guilty of breaking Dragon law when he allowed Janet to live (backstory in Stormwalker). Dragons are honorable, and he intends to stand trial – even when the verdict is already known.  But before he can get there, a new evil finds its way into Megellan – one with a familiarity that reminds Janet of her evil mother.  Now Janet, Mick, Nash and their new friends must figure out who is responsible for the gruesome death of an unknown hiker before more innocent people are killed – and in time to save Mick from the dragons and his own honor. Once again, Ms. James weaves together an amazing Paranormal Romance/Mystery-Suspense story. At the core of her work is a complex “whodunit,” full of twists and turns, that keeps the reader engaged until the conclusion. But what makes the book truly superb is the cast of characters that inhabit this...
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Nov
23

Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James

Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James Stormwalker Author: Allyson James  Release Date: May 4, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Stormwalker Series Book #1 ISBN: #978-0425234693 Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book From the author’s website: Half-Navajo Janet Begay possesses extraordinary power which is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she’s caught in the storm’s evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can’t seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet’s never sure where he goes when they’re not together. Together they investigate mysterious disappearances, which Janet fears are tied to her mother’s people, the mythical gods from below the earth. They are helped along the way by Coyote and Crow, but these shapeshifting gods have their own agendas. What I’m talking about: Janet Begay is a stormwalker: she can utilize the power of a storm, bending and controlling it to meet her desires.  But this magic comes at a price – it leaves her physically drained and sick. Only her mysterious ex-boyfriend, Mick, can absorb the excess magic and help Janet stay sane.  But Mick isn’t always around and Janet has learned to stand on her own.  So when Mick rides into town wanting to pick up where their relationship left off 5 years ago, Janet doesn’t know what to do. She misses him. She wants him. But he broke her heart. Janet is sexy and a strong heroine-just the kind I like. She’s tough – renovating a hotel in a town full of folks that don’t necessarily accept her.  Oh, and she is willing to stay in town to face off against the dark forces from Beneath, controlled by her evil goddess of a mother.  She takes hit after hit, but doesn’t give up.  Yet Janet is also vulnerable – she wants to run away with Mick, but knows she can’t. She wants to take the easy road, but won’t. It is these two sides of Janet that make her such a compelling character. She is a super hero and a normal gal all rolled into one. Janet isn’t the only great character in Stormwalker.  Mick, her on-again, off-again lover/boyfriend is an enigma. He’s sexy, and his love for Janet is sweet. Even though he is a valiant protecter and seems to know everything, there are somethings he just doesn’t understand when it comes to Janet. Or he may get it,...
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Nov
18

Review & Giveaway: Promises in the Dark

Review & Giveaway: Promises in the Dark Promises In The Dark Author:Stephanie Tyler  Release Date: November 23, 2010 Publisher: here Shadow Force Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-0440245971 Genre: Military/Suspense Romance Format(s): paperback (416 pages), e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       On the run, in each other’s arms, with one last chance to survive.       A rugged Navy SEAL, Zane Scott was part of a failed mission to rescue Dr. Olivia Strohm from abduction by the terrorist group Dead Man’s Hand (DMH)—and her anguished screams have haunted him ever since. So when he gets word that the beautiful physician has escaped from her captors in Africa, he’s got personal reasons to storm the continent and save her.       Like her would-be liberator, Olivia carries the burden of a dark secret from her past. Ruthless and relentless, the DMH has threatened to hunt her down – and to systematically hurt anyone she’s close to. The last thing she wants is to be rescued—even by someone as shockingly handsome as Zane. Yet the hot-headed special ops hero has come for her, and together she and Zane just might have a shot at not only stopping DMH’s reign of terror, but also saving what’s left of their souls. What I’m talking about:       Promises in the Dark picks up about 6 months after the end of Lie With Me, with Dr. Olivia Strohm having escaped her evil captors. She’s on the run and hiding in Africa, hoping that she’ll never be found – by anyone. Meanwhile, Zane has spent all of his free time trying to track down and rescue Olivia. He is drawn to her and cannot get her out of his mind – even though he’s never met her.  Once Zane finds Olivia, sparks fly and it’s up to Zane to convince Olivia she’s better off leaving Africa.  Together they make their way to a small missionary medical treatment clinic on their way to safety.  There they meet Doc J (it’s his place), Tristan, and Rowan.       Meanwhile, back in the states, Zane’s brother, Cael is on a mission for the Army to determine if computer genius Vivienne Clare knows that her new nuclear plant security program was stolen by the terrorist group DMH, or even worse – if she sold it to them.  But when Vivi’s life is on the...
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Nov
2

Review: Ghost Town

Review: Ghost Town Ghost Town Author:Rachel Caine  Release Date: October 26, 2010 Publisher: NAL Hardcover Morganville Vampire Series Book #9  ISBN: #978-0451231611 Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Format(s): Hardcover (352 pages), e-book, audio I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From Goodreads:       The fragile peace between humans and vampires in Morganville is in trouble, and when Claire takes drastic action, she’s put under serious pressure to re-establish the barriers that keep the town residents inside, and wipe the memories of those who leave. But working with her half-crazy vampire boss Myrnin means that things don’t always turn out as planned … and as the people of Morganville begin acting strangely, Claire and her friends must solve the mystery and try to put things right. But one by one, her allies are turning on her … even the ones she trusts most. What I’m talking about:       This is my first Morganville Vampire book. Yes, I skipped books 1 through 8 and started here with #9. This goes against all of my rules for reading, but I received the book from the publisher and was told that it would be okay to jump in.  And she was right – I was able to read and enjoy the story without knowing the entire history of Morganville. HOWEVER – it was very clear to me that I have missed out on a rich backstory and a lot of character development. I think fans of the series will get much more of an emotional impact from the book than I did.  However, the story captured my interest, and I find that now I want to read the first 8 books to fill in those holes.       Here is the brief background I inferred from reading Ghost Town – Morganville is a unique town – one where humans and vampires coexist in a tenuous relationship. Vampires founded the town (here is where one place I wish I knew more), and they make the rules. Apparently residents cannot leave unless permission is granted by the vampires. Our heroine, Claire, is a student at the local university and is a very special and bright girl. She works for/with the town’s “mad scientist” Vampire, Myrnin. Clare lives with boyfriend, Shane, and best friends, Eve and Michael (a vampire). They have some special privileges granted from the “head” vamp, Amelie – clearly something that happened in earlier books.       In Ghost...
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Oct
29

Review: Geist

Review: Geist Geist Author:Philippa Ballantine Release Date: October 26, 2010 Publisher: Ace Fantasy Book of the Order #1 ISBN: #978-0441019618 Genre: Fantasy Format(s): paperback (304 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of an honest review. From the back cover:      Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists…       Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse.       But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows.  Even if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in the hell is she returning to? What I’m talking about:      Welcome to Arykham, where the presence of ghosts and spirits (geists) are unfortunately commonplace. But thankfully, the geists conform to a set of known parameters, and the Order protects the citizens from ultimate danger. The setting of the book, Arykaham, is historical in nature – no electricity, and horses, ships and dirigibles are the modes of transportation, etc. The society is run by an Emperor, with the Order acting as a quasi-religious group that protects the world from the geists.      The book opens with Sorcha and her husband fighting off a powerful geist attack on a crowd.  In this initial attack, Sorcha’s husband is brutally injured by the geist – something that goes against the “known rules” for the Otherside. With her husband (and partner) disabled, Sorcha is given a new partner and sent north to help the town of Ulrich.      Enter novice Merrick Chambers. He has a history with Sorcha, although she doesn’t know it. He is untested and a bit scared. But soon the pair discovers that all of the “known rules” for the Otherside are being tossed out the window, which forces them to rely on and trust...
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Oct
26

Review: Play of Passion

Review: Play of Passion Play of Passion Author:Nalini Singh Release Date: November 2, 2010 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Psy-Changeling Series Book #9 ISBN: #978-0425237793 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (321 pages), e-book I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Passion and reason collide with explosive force in the newest installment of Nalini Singh’s “mesmerizing” Psy/Changeling series. As a conflict with Pure Psy looms on the horizon, two powerful wolves fight a far more intimate war of their own… In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf. Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will. Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home… What I’m talking about:      After two books which did not feature a Changeling in the “main couple,” Nalini Singh makes up for it in her ninth Psy-Changling story with the pairing of two Wolf Breeds: Drew and Indigo. And what a treat it is! For me, the Changelings are the heart and soul of Ms. Singh’s series, and this book highlights all the wonder that is Changeling. They are full of powerful emotions that help shape Ms. Singh’s sensual, yet action-packed world.      For those unfamiliar with this incredible series, the world is made up of 3 races: Psy: cerebral and emotionally void people that hold most political and financial offices; Changeling: shifters of many different species, in-tune with nature, emotionally fierce and loyal; and humans: the supporting race in the middle. The books focus primarily on two dominant Changeling packs: SnowDancers, which are wolves and DarkRiver, which are leopards.      Play of Passion is set in SnowDancer territory – the home of the wolf pack. We learn a great...
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