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Currently Browsing: Rating B
Mar
11

Review: Dead Waters

Review: Dead Waters Dead Waters Author: Anton Strout  Release Date: February 22, 2011 Publisher: Ace Simon Canderous Series Book 4 ISBN: #978-0441020119 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), ebook I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: With Manhattan’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs in disarray (forget vampires and zombies- it’s the budget cuts that can kill you), Simon Canderous is still expected to stamp out any crime that adds the “para” to “normal.”  And his newest case is no exception… A university professor has been found murdered in his apartment.  His lungs show signs of death by drowning.  But his skin and clothes? Bone dry. Now Simon has to rely on his own powers- plus a little help from his ghost-whispering partner and technomancer girlfriend- to solve a mystery that has the NYPD stumped and the D.E.A. shaken and stirred. What B is talking about: Simon Canderous has it rough. He’s a psychometrist (someone who can “read” the history of an object by touching it) with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs – Other Division, and he’s trying to solve a murder, all while dealing with bureaucrats and budget cuts. Never mind the resurrected victim, a vengeful Naiad, and his girlfriend’s need for extra drawer space. It’ll take everything Simon and his colleagues can do to save themselves…and New York City while they’re at it!  I wasn’t sure what to think about Dead Waters at first. I felt a little disoriented trying to follow all the scene changes in the beginning, which shouldn’t be surprising when starting an established series with a book other than the first one. The previous books in the series, Dead to Me, Deader Still, and Dead Matter, would definitely have been a more solid beginning.  Aside from the learning curve, I really enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud at Strout’s comic skewering of governmental procedure, oblivious restructuring, and fiscal mishandling. Despite these challenges, the D.E.A. (loved the acronym) functions as a secondary character. In fact, Simon and his fellow employees are more like a moderately dysfunctional family than a team.  Simon isn’t cuddly. He’s immature, vain, and obstinate, but he’s got a lot to contend with to be a young member of the Other Division, especially when his psychometry leaves him with some serious emotional baggage to carry around. Simon is also caring, determined, and heroic, though, and Strout makes it all work somehow.  I...
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Feb
24

Review: Moonlight Menage

Review: Moonlight Menage Moonlight Ménage Author: Stephanie Julian Release Date: March 2010 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Lucani Lovers, Book 2 ISBN: #978-1419927485 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotica Format(s): E-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:      For eight years, Etruscan witch Tira Belludi has longed for the two shifter men who hold her heart. But visions of death and fears for her sanity have forced her to keep her distance.      Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati are brothers in everything but blood and partners who have each other’s backs. They share a home, a job and had planned to share their life with Tira between them…until she saw their future and built a wall around her heart.      Now danger and death stalk Nic and Duke. And Tira must make a choice—grab love while she has the chance or watch Nic die from afar and lose Duke forever. What B is talking about:      Tira Belludi has inherited the gift of “Praenuntio” (foresight) from her mother, but views it as more of a curse. Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati have loved Tira for years, knew instantly she was their mate, but have all but given up on ever finding happiness together since Tira pulled away from them after she foresaw the death of one of their trio, and the destruction of all that remained of it.      Moonlight Ménage is the second book in Julian’s Lucani Lovers series, and while the sex was hotter, Tira’s evolution left me hoping for a little more. Unlike, Tamra, in Kiss of Moonlight, Tira is overwhelmed and cowed by her circumstances throughout most of the novel. By comparison, Nic and Duke are rich, vibrant characters that bear the weight of the story’s conflict well. I did feel sympathetic to Tira’s situation, but wish she’d fought more resolutely for her heart’s desire earlier on.      As to the sex…while I’ve certainly read naughtier depictions (*blush*), Moonlight Ménage definitely ramps it up a notch. Or two, to be more specific. This is a strictly heterosexual ménage a trios, as Nic and Duke never interact sexually with each other, but share Tira as their mate. They are two straight men sharing a sexual relationship with one woman at the same time. Once they all decide to take what they want despite the fate they’d previously accepted, they have a string...
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Feb
16

Review: Kiss of Moonlight

Review: Kiss of Moonlight Kiss of Moonlight Author: Stephanie Julian  Release Date: October 2009 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Lucani Lovers Series, Book 1 ISBN: #978-1419925399 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotica Format(s): E-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Plagued by nightmares. Stalked by kidnappers. Tamra McMillan needs a safe haven. When tattooed bad-ass Kyle Rossini steps into her life, she didn’t expect to find a sanctuary from her demons or hot sex. But appearances can be deceiving. His tender touch and the hunger in his eyes brands her his for life. But otherworldly forces are afoot and death hovers… Etruscan werewolf Kyle Rossini is a loner. The king’s assassin with a killer’s instincts. The last thing he needs is a mate.  Until he meets the one woman who needs him more than he needs his solitude. When Tamra stumbles into his world and his bed, she captures his heart. And nothing will keep him from her. What B is talking about: Like any proper Alpha Male, Kyle Rossini keeps mostly to himself, is content to do his job as his king’s assassin, and likes to work on his muscle car in his spare time. An early (and refreshing) deviation from the stereotype comes in the form of Kyle’s fifteen year old daughter, Catene, who decides their new neighbor might be in trouble, and needs checking on. Tamra McMillan is running from her memories of a horrific attack and has isolated herself in her family’s old, run-down cabin in an attempt to come to terms with it and eventually reenter her former life. She’s looking for a decent night’s sleep and some inner peace, not earth-shattering sex, and certainly not a Lucani (an Etruscan skin-shifter) mate. Of course, things hardly ever go as planned, and Tamra gets more than she could have ever anticipated. Readers should know that there are vague flashbacks of the attack on Tamra. They aren’t overly explicit, but are mentioned through her memories and as details from the police report, as well as in a general overview of her case Kyle discovers while looking for particulars on Tamra online. I didn’t feel they overwhelmed the story in any way, however, but instead illustrate Tamra’s inner strength in overcoming what happened to her. Kiss of Moonlight definitely has some predictable moments and repetitions, but they don’t do the book any real harm. Julian injects a lot of originality...
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Feb
15

Review & Giveaway: Pleasures Untold

Review & Giveaway: Pleasures Untold Pleasures Untold Author: Lisa Sanchez  Release Date: February 8, 2011 Publisher: Omnific Publishing Hanaford Park Series Book #2 ISBN: #978-1936305599 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (191 pgs), e-book I received a e-ARC of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From Goodreads: Hell hath no fury like a witch done wrong. Pissed off and packing an arsenal of witchy mojo, Martha is on the warpath. Determined to avenge the murder of her mother and grandmother, her mission is simple: kill every vampire, demon and underworld bastard she comes across, because one of those hell beasts might be the monster that stole her childhood from her. But when a sexy Latin vamp literally falls from the sky, saving her from becoming an undead Happy Meal, she has no choice but to reassess everything she thinks she knows.  Xan is an anomaly–a vampire born, not turned. A powerful warlock who walks in daylight, Xan spends his days, and nights, watching over Martha, protecting her from Lucian, the blood-sucking monstrosity whose sole mission in death is to drain her dry. Undeniable attraction and the promise of pleasures untold draw the two lovers into a frustrating dance of one step forward, two steps back. When Lucian throws down a deadly ultimatum, Martha is forced to choose between relying on her own mystical woo woo to save the lives of her stolen friends or succumbing to the lure of dark, voodoo magic. Xan and Martha must work together to save those closest to her and put an end to Lucian’s reign of terror before it’s too late. What I’m talking about: Lisa Sanchez’s sophomore release opens with a trio of roommates heading for a night out after one of the girls broke up with her cheating boyfriend. Never one to conform with the crowds, Martha uses wit and sarcasm to pass the time as they wait to enter the club. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when one roommate heads off alone with a vampire disguised as a co-ed. Using her Wiccan and slaying skills, Martha takes on the undead romeo and finds herself face-to-face with the man of her dreams, literally.  Soon after, Martha’s world begins to turn on edge as she discovers secrets about her own past that have been long hidden. Pleasures Untold is the second story in Ms. Sanchez’s Hanaford Park series about paranormal activities on/near a college campus. Although Martha and her...
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Feb
8

Review: The Last Watcher

Review: The Last Watcher The Last Watcher Author: Misty Burke  Release Date: December 13, 2010 Publisher: Evernight Publishing Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): e-book I received a copy of this book from the author for the purpose of an honest review. From the author’s website: Sarah Thompson knows what it’s like to have a midlife crisis at twenty nine.  She has spent the last several years running her own yoga studio and trying to survive being single in a small gossipy town. And if that were not enough, she decides it is the perfect time to go back to school. So you see, Sarah’s world was already spinning when she learns that her hunky professor has teeth … as in Vampire teeth! This undead hero, aka Charles Underwood, introduces her to a fantastic world filled with good and evil. It is a world where Sarah learns that she is a Watcher. Her birthmark foretells a prophecy that throws her into the middle of a magical conflict where battle lines have already been drawn. Does Sarah trust this new found hero or is she just a pawn in his plans to win the war? What I’m talking about: Sarah Thompson decides to head back to college just before her thirtieth birthday. She rushes into her first class and meets her handsome professor, Charles Underwood. When Sarah is spooked trying to find her car after class, Charles offers her a ride home, and for some reason – although she’s a bit freaked out – she cannot say no. The next morning, when Sarah wakes with confused memories of fangs and her hunky professor, she starts to wonder if the crazy stories her grandmother used to tell her may actually be true.  Sarah is quickly drawn into the supernatural world that surrounds her. She is saved by Charles more than once and she discovers that she is also part of the whole paranormal scene.  The story behind this book is an interesting one. Although my immediate reaction was to think of BUFFY when I read the word “Watcher,” this story is not “The Vampire Slayer.” In fact, the vampires are some of the good guys in Ms. Burke’s tale. A Watchers’ job is to keep balance among the paranormal, but the evil Warlocks want a war – no harmony. Sarah is put in the middle of a battle that she isn’t prepared to join. The premise of harmony among the “freaks” is one I enjoyed reading. Although...
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Feb
3

Review: The Werewolf Upstairs

Review: The Werewolf Upstairs The Werewolf Upstairs Author: Ashlyn Chase Release Date: February 1, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebooks Strange Neighbors Book #2 ISBN: #978-1402236624 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From Goodreads: Desperate for change, public defender Roz Wells decides moving into a new apartment is just what she needs to shake things up. But she’ll get more than she bargained for when she starts dating the drop dead gorgeous boy next door, who just happens to be a shape-shifter…and quite possibly a criminal.  Security salesman Konrad Wolfensen has made a living staging break-ins to spook people into buying his security system, but when he’s accused of a much more serious crime, he’ll have to enlist the help of his sexy new neighbor/girlfriend to keep his cute, slightly wild rear end out of jail. What I’m talking about: The Werewolf Upstairs is in a genre of books I like to refer to as Paranormal Chick-Lit. As those of you that follow my reviews know, I don’t read a lot of “light and fluffy” paranormal stories, so I cannot compare this book to others with a similar feel. But what I can tell you is that this story was a fun romp, and I plan to read future books in this series. Roz moves into her best friend’s (Merry) apartment while Merry is off on her honeymoon. (Merry’s romance was the focus of the first book in the series, Strange Neighbors. You do not need to read the first book to enjoy this book.) Roz quickly finds herself falling for upstairs neighbor Konrad. After just one kiss, the couple are able to communicate telepathically and Konrad realizes that Roz is his pre-destined soulmate. Konrad decides to quit his shady thieving career, while Roz wants a more fulfilling job. Together they set off on a series of “dates” to find a new career.  As each day passes they fall more in love, but with Konrad keeping his true identity from Roz, you know things are going to get messy. The Werewolf Upstairs is a delightful, easy read. Roz and Konrad are not overly complex characters and there are no major twists and turns to the plot. Other than Konrad’s big secret, the two main characters are refreshingly open and honest in their communication and thoughts. Early on in the story, when Konrad carried an injured Roz over...
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Jan
28

Review: Archangel’s Consort

Review: Archangel’s Consort Archangel’s Consort Author: Nalini Singh  Release Date: January 25, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Group Guild Hunter Series Book #3 ISBN: #978-0425240137 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book I received a ARC copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website:       Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…      A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear. An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed… What I’m talking about:       Picking up shortly after the conclusion of second Guild Hunter book (Archangel’s Kiss) this story opens with Hunter-born-made-angel Elena Deveraux back in her home town of New York. She is a different person than when she left – now an immortal angel, and we are witness to the adjustments she must make as she reclaims her Guild Hunter life and reacquaints herself with old friends.       As vampires all over the world begin to rebel and take human lives, Elena and her Archangel mate, Raphael, must work together to determine if the cause is Raphael’s millennia-old mother rising from her 1,000 year hibernation. As they investing the growing crimes, Elena is torn between her loyalties to her human friends and her immortal lover.       One thing that I absolutely love about this story is that becoming an immortal does not give Elena a golden ticket to instantly transform into super-being. The newly-made angel did not gain super-power and an easy life when she was made immortal. She has to train and struggle, learn and overcome with each step.  I also enjoyed Elena’s journey as she learned to balance her former ties with that of her loyalty to Raphael. We witness her emotional struggles knowing the choices she has made, learning when to hold her ground and where her heart truly...
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Jan
25

Review: Night School

Review: Night School Night School Author: Mari Mancusi Release Date: January 4, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Trade Blood Coven Vampire Series, Book 5 ISBN: 978-0425240427 Genre: Young Adult, paranormal Format(s): Paperback (256 pgs), ebook I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: Vampires, Slayers and…FAIRIES? Sunny and Rayne McDonald are about to get SCHOOLED. After their parents’ shocking revelation about their fae heritage and an attack on their lives, the McDonald twins find themselves on the run—forced to hide out at Riverdale Academy , a boarding school for vampire slayers, deep in the Swiss Alps. With no cells, no internet, and no way to contact their vampire boyfriends—the twins are on their own.  Being a vampire stuck in a school full of slayers isn’t easy. Especially with no blood substitute stocked on campus. Soon Rayne finds herself succumbing to her bloodlust and losing control—especially around the arrogant, but devastatingly handsome Corbin Billingsworth the Third—who isn’t sure whether he wants to kiss her…or kill her.  But when Sunny starts acting strange, Rayne realizes Riverdale Academy may be hiding some deadly secrets of its own—leading to a showdown in Fairyland that may cost the twins their lives.  What B is talking about: Rayne and Sunny McDonald have just found out that their hippie parents are actually Sidhe, or fairies. Not only that, but the twins’ mother is fairy royalty, and they are fairy princesses! The bad news is that Rayne is really a Goth vampire/vampire slayer working for Slayer, Inc. (but she only slays “baddie vamps”), while Sunny wants to live her life as a normal, human girl. When a band of fairies attack them and their parents, they escape and are hidden away in Riverdale Academy, a training academy for future slayers. They both miss their boyfriends, who are vampires, and Rayne is getting awfully hungry without the synthetic blood she depends on for survival.  I don’t read many Young Adult novels, so this was quite a change from what I’m used to. Bearing that in mind, I had a surprisingly good time reading Night School. Rayne is a flawed protagonist who makes some very serious mistakes, but does her best to deal with the consequences. The events are often erratic, if not Disney World (literally) outrageous, but Mancusi somehow makes it work. I had a “You decided to ride the roller coaster; so you might as well sit up front...
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Jan
21

Review: The Warlord Wants Forever

Review: The Warlord Wants Forever “The Warlord Wants Forever” from Playing Easy To Get Author: Kresley Cole Release Date: February 2006 Publisher: Pocket Books IAD Series Story #1 ISBN: #978-141651087 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book From the author’s website: Nikolai Wroth, once a ruthless human warlord in the 1700s and now a general in the rebel vampire army, needs to find his Bride, the one woman who can render him truly alive. As a turned human, he doesn’t enjoy a heartbeat or breaths and is consequently weaker than fully blooded vampires. He wants his Bride for the power she will bring him and can hardly believe it when his heart beats for Myst the Coveted, a mad, fey, mythological creature. Myst is known throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, part chillingly fierce warrior, part beguiling seductress who can “make you want her even as she’s killing you.” She has devoted her life to protecting an ancient, powerful jewel and to fighting the vampires, and she now sees a way to torment one—for with Wroth’s heartbeat comes consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her. She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen the jewel which commands her, giving him absolute power over her. While he possesses it, he can make her do anything, and he plans to in order for her to experience first hand the agonizing, unending lust she’d purposely subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Wroth realizes he wants more from her and frees her, will she come back to him? What I’m talking about: “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? This first story in the Immortals After Dark (IAD) series is a novella-length tale that outlines the creation of the Valkyries, one of the central races of creatures found in IAD fantasy world.  In addition, we discover bits and pieces about...
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Jan
4

Review: I Dream of Genies

Review: I Dream of Genies I Dream of Genies Author: Judi Fennell  Release Date: January 4, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebook Publishing Book #1 in Genie series ISBN: #978-1402241895 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (416 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From the author’s website: He needs to change his luck, and fast!  Matt Ewing would gladly hunt down a fortune in lucky pennies if he thought it would help save his business. But for all his hoping, Matt’s clueless when his long-awaited lucky charm falls in his lap in the form of a beguiling genie. He just can’t believe that this beautiful woman could be the answer to his prayers… She’s been bottled up for far too long!  Spending 2,000 years in a bottle would make any woman a little stir-crazy. So when Matt releases Eden from her luxurious captivity, she’s thrilled to repay him by giving him the magical boost he needs… But for all her good intentions, Eden’s magical prowess is a little rusty and her magical mistakes become more than embarrassing. And though Eden knows falling in love will end her magic and immortality, she can’t help but be drawn to the one man who wants her just for herself… What I’m talking about: Eden is a genie – one that broke the Code and was imprisoned in her bottle for close to 2,000 years with only a talking cat for company. She sits in an antique store window, and her favorite part of the day is when handsome Matt runs by on his daily jog. When a freak accident suddenly sets her free and into the arms of Matt, she takes advantage. Eden and Matt both feel a strong connection. She blames her magic at first, but soon they realize they cannot deny their mutual attraction. However, there is no time for lengthy courtships or even a night on the town. Eden is a fugitive and is soon captured by the evil Faruq, who returns her to the magical realm of Al-Jannah.  Welcome to a world of magic, adventure, sexy genies and talking animals. Ms. Fennell blends pop-culture references and old world mythology to create Al-Jannah. It’s like Easter morning as you discover all of these little eggs she has cleverly written into her story.   I cannot help but laugh out loud at Ms. Fennell’s humor. A genie named Eden (thank you Barbara) and a Ewing (who...
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