"Unbinding" (World of the Lupi) by Eileen Wilks is an exciting tale in the ‘Novel of the Lupi’ series that is a fantastic urban fantasy/paran4.5 stars
"Unbinding" (World of the Lupi) by Eileen Wilks is an exciting tale in the ‘Novel of the Lupi’ series that is a fantastic urban fantasy/paranormal collection. This particular story spotlights the Queen of Winter’s former Hellhound, Nathan, and his mate, Kai Tallman Michalski, who is still learning how to use her mindhealing talent. Their sojourn on earth is abruptly interrupted by inexplicable occurrences that gradually point to the dismaying conclusion that someone is determined to punish or kill one or both of them...and even the formidable protection afforded by her familiar, the chameleon Dell, and the support of the Nokolai clan may not be enough to fight off this particular enemy.
This is one of my very favorite paranormal series because it is so densely textured with fantastical beings and melds various pantheons with such grace and dexterity. Understandably, someone new to the series may become a little lost by the interconnections among the various characters, yet still mesmerized by the beauty of this universe and the intensity of the action taking place. Ideally, it is advisable to read the series from the beginning but I suspect that one can infer a lot of the information through hints that are scattered throughout the story and at least follow the main themes.
One of the most appealing facets of these stories is the unquestioning loyalty that allows each character to risk the most dangerous of tasks and have faith that someone or someones will be there to guard and support. The mystical tie that the various beings feel for each other, whether it is the clan of lupi to their Rho, Kai and her familiar, Dell, or between mates such as Nathan and Kai or Benedict and Arjenie, gives them an intense relationship that is always remarkable and heartwarming to observe. I love the contrast between the rigid formality and hierarchy inherent in pack life, and the wild cards provided by the humans (and other beings) who have become important to the lupi. This particular story is a bit intense to read, given the physical and sexual torture that is being wrought on various characters, but quite a roller-coaster ride of magic, adventure and machinations, with a fascinating twist of FBI involvement and a brief cameo by the Elder Sam (a dragon) and the Navaho people. Another fun read that blends magic and pragmatic concerns in a mesmerizing story.
“Swan Prince” by Erin Lark is a m/m paranormal story which features Oliver, a swan shapeshifter, who is injured and seeks refuge in the barn3.5 stars
“Swan Prince” by Erin Lark is a m/m paranormal story which features Oliver, a swan shapeshifter, who is injured and seeks refuge in the barn of a compassionate man named Bastion who shows and boards horses and cares for rescued ones. The appearance of a naked mute man with an injured shoulder is disconcerting to Bastion but even more disturbing is his sense of connection to Oliver, which he fights against since he senses that the other man’s presence is only going to be temporary at best. Oliver must find a way to juggle his obligations to his flock with the leanings of his heart but his biggest obstacle may be finding a way to share his well-guarded secret with a human who may not accept him for who he truly is.
This sensual paranormal story features two intriguing males who each have plenty of obstacles to overcome and it was delightful to watch their relationship flourish, particularly combined with the evolution of Oliver’s interactions with the mare, Kiba. There are entertaining twists on the standard tales of shapeshifters but a few of the details are a bit murky to me, including the issue of the neighbor and the disposition of the leadership of the flock and how the flock exists throughout the year. I'd also like to see the relationship between the two main characters deepen a bit more. I enjoyed reading about a type of shapeshifter that I don’t normally encounter in the stories I have read and I’d be interested in reading more about Oliver and his flock as well as Bastion and his horse farm.
A copy of this title was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Meredith has FINALLY had her babies...and they are quite a surprise! Great to see the guys stepping up as fathers and I enjoyed the remarkable powersMeredith has FINALLY had her babies...and they are quite a surprise! Great to see the guys stepping up as fathers and I enjoyed the remarkable powers being displayed by various beings. Great scene where everyone is trying to calm Mistral down...yelling is not helpful when someone is already upset! I was saddened by the developments at the end although I understand why they happened, and it was fascinating seeing the changes that Meredith has wrought in those around her. The intense love displayed is a nice contrast to the machinations of both faerie courts but the post-partum changes make Meredith pretty irritating since she seems to burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Nonetheless, this is a yummy addition to the series and I hope there are more tales sooner than later....more
"Hunter Betrayed" by Nancy Corrigan is the first book in the ‘Wild Hunt’ paranormal series and centers around Calan, the leader and eldest4 1/4 stars
"Hunter Betrayed" by Nancy Corrigan is the first book in the ‘Wild Hunt’ paranormal series and centers around Calan, the leader and eldest sibling of the feared and legendary Huntsmen. The curse of Dahm has endured for centuries of nightmarish torture of the Huntsmen and will only be broken if one of his half-breed children can be convinced to help them. Harley Callahan has been plagued by death following her throughout her entire life and only the support of her brother Ian has helped her keep ahead of the inimical red cap Raul. Calan and Harley must find a way to form a bond and trust each other completely but the obstacles that they must overcome may be more than their developing relationship can survive.
This exciting erotic paranormal novella introduces an unusual perspective on the Wild Hunt with glimpses of several individuals who hopefully will get their own chance in the spotlight. Those who are squeamish should be forewarned that there is a fair amount of blood and gore permeating the tale but there are also plenty of heroic feats and demonstrations of intense loyalty, not to mention sensual and heartwarming interludes. There are a few frustrating episodes that are not quite well-developed enough for me, including the events that lead to Harley’s brother’s fateful decision, Harley’s blithe acceptance of Calan’s alternate appearance, and the naivete that seems to allow Raul to find Harley but this is a definitely action-packed introduction to what promises to be a compelling series. An entertaining quick read filled with creative twists on familiar myths.
“Bleeding Heart” by Melissa Graves is an adult m/m paranormal novella that centers around a human medical student named Brian Preston who forms an una “Bleeding Heart” by Melissa Graves is an adult m/m paranormal novella that centers around a human medical student named Brian Preston who forms an unanticipated connection with a desperate vampire he meets at the blood service center where he works. The young male who calls himself Kyle is fleeing a horrific experience and he serendipitously ends up at a site that caters to humans who want to experience vampire feedings. The two slowly establish a connection that deepens as they explore a relationship but it is fraught with not only the complications attendant with being two males in a human-vampire relationship but the specter of Kyle’s past which may do more than just end the blossoming romance before it can truly form, it may end someone’s existence.
This fascinating and evocative story is both frustrating and mesmerizing for me. I thought it was a great storyline and it was delightful to watch the two main characters explore an intimate relationship that deepens gradually but I was disconcerted by the use of the present tense to tell the story and found it to be a bit jarring. This story establishes a great framework with a complex system that is in place to deal with the needs of vampires and I think the author did a wonderful job of creating intriguing primary and secondary characters who all have their own stories to tell. There are multiple threads that I would love to see developed in subsequent stories since this story provides a very entertaining sensual and suspenseful read and I would love to read more about this world.
A copy of this title was provided to me for an honest review...more
“Favorite Obsession” by Nancy Corrigan is Book 3 of the ‘Royal Pride’ series. Josh Conway is a human with ties to the shifter society, not le4.5 stars
“Favorite Obsession” by Nancy Corrigan is Book 3 of the ‘Royal Pride’ series. Josh Conway is a human with ties to the shifter society, not least of which is his guardianship of his niece Megan and the complications with Megan’s twin, Molly. Josh is frustrated by his exclusion from the shifter-human matings that are allowed for male royal shifters since he and royal Mira have formed a connection, with the approval of her cats, yet the Council is ordering her to take a mate. There are complications due to the conflict between the single-shifters and the royals with their multiple animals, the need for secrecy to keep the existence of shifters from becoming common knowledge, ex-lovers and the past traumas each has experienced. It will take divine intervention for Josh to find a way to survive his courtship of the complex yet alluring Mira and convince the shifter world to accept their bonding.
This erotic paranormal tale provides an intriguing twist on shifter tales with its focus on a schism within shifter society itself. The heartrending backgrounds of some of the characters make this a poignant tale that is counterbalanced by the intense relationship that forms between Mira and Josh. Those who are squeamish should be forewarned that there is a fair amount of violence that forms the natures of the hero and heroine but it is still a compelling story. The author does a nice job of establishing enough background that this story can be read as a stand-alone but the connections are so intriguing that I definitely would like to read the stories that lead up to this one and am anxious to read subsequent tales that explore further the remarkable events that take place in this story, particularly if the twins are spotlighted.
A bit long and ponderous and frustrating in places. Delightful to find out more about Philippe and to see Diana learn about her powers (slowly) but so
A bit long and ponderous and frustrating in places. Delightful to find out more about Philippe and to see Diana learn about her powers (slowly) but some of the actions felt illogical and there are fewer repercussions for the harmful actions of some beings than I would have expected. The blithe disregard of the reverberating effects of changing events in the past is disconcerting. There are intense emotional scenes as well as occasional surprises and an almost overwhelming amount of detail and characters presented. I was happy to have the third in the series ready and waiting because I couldn't believe that certain details hadn't been revealed at the end of this particular story but fortunately that is rectified in the third story....more
4.5 stars “The Hot Zone” by Jayne Castle is another imaginative and thought-provoking tale that explores the capability of the human mind with the comp4.5 stars “The Hot Zone” by Jayne Castle is another imaginative and thought-provoking tale that explores the capability of the human mind with the complications inherent when artificial enhancements are explored without proper safeguards. Sedona Snow is the very talented Class 5 paranormal gatekeeper who runs afoul of those who are looking for a shortcut to enhancing their powers. Her encounters with the newly appointed Rainshadow Guild boss, Cyrus (Dead Zone) Jones, is just as life-changing as her adoption by the enigmatic dust bunny she names Lyle, she just has to decide whether she is willing to accept the new responsibilities each confers upon her, in his (or its) own way. Rainshadow has always been a place of secrets and Sedona may discover that some are far more deadly than others, but the two newcomers in her life will do their best to make sure that the secrets don’t prove fatal to the intriguing woman who has inestimable value to each of them.
Dust bunnies rule! (and apparently like Halloween candy) This is another great addition to a fun series that is part of the ongoing saga that covers the past, present and future progression of humans with psychic powers. I alternate between my preferences for the various incarnations of this author’s titles but I have to admit that I have a distinct bias toward the various dust bunnies and the idea of the alien influence left behind on the planet of Harmony. I found this particular story to be more disconcerting as the contrast between MC (marriages of convenience) and CM (covenant marriages) is highlighted, but, as always, the repartee between the determined heroine and the self-deprecating hero is a wonderful facet of a creative story. The monsters that are roaming are a creepy element and the question of the alien influence on this planet adds a twist to the evolution of the humans who have found a way to survive and thrive on Harmony. I adore these stories because they combine romance, science fiction and human ingenuity in a delightful story AND they continue to gradually reveal more about the charismatic creatures who can go from cuddly chortling companion to a being that has created the reputation, “Once you see the teeth, it’s too late!”
“Kane’s Bounty” by A.S. Fenichel is the erotic paranormal novella that is the beginning of the ‘Psychic Mates’ series and features bounty hun4.5 stars
“Kane’s Bounty” by A.S. Fenichel is the erotic paranormal novella that is the beginning of the ‘Psychic Mates’ series and features bounty hunter Kane Lakeland, who has the intriguing talent of being a Class A Telepath which aids him in his job. The assignment to bring in fugitive Lena Cruz complicates his life when he is uncharacteristically drawn to his mark who possesses her own uncanny ability. Kane must decide whether the sizzling chemistry between them can be set aside so that he does not ruin his reputation but Lena is not only fighting for her life but is fighting her attraction to the sexy Psi hunter. She has to decide whether it is time for her to stop running and learn to trust someone just as he has to figure out whether to finally let somebody into his heart.
This very sensual tale combines both a fascinating world where psychic powers are readily accepted with an exciting suspenseful story. The main characters are sexy and compelling and the author does an excellent job of creating vivid situations as the tension continues to ramp up. There are deliciously creepy villains as well as intriguing secondary characters and I am thrilled to realize that there is already a sequel featuring another one of these amazing telepaths. I enjoy stories that explore the possibilities of psychic phenomena and this particular one did a wonderful job of drawing me in and making me care about the characters although it was disturbing to explore the concept of an invasive form of mental attack. This was a great introduction to a suspenseful and imaginative series and I am anxious to read more.
Offered to Night Owl Reviews A copy of this was provided to me in exchange for an honest review...more