Harbin, a broody alpha snow leopard shifter/assassin was exiled from his clan when his libido leads to devastation by the enemy, the Archang RATING: C+
Harbin, a broody alpha snow leopard shifter/assassin was exiled from his clan when his libido leads to devastation by the enemy, the Archangels. He becomes an assassin for survival and to atone for his failure by using his skills to kill every Archangel he comes across. When he learns of a hit being placed on another snow leopard, he demands the mission and soon realizes this woman is his mate. Aya has spent seventeen years in hiding, craving vengeance for the loss of her loved ones. When the situation presents itself, she takes advantage only to learn she has been played and now must find away to stop the events she has placed in motion. A hardened tortured assassin’s latest kill target is his mate? WHAAAA? Gimme. Enjoyable to a point, the problems I had with the story is it was extremely slow to start off. There is a lot of emotional and descriptive prose that weighs the story down. Also very repetitive. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we are told the same thing over and over and over again. Harbin has a lot of guilt and we are subjected to multiple scenes where he ruminates over his past in great detail. On a good note, the characters are vibrant and well developed. The storyline engages & Heaton provides plenty of subplots to hype the interest for future stories. once Harbin snaps out of it, the action and intrigue picks up and the story flies like the wind as our hero and heroine band together to stop the villains and learn to forgive one another and themselves. ...more
“Is this because I have my hand on your boob?” he asked.
I yawned widely, noting that he did not, in fact, move his hand from my left breast. “That, too.”
We all know how Jane Jameson and Gabriel Nightingale’s romance came about (and what a ride that was) but how did Andrea and Dick Cheney (no, not THAT Dick Cheney) meet and fall in love? Fangs For The Memories revisits the Nice Girls series and takes us down memory lane to show us how one of the series most interesting and fun couples- Andrea and Dick- starting dating.
Andrea doesn’t dislike vampires but after losing her self-esteem, respect, and parents because she dated one, she is wary of them. Now living in Half Moon Hollow and working as a human happy meal for clients, Andrea is rebuilding her life one job at a time and she has no time for the sexy Dick Cheney, a vampire who seems to enjoy walking on the seedier side of life. When a client of hers goes a little too far on a feeding and Andrea is left near dead, Dick swoops in to save her life and Andrea sees a different side of him-one she likes very, very much.
Most fans of Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson and Half Moon Hollow series have a soft spot for the irresistible pervy vampire-Dick Cheney. This short but sweet and funny novella picks up right when Jane’s beloved boss, Mr. Wainwright, has passed away and everyone is getting ready for Zeb and Jolene’s redneck Titanic themed wedding. Plenty of sass, snark, and cuddling follows Andrea as she resists Dick at all turns until he lays a huge hard wet kiss on her outside the book shop then shows up when she is in dire straits. In saving her life and learning he was ready to go all supervillain on her ex-boyfriend has Andrea seeing a new side to Dick-one that appeals to her bruised heart. This little niblet ends with them on a date and Dick showing his uber romantic side.
This should probably go without saying, Andrea, but I like you. So much. It feels silly to put it like that, but I know I don’t love you yet. I don’t know you well enough to be able to say that and have you believe me. But I could love you so easily. And I want you to love me, too.
I only had one issue which was I wish it had been longer. I wanted more dates and time spent together.
Favorite Quote: She crooned in his head, ‘Honey, I’m so proud of you for not killing anybody. ‘His gaze flashed to hers, and that flat, assessing expression vanished as he laughed. Squeezing her fingers, he told her, ‘Week’s not over yet.’
Dragos and Pia Cuelebre are on their way to Washington, DC to try and repair the damaged peace between mankind and the wyr demesne. Certain events already have Dragos riding the killing edge and Pia has to make sure no one taunts the deadly dragon. When an important politician’s husband is found murdered in their house and it looks like a Wyr is the culprit, Pia and Dragos will have to pull out all the stops to figure out who’s trying to frame them..and why.
I adore these novellas that Harrison writes about the Elder Races. They are perfect little peeks back into our favorite character’s lives and grace us with clues to new plotlines and story directions. Dragos Goes to Washington is part of a three novella series centering around Dragos, Pia, and their son Liam. They can each be read as a standalone but more fun when read in order. Short and sweet, Harrison delivers a full, rich, often steamy stories that engage you from page one.
Pia and Dragos are entering another chapter of their lives. Liam is growing up faster everyday and Pia finds herself experiencing some growing pains of her own. Though Liam was a surprise for them neither see any reason not to at least try again. *wink-wink* This of course engages the mating bond, putting an already volatile Dragos at defcon 12.
He was wearing his inscrutable expression, his gold gaze flat and unrevealing as he watched the protesters. It was one of his most dangerous expressions.
At the same time, Dragos and Pia are required to play nice for a Wyr/Human summit. Think UN summit but much, much deadlier. The supernatural events over the last year have caused great concern and damage to the already fragile peace and now there is a human supremacist group called A Right To Privacy that is doing everything possible to make sure the summit does not go well.
Harrison does a fabulous job of creating a tense volatile conflict while further exploring the dynamics of Dragos and Pia’s relationship. Even after a couple of years, there is still a sense of wonder and confusion on Pia’s part as to how she and Dragos managed to come together. He keeps his emotions locked down tight and sometimes Pia is unsure of how Dragos feels about her and their life together.
“How on earth did we find ourselves here, of all places?”
As king of the wyrs, Dragos must do some serious juggling to keep his people and his family safe. He can’t even afford to be seen as weak but in the privacy, he reassures us and Pia that he is one hundred percent committed to his family-especially Pia.
“As long as you’re okay, everything is okay even when it’s not. When you’re not okay, the world is hell.”
The mystery solves quickly, the events surrounding the case opening the door to a new storyline and arc that should prove to be a very interesting time for the all the wyrs. I loved getting to spend sometime with my favorite Elder Race characters and seeing what they are up to. I look forward to the next two novellas, Pia Goes to Hollywood (11/17), Liam Takes Manhattan (12/22), and the next full length novel-Shadow’s End ( 12/1).
Favorite Quote: “Fuck the guy, take the girl, save a soul”
Raze is a medic for Underworld General and a supernatural night club. He is also a seminus demon (sex demon) who has a bit of a problem. He’s gay. Unfortunately, he can only obtain the sexual release he needs to survive with females. 30 years ago he met a succubus, Fayle, who saved his life and now services him when he needs relief. Raze appreciates what Fayle does for him but neither are interested in each other and her possessiveness is beginning to wear on him. Raze has accepted his fate but when he meets a sexy man, he wonders if it’s possible for him to not only have what he needs…but who he wants.
Slake is an assassin for a demon run law firm. He escaped his violent homeland and made a deal with the devil (or someone pretty close to Satan) in order to survive but now finds himself on a deadline. He needs to retrieve a succubus and deliver her pronto or he forfeits his soul forever. The stunning medic he recently met has all his engines firing at full throttle but when he discovers his target, Fayle, is the only thing keeping the Raze alive, he finds himself caught in a trap of his own making.
As Raze and Slake look to find some middle ground, Fayle’s jealousy turns deadly, and suddenly Raze and Slake are fighting for more than their right to love. Now they’re fighting for their lives.
If you are anything like me, you glom Larissa Ione’s Demonica series with an unholy passion. I continue to wait breathlessly for each little niblet Ione releases in this world. When I heard she was writing an MM romance…my grabby hands went into hyper drive. As always, this wickedly dark and gritty paranormal world continues to thrive with it’s dynamic characters, devious plots lines, steamy sexually intense romances, and engaging often humorous dialogue.
Raze and Slake are a delightful addition to this world. Both are intelligent, gorgeous, honorable men who haven’t had the easiest of times. Ione weaves a sensual “lust at first sight” romance and divulges just enough into their backgrounds to help fan the flames of desire and attraction. Delicious love scenes and some unusual but well plotted twists helps these boys towards their happily ever after. Fans will delight in seeing cameos of various beloved characters who pop in and out to help Raze and Slake. My only qualm is the blurb claims Fayle and Raze are best friends but the storyline doesn’t support that. Their relationship is anything but friendly and decidedly one sided.
Once again Ione has given us a much desired and sexy glimpse back into her world and reaffirms that in the PNR genre, she is definitely royalty.
The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn is the third installment of Harlow’s enchanting and intriguing paranormal historical romance series-The Order of M.U.S.E. As with each installment in this series, each book can be read as a standalone though there are continuing subplots that cross from book to book. Even more strongly character driven than the first two books, the romance maintains a tight grip on the novel with the conflict being more personal in nature and not requiring the official investigations of the Order. Marlow writes her story with a smooth hand; engaging us at a steady pace as she develops a romance that draws in your attention right from the start. This book seems to be softer- not as action packed as the last two installments- choosing to embrace the emotional aspects to focus on.
I have been interested in getting Meg Anthony’s story since first meeting her. A strong, loyal, street smart young woman, her life hasn’t been a bed of roses. Used by her relatives for criminal activities, Meg eventually runs away and finds protection with the Duke of Camden. Called a finder, she is able to locate anyone or anything. Issues concerning her gift revolves around the fact she has to spiritually leave her body in order for it to work. Basically, she dies & her soul leaves her body, only to return when she wills it to. This has caused the Duke to place an edict on her that she will not use her gift unless she is given permission. The only one of the order who is not of the upper class, Meg feels insecure about her place in the order and struggles to accept that she is just as important as any of them. She feels unworthy of their kindness and affection.
Samuel, Lord of Badewyn, seeks to remain closeted from society due to his celestial nature and his family. He knows what will happen if he ever falls in love and marries. Something that has happened to every one of his brothers before him. He believes himself without a soul or heart ; unworthy of anyone’s affection. He’s fiercely loyal, intelligent, and stubborn. Once he sets himself on a course, it is almost impossible to deviate him from it. Yet, once he meets Meg, he begins to see that maybe he has a chance at a normal life.
I found our hero and heroine to be sweet, honest characters whose peculiarities actually make them perfect matches. Both unsure of their place in society and life, choosing to hide away rather than bring their problems to anyone’s door. Their strengths are magnified by their perseverance and intelligence, and willingness to fight for what’s right. The journey they travel together is littered with pitfalls and secrets but Marlowe tempers the seriousness with witty antagonistic banter, light flirting, and some humorous internal dialogue. Both of them know that due to their circumstances, falling in love is not a luxury that either can afford. Regardless, the chemistry between them is hot and delicious, leading to some delightful love scenes that allow them to bare their hearts to one another.
Familiar secondary characters dot the landscape, adding to the tension and suspense while resolving their own issues. We meet a few very interesting new faces who I shall enjoy seeing more of in the future. The strong camaraderie continues to be felt and Marlowe further explores the intricate ties that bind them together. I look forward to reading their stories in the future. As with most of Marlow’s books, a single grand gesture of love pushes the story towards the end, granting you the answers you seek and the happy ending you desire.
The Lost Coast is a deviation from Kindred’s usual fantasy-inspired offerings. Sexually tame, this gothic-inspired modern romance is built on a supernThe Lost Coast is a deviation from Kindred’s usual fantasy-inspired offerings. Sexually tame, this gothic-inspired modern romance is built on a supernatural base that drips with intrigue, mystery and some deliciously dark humor. Jealousy, incest, murder and insanity all vie for the heroine’s attention as she pursues an emotionally and physically dangerous path that promises answers to all her questions — if she can just stay alive long enough to discover them.
I put off reading this for awhile even though I was told repeatedly I would enjoy it. Frankly, I thought it would be lowbrow cheesy soft porn masqueraI put off reading this for awhile even though I was told repeatedly I would enjoy it. Frankly, I thought it would be lowbrow cheesy soft porn masquerading as sci fi erotic romance. Imagine my surprise that it is a well written story with developed characters, viable plotlines, and some steamy hawt action. The hero is a sweetie and I loved the heroine with her snark and ability to adapt to any situation. ...more
Favorite Quote: “He’d waited centuries for her. Was it too much that she wait a few months for him to be worthy of her?”
Cormack has spent centuries trapped in his wolf form, unable to shift. Shunned by humans and shifters alike, his only salvation was with a young woman named Elen. Elen, also shunned because of her unusual magic, welcomes Cormack into her life and the two build a bond nothing can shatter.
When Elen is able to heal Cormack of his inability to shift, Cormack experiences true freedom for the first time in forever. Having always admired and respected Elen, Cormack now realises that his feelings for her are much much deeper and he wants to have it all with her.
But someone else wants Elen to. Someone who will do anything, hurt anyone, to take control of her and her gifts. Cormack must use every skill at his disposal if he is going to save his woman from a fate worse than death.
I first discovered Ms. DeLima’s Celtic Wolves series while at Coastal Magic Con 2014. I bought books one and two and devoured both quickly. A dark passionate paranormal series with romance, suspense, and some delicious action packed scenes all overlaid with a strong dose of celtic/welsh mythology. Though each story is dedicated to one hero and heroine with a romance and resolvable conflict; the arc is strong, multi plotted, and overflows from story to story. I do not recommend reading these out of order.
The Celtic Moon series is a paranormal series that revolves around tribes of wolf shifters and Guardians. The Guardians, the rulers of the shifters, have subverted their power over the centuries, using unmated females as breeding stock and killing off the weaker shifters who are unable to shift. Now the shifter tribes are revolting, wanting to live their lives in peace and freedom. This book picks up right after book two, Summer Moon, ends. The shifters barely won the battle between them and the Guardians and now the shifters are gearing up for the full-out war that is coming.
During the battle of Avon, Elen, sister to Dylan, the alpha of her village, uses her magic to save her nephew’s life by stripping a Guardian of his magic. She in turn gives the magic to Cormack, lifting the curse that has plagued him. In doing this, she opens up a door to something thought lost long ago. This draws the attention of Pendaran, the vile leader of the Guardians. He begins to court her, wanting the power she has for his own use. When Cormack learns of this, he realises that the time has come for him to make his feelings for her known but first he must soothe Elen’s hurt feelings. Cormack has been staying with Dylan since he regained his powers, wanting to relearn his humanity out from under Elen’s watchful eye. He knows her need to help him would only interfere with his need to do it on his own. But before he can tell her how he feels, Elen is betrayed and given over to the Guardians.
I love we finally get Elen and Cormack’s story. They have played a central role in the ongoing arc since book one. Though they are at this center of this story, the conflict is a bit stronger and divulges deeper than the romance. Cormack’s and Elen’s bond is strong. Built on friendship and affection, their ‘romance’ has essentially been developing for centuries. When Cormack is healed, they are finally given the chance to be together as they were always meant to be. Mild misunderstandings occur but DeLima doesn’t waste time and allows them to be easily cleared up. The love scenes were minimal but their time together is a lovely mixture of innocence and enthusiasm that stays true to their personalities.
The well plotted storyline intertwines with the romance, using multiple subplots and an expansion of the world and subsequent arc to help strengthen what is already in play. DeLima uses some devious twists and turns, to force the story down it’s intended path. Further development on the legends portion only adds to the suspense and anticipation of what’s coming.
The main conflict continues to address the long standing racism and antagonism that exists between the shifters and Guardians, drawing in and expanding the story in fascinating directions. New enemies and allies emerge, each holding an important puzzle piece to towards the big picture while we see plenty of old faces and learn more about their roles in the storm that’s coming.
The ending is an intense, violent, action packed roller coaster ride of deception, betrayal, and reward as Cormack and Elen fight to protect their love and their family. DeLima continues to improve this series with each new installment and I am excited to see where she takes us next.
Code Black is a new PNR series that draws on a wide variety of supernatural entities to create an interesting world based on religious mythology. While the beginning certainly intrigued me, I found my attention weaning gradually as more and more characters are introduced and the complicated mythology continued to reveal. Often the first book of a fantasy series will consist mainly of world building and character set up but I found myself growing more rather than less confused as the story progressed. There was literally too much being introduced at once and once you added in the insta lust romance and the, in my honest opinion, weak personal conflict for heroine based on her past, I was ready to just walk away. I don’t believe this is a series for me though I could change my mind if the author can settle the storyline down....more
A spin-off of Wright’s popular Phoenix Pack series; this new series focuses on the Mercury Pack which is led by Nick and Shayla -from Carnal Secrets. Just as with her other PNRs, Wright builds an engaging story featuring strong men and women, humor, action, suspense, and some steamy hot love scenes. Smooth writing and strong dialogue keeps the story flowing fast and able to handle the multiple plot lines. Fans will love seeing plenty of old faces from The Phoenix Pack and getting some updates on previous couples. ...more
Favorite Quote: “I’ve loved her for centuries and I will love her until the stars burn out.”
Fans of this series will remember that the end of book eight left us gasping in shock at its climatic and completely unexpected ending, pretty much guaranteeing we would have to read this book. I admit I was more than a little angry at what I deemed a manipulative ending. Of course, I’ve had a year to slow my roll and when I was offered this for review I jumped on it because regardless of my tantrum, I do enjoy the series as a whole and want to see how Jones was going to resolve this particular storyline.
We open with Janey aka Charley working in a small cafe in Sleepy Hollow, NY. At the end of book eight, Charley had reached the end of her rope and a single act ruthlessly pushed her over the edge of sanity. Suffering from amnesia, Charley is struggling to remember who she is while trying to understand the unusual things she seems to be able to do. Her friends are all with her though she doesn’t know that as they have been advised to not push her into remembering. When a malevolent force begins to stalk her, Charley begins to fracture a little, unsure if what she is seeing is real or if she is going insane. As the danger becomes more real and life threatening, Charley will have to decide if she is ready to face her past and all the baggage that comes with it.
“I feel like I went on a long trip and I left my most precious possession behind.”
Brimming with the usual humor and outrageousness that made this series a winner, Jones gives us a softer more laid back Charley that I admit makes me a little happy (the object naming is almost null). We are kept in the loop by an open line between Charley and the reader, allowing us to experience her journey right along with her. From seeing dead people to her never-ending wisecracks, we are quickly assured Charley is still Charley, she’s just hiding for a little while. And this goes far in reassuring readers that this storyline won’t advance past this book.
“I think you’re at the wrong address, buddy. You’re looking for 666 Highway to Hell Avenue. It’s a little further south.
I admit to not being completely taken with this book. Part of me enjoyed revisiting this world as it’s always good for a laughter filled action packed read while the other part of me wondered why Jones chose to drag out this plotline for an entire book. This is basically 300 pages of a day in the life of Charley with the last few pages divulging into the main arc and dissolving her memory. A huge appeal of this series is the romance between Charley and Reyes but because of her amnesia, it’s essentially a moot point. And I couldn’t help but feel there was a certain rehashing of the amnesia storyline from earlier in the series.
Seeing all the familiar faces of the series; Reyes, Cookie, Uncle Bob, Garrett, Osh, Angel, etc…and watching Charley get to know them all over again is both heartbreaking and funny. I loved hearing her little quips and thoughts about each of them; especially her thoughts and feelings towards Reyes. It was like watching them fall in love all over again but without all the external issues that befell them the first go around. Cookie remains her bff regardless if Charley remembers her or not.
“You’re always so nice to me,” I said. Out loud. A little surprised by that fact.
She squeezed my hand. “We’re besties, remember? Of course I’m nice to you. Otherwise, I’d be the suckiest BFF ever.”
Angel is still the same little perv who watches her back and then some while Garrett continues to act as her unwilling partner in crime. The love is there for everyone to see.
There are some areas of disbelief in here though. I found it odd that nothing changes in any of their relationships with Charley. They slip into their previous roles with nary a blip. I also wondered how they were all able to all show up mass exodus in this small town with no one wondering where they came from or why but Jones does address that at the end. We also meet some new faces in here also that help to provide some backup for two small subplots Jones inserts to help this not be 100% filler.
As with book eight, the storyline remains entertaining character wise but bland overall. I can’t help but feel this installment was one long waiting period; not really advancing the arc or telling us anything beyond what we already knew. Basically a means to further try to explain the reasoning behind the events at the end of book eight and to sustain us till book ten is ready. I do want to add that this series has an ongoing story arc and character base that bleeds from book to book and not meant to be read as standalones. Starting here will only confuse and possibly leave a new reader feeling apathetic in regards to trying the earlier installments.
As there are only two books left in this series, I will definitely see it through to the end, but I really want back the action packed, suspense filled, drama-laden story lines that we haven’t seen in the last two installments.
I was super excited when Molly Harper told me at CMC2015 she was co authoring a new pnr series based on a Russian mob family who just happen to be wolf shifters. So I stalked her until I got a copy. GO ME! A strong, intelligent, sexually free alpha heroine takes the stage front and center as she fights to save the family business from her insane brother and her right to live and love on her own terms in a world where women are nothing more than pretty decorations. Humor and horror go hand in hand as Conrad and Corona build an engaging world that straddles the line between the mundane and the supernatural. Dynamic characters and witty dialogue keep the story moving along at a steady pace. Overall, I enjoyed though there were issues that stood out for me. A bit too much repetition (heroine constantly repeats that she can’t be with the hero due to his family) and there are some plot holes that defied explanation. Regardless, I look forward to reading more of this world.
A fun fast PNR that gives us a kick arse heroine and a sexist hero who keeps getting his arse and ego kicked by heroine. Action packed, with plenty ofA fun fast PNR that gives us a kick arse heroine and a sexist hero who keeps getting his arse and ego kicked by heroine. Action packed, with plenty of humor and some very nice smexytimes. Story ends on a high note and while conflict is resolved, the romance is just beginning. My only issue was the author's overuse of giggle. Everyone only giggles and it's constant. ...more
An enjoyable erotic pnr/urban fantasy filled with humor, crazy characters, steamy sex scenes, and well plotted romance, and a wee bit of action. I wouAn enjoyable erotic pnr/urban fantasy filled with humor, crazy characters, steamy sex scenes, and well plotted romance, and a wee bit of action. I would have liked a more solid approach to the various plot lines concerning Harper and who/why she was being targeted but otherwise an engaging fast read. ...more
Favorite Quote: “Everyone’s just a little bit mad.”
Welcome to the town of Whisper Hollow. If you’re here, then you were meant to be. Nobody stays in Whisper Hollow unless the town wants them to. My name is Kerris Fellwater. I left home fifteen years ago. Now I’m being called back. My grandmother, the town’s spirit shaman, has passed away and as her heir it is my job to take up where she left off. But something is wrong in Whisper Hollow. The past, like the dead, refuses to stay buried and I will have to work with the dead instead of against them if I want to find out who or what is determined to destroy Whisper Hollow and me along with it.
If you see the Girl in the Window, set your affairs in order.
Autumn Thorns is the first book in a new paranormal romance series by Yasmine Galenorn. Some people are labelling it Urban Fantasy but Galenorn herself has spoken and said it is NOT urban fantasy. Set up in the fictional town of Whisper Hollows, Washington, Galenorn builds a dark deadly world filled with spirits, mythology, mystery, murder, & romance as a young woman comes home to claim her destiny & discover the truth behind her parent’s disappearance. Autumn Thorns is strong setup book in both in terms of world and character building. Heavily character driven, there is a vast array of characters whom Galenorn introduces us to and gives tantalizing light back stories about. Each character has a secret agenda that casts a wide net over the storyline & assure us that this new series has the ability to go the long haul. The world building is solid & easy to follow; punctuated with plenty of action & humor. Filled with wonder & horror, magic & mayhem; you are given the impression that this town is easy enough to find if it wants you to.
If you hear someone call your name in the forest, don’t answer.
A solid heroine is the base on which this story is built-Kerris Fellwater. Smart, opinionated, & comfortable in her own skin, Kerris left home to escape her abusive grandfather. She settled in Seattle & built a life for herself; using her gifts to help her survive. When she begins to receive signs that her presence is requested back in Whisper Hollow, she pays heed as she was taught so long ago.
If the Crow Man summons you, you follow.
She arrives home to learn her grandparents have died in a suspicious car accident. Her grandmother, like her mother, & her mother before her, was the town’s spirit shaman. NOw that role falls to Kerris. As the new spirit shaman, it is her job, along with two partners (a shapeshifter & lamont singer) to help send the newly depart into their graves & keep them there. Secrets shroud this creepy little town as Kerris reconnects with friends & learns that her childhood was a series of lies. Told her mother deserted her when she was young, Kerris discovers that this was not true and spends her time investigating what happened to her while seeking a crash course in the training she should have been receiving all along.
Never interrupt Ella when she’s playing to the dead.
Galenorn slowly gives us the whole story behind Kerris’s childhood, her leaving town, and her mother’s apparent defection. Her need to discover what happened to her mother & father forces her to question everything she thought true & she learns darker forces are at play, pitting two immortal forces against one another with the town & its residents in the middle. I enjoyed watching Kerris find her feet while she reacquaints herself with her new life & the town. Galenorn always has such interesting & strong heroines who are given the opportunity to find their way through the pitfalls that life places in their paths & often persevere despite the odds.
Try not to end up in the hospital.
A cast of mysterious secondary characters help to fill in the story, giving us romance and stability. Bryan, Kerris’s love interest, is certainly a sexy devil and I enjoyed his and Kerris’s chemistry. I loved meeting everyone and getting some insight into their lives & the roles they are playing though the focus does remain centered on Kerris & her issues. The conflicts wrap up with a bang, firmly resolving while leaving the door wide open for the arc to continue to expand. I did feel the book stayed a little too focused on introduction to this world rather than the story it was telling. I felt I was constantly meeting someone new or having another layer of the world revealed to me.
Autumn Thorns is definitely an intriguing story that offers action, suspense, mystery, mysticism, romance, and the potential for more to come.
When I first saw came across this book-the title, cover, and blurb demanded I read it. A supernatural motorcycle club with a suspenseful storyline? Sign me up.
The storyline focuses heavily on the characters with light introductions to the Inked Menace club members and dual backstories on our protagonists-Cecelia Marks and Lucky Miller. Cecelia is in the witness protection program after she turned her husband in to the Feds for illegal arms dealing. An impromptu decision to get a tattoo leads her to Lucky. Lucky Miller is a wolf shifter. A patched member of a secret shifter motorcycle club- Inked Menace- he went nomad when his girlfriend was murdered. Lucky and Cecelia connect instantly but their collective issues keeps them from making any moves in that direction. When he hears Cecelia has a bounty on her head and two rival gangs are thinking of trying to collect on it, he throws caution to the wind and decides he and his club are going to protect Cecelia no matter what.
Unfortunately what I expected to read and what I read were two different things.
Weak characterization and storyline takes potentially strong, interesting protagonists and makes them clichés. This is a result of the author choosing to use a multitude of plot devices to force the characters into the direction she wants them to go rather than building on the base she initially sets up. Can’t pursue a relationship due to past issues? Then we’ll slap in a situation to make it possible. Unsure sexually where you stand? The mate bond is a surefire way to bypass having to work through all those pesky emotions. Can’t figure out how to address the supernatural elephant in the room? No worries. We’ll just make the other person magical too. So on and so on. There was no real work in developing the story. Rather the reader is manipulated by flash and awe before noticing there is nothing behind the smoke screen.
Awkward dialogue and some odd phrasing made me laugh but not in a good way; knocking me out of story multiple times. The losing of one’s head is referred to as getting you’re neck hacked from your body. The heroine refers to her and the hero having sex as sating their baser desires. Dirty talk from the hero consists of, “you’re so tight that when we’re done you’re gonna squeak when you walk.” *blinks*
The story rushes to the end with almost no time devoted to the main conflict beyond introducing and off the wall resolution. I wished the villain would have played a more active role. The relationship issues are resolved with sex and a single conversation and everything else is “magically” wrapped up with a happy ending for all.
Feehan’s Sisters of the Heart series is a spin off her Drake Sisters series. We are introduced to five “sisters” who have settled in Sea Haven; each burdened with a past that has them in need of healing. Earth Bound is the fourth in the series and focuses on the youngest “sister”-Lexi. Though each previous installment in this series has in some way played off and expanded on the events that happened in the last Drake book-Hidden Currents-this one doesn’t as much. The focus here is solely on the hero and heroine and expands on an ongoing arc concerning the Prakenskii brothers. You do not need to read the Drake Sisters series in order to understand this series as each storyline is self-contained with a resolvable conflict but the characters and arc do overlap.
Earth Bound is an action based storyline filled with intrigue, magic, romance and a healthy dose of humor that blends well with the dark aspects of the story. An even steady flow and engaging characters takes me back to why I originally started reading Feehan. Feehan does a fabulous job of introducing us the protagonists and integrating their backstories into the main plot in order to give us a well rounded informative base on which to begin our adventure. Multiple storylines run simultaneously, weaving in and out but never overwhelming the reader.
I have always had love/hate relationship with Feehan’s works. Either her couples are perfect matches or the heroes are so alpha they completely overshadow the heroine and I find myself wanting to slap them silly. Luckily, Earth Bound is of the former. While there is no denying Gavrill is the quintessential over protective alpha, Lexi is more than able to hold her own with him. She has been alone for a long time and her strength, intelligence, gift and quiet stubbornness invokes respect from him and he instinctively understands when to push forward and when to pull back.
While Gavrill and Lexi aren’t similar or complementary in references to their gifts, they are well matched personality wise. They click in both a physical and emotional sense. Lexi is an earth elemental, able to command the earth and plants to her will. Gavrill, like his brothers, was taken as a child and made into an assassin though he is not one to follow anyone blindly. His ability is blending into the shadows-a blade that strikes with no mercy. He has a strong moral base and consequence though he will take out ANYONE (including friends and family) should they come between him and what he wants.
“What the hell are you doing” Levi demanded. “Gavrill, there is no way you’d fall asleep in the middle of this group. Don’t play her. She’s off limits.”
“Go to hell, Levi.” He didn’t lift his lashes or look at this brother. His voice said it all.
They are the flip sides of a coin. Gavrill is a trained killer while Lexi is a pacifist. The chemistry between them is instantly noticeable, becoming more substantial as they get to know each other better. Lexi’s innate need to nurture and heal grounds Gavrill more volatile nature and allows her to envelope him in her protective embrace. Due to their violent childhoods, the romance is slow to develop. The love scenes are emotionally intense and add plenty of spice to the story. Feehan doesn’t rush into their lovemaking, which makes it all the more tantalizing and sensual when they decide to go that final step.
“He was… extraordinary. She hadn’t know how extraordinary until this moment.”
There are multiple plotlines weave and wind their way through out the main story. I liked that Feehan seems to have put a more human stamp on this installment, addressing mundane issues that only an outsider (Gavrill) would see. Watching Gavrill acquaint himself with his brothers, especially the baby- Ilya- is heartwarming. Feehan does a fabulous job of showing us the duality of Gavrill’s personality. He is so alpha and scary to others yet quite the closet romantic with Lexi.
“The earth moved for me the moment I laid eyes on you.”
Things are still up in the air with Ellie Drake and I can’t WAIT to see what happens when she and Jackson return to Sea Haven. Gavrill has thrown down the gauntlet on that situations and it will be interesting to see his and Jackson’s first meeting. Once again Feehan allows us to see the sisters drop their masks of pacifism and the danger these five can wrought when they and their loved ones are threatened and clues are dropped to whose story will come next. Lissa is definitely a conundrum and I have a feeling her hero will have to work extra hard for her. Past faces from both series are seen and I like the effortless flow that exists here. Fans of this series will not be disappointed by Earth Bound and I for one am ready for book five-title and release date to be announced.
Shadow’s End is the ninth book in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series. Harrison turns her sights two strong long standing series characters-Graydon and Beluviel. Graydon is first sentinel to Dragos, King of the Wyrs. Beluviel is the consort to the High Lord Elven. Fans first saw a hint that there was something between them Lord’s Fall. But it’s not until now that Harrison reveals the true nature of their relationship. The first half of the the book is set in the past, showing us how and when Graydon and Beluviel fell in love. We learn what leads to their eventual separation. The book then picks up in the present, some 200 years later, and the story moves forward from there as they find a way, with the help from friends and allies, to put down a very dangerous enemy who everyone has a score to settle with.
Star crossed lovers is a favorite trope of mine and one I find we don’t see to much of anymore. Oh, there are plenty of romances where lovers are separated due to misunderstandings or interfering family but this couple is actually forced to make a life and death deal that they will never succumb to the passion between them ever again in order to save someone very important to Beluviel-her stepson. A deal that also ensures their everlasting silence. When Beluviel’s husband dies, leaving Ferion as the new High Lord in charge, Beluviel and Graydon know the time has come to break the bonds of their silence and find a way to free Ferion and themselves.
I have enjoyed Thea Harrison’s series, The Elder Races, since book one. Her smooth flowing storylines and intriguing characters continue to evolve and expand, offering more entertainment with each new installment. Heavily character driven, this book wraps up some ongoing storylines that has flowed under the arc with small updates in various novels and novellas since Oracle’s Moon. The focus stays firmly on the protagonists with little world building or arc advancement though there is a shock or two that will spoil so first time readers may not want to start here.
Graydon has always been one of my favorite character in this series. Loyal, intelligent, compassionate, and self-sacrificing, he was the first to welcome Pia to the fold and try to soften her transition. Not the most handsome or charismatic of the gryphon wyr sentinels, he does possess the biggest heart. When he decides to help Beluviel, he puts his whole soul into it and discovers a love he never thought possible. Though they only had one night together, the bond formed was powerful enough to last centuries.
Beluviel didn’t really develop as much as I had hoped though we do see a much softer side to her. Most of our interactions with her have been because of Pia and often in some kind of antagonistic role. In here, we hear from her directly about her life as the consort, the slow disintegration of her marriage, and the overwhelming love she has for her stepson. We are shown the reasons behind her agreement of the edict placed on her by Malphas. She not only accepted losing Graydon but chose to stay close to Ferion to ensure Malphas doesn’t use the Elven for nefarious purposes.
For me the conflict was the most interesting and impacting aspect of the book. Plenty of action and suspense comes into play and I liked seeing all the many story threads and familiar faces come together in a rather epic conclusion. The romance unfortunately didn’t hold equal weight for me. I liked it overall but I wasn’t blown away by it. I think if I had been able to see more of their of anguish and pain at their separation in other books leading up to this, I would have appreciated more what they went through. It all happens so fast, we don’t get to feel the full brunt of it. I also didn’t quite get the same level of intensity from Beluviel as I did Graydon in reference to their feelings for one another. As it was, it struck me all as rather sad.
Harrison signs off with some cheers and tears, leaving us more than ready for Liam’s novella and book ten. While this wasn’t my favorite of the series, it is definitely worth reading if you are a dedicated fan.
Favorite Quote: Like my mom said, we all got talent.
Siren’s Call is the fourth installment in Ms. Castle’s Rainshadow series. A spin-off of her popular Harmony series, Rainshadow is an island that has become a refuge of sorts to those who don’t fit in with Harmony’s upper class society. People with unusual or dangerous psi talents gravitate to the island, knowing the island tends to protect its inhabitants from outsiders. The island, a hot bed of unexplored alien energy areas, keeps the local talent on their toes. Dry witty humor and a suspenseful mystery go hand in hand to create a well developed storyline that tends to revolve around two “misfits” who band together to investigate the island’s unusual alien infrastructure. Personable characters, intriguing plot lines, and vivid world building makes each installment a fun engaging read. Though each book can be read as a stand alone, this series does interact with her Harmony and Arcane series as the three series follow specific families through time.
Rafe Coppersmith met Ella Morgan in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Ella followed a wayward dust bunny into the catacombs only to find herself caught in the middle of an alien artifact smuggling ring. Rafe appears and saves her life, but in order for his cover not to be blown, she has to leave before the cops show up. He promises to call her on her afterwards but was unable to do so when he is badly psi burned on another job. His family places him on lock down, only letting him leave when they feel he isn’t a danger to himself or others.
The first place he goes is to Ella and wants to hire her for a job. His family is excavating a preserve on the Rainshadow island called Wonderland. Problem is some nasty creatures are trying to eat them. Rafe knows Ella has just the talent they need to defeat these creatures and is willing to do anything to get her help.
Ella Morgan has an unusual and dangerous gift that she keeps hidden in order to not be placed on the FBPI (Federal Bureau of Paranormal Investigations) list. She is a Siren; her gift being she can sing people to sleep and even death if she so chooses. People who get on the FBPI’s list are often made to disappear or placed under lock and key for the protection of society. She chooses to use her gift as a dream counselor where she helps guide people to understanding and utilizing their dreams. Because of her gift, she has convinced herself that she will never have a real relationship much less marry and has made peace with this. Sort of.
When Rafe never called she wasn’t surprised. The Morgan family motto has always been either men will become obsessed with you or run straight into hell to escape a siren. When he suddenly reappears offering her a job, she is hurt and angry but realistic enough to see that having the Coppersmith name as a client will do wonders for her budding business so she accepts his proposal and agrees to go to Rainshadow Island.
Ella and Rafe are fun, intriguing leads. Intelligent, strong, and loyal. The class struggle theme is subtle-Ella have been forced to hide her gifts, twisting and shifting them into a plausible career objective. Growing up knowing she had to be very careful not to give herself away. Ella clings to her independence, has strong emotional walls, and very little trust outside her family. Fired from her last job for a situation not of her doing only reinforces these walls.
There are no fairy tale endings for women like her. When it came to identifying monsters the old saying held true. It takes one to know one.
Rafe Copperfield is at an impasse. A member of a rich and well respected family, his recent burn out leaves him feeling a failure. He’s never had to struggle to be accepted; every door in society has always been held wide open for him. But now the gift he used for the family business is gone and he isn’t sure what it’s being replaced with. Though he screwed up with Ella through no fault of his own, now he needs her more than ever. Not just for his family business but for his own sanity.
“She had greeted him with the same beautiful voice he heard in his dreams, the voice that pulled him out of his worst nightmares.”
The romance is very slow to start though the chemistry is apparent from their first meeting. The sparks and snark fly with abandonment. Ella doesn’t trust easily and she resists all of Rafe’s attempts to make this attraction more than a simple fling. Rafe wasn’t prepared for the strength of his attraction to her and has his own problems that are playing heavily with his life though he knows deep down she is the woman for him. And he’s not afraid to push her into admitting it.
“How dare you accuse me of inventing an excuse not to get married. If I didn’t want to get married, I would just come straight out and say I didn’t want to get married. Have I ever said that? Have I?”
“Well, now that I think about it, maybe not in so many words. However-”
One aspect of all Castle’s writing that is most appealing to me is the strength of her relationships. Though overly protective and pushy at times, her heroes aren’t jerks. Castle matches them expertly with strong women who can more than hold their own in any situation; providing some humorous scenes. The sex is satisfying towards solidifying the attraction and romance though not overly explicit.
The ending is climatic and action packed resolution of the main conflict. Some plot threads are left open as the arc continues to grow and solidify. Castle continues to expand and evolve her world and draws on an engaging cast of characters to make it come further alive for her readers.
Castle’s Siren’s Call definitely called to me in more ways than one. Though it contains a formulaic base and the usual assorted mass of heroes and villains, the romantic escapism it offers will to appeal to new and old fans of this series.
Molly Harper is back in Half Moon Hollow and bringing plenty of laughs, romance, and snark when a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice for her child. Well written with a fast moving storyline, lovably eccentric characters, and a heroine you can’t help but want as your new bff. When Libby Stratton finds out she is dying, she chooses to go the way of the vampire in order to stay with her young son. Using Craigslist (OMG-CRAIGSLIST) she finds a donor and wakes up in the middle of a little league field with a raging hunger and the overwhelming feeling that maybe she didn’t think this one through enough. Add in a rude janitor/mechanic/single father, a pair of anti vampire in-laws, and the dreaded PTA and you will be laughing your way to the end as Libby struggles to blend her new life with her old in order to hold on to the one person who means the world to her-her son....more
Favorite Quote: “Oh soldier, how did we come to such a place?”
Midnight’s Kiss picks up right where Night’s Honor left off. The Nightkind (vampyres) demesne is currently engaged in a battle over the throne, with Julian Regillus, the reigning king, and Justine, a powerful council member, at it’s center. Melisandre (Melly), heir to the Light Fae throne, is kidnapped by Justine in hopes of bringing Julian to heel when he hears his former lover is in trouble.
Julian and Melly had an explosive three month affair over twenty years ago that was destroyed when Julian accused Melly of betrayal. Unwilling to believe her innocence, Julian breaks it off and never speaks to her again unless absolutely necessary. Over the years they have danced around their pain, trying to get over their love for one another and move on with their lives.
Melly is convinced Julian will not be rushing in to save her anytime soon, so she is shocked when he appears in the neighboring cell. Now both he and Melly are prisoners with no hope of rescue in sight. Forced to work together to escape, they find their past intrudes on their present when the passion they thought long dead flares to life. But can Julian forgive Melly’s betrayal? And if so…will Melly forgive his?
I have wanted to learn more about Julian since Serpent’s Kiss. His appearances so far has painted a picture of a ruthless, arrogant, unfeeling man who would do anything to secure his absolute rule over the Nightkind. In here we finally get Julian’s backstory, learning everything there is to know about his life, his turning, his broken affair with Melly, and the true reasons behind his push for the throne. Harrison gives us Julian’s side of the story, which paints a very different picture of the events that surrounded Julian and his past actions.
Suspense, mystery, humor, and dramatic romances makes for a delightful series that continues to engage and intrigue with each new installment.The smooth storyline and personable characters immediately drag you back into Harrison’s supernatural world as though you never left. Heavily character driven, the world building continues to expand and evolve though Harrison tends to set boundaries; evolving certain sub worlds within the ongoing storyline in a series of installments. Right now we are fully submerged in the Nightkind demesne and its ongoing political upheaval.
Midnight’s Kiss embodies a trope I enjoy-second chance love with a bite. Two former lovers who have turned enemies. Pain, sorrow, anger, and distrust are the emotions that brew between Melly and Julian. I love when two seemingly indomitable wills meet and clash. Watching the hero and heroine go from antagonists to lovers is a delicious storyline; made only better when there is a volatile history that precedes it.
“I shouldn’t care so much. I shouldn’t care at all.”
In Night’s Honor, Melly came off as a bit of a diva. An actress and Light Fae princess, you got the feeling she was a pampered, spoiled, self entitled, brat who got what she deserved when Julian left her. Only Melly isn’t any of those things. She is intelligent, down to earth, loyal, strong, and very resourceful. Kidnapped and terrorized, Melly instantly takes stock of her surroundings and begins to plan her escape. She has a great sense of humor and a formidable arsenal filled with snarky goodness. Seeing Julian has actually come to her aid is a shock to her emotional grid. She still loves him but the pain he left her with keeps her from falling into his arms and begging for a reconciliation.
“You are delusional if you think I would ever let you take me again, after the way you treated me. You see this?” With her free hand she waved her fingers in the air down the length of her torso as she shook her head. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You’re neeevvver getting this goodness again.”
Julian is centuries old and his attitude reflects that. Born during the Roman Empire, this former battle horned soldier is an uber alpha wrapped in a thin veneer of civility. Sexy, morose, sarcastic, and a wee bit inclined to drama, he rules the demesne with an iron fist, hiding his emotions behind a mask of supposed indifference and boredom. Only two people have been able to see behind his mask-Carling and Melly. Melly was the first woman for whom he was willing to change his life for. Willing to give up his throne and whatever else was needed to keep her in his life. Her betrayal devastated him. Already feeling he wasn’t even close to being good enough for her, discovering proof of that broke something crucial inside of him.
Before her, he hadn’t known that he had been slowly expiring of thirst over the centuries. No matter how many people he tasted or how many lovers he had taken, he’d been dying inside. Dying. Then she had lit everything up inside of him-only to snatch it all away again, leaving him bereft and alone…
The reconciliation blends gently with the on going conflict. Being trapped in a prison isn’t conducive to any smexy times, it does however allow them to spend time together with no outside interference. Their chemistry is as strong as ever and the scenes drip with sweaty bare-chested alpha male posturing and some reluctant internal swooning on the heroine’s side.
She made another sound that was purely sexual, husky and needy, and the warmth of her body nestled against him. The soft curve of her breasts pressed against his bare chest, her hips brushed against his painfully hardening cock. […] The ravenous hunter in him took fierce note. All the signs were there. She would be his for the taking, all his again.
Non stop action speeds the story along as Harrison reveals each new subplot. As each scene unfolds, we watch Melly and Julian face their fears and overcome obstacles while dealing with the external factors that try to stop them. Neither plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire arc; merging together towards the end.
It does take some time for our hero and heroine to make nice and finally discuss what occurred 20 years ago, which I found a little strange. I will admit I guessed early on what had happened and was put out by how easily Melly and Julian forgive the situation. Harrison gives a reasonable explanation for the choices they make but I still wanted to see something besides perfuctionary understanding and forgiveness. It fell flat considering the build up that received.
The ending is a dramatic undertaking as a series of events lead us to an admirable conclusion. Harrison gives us a brief look in to Graydon’s story-Shadow’s End (Elder Races, #9), set to release December 1, 2015-that had me bouncing in my chair. I am SUPER PSYCHED FOR THIS BOOK!!
Harrison continues to write stories that any paranormal romance fan who loves action, suspense, humor, and a sizzling romance is sure to enjoy.
A fantastic installment that proves once again that when it comes to PNR-Aiken/Laurenston is one of the reigning queens. I laughed and giggled so hardA fantastic installment that proves once again that when it comes to PNR-Aiken/Laurenston is one of the reigning queens. I laughed and giggled so hard throughout this book. Though the humor reigns supreme; the action, intrigue, and suspense blend well with the continued evolution of the world, characters, and arc. ...more
The fourth book in McDermott’s dark and gritty Cold Iron series picks up a few months after book three-Stone Song-and continues to evolve thRating: B+
The fourth book in McDermott’s dark and gritty Cold Iron series picks up a few months after book three-Stone Song-and continues to evolve the arc and world while creating an intriguing and sexy romance. The series most antagonistic anti hero finds his manipulations have catastrophic effects and now he must put aside his animosity and ally with his enemies to save a young boy’s life. While I wasn’t a fan of book one, the last 3 books have certainly changed my mind about the series. Built upon the mythology of the Fae and Druids, McDermott builds a fantasy series that incorporates the world at large with magic and mayhem. Action packed and sensuous, McDermott doesn’t take the easy routes, choosing instead to keep readers on their toes as the players in this convoluted tale struggle to keep their world from succumbing to the whims of a fae queen and prince who are determined to rule again....more
Molly Harper keeps on delivering in her newest Half Moon Hollow installment. Snarky humans, overly protective vampires, and the most dysfunctional famMolly Harper keeps on delivering in her newest Half Moon Hollow installment. Snarky humans, overly protective vampires, and the most dysfunctional family around will keep readers in stitches when a young woman meets the vampire of her dreams only to discover he doesn’t remember her at all. Hijinks and mayhem rule the day as Gigi sets out to find her man’s memory while trying to keep her family from taking him out of her life permanently....more
This is why I fell in love with Ward's BDB series ain the first place and I'm so glad to see she has returned to the writing style that made this seriThis is why I fell in love with Ward's BDB series ain the first place and I'm so glad to see she has returned to the writing style that made this series so cracktacular. Well plotted with stronger, tighter writing, smoother pacing, and dynamic characterization. This is what has been missing in the last few books. Ward seemed to have lost sight of the end game and choose to go off on tangents with unrealistic goals that, no matter how she tried, didn't make sense. Blood Kiss goes back to the basics and I for one an ecstatic. ...more
Rosa Alban comes to Dylan Black for the favor he owes her . Rosa was forced into marriage at a young age, she needs Dylan’s help to free her people anRosa Alban comes to Dylan Black for the favor he owes her . Rosa was forced into marriage at a young age, she needs Dylan’s help to free her people and castle from those who seek to control her. Luc Black, Dylan’s brother, jumps at the chance to help for he is ready for his own territory and Rosa intrigues him. As Luc and Rosa fight for her freedom, the bonds between them tighten until a decision must be made to either let go of the past or lose their future.
Book two was so much better than one. Still well written and action packed, DeLima expands the world building, giving readers more in depth background and hints towards what to come. The romance demands more page space as we watch two alphas struggle to overcome their pasts in order to have a future together. Smoking hot love scenes balance well against the conflict. I look forward to book three....more