When I saw the cover of Firelight, I thought “Ohhh, that’s one I’m going to read.” It’s gorgeous, seriously. Granted, the word “romance” is on the spine, and I’m not a huge reader of romance, but, especially in the spirit of the new year, and trying new things in my reading, I was certainly game to give it a try. I do love historical novels, and Firelight also has paranormal elements, so that was a definite plus for me. I need not have had reservations, though, because Firelight had me hooked from the start. The novel opens when Miranda Ellis is only 19 and is cornered by thugs in a dark alley near her father’s house. Luckily, Lord Benjamin Archer comes to her rescue, although you’ll see later that Miranda is more than capable of taking care of herself. Lord Archer is there to kill Miranda’s father, yet after meeting this tough, beautiful girl, he decides to spare his life. Fast forward 3 years, and Miranda’s father, after marrying off her two older sisters, promises Miranda to Lord Archer. There’s no love lost between Miranda and her father, and even though Miranda is terrified, she’s determined to do her duty and marry the fearsome Lord Archer.
When Miranda marries Archer, that’s when the real fun of Firelight starts. Archer wears a mask on his face, supposedly to cover a hideous deformity. Miranda can’t say too much about that, though, since she’s got quite a secret of her own that she’s hiding. See, Miranda can set things on fire with a thought, so yeah, not a small secret by any means. Archer does not feel himself worthy of the beautiful Miranda, and consistently pulls away from her, even as she senses the kind soul behind the disguise. Hmmmm, sensing some parallels here? We’ve got a bit of Phantom of the Opera, and a bit of Beauty and the Beast as well (my absolute fave), but don’t get me wrong, Firelight is a story all its own. The few similarities just added to the charm of this book for me. So, there’s this delicious push and pull going on between Archer and Miranda, but when men start dying in gruesome ways, and Archer is suspected, Miranda vows to get to the bottom of the mystery, if it means saving the man she’s falling in love with. Throw in a rich London setting circa 1880, an ancient curse, a mysterious woman in disguise, and of course, plenty of romance and adventure, and you‘ve got a historical romance/fantasy that will keep you turning the pages. You can bet I’ll be looking forward to Moonglow this summer!...more
It’s 2023 and the world has been devastated (and reduced to mostly islands) by killer tsunamis. 24 year old Kathryn O’Malley (aka Tsunami Blue), lives by herself with her dog Max and takes to the airwave where she uses her gift to warn whoever is listening, when a tsunami is on its way. You see, the ocean speaks, and Blue can hear it. Her hopes of saving as many lives as possible keep her going in a world that’s seemingly gone to hell. Constantly on the lookout for pirates (aka Runners) who would capture Blue and use her for her gift (to pillage and plunder), Blue is always on alert, and knows how to protect herself, so when a handsome stranger washes up on her shores, all her barriers come crashing down. Gabriel Black looks like an angel, albeit a dark one, and at first, Blue takes him for dead. She manages to get him back to her cabin and eventually nurses him out of hypothermia, only to find out he’s a dreaded Runner. Or is he?
I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed this little gem! I kinda fell in love with Blue, in spite of myself. She’s stubborn, untrusting (for good reason), and often bites off a little more than she can chew. But! She’s also refreshingly innocent (having been by herself for so long), is killer with a knife, and has a heart as big as the tsunamis that she predicts. A big part of the appeal of Tsunami Blue is the playout between Blue and Gabriel. In spite of his seemingly sinister background with the dreaded Runners, he’s determined to protect Blue at all costs, and seems to already harbor a serious crush on her. Blue, in spite of the undeniable attraction, is just determined to steal his boat and escape. Gabriel, excruciatingly so, manages to hold on to his mysterious origins, and the reasons for kidnapping Blue, for almost the whole book. So frustrating!! Yes, but it’s totally worth the payoff. Trust me on this one!
Tsunami Blue’s world is a cross between Mad Max and Waterworld (yes, I liked that movie, feel free to comment on that below), and I thoroughly enjoyed the engaging, fascinating characters that the author populated it with. The Runners are absolutely terrifying, and Blue is not afraid to get her hands dirty when engaging with them. She fights for her life right along with the best of them, and is a force to be reckoned with. The sweet romance with Gabe makes a nice counterpoint to the relatively dark world and that our hero and heroine are living in. However, Tsunami Blue is no frou frou romance. The worldbuilding is great, the fighting is fierce, and the perils are terrifying. You’ll zip through it wanting to know what happens next right now, not to mention wanting Gabe and Blue to get together already! Loved this one, and hope you will too!...more
Kris Davenport is having an interesting night. First she’s awakened by a woman that claims to be her from the future, then her double takes her to the mountains, explaining on the way that she’s got to get things right this time with ConRad, then tells her to get out of the car and take a run, that there’s not much time before Armegeddon. A bit jarring, yes? Well, Kris better get used to jarring, because Dark Future is one long, dark ride for our heroine. Kris jumps forward in time to Dark Planet, after humans have nearly been wiped out by an alien race. Dark Planet is her new reality, and ConRad thinks she’s a spy, no matter that he’s inexplicably drawn to her, and her to him. As scared as she is, she feels like she’s seen him before and felt his touch, but how could that be? Strap in for an exciting ride, because after this, it’s nonstop.
Dark Future is an appropriate name, because it’s most definitely dark. By the end of this book, poor Kris has gone from relatively carefree surgical intern to possibly being the key to the salvation of the human race. Once ConRad finally accepts that Kris is not a spy, their journey takes a dramatic turn. Women are at a premium at this point, and ConRad must “claim” Kris as his own to keep her safe. Obviously this doesn’t go over well with Kris, but this is a new order, and she’ll have to give a little to survive. When she makes the choice to save a life, the Elders take Kris and her entire world shatters around her. The author really puts our poor heroine through the ringer in this one, emotionally and physically. If you find yourself making comparisons to Sarah Connor from Terminator, you wouldn’t be far off, because they’re most certainly there, with Kris going from self-professed coward to possible savior of mankind. It’s a long, hard, tortuous journey, and Ms. Klein manages to weave a heart wrenching love story among the sci fi action. Told in Kris’ voice, you won’t be able to help falling in love with her, and wincing every time she has to make a heartbreaking choice (of which she has to make a few). If you enjoy cinematic sci-fi action with your romance, Dark Future is a journey well worth taking!...more
I have to admit, I loved this one, even though my annoyance level was high through most of the book. But that wasn’t Jane’s fault! Please allow me to explain… When book 2 ended, we found our intrepid vampire heroine, Jane, being offered a romantic overseas getaway with her vampire beloved, Gabriel. However, as we start book 3, we soon realize that the trip is going terribly, especially since Gabriel seems to be dashing off to constant meetings, frequently leaving Jane to her own devices, and we know that can get scary…but I digress. Gabriel is also receiving what seem to be love letters, yet he absolutely refuses to explain to Jane what’s going on. So, Jane does the only thing she can think of to do. She goes back home. Without Gabriel. At least her friends Andrea, Dick, Zeb, and Jolene are waiting for her back in Half-Moon Hollow, but if Jane thinks things will be calmer at home, she’s got quite another thing coming!
I suppose I should explain my irritation. Not at Jane, at Gabriel!! I wanted to smack him for about three quarters of this book! I was just as frustrated as Jane that anytime she would confront him about the suspicious notes, he usually ran away. Literally, ran away. Poor Gabriel. So smooth, so handsome, so clueless when it comes to women! No worries, though. Gabriel’s behavior makes sense when you get the whole story, but up until then, be prepared to want a scene where Dick and Jolene hold him down while Jane kicks him. Seriously. But, I love Gabriel and Jane as a couple, and of course would follow them anywhere, plus they can get past a bit of drama, right? Well, at least until said drama starts threatening Jane’s life. Other fun for Jane includes Mr. Wainwright’s simpering nephew Emery, returned to claim some of his uncle’s things, but generally getting underfoot as they try to renovate the bookstore and prepare for the grand re-opening, and more drama (of the good kind) with Zeb and Jolene. Also, Jane joins the Chamber of Commerce, not realizing it’s like a cult of robo-blondes time warped from high school, bent on causing Jane as much misery as possible. Jane comes into her own quite a lot in this one, however, and I also loved how the author really explored the relationships between Jane and her friends, and also her family, which sets up Book 4 rather nicely. I’ll hang with Jane and the gang in Half-Moon Hollow, and hope to be able to visit time and time again! Love this series!...more
Seattle Detective Nigel Ferris is attempting to bring down a human trafficking/prostitution ring and the Russian mobster in charge of it, Mikoyan. He never thought he'd be so attracted to Ekatarina Zhuvova. During a visit to a brothel run by Mikoyan, Nigel is paired with the lovely Ekatarina (Katya)and expects to have to suffer through sex with her just to get out alive. What he doesn’t expect is his immediate attraction to Katya. See, Katya has a secret. She paid a visit the police that same morning, hoping to get help to save her and the other girls, but there are bigger fish in play, and the police are reluctant to bring down the hired help and risk missing out on nabbing Mikoyan. Katya has also been having visions of fire and apocolypse, and when earthquakes and destruction finally do hit the Seattle area, Nigel and Katya find themselves on the run for their lives, and the lives of everyone they love.
Before the Witches is a novella that takes place before the events in Blood of the Wicked, and the upcoming Lure of the Wicked. I could not put this book down. It’s short enough to finish in one sitting, and it had me glued to the pages. Karina Cooper writes like an old pro. Her pacing is flawless and the action never lets up. I’m a relatively new reader of paranormal romance (thank my partner in crime for that), and usually skip over most of the sexy bits in novels, not because I’m a prude, but I usually just want to get back to the story. There is one, count it, ONE, sex scene in this novella and it neither overwhelmes or disrupts the story. It’s pretty steamy, and it cements the relationship between Nigel and Katya. Trust me, you’ll see why. The world is coming down around them, and love can be a powerful bond, and a powerful tool in times of chaos. Before the witches ended way too quickly for me, and I’m really anxious to see where the story leads in Blood of the Wicked and Lure of the Wicked! Also, keep in mind this is a glowing review from a “reluctant” paranormal romance reader, so snap this one up! ...more
This review will be short and sweet, but that’s only because it’s #4 in the series, and I loved it just as much as the previous 3! Jane is settling into life with her vampire boyfriend Gabriel at her ancestral home, River Oaks. Things are good for Jane, but of course, if you’re familiar with this series, you know that Jane can’t stay out of trouble for very long. There’s a wedding on the horizon, and of course Jane isn’t expected to get through it without being set on fire, targeted for death, or similar disaster. True to form, Gabriel is attacked, Jane’s Grandma Ruthie is haunting River Oaks, Jane has a new vampire childe to take care of, and a wedding to plan (bring on the taffeta revenge!) All in all, it’s business as usual in Half-Moon Hollow.
I love this series, and the laughs come often in this installment. Reading these books is very similar to literary comfort food. I’m always happy to spend lots of time with Jane, Gabriel, and the gang at River Oaks. Molly Harper is wonderful at writing about the foibles of family (even of the non-blood related type), the pitfalls of being undead in a small town (where everyone knows your business), and always infuses these books with a healthy helping of heart and plenty of romance. Fans of Stephanie Plum will eat this series up, and of course, I highly recommend it!...more