...with her quirky heroines, hot-as-sin angels, southern charm, and cheeky humor. The wonderful characterization of Saving ENancee Cain Tempts Readers
...with her quirky heroines, hot-as-sin angels, southern charm, and cheeky humor. The wonderful characterization of Saving Evangeline continues in this story, featuring a young woman, Jo, who's torn between the bad boy (Luc, her boss) and the good boy (Rafe, her guardian angel).
The story begins when angel Gabriel summons angel Raphael to God's chambers, telling Raphael not to make Him wait long.
"He's already pretty upset. He hasn't been able to crack level 666 on that candy game He plays on His phone."
"That's bizarre. I mean if anyone could, He could."
"You know how He is. He likes to experience what frustrates the humans."
This is precisely why I don't play Candy Crush!!!
God sends Raphael on a mission to rescue Jo from her lecherous, soul-sucking boss. Rafe already knows Jo from helping her through her abusive childhood. God urges him to take a little vacation on Earth afterwards.
"You need to live a little, Raphael. Everyone needs time off to relax. Even I took the seventh day to -- how do they say it now? -- chillax?"
I love God. :-D
Jo has a boss from hell but dang is he devilishly delicious. Butter my biscuit; he looks good enough to eat. He wines and dines her; makes her knees weak. Jo considers succumbing to his charms.
Not if heavenly handsome Rafe has anything to say about it. He calms and protects Jo, but seems to hold back from a physical relationship.
Too late, Rafe realizes he has deep feelings for Jo. I'm no stranger to love. Look at Who I work for. He's the Author of it. He's not supposed to fall in love with a human. How will this supernatural conundrum unfold? Will he follow God's plan, or will he wing it?
The twist leaves me curious about the relationship between God and the devil. Things that make you go hmm.
Evangeline is a young woman on the edge. She thinks she's crazy due to her visions of dead people, like her father and ex-boyfriend,Who's Saving Who?
Evangeline is a young woman on the edge. She thinks she's crazy due to her visions of dead people, like her father and ex-boyfriend, and she's mired in depression. When she's about to jump off a bridge to commit suicide, a priest materializes to talk her down.
Remi isn't your average priest. For one, he's hawt. Smokin' hot. Literally--he smokes throughout the novel. He's also an angel, unbeknownst to Evangeline. God sent him to save her soul. Too bad she's so darn charming that he begins to fall in love!
I adored all the tender moments between Remi and Evangeline, like their first meeting:
He reaches a hand in the window and strokes my hair, the way I used to pet our cat, Duchess. It's soothing and comforting. "It's okay. I know you're scared," he murmurs. My breathing eases, and my heart quits hammering. A sense of warmth and peace surrounds me.
and when he blesses her before she falls asleep. "Sweet dreams, Evangeline. You are God's child and in His care tonight and always."
Naturally their feelings progress beyond the tender stage, and Remi is overwhelmed by temptation.
Next time I see him, I'm going to ask Adam if Eve's full name is Evangeline.
Nancee Cain works in the mental health field, and she really nails Evangeline's characterization. The girl's neurotic beyond belief, sweet and lost, with negative beliefs about herself that are so untrue. Some folks have a tremendous gift of emotional sensitivity, yet their ability to read between the lines can feel like a curse without the tools to navigate such keen perception. As Remi tells her:
Outwardly you portray this hardened, smart-mouthed girl who doesn't give a damn what others think. But, that isn't the real you. I think you're a passionate young woman with a huge personality, who hasn't figured out how to channel all this gusto for life productively.
I grew to care about perfectly flawed Remi as well, and freaked out when he disobeyed God.
In addition to the insightfulness of the story is a good dose of humor, like when angel Raphael calls Remi "Judas Priest." Hehehe.
The concept of hell is a tough one for me, but I like Remi's explanation: hell is the absence of love. That makes total sense to me.
Hard to believe this is a debut novel. It's so well-written, with a depth of emotion. Highly recommended!...more
L.G. Castillo is a psychologist/author and it was a treat to read this psycho author's novel about a naughty angel and theEmotional Supernatural Tale
L.G. Castillo is a psychologist/author and it was a treat to read this psycho author's novel about a naughty angel and the humans he affects.
Lahash (Lash) is a guardian angel sent on a mission years ago to save a boy from a plane crash. When he took matters into his own wings and saved another life on the plane, he messed up the natural order of things. That poor decision got him banished to earth, stripped of his angel duties.
Thirty-five years later, Lash feels forsaken by God. He channels his bitterness into smoking, drinking, and employing prostitutes. But he still manages to come across as appealing, which is one reason I love this story. Lash has a humor and vulnerability that endears him to the reader despite his occasional arrogance and mistakes. When one of God's angels finally gives Lash an assignment, I was pulling for him not to mess up this second chance. A big challenge for him is dealing with his palpable attraction to the woman he's assigned to protect: Naomi.
Naomi is a 21-year-old woman who has suffered many losses in her life. Her mother died years ago, and the story opens with her father's fatal car accident -- an accident involving the human Lash wasn't supposed to save years ago. Now some bad men seem hell-bent on killing Naomi. Luckily she has Lash, as well as some plucky family members. Naomi's grandmother Welita is a fantastic character; loving, sarcastic, and direct. Welita sees right through Lash, and tells him:
"I know you'll take good care of Naomi, and I know it's not because she's an assignment to you." Lash swallowed. "I will, I promise." Welita placed a hand on his cheek. "I see it in your eyes as I see it in hers. Remember, there is always light where there is love and if that is what is meant to happen between the two of you, then it was destined."
How lovely! I want a grandmother like Welita. The Latino culture fascinates me and it's great to get an authentic view in this novel.
A couple of aspects amused me in the story. One is that the devil owns a fracking business. In the battle between Republicans and Democrats over fracking's effects on the environment, that cracks me up. Another tongue-in-cheek moment was when the psychologist turns out to be EVIL. Lash's mentor describes the psychologist:
"He works on Lucifer's behalf, which is why he has his powers. He's highly skilled, able to put on many faces to deceive the humans he controls... That is why he works as a psychologist. It's a well-respected profession and is a perfect cover to complement his talents. He can use his inherent gifts of mind manipulations and hide them behind the skills humans refer to as psychodynamic therapy."
Hehe! I always wondered about those Freudians with their psychodynamic techniques.
My one complaint was that the plot became a bit convoluted at the end of the story.
Supernatural stories aren't my favorite but this story drew me in starting at the prologue. Highly recommended!...more
Kelsey Ketch is one of the sweetest authors around! When the opportunity to read and review her debut novel arose, IThe Son of Set Is a Son of a B*tch
Kelsey Ketch is one of the sweetest authors around! When the opportunity to read and review her debut novel arose, I snatched it. I rarely stray from my preferred genre of contemporary romance, and the fact that I enjoyed this Egyptian YA paranormal romance so much speaks volumes for the entertainment value of this story.
Natara “Nattie” Stone has the unenviable task of starting twelfth grade not only in a new school but in a new country. Her mother died when she was five, and her father moves Nattie from London to the Californian desert following the murder of her beloved Egyptian grandmother.
“Brit-Chick” Nattie encounters some kind friends at her new high school:
”Well, how else do you explain Seth’s weirdness?” Jen snapped. “Every girl drools over that guy, and no mortal human can look that good.” “I’m mortal,” Kevin pointed out. Jen’s eyes wandered over him. “Case in point,” Jen concluded. “So, Seth has to be supernatural.”
But the classmate who really stands out in Natti’s mind is the one who has slept with about half the female class: Seth. The other half wishes they were so lucky. He’s definitely a charmer…except to Nattie. She gets an intense headache every time he’s around (LOL) which definitely intrigues stalker Seth.
Nattie is a likable character, earnest and intelligent. I would prefer Natara’s nickname to be Tara or Nata because Nattie seems more reminiscent of a southern maid than a British daughter of Isis. But my favorite character is Seth. His behavior is despicable at first, which is understandable given his slimeball father. Seth is a son of Set—a descendent of an Egyptian god who’s all about lust, destruction, and chaos. (I love the idea of one’s sole purpose in life being to create chaos.) From these evil beginnings, Seth really matures in this story. There’s a reason Nattie’s feelings evolve for him over time.
At first the plot seemed too similar to Twilight, but then it found its own rhythm. The pace continued building to the exciting conclusion, which leaves room for a sequel. One mystery yet to be revealed is why Nattie’s father moved them to this small town in California, with its Egyptian symbols. And what is up with the book her father is writing? How much does he know about her mother’s and grandmother’s death? I’m guessing we’ll learn more in the next book. *claps*
Nicki Elson, author of the fun and flirty college romp Three Daves, heads in a different direction for this adult spiritual romance.Deep and Affirming
Nicki Elson, author of the fun and flirty college romp Three Daves, heads in a different direction for this adult spiritual romance. I loved the realistic characters, the suspense, and the deep questions this novel provokes.
Maggie Brock is reeling after her husband Carl divorced her. Together they have a daughter Kirsten and a son Liam, and Maggie has to figure out how to proceed as a single mother. She takes a job as administrative assistant at her Catholic church, and tries to tolerate Carl's new girlfriend establishing a relationship with her children.
Nightly dreams of an angel visiting her bedroom intrigue her, until she awakes one night and realizes this male angel is real. Quiet, lean, and handsome, he invites Maggie to give him a name: Evan. It's not clear why God sent Evan to protect Maggie, but it is clear she is in some sort of danger. Eek!
Complicating matters is the arrival of a prissy, suspicious priest to oversee the workings of the church, aka the Monsignor. Maggie gets bad vibes from him. Is he the malevolent force Evan is supposed to thwart? When Maggie runs into the monsignor and he questions her, she keeps Evan secret.
For all she knew, the monsignor would attempt to incarcerate Evan E.T. style to study him.
Ha! Maggie struggles with her attraction to Evan, knowing God would disapprove of her getting it on with one of His angels. I have a little crush on Evan too, I must admit. Poor Maggie!
Evan provides this heavenly advice: "Stop trying to control what you feel and just feel it. Trust."
Meanwhile, ex-husband Carl woos Maggie back into bed. I wonder how common it is for divorced couples to sneak sex again? That happened in a recent read Blue Shoe but I enjoyed Divine Temptation far more than Blue Shoe. Maggie and Carl's sexy reunion leads her to think that maybe they can make it work again, until Carl bursts her bubble. Their ensuing argument is painful to read:
"You know what?" Maggie fumed. "Thank you, Carl. Thank you for reminding me of all the reasons we didn't work. You're absolutely right---we're so much better apart. Because you never ever did anything wrong. Ever. I t was just mean old Maggie telling you things were wrong. I just made it up in my crazy, little mind, but really, you were perfect in every way."
I love the shades of grey in the characters. Maggie's no saint--she's just trying to do her best--which makes her imminently likable. I'm impressed how Evan comes across as both sweet and powerful, matching my view of divinity. Kirsten is a whiny pre-teen who pushes the limits like a teenager but needs those limits like a child, and Liam adores video games like Mario Bros. Maggie's friend Sharon is direct and funny. Even Father Tom and the Monsignor have their obvious faults.
The plot twists and turns, leading to a creepy showdown between good and evil. This is one of my favorite quotes from the story:
"You might not believe in the devil, but do you believe evil lurks in this world?"
Wow, that gets to me. I view God as a loving force, and at times I question the presence of hell and the devil. But I have witnessed evil in this world--no question.
You can tell how much this angel story affected me. I encourage you to let Maggie and Evan into your heart as well!...more
Despite paranormal romance not being my favorite genre, I've been wanting to read this book forever due to praise I've heard from GooLingering Longing
Despite paranormal romance not being my favorite genre, I've been wanting to read this book forever due to praise I've heard from Goodreads friends. And it didn't disappoint.
Grace is an old soul stuck in a teenager's body. She and her parents live in the frigid Minnesota wild, on the border of a forest where she sees wolves watching her. One yellow-eyed wolf stands out in particular -- maybe he saved her once from the pack killing her?
When the wolf shows up on her back stoop, naked in his human form after being hunted in the woods . . . that's when the fun begins. Sam and Grace already have a deep connection and they barely know each other.
I loved Sam's poignant, vulnerable voice:
I was suddenly struck by how dissimilar we were. It occurred to me that if Grace and I were objects, she would be an elaborate digital clock, synced up with the World Clock in London with technical perfections, and I'd be a snow globe -- shaken memories in a glass ball.
Describing yourself as a snow globe? That is so cool. The descriptions in this story are lyrical and vivid:
His lips tasted cool and sharp, peppermint, winter, but his hands, soft on the back of my neck, promised long days and summer and forever.
It was as if I had thought all along I was a complete picture, and Sam had revealed that I was a puzzle, and had taken me apart into pieces and had put me back together again. I was acutely aware of each distinct emotion, all fitting together tightly.
Including the temperature readings under each title was a nice touch since temperature played such a big role in the werewolf lore of this story.
Other readers have told me this series disappointed them after book one, so I'm not sure I will continue. If you've read all three books, what did you think?...more
So what happens to a human who lives with vampires?
This is the question of the Black Dagger Brotherhood's fourth book, featuring Butch--the tough copSo what happens to a human who lives with vampires?
This is the question of the Black Dagger Brotherhood's fourth book, featuring Butch--the tough cop we meet at the beginning of the series.
Butch still pines for Marissa, a dainty and proper member of vampire royalty. He tries to drink his troubles away one night only to land in the clutches of the lessers. He comes face to face with the Omega, who inserts some of his blackness into Butch. (YUCK!)
As the knife came up and hovered over Butch's abdomen, Butch screamed. And he was still screaming as a shallow slice was made into his belly. The the Omega picked up the little part of itself, the black digit...and inserted its fingertip into Butch's gut...The skin sealed up, the flesh knitting together. Immediately, Butch felt the rotting inside him, sensed the evil worming around, moving.
*shudders* Infected Butch's blood is now black. I had to laugh when Buggy warned me that his blood wasn't the only thing turning black, as we later learn in an intimate scene. The blackness threatens to take Butch's life.
V rubbed his face. What the hell was he going to do without that smart-ass, tough-talking, Scotch-sucking SOB? The rough bastard somehow smoothed the edges of life, probably because he was like sandpaper, a scratchy, persistent wrong-way-rub that left everything more even.
What a unique and accurate description of Butch: sandpaper.
Parts of one character's transformation into vampire were fascinating, like the incessant word "Mine" pulsing through his brain:
His mouth opened of its own accord, and he let out a deep, rhythmic purr that ended in a growled word: Mine.
But the actual process was a bit confusing. The individual bleeds out until his heart stops? And then vampire blood is injected into his heart? But if that doesn't work he needs to feed?
J.R. Ward is just so cool. I love the Brothers' dialogue and the stream-of-consciousness thoughts by characters like Butch:
The sequence that came next was quick and efficient, proving that crime, like his Southie accent, was something he'd never quite lost...When he got to the stop sign, he came to a full-tire halt: Following traffic laws when you were in a stolen vehicle was mission critical. As he hung a louie and headed down Ninth, he felt bad for whatever Joe he'd just royally f'ed over. Losing your wheels was not fun.
And what was he doing now? Going after a female whose life was already a mess. Just so he could join the shit parade that was marching all over her...
Christ. Lately, it was like his body was a Glad PlugIn that couldn't make its mind up. But at least this spicy scent he liked...
Marissa grew on me as she experienced a transformation of her own, but she's not my favorite heroine of this series so far. Havers can go screw himself, along with the others who want sehclusion for the females.
Concessions is a short story by Robin DeJarnett. Her romantic suspense novel Whirlwind was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to read her foray into paranoConcessions is a short story by Robin DeJarnett. Her romantic suspense novel Whirlwind was fantastic and I couldn’t wait to read her foray into paranormal romance.
The story features Lindsey, a bored young adult concessions worker at a movie theater in Las Vegas. The typical customers for matinees are local Goths who dress head-to-toe in black despite the intense heat of the city. One such Goth is Clyde, who takes Lindsey back to the control room and begins kissing her. His kisses make her remember that he’s really Devon, sexy vampire, gradually turning her into a vampire as well. His gentle bite mixes their blood and erases her memory until their next rendezvous.
I love the idea of Goths as hidden vampires, and once again Robin weaves an interesting story around family relationships, creepy bad guys, and sweet romance. ...more
Starstruck is an awesome short story by Lisa Sanchez.
Amberly gets a flat tire and handsome boy “T” stops to help her out. She’s been unlucky in loveStarstruck is an awesome short story by Lisa Sanchez.
Amberly gets a flat tire and handsome boy “T” stops to help her out. She’s been unlucky in love but has a blind date that evening, and he’s so smoking gorgeous she wishes he could be her date. They’re changing the tire when a brilliant meteor crashes nearby.
Deciding to check out the crash site, T encourages Amberly to make a wish on the “fallen star”. That’s when the meteor explodes, covering them in green goo and turning the story into an other-worldly romance.
I liked how we get both Amberly and T’s perspectives, and T’s mysterious identity makes for a great ending. Lisa’s writing is sexy and fun. ...more
I do love a tortured hero, and based on so many readers telling me Zsadist is their favorite brother,We Must Be Masochists for Loving Zsadist So Much
I do love a tortured hero, and based on so many readers telling me Zsadist is their favorite brother, I'm not alone. There's just something about a man who's so damaged he believes he's beyond redemption. When his loved ones refuse to let him succumb to his misery and instead push him to be the good man they know he is, it's beautiful to watch him emerge from his pain, scarred yet strong.
But wow, Zsadist's path is arduous. I grew frustrated by how many times he pushes Bella away due to the demons in his head.
My favorite parts of the story are Zsadist's interactions with his twin, Phury. Through the twins' flashbacks we learn piece by piece of his harrowing background. Because Zsadist feels so unworthy, he keeps trying to convince Phury to take Bella, the woman who loves Zsadist.
"Pretty damn soon she's going to snap out of this post-traumatic whatever she's got going on and she's going to want someone real."
Phury shook his head. "Z, you're crazy. How can you say you want me to be with her? It'll kill you."
Zsadist's face changed and the expression was a shocker. Such sorrow, Phury thought. Of a depth that seemed impossible.
And then the male came forward. Phury braced himself for . . . God, he had no idea what was coming at him.
When Z's hand lifted, it was not in anger or with violence. And as Phury felt his twin's palm land lightly on his face, he couldn't remember the last time Z had touched him with any gentleness. Or touched him at all.
Zsadist's voice was low and quiet as his thumb went back and forth on an unmarred cheek.
"You are the male I might have been. You are the potential I had and lost. You are the honor and the strength and the kindness she needs. You'll take care of her. I want you to take care of her."
Speeches like that made me grab the tissues! And Phury got me crying too:
Phury knelt beside Zsadist and stroked his face. "I've only ever had you to live for. If you die I have nothing. I'm utterly lost. And you are needed here."
Zsadist tried to reach out, but couldn't lift his arms as Phury stood up.
"God, Z, I keep thinking this tragedy of ours is going to be over. But it just keeps going, doesn't it?"
How awesome that J.R. Ward acknowledges the need for therapy in this series. The scenes with John are heartrending. Tohr and Butch are wonderful father figures.
It's taking me a while to understand the character of "Rehv" but I did find it cool how heroin affected sympaths differently than other vampires (numbing pleasure instead of increasing it). I don't quite understand why sympaths are ostracized yet.
I find myself rather disinterested in the scenes involving the lessers. I guess it's difficult to create emotionally compelling characters when they don't have hearts.
Thanks for introducing me to the amazing character of Zsadist, goodreads friends!...more
Cherie Colyer's debut Young Adult novel was quite a pleasure to read. It's a page-turner that's sweet and mysterious at theMagical Tale of Young Love
Cherie Colyer's debut Young Adult novel was quite a pleasure to read. It's a page-turner that's sweet and mysterious at the same time. The reader doesn't know who to trust, and the identity of the villain surprised me.
Madison is a high school student living in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I've been to Boston a few times but don't know much about the area and I thought the setting was interesting and eerie. Madison meets a handsome newcomer: Isaac. She is longing for her ex-boyfriend Kevin, and Isaac seems like the perfect antidote. But is Isaac safe boyfriend material?
I liked how strange events keep happening at the beginning of the story, like near-death car accidents and Madison's best friend Kaylee suffering from a psychotic break. Is this simply bad luck, or is something more sinister going on? The mystery clears itself up bit by bit, keeping the reader in suspense.
Cherie uses some interesting similes:
There is only more darkness. It's like swimming in a pool of oil.
The characters' emotions come alive in this story, aided by Madison's sensory gifts. She can smell and taste emotion.
The air reeked of power---strong and pungent. Kevin's bitter jealousy and Isaac's rage mixed with Paige's sudden remorse and Emma's sweet joy. It tasted oddly delectable as it eased the burning in my lungs and the pain in my throat.
I hear Cherie is working on a sequel to Embrace and I look forward to it! I want to see what happens between Madison and her ex-friend Paige, and of course what's in store for Madison and Isaac. Great job, Cherie!...more
I didn't want to stop to write this review before I started reading Lover Awakened, so I'm finally getting to it when I'm almost done with Zsadist's sI didn't want to stop to write this review before I started reading Lover Awakened, so I'm finally getting to it when I'm almost done with Zsadist's story in book 3. (Zsadist is all he's advertised, hee hee.)
Lover Eternal tells the story of Rhage, the ferocious brother who literally has a beast living inside of him as the result of a curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. When Rhage gets really ticked, he flips into a vicious scaly monster that destroys all in its path. He's terrified of hurting his brothers, so he tries to keep the beast at bay by having lots o' sex. He's a blond hottie nicknamed Hollywood so it's not like he has a problem attracting women. What he does have a problem with is all the meaningless sex in his life. He wouldn't mind a real lover.
Enter Mary, a human who's endured such trauma that she once considered suicide. Now she works at a suicide hotline as a means of giving back, but sadly the trauma in her life isn't over--her cancer is back. A sweet mute boy named John lives across from the hotline center, and he calls Mary often just to hear her voice. John's involvement in Mary's affairs brings the brotherhood into her life.
I enjoyed the characters of Rhage, Mary, and John, and I'm glad John's story continues in book 3. The effect the beast has on Rhage is really cool, especially when the tattoo of the beast comes alive and seems to peel itself off his back. Here he describes the feeling when the Scribe Virgin lifts the curse for a period of time:
Rhage took a deep breath. There was the most amazing...emptiness in him. No background buzzing. No itchy drive. No burning.
This description reminds me of individuals who suffer from racing thoughts, delusions, ADHD, eating disorders, OCD, or other illnesses. They can't get away from the buzzing and chaos in their minds, and it's interesting how Rhage learns to live with his beast (with Mary's help).
This novel also sets up the story between Zsadist and Bella, and here's their first meeting:
"You're sorry," he said, tilting his head to the side and focusing on her neck. When he smiled, his fangs were long and very white. "Yeah, I bet you are." "I am very sorry." "So prove it." "How?" she croaked. "Get down on your hands and knees. I'll take your apology from there."
Ha ha! Bella definitely has her hands full with Z. Now I must get back to reading!...more