Genre: Paranormal Romance

Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole

Posted January 11, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley ColeReviewer: Casee
Dark Needs at Night's Edge (Immortals After Dark #5) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #5
Also in this series: A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2)
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: April 29th 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Bestselling author Kresley Cole continues her seductive Immortals After Dark series with this tale of a vampire shunned even by his own kind and a beautiful phantom, bound together by a passion they cannot resist.

A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK...

Naomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers -- until she encounters a ruthless

A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS...

To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth's brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.

HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?

Yet even if Conrad can win Naomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?

Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on April 29. 2008.

Conrad Wroth despises his brothers for turning him into a vampire. Years before he turned, he was a member of a highly secret society whose duty it was to destroy the vampire. Conrad was taught that a vampire was nothing more than an evil that needed to be destroyed. So when he found himself one of the very creatures that he hunted, he was beyond angry. After being turned, he tried to ignore his need for blood, but it soon became too much and he found himself as one of the Fallen. A vampire who has killed while taking directly from the vein. A vampire that who has succumed to a madness in which there is no returning.

Conrad’s brothers, all vampires, refuse to give up on their brother. Having their own reasons for believing that it’s possible to save Conrad, they imprison him in an abandon manor, having no clue that a ghost is also in residence. When Conrad first sees Néomi, he’s convinced that it’s nothing more than the madness that has created the ghostly aberation. What he finds confusing is that the rage that is so much a part of him seems to dim when Néomi is with him.

Néomi Laress died in one of the worst ways a person can imagine. For 80 years, she has been bound to her home, the place where she died. Having no idea why she hasn’t “moved on”, Néomi finds her happiness where she can. Usually it is with the tenants that move into her home. Though they never know she’s there, she takes joy in their lives. When Conrad is brought into the manor, she is estatic that there is someone that can finally see and hear her.

I really enjoyed the love story between Conrad and Néomi. I think what made it even more poignant is that, for over half the book, the two couldn’t even touch. They fell in love with each other before they were even able to have physical contact. Néomi was exactly the sort of woman Conrad needed. Even after 80 years as a ghost, she was still able to find joy in the smallest things. For someone that felt only rage for 300 years, it was a powerful thing. Néomi helped Conrad overcome the rage that is so much a part of them. With every day that passes, Conrad is more and more certain that Néomi is his Bride. The one woman that can made his heart beat. All he has to do is escape the manor in which his brothers imprisoned him in and find a way to made Néomi sentient. Piece of cake, right?

I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll leave it at that. Needless to say, the author throws enough twists and turns in to keep the reader guessing. Fans of this series will be more that satisfied with Dark Needs. There are several characters that we get to revisit, which makes the book even better. There’s also a highly amusing scene between Myst and Kaderin that made me laugh out loud. You gotta love those Valkyries.

4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Guest Review: Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter and Jeffe Kennedy

Posted December 28, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter and Jeffe KennedyReviewer: Tracy
Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Jeffe Kennedy, Elizabeth Hunter
Published by Brightlynx Publishing
Publication Date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
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four-stars

As the snows fall and hearths burn, four stories of Midwinter beginnings prove that love can fight its way through the chillest night...

THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace Draven
The mark Jahna Ulfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of Deyalda, there’s nowhere to escape. Until a handsome stranger promises to teach her to save herself…

THE CHOSEN, by Thea HarrisonIn her visions, Lily sees two men fighting for her tiny country’s allegiance: the wolf and the tiger, each deadly, each cunning. One will bring Ys chaos and death, one a gentler path—but she’s destined to love whichever she chooses. The midwinter Masque is upon them, and the wolf is at her door…

THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter
When her soul mate died in a massacre of the half-angelic Irin people, Renata thought she’d never feel happiness again. She’s retreated to the snowy Dolomites to remember her hurts—until determined, irrepressible Maxim arrives to insist on joy, too. And before she can throw him out, they discover a secret the Irin have to know…

THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN, by Jeffe Kennedy
As a blizzard threatens their mountain keep, the new Queen Amelia of the Twelve Kingdoms and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. But when a surprise attack confines them together in their isolated sanctuary, the feast of midwinter might tempt even Ash into childlike hope…

THE DARKEST NIGHT

Jahna was born with a birthmark on her face (what is now known as a port wine stain) that has made her the victim of severe bullying whenever she wasn’t in her home.  Her father refuses to let her stay home when there are festivals to go to at the palace.  She never takes part in the festivities but enjoys them none-the-less.

When Jahna is a 16-year-old she meets Sir Velus, the swordmaster who has been hired by her father to teach her brother for the next four years.  They become friends but they both harbor deeper feelings for the other that may never come to light.

This was a lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I do wish that we could have seen Velus and Jahna together a bit more as the story does jump time a bit (the novella covers a 4-year span of time).  Despite that I really liked it and love Velus for loving this wonderful woman that everyone else ignored.

THE CHOSEN

This story takes place in the same world as the Elder Races but in one of the parallel magical universes.  The Goddess has a Chosen one and she has prophetic dreams.  She sees violence coming to her country and she’s not sure who she can trust among the warring men.  One man, makes his way into her heart and helps her grow as a Chosen.

I really love Harrison’s Elder Races novels and this was a lovely glimpse into the more magical places in that world.  I really loved both the hero and heroine in this story – I just wish it was longer! Lol  I was totally into it and then it ended. sigh

THE STORM

Maxim fell in love with Renata 18 years earlier but she has been in and out of his life since that time.  He’s determined to finally lock her down!

I loved the premise of this book with the half-angelic Irin people and all they were going through.  It was sad at times but happy at others.  I liked Maxim a lot and was happy when he finally got Renata to agree to be with him forever.

THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN

Ash is a soldier and knows that he’s not a good enough man to be with the queen, even though he loves her and her children.  Ash is seeing them to Windroven where Queen Amelia wants to spend the feast of midwinter.  During their travel they argue and agree to part but neither truly wants to be parted from the other.  When danger threatens the Queen Ash is there to save her.  They finally talk and realize that they never want to be parted.

This was a good story but I felt like I was missing something.  It’s obviously part of a series and because of this I didn’t feel that it stood alone well.  I liked it but was lost at times.  I thought that Amelia and Ash were both hard-headed and needed to talk.  When they finally did, all was well.  It ended without conclusion so I believe that there will be more to their story in the series to come.

Overall I really liked this anthology a lot.  The stories were engaging and I loved the magical/fantasy element that ran through all of the novellas.  This is one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Retro-Review: Heart Change by Robin D. Owens

Posted November 15, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 7 Comments

Retro-Review: Heart Change by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Change by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #8
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret, Heart Legacy, Heart Sight (Celta's Heartmates)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2009
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

First time in print?the fantastic new Celta novel from the award-winning author of Heart Fate.
Signet D'Marigold's lonely life is shaken when a prophet reveals she is a catalyst for change. But to accept her new life-and the charge of the noble child Avellana-means embracing a danger that may be fatal for them both. Especially when Signet's attraction to her new bodyguard signals a secret enemy sworn to destroy them.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: This series is still going strong. I love the world of Celta and look forward to falling into it with each new release.

This review was originally posted on November 2, 2009.

As I recently mentioned, I started this series with book 7, Heart Fate. Over the last month or so I finally caught up on the rest of the series (with the exception of one book I still need to read). I’ve really enjoyed the series up to this point. Owens truly excels at writing strong characters and excellent world-building. Each time I open one of these I can’t wait to fall into her world. I enjoyed some in the series better than others and I’d say Heart Change falls somewhere in the middle.

Signet D’Marigold has pretty much given up on life. She’s the last of her line and she’s practically drowning in loneliness. All of her friends seem to leave her, and because she doesn’t know what her flair is, she doesn’t really have a purpose in life. All that changes when Muin “Vinnie” T’Vine, the teen prophet, shows up and says he knows what her flair is and he needs her help. She’s a catalyst. Just being near her changes the course of other people’s lives for the better.

Vinnie’s heartmate, Avellana, is getting ready to experience her first passage – the time when flair (magical ability) is released for the first time. Because she suffered an accident in the past Vinnie and Avellana’s parents aren’t convinced that she’ll make it through passage safely. Vinnie requests that Avellana move in with Signet because he “saw” that she’d be able to help Avellana.

Avellana’s parents aren’t taking any chances with her safety and hire Cratag Maytree to guard her while she’s with Signet. Cratag has little flair, and ever since landing in Celta he’s been feeling displaced. He’s the captain of the guard for T’Hawthorn, but he knows he isn’t truly one of the family. That’s confirmed when T’Hawthorn assigns him to guard Avellana and Signet. Although he resents being shuffled around, he can’t help but look forward to spending time with Signet, as he’s been attracted to her for some time.

When this book first opens I wasn’t sure I’d like Signet. She was in the middle of a pity party and she didn’t seem like someone I could relate to. As the story progressed she really came alive for me. We come to understand the depth of her loneliness and despair and she really grows, accepting who and what she is. She really opened up throughout the story, not just to Cratag, but also to Avellana, Vinnie and some of the other secondary characters. I really liked watching her come into her own.

As much as I liked Cratag in the previous novels, I wasn’t as impressed with him here. In some regards he was exactly what Signet needed. He was strong and comforting, and I liked that he really let her lean on him when she needed to, but also pushed her when needed to stand up for herself. He really encouraged her to become her own person, which was wonderful. As much as I liked him with Signet, however, I really didn’t care for him on his own.

He doesn’t feel like he’s good enough for Signet. Or really at all. Although he’s the captain of the guard for T’Hawthorn, because he has little flair he doesn’t really feel like he’s been accepted in Celta. So he holds himself back. While I understood this initially, I felt he took it too far. His inner dialogue was focused almost solely on his shortcomings – from his attire to his lack of flair – and it was frustrating. If Signet grew and found herself, Cratag almost seemed to move backward. He seemed more confident and sure of himself in the beginning of the novel than he did at the end.

Having said that, I did enjoy the progression of the relationship. I liked them together and really wanted to see things work between them. Had Cratag been a little faster to realize his own worth I think this could have ended up as one of my favorites.

I really loved the secondary characters. We met all of them earlier in the series, but they played a larger part here. I’ll be curious to see how things develop with Vinnie and Avellana in the future, especially since some of the things that were revealed here still need to be dealt with. I can’t wait to see what happens with Laev, either. He’s Cratag’s young cousin and there was a good amount of the book spent on his story. I hope Owens picks up that thread again soon.

I also really liked both Signet and Cratag’s Fams. I couldn’t help but laugh when Cratag got a rolly-polly kitten as his, but they seemed to fit well together.

I enjoyed the suspense, though it wasn’t hard to figure out who the villain was. I think watching how the characters dealt with it made up for the lack of mystery. I really liked learning more about first passage and experiencing it with Avellana.

Overall I enjoyed the romance, though it had flaws. Despite my issues I feel it’s a good entry to the series and I’ll probably read it again.

3.75 out of 5

The Series

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars


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Retro Review: Demon Moon by Meljean Brook

Posted November 1, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 8 Comments

Retro Review: Demon Moon by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Demon Moon by Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #2
Also in this series: Demon Night, Demon Bound, Demon Forged, Guardian Demon, Demon Angel
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 5th 2007
Pages: 480
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-half-stars

No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but they would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity—bitter comforts, since a curse has erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos.

Savi Murray's insatiable curiosity had gotten her into trouble before, but she'd always escaped unscathed. Then came Colin. In the midst of Heaven, he gave her a taste of ecstasy—and of Chaos. Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection—and their only passion…

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on April 27, 2007.

Side Note: There’s no way I can review this book without including spoilers from the first one, Demon Angel. If you haven’t read DA yet, you may want to skip this review. I’ll try to keep the spoilers for this one to a minimum. :End Side Note

As I’ve mentioned several times now, I won an ARC of this on Sybil‘s blog. I was really excited to read it, especially after Demon Angel (and who doesn’t love free ARC’s?).

Although I enjoyed DA, my biggest issue with it was the pacing. It seemed bogged down with info dumps and was often so slow going I felt like banging my head against the wall. Although it took me ages to read this, it wasn’t because of the pacing. It was just my own busy life intruding on my reading time. The pacing issues were totally cleared up. Way to go, Meljean.

When I heard Colin the Vampire was set to be the hero of this book, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Though I truly enjoyed his character in Demon Angel, I thought he seemed shallow and vain and…almost immature? But MB did an amazing job of showing us the different sides of him. Yes, he was shallow and vain about some things, but the truth is, he was just as tortured as Hugh. Watching him struggle to battle his personal demons and his attraction to Savi was just..amazing.

As for Savi, well, I loved her. Plain and simple. Like, I totally have a girl-crush on her. Where Lilith was in-your-face strong, Savi’s strength was more internal, but no less amazing. I think she was a more personable heroine. The kind you’d like to be friends with. I loved her wit and humor and her general approach to life.

We saw the same characters. Michael and Selah, the Guardians. Lilith and Hugh. Auntie. Sir Pup. And we were introduced to several new characters. Mostly vampires. But they stayed in the background and the main focus was on Colin and Savi. We learned more about their time together in Caelum, Colin’s past and his link to Chaos, Savi’s family and just who they were period. In DA I often felt like, just when the exchanges between Hugh and Lilith were getting intense, the focus would shift to something else. It didn’t feel that way at all in this novel.

Although there are other things going on around them. A rogue demon, a cult of vampires and pressure for Colin to lead the vampire community. I love the world she’s created. This isn’t your typical vampire story. There’s still the battle for good vs. evil and the different realms. Plus, Chaos. That was creepy. And different.

The conflict between Savi and Colin, and the major thing that threatens their HEA was perfectly done. I don’t want to spoil it, but it was very believable. A lot of times authors don’t create a credible reason for why the H/H may not end up together. I was on the edge of my seat with this one. And the end? Awesome. I even cried a little.

I think the only issue I had with the book was…the sexual tension. Normally I lurve me some sexual tension, but this went on WAY too long. I mean, come one. Every single time they were about to get it on, something would happen. I was about to pull my hair out. Luckily once they finally get to doing the dirty it makes up for all the previous tension. But I have to tell you, I was hurting there for awhile. g

One last thing. On her blog, Meljean mentioned someone else reading this book and saying it could standalone. I completely disagree. I think had I not read Demon Angel first, I’d have been completely lost. As it was, there were several times I had to go back to DA to reference something. IMO, they should be read together.

I’m anxious to read the Wild Thing anthology, which contains Selah’s story. If you’re interested, Gwen from over at Sybil’s blog reviewed it. It sounds great.

Overall this book was amazing. Savi and Colin were wonderful characters and I can’t wait for the next installment.

4.5 out of 5

This book is out June 5, so be sure to bump it up to the top of your wish list. In the meantime? Go visit Meljean’s site. I really like it. And BONUS! She has excerpts up. 😉

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Dragon Lesson by Mell Eight

Posted October 26, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Dragon Lesson by Mell EightReviewer: Tracy
Dragon Lesson by Mell Eight
Series: Supernatural Consultant #6
Also in this series: Dragon Consultant, Dragon Deception, Dragon Dilemma, Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure, Dragon Home
Published by Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: October 11th 2017
Genres: M/M, New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

All Lumie wants is Goldie's beautiful smile, but the only expression he ever shows Lumie is tears. When Goldie asks him for a favor, Lumie leaps at the chance to finally see Goldie happy.

Goldie wants to live a life free of the fear that has chained him for so long, but breaking free of them once and for all may come with a higher price than he and Lumie are prepared to pay.

Lumie wants nothing more than for Goldie to be happy.  He loves him and in a vision he saw Goldie smile.  He wants that to happen in real life.  As Lumie has special powers besides his normal dragon powers, he is contacted by the government as they want him to work for him.  They will pay for his college and then he’ll work for them for 6 years. Lumie isn’t all that excited about college but he knows his brother Alloy is.  When Lumie talks to Goldie about it, he asks if he can come too.  While Lumie hates school he’ll do anything to be close to Goldie – including go to college.  Lumie makes a deal so that he as well as Alloy and Goldie get the same college education and work as he does. Unfortunately the first case that Lumie and Goldie are assigned ends up being one that even Lumie and his special powers can’t deal with.

Goldie spent 5 years being experimented on by scientists before he was rescued.  He has never been far from the dragon town he lives in and while he’s excited about college he’s also very hesitant to go.  He never dreamed that talking to government agents would bring to light what his powers do to him but it changes his life.  Now if he can just get Lumie to love him, he’d have everything.

This was yet another great story in the Supernatural Consultant series.  The books are just so engaging and seeing the dragon kits that we were introduced to in book one grow into young men and women is awesome.  I love that Eight has moved the story along so that 13 or 14 years have passed since it all began.

In this book Lumie finally figures out his strange powers.  He also has found love and wants his mate to be happy.  The way Lumie was with Goldie was so very sweet I had a smile on my face for almost the entire book.  He’s such a caring young man!  I loved that Eight had Lumie grown up but still his mischievous self.

The book was highly entertaining and a wonderful addition to the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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