Genre: Paranormal Romance

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
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
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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
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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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Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

Posted October 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Shadow Reaper (Shadow, #2) by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Riders #2
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
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three-stars

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Christine Feehan returns to her scorching-hot series starring a Chicago crime family that has built its empire in the shadows...

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood--but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her--a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...

Shadow Reaper is the second book in Feehan’s Shadow series, featuring the Ferraros, a Chicago family who are Shadow Riders – they’re able to slide and travel via shadows. They’re thought to be a crime/mafia family, but in truth they’re vigilantes. As Shadow Riders, the Ferraro brothers and sister can only mate/marry someone who can also ride the shadows, otherwise they won’t be able to produce shadow-riding children.

Ricco is one of the wilder brothers. He’s known as a playboy who races cars and often goes crazy partying. He’s into the art of Shibari – Japanese erotic bondage. After a terrible crash takes him out of commission for awhile, he reevaluates his life and decides to focus more on Shibari and finding a mate, and less on acting the playboy. When the perfect woman answers his ad for a rope model, Ricco figures it’s too good to be true, but he can’t stop himself from falling for her.

I enjoyed the first book more. This one was slower paced and didn’t hold my attention as much. I really like the Ferraro family, along with their neighborhood. I liked the heroine and her backstory, but the romance wasn’t as exciting. Nor was the overall story. I wanted to like it, but I was mostly just bored.

Although this one didn’t work as well as the first, I’m hopeful the next book will pick up.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

Posted October 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.Reviewer: Rowena
A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #2
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: April 1st 2006
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 356
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Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

*****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 June 4, 2007.

So I took a break from the Crazy series because I left the next book at home and I had this one with me so I started reading it and man, I’ve got to publicly thank Lori for pimping this book to me a couple of weeks ago, because man did I devour this book on Saturday. This is the first book in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.

The book is about the Lykae King who was captured and held captive by these mean bad ass vampires and tortured like you can’t even imagine and his never-ending quest to find his true mate. He’s searched high and low for this woman for the last roughly like 1100 years, to no avail until one day, he’s in chains and he scents her, above him and the guy goes a little crazy. He breaks his chains and rushes to find her, only to find out that his mate, his beloved mate is one of the things he detests most in this world…a vampire.

So you can only imagine how pissed off he was. I mean, he’s caught and held captive and then tortured within an inch of his life and then the one thing that gets him out of this mess, his mate turns out to be one of …them.

It’s been hundreds of years that he’s searched for her and he’s not going to let one little thing like her being a vampire stand in the way of him and his mate. Although he’s pissed to high heaven about this turn of events, he still kidnaps Emma and forces her to his will. He’s consumed with hatred for vampires and everything they’ve done to him and his family. He vows to never let her go back to her family and even though he hates everything she turned out to be, timid, shy and well, vampire …he still catches himself before actually hurting her because, there’s something about her…

He askes her to drive him to his family home, where he can finally get back to his own people and on the way, he softens toward her like it was no thang, by the time they’re home, she becomes so much more than just his mate. So now, he’s got to convince her to stay with him because she loves him and not because she’s too scared to leave. He’s got to convince her to stay before her Aunts come calling on them for a war, since he refuses to give her up.

Tempers flair and people change, but will it be enough for this Lykae King to finally be at peace with the mate he’s searched his whole life for?

You bet your bottom dollar it is, this is romance of course. =)

Man, this book was really good. I liked the passion with which Lachlain did everything. He never did anything by half measure, if he hated your guts, he hated you with everything that he was and made no move to hide his displeasure or hatred. If he loved you, he did all he could to keep you around and went to any lengths to make you see things his way. He was very demanding at the same time he was very patient. He was a man of his word and he was not to be taken lightly…ever. Lachlain was passionate and just so hot damn hot even with his regenerating leg, he was yum yum yum…even when he was being an ass. He did a lot of stupid things that I hated in the beginning but as he got to know Emma and care for her, I started to forgive him for all his wrongdoings in the beginning of the book.

Emma learned that Lachlain was a man who wasn’t above lying, cheating and using whatever was at his disposal to get what he wants and though she softened toward him at the end, he still had a lot to prove to her and I was so happy that she grew a pair to finally tell him where to shove his crap. I loved that each time she drank from him, she got so strong and she would smack the shit out of him and be all like, “Thats for pissing me off” and whatever else she would say, I loved it!

I loved how she stood up for herself and did the one thing that would unite her with the people she knows and loves. I loved that she took it upon herself to do that thing and it endeared her to me greatly.

The world that Kresley Cole created with all these demons and vampires, Lykae and Valkyrie intrigued me right from the very beginning, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world with each word that I read in the beginning, I felt Lachlain’s hatred and I felt his haunted past trying to ruin everything he had with Emma and I love love loved how he fought to keep Emma by his side, regardless of who and what she was.

It was a true romance in every sense of the word and I just ate it all up. There were things in the beginning that I didn’t really care for but other than the way Lachlain and Emma meet and the way he treated her in the beginning, I really enjoyed this story. It was smooth reading and Kresley Cole’s voice in this story makes me look forward to more from her, this was a definite delight!

Read it!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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