Genre: Paranormal Romance

Throwback Thursday Review: Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra

Posted September 12, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Sea Witch by Virginia KantraReviewer: Casee
Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra
Series: Children of the Sea #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Format: Print
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 273
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

First in the new The Children of the Sea series from the USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR.

Margred is a Selkie - a legendary being of the sea, able to shapeshift into seductive human form. And she has found a human she desires...

Burned out from the big city, Caleb Hunter becomes police chief on the peaceful Maine island of World's End. Then he meets a woman who's everything he's ever dreamed of.

Their passion is undeniable, irresistible ...and it may change the fate of humankind.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on September 8, 2010

I really have enjoyed Virginia Kantra’s romantic suspense books so I wasn’t thrilled when this series first came out. I was so un-thrilled, in fact, that I didn’t read this book until two years after I got it.

Margred/Maggie threw me off at first. As a selkie, she doesn’t have human thoughts, human feelings, etc. The only human urge she has is of the sexual variety. So she was a very “go get ‘em” type of girl/seal. She first meets Caleb when she comes to land to find someone to bleep. Caleb is that person. She is attracted to him in a way that doesn’t make sense to the selkie part of her.

Caleb has had a rough few years and is happy to be home in World Point. When he first meets Maggie, he is breaking up a celebration on the beach. After a very intense sexual encounter, Maggie leaves and doesn’t come back. After that, Caleb would check that stretch of beach. For three weeks he waited for her. He finally finds her, but not in the way he wants.

When Maggie comes to shore, she is attacked and her pelt is subsequently burned. To be without her pelt is to not be selkie. Maggie has no idea what to do. She knows no one but Caleb. She has no one but Caleb. While she is very attracted to him, she is selkie at heart and cannot remain on land.

Maggie’s thoughts on immortality were very confusing (for her). She couldn’t understand why any selkie would resort to becoming human thus aging. As a 700 year old selkie, she can’t fathom a lifespan so short nor does she want to. Her inner struggle with that was really very emotional. She realizes she loves Caleb, but she still can’t imagine giving up her life as a selkie. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine her doing it either.

End up together they do, though it wasn’t easy to get there. They have demons and a long-lost brother to deal with. For the first book in the series, I found it very well written.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Children of the Sea

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Heart Secret by Robin D. Owens

Posted September 5, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Heart Secret by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Secret by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #11
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Thief , Heart Duel , Heart Choice, Heart Quest , Heart Dance , Heart Fate , Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Fire, Heart Legacy, Heart Change, Heart Sight (Celta's Heartmates)
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: August 7th 2012
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 368
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

On the faraway planet Celta, there are some things you can never tell—until someone discovers your Heart Secret…

When a virulent disease killed the woman he loved and her baby, Garrett Primross was left alive, a reluctant survivor. Now, as a private eye, he strives to banish the memories of his past and rebuild his life. The Healers of Celta have something else in mind: Discover why he survived.

He is monitored by Healer Artemisia Panax—his HeartMate, a love he never pursued. Still mourning his loss, he refuses to acknowledge her. Since her family was publicly disgraced, she's used to such treatment. She wants nothing more than to guard her livelihood and protect the secrets she's sworn to keep.

Thrown together by duty, Garrett and Artemisia find the body of the last Black Magic Cultist who ruined her family. Suspicion flares, but they have little choice but to investigate the crime together. When their own lives are placed in danger, they realize that denying their HeartMates is only denying their own future.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on August 7, 2012

This is book number eleven in Owens’ Celta’s HeartMates series. While past events are mentioned, I think this can be read as a standalone.

Garrett is the sole survivor from his small estate of a terrible disease. When it took the girl he loved three years before, he vowed never to contact his HeartMate. He didn’t want to soil the memory of his first love, nor did he want to risk his heart again. Now they’re being forced to work together to help find a cure, since the disease is back. He tries to keep her at arms length, but can’t deny he’s drawn to her.

Artemisia’s family was cast out of their home after they were falsely accused of being part of a cult. They have since been tasked with taking care of BalmHeal, the private sanctuary of Celta that’s only available to those who are in desperate need. The entire family has been sworn to secrecy. She knows she has a HeartMate, but figures he never tried to contact her because of the scandal. And she’s ok with that. Mostly. She does want a family, however, and she hopes to find someone she can marry. She can’t deny an attraction to Garrett, but he’s a patient and therefore off limits. Plus, he’s kind of grumpy and prickly.

Even after they’re forced time together (while Garrett undergoes infection – he’s the only one on the planet who is immune – of a rare disease so they can hopefully find a cure), Garrett doesn’t want to claim Artemisia as his HeartMate. He wants to remain true to his first love and he resents that Artemisia makes him feel things for her.

With this novel, Owens moves firmly into the second generation of Celta families. I’m kind of torn here. I really like that we’re moving into a new generation and seeing outside the First Families. On the other hand, I kind of miss the sense of the world we got from the First Family’s point of view.

This is a darker novel. Garrett suffered through a traumatic event and there’s is a lot of pain and grief inside of him from it. He takes out his anger and guilt on Artemisia more than once. As we learn more about the events that shaped his past, it’s easy to forgive his treatment of her. Where I struggled was his complete about-face with her. One minute he didn’t want her as his HeartMate and the next he decided to claim her. That might have killed the novel for me, but he really had to work for it. If Artemisia had fallen at his feet as soon as he announced his change of heart, I don’t think this would have worked as well.

I enjoyed both characters. Artemisia was a strong women who was doing her best to make her way in the world, despite the scandal that still hung over her head. I only wish more had been done about the director of the Healing Hall she worked at. I was hoping for a comeuppance and was sorely disappointed in that regard.

Celta is such an interesting world, so easy to fall into. I can never wait to get the next installment and when I finish a new book, I always want to go back and re-read the old ones.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Celta’s HeartMates

three-half-stars


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Review: Dark Illusion by Christine Feehan

Posted September 2, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Dark Illusion by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Dark Illusion by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark Series #33
Also in this series: Dark Nights (Dark #6.5, #9.5), Dark Wolf (Dark, #25), Dark Promises (Dark, #29), Dark Carousel (Dark, #30), Dark Legacy (Dark, #31), Dark Slayer (Dark, #17), Dark Sentinel (Dark #28)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

A mage and a warrior must see beyond their facades and embrace the bond that links their souls in this powerful Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

At any other time, Julija Brennan would find solace in the quiet of the Sierra Mountains, but now the mage is in the race of her life. Having broken free from her controlling family, Julija's attempts to warn the Carpathians of the coming threat has failed and put a target on her back—and those who hunt her are close behind...

After centuries locked away in a monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, Isai Florea can't believe he's finally found his lifemate—the missing half of his soul. The second he sees Julija his world blazes with color. But despite their explosive connection Julija rebels against what she sees as Isai's intent to control her and rejects the bond that would prevent him from becoming a monster.

As their unfulfilled bond continues to call to them both, Julija and Isai aim to complete the task that brought them together. They are used to facing danger alone, but now the mage and the ancient warrior must learn how to rely on each other in order to stop a plot that threatens all Carpathians...

This is book number thirty three in Feehan’s Dark series. It’s amazing to me that she can keep it fresh most of the time. I enjoyed this book more than the last few of the series. The next book promises to be just as good.

Julija Brennan carries the mark of a high mage. She also carries the mark of Dragonseeker. She’s also part Carpathian. Julija is a little bit of everything. Julija is in the mountains looking for a book that could wipe the Carpathian species off the map. While she’s searching, Julija feels sorrow radiating close by. Julija finds Elisabeta, a Carpathian that was kidnapped centuries ago. Julija can do nothing but help set her free. Thus begins her war with her family, a master vampire, and a mage whom she’s terrified of. The book has to be destroyed at any cost, up to and including Julija’s life.

Julija is in the Sierra Nevadas, where she followed a Carpathian who just lost his lifemate to old age. She has no idea of what is to come. Isai Florea has also come to the Sierra Nevadas to find his brother and the book. When he runs into an illusion cast by Julija, he’s almost fooled. But Isai is ancient and not so easy to fool. He’s shocked when he discovers his lifemate behind the illusion and even more shocked that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him.

Julija was raised to be afraid. She’s afraid of Carpathians, but especially of the lifemates. She’s lived her life wondering if everything was an illusion. Her father and brothers always played tricks on her. The teacher that became her friend was an illusion as well. After being in the care of his torturous hands, Julija wants nothing more than to end her life. When she meets Isai, she instantly rejects him. Then her father comes at her viciously, through a psychic attack. Julija can do nothing but turn to Isai.

While he’s ready to leave her after their first meeting, he ends up deciding to help Julija find the book, hoping they will find his brother as well. They quickly get to know each other and Isai realizes how wrong he was to judge her. Now Julija and Isai are in a race to find the book before her father or Sergey, the master vampire. They both know that they can’t fail.

I really, really liked this book. It was so different that some of her past books. Julija was terrified, but she fought it and came out the victor. Having Isai by her side make her realize that together, they were virtually unstoppable. I loved watching Julija come into her own after meeting Isai. He had a big part in that. I loved that Isai was willing to let Julija be who she was. He helped her gain so much self-confidence. Self-confidence that was beaten out of her by her family. She’s a survivor. If you like this series, I think you’ll really enjoy this book. If this series sounds interesting to you, the first book is Dark Prince.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dark

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Dark Illusion by Christine Feehan

Posted September 1, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I started reading the Dark series waaaaay back in 2000. My son was a newborn and I needed to find something to do while I stayed at home with him. I headed into a used bookstore (you know, back in the day when they had used bookstores) and saw Dark Prince displayed. It is the first book in the series. I picked it up and ended up reading it in one day. Dark Illusion is the 33rd book in this series. Although at times it can get monotonous, I still love it. I’ve really enjoyed this new story line that CF has going on. If you have been looking for a good paranormal, this is a good place to start.

Sunday Spotlight: Dark Illusion by Christine FeehanDark Illusion by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark #33
Also in this series: Dark Illusion
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

A mage and a warrior must see beyond their facades and embrace the bond that links their souls in this powerful Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

At any other time, Julija Brennan would find solace in the quiet of the Sierra Mountains, but now the mage is in the race of her life. Having broken free from her controlling family, Julija's attempts to warn the Carpathians of the coming threat has failed and put a target on her back—and those who hunt her are close behind...

After centuries locked away in a monastery in the Carpathian Mountains, Isai Florea can't believe he's finally found his lifemate—the missing half of his soul. The second he sees Julija his world blazes with color. But despite their explosive connection Julija rebels against what she sees as Isai's intent to control her and rejects the bond that would prevent him from becoming a monster.

As their unfulfilled bond continues to call to them both, Julija and Isai aim to complete the task that brought them together. They are used to facing danger alone, but now the mage and the ancient warrior must learn how to rely on each other in order to stop a plot that threatens all Carpathians...

Exclusive Excerpt

The world looked very different when one was soaring through the air in the middle of the night. Julija found herself laughing, elated, exhilarated. I love this.

Pay attention to what you are doing, kislány hän ku meke sarnaakmet minan. Stay focused.

Was there panic in his voice? Julija thought there might be and that made her laugh all over again. The stars were brighter this far up. Everything below her seemed very small. The cats were running flat out on the rocks below, Carpathian blood calling to them. They would find Julija and Isai before dawn when Isai found a place for them all. In the meantime, she could do a few crazy tricks, like try to do somersaults in the air.

Julija. You will behave yourself. Pay attention. Do you have any idea of all the things that could go wrong?

I want to kiss you right now. She did. Kissing him sounded wonderful. Completing. That was exactly what she needed to make flying the best thing that ever was. She thought about his face. The lines etched deep. The strong jaw. Aristocratic nose. That long hair, pulled back in his braid with cords tying it every few inches. Always neat. Never ruffled. She laughed all over again. Your feathers seem a little ruffled now. Her laughter grew. That was true—and funny.

The larger owl dropped down to cover the female with one widespread wing. I think you have truly lost your mind, woman. Stop laughing.

There was no stopping, not when she was this happy. Are you crazy? This is—wonderful. Perfection. I can’t believe how flying feels. I could do this all night.

It is your first time, sívamet. There was a hint of a smile coming through the panic along with resignation. You will tire easily. Please keep your mind focused on what you are doing. If you lose the image, even for a moment, you will fall from the sky.

She knew that, and it should have scared her, but it didn’t. She’d always had the ability to give details her full attention. She was aware of everything around her. She’d had to be. Her father was very exacting of all of them, but of her in particular. Her stepmother was very cruel; knowing where she was in the house at all times had saved Julija from many beatings. She wasn’t going to think about her. Nothing was going to mar her enjoyment of flying through the air on silent wings.

Stay with me. Your owl has excellent hearing and vision. We are looking for Iulian’s trail. I was searching for him when I discovered you. I tried reaching out to him, but he didn’t answer. Neither, when the theft was first discovered, did he answer the prince, Gregori or Tariq.

I felt him up until about forty-eight hours ago. He felt . . . sad. Very sad. His sorrow weighed him down.

You said you connected with him when he was with his lifemate.

She was very tired. She must have been in her eighties or nineties and alone in a nursing home. He held her until she passed.

Isai was silent for so long she was becoming alarmed. In the body of the owl she twisted her neck, although the eyes could see his owl very clearly.

What are you thinking, Isai?

The entire time he was close to you, you could connect with him?

Yes. I felt his emotions, even though he could not. She settled into a pattern, flying close to him, allowing the larger bird to keep her nearly beneath his wing.

Was that common for you? Feeling the emotions of others?

Automatically, her owl observed everything going on below her. For the most part, there was little movement of humans or even mages on the vast acreage laid out below them. Twice she’d seen hikers, but when Isai had dropped low to ensure they were truly hikers, both times they’d been legitimate.

To feel other’s emotions, yes. To connect so strongly with a Carpathian male? No. That was the first time and it was extremely strong. I was shocked that he didn’t seem aware of it.

You were behind him by several days and yet you were able to pick up his trail again once you were here in Yosemite?

Yes. The pull was extreme again. There was no getting away from it. He was broadcasting sorrow so deep, at times all I could do was weep for him. That was the truth as well. His brother, Iulian, had moved her beyond all self-centered thoughts. Beyond anything. His sorrow was that deep.

Then suddenly that trail abruptly ended?

Again, she twisted her neck to look at him. His voice had been pitched exactly the same, but she listened for any little inflection. Something was off. He was going somewhere with his inquiry, not just trying to find a detail she missed.

I don’t believe he was selfishly looking to keep the book. It didn’t feel that way to me at all. What are you thinking?

The same thing you are. He took the book to protect it. He had to have had a plan. My blood calls to his, yet it goes unanswered. The book was sealed with the blood of sacrifice. To keep that blood sacrifice from calling to the any member of the high mage’s family— He broke off.

Julija knew what was coming. She’d entertained the idea she knew was moving through Isai’s mind. She wanted desperately to stop him from voicing it. Already she could feel the beginnings of sorrow in his mind. She couldn’t stop herself. She had to delay the inevitable, even if it was just for a few minutes.

Dark Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: September 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 40 published novels, including five series; Leopard Series, Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Drake Sisters Series, & the Sisters of the Heart Series. All five series hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.


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Review: Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright

Posted August 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Untamed Delights by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright
Series: The Phoenix Pack #8
Also in this series: Wild Hunger, Wild Hunger , Carnal Secrets
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 381
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Return to the sensual and feral stirrings of the Phoenix Pack as a woman who’s already bound to one man is tempted by a wolf who’s bound only to his nightly desires.

Cat shifter Mila Devereaux can’t help but see it as a betrayal. That her one true mate imprinted himself on another female was hard enough to accept. Struggling to be at peace with her loveless fate, she doesn’t fight the suggestion of entering an arranged mating. Then she meets Dominic, a pack enforcer with a notorious reputation. It’s in his very scent. This irresistible playboy—and delicious badass wolf—is making Mila’s fantasies come alive again.

Alarming, compelling, and heady with sensual energy, Dominic is an expert at making women shed their inhibitions. Now everything about him—his killer smile, his perfectly sculpted body, and his smooth-as-honey voice—is drawing in a captivating new catch. But for the first time in his life, Dominic is feeling more than a fling. He finds himself tantalized by a female who makes him think of forever. He wants all of Mila and won’t be satisfied until he has it.

As the passion grows wild, so does the risk. They’re falling in love in the shadows and secrets of their pasts. And it’s threatening to destroy everything Mila and Dominic are fighting for. And are destined for.

Untamed Delights is the final book in Suzanne Wright’s Phoenix Pack series. I’m sad to see the end of it, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next from Wright.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Dom’s book. He’s the one who constantly tossed cheesy lines at all the women in previous books, but you could tell there was more to him.

Mila Devereaux, a Pallas cat, knows who her True Mate is, and she and her cat are salty because he imprinted on someone else. She wouldn’t accept him now even if he did come for her, because she feels he betrayed and abandoned her by choosing someone else. She wants him to be happy, but that doesn’t lesson the feelings of betrayal. She’s having a hard time living as part of her Pride, since she’s in constant contact with her True Mate and the shifter he chose. Dominic isn’t interested in finding his True Mate. He wants a partner, and he’d rather do the choosing than have fate choose for him. He’s wanted Mila for years, but after they spend a little more time together he knows he has to have her. He sets out to win her and her cat over.

I really liked the way he and Mila chose each other, though I did struggle with the whole fated mates aspect. Dominic choosing to be with her, despite knowing he has a True Mate somewhere in the world was sweet, but I was mildly bothered by the fact that Mila was just okay with it. As someone who felt betrayed by her True Mate choosing someone else, I thought she should have felt some kind of way about doing that to someone else.

That aside, I liked their relationship and watching them come together. I liked watching Dominic fall for her, and go all in. They had great banter and a lot of chemistry. It was also great seeing some of my favorite past characters, though I could have done without Greta and her constant sniping. That was funny 15 books ago. Now, not so much.

I didn’t care for the “villains”, but then I rarely do when it comes to SW’s books. Still, Wright always gets me wrapped up in her world, and this book was no exception.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Phoenix Pack

four-stars


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