Tag: Paranormal Romance

Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior by Angela Knight

Posted April 19, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior by Angela KnightReviewer: Casee
Warrior by Angela Knight
Series: Time Hunters #1
Published by Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 277
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR launches the new Time Hunters series.

In the 24th century, anyone can leap through time at will. To police the time jumpers, the Temporal Enforcement Agency has established a precinct in time. Galar Arvid is a genetically altered warlord and agent who’s been sent back to 2008 to save a pretty Atlanta artist from a Xeran time traveler who intends to kill her for profit. What Galar doesn’t count on is the powerful desire Jessica Kelly ignites in him. But could a romance between them work? A three-hundred-year chasm separates them and, even if they dart through time, there’s still a maniacal killer on their tails.

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

This review was originally posted on August 12, 2008.

This is the first of four reviews that I need to do, reviews I should have been working on yesterday. Unfortunately, I could not get myself motivated enough to turn on my laptop, let alone write a review. Instead, I mindlessly watched HGTV for hours. In a house that was silent. It was the closest thing to Heaven that I can imagine. This is totally off topic, but for you HGTV watchers, I’m curious…is the host of Color Splash (the one that wears tank tops and uses more hair products than I do) gay? That was about the hardest my brain worked yesterday. Actually there was one more brief moment of lucidity when I emailed Holly (via my Blackberry) and we discussed sex on a motorcycle a la Heat of the Moment by Jessica Hall. Is that actually possible?

While I can probably drone on and on about the nothing that I did yesterday, let me move onto my review of Warrior. This book begins a new series called Time Hunters. While Warrior is loosely connected to Jane’s Warlord, technically they’re not in the same series. It’s been so many years since I actually read Jane’s Warlord that I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a Warlord and an Enforcer (which is what our hero is).

As a Master Enforcer, Galar Arvid is in charge of the group of Enforcers that travel to 2008 to save Jessica Kelly from being murdered by a Time Jumper. Centuries in the future, Jessica will be infamous, for her art and for how her life was cut tragically short. Galar’s mission is to step in if, and only if, Jessica’s would be murderer is from the future. Following his own laws, he will be unable to help Jessica if her murderer is a human from her time.

Jessica is terrified when she awakes to find a stranger in her house demanding to know where her roommate is, while choking the life out of her. Fighting as best she can, she recalls little about when Galar and his team burst into her house to try to save her life. When she’s taken to the Time Jumpers “base”, what she feels goes beyond disbelief.

This is a bit of a hard review to write b/c there’s so much going on in the book to try to get the reader up to speed on this world. The Enforcers are human, yet not. They have a computer type thing in their brain which can control their bodies reactions to situations, tell them when someone is sneaking up behind them, and give them super human strength. Aside from that, they look just as human and a 21st century human being, which is what they originally assume Jess is. They soon realize their error when they discover that Jess is not entirely human herself. But then if she’s not human, is she a spy?

Even with the information overload at times, Warrior is still a good start to the Time Hunter series. There was an interesting conflict setup with a traitor (obviously not Jess) and a group of almost extinct aliens (imagine the Chicken Little aliens here). Galar is a true hero, someone that has given up a lot for his people. Having been betrayed by a woman he thought he loved in the past, he doesn’t take it well when it’s first thought that Jess is a traitor. Having to ignore everything he believes, Galar does what he must to protect his world and the people in it. Jess was an okay heroine, nothing too spectacular. She really accepted the world rather well considering that she was thrown into it as brutally as she was. That was a bit unbelievable, even with the measures the Enforcers have in place to bring people like Jess up to speed.

Knight also did a good job of setting up the next book, which I look forward to reading. All in all, I would say give this book a try.

4 out of 5.

Time Hunters

four-stars


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Guest Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston

Posted April 13, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly LaurenstonReviewer: Tracy
Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston
Series: The Honey Badgers #1
Published by Kensington
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
four-stars

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Charlie, Max and Stevie are all half-sisters.  They all have the same no good, thieving, idiot father who is constantly getting himself into trouble.  The problem with that is that people think they can get to their father through his daughters.  Not!  Charlie, Max and Stevie were all raised first by Charlie’s mother and then when she died, by Charlie’s grandfather in a wolf pack.  Charlie is half honey badger and half wolf.  Max is all honey badger and Stevie is half honey badger, half tiger.  They’re all incredibly dangerous and can take anyone who comes after them.  That doesn’t mean they want to.

When the girls’ father once again gets them into the middle of things, Charlie, Max and Stevie take help from an unlikely source.  Berg is a bear shifter and completely smitten with Charlie.  He offers to help house them and they end up renting a house in an all bear neighborhood. Berg just happens to live across the street so this is convenient for him to be near Charlie as much as possible.

When the girls finally figure out what they father has done to get people after them they try to remedy the situation, but a wedding their not invited to, twin aunts who have no idea they’re shifters and a psychopathic cousin make this incredibly difficult.  With help from a bunch of unlikely sources the girls try to make their lives as normal as possible.

I love honey badgers. LOL  They are tough and don’t take anyone’s shit.  They can fight anyone and probably win and have a blasé attitude while doing it.  This particular group of honey badgers made me laugh constantly.  I love the way that Laurenston writes and her characters are always so alive and so incredibly irreverent.

This was Charlie and Berg’s romance but their relationship was so entwined into the story that it was more about everything else going on.  That actually worked for me.  There was SO much going on in this book that to add more of the romance wouldn’t have felt right.

I adored Charlie, Max and Stevie’s relationship. They were constantly at war with each other, yet they loved each other dearly and would have each other’s back in a hot minute.  Charlie was very protective of her sisters and especially Stevie as she kind of had her head in the clouds.  She’s a complete genius and was in her head a bit more than she was in reality.  When people try to take Stevie for her big brain Charlie does everything she can to stop it.  The girls may not hug each other on a regular basis but I could feel the love between the three.

I can’t tell you all the little bits of this book because A) there are a lot of bits! And B) you need to read it for yourself in order to get what’s going on.  This was a fun and crazy book and I really enjoyed it.  A great start to a new series that still includes people from other series that we already know and love.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Posted April 9, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. AikenReviewer: Holly
Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1) by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #1
Also in this series: Light My Fire, Dragon on Top, Bring the Heat, Bring the Heat
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: September 1st 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong...

Annwyl the Bloody is sister to the evil king of the realm. She’s been fighting his troops for years, slowly gathering support to form a rebellion meant to overthrow him. When she ends up on deaths doorstep outside a dragon’s den, she doesn’t expect to live. Either her brother’s soldiers will kill her, or the dragon will. But she isn’t going to go down cowering. She’ll go out as she lived, fighting for all she’s worth.

Fearghus the Destroyer is an antisocial dragon. He prefers being alone in his den to dealing with humans or other dragons. But Annwyl the Bloody intrigues him. Not only does her reputation proceed her, but she’s the only human he’s ever met who doesn’t cower from Dragons. She’s fierce and bold, and he can’t stop himself from wanting to heal, take care of and spend time with her. He knows if she wants to defeat her brother he needs better training. She has to learn to control her rage.

When Fearghus tells Annwyl he has a Knight who can help her hone her skill with a sword, she’s skeptical. But she can’t deny the man has skill. Still, for all of her attraction to the Knight, she prefers the company of the dragon.

This was such a good book. I loved how bloodthirsty and kickass the heroine was. She wasn’t a shrinking violet who needed to be saved. I loved Fearghus the dragon. He was so cute. Every time he and Annwyl snuggled I got all melty. I struggled more with her relationship with the Knight. They had a contentious relationship that didn’t really lend itself to softer feelings.

View Spoiler »

Still, I really enjoyed the story, the heroine and the dragon. This was a great start to what I hope will be a great series.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Posted April 9, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn SparksReviewer: Jen
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced #3
Also in this series: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2)

Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. But when the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

Gwennore is adopted sister #3 from the group of orphaned girls living in a convent on the Isle of Moon. She’s an elf, and because the elves are particularly vicious and have been warring with many other nations, she’s treated with disgust and revulsion pretty much everywhere she goes. She loves her sisters and their children, though, so she puts up with the abuse instead of running back to the safety of the convent. When Gwen and the princess of Eberon get kidnapped by a dragon, she finds herself taken to the kingdom of Norveshki, where a very kindly dragon and a very handsome man promise to keep her safe. Silas is better known as General Dravenko, and we met him in the last book when he helped Rupert. Some extremely shady and worrying things have been happening in Norveshki, and since Gwen is Embraced (born with one magical power) as well as intelligent, Silas thinks she can help him get to the bottom of the problem. Of course, things are more complicated than they at first appear, both in Norveshki and between Gwen and Silas.

This book has dragons! Whew, I love me some dragons. Unfortunately there wasn’t nearly enough dragon parts (harhar) for me, but there are a couple scenes of dragons saving the day so I wasn’t totally unsatisfied. I really love the fantasy world of this series. It is vaguely medieval but not strictly so, which means references to “underpants” and other modern phrases feel a little anachronistic but not inexcusably so. This is clearly not our universe, even if it it is very similar. Personally, I’d like a little more world building, like details about the religion for instance, but some of that may come later, too.

I really liked Silas and Gwen, if not 100%. Silas was such a sweetheart underneath, though he covers it up with jokes. In a way I felt that was a bit of immaturity due to his age, like he has to make all these big decisions and carry this big weight on his shoulders but he makes light of it by acting silly. I did wish he was a little more forthcoming to Gwen with information. He has one big secret he keeps from her and that was totally believable because knowing would have had serious consequences for her. Fair. (Although honestly he dropped enough hints that I’d argue deep down he wanted her to figure it out.) But he also leaves out a REALLY big detail about who he is…and his excuse is he just didn’t think about it?! I gave him some serious side eye there. Still, he is just so tender-hearted and good. He is trying his best to take care of the entire kingdom and save his family, and I felt so bad that he was forced to juggle all of that. Gwen is also amazing and so resilient despite all the terrible treatment she’s experienced. She has trouble believing anyone would find her worth loving, which is one reason she pushes Silas away for so long. Unfortunately, it went on too long. I didn’t understand why she was still fighting him for so many pages.

Silas and Gwen had some great chemistry together and at first it was sexy, but then it dragged out. They don’t even kiss until FAR into the book, and the only sex scene comes nearly at the end. It was just odd to build up this tension and then do nothing with it. I also wanted them to have some more conversations. Silas is so busy protecting Norveshki’s secrets that he doesn’t tell Gwen much about himself, and she doesn’t say much about her own life either. It’s not that I didn’t buy them as a couple, but I would have liked a stronger physical and emotional connection.

While it’s not a cliffhanger, there are no resolutions to all the threads in this book–I presume they will be continued in the next book. In particular, we have to find out more about Gwen’s parents and about Sorcha, another sister whose story started to come out in this book. We do also hear from The Chameleon, the villain from the earlier books, and we get some inkling that something more complicated is going on than anyone realized. I can’t wait to find out more.

I personally loved this book, although frankly that’s more for how it continued the series than for this book itself. If you are enjoying the series this will probably work for you, but I wouldn’t suggest you begin here.

The Embraced Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Covert Game by Christine Feehan

Posted April 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Covert Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Covert Game (GhostWalkers #14) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #14
Also in this series: Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7)
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there's no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He's the perfect killing machine—a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord's computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she's the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her...

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it's up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she's led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won't stop him...

I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened, but Christine Feehan’s writing has changed. And I’m loving it. She has always had her Carpathian series, which was darker than her other series, but that’s just not the case anymore. The GhostWalkers started to get darker a couple years ago. Now they’re completely in dark territory. Even her Sisters of the Heart series was pretty dark. Torpedo Ink? Yes. I am really loving this dark turn she has taken, but I wonder if it’s permanent.

Zara Hightower is actuallly the world’s leading expert in A.I. She can also do really cool stuff like wipe hard drives and networks clean psychically. A U.S. Senator and a GhostWalker like Zara gave top secret information about GhostWalkers to a Chinese crime lord that Zara has been sent in to destroy. She has also been sent in to steal other secrets he may have by downloading them directly to a SSD that is embedded in her brain. All courtesy of Dr. Peter Whitney of course. That bugger. Honestly, as each book goes on I wonder how this guy hasn’t died yet. I actually have to think back and remember each time a new book comes out. Anyhow, Zara is now in enemy territory and she knows no one will be able to prove that she is the one that wiped Cheng’s network clean. She knows that even if she’s caught and tortured, they still won’t be able to prove her involvement. What she didn’t factor into all her equations for escaping was Cheng’s enforcer, Bolan Zhu. The man showed in interest in her the first time he met her and that interest didn’t go away, even when he was torturing the bejesus out of Zara.

Gino Mazza is a special sort of man who wants a special sort of woman. He admires all the women that his teammates have ended up with. They are all warriors, just like their men. He has the utmost respect for them and would go shoulder to shoulder into battle with any of them. That doesn’t mean that he wants his woman to be a warrior herself. He wants a woman that can take care of herself, but doesn’t have to fight because Gino is there to do it for her. It sounds archaic to Gino, but he knows that he can accept nothing less than that. He watched his whole family be slaughtered during a kidnapping attempt when he was a child. He is not going to let that happen to his wife. When his team is tasked with rescuing Zara, he finds himself staring at her picture wondering if she couldn’t be the woman he has been looking for.

When the GhostWalkers get Zara out of China, Gino is the one that Zara clings to. It’s his strength of character that convinces her that he can keep her safe from Bolan Zhu. After being tortured at his hands and promised even worse if she ever tried to escape him, Zara knows he will be coming after her. Only a person like Gino can keep Zara safe. She can see something in him, though she can’t put her finger on it. Gino knows what she sees. He’s tortured people just as Zhu tortured her. If anyone can protect her, it’s him. Still, protecting her is not all he wants to do. He can see that she’s exactly the type of woman he wants and needs. She’s smart and resourceful, can definitely fight with the best of them, but she is happier not fighting. She accepts his personality, which even he knows can be hard to live with.

Basically what we have here is a D/s relationship at the most basic level. Feehan has been writing more of those lately and I wonder where she is heading. I did not like Bellisia in this book at all. She rubbed me wrong the entire book. Her relationship with Zeke was nothing like Gino and Zara’s so she decided it was wrong. I thought it was incredibly shortsighted and just plain bitchy. Not to mention it hurt Zara tremendously because she felt that she had to choose between her sister and the man she loves. I wanted to strangle her.

Now I want to know who the next GhostWalker book will be about, but that I have a feeling that information won’t be forthcoming for some time. I really enjoyed this one.

4 out of 5.

GhostWalkers

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

four-stars


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