Tag: Paranormal Romance

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley

Posted December 7, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Series: Shifters Unbound #10
Also in this series: White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
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three-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Guardian's Mate returns to the world of the Shifters and a tale of a new love under fire...

A man is only as strong...

Red wolf Shifter Dimitri has fought his whole life for respect. It is claimed that red wolves are tainted with coyote blood and therefore not pure. He may not be skilled at verbally defending himself, but because he's a bodyguard, tracker, and champion of the fight clubs, his fists are always ready for some rough and tumble. However, he'd prefer a roll in the hay with the woman who is his oldest friend.

...as the woman who's got his back...

A spirited leopard Shifter and a fellow tracker, Jaycee Bordeaux has no problem forging a mate bond with Dimitri, but soon the two are called to infiltrate a rogue group bent on enslaving Shifters. Jaycee may have defended Dimitri from taunts before, but they now face a more lethal danger--one that threatens not only the future of their people, but also their love.

I really like the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf follows two un-collared shifters from Kendrick’s pack, Dimitri and Jaycee. They were introduced in White Tiger. Jaycee thought she was in love with her alpha (Kendrick), but realized it was just being safe and loved in the pack she wanted. When Kendrick and his mate start mate bonding, Jaycee and Dimitri end up in bed together, too. They’ve been best friends as long as either of them can remember. Dimitri had a speech impediment and Jaycee is the only one who seems to always get him. During a tense situation Dimitri mate-claimed Jaycee, in the hope that he could tell her not to put herself in danger. That didn’t work. Still, the mate-claim stands until Jaycee either accepts it or rejects it. She wants to accept it because she loves Dimitri and wants him in her life, but she doesn’t want to be controlled by a male. Nor does she want to lose the easy friendship they have. For Dimitri, there’s never been anyone but Jacyee. He didn’t claim her on a whim, he’s wanted her all along. When they’re put on an undercover op, their mate-claim will really be tested and Jaycee will have to decide what’s really important.

This started out slow, with a lot of the focus on Jaycee’s internal feelings and exploring a borrowed house. It does eventually pick up and I really enjoyed the second half. The story-arc is continued from White Tiger, and we also saw threads from other books coming together here. Ashley has a wonderful, solid writing voice that really brings this world to life. Though the romance was slow and somewhat lacking, the overall story-arc and progression of things inside the world really worked for me. I love how she tugs so many threads at once. In this book we see how many of them are connected.

I didn’t much care for Jaycee’s internal struggle about the mate-claim. Her main hesitation was that she didn’t want to be controlled or under the thumb of another. That would make sense if Dimitri ever tried to control her. He didn’t want her in danger, of course, but that’s because he loved her. He never tried to stop her from doing her job and in fact often encouraged her. So her fears there were groundless and therefore didn’t hold sway with me. The outside conflict was much more interesting and kept me reading.

3.75 out of 5

Shifters Unbound

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Lionheart by Thea Harrison

Posted November 13, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lionheart by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Jen
Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3) by Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #3
Also in this series: Spellbinder, Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 15, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 420
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Goodreads
four-stars

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final story in her spellbinding Moonshadow trilogy…

King Oberon reigned over his Dark Court in Lyonesse for centuries, until an assassination attempt laid him low. Now he lies unconscious in his snow-bound palace, while his Power battles the enchantment that threatens to end his life.

A skilled trauma surgeon and magic-user, Dr. Kathryn Shaw reigns at the top of her profession in New York. Then comes a challenge she can’t resist—she is asked to cure the uncureable. Just getting close enough to try healing Oberon is a dangerous proposition. When she does reach him, he awakens too soon.

Roused from darkness by Kathryn’s presence, Oberon confronts the beautiful stranger who claims she wants to save his life. But the enchantment has frozen his emotions. How can he learn to trust her when he can’t feel anything?

Oberon’s desire is icy, devoid of all tenderness. Not only must Kathryn match wits with him, she must also fight her reaction to his touch, because there is so much more at stake than her own endangered heart.

For the Dark Court faces its most deadly peril yet. Its ancient enemy Isabeau, Queen of the Light Court, is obsessed with its annihilation, and Oberon must be brought to remember his loyalty and affection for his people.

Because if he won’t fight for them, Lyonesse itself may very well be destroyed…

Oberon’s book is here! I absolutely loved the first two books in Thea Harrison’s Moonshadow series, so I was extra excited to read this book. 

Dark Fae King Oberon’s presence loomed over the last two books, despite the fact that he has been in a coma-like sleep after an assassination attempt. While in his self-induced sleep, his powerful weather magic has spiraled out of control and is slowly freezing the life out of the Dark Fae’s land of Lyonesse. The situation is at a breaking point, and if the remaining Dark Court members cannot find a way to heal Oberon they will need to take drastic measures. They call upon Kathryn Shaw, a magical surgeon (and were-falcon) we met in book 1. Kathryn agrees to go to Lyonesse and do what she can to stop the magic intent on killing the King. When Oberon wakes up before Kathryn has stopped the killing magic, Oberon has to trust in her to save him before it is too late.

I totally love Kathryn. She is my favorite heroine in the series so far! I love that she is brilliant and so incredibly good at her job. Her best quality is that she takes no shit. She’s not “feisty” and is never obstinate for no reason. When she pushes back she does it after carefully considering the situation and determining that it’s a battle that requires fighting. Once she decides to push back, she does it firmly but still rationally. I want more heroines who are smart and carefully “strong” instead of just feisty or sassy! I especially loved that after her and Oberon realize what’s happening to them, she immediately grasps the complexities of being Queen, or is at least prepared to investigate and navigate them. Kathryn doesn’t do anything blindly, and her forthright but compassionate persona is exactly what Lyonesse needs from a leader. I haven’t heard whether there are more books coming in the series, but I certainly hope so because I want to hear how Kathryn is faring in Lyonesse.

Oberon was less interesting to me. The killing magic is basically freezing his emotions, so for a good chunk of the book he’s not able to feel anything but the most animalistic urges. I guess it was somewhat interesting to hear about how he was trying to determine the “right” thing to do based on how he guessed the man he used to be would respond, but in general I didn’t feel like the stakes were very high. Obviously he was going to get his emotions back, and obviously he was going to be a good person once he did. Once Kathryn removes the magic, Oberon became ridiculously perfect. He is so good, so just, so noble, so beloved by his people. I suppose I just didn’t feel like he had a lot of depth.

Still, I really enjoy this world. I loved finally seeing Oberon’s power, because whooo boy he’s got some power. I also really respect the way Harrison has handled the concept of trauma in this series. In this book the puck Robin, who endured some horrific trauma and consequently hasn’t always made the best choices in the series, finally gets some healing. The one part where Oberon WAS a bit swoony was when he was comforting Robin and letting him know it’s ok to feel what he’s feeling. It’s so revolutionary to read that kind of thing in a romance, especially from a powerful alpha hero, and I am here for it.

I may not have loved this book as much as the others in the series, but it’s still a solid story with an excellent heroine. I hope it continues.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

Moonshadow

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason

Posted October 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen GleasonReviewer: Tracy
The Vampire Dimitri (The Draculia Vampire Trilogy, #2) by Colleen Gleason
Series: The Draculia Vampire Trilogy #2
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: April 19, 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 374
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

"Dunkel und dekadent, temperamentvoll und verführerisch... Die Londoner Drakulia werden dich in Atem halten." -- Lara Adrian

“Wunderbar … Ich habe dieses Buch geliebt!” --Heather Graham

“Man kann sich auf Colleen Gleason verlassen, wenn man packenden Lesestoff sucht! --Jeaniene Frost

Dimitri der Earl von Corvindale sollte eigentlich glücklich sein: Endlich heiratet diese starrköpfige Miss Maia Woodmore. Sein sterbliches Mündel (auch Gast in seinem Haus) hat den Drakule Aristokraten schon lange genervt – und längst verzaubert. Mit jedem Tag fällt es ihm schwerer, die normalen Gelüste eines Vampirs zu unterdrücken.

Miss Woodmore hat eine … ungewöhnliche Familiengeschichte, was Vampire anbetrifft, und sie selbst ist mit einem scharfen Verstand ausgestattet, der über weibliche Intuition weit hinausgeht. Die Ehe wird ihr alles geben: Sicherheit, Ansehen, Zufriedenheit. Alles, was eine wohlerzogene junge Dame sich nur wünschen kann. Bis auf Leidenschaft.

In dem bevorstehenden Kampf zwischen den beiden Drakule Faktionen werden alle Lügen entlarvt, und Maia und Dimitri müssen im Angesicht großer Gefahr und in tiefster Verzweiflung ihren eigenen, außergewöhnlichen Pakt besiegeln – kraft einer Leidenschaft, die mit allem bricht.

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

This review was originally posted on April 27, 2011.

In this book we meet Dimitri again who we met in book one. He is a member of the Draculia – a vampire – and also an peer of the realm. In book 1 Corvindale became ward of three women who were in danger from another vampire. He was at odds with them – especially the oldest, Maia Woodmore but it doesn’t stop him from finding her fascinating. He wants to be in control, he wants her to stop talking, and to stop going into his inner sanctum and organizing stuff – he just wants to be left alone! But yet he finds himself going to a masked ball and there he ends up kissing Maia under the guise of the Knave of Diamonds.

When Maia finds out that Dimitri is the Knave of Diamonds…and she has since found out that Corvindale is a vampire she’s at first horrified that she kissed a vampire! But then she wonders if the kiss was just so memorable because it was done in secret, not knowing who the other person was, or was it wonderful because it was just wonderful? Dimitri is more than up for testing things out and it ends up being hot. lol Yes, the stubbornness of the h/h was a bit much at times but Dimitri hated himself so much for being who he was it was hard to not to like the man for insisting that Maia stay away from him.

But Corvindale is so focused on becoming human again and getting away from Lucifer (especially since it’s been done before) that he can’t focus on Maia and what’s between them. But what if what’s between them, in the end, is the answer to all of his research?

I have to say that I definitely liked book 2 better than I did book 1 in this series. I liked Corvindale so much more than Voss and that made a huge difference for me. I was actually invested in the romance and that helped a whole lot. That being said there was a problem I had with the book and that was the almost redundant first part of it. It was a simultaneous telling of some of the same events in book 1 – they were just happening off page in book 1. We get things from Dimitri and Maia’s points of view. While this was interesting I really felt like I was reading a chunk of book one over again and I didn’t care for that at all. Once we get past the part that was simultaneous and just focused on the current romance I really liked the book so much more.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Draculia Vampire Trilogy

three-half-stars


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Review: Touch the Sky by Kari Cole

Posted September 25, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Touch the Sky by Kari ColeReviewer: Holly
Touch the Sky (Mated by Fate, #2) by Kari Cole
Series: Mated by Fate #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: September 24, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 317
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Keep to yourself. Focus on the job.

Sheriff Vaughn Ellis’s very existence as a rare double-shifter defies the natural order. It also makes it extremely difficult for him to get close to anyone. To trust anyone. It’s nothing Vaughn can’t handle, until a seductively sweet woman arrives in Black Robe, and suddenly he can’t think about anything but her.

The product of a witch/werewolf pairing, Hannah Cochran gets the odd-wolf-out thing. But when she uncovers a major threat to the lycanthrope world, she finds herself playing nice with the sexy sheriff. Abiding by the law isn’t usually Hannah’s style, but nothing catches her breath quite like the commanding attraction she feels toward Vaughn.

Working closely together only intensifies their fated connection, making it impossible to deny—or resist. Hannah fears that getting involved puts Vaughn in danger. But when she becomes the target, it’s Vaughn who’ll have to decide which rules he’s willing to break to save the woman he can’t live without.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the
Carina Press Romance Promise
: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 89,000 words

Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Mackenzie Walton

Touch the Sky is the second book in Kari Cole’s Mated by Fate series. I did not read book one and, though some things are referenced, don’t feel like I missed anything. As a werewolf/witch hybrid, Hannah Cochran has always had a touch of psychometry, but almost a year ago her ability morphed into something out of control. She can’t touch anyone or anything without seeing their entire lives, past and present, flash before her. She’s on the run with a stolen flash drive several agencies are trying to find when she ends up in Montana. Her cousin is a witch and Hannah believes she can help her get a hold of her psychometry, but more is happening behind the scenes than she knows and it isn’t long before she and everyone in the Montana pack is threatened.

Sheriff Vaughn Ellis is a loner. As a dual-shifter – Eagle and Wolf – he’s been shunned pretty much his whole life. Though he’s been sheriff for several years, he still holds part of himself back from the pack, because he knows they disapprove of him. Hannah – or Cassandra as he knows her – accepts him for who he is. But she’s hiding things, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of what.

I liked the writing and the premise. The world was interesting and grabbed me from the prologue. Cassandra/Hannah got on my nerves now and again with how cagey she was and I didn’t like that her past 10 or so months were kept such a mystery to the reader. I had already pretty much figured out what happened. Why it had to be hinted at but not explained didn’t make sense. I liked Vaughn more, but his waffling about his feelings was kind of frustrating, too.

Still, the second half of the book picked up and I ended up enjoying the story. Enough that I’m looking forward to the next book and I may go back and read the first.

3.5 out of 5

Mated by Fate

three-half-stars


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Review: Cross Breed by Lora Leigh

Posted September 24, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Cross Breed by Lora LeighReviewer: Casee
Cross Breed (Breeds, #23) by Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #23
Also in this series: Megan's Mark (Breeds, #6), Dawn's Awakening (Breeds, #11), The Magical Christmas Cat (Breeds, #17, Psy/Changeling, #3.5, Murphy Sisters, #2), Mercury's War (Breeds, #12), Coyote's Mate (Breeds, #13), Bengal's Heart (Breeds, #14), Lion's Heat (Breeds, #15), Lion's Heat (Breeds, #15), Stygian's Honor (Breeds, #19), Navarro's Promise (Breeds, #17)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author of the Breeds series delivers the novel fans have been waiting for–mixed Coyote/Wolf Breed Cassie Sinclair finally gets her story!

It’s been over a decade since she was introduced as an unforgettable eight-year-old in Elizabeth’s Wolf. Now all grown up, Cassie is unique among the Breeds as a Coyote/Wolf mix. She has long known that her mate was somewhere out there, but he’s stayed frustratingly out of sight and beyond her senses. Cassie has decided to make her move and her mate is ready to make his. The Breed world will be rocked to its foundation as dangerous secrets are revealed.

I was on the fence about this book until about 40% through it. There were things happening that I was not into. I often make fun wonder why Holly takes notes while she’s reading a book, but I was all about it while I was reading this book. All about it. I was furiously highlighting and writing notes, something I have never, ever done. Therefore I was pretty surprised that when I finished reading the book that I actually ended up liking it.

Cassie Sinclair was first introduced in Elizabeth’s Wolf. She was a precocious 8? 10? year old girl. A psychic that was often visited by ghosts. It was a ghost that helped save her and her mother’s lives all those years ago. That was what eventually brought Dash Sinclair to them as well.

The book begins when Cassie is eighteen. She can feel herself in the cross hairs of a rifle and knows she is going to die. She’s had the vision, she knows there is nothing that will change it. That is where Cassie is wrong. What she doesn’t realize at the time is that the man behind the gun discovers that Cassie is his mate. He obviously can’t kill her then. Which was reassuring.

Now we are flashed forward six years. The only Breed Cassie can ask for help from when her sister is kidnapped is the mysterious stranger that was supposed to kill her and didn’t. Over the past six years, he has helped her more times than she can count. She doesn’t know why she is drawn to him, but drawn to him she is. This time there is a catch to receiving his help. One night in his arms. As a virgin, Cassie is hesitant, but at a woman she is far more curious than she should be. Promising him one night, she gives in. Then the unthinkable happens. While in his arms, she discovers that she is his mate. This horrifies Cassie, especially when she realizes that he has known the past six years.

Dog has stayed away from Cassie for his own reasons. Known as a Council dog that does their bidding, Dog isn’t liked among Breeds. What few people know is that he is, in fact, undercover trying to find the twelve people that head the Genetics Council. Dog has an agenda and a mate wasn’t on it. Still, he can’t stay away from her although he gives her six years before he claims her. Six years of freedom for her and six years for him to do his work with the Council.

Dog knows that Cassie is different. As a “halfling”, Cassie is half Wolf, half Coyote. This is something the wolves won’t forgive and the coyotes won’t forget. She’s stuck between two worlds, so she does the only thing she knows how to do. She makes herself invaluable to the Breed Council and Jonas, the leader of the Breeds. She doesn’t realize until it’s too late how fast everything can change. Suddenly she’s cast out, as everyone knows she is the mate of a Council Breed. She herself isn’t sure who Dog is. There’s the man she came to know over the last six years, who came each time she called. Then there is the Breed in front of her. The Breed that is far more intense and passionate than she had ever guessed.

So what was my problem with this book? This stupid as shit law the Breeds have where another person can challenge the mating of a couple. Not only that, but the Breed Tribunal can force mates from each other based on someone coming in from the outside and saying “you might be my mate, not that persons”. It was g.d. ridiculous.

While talking to Dog regarding the Tribunal listening to her argue against the separation:

“But they can force me away from you until that time.”

My note here stated “WTAF”.

Then there were contradictions like this. After Cassie and Dog already talked about how they could be separated (see above).

But it was firmly established the fact that mates couldn’t be separated by order or decree.

Huh???

“Brannigan just received confirmation of the receipt of the peition and was given the go-ahead to have your mate taken to the doctors until the Breed Ruling Cabinet could convene.”

Note: “For fuck sake” Honestly, how can anybody force anyone to do something they don’t want to do?

I really didn’t have high hopes for this book after that, but everything changed. Omgosh, you guys. There’s a scene toward the end where Dog leaves Cassie. When Cassie realizes it, she is broken. It was actually really powerful. Then everything changed and it was awesome. So although I had a few problems with the book (see above), I still really enjoyed it and think that LL did right by Cassie.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Breeds

four-stars


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