Tag: Paranormal

Guest Review: So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks

Posted April 6, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn SparksReviewer: Jen
So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced #2
Also in this series: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 29th, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 469
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four-half-stars

Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knows nothing of her past, except that she is Embraced: born with powers that forced her into hiding. Everything changes when she learns she’s a princess, hidden away from her villainous half-brother who now rules the kingdom. But he knows about Brigitta, and he’ll do anything to get her back. Unless a certain roguish pirate has anything to say about it…

Rupert is both an infamous pirate and a sorcerer with the power to harness the wind. He’s been waiting nineteen years for revenge—and he needs Brigitta to get it. What begins as a kidnapping of the fiery beauty turns into a fierce attraction. But can he win the captive princess’s heart?

I enjoyed Book 1 of the series, but I loved Book 2! To recap, the series follows a group of adopted sisters who’ve been secluded at a convent. Here we follow the second of the sisters, Brigitta. The convent is headed by Mother Ginessa. In the style of Albus Dumbledore, Mother Ginessa has kept the girls’ true histories secret until she’s forced to reveal some tiny amount info, at which time she reveals just a slice of the truth before sending the girl off on her merry way. (Because, you know, understanding their family histories and being able to prepare to meet those challenges head on is apparently a no-go for Mother Ginessa.) But as with Luciana from book 1, Brigitta rises to the challenge when she’s told she’s actually a princess (surprise!) who’s half-brother the king is suddenly requesting her presence (i.e., basically kidnapping her off the ship she’s on). But while she’s getting these truth bombs dropped on her, the infamous pirate Rupert interrupts her brother’s kidnapping with his own more successful kidnapping. Turns out Rupert haaaaates her brother and wants to use Brigitta as part of his revenge plot, and as Brigitta learns more about her awful brother and Rupert’s big secret, she realizes she’s sorta ok with that. The rest of the book becomes about Brigitta, Rupert, and their friends trying to right past wrongs and bring peace to the kingdom.

I adored both Brigitta and Rupert. Brigitta is smart and brave but in a way that’s realistic for a naive, sheltered young woman. She’s understandably freaked out by Rupert and isn’t stupid about taking risks, but she also knows that if she doesn’t go with him she puts innocent people in danger. I love the way she’s so protective of her friends and, later, of Rupert and his crew. She’s Embraced as well (a person born with magical powers, which is illegal in most of the world), although I didn’t think her power was used to its full potential for most of the book. She can find things that are hidden, which can mean objects as well as a person’s secrets. I thought there could be more done to explore this talent, but instead it really only plays a major role towards the end.

Rupert is also Embraced, and his power is much cooler. He can control the wind, a power he uses to great effect when he’s pirating or whispering sexily in Brigitta’s ear from across the ship. He’s very much a pirate in the style of Westley from A Princess Bride, in that he’s handsome, kind, only steals from bad guys, and always protects innocent people. He’s kind to his crew, helps out the underdog, and is so tender with Brigitta, even from the start. That doesn’t change the fact that he is planning to use her in a cruel way, though. As readers we can see immediately that he would never be able to go through with it, but he experiences some major internal conflict as he wrestles with his desire for revenge and his desire for Brigitta. He has spent his entire life plotting revenge and hating both Brigitta and her brother, but the more he gets to know her the more he sees she is not what he thought. I loved that as his feelings grew for Brigitta, he realizes he has to find another way, and then he’s all in with her. He is just such a good man!

There were two relatively minor things I didn’t like about the book. First, I thought the ending with Brigitta’s brother was kind of rushed and trite. I also got annoyed by the constant jokes about the pirates ravishing Brigitta and her chaperone, Sister Fallyn. It is a pretty serious subject and, in reality, would be a huge threat to both women. It went on way too long and just felt kind of icky, when there were other ways Sister Fallyn could have provided comic relief.

I think you could certainly enjoy this book without reading Book 1 of the series, but I think you’d get a lot more out of it if you started with Book 1. I am beyond excited to read Book 3 (one word: DRAGONS!!), and I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

The Embraced Series

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Posted March 20, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Judgment Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Judgment Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #1
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
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An outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He's a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can't afford--until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin...

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she's desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper's imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya's touch is everything Reaper doesn't want--and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club--his heart and his soul.

Reaper is one of those heroes that is beyond tortured. I really wondered how he could even come away with a happy for now, let alone a happily ever after. We first met Reaper in Bound Together, which was Viktor and Blythe’s book. Viktor is the leader of a motorcycle club called Torpedo Ink, whose members all grew up together in “schools” in Russia. In actuality their parents were all killed like Viktor’s were and they were sent to schools where they were brutalized and only few survived. They survived any way they could. The survivors of Vicktor and Reaper’s school formed Torpedo Ink. These are men and women that would kill and die for each other. They are naturally suspicious of outsiders.

An outsider is exactly Anya Rafferty is. Motorcycle clubs aren’t exactly her thing, but for a bartender the money is good. She has a nice little nest egg going when Reaper takes notice of her. And not in a good way. She has noticed him noticing her but he has never said anything. Then she walks in on him telling Czar (Viktor) to fire her and she goes through the roof. She’s never been anything but a good employee and Reaper has no right to tell Czar to fire her.

Reaper wants her away from Torpedo Ink because there is something suspicious going on. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is the only woman that he has ever had an honest attraction to. When Czar tells him if he wants her gone, she’s gone, he just can’t do it. There’s something about Anya that calls to him, something that tells him that she’s the one. Reaper doesn’t know what to do about that because he’s never been in love, never been with a woman because he’s wanted to be with a woman. He has so many hangups that there is no way he can ever be in a healthy relationship.

Something tells Anya that if she can get through to Reaper, they could have something special. She knows there is something different about the members of Torpedo Ink. She can tell that they are different than other motorcycle clubs, but she can’t quite pin it down. Reaper knows she’s in hiding, but when he finds out who she’s hiding from he and his whole club go through the roof. What happens after that is so unforgivable, Anya doesn’t think she can stay.

What happens here is the darkest part of the book to me. It shows that Reaper and his brothers and sisters have been through hell and back together and they will do anything to protect each other. They don’t care about collateral damage. Even if they know what they are doing is wrong, they will still do it, especially if it will protect Czar. Anya recognized that early on. They will always put each other and the club before an outsider and she would always be an outsider. It took her a few times to be beat down with that realization, but she learned.

I really admired Anya for sticking with Reaper with all his issues. I also admired Reaper for admitting that he had all these issues that would most likely prevent him from being with Anya. He admitted to himself that he would let her go, he would probably even give her a few months, but eventually he would go after her. Reaper was always very honest with himself and with Anya about his feelings.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the dark aspects of it, even what I thought was the darkest part of the book. It really showed Anya’s strength. There were a few things I didn’t care for. Anya getting the tattoo, Blythe calling Viktor “Czar”. Little things. Otherwise I thought that it was a good read.

4 out of 5.


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Throwback Thursday Review: Navarro’s Promise by Lora Leigh

Posted February 8, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Navarro’s Promise by Lora LeighReviewer: Tracy
Navarro's Promise by Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #24
Also in this series: The Magical Christmas Cat, Bengal's Heart
Published by Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: April 5th 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 310
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three-half-stars

In the wolf breed novel, NAVARRO’S PROMISE, Mica Toler’s best friend is the wolf/coyote hybrid breed, Cassie Sinclair. And now Mica is being drawn into her world in ways she had prayed she never would be when the charming wolf breed Navarro makes good on the promise he made her on a dark, explosive night.

The Breeds guaranteed that no harm would come to Micah Toler but they never allowed for her sensual fascination with Navarro Blaine. Aloof, cool, and mysterious, he draws her in as no man ever has. But Micah never wanted this. She had her own dreams, her own desires, and being stalked and seduced by a wolf breed wasn’t part of that plan.

Now she knows her life is in danger. What Navarro knows is that she’s his mate and that the breeding and training that created him is being peeled away in his desperation to claim a woman that refuses to be claimed.

He has her body. She craves his touch. And as the breeds converge the past will rise up to haunt Navarro in ways he never expected.

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

This review was originally posted on April 18, 2011.

Mica has had a fascination with Navarro since she was 16 but she has tried to stay away from him as much as she could. Now she’s older and can’t seem to keep her eyes off of Navarro but she knows that she doesn’t want to be mated to an uber-possessive Breed. After a shared kiss Mica knows that Navarro isn’t her mate. When her life is in danger and Navarro is her keeper things get heated and they both decide to give in to their sexual tension because they know that they aren’t mated…or are they?

Yep, they are but since Navarro was raised with recessed breed genes his animal is far enough down that he can resist the temptation of the mating heat. But what is his neglect doing to Mica? She admits she’s been in love with the stubborn breed for years but where does that leave her when Navarro can resist the heat as well as the love she wants from him?

Being the 24th book in a series you’d think that the author had shown you all of the ways that the mating heat could be different – but Leigh had me going with this one. I was pretty shocked that Navarro could deny the mating heat symptoms in himself and deny his mate – except in certain circumstances.

The story itself was pretty good although there were quite a few editing issues with the book. Character names that were put in the wrong spots was a big one as well as a confusing issue near the end of the book where it looked like an entire scene was left out.. They were in a hall kissing up against a steel wall and then they’d just finished sex and were in bed – 4 stories about where they were. I think I flipped pages back and forth for a good few minutes trying to figure out what I’d missed. lol

The romance itself was thin in this one, imho. Leigh always writes a good story and great sex scenes but while the main characters were busy trying to deal with the mating heat issues the romance fell by the wayside. It was all wrapped together in Navarro’s emotions – if he let himself love then the mating would commence – but they spent so little time together when they weren’t having sex, and when they weren’t arguing, that it was hard for me to see how they could love each other.

Besides the romance we got to hear a little bit more about other characters that we’d read about in previous books and things that were going on with the evil villains of the story so far. A few other questions were brought to the surface as well and I’m intrigued to see how they’ll flush themselves out.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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

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

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

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

A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK...

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

A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS...

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

HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?

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

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

This review was originally posted on April 29. 2008.

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

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

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

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

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

4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Retro-Review: Heart Change by Robin D. Owens

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

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