Tag: Paranormal

Guest Review: Bluebeard’s Curse by Regine Abel

Posted February 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Bluebeard’s Curse by Regine AbelReviewer: Tracy
Bluebeard's Curse by Regine Abel
Series: Dark Tales #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 15th 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 82
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three-half-stars

King Eric Thorsen, also known as Bluebeard, is once more widowed. Like all the others before her, his late wife succumbed to the lure of the curse that plagues him and threatens the realm. Willing maidens gather at the castle in the hope of becoming the next Queen. However, that title comes with a steep price: the King’s new bride must first resist temptation for one year and one day, or die trying.

Eric is tired of getting married.  He’s at a ball and he has to pick a new bride – his 28th bride to be exact.  All of his previous brides have died as he is cursed.  The bride must outlast the curse for 1 year and then it will be broken but so far the longest one has lasted only 6 months.  When Eric sees Astrid he’s intrigued.  She’s not his normal type but he can’t take his eyes off of her.  He thinks that maybe because she’s not like the others she can break the curse.

The pair marry and Astrid seems to be doing well but soon the temptation starts to get to her.  Eric has done the worst thing possible and fallen in love with Astrid.  Knowing she will probably die tears him apart but he hopes she can beat the curse.  Unfortunately, other people get involved and after that breaking the curse may become impossible.

Bluebeard’s Curse was a good story.  It was definitely different from your average romance and had a bit of a twist that was unexpected.  I wasn’t quite sure what the time period was or where it was set – seemed like an old Viking story but I wasn’t sure.  Despite that the added paranormal twist/curse was a wonderful aspect to the story.

Eric and Astrid were pretty great characters although since the book was so short it really focused on the “now” and didn’t get too much into their pasts.  We knew why Astrid had gone to the ball to be picked for the bride and eventually we learned of why Eric was cursed but that was about as deep into the past as we got.  Their relationship was the main focus it was definitely erotic as Regine Abel wrote some pretty wicked sex scenes.

Overall I liked the book a lot.  If you’re looking for a short fantasy/paranormal read that doesn’t involved vampires or werewolves then this would be a good one to pick up.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Retro Review: Demon Angel by Meljean Brook

Posted February 8, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Retro Review: Demon Angel by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #1
Also in this series: Demon Moon, Demon Night, Demon Bound, Demon Forged, Guardian Demon
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: January 2nd 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 432
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four-stars

For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father's armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation. That is, until she faces her greatest temptation—Heaven's own Sir Hugh Castleford...

Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons—and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil—and against a desire that has been too long denied...

 ******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.
Man, I miss Meljean Brook. Per her website, she’s still writing, but things are going slooow. We haven’t had a new release from her in way too long. Demon Angel isn’t my favorite Brook novel, but it sets up this world so beautifully I had to repost this review. I feel a series re-read coming on.
This review was originally published July 15, 2013

The world building was imaginative, sensual and amazing. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Brook drew me into her fierce battle for souls and the fight between good and evil. I was also drawn in by the two lead characters, Lilith and Hugh. Though they came from two different worlds (literally) and were on opposite sides of an eternal battle, their connection to one another came across as not just sexual, but very emotional as well, which made their constant conflict all the more believable.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters and the relationships they had with Lilith and Hugh. Colin, the vampire they both befriended despite themselves; Sir Pup, Lilith’s hellhound; Savi, Hugh’s roommate and even Auntie, the woman who once took Hugh in, were fabulous characters, and while they played a large part in the overall story, they in no way intruded on the focus of the main story.

There were too many questions left unanswered, I think. Part of the appeal of this book is it really makes you think. Nothing is tied up in a nice, neat little bow, there are questions left unanswered and things you have to figure out on your own. Which was good and bad. I felt there were a few too many things left unexplained. However, because this is the first book of a series, I’m willing to wait for the next book before passing judgment.

I really struggled with the pacing. As much as I enjoyed this book, it was very slow moving. At times, the pace would pick up and I’d be sucked in, unable to set it down, and then it would get bogged down again and I’d have a hard time giving it my full attention. I understand that a lot of the information imparted was important for the story and the basis of the world Brook created, but at times there was Too Much Information. I think, in all honesty, the story could have been 100 pages shorter and been better for it.

Overall, I adored the storyline, the world building and the characters. I can’t wait for Demon Moon. I do hope, however, that the pacing will work better than it did in this one.

I think I’m going to give this one a solid:

4 out of 5

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This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

*This review was first published at Sanctuary’s Finest.

four-stars

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Review: Power Game by Christine Feehan

Posted February 3, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Power Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Power Game by Christine Feehan
Series: Ghost Walkers
Also in this series: Shadow Game
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 464
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four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan is “one of the best storytellers around” (RT Book Reviews). Find out why as two lovers surrounded by greed and corruption discover there’s no telling whom you can trust—or who will come out on top...
When members of a United Nations joint security force are taken hostage by radical terrorists in Indonesia, Captain Ezekiel Fortunes is called to lead the rescue team. Part of a classified government experiment, Zeke is a supersoldier with enhanced abilities. He can see better and run faster than the enemy, disappear when necessary and hunt along any terrain. There are those in the world willing to do anything for power like that...
A formidable spy genetically engineered to hide in plain sight, Bellisia rarely meets a man who doesn’t want to control her or kill her. But Zeke is different. His gaze, his touch—they awaken feelings inside her that she never thought possible. He’s the kind of man she could settle down with—if she can keep him alive...

Bella has lived her life at the mercy of Peter Whitney. During a mission to discover if one of her fellow GhostWalkers is actually selling them out, Bella uncovers the unthinkable. Violet Smythe is trying to sell them out. Not only sell them out but eradicate them from the face of the earth. While that sounds laughable to Bella, Violet can certainly do it as Vice President of the United States. Bella knows that it is not going to be long before Violet is President. Then she will have access to almost all the GhostWalker records. With that knowledge, Bella escapes Whitney and heads to Louisiana, and the GhostWalkers that Violet wants to go after first.

Ezekiel Fortunes is someone whose temper runs hot. Literally. The only outlet he has is to fight. That and to keep his family safe. He is obsessed with safety. When he realizes someone has breached his security, he goes nuts. He has no idea how they have done it, but they have. He has no idea that it’s the very woman that he’s drawn to when he goes into the French Quarter for a fools’ errand by Nonny, the grandmother of their merry band.

Ezekiel is immediately drawn to Bella and he has no idea why. Then he does. She’s a GhostWalker and she is the one that has been circumventing his security. All Bella wants to do is help Ezekiel and leave. She wants to build herself some semblance of a life and keep out of Whitney’s hands. When she finds herself in a situation and has to help Ezekiel, he repays her by taking her captive.

That was heartbreaking. Bella truly believed that Ezekiel worked for Whitney. She gave up her potential freedom to help save his life. The sense of betrayal she felt was immense. You could literally feel it coming off the pages. Bella literally lived her life living in a cage and Ezekiel and his family captured Bella after she saved his life and threw her in a cage. It was heartbreaking.

Ezekiel was mad that she was put in a cage and immediately got her out (though the damage was done) and brought her into Nonny’s home. It was sweet to see how Bella took to being part of a family. Even though she had a family with her fellow GhostWalker sisters, it obviously wasn’t traditional. Ezekiel’s family isn’t traditional either, but Nonny definitely is and she tries to keep things as normal as possible.

Of course Violet comes after them again. Bella and Ezekiel have to work as a team along with their fellow GhostWalkers. Bella gets in trouble and she has to trust Ezekiel when she hasn’t trusted anyone in her life. It shows how far she has come in her relationship with him that she trusts him so much.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars

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DNF Review: Malsum Pass by Kimberly Forrest

Posted January 31, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

DNF Review: Malsum Pass by Kimberly ForrestReviewer: Holly
Malsum Pass by Kimberly Forrest
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 11th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 230
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dnf

After locating some letters her mother had kept hidden from her all her life, Tara Mason journeys to the small town of Malsum Pass, Vermont to find the family she never knew she had and to discover just why her mother had kept this place such a secret.

The town seems idyllic despite the townspeople’s odd habit of staring and… sniffing? And her new neighbor Riley Cooper looks like he could have been conjured from one of Tara’s fantasies, but there is definitely more going on here than meets the eye. Tara is determined to uncover all of the secrets, even if it reveals things she never knew about herself.

I was in the mood for a paranormal so I picked Malsum Pass up after Tracy reviewed it here, even though she didn’t love it. I should have paid better attention to her review, because I couldn’t even finish it.

The premise was good and I liked the heroine, her family and the town of Malsum Pass. Growing up, Tara’s mother refused to talk about her past, so it wasn’t until she died suddenly that Tara finds some letters from her grandfather and decides to seek him out. He’s overjoyed to see her, and so is her biological father and half-brothers. There’s just one catch…they’re werewolves. That aspect of the story was great. I felt like she accepted things a little too easily, considering she had no idea anything paranormal existed before visiting, but I was able to set that aside.

What I couldn’t get past was how big of a d-bag the hero was. He was condescending and rude, made decisions for the heroine without consulting her and basically treated her like an idiot or a small child. He only called her “sweetheart” (in the most condescending way ever), sometimes 4 times per page. I did a search and he called her “sweetheart” 112 throughout the book…and it’s only 230 pages.

I made it until about the 80% mark and I just couldn’t continue. I was waiting for one major event to happen and once Tracy told me I was waiting in vain, I was done.

DNF

dnf

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Guest Review: The Game by Angie West

Posted January 30, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Game by Angie WestReviewer: Tracy
The Game by Angie West
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: October 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Thrillers
Pages: 60
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four-stars

Do you want to play a game?

Lei Guthrie and her best friend, Iris, have a tradition. Every Friday night after work they play a game, preferably vintage, the weirder the better. So when Lei finds a romance novel trivia game rumored to be cursed, she couldn’t be happier. Until she and Iris become trapped in the game. The rules are simple. Make it through three romance novel scenes gone horribly wrong and retrieve a silver key from each. Oh yeah, and stay alive.

Lei Guthrie is having a horrible day.  She did save an old lady from getting hit by a bus but then the old lady told her she was psychic and that Lei was going to die if she didn’t prevent it.  Ooookay.  Weird.  Since Lei had thrown down her shopping bags when she saved the old lady, all of her purchases – a game and wine included, had been ruined.  She stops by her local thrift store and finds a game that says it’s a romance trivia game.  The owner of the thrift shop tells her it’s supposedly cursed but that only intrigues her more.

Lei and her best friend Iris put the game out and are a bit confused that this romance trivia game would have  a game board that looks like a graveyard but they’re not put off.  The minute they start to play, however, strange things start to happen and soon they find themselves in the game.  Lei’s house has disappeared and a guy calling himself the crypt keeper is explaining that they have to go into 3 different doors – find a key, give it to him and return back out the door in order to return to reality.  The problem is that it might be easy to find the key but getting back out the door isn’t easy at all.  Also, if they die in the game, they die for real.

When I read the blurb for this novella I was more than curious as to what was going to happen to Lei and her friend Iris.  No, it’s not a romance, but since it had a romance trivia game involved I couldn’t pass it up and I’m really glad I didn’t.  The story is well written and completely compelling – I was sucked in from the first page.

Now when the book says romance trivia it’s more like acting out scenes in a book and of course this is the absolute darkest side of romance you can get.  Lei and Iris had their work cut out for them, that’s for sure.  The end of the book left us hanging just a bit as to what happened but only enough to make me sit and think about the possible outcomes.  Though a darker story it was a totally enjoyable. Don’t judge this book by its horrid cover – it’s worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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