Tag: Paranormal

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
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2009
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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Retro Review: Demon Moon by Meljean Brook

Posted November 1, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 8 Comments

Retro Review: Demon Moon by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Demon Moon by Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #2
Also in this series: Demon Night, Demon Bound, Demon Forged, Guardian Demon, Demon Angel
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 5th 2007
Pages: 480
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four-half-stars

No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but they would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity—bitter comforts, since a curse has erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos.

Savi Murray's insatiable curiosity had gotten her into trouble before, but she'd always escaped unscathed. Then came Colin. In the midst of Heaven, he gave her a taste of ecstasy—and of Chaos. Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection—and their only passion…

*****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.

This review was originally posted on April 27, 2007.

Side Note: There’s no way I can review this book without including spoilers from the first one, Demon Angel. If you haven’t read DA yet, you may want to skip this review. I’ll try to keep the spoilers for this one to a minimum. :End Side Note

As I’ve mentioned several times now, I won an ARC of this on Sybil‘s blog. I was really excited to read it, especially after Demon Angel (and who doesn’t love free ARC’s?).

Although I enjoyed DA, my biggest issue with it was the pacing. It seemed bogged down with info dumps and was often so slow going I felt like banging my head against the wall. Although it took me ages to read this, it wasn’t because of the pacing. It was just my own busy life intruding on my reading time. The pacing issues were totally cleared up. Way to go, Meljean.

When I heard Colin the Vampire was set to be the hero of this book, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Though I truly enjoyed his character in Demon Angel, I thought he seemed shallow and vain and…almost immature? But MB did an amazing job of showing us the different sides of him. Yes, he was shallow and vain about some things, but the truth is, he was just as tortured as Hugh. Watching him struggle to battle his personal demons and his attraction to Savi was just..amazing.

As for Savi, well, I loved her. Plain and simple. Like, I totally have a girl-crush on her. Where Lilith was in-your-face strong, Savi’s strength was more internal, but no less amazing. I think she was a more personable heroine. The kind you’d like to be friends with. I loved her wit and humor and her general approach to life.

We saw the same characters. Michael and Selah, the Guardians. Lilith and Hugh. Auntie. Sir Pup. And we were introduced to several new characters. Mostly vampires. But they stayed in the background and the main focus was on Colin and Savi. We learned more about their time together in Caelum, Colin’s past and his link to Chaos, Savi’s family and just who they were period. In DA I often felt like, just when the exchanges between Hugh and Lilith were getting intense, the focus would shift to something else. It didn’t feel that way at all in this novel.

Although there are other things going on around them. A rogue demon, a cult of vampires and pressure for Colin to lead the vampire community. I love the world she’s created. This isn’t your typical vampire story. There’s still the battle for good vs. evil and the different realms. Plus, Chaos. That was creepy. And different.

The conflict between Savi and Colin, and the major thing that threatens their HEA was perfectly done. I don’t want to spoil it, but it was very believable. A lot of times authors don’t create a credible reason for why the H/H may not end up together. I was on the edge of my seat with this one. And the end? Awesome. I even cried a little.

I think the only issue I had with the book was…the sexual tension. Normally I lurve me some sexual tension, but this went on WAY too long. I mean, come one. Every single time they were about to get it on, something would happen. I was about to pull my hair out. Luckily once they finally get to doing the dirty it makes up for all the previous tension. But I have to tell you, I was hurting there for awhile. g

One last thing. On her blog, Meljean mentioned someone else reading this book and saying it could standalone. I completely disagree. I think had I not read Demon Angel first, I’d have been completely lost. As it was, there were several times I had to go back to DA to reference something. IMO, they should be read together.

I’m anxious to read the Wild Thing anthology, which contains Selah’s story. If you’re interested, Gwen from over at Sybil’s blog reviewed it. It sounds great.

Overall this book was amazing. Savi and Colin were wonderful characters and I can’t wait for the next installment.

4.5 out of 5

This book is out June 5, so be sure to bump it up to the top of your wish list. In the meantime? Go visit Meljean’s site. I really like it. And BONUS! She has excerpts up. 😉

four-half-stars


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Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

Posted October 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.Reviewer: Rowena
A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #2
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: April 1st 2006
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 356
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

*****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.

This review was originally posted on June 4, 2007.

So I took a break from the Crazy series because I left the next book at home and I had this one with me so I started reading it and man, I’ve got to publicly thank Lori for pimping this book to me a couple of weeks ago, because man did I devour this book on Saturday. This is the first book in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.

The book is about the Lykae King who was captured and held captive by these mean bad ass vampires and tortured like you can’t even imagine and his never-ending quest to find his true mate. He’s searched high and low for this woman for the last roughly like 1100 years, to no avail until one day, he’s in chains and he scents her, above him and the guy goes a little crazy. He breaks his chains and rushes to find her, only to find out that his mate, his beloved mate is one of the things he detests most in this world…a vampire.

So you can only imagine how pissed off he was. I mean, he’s caught and held captive and then tortured within an inch of his life and then the one thing that gets him out of this mess, his mate turns out to be one of …them.

It’s been hundreds of years that he’s searched for her and he’s not going to let one little thing like her being a vampire stand in the way of him and his mate. Although he’s pissed to high heaven about this turn of events, he still kidnaps Emma and forces her to his will. He’s consumed with hatred for vampires and everything they’ve done to him and his family. He vows to never let her go back to her family and even though he hates everything she turned out to be, timid, shy and well, vampire …he still catches himself before actually hurting her because, there’s something about her…

He askes her to drive him to his family home, where he can finally get back to his own people and on the way, he softens toward her like it was no thang, by the time they’re home, she becomes so much more than just his mate. So now, he’s got to convince her to stay with him because she loves him and not because she’s too scared to leave. He’s got to convince her to stay before her Aunts come calling on them for a war, since he refuses to give her up.

Tempers flair and people change, but will it be enough for this Lykae King to finally be at peace with the mate he’s searched his whole life for?

You bet your bottom dollar it is, this is romance of course. =)

Man, this book was really good. I liked the passion with which Lachlain did everything. He never did anything by half measure, if he hated your guts, he hated you with everything that he was and made no move to hide his displeasure or hatred. If he loved you, he did all he could to keep you around and went to any lengths to make you see things his way. He was very demanding at the same time he was very patient. He was a man of his word and he was not to be taken lightly…ever. Lachlain was passionate and just so hot damn hot even with his regenerating leg, he was yum yum yum…even when he was being an ass. He did a lot of stupid things that I hated in the beginning but as he got to know Emma and care for her, I started to forgive him for all his wrongdoings in the beginning of the book.

Emma learned that Lachlain was a man who wasn’t above lying, cheating and using whatever was at his disposal to get what he wants and though she softened toward him at the end, he still had a lot to prove to her and I was so happy that she grew a pair to finally tell him where to shove his crap. I loved that each time she drank from him, she got so strong and she would smack the shit out of him and be all like, “Thats for pissing me off” and whatever else she would say, I loved it!

I loved how she stood up for herself and did the one thing that would unite her with the people she knows and loves. I loved that she took it upon herself to do that thing and it endeared her to me greatly.

The world that Kresley Cole created with all these demons and vampires, Lykae and Valkyrie intrigued me right from the very beginning, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world with each word that I read in the beginning, I felt Lachlain’s hatred and I felt his haunted past trying to ruin everything he had with Emma and I love love loved how he fought to keep Emma by his side, regardless of who and what she was.

It was a true romance in every sense of the word and I just ate it all up. There were things in the beginning that I didn’t really care for but other than the way Lachlain and Emma meet and the way he treated her in the beginning, I really enjoyed this story. It was smooth reading and Kresley Cole’s voice in this story makes me look forward to more from her, this was a definite delight!

Read it!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Posted October 4, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Also in this series: Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen
Published by NAL
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Pages: 528
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.
Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

*****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: I can’t believe this book was released in 2010 and the series is still going. Crazycakes.

This review was originally published June 4, 2010

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
This is the first book that I’ve really liked since Lover Eternal. As I’ve said numerous times, I loved Dark Lover, really liked Lover Eternal and was so-so with Lover Awakened. I read the rest of the books in the series b/c I’m a glutton for punishment I suppose. I just couldn’t quit (though I went the library route). John Matthew is probably the only character besides Tohr that still interests me. I wonder at the fact that this book was so much better than her previous books. I believe that JRW saw the negative feedback and reversed direction a little. Or maybe we were just long overdue for a good one in the series after the wrecks that were Lover Enshrined and Lover R. ::shrug::

The previous book ended with Xhex being taken by Lash. Lash is the Omega’s son, blahblahblah. He’s still as boring as he was from the first book. He’s not scary, he’s not villainous, he’s just pathetic. First Lash took Xhex to get back at John Matthew, then he “fell in love” with her, which basically means that he wants to own her and thinks that she’s his mate.

For Xhex, her time with Lash is eerily reminiscent of the time she got taken by the sympaths. Her situation really makes you think about how many bad things can really happen to one person.  I know she’s not a person exactly, but Xhex has gone through more than any person (or vampire) should go through.  I never thought that I would think Xhex was anything but bad ass.  Lover Mine showed a whole different side to her and that was before she even got rescued.  One thing that remains clear about Xhex is that she’s a survivor.

John Matthew turned into a total man-whore in the last book.  It was ridiculous.  The guy was fucked up enough as it was.  He’s mute, he was raped, he lost the only mother he ever knew, then he lost the father as well.  Let’s add in man-whore on top of that.  John Matthew’s road was never going to be easy.  That was always clear.  So having him change so drastically over the course of one book was just stoopid.

Everyone should know by now that John Matthew is Darius reincarnated.  It was a little boring when reading Darius’ journals, but there was a point to everything.  Everything comes full circle.  Darius and Tohr were very close and it becomes clear exactly how close.  Darius was a father figure to Tohr in the same way Tohr was to John Matthew.  Tohr gets his head out of his ass in this book too.  Look, I obviously felt horrible when Wellsie died.  The fact that Tohr wasn’t there when John Matthew went through his transition was unforgivable to me.  Tohr finally realizes that staying away really hurt John Matthew.

John Matthew and Xhex were perfect for each other.  I never doubted it.  A lot of readers wanted to see John Matthew and Layla together, which would have been booooo-rrrrrring.  Xhex and JM complimented each other.  I loved how Xhex let John see her softer side.  I also loved how aware John was about that.  He never took anything Xhex said or did for granted.  He was grateful for her for every single second.

Of everything in the book, what Xhex said to John on page 300 was my favorite.  In a few short sentences, she nailed it.

“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you.  You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.”

I was pretty impressed that JRW managed to keep it down to less than twenty pov’s. The whole Blay and Qhuinn story didn’t get resolved like I thought it would. I distinctly remembered in one of the chats that she said that something would be resolved. It wasn’t their relationship, that’s for sure. Everything was just as up in the air at the end of the book as it was at the beginning.

I was extremely happy with this book.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from NAL. You can buy it here.

The series:

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)Lover Revealed: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)Lover Avenged: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Mine: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood


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Guest Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet Lyons

Posted October 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet LyonsReviewer: Tracy
Drop Dead Gorgeous (Bite Nights #2) by Juliet Lyons
Series: Bite Nights #2
Also in this series: Dating the Undead
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

SWIPE RIGHT FOR MR. BITE

Mila Hart’s first experience with the hot new vampire dating site is a complete disaster. Turns out, her date is wanted for murder! But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer. Dangerous and drop dead gorgeous, he’s just the vampire hottie Mila was hoping for.

Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again, even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met. But when the killer from Mila’s first date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her. Protecting his heart is a different story...

Mila Hart signed up for V-Date for a bit of an adventure.  She had been living in Australia and dating the same guy for two years when he announced he was going back to Brazil to live with his wife, an ex-lingerie model, and his two kids.  WTF?  Poor Mila.  Anyway, it’s her first V-Date and though it’s interesting she finds she’s not attracted to the guy, Jeremiah, at all.  She’s having an awkward conversation with him when he mesmerizes/compels her to go outside with him where he almost kills her!  She’s saved by Inspector Vincent Ferrar.  While she didn’t have any attraction to her V-Date she is extremely attracted to the Inspector.  Despite the attraction, after her initial interview at Scotland Yard, she decides not to assist them any further.  Her “almost” killer is wanted for a few other deaths as well and Mila figures they’ll catch him without her help.

Mila changes her mind about her would-be killer when she comes home and finds that he’s tossed her apartment.  This is especially scary because she never told him where she lived.  She ends up staying temporarily at Vincent’s apartment and this ends up being the close quarters they needed to act on their attraction to one another.  In fact, they can hardly be in each other’s company without ripping their clothes off.

When Vincent figures out there’s a lot more to the killer then just random killings he’s determined to stay with Mila 24/7 until the killer is caught.

This was another cute book by Juliet Lyons.  I really liked book one in this series so I was excited when I got the chance to read book two.  I did find that Drop Dead Gorgeous didn’t have the same humor in it that Dating the Undead did.  This was a little disappointing as I really liked that about DtU.

I really like Vincent and Mila both separately and together.  I was happy that they found each other and liked that they got their HEA.  I didn’t care for the excessive amount of sex scenes in the book.  I got that that’s what was pulling them together initially but after a while it just got incredibly old.

Despite that issue with the book I liked it and recommend it.  I will definitely keep reading this series to see what happens next.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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