Genre: Paranormal Romance

Review: First Contact by Kat Green

Posted October 11, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: First Contact by Kat GreenReviewer: Holly
First Contact by Kat Green, Kat de Falla
Narrator: Kate Tyler
Series: Haunts For Sale #1
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: August 11, 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 5 hours and 25 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

Sloane Osborne is a paranormal realtor in the business of selling haunted houses but, in truth, she’s only searching for one ghost. And her time is running out. It’s the 366th day after her fiancé’s death. Michael used to like putting things off for “a year and a day”—so tonight’s the night. Sloane will do anything to make contact with him before the clock strikes midnight. When she gets a call to check out a home in Waukesha, Wisconsin, it’s the last place she thinks Michael would contact her. Sloane is dead wrong.

I really liked the premise of this story. A paranormal real estate agent who checks to make sure haunted houses are safe to live in before she sells them? One who is looking for a chance to contact her dead fiance just one more time? I’m here for that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t well executed. I found this on the Audible Escape package. The narrator was okay. I liked some of the voices she used for the characters, but I don’t think she put a lot of emotion into the story. Things that should have been sad, or scary, came across as kind of flat. She was also very slow. I generally listen at 1.85x speed, but I ended up bumping this one to 2.10x speed.

Sloane Osborne was on her way to pick up her marriage license with fiance Michael when they got into a car accident and Michael was killed. He always joked that everything would happen in “A Year and a Day”. For the past year, she’s been working as a Paranormal Real Estate agent. She sells haunted houses, but first she makes sure they’re safe to live in (that the ghosts aren’t evil or angry). She’s also been searching for Michael’s ghost. It’s been exactly a year and a day since the accident, so Sloane is convinced she’ll be able to finally make contact with him tonight. She got a tip about a house in Wisconsin that’s up for sale, so that’s where she heads. It turns out the house is very haunted, and she’s able to make first contact with spirits..and Michael is one of them.

More often than not Sloane was TSTL (too stupid to live). Her dead fiance’s best friend, Jonah, is a cold case investigator with the FBI, and also a strong medium. She used to hunt ghosts with him until her fiance died and she retreated into herself. She called him once she made first contact with the spirits in a house in Wisconsin, because she suspected girls had been murdered there. He asked her to wait for him before venturing back into the house, or speaking to anyone about her suspicions. She thinks to herself, “I should wait..but I’m not going to.” She also thinks to herself several times that she’s in over her head, yet she still continues on her merry way. It was no surprise to me when she ended up trapped in a hole in the floor for her stupidity.

The villains were easily picked out from the first, and honestly they were both such dumb-asses I’m surprised they got away with anything as long as they did. The only reason I kept reading was because I was interested in the ghosts themselves. I was hoping we’d see more of their backgrounds and they’d be a bigger focus of the story. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. It mostly focused on Sloane and she bumbled her way into danger.

There were also a lot of inconsistencies in the story. Michael, the dead fiance, was a paragon of male worthiness and nothing could ever live up to his memory..except he sounded like a controlling asshole a lot of the time and she even thinks to herself at one point that things may not have worked with them long-term after all. Except, wait, he was the LOVE OF HER LIFE. She was a paranormal real estate agent and, according to her, the market was hot and a lot of people wanted to buy haunted houses. Yet she hadn’t made a single sale yet and was on the brink of starving and being homeless. Things like that really pulled me out of the story and kind of drove me crazy.

I did really like Jonah, however. He kind of made the story for me, though he spent more time off page than on. Although the premise is interesting, I don’t believe I’ll continue on with the series. Watching Sloane stumble around and make dumb decisions mostly just gave me a headache.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Haunts for Sale

one-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Selkies Are a Girl’s Best Friend by Molly Harper

Posted October 7, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Selkies Are a Girl’s Best Friend by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
Selkies are a Girl's Best Friend by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #3
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1), Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues, How to Date Your Dragon, How to Date Your Dragon
Publisher: Audible Original
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Length: 6 hours and 33 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

MOLLY HARPER IS BACK WITH THE NEXT WICKEDLY FUNNY, WILDLY ENCHANTING MYSTIC BAYOU NOVEL - AVAILABLE IN AUDIO FIRST!

Sonja Fong isn't afraid of a little chaos. As director of the league's research center in Mystic Bayou, a tiny town in Louisiana that's home to supernatural creatures and humans alike, she's responsible for making sure things run smoothly. It's not an easy task when her daily memos include lines like, "new equipment is needed because the old equipment was destroyed by a temper tantrum involving dragonfire."

He job puts her in the path of Dr. Will Camody, a mysterious shifter who's returned to Mystic Bayou after a long absence only to find that he's now considered an outsider. To make matters worse, the rift - a tear in the fabric of the universe that is leaking supernatural energy into the bayou - is unraveling at an alarming rate. Now Sonja and Will must team up to fix the rift and save Mystic Bayou from certain disaster, all while their own romance is heating up. Can they have a future together while the whole world is falling apart?

©2019 Molly Harper (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

Selkies are a Girl’s Best Friend is the third full-length book in Molly Harper’s Audible First Mystic Bayou series. Set in a tiny Louisiana town filled with various supernatural creatures, we’re once again brought back to the problem of the open rift that’s changing non-magical beings into magical ones. As the League tries to find a way to close the rift and prepare for the eventual outing of supernaturals to the rest of the world, it seems someone – or a group of someones – may be working against them.

When Sonja Fong discovers some discrepancies in some financial reports, she starts investigating the cause. When Will Carmody, the new town doctor, shows up, he upends her carefully controlled world.

We met Sonja Fong in the first book. Jillian’s super-capable best friend with more connections than the phone company, she was sarcastic and hilarious. I was really looking forward to her book. Harper definitely delivered. Sonja was everything I’d hope she’d be and I really liked Will. The two of them together were sweet. I loved returning to Mystic Bayou and seeing all residents and their zany antics.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Hidden Currents by Christine Feehan

Posted September 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Hidden Currents by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Hidden Currents by Christine Feehan
Series: Drake Sisters #7
Also in this series: Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Publisher: Jove
Publication Date: June 30, 2009
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 441
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven sisters. After a long time away she’s finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle, someone who doesn’t want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her. Now it’s left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle’s vanishing, and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it’ll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm.

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

This review was originally posted on June 6, 2009.

This is the book that I’ve really been looking forward to the last few years. In the last two books, Elle Drake became even more enigmatic that she was in the first four books. The connection that she has with Jackson Deveau also becomes more perplexing and left me wanting their story, like, now. Not to say that Elle’s character hasn’t been interesting from the beginning. She always has been. As the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, her legacy is to carry on the Drake line with seven daughters of her own. That is no little thing to have hanging over you your whole life.

Elle has stayed away from Sea Haven, but knows that she’s eventually have to return and face her destiny as the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter. What is expected of her has always weighed heavily on her shoulders, but no more than it does when she realizes that Jackson is “The One” for her. Jackson is everything she doesn’t want in a mate. An overbearing, arrogant, alpha male that she feels wants her to be someone she’s not.

Since the moment Jackson first heard her voice when he was being held prisoner by terrorists, he knew she was the one that could pull him out of the darkness. He travels to Sea Haven at the request of his friend, Jonas Harrington, knowing that Elle lives there. When he finally comes face-to-face with her, he is poleaxed. At the same time, he’s deathly afraid of what is now expected of him. Over the years, he does his best to protect her, but Elle is nothing if not stubborn.

Elle has always been confident of her ability to take care of herself. When she finds herself in serious trouble, she reaches out to the person she knows will be there; Jackson. Her hope for help is short lived. The man that Elle has been tracking for an undercover assignment has taken an unnatural interest in her. He takes her to his island, against her will. What she endures over the following weeks is almost too much to bear. Not only that, but all the gifts she’s had her whole life are unavailable to her. The only thing that is keeping her alive is Jackson’s voice whispering in her head.

Jackson is frantic when Elle is taken. He goes crazy when he finally psychically locates Elle and realizes what is being done to her. I have to say, that I was almost shocked at the depth of the torture that Elle went through. I think Christine Feehan really pushed the envelope with this one. It was definitely unexpected, but it really worked.

When Jackson finally finds Elle and takes her home, Elle knows that Stavros won’t let her go as easily as that. After years of independence, Elle is now so dependent on Jackson that she barely recognizes herself. She refuses to let her sisters come to her, for fear that they will sense what she went through; what she feels she let happen.

I believe that Christine Feehan did a credible job of writing of Elle’s recovery. When Holly and I discussed this, she said that it seemed like Elle recovered almost too fast. I didn’t see it that way. These are the Drake’s after all and they have an amazing way of coming to the aid of the sister in need. Not only that, but Jackson is almost feral in his desire to protect Elle. I think Jackson, even more than any of her sisters helped her on the road to recovery; the road to rediscovering her trust and confidence in herself.

The obsession that Stavros has for Elle is most definitely unnatural. Psychic himself, he is confident that he will find the woman he knew as Sheena. Stavros is one crazy mo-fo, that’s for sure. It takes all seven sisters and their husbands/finances to take this crazy bastard down. I loved how the book ended. It was somehow perfect. The only thing I didn’t really like was that instead of finishing the series on a good note, CF left it open to continue. Or continue on into another new series.

That aside, I still have to give this a…

4.75 out of 5.

Drake Sisters

five-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra

Posted September 12, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Sea Witch by Virginia KantraReviewer: Casee
Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra
Series: Children of the Sea #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Format: Print
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 273
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

First in the new The Children of the Sea series from the USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR.

Margred is a Selkie - a legendary being of the sea, able to shapeshift into seductive human form. And she has found a human she desires...

Burned out from the big city, Caleb Hunter becomes police chief on the peaceful Maine island of World's End. Then he meets a woman who's everything he's ever dreamed of.

Their passion is undeniable, irresistible ...and it may change the fate of humankind.

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

This review was originally posted on September 8, 2010

I really have enjoyed Virginia Kantra’s romantic suspense books so I wasn’t thrilled when this series first came out. I was so un-thrilled, in fact, that I didn’t read this book until two years after I got it.

Margred/Maggie threw me off at first. As a selkie, she doesn’t have human thoughts, human feelings, etc. The only human urge she has is of the sexual variety. So she was a very “go get ‘em” type of girl/seal. She first meets Caleb when she comes to land to find someone to bleep. Caleb is that person. She is attracted to him in a way that doesn’t make sense to the selkie part of her.

Caleb has had a rough few years and is happy to be home in World Point. When he first meets Maggie, he is breaking up a celebration on the beach. After a very intense sexual encounter, Maggie leaves and doesn’t come back. After that, Caleb would check that stretch of beach. For three weeks he waited for her. He finally finds her, but not in the way he wants.

When Maggie comes to shore, she is attacked and her pelt is subsequently burned. To be without her pelt is to not be selkie. Maggie has no idea what to do. She knows no one but Caleb. She has no one but Caleb. While she is very attracted to him, she is selkie at heart and cannot remain on land.

Maggie’s thoughts on immortality were very confusing (for her). She couldn’t understand why any selkie would resort to becoming human thus aging. As a 700 year old selkie, she can’t fathom a lifespan so short nor does she want to. Her inner struggle with that was really very emotional. She realizes she loves Caleb, but she still can’t imagine giving up her life as a selkie. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine her doing it either.

End up together they do, though it wasn’t easy to get there. They have demons and a long-lost brother to deal with. For the first book in the series, I found it very well written.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Children of the Sea

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Heart Secret by Robin D. Owens

Posted September 5, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Heart Secret by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Secret by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #11
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Thief , Heart Duel , Heart Choice, Heart Quest , Heart Dance , Heart Fate , Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Fire, Heart Legacy, Heart Change, Heart Sight (Celta's Heartmates)
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: August 7th 2012
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

On the faraway planet Celta, there are some things you can never tell—until someone discovers your Heart Secret…

When a virulent disease killed the woman he loved and her baby, Garrett Primross was left alive, a reluctant survivor. Now, as a private eye, he strives to banish the memories of his past and rebuild his life. The Healers of Celta have something else in mind: Discover why he survived.

He is monitored by Healer Artemisia Panax—his HeartMate, a love he never pursued. Still mourning his loss, he refuses to acknowledge her. Since her family was publicly disgraced, she's used to such treatment. She wants nothing more than to guard her livelihood and protect the secrets she's sworn to keep.

Thrown together by duty, Garrett and Artemisia find the body of the last Black Magic Cultist who ruined her family. Suspicion flares, but they have little choice but to investigate the crime together. When their own lives are placed in danger, they realize that denying their HeartMates is only denying their own future.

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

This review was originally posted on August 7, 2012

This is book number eleven in Owens’ Celta’s HeartMates series. While past events are mentioned, I think this can be read as a standalone.

Garrett is the sole survivor from his small estate of a terrible disease. When it took the girl he loved three years before, he vowed never to contact his HeartMate. He didn’t want to soil the memory of his first love, nor did he want to risk his heart again. Now they’re being forced to work together to help find a cure, since the disease is back. He tries to keep her at arms length, but can’t deny he’s drawn to her.

Artemisia’s family was cast out of their home after they were falsely accused of being part of a cult. They have since been tasked with taking care of BalmHeal, the private sanctuary of Celta that’s only available to those who are in desperate need. The entire family has been sworn to secrecy. She knows she has a HeartMate, but figures he never tried to contact her because of the scandal. And she’s ok with that. Mostly. She does want a family, however, and she hopes to find someone she can marry. She can’t deny an attraction to Garrett, but he’s a patient and therefore off limits. Plus, he’s kind of grumpy and prickly.

Even after they’re forced time together (while Garrett undergoes infection – he’s the only one on the planet who is immune – of a rare disease so they can hopefully find a cure), Garrett doesn’t want to claim Artemisia as his HeartMate. He wants to remain true to his first love and he resents that Artemisia makes him feel things for her.

With this novel, Owens moves firmly into the second generation of Celta families. I’m kind of torn here. I really like that we’re moving into a new generation and seeing outside the First Families. On the other hand, I kind of miss the sense of the world we got from the First Family’s point of view.

This is a darker novel. Garrett suffered through a traumatic event and there’s is a lot of pain and grief inside of him from it. He takes out his anger and guilt on Artemisia more than once. As we learn more about the events that shaped his past, it’s easy to forgive his treatment of her. Where I struggled was his complete about-face with her. One minute he didn’t want her as his HeartMate and the next he decided to claim her. That might have killed the novel for me, but he really had to work for it. If Artemisia had fallen at his feet as soon as he announced his change of heart, I don’t think this would have worked as well.

I enjoyed both characters. Artemisia was a strong women who was doing her best to make her way in the world, despite the scandal that still hung over her head. I only wish more had been done about the director of the Healing Hall she worked at. I was hoping for a comeuppance and was sorely disappointed in that regard.

Celta is such an interesting world, so easy to fall into. I can never wait to get the next installment and when I finish a new book, I always want to go back and re-read the old ones.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Celta’s HeartMates

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,