Genre: Paranormal Romance

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward

Posted December 6, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17.5
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is heating things up this winter with a holiday novel featuring some of her most iconic Black Dagger Brothers.

When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?

Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.

Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance...or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted...but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.

I don’t know how I feel about this book. My feelings are all tangled up and I can’t quite work out if I liked it or not. I’m very conflicted and I don’t appreciate that very much.

Trez’s story was told in The Shadows. That wasn’t a good book. I can see what JRW was doing as far as Trez’s story arc now that I’ve read WWFY. That doesn’t mean I liked it.

Trez lost his mate, Selena, at the end of The Shadows. She was a Chosen and she had a degenerative disease that only the Chosen get. Trez had to watch his mate die at the end and if that doesn’t mess a person up, what does?

Fast forward a few years. Therese has left home after being lied to about being adopted. Arriving in Caldwell, Therese gets a job as a waitress at Sal’s. She’s determined to support herself and to show that she can stand on her own two feet.

When Trez first lays eyes on Therese, he is floored. She looks exactly like Selena. Like a carbon copy. The feelings that he has for Therese don’t make sense unless she is Selena reincarnated.

I didn’t really care for Therese one way or another. If there was one way to go, I would say I didn’t like her. She was so selfish when she left her family, not even thinking that they were protecting her. That part just rubbed me the wrong way. I did like her reaction when she found out that Trez believed she was his mate reincarnated. I thought it was very appropriate. Other than that, I just didn’t connect with her.

View Spoiler »

 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

two-half-stars


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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward

Posted November 26, 2019 by Casee in Giveaways, Promotions | 4 Comments

Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward is out today! This is book 17.5 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. We are finally getting closure on Trez and Selena(?) or is it Therese? You’ll have to read it to find out!

Here’s a little tidbit to get you as excited as I am.

Blog Tour + Giveaway:  Where Winter Finds You by J.R. WardWhere Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17.5
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior, Where Winter Finds You
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: three-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is heating things up this winter with a holiday novel featuring some of her most iconic Black Dagger Brothers.

When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?

Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.

Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance...or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted...but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.

Excerpt

“Holy f–k,” Trez yelled as a semitrailer truck the size of a building went blasting past the front bumper of his brand-new BMW.

Like right past. Like . . . nearly peeling off the hood of the damned car.

As his four-wheel drive, heavily treaded snow tires abruptly grabbed at that which they had been spinning on, and a pedestrian who’d slipped suddenly righted himself out of the way of the truck, Trez decided that the definition of in-the-nick-of time was exactly what just happened. If he’d been able to go when the light had turned, if that pedestrian hadn’t caught himself just when he had, they would both have been filing their termination papers tonight.

Because about a split second prior to the almost catastrophe going down, Trez had been debating whether or not to just drive on. And not merely through the intersection.

Having spent two decades in Caldwell, watching with his Shadow eyes the way a couple generations of humans built up the city, he knew exactly where this particular street in this particular section of town ended up.

At the Hudson River.

So if he hit the gas and kept on a direct, no wavering course until the street ended, he could take a Fast & Furious jump off the concrete embankment under one of Caldie’s two bridges. The BMW would not last long in the free fall, the sleek car having been built to fly over asphalt, not literally fly, and soon enough, both he and all this expensive steel, leather, and plastic would be sinking beneath the cold, sluggish waters of the Hudson.

As his eyes had flashed peridot, his brain had imagined what it would be like. At first, the water would infiltrate through seams and vents, a trickle, not a rush. But that would change as he used the last of the electrical system’s power to lower the windows. After that, he would sit and wait for his drowning to take place, probably with his hands still on the wheel, maybe not, his seat belt remaining pulled across his chest, his clothes dampening and then clinging to his warm body with the clammy touch of the corpse he would soon become.

He would not struggle. He would keep his eyes open. He imagined himself feeling a calmness that had been missing since all the light in his world went out in that hospital room about twenty miles, and some distance underground, away from where he himself would die. He would be so relieved. Even as the water reached his throat, then proceeded over his mouth and into his nose and ears, even as his body temperature tried to rally against the icy submersion and failed to conserve any warmth, even as his air supply dwindled to that which was in his lungs and no more, he would be at peace.

The death throes, when they came—and they would, for his body was, as all were, evolutionarily adapted for survival, the conscious mind in charge only up to a dire point, whereupon autonomic function took over and things went haywire—would thrash him about in the bucket seat, throwing his head forward and back, his mouth opening and drawing in water as a reflex, as a desperate hope that his lungs were merely being denied oxygen as opposed to there being none available to them. He was under no illusions that it would be easy. There would be suffering from the suffocation, burning inside his body, perhaps even some last-moment panic kicked over his mortal transom by the lizard part of his brain.

But then it would be over. Done with. The whole miserable biological accident of his life dusted, in the bin, over and out.

A void, and nothing more.

Which was heretical.

As a Shadow, he had been raised in a slightly different belief system than regular vampires. His people, an evolutionary extension within the fanged species, relied a great deal on the stars in the sky, the traditions of the s’Hisbe a variant of what was accepted as the way the afterlife worked. The core tenets, however, were the same for both. It was like Protestants and Catholics—same essential language, but different dialects—and as such, his kind, too, had the theory that after you died, you went up unto the Fade, and lived out eternity with your loved ones under the benevolent auspices of the Scribe Virgin. Assuming you hadn’t been a total douche down on earth. If you had been an asshole, you were relegated to Dhunhd, also known as Hell, which was where the Omega and his minions hung out. Either way, your conduct over the course of your mortal nights determined your final zip code, and there was something after your last breath to look forward to—or dread—depending on your worthiness.

It was an okay theory, and a construct that he understood was, in its own fashion, to be found on the human side of things as well. Not the Fade or Dhunhd, perhaps, not the Scribe Virgin or the Omega, exactly, but rather other, similar belief systems that covered both how you treated yourself and others while you were mortal, and also considered what happened to you after your coil, so to speak, got popped. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and countless other religions, they were all efforts to give more of a vista after death than just a coffin and a grave. Or a pyre.

He knew from pyres.

God, did he ever.

What he no longer knew from, however, what he no longer believed in, was all the rest of that stuff. He’d never been particularly spiritual, but man, you didn’t know how much you had been until you were not any longer.

At all.

Anyway, prior to the whole truck/intersection/ almost-obliteration thing, he had been considering what was not exactly a sin, but rather a really, very not-so-hot idea. Assuming you were a believer. In the lexicon of both vampires and Shadows, if you took your own life, that was it. No Fade for you, motherfucker. Now, no one had been able to provide him with a good explanation of what the alternative repercussions were—sure, lore had it you were closed-door’d on the whole Fade thing. But where did you end up? Dhunhd? Worm food? Who knew. Yet everyone and their uncle was damn clear on the fact that you weren’t going to be elbows deep in people you liked for the next jabillion years.

The message apparently being, if you took your own life, well, then, to hell with you if you didn’t appreciate the gift you were given at birth.

Yeah, like this whole breathing/heart-beating thing had been such a fucking prize, these years he’d been upright and walking around such a goddamn joy. He’d been destined for a loveless mating since the night he was born, been responsible for the senseless suffering of both his parents, watched a dear friend get tortured by a psychotic cunt for a good twenty years—that was fun—been a pimp, a drug dealer, and an enforcer.

Real partridge-in-a-pear-tree shit.

And then that heaping sundae of shit-chip ice cream—which he’d self-medicated with an outstanding sex addiction, thank you very much—had been cherry-topped by the granddaddy of all gutwrenchers.

He’d met the female of his dreams, fallen in love . . . and, after what felt like twenty minutes of happiness, had had to hold her hand as she died of a wasting disease right in front of him.

Honestly, he hadn’t just been born under a bad star; he’d been born under one that kicked him in the nuts so badly, he’d coughed them out in his hand.

So now he was here, in this BMW he’d just bought, on this snowy night, during the motherfucking human season of cocksucking joy, contemplating suicide—only to have the GODDAMN ACCIDENT THAT COULD HAVE MADE IT ALL COME OUT ALL RIGHT DENIED TO HIM BY A SET OF ALL-SEASON RADIALS THAT HAD WORKED JUST FINE AT EVERY OTHER FUCKING INTERSECTION HE’D EVER DRIVEN THROUGH.

Not to put too fine a point on things.

But FFS, he couldn’t even have a chance to get dead in such a way that he could both end this bullshit AND not run afoul of the maybe truth that suicide got you, literally, nowhere.

Not that he believed in the afterlife anymore anyway. No matter what he’d thought he’d seen after Selena had died.

Hell, if there was anything that the last three months had taught him, it was that death was a hard stop. Especially if you were the one left behind.

Well, Trez thought, as he sped along in the snow, at least there was still the embankment option.

There was that to look forward to.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

Giveaway

We are lucky enough to have one copy of Where Winter Finds You. Enter using the widget below. The contest is available to US residents only.

Blog Tour: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward

Are you looking forward to Trez and Therese’s book?


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Review: Warrior Fae Trapped by K.F. Breene

Posted November 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Warrior Fae Trapped by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Warrior Fae Trapped by K.F. Breene
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Series: Warrior Fae #1, DDVN #7
Also in this series: Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #1), Raised in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #2), Fused in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #3), Natural Witch , Natural Witch
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 438
Length: 9 hours and 21 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

The truce between the vampires and the shifters is long over. So when the two factions stumble upon a lost fae warrior who has no idea what she is, all hell breaks loose.

Charity hasn't had it easy. Growing up in a bad part of Chicago, left by her mother at 16, she's a survivor. So when she gets a scholarship to a good college out in California, she thinks all her dreams have come true.

Instead she falls head first into a nightmare.

At a posh party she doesn't belong, she gets the shock of her life: vampires and shifters are real! Magic is real. And she is anything but a mundane poor kid just trying to make it.

Warrior runs in her blood. If only she knew how to use it.

Suddenly, she is trapped between two magical super powers - a cunning elder vampire who wishes to use her for her blood ties and maybe tie her to the bed, and a sexy alpha shifter who will protect her at all costs.

Her life of surviving never could've prepared her for this. And if she doesn't learn to harness the fae magic running through her blood, she'll be imprisoned forever.

Action, humor, and romance - we're going back to the DDVN World!

Warrior Fae Trapped is set in the DDVN (Demon Days & Vampire Nights) world (Fire and Ice Trilogy, Magical Mayhem Trilogy), but I feel it stands alone well. You don’t need to have read the previous books to understand what’s happening here, though there is an overreaching storyarc that connects them all.

Charity grew up in a bad part of Chicago with an abusive father. When she was 16 her mother left, and since then she’s been trying to make something of herself. She got a full ride scholarship to college and ended up rooming with a rich girl who couldn’t stand the dorms, so she got her dad to move them to a little house instead. Charity is still beyond poor, but she’s working hard to change that. When her roommate invites her to a very exclusive party, Charity doesn’t want to go, but she wants to fit in and make friends, so she agrees. From the beginning things look hinky, and the warning she gets from another student as she’s going in not to drink the punch makes things even more strange.

As it turns out, this a vampire changing party. The vampires have set this up to change some of the very wealthy’s children, in hopes of gaining more power in the Brink (the non-magical side of Earth). Charity barely escapes, with the help of Devon, the werewolf who warned her off from drinking the punch. It turns out Charity is packing some magic herself, though she had no idea it was inside her, or that magic was even real.

Now she and Devon are on a mission to evade the master vampire who set up the party, and figure out what her magic is and how to train her. And there’s this pesky attraction between them..but that’s less important than the way their magic seems to clash…and combine.

This was another great entry in the series. I love how Breene creates strong friendships inside this world. Her heroines are tough and independent, but they from strong bonds. I don’t think we see enough strong female relationships in UF, and I’m glad Breene is changing that.

“Do you want a hug, a punch, or a change of subject?” Macy asked, deadpan.

Charity couldn’t help but laugh. “Change of subject, please.”

“Did you figure out your phone and computer?” Macy asked, bringing out her own phone. “Because I’m happy to make fun of you if you didn’t. Help. I mean, I’m happy to help you.”

Charity doesn’t just form a relationship with the female in the pack. She becomes close to all the pack members. I enjoyed seeing them rally around her, giving her the acceptance and sense of family she’d been missing.

“The afternoon class was the one with Andy, so that was actually good. He insisted that I sit with him and his friends. It was nice to be included.”

“The guys seem to like you, not to mention Macy.”

She turned her face up to his, a smile of gratitude boosting her loveliness. “I’ve landed in hell, but I’m in the trenches with good people. I didn’t have many friends growing up. It’s a neat feeling.”

The mystery of Charity’s past and where her powers come from is interesting. I’m anxious to see where things go in the next book. I’m enjoying the romance, though I did feel like the ILYs came a little too early. I’d rather have seen that happen in the second book. Still, the action kept me on the edge of my seat and I’m truly invested in seeing where this goes. I immediately started book 2.

Devon stopped in the middle of the aisle and blinked dazedly. “Did you just compliment me on my appearance and body, give me a verbal high five for being a slut, ask me to have quiet sex, and then opt for earplugs assuming I probably wouldn’t? Did all that come out of your mouth within the space of thirty seconds?”

Although there are darker elements at play, this novel is written in a rather lighthearted way. Not campy, but fun. There’s a lot of gore and some strong emotional scenes, but there’s also a lot of humor. If you’re looking for a fun, engaging novel filled with action, adventure and romance, this is a great place to start.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Warrior Fae

DDVN

four-half-stars


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Review: The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

Posted November 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. JamesReviewer: Holly
The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James
Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Library, Audible Escape
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Gothic, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 319
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

The award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare and Silence for the Dead, presents another mesmerizing gothic story of intrigue...

London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she's been murdered at one of her own séances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.

Ellie doesn't contact the dead—at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can't refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria's secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. Worse, she cannot shake the attentions of handsome James Hawley, a damaged war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics.

As Ellie and James uncover the sinister mysteries of Gloria's life and death, Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the grisly murders of those in Gloria's circle. And as Ellie’s uneasy partnership with James turns dangerously intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it...

The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James is available for the Audible Escape package. I downloaded it after finishing Silence for the Dead, because I wanted more from St. James and because I enjoyed the narrator, Mary Jane Wells, quite a bit. This gothic romance is perfect for the fall season.

Ellie Winter is a psychic Medium. When a rival Medium, Gloria Sutter, is murdered and her brother shows up asking for Ellie’s help in finding her, Ellie agrees reluctantly. She and Gloria had been friends once upon a time, but Gloria betrayed Ellie in a devastating way and they hadn’t spoken in years. If Gloria hadn’t left a note with her brother “Tell Ellie Winter to find me”, Ellie probably would have told him no. As it is, despite her anger and hurt over Gloria’s betrayal, she can’t walk away.

James Hawley is an investigator for the “New Society”. He, and his colleagues, try to verify or debunk psychics. He was instrumental in declaring Ellie’s mother a fraud, but something about their case has always bothered him. As the only verified true psychic – something he helped prove – Gloria had a lot of notoriety in London. Discovering if his findings are part of the reason she was murdered has James helping Ellie.

This is the second novel by St. James I’ve read. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first, but it was still a creepy, lovely tale. I quite enjoyed the setting – mid 1920s London – and the glimpse into the life of a true Medium who can see and summon spirits. Ellie’s talent in that regard came across well. I enjoyed her as whole, in fact. She was independent and strong, yet had a vein of vulnerability and loneliness running through her that made her easy to connect with.

I enjoyed the mystery of why Gloria Sutter was murdered, and by whom. I had the majority of things figured out, but still there were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. This was a cozy, atmospheric Gothic novel not to be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Reaper by Larissa Ione

Posted November 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Reaper by Larissa IoneReviewer: Casee
Reaper by Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica #19
Also in this series: Azagoth
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 325
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

THE DEMONICA SERIES RETURNS...

He is the Keeper of Souls. Judge, jury, and executioner. He is death personified.

He is the Grim Reaper.

A fallen angel who commands the respect of both Heaven and Hell, Azagoth has presided over his own underworld realm for thousands of years. As the overlord of evil souls, he maintains balance crucial to the existence of life on Earth and beyond. But as all the realms gear up for the prophesied End of Days, the ties that bind him to Sheoul-gra have begun to chafe.

Now, with his beloved mate and unborn child the target of an ancient enemy, Azagoth will stop at nothing to save them, even if it means breaking blood oaths and shattering age-old alliances.

Even if it means destroying himself and setting the world on fire…

Azagoth and Lilliana are happily mated. They also have a baby on the way. Both of them are pretty much deliriously happy. Then Lilliana faints and Azagoth knows he has to send her to Underworld General, a place that he can’t follow.

After finding out that she was poisoned, Lilliana knows that she can’t go back to Sheoul-gra. When she tries to leave UG, chaos ensues. There are Fallen Angels at the door and they are almost impossible to beat. Lilliana goes into the Harrowgate which will take her to safety. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen and Lilliana finds herself in hell.

When Azagoth is told about Lilliana, he is devastated and absolutely furious. His first instinct is to go after Lilliana, but he can’t. As the Grim Reaper, Azagoth has an unlimited amount of power, but only in Sheoul-gra. He also can’t leave Sheoul-gra. All he can do is call in his allies and prepare for war.

As a prisoner of a psychotic demon that wants Satan released, Lilliana doesn’t worry about herself. She only worries for her child. And Azagoth. Lilliana knows that Azagoth will not only never recover from their deaths, but revert back to the demon that she first met.

When Heaven decides the only course of action is to destroy Azagoth, things start going downhill. Still, Azagoth will do whatever it takes to save his mate. Even if he dies trying to get her back.

I really, really liked this book. Azagoth is sort of an anti-hero. He’s evil, but there’s goodness in him. He never expected to mate and it’s obvious that he’s thrown and is trying to deal with feeling so much for one person. Still, Lilliana an Azagoth somehow make it work. The action in this book is amazing. Larissa isn’t afraid to take risks. In Reaper, her risks paid off.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.



four-stars


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