Tag: Paranormal Romance

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

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


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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
Series Rating: four-stars


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.


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Review: Aris by Sarah J. Stone

Posted October 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Caution: This book may include potentially sensitive content, including but not limited to: Sexual Violence or Abuse.
Review: Aris by Sarah J. StoneReviewer: Holly
Aris by Sarah J. Stone
Narrator: Connor Brown
Series: Stratham Dragons #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 19, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 3 hours and 17 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
Series Rating: one-star

Aris and his brothers have been sick their entire lives. Every day Aris comes closer to finding a cure. One day his visions show him that the key is a human woman in need of help. He must find her.

Sophie has spent the last seven years of her life locked away and abused by a man who promised to always take care of her. She’s nearly given up hope on ever getting free until she makes contact with the man of her dreams. Is he actually real or is she going crazy?

Can Aris save her from herself and help her heal before it’s too late for both of them?

Content Warning: Explicit love scenes, and piles of sexy shifters. Intended for mature audiences only.

I like how the content warning in the blurb doesn’t mention the massive amounts of on page abuse and sexual assault the female MC suffers.

Content Warning: Explicit love scenes, and piles of sexy shifters. Intended for mature audiences only.

TRIGGER WARNING! Sexual assault and abuse galore.

I found this while browsing the Audible Escape package and thought I’d give it a try. The narration, blurb and cover made me think this would be a lighter PNR, but that wasn’t the case. The book opens with the heroine trapped in a basement being sore abused by her step-father. She mentally connects with our hero, Aris, who turns out to be a dragon shifter suffering from some sort of illness.

He and his brothers-of-the-heart – five boys who banded together – are all suffering from the same thing, yet none of them know why or how to fix it. Aris connects with his biological mother in a dream and learns he’s a half-breed dragon – half Black dragon and half Golden. According to dream mom, until he accepts both halves of himself and finds the missing third part of his soul (the heroine, natch), he – and all his “brothers” – will die.

Sophie has been a captive for 7 years, since she was 14 (so it says in the beginning of the book) or 15 (end of the book). She’s been plotting her escape and trying to keep hope, but she’s almost at the end of her rope. She’s been dreaming of Aris (though she didn’t know his name) for years, but didn’t think he was real until they connect in a dream and he sees her as well. Now she’s determined to hang on until he can rescue her.

I liked the premise of this story, but honestly it was a hot mess. Inconsistencies galore. At first she was raped, then not. She was in the basement for 5 years, then 7. She was severely traumatized by her abuse (understandably so!), then she was strong so it didn’t matter. Things were glossed over or hinted at. Honestly, I could have let a lot of that go, but about halfway through we suddenly switched to the step-dad’s POV and that was just too much. I ended up finishing it, because I was curious to see what would happen with Aris’ illness, but I’m sorry I wasted my time.

At first the narrator bothered me, because he’d occasionally stumble or pause in strange ways/places, but after reading some of the reviews on GR, I’m convinced it was the poor writing in the book. Needless to say, I won’t be continuing with the series.

Rating: 1.0 out of 5

Stratham Dragons


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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
Series Rating: four-stars


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


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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
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


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