Tag: Paranormal

Throwback Thursday Review: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone

Posted November 5, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana StoneReviewer: Casee
His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone
Series: Jaguar Warriors #2
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 361
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A solitary hunter with no regard for the human world, Jagger Castille is a shifter living on the edge. A woman who calls him enemy will give him reason to live...
Jagger is a creature of the night—Skye Knightly soars in the sun. Natural adversaries, they are now joined in a mission entrusted to Skye's family centuries ago: nothing less than the salvation of the Earth.
Wounded and bitter, Jagger sought escape in the solitude of the jungle, driven by a need to disappear forever...until a mysterious shifter who calls to his soul and feeds a yearning long forgotten pulls him from his dark path. A courageous warrior, Skye's passion is equal to Jagger's—but can she trust a man whose secrets are as devastating as her own?
Each is the other's sole hope for survival. But a dark and twisted truth is leading them toward the ultimate sacrifice for a love they may never live to claim.

This review was originally posted on October 26, 2010.

I was really impressed with His Darkest Hunger. Really. The way it ended, with Jagger just disappearing into the jungle left me with high expectations for His Darkest Embrace. That turned out to be unfortunate because everything about Jagger was disappointing. He was an overbearing, egotistical arsehole who thought he knew what was best and that was that. It was enormously dissatisfying.

Skye is running from jaguar shifters—bad ones—when she is saved by one. As an eagle shifter, Skye is at her peak strength during the day. It’s her misfortune to get chased during the night when she can’t use her gifts. When she is saved by a jaguar shifter, she has little hope that she will survive. He seems almost feral which doesn’t give Skye much hope that she will accomplish her goal of saving the world. Yes—saving the world.

Jagger took to his jaguar form planning never to return. After so much pain and loss, Jagger can no longer bear to deal with human emotion. (Is that lame or what?) When he comes to Skye’s rescue, he is forced to shift, bringing all his emotions roaring to the surface. Of course the first emotion is raging lust. The lust he feels for Skye is all consuming and makes him all but mindless.

Things were going along quite swimmingly until Jagger’s friends and family catch up to them. At this point, they tell Jagger that Skye is an enemy and he decides to immediately believe them. He starts to treat Skye as his prisoner instead of a lover, which really teed me off. Honestly, it was such a one eighty after how hot and heavy he was feeling before that I just couldn’t get behind it.

As for Skye, I really found myself admiring her courage. By closing the opening between the realms, she is not only killing herself but surrendering herself to a lifetime of living in hell. How can you not admire that? Even when she started have feelings for Jagger, she was still determined to do what needed to be done. What I didn’t buy was how quick she “fell in love” with Jagger. How could she fall in love with such a jerk? Honestly. I’m still wondering.

I’m also wondering if the next book is going to be as disappointing as this one.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Jaguar Warriors

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia Rice

Posted October 15, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia RiceReviewer: Rowena
Mystic Rider: A Mystic Isle Novel by Patricia Rice
Series: Mystic Isle #2
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ian Olympus, skilled fighter and visionary, has left the isle of Aelynn for the Outside World to retrieve a sacred chalice. He finds it in the hands of Chantal Deveau, who plans to buy her family out of prison.

But her outrage at his demand that she hand it over is nothing compared to her powerful, sensual response to his presence—and the startling conviction that their lives are irrevocably entwined. And Ian will soon have to choose between duty and desire.

This review was originally published October 13, 2008

Ian Olympus has been sent to Paris, France to collect a sacred chalice that belongs to his people. His people need it and his soulmate has it and so he has to go get because the people who were sent in before him to retrieve it have failed so he takes it upon himself to get it back. His soulmate is Chantal Deveau and she’s a French musician who’s father is passionate about his cause for the French Revolution. She’s very curious about the mysterious visitor who comes to retrieve a bell she’s had for a while, only she doesn’t have the bell anymore, she sent it with her servant to exchange so that she can bail her sister in law out of jail.

Being curious isn’t enough to stop Chantal from sleeping with this sexy man who comes into her house and sweeps her right off her feet and into his arms. She should be ashamed of the way that Ian makes her feel but she can’t because when she’s in his arms, everything feels as if they’ve been righted and she can’t seem to stay away from him.

Ian means to make her his wife but she has some reservations about that being that she doesn’t know anything about him other than he’s an exceptional lover and she can’t wait to find out more.

They’ve got a lot of things to conquer before their love can be given a shot but eventually they get there and when I was finally done with this book, I didn’t feel excited about the characters, I didn’t feel like jumping for joy because Ian and Chantal were able to get over themselves and find a true love that will last forever, I didn’t feel very much of anything. I thought the story was okay, I thought the dialogue dragged and overall the story was just okay for me.

Ian was a good hero, he was everything I love in a man. Strong, virile (hehe) and confident. He did what he had to do and oh well if you don’t agree with it. He had a good heart and he always put his duty before his wants and I really enjoyed that about him. And he was hot, can’t forget that he was flippin’ hot.

Chantal was an okay heroine, not so annoying that she bordered on TSTL but not very memorable either. She was just okay in my book. She was a musician and she sang great but I wasn’t exactly wowed by her character, she was just okay for me. Nothing too spectacular on her part.

The other characters were pretty average as well. I didn’t connect with anyone and I didn’t really feel excited about reading the other books in this series, this book was just okay. I found myself skimming parts of the book and wondering what book I was going to read next, that’s how excited I was about this story, I’m glad I finished it but I know that I won’t ever reread this book and I don’t have a need to read the first book (this is the second book) or continue on with this series. It was just a pretty average book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Posted August 12, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana DoidgeReviewer: Holly
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge
Series: The Dowser #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 266
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

If you’d asked me a week ago, I would have told you that the best cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate cream cheese icing, that dancing in a crowd of magic wielders — the Adept — was better than sex, and that my life was peaceful and uneventful. Just the way I liked it.

That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth.

I asked for recommendations for Paranormal/UF Romances on Twitter and this was one of the titles I received. Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic is the first book in the Dowser series by Meghan Ciana Doidge.

Jade is a witch with very little power, who owns/runs a bakery and makes trinkets that her sister sells. Her life is quiet and that’s just how she likes it. Until a vampire turns up in town, followed shortly by a Shifter Pack, thinking Jade is responsible for the murder of one of their own. Between an inconvenient crush on one of the Shifters, issues with her sister and her MIA grandma, things go from quiet to crazy in no time at all.

I really enjoyed the world Doidge created. It was easy to fall into, and the mystery of why the vampire was in town and what was up with the Shifters kept me reading. But I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of Jade or her family. Jade’s “head in the sand” mentality grated on me. She was happy to just skip through life without thinking too much about things, and that was fine. Until her life was in danger and things started going crazy. Then her refusal to face things or look into what was going on around her frustrated me. I figured out who the baddie was right from the beginning, but I hoped I’d be proven wrong. I wasn’t. I really wanted some layers there, or for something better to come of it.

There is no romance in this novel, but I liked the interpersonal relationships and I look forward to learning more about the Shifters and Vampires.

This was an interesting start to a new series. Parts of it were predictable, I figured out the villain very early on and I didn’t love the main character, but the bones of the novel were good and I’m curious enough to continue on. Plus, Lillie recommended the series and I trust her judgment.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Dowser

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Key of Valor by Nora Roberts

Posted July 23, 2020 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 8 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Key of Valor by Nora RobertsReviewer: Rowena
Key of Valor (Key Trilogy, #3) by Nora Roberts
Series: Key Trilogy #3
Also in this series: Key of Light (Key Trilogy, #1), Key of Knowledge (Key Trilogy, #2)
Publisher: Penguin, Jove
Publication Date: May 1st, 2004
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
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Series Rating: five-stars

What happens when the very gods depend on mortals for help?

That's what three very different young women find out when they are invited to Warrior's Peak.

Light and knowledge have succeeded in their quest, and two of the keys have been found. Both Malory and Dana had taken their turns. The final, and last, test goes to Zoe McCourt - valor.

Now it was her burden, her risk. Her chance. She had to be brave enough, smart enough, strong enough, or everything they'd done before her would be for nothing.

Zoe has the courage to raise her young son alone, and to face all the adversity life has thrown at them. But will she have the courage to face a foe determined to do anything to stop the third key from being found - even destroying everything - and everyone - she loves?

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

This review was originally posted on May 14, 2007.

I think this one is my favorite of all the Key books.

I really think so.

I fell right in love with Brad and was frustrated right along with him where Zoe was concerned. I fell in love with Simon right alongside Brad and before the story began, I was already in love with Brad.

He’s just one of those heroes that you want for your very own. He’s one of those heroes that you want to fight your demons and hold you close at night. The kind that will make quick work of anyone that would try to hurt you. He’s the kind of hero that is quiet and intense and just all around the bomb.

I loved his wealth of love that he had for both Zoe and Simon. Almost right from the very beginning, he had that thing for Zoe. And I loved how he explained his feelings to her. He knew that she was unsure of if he loved her face from the painting or if he truly did love her. And the way he explained it all to her was just oh so sweet and made my insides tingle with delight. I loved the way he was with Simon and I loved the way Simon loved him as a friend and then as a Dad.

The only thing that would have made this book even better for me was if NR would have brought James back into the picture so that Zoe could have told him what a weenie he was for not standing by her when he got her pregnant. I wanted James to see what he missed out on and how great a son Simon was and the woman that Zoe grew up to be without his help. I wanted him to see it and regret that he never stood by her. I wanted him to see her happy with Brad and I wanted Brad to be smug about it all…but well, that’s just what I wanted to see but I was content with what NR wrote in for us to read.

Zoe and her hesitation sort of got on my nerves but not enough for it to ruin the book for me. I really enjoyed this series and I really enjoyed reading this book in particular. I loved seeing Zoe come into her own and see the goodness that other people see in herself and I loved how she was finally able to accept Brad and his love. It got annoying how many times Brad had to jump through hurdles to please her but she always put Simon first and I couldn’t be mad about any of that since she was only trying to protect what was hers.

So all in all, this series was a sure winner for me and this book was a pleasant ending to another fantastic series done by NR.

Great, great books!

Grade: 5 out of 5


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Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Posted July 20, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell AllenReviewer: Holly
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
Series: Steampunk Proper Romance #1
Also in this series: Kiss of the Spindle , The Lady in the Coppergate Tower
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
Pages: 318
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast.

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Tracy turned me on to this author. I’ve been in the mood for Gothic romances lately and this one was just what I was looking for. This book is labeled as Steampunk, but I would call it Steampunk-lite. I easily fell into the story and didn’t want to put it down.

Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to visit her best friend/cousin, Kate. Kate recently married into the Blackwell family, and ever since she arrived at the manor she’s been feel poorly. Lucy is concerned something serious is wrong, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of what’s ailing her cousin. Between ghosts, werewolves and vampires, her time at the manor is anything but dull. Add the mysterious Lord Miles, Kate’s brother-in-law, to the mix, along with the mysterious deaths of his wife and her sister, and Lucy is in for a wild ride.

I really enjoyed Lucy. She’s a strong character who wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself or do what’s right. She was also very progressive and that worked well in context. I enjoyed her strength and determination, and how that pushed Miles. Their romance was well done and very enjoyable. The mystery behind her cousin’s illness and the deaths of other members of the family was easily solved, but I liked watching the characters work through everything.

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast is an odd mishmash of Gothic, Steampunk and Fantasy Romance, but it really worked. If you’re looking for something a little different, I highly recommend this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Steampunk Proper Romance

four-half-stars


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