Archive for the ‘Paranormal Romance’ Category

A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, #1)

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: E-Book
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Series: Abby Sinclair #1
Source: Personal Purchase

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Why I read this book?: I saw a review for this book on Mindful Musings and decided that it was something that I wanted to try.

What I liked?: Abby Sinclair! She’s just full of awesome as well as piss and vinegar. Abby is the TouchStone to the Protectorate and is suddenly put in charge when Moria, the Protectorate, goes missing. I also enjoyed all the mystery that was included in the book. When Moria goes missing more disappearances are brought to light AND THAT is when things get a little crazy. Oh and let’s not forget all the humor that is through out this book as well. I really enjoyed the host of secondary characters as well. Especially Phineas, the horny little unicorn.

What I disliked?: I didn’t really care for Brystion. I don’t know what it was exactly about him that I didn’t like but it definitely had an impact on my overall feel for the book. As a result of me not really liking Brystion, I really did “feel” the romance between Abby and Brystion. I also didn’t care for how Moria really let Abby down. I didn’t really like how certain characters in the book treated Abby at the beginning of the book and then had a complete turn about at the end either.

Overall Impression: I really enjoyed this book. It’s chock full of humor and mystery. This book from what I can tell is classified as a Paranormal Romance but to me it read more like an Urban Fantasy. It just didn’t read like a PNR, if that makes sense at all.

Rating: 3.75/5
The Hunt

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuor

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Urban Fantasy/PNR
Format Reviewed: EGalley
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Series: Currently Untitled #1
Source: Netgalley

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them. Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

Why I read this book?: I recently saw that this book was in a lot of IMM’s and I really thought that the premise of the book was very interesting. I found that it was available on Netgalley and put in a request to read the egalley.

What I liked?: I really enjoyed that the premise of this story was completely different than anything I have read recently. Usually we read about us humans being the hunters and the paranormal beings being the hunted, the roles are completely reversed in The Hunt. I think that I was able to connect with the characters of this book because it was so different. In the beginning of the book we don’t now what our main character’s name is, he’s known by a number really, it isn’t until later in the book that we learn that his name is Gene and he’s spent the vast majority of his life trying NOT to act like a human just so he can continue living. The announcement of the last heper (human) hunt, humans are virtually extinct now, set’s the ball rolling for an action packed fast paced YA debut. I think my favorite part of the whole book was the author took some shots at the Twilight franchise, I don’t know if it was intentional but I really liked it.

What I disliked?: In the beginning of the book was I was worried that The Hunt was going to be another version of The Hunger Games. There were a fair amount of similarities between both books but then there was a scene that changed my mind entirely. I’m glad that scene was there, if not it would have affected my review and rating. Have I mentioned that I have a growing dislike for cliffhangers?!

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this book is that I will for sure be buying a finished copy of The Hunt once it is made available to the general public. I LOVED this book and I think it is a wonderful beginning to this series.

Rating:  4.75/5
Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1)

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Series: Elder Races #1
Source: Personal purchase

Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.

Why I read this book?: This series was recommended to me a little while ago by the lovely ladies who blog together on The Book Vixen.

What I liked?: I really liked how this book started off. Pia has just stolen, which she was blackmailed into doing, from Dragos and is on her way to deliver the item to the “shithead” (aka her ex). Once Dragos figures out he’s been stolen from he goes into a rage and that is when interesting things start happening.

Pia Giovanni, has spent her whole life trying to keep under wraps that she’s half-human and half-wyr. She’s also spent her whole life purposely trying to avoid drama. She’s been on her own since her mother died when she was 19, she’s now 25. Then she meets Keith (aka the “shithead”) and that’s when her life starts to spiral out of control.

One thing that really drew me to Pia was that even though she is Dragos’ calming force she doesn’t take any of his handouts. She wants to keep her life her’s as much as she possibly can under the circumstances. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself and she makes no bones about showing that to Dragos.

Dragos Cuelebre has been around a long time, like since the beginning of the universe. He’s demanding. He’s also tall, dark and handsome AND VERY MUCH an Alpha. He’s so used to getting his way that he completely flipped his top when he was stolen from. Then Pia comes into his life and he’s thrown for a total loop because she won’t put up with any of his crap.

There is mystery and humor through out this book that kept it engaging and a total page turner for me. Pia’s heritage is revealed in the book and it was a shock to me. Though I will admit to being a little bit confused about whether Pia actually knew what her wyr-half really was. She knew enough that she kept as much information about herself to herself but I wasn’t 100% on if she knew “herself” as well as she seemed to think she did.

The romance in this book was really great in my opinion. In the beginning I thought it started on deceit but once Dragos and Pia got together things started to build at an even keel. What I really loved about the developement of the romance was that Pia didn’t let Dragos push her around and forced him to go at a pace that she was comfortable with.

What I disliked?: I got nothing!

Overall Impression: I think that this book is an excellent start to this series and I really want to thank the ladies over at The Book Vixen for recommending this series!

Rating: 5+/5
Iron Kissed (Mercedes Thompson, #3)

Iron Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR/Fantasy
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 2, 2008
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Source: paperbackswap.com

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator… Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.
Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…

Why I read this book?: I’ve read the last two books in this series back to back, which is an extremely rare occurrence, and I really wanted to keep up with what’s going on in Mercy’s life so I just kept going. I think I’m going to keep going until I run out of books:) 2013 you can’t get here fast enough!

What I liked?: As usual, Mercy! She’s got this almost obnoxious sense of loyalty and when Zee gets into deep trouble she just jumps in with both feet to clear his name. That is also the point when shit hits the fan as well. I really liked that in this book Mercy finally chose between Adam and Samuel. I really liked that in this book we learn more about the fae and their folklore, there were some pretty interesting stories that were mentioned in this book. The action and suspense were right up there with the last two books and I really liked how we were introduced to Adam’s “vengeful” side and more of the pack behaviors. Like in the first book, the bad guy wasn’t obvious until the very end and I was really surprised to see that Mercy was wrong about her suspicions.

What I disliked?: This book started off slower than I really liked. It took a fair amount of reading and setting the book down before I got to the point that things started happening and the book grabbed my attention. I also disliked that new characters and plot points were brought into the book but once introduced where never really expanded upon. Maybe they make appearances in upcoming books but I would have liked to see a little more detail.

Overall Impression: This book is considerably more gritty than the last two books. Even though it isn’t my favorite in the series I think it’s still a really good installment and I’m off to start Bone Crossed!

Rating: 3.75/5
Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2)

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR/Fantasy
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 30, 2007
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Source: paperbackswap.com

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen… Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

Why I read this book?: I just recently read the first book in this series, Moon Called, and enjoyed it so much I immediately picked up the second book. Which is pretty amazing considering usually I have to read something different in between books in a series.

What I liked?: As always, Mercy Thompson is my heroine! What I really loved about her in this book is that she took her “devil may care” attitude and used it to kick even MORE ass in this book than she did in the first book. She’s so ”real” even though she is a shapeshifter. I feel I could be friends with her, if she existed in real life. In the first book the bad guys were bad but in this book the bad guy(s) were even badder than that! The action is fast-paced and the mystery is great too. Usually, I’m lukewarm on love triangles but I think in the case of this series it works really well. Though I’m growing increasingly lukewarm on Samuel. But at the same time I’m growing more in “book boyfriend lust” with Adam. I really like the road that Stefan is traveling down, storyline wise…I can hardly wait to see how it/if it plays out. A lot of the secondary characters are starting to grow on me, even Ben…maybe he isn’t so bad after all.

What I disliked?: I’m really starting to dislike the whole vampire seethe, with the exception of Stefan of course. Other than that I really don’t have much in the way of negatives for this book.

Overall Impression: I might just have to come up with a whole new rating for series/books like this! LOVE this series so much I’m going to go grab book three off of my shelf as soon as I post this review.

 
Rating:  4.75/5
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal/Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: October 1, 2009
ISBN 10: 0738714844
ISBN 13: 9780738714844
Source: Personal Purchase
 
Rating: 4/5

Remember us, so sing the dead, lest we remember you…

James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala’s life and his soul.

***** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS *****

Review:
 
In the beginning of the book I was totally confused….The characters kept talking about events that took place “last summer” which I took to mean “the last book, Lament” which I did NOT read before I started Ballad (bad me!). The book starts off telling us – the readers – a little bit about the Leanan Sidhe and then about the death of a Leanan Sidhe. Then we meet Dee, who we “hear” from in the book mostly in the form of text messages to James. James and Dee are new students at a prestigeous music high school called Thornking-Ash. James plays the bagpipe and is kind of a smart ass (which is an unusual instrument, but if you’ve ever heard it belt out Amazing Grace your hooked) and Dee plays the harp. James’ roomate in the dorms is Paul who is a talented Oboe player but in my opinion a little bit too straightlaced for my liking in the beginning of the book.

 
The first week of school is just like any other school….learning the ground rules, learning your way around….all that fun stuff. Then week two starts and James and Paul are assigned to read Hamlet in Mr. Sullivan’s first hour English class AND James is hearing and seeing the Antler King (king of the dead)…which means that there are fey around. Seems that there is a cloverhand (calls to the fey) at the school. Then to top is off James is sent to take private piping lessons from a piper who is nowhere near as good as James. Upon leaving his disasterous lesson James meets Nuala who is a Leanan Sidhe. In the beginning Nuala wants to make a “deal” with James but James refuses. But Nuala doesn’t give up….Nuala has never not gotten what (read: who) she wanted, so she decides that she is going to send him a dream that will just make him want to take the “deal.” The day after James’ disasterous piping lesson he is informed by Sullivan that he will either have to learn the guitar or the piano instead to meet his musical requirements.

 
I didn’t really like Dee….She seemed really weak and whiney….Not to mention more than a little bit of a “user”…..Nobody likes to be used, especially James. This is the point where is feelings start to shift in regards to the ladies in his life….In the beginning all he wanted was Dee and he wanted nothing to do at all with Nuala….now it’s starting to shift the other way. Nuala takes James one night to a movie where they get to talking about things and end up sitting down and writing the play Ballad. Upon the completion of reading Hamlet Sullivan assigns a 10 page essay on Metaphor to his students. James and Paul are so NOT happy about the assignment that it leads to one of my favorite scenes in the book…Paul getting “drunk.” This is where James tells Paul about Ballad and we learn that James and Dee aren’t the only ones who are dealing with the paranormal.

 
The further into the book I got the more I learned and liked Nuala. In the beginning I thought she was going to be some soul sucking leech but she really isn’t like that. Come to find out she’s part human and every 16 years on Halloween she must burn in order to continue to live. But the kicker is that once she comes back she has no memories. Also, the further into the book I got the less I liked the “relationship” between James and Dee….Very UNhealthy. You also learn who the cloverhand is and what James and Nuala have to do while she is burning to make there dreams come true. Also, Thornking-Ash isn’t just any ordinary prestigous music school either. Oh and all the “dirty deeds done dirt cheap” whichs ends up with a new King of the Dead being crowned. Oh, and Ballad? Ballad ends up being AWESOME!

 
Overall, I was really happy with the book. Next time though….I will start with the first book in the series so things make sense in the second book!

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Genre: PNR/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: EPUB file
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 1, 2011
ISBN 10: 0312662750
ISBN 13: 9780312662752
Source: Nook Lending Group on Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.
This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

I had read so many great reviews for this series of books that I had to get my hands on a copy of them. When they were first released they didn’t really trip my trigger because I wasn’t reading a lot of PNR at the time but now I’m reading significantly more and I’m really glad that I gave this series a shot.

Charlie is the Grim Reaper. Meaning she can see the dead and they pass through her on their way to the other side. Charley is also a part-time PI and with her skills and “gift” has helped her father and her uncle, who are/were cops, solve numerous cases. Charley has a wicked sense of humor too. She’s been having some issues recently with someone invading her dreams and having their wicked way with her in dreamland.

Then there is Reyes. What is Reyes? Well I’m no going to tell you, you’ll just have to read this book to find out. Though I can tell you that he is TOTAL Alpha male and sex on two legs. And he keeps Charlie on her toes in dreamland.

Overall, I was beyond impressed with this book. I’m kicking myself for not getting to this series sooner. It’s chock full of humor, action and a kick ass heroine. I don’t know about you but I like my heroine’s strong and if they are kick ass that’s an added bonus! Each character in this book brought something to the table, even if they were little itty bitty secondary characters. Beside’s Charlie and Reyes my other favorite character was Angel. He’s one of Charlie’s partners in crime. Seriously, if you haven’t read this book pick it up NOW!

 

Into the Dreaming (with bonus material)

Into the Dreaming by Karen Marie Moning


Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical Romance
Format: Hardcover, 253 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 24, 2012
ISBN 10: 0345535227
ISBN 13: 9780345535221
Source: Personal Purchase

Rating: 4/5

Aspiring romance novelist Jane Sillee was completely in love with her fantasy man — the hot and strapping dark-haired Highlander who’d been coming to her in her dreams for years and inspired her sensual flights of literary fancy.

But it was more than her imagination that conjured up the brilliantly woven tapestry sporting the spitting image of her magnificently arrogant warrior. It was more than a dream that transported her to medieval Scotland to break an evil spell. And it was more than she could handle when she found herself wrapped in the muscular arms of Aedan MacKinnon, who had his own fantasies to fulfill…

Review:

I read this book a couple of months ago. I even started writing the review for it even. Then my stress level sky rocketed and I just wasn’t into writing reviews anymore. Now I’m feeling much better and it’s now time that I get around to writing reviews again.

What I really liked about this book was that it was that there were historical romance elements mixed in with paranormal romance elements. I hadn’t read any of the other books in the Highlander series prior to this book so I didn’t really now what to expect but I was really happy with the outcome. Our main characters each have their own set of demons. Aedan has been bound to the Unseelie King for 500 years and Jane is struggling to get her book noticed by publishers.

I really enjoyed the involvement of the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King in this story. In addition to their involvement with the main characters, it does appear that the two have history together. Makes for interesting times 😉

In the beginning of the book Aedan is a bit of a tyrant and isn’t very like able. Then Jane comes into his world and shakes everything up, whether he likes it or not. As the book progresses I really liked how Aedan grew from a tyrant to a loving individual. I think of the books that I’ve read lately, Jane is one of my favorite heroine’s. She’s thrust back in time and gets stuck with this tyrant and she’s bound to make him love her, because they have met before…In the Dreaming.

There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this book. I’m having a hard time coming up with things I didn’t care for. I guess the one thing that I can come up with was the length. I thought it was a little short. Other than that I really enjoyed it very much. If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend it!