Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Immortals

Immortals by Ednah Walters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I freely admit to stalling when it came to this book. The previous one ended in a somewhat cliffhanger, leaving me so sad for Torin and Raine. I was concerned that we’d never get back to that blood sizzling chemistry and sweetness that I had grown accustomed to. Well, obviously, I shouldn’t have been worried. Their issues, while present, are resolved without breaking my heart and if anything it makes them an even stronger and amazing couple along the way.

This book picks up a few weeks after the soul-crushing events at the end of the last book. Raine is coming back to school with a plan on how to get back all the things that the Norns took from her, including Torin. Torin continues to be one of my favorite arrogant and awesome characters. And don’t even get me started on the attraction that zings back and forth between the two of them! It’s so well done and had my heart pounding right along with theirs.

The other main storylines in this one dealt with Eirik, some mysterious big bad, and Raine’s family and training. There’s a lot of Norse mythology that I got to learn right along with Raine during her training. That, coupled with the twists and turns of this book, had me flipping pages like a mad woman trying to race to the end. I was shocked at how the mystery turned out and completely didn’t see it coming. I’m always fond of a book that genuinely surprises me and this one did it and then some. This series is rapidly becoming one of my favorite YA reads!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Review: Shifter Romance Boxed Set

Shifter Romance Boxed Set
Shifter Romance Boxed Set by Marina Maddix

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really quick read about Bethany, a girl with relatively low self esteem who falls head over heels in lust with her new neighbor Max. Drawn to each other as if my magic (or mating instinct), they connect and there's tons of fireworks. Throw in the fact that he's a werebear and you've got yourself a solid paranormal romance read. There are your typical misunderstandings, self sacrificing behavior, and ultimately a HEA. This read was mostly a love story, with a little smut and action thrown in for good measure. 3 stars.

This was another bear shifter story, but instead of being more focused on the romance elements, this definitely veered into erotica territory (not that I'm complaining!). The sex scenes were sizzling and the chemistry between Abby and the man who shows up naked on her doorstep was through the roof. This book had a slightly more sci-fi take on your typical shifter story, so was unique in that respect. The danger that Abby finds herself in due to her new connection to the Omega corporation forces her to open up and face the fact that she might actually care for someone. This was a fun and sexy read. 3 stars.

Wow, my favorite so far! I'm immediately adding Celia Kyle to my favorite authors list! This story was about a woman who decides on a one-night stand in a lion shifter party that turns into so much more than that. The writing style was fun and realistically gritty. The level of erotica and story was perfect! While the story itself was short, it was addictive enough to get me to read it in one sitting. 4 stars

Selena is a shifter in the sense that she can change her entire body appearance, but not turn into an animal. Using this skill to make herself into the perfect escort, she's now a rather wealthy woman. Anthony, her date for one evening, however, throws a kink into her plans when he makes her wish for more. She's desperate to prove that he'll love her for who she is, not who he "ordered" through her service. It was a good, quick read. 3 stars.

A brother/sister (sort of) team of somewhat paranormals enter a new town under some questionable terms. This town has witches and shapeshifters lurking around every corner. Shannon ends up being romanced by the two most alpha members of the town. This, of course, ends with lots of drama, but ultimately gives a sort of HEA. 3 stars.

This is the first book in a series that shows some real promise. I can't say I've ever read a book about a blind werewolf before. Julia is a librarian who has some pretty big self doubts. Damien is a blind werewolf who is shocked to find that his mate is a human. The sparks fly and we get a unique take on the whole "mate" thing with a "calling" that shares each others emotions and feelings. I hope the main character starts to get more assertive in the future installments, but this was a great start. 3 stars.

Brandon and Fiona are adorable teen sweethearts. One day, while hiking (at night) they see the dam breaking in their town -- that's when this story takes a turn towards something darker. Brandon saves Fiona, only to wash away in the flood that wipes out the town and most of the inhabitants. While at college, she swears she sees Brandon return, but is he real? Is he the same? Obviously it involves a shifter and was pretty short, but the adorableness made up for it. 3 stars.

Lacey is newly married to Mark, a scientist who was involved in an unfortunate lab accident that changes him. Turn out, hiding this information from him because the sex is so hot ends up changing her too. There is a lot of smut, the story involves government conspiracies, and there's a bit of swapping and M/F/M. It was definitely a new spin on the old werewolf story. 3 stars

A cat lover and her boyfriend go through some pretty big changes together. He gets offered a job in Italy. She starts to become a cat. In this story we learn that some guys are willing to overlook their girlfriend becoming a cat (and living with 15 cats in a basement apartment) if the sex is hot enough. 3 stars

Paige and Caleb have known enough other since high school and have never acted on their attraction. After running into each other on the job, they decide to take the plunge. Unfortunately, Caleb has been doing more than just spying on her. He's also been hiding the fact that he's a high ranking shifter, which puts Paige in a bit of trouble. This was a solid read, with some good steamy scenes. 4 stars

This was a Romeo and Juliet story about a cougar shifter and a psychic who are forbidden to mate with one another, but we are driven mad if they don't. Lucas finds him self trapped in a cell with only his dreamwalking mate to keep him company. Kira is trying to fight fate, but can't resist rescuing Lucas from his prison. Together they sizzle and explode, filling the pages of this story with some pretty hot action. It left me wanting to know more about this world and curious about the rest of the series. 4 stars

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Kissing with Fangs

Kissing with Fangs
Kissing with Fangs by Ashlyn Chase

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I think the series was really leading up to this installment. I’ve wanted to know what the deal was with Claudia and Anthony since book 1 and this one ties the trilogy up nicely.

How can they continue on with this trilogy if there is no bar to have as a setting? How will the paranormals all meet up? Well, it turns out, that’s not really a problem. Since the main characters are all friends outside the bar scene, they just ended up meeting at homes. As far as the lack of bar, that made for a nice plot point. Anthony is still figuring out what to do about his poor burned up bar when his “aunt” warns him to check in on Claudia. Claudia, it appears, has been hiding her alcohol problems from everyone and having no job at the bar anymore sent her in a tailspin. After years of sexual tension, with both of them remaining rigid and professional in the workplace, now there is no workplace to keep them apart. There’s still Ruxandra, though.

I was also worried about how on earth the author would make me care about Ruxandra, who has been a bit of an evil villain in the previous two books. Well, that happened pretty easily, too. This book was filled with HEA for everyone you can think of. For once, a trilogy has left me thinking happy thoughts for everyone. There are no real loose ends to worry over and while I’m sure there could be oodles of spinoffs, this trilogy is firmly ended. Was I 100% happy with how Anthony and Claudia get there? No, but it’s still good for both of them. This series was a fun ride and I’m glad that I took a chance and checked it out. You probably don’t have to read the previous books to enjoy this one, but it helps.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: How to Date a Dragon

How to Date a Dragon
How to Date a Dragon by Ashlyn Chase

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book combines a firefighter hottie with a paranormal, and pairs him with a sarcastic and stubbornly tough chick. It's a combination of things I love in paranormal tales, and it really delivers!

Bliss (yeah, I know, the name really killed me) is a greeting card writer/designer who is hoping that being a finalist in a reality show is just the break she'll need to make her business take off. Unfortunately, a fire in her apartment building ends up torching her plans (literally, because she doesn't back up her work online). Lucky for her, dragon shifter Drake is the firefighter who saves her and promptly falls for her, too.

While the romance in this one was a bit quicker and didn't really involve destined mates, I really enjoyed the witty banter and sexy times. The big bad plot was focused and easy to follow with mother nature returning to play a sort of narrator role. Fun times, good laughs, and the paranormals you met in the first one combine in this second installment to surpass the first. I think this trilogy has really hit its stride and can't wait to read book 3!

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Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon

Flirting Under a Full Moon
Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute and quick read that delivered on all things supernatural. There were wizards, shapeshifters, brownies, vampires, and just about any other paranormal you can imagine. The world was silly and fun and had me immediately diving into the next book immediately after the last page of this one!

Brandee is a human bar waitress at "Boston Uncommon", a paranormal bar (in which the human staff is unaware of the paranormals). She's been dumped a few dozen times, but this one (via text message) sends her in a bit of a tailspin. Nick is a werewolf who has been a strictly one night type of guy in the hopes that he'd be free when he discovers his true mate. He's also changing careers from cop to paranormal PI to take on his first case -- saving Brandee's fire mage cousin from kidnappers.

Brandee is a bit of a stubborn woman and instead of getting Nick's permission to tag along on the investigation, she ends up following him and learning more than she bargained for. Nick, also, learned more than he anticipated -- namely that Brandee is his true mate. After some misunderstandings, arguments, and paranormal interventions in the form of a fortune teller, we get some serious HEA. If you're looking for a very light and fun read, this trilogy looks like what you need.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Review: First to Burn

First to Burn
First to Burn by Anna Richland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow -- this was a really a delightful surprise! I admit that I'm not typically a military book reader, but this book was a really great blend of paranormal, military, romance, action, and mythology. I never thought I'd admit to loving a story that involves so much Beowulf after being forced to read it in school, but this book was just so unique!

I was worried, but, yes, this book takes place in present day. Seeing the word "Viking" in the series title always makes me think it's a historical read, so I figured that was worth a mention. It begins in Afghanistan with an army doctor and a special forces operative. Theresa is a Jersey girl (Jersey represent!) on the run from her connected family. Wulf has a lot more secrets than that and is forced to deal with a doctor poking her nose into his past. Being immortal, while beneficial in the field, is a little big harder to cover up when you get air lifted in as a wounded officer.

This was a great forbidden romance tale that sizzled off the pages. Because Theresa outranks Wulf, their relationship is off limits as far as the army is concerned. But don't worry, that's not the only story going on in this book. Aside from immortality and forbidden love, we've also got illegal smuggling, corruption in government, mob bosses, and forced research test subjects going on as well. This isn't just your typical quick and fluffy paranormal romance read. It is a very well developed and wonderfully written start to the world of Immortal Vikings. Even if this isn't typically your genre, it's worth a read!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: Breathless Magic

Breathless Magic
Breathless Magic by Rachel Higginson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a great little short story that fills in the gaps left by Relentless Warrior. I found myself wondering what happened after Jericho left Eden and Kiran, and this story answers all of my questions. It also gives us a nice look inside Eden’s head again. It’s been a while since we were there, and it made me nostalgic enough to think of re-reading the first set of books in this series.

There was also the benefit of getting some Kiran/Eden romance, which I think all fans of the series will enjoy. With all the new budding romance, it’s easy to forget where it all started and this story does a good job reminding us. It is definitely worth a read for the fans of this series.

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Review: Silver Bullet

Silver Bullet
Silver Bullet by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As a fan of SM Reine’s Riley and Elise books, this installment of the Preternatural Affairs series was filled with goodies for me! We get lots of bonus time with one of my favorites, and that alone was worth reading this book. As an added bonus, this book was also filled with wonderfully sarcastic humor from Cesar and tons of story development.

Cesar is still fighting to find his bearings in this new world he’s been shoved into. It’s so early in his OPA career that he’s still learning about demons and all of the other things that are working hard to make his first week a nightmare (ha!). There’s magic and action and lots of big reveals for him along the way, but somehow Cesar retains his really great attitude and is really growing on me. There’s really not a lot of romance in this series right now, but for a paranormal romance junkie like me, the writing and the storyline is so engaging that you don’t miss it.

The supporting characters like Suzy, Isobel, Fritz, and some new Union folks are growing on me, too. I am eager to find out where all their complicated relationships end up as they continue to work as a team. This series is definitely a surprise to me and it’s a good addition to the world that SM Reine has already created.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: Sealed with a Purr

Sealed with a Purr
Sealed with a Purr by Celia Kyle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

These books are such yummy fun, even when they contain some darker subject matter. This one was particularly handicapped in that it takes place after the biggest of the big bad gets killed. I was worried that there would be no real tie to the rest of the books, but it delivered.

Tess is the unofficial daughter of the big bad that was just killed (spoiler alert… you shouldn’t be reading reviews of future books unless you’re caught up!). She’s recovering in what amounts to a cell at the compound where she and a few other women were tortured for years. Oh, and she’s also a mind reader, a sensitive, and a sort of half shifter. Harding is one of Maya’s few remaining unmated bodyguards and, whether consciously or through a twist of fate, she sends him off to find his mate. Send to replace Stone as the women’s guardian, Harding follows orders and discovers his mate at first sight.

Between the two of them, there’s a real balance. Yes, there’s sexy, steamy chemistry, too. Turn out; Harding has a pretty broken past that rivals Tess’s own. He quiets her voices and she soothes his inner beast. It just takes Tess a really long time for her to leave her big ole pity party long enough to see that Harding is perfect. Of course these books are short, but I really wanted more time figuring out Harding’s past. I feel like he didn’t get enough in depth time from this installment. I still love these books, though. They are such a guaranteed fun and naughty time.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review: Tempt the Stars

Tempt the Stars
Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are wonderful and torturous at the same time. Cassie is such a tough main character, but it's really unfair how much they throw at her in back-to-back situations. There were some big plot reveals and a teeny tiny bit of Cassie relationship progress (which is enough for me!).

This book picked up after Pritkin's sacrifice, with Cassie determined to rescue everyone's favorite war mage (yay!). There wasn't a whole lot of Mircea, which I rather enjoyed, but might be a downer for the Team Mircea readers out there. While constantly trying to ditch her bodyguards, Cassie hops through time, gets in trouble (obviously), and manages to further grow into her role as Pythia. We learn more about Cassie's past, her mom, her dad, and her powers.

The biggest surprise of the book -- in between dodging attacks, I found myself really starting to love Cassanova in this book. Shocking, I know, but he is thrown into a bunch of really horrible situations and is the only one to retain his sarcastic humor. In reality, the big bad surprise really caught me off guard at the end of the book. It's not really a horrible cliffhanger because there's big events on the horizon, but it still stressed me out pretty badly.

The book is filled with a roller-coaster of emotion -- there's truly depressing scenes, romantic scenes, scary scenes, sexy scenes, and scenes that shocked and amazed. Of course, I'm dying to see what the next book has in store. If there's not some good Cassie romance, I'm going to be seriously pissed. She deserves some happy after all this craziness.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: Cold Iron (Cold Iron, #1)

Cold Iron (Cold Iron, #1)Cold Iron by D.L. McDermott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a really great start to a brand new series! There were Fae, Druids, lying ex-husbands, and lots of seduction scenes in this addictive read. It all combined to make an engaging and exciting story.

Beth is a struggling archaeologist in a bad situation. Her ex-husband used her and continues to use her (and her extraordinary skill) to identify locations of Celtic treasure. Using just her mind and a map, she can “feel” where these things are located. At their latest dig, they both find a little more than they bargained for in the form of Conn, an ancient Fae warrior. Seductive and sensual, he emerges from his long sleep thinking he can just seduce and discard the enchanting woman who has found his resting place. It is through this interaction that Beth discovers that she has a lot more powers than she first thought, giving her the ability to resist and see through the glamour that Conn employs.

Through the book we see the slow progress of Conn from evil Fae warrior to a more humanized version (who is still extraordinarily protective and hot). The struggle between Beth and her ex-husband and the quest to reclaim an ancient Fae relic were two engaging storylines that wove through this tale. The characters we meet along the way were interesting enough that I want to hear more about them in future installments – will we get to see more Fae/human pairings? Will there be an end to the turmoil in the Fae clans in and around Boston? Will there be more Druids discovered? I’m filled with questions that only more books can answer! This book really hooked me on this series and I am eager for more installments, so when is the next book coming out?

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review: Cursed (Voodoo Nights #1)

Cursed (Voodoo Nights #1)Cursed by Lizzy Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow -- as a fan of all things Lizzy Ford, this book was something completely different and unexpected. It's filled with a rich world that revolves around voodoo and some really in depth history. This might be the most original story I've read from this author.

The story itself follows Jayden and Addy. They are a sort of high school Romeo and Juliet. She's a scholarship girl who embraces her paranormal upbringing. He's a rich kid who laughs at his mom's "backwards" thinking and superstitious paranoia. It's a mix of love at first sight and destiny pushing these two adorable characters at one another. Jayden appears to be the more level headed one of the pair, being forced to grow up to take care of a house filled with 3 girls and trying to take care of his mother from afar. Addy is definitely the more emotionally charged one, whether she is flying off the handle about boys or school or life in general. Throw them together, and the sparks were just starting to fly in this book.

Of course, these two kids can't just get to know one another and overcome preconceived notions. Instead, there are hexes flying around, cursed families hurting their chances at finding love, and zombie sisters leaving creepy notes. Oh, and another boy that's hot and protective -- just to throw another wrench in the mix. This book was filled to the brim with mystery, history, and your good old fashioned teenage romance (with lots of voodoo twists). If any of the above interest you, I urge you to check out this great read.

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Review: Night's Promise (Children of the Night, #6)

Night's Promise (Children of the Night, #6)Night's Promise by Amanda Ashley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first "Children of the Night" book, but I think it read well as a stand alone.

Sheree is a wealthy woman obsessed with vampires. Derek is a born vampire, son of the most powerful queen of the vampires. They run into each other in a vampire bar (of course) and immediately begin their start and stop romance. Between the two of them, there are enough doubts (about themselves or their partner) to stall their relationship at just about every turn -- and that's before Derek finds out some shocking news about his genetics.

There's a lot of quick love and even quicker decision making in this book. There are vampires, werewolves and meddling old ladies thrown in for good measure. We also got a lot of POV swapping between short chapters. While there are bad guys (vampire hunters), the book was definitely more about Derek and his journey to acceptance.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Scintillate (The Light Key Trilogy, #1)

Scintillate (The Light Key Trilogy, #1)Scintillate by Tracy Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was wonderfully written and totally engaging. It was a unique story that had lots of twists and turns. The characters, writing style, and pacing all combined to make a quick and easy to read book that completely sucked me in. As the start of a trilogy, this was a very strong book that left me eager for more.

We dive right into Cora's story without much preamble. She's changing, she can see auras, and she's not sure who to trust. Her friends are hilarious and helpful, earning smiles and laughs from me during almost all of their interactions. Enter hottie Irish exchange student Finn. He's dreamy and wonderfully poetic in his declarations of love and infatuation. The chemistry between them is off the charts! There's a lot of secrets and mystery that keep them from being 100% honest with one another, which only leads to more trouble.

The story travels all over the world and does not give a neat and tidy ending. There's no promised puppies and rainbows to give this book a very happy end for the characters. There are tough roads ahead, but with a trilogy you really should expect there to be a building plot. This book is most definitely worth a read if you're interested in YA romance with a paranormal twist.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review: Sophia (Vampires in America, #4)

Sophia (Vampires in America, #4)Sophia by D.B. Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book felt like two books for the price of one! We get lots of updates and POV from Raphael and Cyn with the added bonus of a new couple: Sophia and Colin. There’s the typical sexy times, crazy vampire action, mystery, and vampire lord drama.

Cyn and Raphael are on the hunt for whoever is killing executing his vampires in their daytime lairs. Sophia is a powerful vampire on a mission to find her guilty sire (who also happens to be the vampire lord of Canada). Colin is the local Sheriff (and ex-Navy SEAL) of a town inhabited by vampires that are getting killed. Through a bit of manipulation by vampires and bad guys alike, all four of these characters end up in Seattle teaming up to track down both the killers and the missing Canadian Vampire Lord.

My favorites are still Cyn and Raphael. It’s nice to see their relationship grown and change them both. The usual characters that surround them in a bodyguard or power structure capacity are also nice to see again. Duncan in particular is one of my favorites and I can’t wait to see what happens with his story. After some not so unexpected events in this book, we get to see most of the characters stripped bare, which gave a lot of unexpected insight into their true feelings.

Sophia and Colin are not your typical paranormal romance stars. They had a relationship that ended under false pretenses only to get blown wide open when they run into one another again. There wasn’t a lot of romance involved but there sure were a lot of naughty times. This story almost felt like a separate book and didn’t get as much focus as Raphael and Cyn’s. I think that was probably for the best, as a lot of story was jammed into this book and it had to happen at a pretty rapid pace.

Overall, I still love this series and each book delivers something different. It isn’t formulaic at all and it’s a nice reprieve from the expected paranormal romance book.

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Review: Moon Child (By Blood, #2)

Moon Child (By Blood, #2)Moon Child by Tracy E. Banghart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Having read By Blood (#1), picking this book up was an easy decision. This read really took you on a rollercoaster ride of emotion and shocked me at every turn. It’s a mix of paranormal (sort of), romance, YA, and a good mystery. Yes, it’s a little dark, but it has grit and realness to it that I find I enjoy in good books.

Diana is Emma’s friend (remember? From Book#1?). She’s a dancer with a hippie mom and a hopeless crush on some guy she just met in the cemetery. As if meeting Nicholas in the cemetery wasn’t enough of a red flag, he only meets her at night, is very standoffish, and has super pale skin. After she relays all these facts to Emma, she makes the natural (for her) jump to deducing that Nicholas is a vampire. From there on out, the book just gets stranger and more mysterious. There’s a murder mystery trapped inside this YA romance that had me guessing until the big reveal.

This book really had me convinced of one thing only to slap me in the face with the grim reality of the situation. No spoilers, but I felt like we really were put in Diana’s shoes on this one. We got to feel her betrayal and shock and embarrassment first hand. If you’re looking for a unique spin on your typical paranormal YA romance book, this is the book for you. It can certainly be read as a standalone, or as a companion to the first book.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Undeniable (The Serendipity Duet, #1)

Undeniable (The Serendipity Duet, #1)Undeniable by Tawdra Kandle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved this book! Reading this new book filled with Rafe and some other familiar faces from the King series is like running into your best friends for a night out on the town. As a fan, you're already familiar with the world, the characters, and most of the locales. I have been one of the people dying to hear what happened to poor old Rafe after Tasmyn stomped on his heart, crying for more Rafe in future books. It was so satisfying to watch him go on his own adventure in this book.

This book starts where Rafe and Tasmyn's story really separates. We get to see what Rafe does immediately following graduation all the way up past when he and Tasmyn cross paths again (sort of). Worried that this will just be a "fill in the blanks" type story? Don't be-- this book is jam packed with a completely original Rafe storyline and everything you've ever wanted to know about him. I will admit, Rafe kind of got painted as a sort of bad guy during Michael and Tasmyn's breakup, and the poor lovesick fool couldn't quite give her up even after it was painfully obvious that they weren't meant to be. Luckily, this book really gives you a deep look at Rafe's feelings and motivations, his family, and much much more -- it is sooooo good!

After graduation, Rafe goes on a bit of a girl and booze bender, hopping from city to city in search of a way to drown out his poor broken heart. In New Orleans, he finally makes a good decision and picks up a girl named Joss. I fell in love with her instantly, as I'm sure Rafe started to do as well. She's headstrong and tough enough to take even the sexy and sure Rafe on in a battle of seduction and innuendo. Yes, this book has sex. I don't think there could be a Rafe book without it (or at least not one that does his story justice). This book really convinced me how absolutely wrong Rafe and Tasmyn were as a couple. Rafe needs a strong partner, and as much as I love Tasmyn, that just isn't her.

The real story of this book (other than Rafe) is a bit of a continuation of the mission Tasmyn was on with Emma in a previous book. Rafe gets roped in (or convinced) by Joss to join the team and fully step into his good guy role. Together, Rafe and Joss they end up in more trouble than they could imagine, and we even get to see some familiar faces on the way. There's mystery and action coupled with some really heartwarming displays of affection. It had me smiling and laughing and on the edge of my seat the entire way through.

While this series is set in the same world as the King series, this book really is completely different. The writing style is still easy and quick, making the pages fly by without a thought, but it has a definite adult edge. It's filled with all the goodies a King series fan is hoping for with a few surprises I wasn't sure I could handle. I was rooting for Rafe every step of the way and am dying to read the next book! When does it come out???

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Review: Awaking (The Naturals, #1)

Awaking (The Naturals, #1)Awaking by Madeline Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a really solid start to a series! The setup of this unique world was completely engaging and had me hooked from the first page. This group of characters was fun and interesting, and the paranormal elements were new and exciting.

Morgan is the star of this particular novel. Always a bit of a “freak” for having the ability to tell people’s futures, she falls in with her own little group of misfits. Ris (aka Clare) is her BFF who drags her to a party at the start of the book. This seemingly innocuous party triggers a set of events that leads to Morgan’s “awaking.” Turns out, Morgan’s powers are very real, and she’s been noticed by the Veneret, a secret group of people with “superpowers.” These powers range from influencing someone’s thoughts and actions to moving things with their mind. Each person is different, but Morgan is *very* different.

She slowly accumulates an even more diverse group of friends made up of Corbin (the popular rich kid), Lia (the pushy high school newspaper editor), and Lucas (the drink guessing barista). But things aren’t all puppies and rainbows in this new world. Turns out, increasing your power comes with a price, and it’s one that Morgan isn’t so sure is worth it. There are oodles of mystery, revelations, and prophecy in this fast-paced and wonderfully written novel. We don’t get a HEA at the end, but we do get a lot of motivation to pick up the next one! I can’t wait!

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Devil's Frost (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #3)

Devil's Frost (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #3)Devil's Frost by Heidi R. Kling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book picks up right where the previous one ended. We're still at the stone circle and the action and drama never stops! In a few hours, you get sucked back into this YA paranormal romance and its twisty turns!

Lily and Logan are suffering just about every impediment a young magical couple can endure. First with the Lily fake out (via Orchid), then with the Logan fake out (via Jude), then again with the Lily fake out (via Orchid), and finally with some truly stunning revelations from Iris and Jacob. There's adventures under the sea and sexy times on the beach to round out the incredibly busy hours following the big fight scene.

There's a nice balance of Lily's POV chapters followed by Logan's POV chapters. It was good to get some of Logan's insight to temper the raging girl drama that goes on inside Lily's head. Together, if they were open and honest with each other, they might finally balance each other out. I hope they get there in the next book.

Speaking of the next book, at the end of this one, we got to see inside Daisy's head to find out what happens while Lily and Logan are on the run. Does that mean we get a Daisy-centric story in the next book? I'm not sure how I feel about that, but as long as it keeps delivering the YA paranormal-y goodness, I'll be eager to read it.

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Review: The Gleaning - (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #2)

The Gleaning - (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #2)The Gleaning - by Heidi R. Kling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book thankfully picks up immediately where book 1 left us. Logan and Lily are trying to figure out how to make their relationship work, all while the clock is counting down the "the gleaning." Throw in some really confusing and hot doppelgangers and we've got a really addictive YA read.

Yes, this one ends in a cliffhanger, too, so if that sort of thing is a deal breaker none of my review will matter. That being said, this was a really fun read. I like trying to put together the pieces and solve this grand mystery that the author is building up. I wish we got more Logan/Lily time, but am holding out for even more romance in book 3.

The structure of this book was similar to the first in that you are prompted to make choices along the way. I don't know that my read would be the same as everyone else's, but I kept choosing to run after Logan (as everyone should, I guess). I'm still rooting for the doomed couple and can't wait for more YA paranormal romancey goodness!

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Review: Witch's Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #1)

Witch's Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #1)Witch's Brew by Heidi R. Kling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I can honestly say I’ve never read a book like this before. It was almost like a “choose your own adventure” in that it asked which direction you wanted to go at two parts. I’m not sure how the book would’ve gone otherwise, but I really enjoyed what I read.

This is the story of a world where witches and warlocks are separated by a years old feud. Destined to battle it out in “the gleaning” to steal each other’s power, they are trained in same sex groups (women are witches and men are warlocks), with the witches getting the light power and the warlocks getting the dark power. After weeks of malfunctioning magic, Lily stumbles upon a book that details the 100 year curse that is set to expire. After those 100 years pass, they won’t have access to any magic, unless they find a warlock who can possess both types of magic. It looks like Lily finds a candidate for this in Logan, the first warlock she’s ever met.

The YA romance was pretty adorable. Logan and Lily had me rooting for them all along the way, no matter what their respective warlocks or witches had to say about it. Sadly, this ended in a huge cliffhanger (in my opinion). Luckily, I’ve got the next book lined up to start right now! I can’t wait to see where the story goes!

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Review: Dark Moon (Spirit Wild #3)

Dark Moon (Spirit Wild #3)Dark Moon by Kate Douglas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book takes place in a shapeshifter world unlike any other I've read. There is a blend of goddesses, shifters, magic, and romance (of course) that is really unique in each book from this series.

Fen, Sunny, Ig, and Star are the main characters in this book. The two sets of romances happen between Fen and Sunny and Ig and Star. They pretty much represent the two extremes for paranormal romance couples. Fen and Sunny meet and are mated within 3 days while Ig and Star have been fighting their relationship for 30 years. There's a lot more baggage and explanation than that, but that's the simplistic summary of the romantic elements. The action comes from a variety of run-ins they have with poachers who turn out to be much more.

Since this was my second book in the series, I was pretty comfortable with the rather erotic scenes and the +1 (and +2) guests in the bedroom (or loft, as the case may be). The matings in this book were also completely unique in that the stories intersect in ways I didn't anticipate. Overall, this book kept me guessing, but was probably more of a love story (or two, or three) than an action book of any sort.

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Review: Gathering Water

Gathering WaterGathering Water by Regan Claire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm a sucker for a good YA read, and this book really blew me away. I had originally picked it up for a short read but immediately found myself unable to stop. The writing and pacing in the book trick you into reading for much longer than originally intended!

I loved this story and am even willing to forgive a cliffhanger ending to issue it a full 5 star rating. Della is a beautifully broken foster kid who, upon reaching her 18th birthday, finds out she who her mother is and that she's inherited a house in North Carolina. Poor Della ends up learning a lot more about her family and the inheritance of some truly amazing powers. The family she stumbles into was one of the best parts of the book. The heart and warmth between all of those characters was so genuine and "real," even when the circumstances were rather magical.

Oh, and of course the book has some yummy YA romance as a bonus. Through Della's new cousin, Cash, we meet Dove. He's your typical hottie, with brains and some of his own unique powers. While Della is trying to find herself, she still has time to notice this boy, for which I am thankful. Here's hoping the next book gives even more of this wonderful tale and it has lots more action and romance to come.

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