She was born into magic, but she has none of her own…
Cassie Scot is the normal daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. She strives to find a place for herself, but living in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. All she wants is a nice, normal job, but her dreams of independence from magic are threatened when she stumbles upon the gruesome body of sixteen-year-old Nancy Hastings.
Cassie is plunged into a paranormal investigation which gets her tangled up with the victim’s powerful family, the Blackwoods. Dark, dangerous, and handsome Evan Blackwood tempts Cassie deeper into a world she seeks to escape. Yet Evan – and magic itself – may not be ready to let her go.
Review: I’ll be honest, I won this audio book in a contest and it just sat on my Audible shelf gathering virtual dust. Then the blog got a request for a promotion from the author and I figured now was the time to finally listen.
So to use Harry Potter terms, Cassie is a squib. She’s the lone non-magical person in her family and she’s never quite fit in. Cassie is a detective with the advantage of having knowledge and connections in both the magical and normal worlds. Cassie was an interesting character. I actually had a little trouble warming up to her. But I think that a lot of that had to do with this being the first book in the series and a lot of character and world building was taking place.
This book starts off a little slow. I nearly gave up as I was having trouble really getting into the story. And then about half way through (and keep in mind, I’m listening to the book, so I didn’t know I was only at the halfway point), when I thought the story was wrapping up, I was disappointed. And then things got interesting. We’re not world building anymore and there’s a plot twist and I couldn’t stop listening. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The second half of the book was like there was new life breathed into the story.
Melissa Reizian Frank narrated the story. I haven’t listened to any of her narrations before so I didn’t know what to expect. It took me a while to warm up to her. I can’t pin point the reason other than perhaps it was just the slow start to the story. Whatever misgivings I had at the beginning weren’t noticeably and barely remembered by the end of the recording.
All in all, this was a solid beginning to a series. I’m rather curious to see what other adventures that Cassie will get into as the series advances. If you like mysteries with a paranormal twist, this one might be up your alley.
Escape by Laney Kaye and Christina Wilder Series: Cat Shifters of Aaidar (# 1) Release Date: September 15, 2018 Publisher: CrossWorlds Publishing Pages: 112 Source: book provided by the author for review
I have three goals.
Infiltrate the enemy compound.
Rescue my sister.
Escape into the desert.
Not bond with a hot alien cat shifter warrior.
Herc: A cat shifter mercenary–gun, fangs, and claws for hire–doesn’t fall for a pretty little human. It’s cost the Regime big-time to have me and my guys hunt down the Resistance fighters skulking in caves spread across this gods-forsaken planet. My sole focus here is this deployment. Until Maya touches me, igniting the first phase of a bondmate.
It doesn’t matter how freakin’ sweet she is. How sexy. No way in all seven hells will I complete the three bonds. As long as I don’t kiss her, we won’t hit second base. And I’ll be damn sure to keep my hands off her incredible body, because having sex with her would bring on bond three, linking our souls for eternity. Problem is, now it’s not just my damn life that’s in danger. My heart is in all kinds of trouble.
Maya: Herc has to believe I’m nothing more than a nurse working for the Regime. If he finds out I’ve infiltrated the military compound to rescue my imprisoned sister, my life’s in danger. He may be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen –shifter or man–but I refuse to bond with someone who’s hunting my people into extinction.
Now that my mission’s accomplished, I can flee into the desert. He’ll never find me once I’m hidden in the Resistance stronghold. Problem is, Herc’s hot on my heels. If he catches me, will he return me to the Regime? Or does he have his own–very personal–plan for me instead? Hooking up with me will ruin Herc’s career and make him an enemy of his own people. But if he hands me over to the firing squad, the bullets won’t need to hit my heart to shatter me into a billion pieces.
Review: The world created in this story was interesting. I was intrigued by the different races of humanoid beings, shifters, and the skirmishes going on between them. From the minute we met Herc, the liger shapeshifter, we see he’s a powerful alpha who thrives on missions and his crew of fellow shifters hired as mercenaries. Hired by the government, they round up rebels under the watchful, sadistic eye of a CO obsessed with their ability to shift, and retrieving a sample of their blood. When Herc is wounded, he lands in the hospital bay where he meets a nurse, Maya.
Maya is more than she seems to be. With a secret past and a different agenda, the last thing she needed to find was her soulmate. Not that Fate cared. Tossed together, the two become entangled in a situation that leads to danger. If I seem vague, it’s because I don’t want to give anything away.
There are plenty of twists and turns, plot bombs, and fight scenes to keep you turning the pages. The built up was excellent, but I felt like the plot lagged in the middle and never picked up. It also ends with a cliff hanger and plenty of loose ends. I know this is the first book in a series of four, but the abrupt cut off jarred me.
Awakening by Kelley Heckart Series: Shadow Walkers (# 1) Release Date: September 1, 2018 Publisher: Self published Pages: 218 Source: book provided by the author for review
Sometimes, the end is really the beginning. After destroying her successful music career, the close friendship with her bandmates, and her marriage, author Kaitlyn Storm, aka Kate Wolf, former bassist for the all-female rock band Hecate’s Fury, is given a second chance. She receives an offer to turn her book series into three movies, but her troubled rock-star past continues to haunt her.
She never expected to find love or a way back. When she is trapped in a haunted cabin during a snowstorm with Kane Devlin, the hot Scottish movie star playing her hero, their rising passion for one another ignites.
What they awakened will change their lives, but before she can move on, Kate must let go of the guilt and shame keeping her from claiming her shared destiny. For she may not know it yet, but she and her bandmates are chosen.
Review: This is book one in the Shadow Walkers series and it started the series off with a huge bang. If musicians, and actors and folklore and magic intrigue the reader, then this book, actually this series will be the perfect read. This is a contemporary romance with a lot of paranormal folklore and supernatural flares thrown in. I love all that stuff so this book had me hooked right from the start.
I love being a reviewer because of books like this one. I never would have heard of this author, I never would have heard of this series if not for being a reviewer and snapping up books that other reviewers don’t want to read. I’m a super lucky gal.
Kate and Kane’s story have all the necessary details to make it worthy of a great read. There’s lots of angst, and drama and hot sex by the boat load. I love a man that gets jealous (in the books, not in real life), because they do the most ridiculous outrageous things in order to keep their woman from other men. I love how alpha and demanding they get in the most sweetly obnoxious way. Kane made me laugh ,and he made me get butterflies in my stomach with his jealously and his desire to protect “his woman”. I also love how fiercely independent and aloof Kate tried to act with Kane, but she secretly loves how alpha he is.
This book also focuses on Kate’s band mates and future books featuring them and their happily ever after. Even better, hopefully the reader will get to revisit with previous characters and catch up with them and what they’re up to. That’s one of my favorite things about series I also love that for a while the reader gets to live in whatever fictional town the series takes place in, and feel as if they are part of that community.
I implore the reader to take a chance on this series. It really is that good.
A chance meeting…
In a world still recovering from the vampire/human wars, Kasima Wilder is glad to live in the safe haven of Riverstone, a town founded by vampires and populated by both mortals and immortals.
Largely, Kasima has avoided the town’s vampire-run establishments. Until one night her wayward boyfriend ditches her at Ever Nights Annual Masquerade Ball.
An unforgettable night…
As head of security, Lex Stirling’s job is to ensure the safety of those within Ever Nights’ club walls, especially on the night of the Masquerade, a night where lust reigns supreme and limits are tested.
After rescuing a woman from the unwanted attention of a persistent guest, he finds himself enamored with the little mortal. Soon, their chemistry turns combustible, and they are engulfed in a night of unforgettable passion. A passion that could consume them both as Kasima’s ex conspires against them.
Review: From the first page, this book created a sexy, glamorous otherworldly environment, infused with humanity. Kasima Wilder is an editor for a local paper in over her head and lying to herself about the state of her relationship. When her boyfriend, Brian pitches the idea of a pass for the evening, to attend the once a year, exclusive Ball that allows vampires and mortals to mingle in a decadent anything-goes environment, she reluctantly agrees. This was meant to be their last moment of freedom before settling down. The problem is, it’s a moment she didn’t need.
Posted at the bar, she watches Brian wine and dine, other ladies, until an aggressive man brings a vampire to her rescue. Lex is a masculine, lithe, strong vamp, with a sense of humor and thoughtfulness. The passion that boils up between them explodes on the pages, but their road is not an easy or clear-cut one.
I don’t want to give away too much, but Ms. Fay did an excellent job of keeping Kas independent despite her how smitten she was. A young professional, she balanced her dating life with work, and we caught glimpses of the world she lived in. One that existed after a war between humans and vampires ravaged the world we knew and forced them to rebuild.
The best part about this book was how many moving parts it had. Adventure, romance, misunderstanding, and character growth kept me turning the pages. There were times when I wanted to shake Kas, but in the end, she didn’t let me down. I saw her mature and come into her own, which is one of my favorite things to experience with a female lead. I enjoyed the story, but I longed to know more about the world briefly mentioned.
Delilah McDade has born the brunt of responsibility of her younger brother, Declan’s wild lifestyle for years, until the night she learns it’s come back to bite both of them in the form of vampire Ash Lockler. Delilah has a prim exterior but she dreams of hot vampires and other nocturnal creatures to give her a break from her life that, while satisfying, is lonely. Ash is tempting but she knows that she could never be a part of his life lived in the shadows. Ash Lockler lives his undead life as part of the seedy underworld with a stone cold heart. That doesn’t stop him from helping damsel-in-distress, Delilah, but he’s intent on keeping things all business and ending their association as soon as possible. The problem is that he can’t seem to get his body – and heart – to agree with his reasoning when he and Delilah are thrown together in a deadly situation that may get her killed and cost him his freedom.
Review: I’m not usually a fan of books in the paranormal genre but with Halloween around the corner I thought I’d give one a try. I was pleasantly surprised by Crimson which had vampires and humans intermingling and humans who change into vampires. Delilah and Ash have instant chemistry and heat although they were not communicating on the same page most of the time especially since she’s human and agreed to settle her brother’s debt with Ash who is a vampire and his life is as an undead. This was a quick read at only one-hundred and thirty two pages and I managed to read it in a few hours.
There are Vampire Councils, the queen and elders who seem to control the vampires but also have rival factions. There are a lot of evil vampires with hidden agendas and then others like Ash and his team who are trying to protect not only other vampires and their business interests but also the humans they come in contact with. There were twists and turns to the story and differences since vampires are active at night and must sleep during the day. They also feast on the blood of animals or humans rather than eat food. The flow of the story went from the present to the past through reminisces and memories. There were intimate moments that definitely heat up the sheets! There was nice closure with the epilogue and loose ends were tied up. There was an unexpected happily ever after too.
Miles is a new to me author since I don’t usually read paranormal books but would be willing to give another one of her books a try.
Favorite Quote: “I’m the same inside as I am on the outside,” she responded tightly. “What you call prim is conservative, logical-”
He shook his head, coming to stand right in front of her. “Controlled and uptight.”…
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland—in a haunted castle—guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches.
Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.
Review: This is the first in the Zoraida Grey series. This is paranormal romance with lots of magic, witches and all things unusual. If this is something that the reader doesn’t want to read, then I would look for something else. Otherwise, keep on reading; it’s going to get better.
If any of the readers have read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, then the comparison will be understood. If the reader hasn’t read Stephanie Plum, think action, quirkiness, madcap adventures, run ins with some strange characters, and finding the urge to laugh at all the antics, that’s what this book is chock full of.
This book moves fast, it’s entertaining, it’s funny, and it’s really well written.
I think my favorite character besides Zoraida, is her grandmother, Granny. She reminds me of Grandma Mazur from the Stephanie Plum series. Granny is tough, funny, quirky, and bossy and she’s just darn likable. Trouble follows her wherever she goes and her smart mouth helps and hinders her at the same time.
Zoraida’s best friend Zhu helps move the plot along and is just as much of a trouble magnet as Zoraida is and she’s just as funny and entertaining.
Zoraida encompasses all women in my opinion. She’s young so she doesn’t realize her full potential yet. She’s got a snarky, smart allecy sense of humor. She doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, but she’s comfortable with the status quo because it’s safe and familiar. Does any of that remind the reader of themselves? It does for me.
Shea is funny, sexy, mysterious, scary, and very powerful. He is an excellent match for Zoraida.
I laughed my way through this book and I hope if the reader decides to take a chance on this that they enjoy it was well.
The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by Demons, leaving her young nephew, Geordi, to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a deal: recapture a powerful rock the Demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.
So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the angel of death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?
Review: For this debut author, she wrote a well written book that was I found very interesting, funny, fast paced and a little bit of quirkiness around the edges. Within the story there was a lot going on; with introductions of many different characters. Ms. Blaisdell threw at us everything from: Humans to ghosts…Demons and angels well archangels…ghosts and screaming/humming rocks. This made for an interesting story that was never dull.
Hyacinth is a fence but wasn’t always one: she used to rob graves. She loves her job but to her family is more important. Her sister Lily is the ex-wife of a Sicilian Mobster…Nick who will stop at nothing to get Lily and their seven year old son Geordi back. Hyacinth needs lots of money to get them away from the situation and protect them.
Hyacinth ex-partner died. But before his death he left her a shipment. She went through it and nothing of interest was in the shipment, nothing that is but a screaming /humming rock. Thus the adventure begins.
Fate steps in and Hyacinth is in Heaven with Archangel Michael…Michael wants the rock so Hyacinth ends up back on earth looking for the rock along with her neighbor Jason, a ghost named Eric and her nephew Geordi. Secrets by all along with a little love triangle. I loved that Geordi adds the antics of an adorable seven year old. Ms. Blaisdell added a bit of warmth to the story line with Geordi. I simply loved him. The love triangle was fun. I never would have thought that trying to decide between a human male and a hot male ghost would ever be a problem.
As the three adults and one child head to Turkey to look for the rock I found that Turkey is very beautiful and a place that might need to be added to my bucket list. The descriptions were so realistic I could see the beauty, the people, the smells and all that is Turkey. The historic value of the country came to life for me. I was able to see that Ms. Blaisdell did a lot of research.
For me I found a new author and cannot wait for the next story in this series. Great summer read. Great adventure with Hyacinth, Geordi, Jason and Eric…
Nikolai of Semar by Aurrora St. James Series: Lords of Magic (# 3) Release Date: August 21, 2018 Publisher: Aurrora St. James Publishing Pages: 298 Source: book provided by the author for review
No one threatens the people of Semar and lives. No one.
Dragon King Nikolai Baudin witnessed how love destroyed his own father after the death of his mother and vows to never take a wife. Yet, when the little girl he rescued so many years ago returns as a beautiful and mysterious woman, he finds the desires of his heart overwhelming his good intentions. But when some of his people are found dead, Nikolai must face the possibility that the woman who draws him may just be the one murdering those in his care.
Arianrhod Deatherage has every reason to hate the darkly handsome king who saved her from a burning pike, only to turn her over to strangers and then promptly forget about her. But when she finds him again, it’s not hate she’s feeling, but something far more unsettling… desire. If he discovers her secret, she could lose everything. But when people begin to die around her, Aria fears that the past is repeating itself, and that the man she’s come to admire could be the next victim.
Can two souls who have forsaken love join together to battle an ancient evil? Or will tragedies from the past separate them forever?
Review: I would like to start out this review by saying how much I loved this book, and that paranormal romance is just so wonderful. Now that I have that out of the way, I need to get down to business.
This is the third book in the series but I was able to follow along with the plot. Other characters were within the story that I’m sure had been mentioned in earlier books, but the author provided enough information that I was able to understand what was going on. I think reading the other books in the series is a good idea in order to enjoy the books more, but if the reader wanted to pick up this particular book and just jump right in, that would be ok.
The author had mentioned that she was working on the next book and that she writes about different characters and their point of view within the same timeline and how difficult it is, but I have to say that she made it look super easy. I would get confused, so she has got to have a huge poster board of what’s going on so that she doesn’t get lost and confused. I’m impressed with multiple characters and multiple story arcs within the same timeline.
This story reminded me a little of Thea Harrison’s Elder series books as there are shape shifters, mates, and dragons. If the reader is familiar with her work or that series, then they will know what I mean. However that’s where the similarities end though and it’s just as good as The Elder series.
Nikolai, The Black Dragon, and Arianhod are each other’s mates, as every instinct they have lets them know that they found “the one”. They both have a lot of baggage, they need to sort through to get to their happily ever after, but they are both strong within their spirits in order to get through what they need to endure in order to be with each other.
I loved the secondary characters that helped move the story along, even the bad guy, she was such a biatch.
I highly recommend this book, it’s a fast entertaining read, and I hope the reader enjoys it.
Taken by Werewolves by Kamryn Hart Series: Lost Princess of Howling Sky (# 1) Release Date: April 26, 2018 Publisher: self published Pages: 218 Source: book provided by the author for review
I was sold to werewolves.
They said I’m the Lost Princess of Howling Sky. I said I’m just Sorissa. They said I’m to be claimed by a lecherous prince and that I’ll end some timeless war between werewolves, vampires, and humans. I made other plans.
Then four powerful werewolves from a rival kingdom came out of nowhere, and I was stolen again.
They call themselves Phantom Fangs. Now, they’re taking me to their kingdom to keep me “safe.” They probably intend for some other prince to claim me instead. But I’m going to change their minds. They’re different from the other werewolves. They’re kind, they listen to me, and they make my blood run hot.
Can I trust them?
Claim the princess, rule the world.
Review: This book had very interesting concepts. I understood Ms. Hart was trying to infuse fresh blood into the classic worlds of weres, vamps, and the humans who live with them. I appreciated the effort she put into that, but for me personally, seventy-five percent of the story felt like a detail-heavy info dump. I couldn’t invest myself in the story or the characters, because I felt like I was constantly being taught, told, or shown trivial things in extreme detail.
Raised alone in the woods by a witch, Sorissa had no clue about her history or the world outside her forest. A lost werewolf princess, she has the potential to shift the ongoing war raging between packs of wolves. Unfortunately, she’s been living in the dark. A crash course in politics, kidnapping, and what life is like in the “real world” kick her life into high gear.
There were a lot of moving parts, characters, and background to get straight. I think this story could’ve benefited from being longer, and having more interaction and perhaps a smidge more of humor to break things up and show the characters interacting in more than high stress, life or death situations.
Balancing multi-mate stories is a tough job, and in this case, it didn’t work for me.
Ethan Lockwood hates what he’s become—a slave to a parasitic monster whose victims’ names pepper the obituaries. He’s possessed by The Beast, a dragon who feeds off human spiritual energy. After a year of fighting The Beast’s demands, Ethan is losing the battle. The creature is taking over his mind, body, and soul. When he spies Tess, he can relate to her weary look and the sadness in her eyes, but her aura shines like a beacon, attracting The Beast. Ethan is forced to drain her energy, but for a split second, she subdues the creature inside him, compelling the spirit to slumber. How? Can she somehow free him from The Beast? Ethan chases after her. He can’t afford to let Tess die.
Since her fiancé’s death, Tess Edwards struggles to find new meaning in life. She doesn’t expect that new meaning to involve a sexy photographer who says he’s possessed by an energy-stealing beast. He claims she’s in danger and that he’s the only one who can save her. Great. He’s a nut job—cute, but delusional. She doesn’t believe in dragon spirits and magic, not until she finds her grandmother’s Book of Shadows. She’s descended from witches, and the book warns her of her fate. Although the beast inside Ethan needs her alive, he isn’t the only one of his kind. There’s another, and he wants Tess dead.
Review: This was a unique story in so many different ways. Ms. Hughes take on Dragons was fresh, interesting and incorporated one of my favorite places, Egypt, as well as some of their lore. The last thing Tess expects on her blind date is to wind up entangled with a sexy man with a dark secret. She took one look at the tall, dark, and brooding, Ethan Lockwood at a new years Eve party, and completely abandoned all caution and common sense. A steamy tryst in a closet set the wheels of fate into motion.
Their encounter proves to be more when Ethan shows up at her apartment and insists she’s in danger. When inexplicable accidents began to dog her every step, she’s forced to believe him. Possessed by a dark entity constantly battling for control, Ethan is a bundle of contradictions. Funny and protective one moment, he lapses into a cold, calculating being unexpectedly.
Despite his dual nature, the attraction between the two keeps them together. Their connection leads to the revealing of family secrets, and an identity, Tess had been purposely kept ignorant of. As life as she knew it ends, and her life is thrust in danger, the two are forced to depend on one another to stay alive. I liked Ethan a lot. Despite his situation, he wanted to the noble thing, and he fought tooth and nail to control the dark being inside him. He always had the beast intentions, and his remorse helped keep him separate from the heinous actions he committed will under the beasts’ influence.
I felt for Tess. She had a lot of tragedy in her life, that drastically affected her relationships. She was quirky, fairly likable, and surprisingly resilient. There were times her naivety and poor decision-making skills made me want to shake her. I enjoyed this story with its twists, turns, and magic, but there were moments I felt the story dragged.