Tag Archives: Angels

Upon a Midnight Clear by Virginia Kantra

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: Upon a Midnight Clear
Author: Virginia Kantra
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: AngelsChristmas, Historical romanceParanormal romance
Dates read: 18th – 21st December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Her face, her chest, her whole body burned with humiliation and frustrated desire.

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Synopsis

Aimee was 13 when her mother preyed to an angel to save her life. Now, an adult, that same angel may have returned to her life, as a man. One who very much wants to save her yet again.

Thoughts

Whilst I liked this novella, it most certainly wasn’t my favourite one. It took a little while to truly get into the storyline, and even the style of writing. I do enjoy Kantra’s works, and will buy more of this series, but I’m also not head over heels in love with her work like some of the other romance authors I have filling my shelves.

I like that the angel that saves the young girl is ultimately the angel that she chooses to spend the rest of her life with. There was something incredibly sweet about that whole fate feeling, and the idea that Amy had to grow up before she could fully be committed to her angel lover. There is also her cousin, who, although she’s kind of ignorant and a little selfish, most definitely loves Amy. It gives the whole story a festive feeling full of love and affection. Or at least, that’s how I read it.

This was a really lovely and wonderful Christmas story. It’s hopeful and full of love. With just the right amount of drama and mayhem thrown in to stop you from getting bored. One I’ll read again, but not as quickly as some other stories I’ve read.

<- Tied with a BowFirst Light ->

Image source: Amazon

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Overview
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski - Penguin Books  Australia

Title: A Kiss Before the Apocalypse
Author: Thomas E. Sniegoski
Series: Remy Chandler #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 8th – 16th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: There was a leash law in Boston, but as long as it wasn’t crowded and the dog didn’t bother anybody, Remy didn’t see the harm in letting him run a bit.

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Synopsis

Boston PI Remy Chandler has a life any man would envy, with friendship, a job he’s good at – and love. But Remy is no ordinary man. He’s an angel who chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. So he’s able to will himself invisible, hear thoughts, and speak and understand any language – of man or beast. Talents that will become invaluable to him when his angelic past returns to haunt him…

The Angel of Death has gone missing, and Remy’s former colleagues have come to him for help. But what at first seems to be about tracing a missing person turns out to involve much more – a conspiracy that has as its goal the destruction of the human race.

And only Remy Chandler can stop it…

Thoughts

Whilst I enjoyed this novel, I didn’t fall madly in love with it. Mostly I think that it was the style of writing. I actually thought that the storyline was brilliant. Even if it was quite religious (I have a tendency to freak a little bit over religious things). But, overall, I found this really enjoyable, with a few aspects I would love to improve upon.

Most of the fantasy stories I read which feature an immortal being are ones that focus on the benefits. I loved the fact that Remy’s one true love in this collection is already aged. He’s had his benefits and all of the positives that come with falling in love. But, now, in this story, there is more of a focus on the negatives that come with falling in love when you’re immortal. I also loved the way in which Madeline is completely accepting of not only Remy, but her own demise. In fact, she actually, ultimately yearns for it.

Recently, I read Hounded by Kevin Hearne. I love that this year I’ve managed to read two books which feature a dog as a sidekick who is able to communicate with their master. And they are both done beautifully. Marlowe, in fact, reminds me a lot of one of my dogs. He’s a big goof ball, kind of useless and totally loveable. Plus, there is a simplicity and honesty to his interactions with Remy that is just so damn pure. I mean, there is a reason why dogs are seen as man’s best friend after all.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book and will most definitely buy more books in this series. But it will probably be one of those series that I pick up and put down a little more frequently. Thoroughly enjoyable, but not entirely powerful enough to draw me in and pull me out of daily life like some of the other books on my shelves.

<- More Thomas E. SniegoskiNoah’s Orphans ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Overview
Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2) by Nalini Singh

Title: Archangel’s Kiss
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance, Strong women, Vampires
Dates read: 25th September – 4th October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Taking the hint, she said good-bye to Jessamy and walked down the steps, her nape prickling in primitive awareness.

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Synopsis

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed – an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn – but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her over, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control – especially when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from teh archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijin – and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has oragnized the msot perfect and most vicious of welcomes of Elena…

Thoughts

So there’s definitely a reason why Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors. Every time I open one of her books I’m completely hooked. The only reason I have been taking massive breaks between her books is that I need to you know… do adult things. And this novel is honestly no exception. I loved finding out how Elena and Raphael renegotiated their relationship after the events in Angels’ Blood.

Whilst not my typical romance, I did love how Raphael and Elena are able to constantly negotiate with each other. And, as is typical with a partnership of two strong individuals (I speak from experience) there’s lots and lots of renegotiating and bumping up against each other. It’s not easy, but it works. Singh honestly writes some of the healthiest relationships I see in paranormal romance…

I actually finished reading this a few days ago, but I cannot stop thinking about it. There was so much action, intrigue and politics in this story. I’m not normally a fan of anything with too much political negotiations, particularly within my own life. But I absolutely loved all the machinations in this story. And I can’t wait to see where it takes us in Archangel’s Consort. My fingers keep twitching towards it and starting another new book… but I currently have over 30 books on my currently reading list!

I found Lijuan to be a seriously scary, but still sympathetic character. Michaela may just be a bitch. But Lijuan is a whole other ball game… one that drew me in from the very beginning and made me completely drawn in to the story from the very beginning. She wasn’t quite a villain… but she definitely wasn’t a good guy. The perfect antagonist amongst a slew of antagonists in this series.

Elena is most definitely one of my favourite strong women protagonists. She is tough and independent. But also willing to bend to the circumstances. Finding out more about her past in this story just pulled me in all that much more and bumped her even further up my imaginary list.

<- Angels’ BloodArchangel’s Consort ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Tuesday Enchantress by Mary Jo Putney

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: The Tuesday Enchantress
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Series: Guardians #3.5
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance
Dates read: 15th October 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I thanked him through a mouthful of samosa.

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Synopsis

Nothing ever happens on a Tuesday. Or so Owens and his friend think. But then the deli they’re in is held up, and Owens meets the woman of his dreams… maybe good and interesting things do happen on a Tuesday.

Thoughts

I love that this story starts with the idea that nothing ever happens on a Tuesday. Because, hey, who hasn’t felt like that before? Tuesdays aren’t like a Monday (where everything sucks), or a Friday (when you’re all excited to have a life again)… they’re just, eh. Except for the Tuesday in this story. It was a great reminder that exciting things can happen at any time, or in any way. Even falling madly in love.

One of the things I always hated when I was younger was when boys would ask me out because I was pretty. Or talk to me for the same reason. The one guy that made me fall head over heels? He never even seemed to notice how I looked – and honestly, still doesn’t give a crap, he loves me for me. The Enchantress in this story exactly reflects this (but to a far more dramatic degree). She’s never felt wanted for herself, and that seriously impacts her. But, when that final moment of love and partnership comes upon her… it is all the more sweet and beautiful.

Not only does the boy win the girl in the end. He also manages to use his phenomenal powers to rescue his best friend, pass his final exams and just generally be absolutely awesome. Mostly it’s the passing his final medical exam after being in a hold up, healing his best friend and just generally having a seriously crappy night.

 <- Light Through Fog ReviewTrinity Blue Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Thicker Than Blood by Meljean Brook

Overview
First Blood

Title: Thicker Than Blood
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #3.5
In: First Blood (Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemons, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 30th September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: All the while, telling me that I had to drink the vampire’s blood, that I had to willingly accept the change for the transformation to work.

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Synopsis

Six years ago, Jack Harrington was in love with Annie Gallagher, until her sudden death turned his world upside down. But when an intruder breaks into his home one night, the former FBI agent can barely believe his eyes – Annie’s alive… and a vampire.

After her sudden transition, Annie couldn’t bear to let Jack see all that she had become. One night she gives into temptation and decides to feed off a man who resembled Jack, only to find herself face to face with the man himself. Now that they’re together again, Jack’s not about to let Annie go, vampire or no. And Annie needs Jack’s help to find a missing girl named Cricket. Danger swirls around the pair as they search for Cricket while a demon bent on destroying all vampires closes in on the pair. Will love lost and found be able to overcome supernatural odds?

Thoughts

I found this story a little bit sad. Alright, there’s a happy ending… but the fact that a couple who so obviously loves one another is kept apart by a series of mistakes and misunderstandings… it was more than a little sad. I did like that the relationship was restored because of her constant need to be near him, and desire to find a little girl collide beautifully.

There are three tales which run through this story. Firstly, there’s the race to find Cricket with a mad man (or demon) on their trail. Secondly, a renegotiation of old relationships and sharing of the past as they try to find a future together. And, lastly, the thread which holds this novella to the rest of the Guardians series, the epic battle between light and dark that happens behind the scenes of our every day lives. Not many novellas would be able to include all of these storylines so seamlessly, but Meljean Brook managed to do this fantastically.

Thicker than Blood was a great novella with just the amount of angst and drama to keep me hooked, but not so much that I found it tedious. It made me want to run to my shelves and pick up the next book in the Guardians series, and just sink my nose into another day of fun and romance, forgetting the world and all of my responsibilities.

 <- Double the Bite ReviewFirst Blood Review ->
Image source: Amazon

I Need More You by Justine Musk

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: I Need More You
Author: Justine Musk
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 20th September
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “Vincent.”

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Synopsis

She travels across the world to hear his call. To be reunited with the man that she loves… but how can she be sure that this fallen angel loves his nightwalker back?

Thoughts

The part of this story that I liked the most was the setting. Using the backdrop of Burning Man was completely novel and intriguing. It’s something that I’ve only vaguely heard of and been a little intrigued by. And it’s a setting that I’ve never come across before.

The poignancy of the setting of Burning Man and letting things go worked incredibly well for this story. The narrator follows a fallen angel and man all over the world, following a secret call that helps her to find her love. But after a few blissful moments of reunion, the cycle is repeated again. It honestly sounds like an intensely painful and irritating way to maintain a sexual relationship. But, at the end there is a kind of farewelling of the past and a hope for the future.

This wasn’t quite the vampire romance story that I expected. It really wasn’t even all that vampire-based. Alright, the narrator was a vampire, but there really wasn’t a moment in it that this seemed to take key place within the storyline. She more read like a mortal who happened to have a dietary concern… for the majority of the story. I think that this, along with the vagueness of the relationship made this story a bit bleugh for me, although still not horrifying.

 <- The Scotsman and the Vamp ReviewPoint of No Return Review ->
Image source: Bookdepository

John Doe by Anna Windsor

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: John Doe
Author: Anna Windsor
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance
Dates read: 31st July 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She took a deep breath, knowing he needed to understand everything.

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Synopsis

Dutch knows that there are dark things in the world. What she doesn’t expect to find is love when the man who is supposed to protect her from them shows up at her psychiatric ward.

Thoughts

The most disappointing aspect of this story was that it was so short and it isn’t part of a greater series. I know, a pretty common complaint for me. I always love when I read a really good short story and it turns out that there’s a whole series that I can stick my greedy little literary nose into. But the premise of a half-angel and her protector (who also happens to be her lover) was incredibly fun. And it was seriously disappointing when I found out that it was a standalone – there was just some incredibly brilliant world building going on!

In July I seemed to read a few stories which feature psychiatric facilities and asylums. A bit of a random theme, but it worked really well in John Doe. After all, Dutch finds out that there are far more serious things going on in the world than she had ever anticipated. Add that to the fact that she lives in isolation from everybody and is celebrating her thirtieth birthday alone… it worked really well to make Dutch seem like she’s lonely and unsure as to what she wants to do with her life. The appearance of Shant changes that all. And injects this amazingly fun and sassy side of the lead that I really wasn’t expecting.

Most of the paranormal romances I’ve been reading lately feature the couple for the entirety of the story. This tale on the other hand doesn’t have the male love interest in it for as long. He goes missing for a fair while and then returns towards the end. The period of separation though worked beautifully for the structure of this tale and I loved the slight department from what I would consider a more traditional tale.

 <- Paranormal Romance Blues ReviewTaking Hold Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Bad Hour by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Overview
Image result for an apple for the creature book cover

Title: The Bad Hour
Author: Thomas E. Sniegoski
Series: Remy Chandler #5.5
In: An Apple for the Creature (Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 12th July 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ace Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Remy sat behind the desk in his Beacon Street office putting together an expense report for a client whose job he had finished the previous week.

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Synopsis

Remy always seems to get the more difficult cases, those that involve the supernatural. But when him and his loyal companion must attend doggy obedience school, he discovers that sometimes it’s not all bad.

Thoughts

I have two beautiful, annoying, slightly crazy and incredibly loyal dogs. Which means that any story that features “man’s best friend” is going to make me happy. Especially when the main character is able to communicate with his loyal hound. If only I could have the same slightly ridiculous, incredibly fun conversations with my two furry companions…

Although I really loved the storyline of this tale, what I loved most was the interactions between Remy and his hound. I frequently talk to my dogs, but, sadly, they never respond. However, if they did, I can imagine that they would talk much like they do in this story. Slightly stupid, slightly witty and incredibly amusing. His horror and disappointment at being a “bad dog” made me think of the look on my Staffy’s face whenever he’s in trouble. Equal parts devotion and devastation.

In a collection of urban fantasy stories about school and teaching, a puppy school has got to be my favourite kind. I love being surrounded by dogs and reading about a scene in which this is happening left me in my happy place. Even if the badness was caused by the tales of one such hound…

 <- VSI ReviewPirate Dave and the Captain’s Ghost Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

Overview
Image result for any given doomsday lori handeland book cover

Title: Any Given Doomsday
Author: Lori Handeland
Series: Phoenix Chronicles #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemons, Fae, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 11th – 19th July 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Lori Handeland
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: I ran toward the approaching vehicle.

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Synopsis

From the author who brought you The Nightcreature Novels comes the first installment in an original urban fantasy series.

Psychic ex-cop Elizabeth Phoenix finds herself thrust into saving the world, one demon at a time. Unaware of the supernatural battle that has been raging since the beginning, Liz becomes the untaught leader of the Federation, a collection of seers and demon killers. She’s soon pointing out monsters of Biblical proportion to her ex-boyfriend Jimmy, a half-vampire battling an army of Nephilim intent on bringing about doomsday.

Unable to control her new powers, Liz travels from Wisconsin to New Mexico where she meets with Sawyer, a powerful Navajo shape-shifter whose secrets frighten her and whose sexuality tempts her.

Caught between two worlds and two men, Liz must juggle it all in a spiral toward Armageddon. She will need all her powers, and those of her friends and lovers, to battle an enemy that could be indestructible.

Thoughts

Any Given Doomsday has been sitting on my shelves for about a year now. I bought it when I read the short story Here There Be Demons and then promptly completely forgot about it. Until I read Dead Man Dating in another collection of tales. And then I remembered that I seriously enjoyed Handeland’s writing. I figured I may as well pick this up and see what it was like. And boy am I glad that I did. Now I just have to wait to order and receive the next few books in this series…

Stories of lost loves and tales which are complicated by the past are always good bait for me. Especially when they are tied into tales of battle and urban fantasy. What makes this incredibly different is that it also deals with ideas of God and demons. And the apocalypse. There are many theories about the fact that we are on the eve of an apocalypse, but surprisingly few books on my shelves which actually deal with such an idea. The use of seers and DKs (demon killers) is also just a little bit different, whilst still fitting into some well-loved tropes. It made me fall head over heels into this world and feel incredibly disappointed that I have to wait another two weeks before I can buy more of this series.

Most of the time when a love triangle is building in a story, I have a clear favourite. From the very beginning. There is something that always draws me to one character or another. Yet, with this story, I don’t have a serious favourite. I don’t know who I prefer and which couple I think will work best. I mostly just know that I want these stories to end with Elizabeth’s happiness. Whether or not that involves Sawyer or Jimmy, I’m actually not sure. This is the first time that I’m not even sure the potential love interests are good matches. But I’m sure that this series will start to sway me one way or another as it develops.

This is a fantastic novel that starts a fantastic series. It has all of the entrapments and marvellous snares of a great urban fantasy. With a beautiful love triangle, a tragic past and a heroine who is destined to lead the world to a better future. If she can only figure out how to accept her future and revel in it… I just can’t believe that it took me this long to get my literary teeth into this, and how much longer it will take me to collect the rest of the books in this series.

 <- There Will Be Demons ReviewDoomsday Can Wait Review ->
Image source: Amazon

In the Beginning by Lori Handeland

Overview
Image result for in the beginning lori handeland book cover

Title: In the Beginning
Author: Lori Handeland
Series: Phoenix Chronicles #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Angels, Demons, Fae, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 11th July 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Lori Handeland
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: His broad shoulders obscured any light from the distant street or even the minuscule moon.

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Synopsis

Liz Phoenix does her best not to let anyone on the Milwaukee Police Force know that she’s psychic. But her partner, Max Murphy, suspects. She’s had one too many spot-on hunches.

When they’re sent to the scene of a murder, Liz’s latest psychic flash leads to disaster.

In the Beginning reveals how Liz came to be an ex-cop and started on the road to becoming the Leader of the Light.

Thoughts

This is one of those short stories that kind of stands alone. But doesn’t really. It’s almost like a prologue that gives a little more history and insight into Liz’s choices and history as a cop than you would otherwise get. Which is, of course what I loved the most about it. I love every extra little bit of information and history you can glean from a character’s life when you are about to sink into the depths of a new series.

A good character always has a bit of tragedy in their past, it’s a great way to add an extra layer of mystery and characterisation to them. There’s not many tales in which I actually read about one of these past tragedies. It actually broke my heart a little. Even though this is an incredibly short (16 pages) tale and I don’t often bond with characters that quickly, there was something so tragic about the misfortunes which befall Liz and Max.

As soon as I read this origins story, I delved straight into Any Given Doomsday. The foreshadowing in this tale is absolutely fantastic and it made me want to discover what was likely to happen next. And how her discovery of the demons was going to play out throughout the rest of the tale.

 <- Demons at the Gates ReviewThere Will Be Demons Review ->
Image source: Goodreads