Tag Archives: Paranormal Romance

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Overview
Dark Lover, The First Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward |  9780451468109 | Booktopia

Title: Dark Lover
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Rating Out of 5: 2.5 (Readable, but not worth reading again)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 29th August – 5th September 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Getting him out of a facility against medical advice was always a struggle.

Synopsis

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed – orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate – Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger – one that threatens to consume them both…

Thoughts

I really, really wanted to like this novel. It’s got such a good rep and I’ve heard it spoken of multiple times… but I just couldn’t quite get into it. I gave it my nor.al 150 pages before realising that I had absolutely no inclination to read anymore. Which rarely happens, normally I’ll at least skim to see how the story turns out.

For me, a big part of not getting super involved in this story was the fact that I just couldn’t feel attached to the characters. Beth and Wrath did not having anything about them that drew me in. I didnt dislike them, I didn’t like them, I just nothinged them.

In the future I’ll probably give this book another try. But for now… no strong feelings either way.

<- More J.R. WardLover Eternal ->

Image source: Booktopia

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5) by Ilona Andrews

Title: Emerald Blaze
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Catalina Baylor Trilogy #2, Hidden Legacy #5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Strong women
Dates read: 23rd – 29th August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: Sink some magic into it.

Synopsis

Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything… except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers – powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops to use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Thoughts

Ilona Andrews is one of those authors that I pick up strategically… because I can never seem to put her books down. And I generally get a really bad book hangover once I’ve finished it. Emerald Blaze was no different. It was wonderful and impossible to put down. It was amazing and now I’m honestly a little bit pissed off that I have to wait until the next Catalina Baylor book to come out…

The more I find out about Catalina’s power and her own personal battles, the more I fall in love with her. Like all of Andrews’ heroines, she is intrinsically flawed. But, for Catalina, the biggest challenge she often faces is that she’s an introvert thrust into an extroverted position. The fact that she also has to battle her big, bad, evil grandmother… yeah, I can’t wait to see how that unfolds in the final book in this trilogy. She goes from strength to strength, but at what cost? It’s a beautiful question that you’re constantly wondering, even as you hope that the battle that Catalina and Alessandro face turns out… good in the end.

The ending of Sapphire Flames leaves a perfect cliff hanger in the feeling of who and what Alessandro actually is. Alessandro’s backstory, a bit like Catalina’s, is bought to life even more throughout the pages of this book. I actually wanted to reach through the pages of the book and hug him. It helped to strip back the arrogance that is so prominent in the other books, and, although you were always gunning for a happily ever after… this book makes you want it all that much more. I can’t wait until they get their sail off into the sunset ending (like Nevada and Rogan did), but as previously mentioned… now I have to wait (can you tell that I’m finding that quite disappointing?).

This is the most amazing of stories. I think I sat there staring at the wall for about 2 hours before I was capable of conversing too much or reading anything else. You know that the book is damn good when you are just… paralysed with the enjoyment of what you’ve read. When you can’t quite seem to get the adventures of the pages out of your head.

<- Sapphire FlamesRuby Fever ->

Image source: Goodreads

Sky of Ash by Rachel Madbury

Overview
Sky Of Ash - By Rachel Madbury (paperback) : Target

Title: Sky of Ash
Author: Rachel Madbury
Series: The Sevens #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Witches
Dates read: 27th July – 8th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: ARC, eBook, Novel
Publisher: Rachel Madbury
Year: 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: I’m not going to make you uncomfortable.

Synopsis

Time heals nothing.

Rose Bishop has been dead for forty years, but her blood has never left Colin Finch’s hands. As a warrior of the Seven he’s charged with protecting the most powerful witches on earth, but he failed the one that mattered most to him.

Or so he thought.

When the case of a missing witch brings Finch back to Savannah, where his mistakes cost him everything, he comes face-to-face with his most painful regret – but she’s not dead at all. In a world where lies run thicker than blood, can Finch find the information he came for and keep Rose safe at the same time?

Rose never thought she’d see Finch again, but when she learns the reason for his return, she’s drawn into the darkness of his world and offered a chance at her own redemption; save this missing witch, and free herself from the ghosts that have haunted her for forty years.

The more Rose becomes entangled in Finch’s case, the more old sparks threaten to reignite, and Finch will be torn between his duty to his brothers and the woman he never meant to leave behind.

Thoughts

After the first book in this series, I was wondering how the search for Penny and have a whole new couple as lead. I have expected Penny to be the female interest, but then the big story line wouldn’t really continue all that well… Madbury managed to have an entirely new focus for the lead couple, but still managed to keep the hunt for Penny alive.

I love how Finch’s past builds on the hunt for Penny and pulls in Rose. In fact, unlike many of the romances I’ve read, there is no Meet Cute or a bit of an understanding. The past between Finch and Rose is incredibly painful and tragic. Meaning that most of this story involves both of them trying to move on from past hurts and scars to a new future.

It turns out that the villain (for me) in this story was one who you could completely sympathise with. Even though his actions were abhorrent, you could kind of understand the decision making when all of the cards were laid out on the table. I still got that horrified feeling in my stomach, but it was tempered with a little understanding.

Sky as Ash helped to build more of a conspiracy within this world. It strengthened the mystery and horror of the world of the Sevens. I loved the set up for Wolfe in the next book. But, more than anything. I love that there are betrayals and mysteries still to come in this series.

<- Splintered StarsMore Rachel Madbury ->

Image source: Target

Witching Moon by Rebecca York

Overview
Witching Moon (Moon #3) by Rebecca York

Title: Witching Moon
Author: Rebecca York
Series: Moon #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Werewolves
Dates read: 26th July – 7th August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Her name was Betty Sue, and she was about his age, mid-twenties.

Synopsis

The swamp is their sanctuary. Its nights echo with the beat of their moonlit revels, feeding their dark hunger for power – and for revenge…

The Nature’s Refuge preserve deep in the southern Georgia swamp was a place steeped in superstition and legend – and death. The previous head ranger had ended up dead, but werewolf Adam Marshall is ideally suited to explore the park and investigate its dangers. But in the still of the night, a mysterious fire burns, and even Adam’s highly honed instincts are disoriented by the thick, drugging smoke – leading to a near disaster…

Adam’s suspicions are raised by Sara Weston, a botanist who has come to the swamp to research the vegetation. He finds himself drawn to her in ways he doesn’t understand, yet fights the passion that threatens to cloud his judgment. And when a coven of witches with a score to settle with the locals decides that Adam and Sara are in their way, Adam will discover that Sara is hiding secrets as powerful as the one that runs through his blood.

Thoughts

One of the things I love most about this series is that York writes from both points of view of the two leads. BUT she also gives snapshots into the villains point of view. Not enough so that you’d have any idea who the villain could be. But enough to get the heart racing since you know the danger that is coming their way.

I love how, even as the third book in this series, the women all have different talents. Although, Sara is the first one with paranormal talents of her own. The way she grew into them throughout the story, and accepted her past was phenomenal. I was left grinning throughout the entire story.

Drawing Ross back into this story towards the end of the novel continues the connection that I’m enjoying throughout this story. I can’t wait to see who the next couple in this series will be and how they’re going to connect in with the rest of the story. Each of these novels have been so fantastic as a standalone. But they also have those threads that make you want to continue the whole series in one big, binge read.

I love how York is able to show the good and the bad in the paranormal world that she’s created. That, and the haunting mystery of the swamp created a textured world that I honestly didn’t want to leave. I can’t wait to see where she takes me in the next novel.

<- Edge of the MoonBurning Moon ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 edited by Trisha Telep

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

Title: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2
Author: Trisha Telep, Jackie Kessler, Ava Gray, Shirley Damsgaard, Nathalie Gray, Gail Carriger, Moira Rogers, Elissa Wilds, Karen Chance, Sonya Bateman, Sherri Browning Erwin, Michele Hauf, Sharon Ashwood, Lara Adrian, Helen Scott Taylor, S.J. Day, Seressia Glass & Kim Lenox
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 7th February – 5th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: His low voice cut her off.

Synopsis

Love is the drug

Paranormal romance was never going to be content with just vampires and werewolves. The fantastic stories in this new collection lay claim to much, much more: paranormal serial killers, gaslight Victorian rendezvous, and the urban mayhem of fantasy and steampunk.

Here you will find bestselling authors writing under new pseudonyms, fresh stars and steadfast favorites, together offering a feat of mind-bending subgenres.

Paranormal romance will never be the same again.

Thoughts

Admittedly it took me quite a while to read this. As much as I love paranormal romance, I think I just in general tend to prefer the full length versions. There’s just more time to connect to and love the characters and the relationship… but, it’s still fun getting a taste of the different authors in the genre.

I enjoyed writing the reviews for each of these stories. They were fun to write and read. Plus, I have a few new series to add to my wish list and shelves now… because I really needed more books to add to the pule… I mean, will I stop when my house explodes? Probably not.

This was a fun adventure to go on. I’d definitely pick up this collection again, but I might just take a while to make everything feel like new again…

<- The Dream CatcherTo Hell With Love ->

Image source: Amazon

Answer the Wicked by Kim Lenox

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

Title: Answer the Wicked
Author: Kim Lenox
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceParanormal romance
Dates read: 5th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Her crisply issued instructions echoed in the cavernous space.

Synopsis

Malise is a nurse for the elderly, a career she chose in no small part due to the fact that she could hide. But, when her favourite patient reveals his hidden past, she might find that she can no longer hide from the world… it could be the best outcome ever though.

Thoughts

This started put a little slow. And I also couldn’t quite figure out where the “romance” fit in. And, honestly, even at the end, I’m not entirely sure where the romance factor supposedly fits. But, all in all, it wasn’t a bad story.

I did like the mystery and fast pace of this story. I enjoyed how Malise managed to weave in bits of her own past while we canoned into the future. It was a good way to constantly keep the story engaging and entertaining.

All in all, this was an easy read to finish the The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 collection on. It certainly wasn’t my favourite, but I did enjoy it, and would maybe even read it again.

<- The MajesticThe Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes & Impossible Mysteries ->

Image source: Amazon

The Majestic by Seressia Glass

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

Title: The Majestic
Author: Seressia Glass
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance
Dates read: 26th July 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Rinna pressed against him, running her hands over his back just above his kidneys.

Synopsis

Rinna has a past. One that she once ran from. But, now, at a night in The Majestic, she might just run towards a new future.

Thoughts

This was a nice and simple short story. And I liked it. I loved how the flash back was so seamlessly incorporated…. particularly since this short story was quite, well… short.

Rinna and Bale are a nice couple. And I like that they both acknowledged their need to be away from one another to grow. To find out if they really wanted one another. And in this, managed to find their way back to each other.

I genuinely really enjoyed the world building and story telling in this tale. I have NO idea whether these hybrids are based on real mythological creatures or not, but I loved the idea of paranormals feeding in adrenaline energy…

<- Eve of WarfareAnswer the Wicked ->

Image source: Amazon

Eve of Warfare by S.J. Day

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

Title: Eve of Warfare
Author: S.J. Day
Series: Marked #3.2
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemons, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 23rd July 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: In the meantime… Marry me, angel.

Synopsis

Eve is stuck between two brothers – a fact that makes her a constant political pawn. But, what she doesn’t realise is that the stakes are about to be drastically raised, and not only her life, but also her heart is about to be placed on the line.

Thoughts

I’m getting a little “eh” about Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel stories. They seem to be popping up a little bit in my reading lately. This one wasn’t a bad one…. and I’d probably enjoy reading a bit more from this series (if it’s part of one), but I wasn’t over the moon happy about it.

There was a lot of really fun and intriguing world building going on in this story. The history, the lore and the established relationships were wonderful. It created a fabric that pulled me in and had me constantly wondering what was going to happen next. I also loved how much of this information was filled into such a short story.

All in all, I enjoyed Eve and Alec as lead characters. They were fun and had great characterisation. If it wasn’t for the overwhelming backdrop of the Cain and Abel story, I probably would have loved this. But the constant references felt a little grating after a while.

<- The Sons of RaThe Majestic ->

Image source: Amazon

The Sons of Ra by Helen Scott Taylor

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

Title: The Sons of Ra
Author: Helen Scott Taylor
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Mythology, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The highlights in his hair shone guinea gold in contrast to the black trousers and black leather jacket he’d donned for their night foray.

Synopsis

A trip for information takes Trish back to the man that broke her heart twenty years ago. But finding out that he hasn’t age is just the tip of this very confusing iceberg.

Thoughts

I thought that the concept of this story was unique and cute. It didn’t necessarily completely hook me. But I did find it enjoyable. Which, for me, is enough. It was fun and easy and just… cute.

I love the integration of Egyptian mythology into this story. It was a little surprising and very enjoyable. It was also not something I see very much. I tend to find most of the stories I read featuring mythology feature Greek, roman or norse.

Trish’s desire to choose her own destiny and not fall for the man she loves mindlessly made me incredibly happy. I mean, she has a right to be pissed (I think she didn’t quite make him work hard enough for forgiveness to be honest. But, she still kept her head high. So alls well that ends well.

<- NightDrakeEve of Warfare ->

Image source: Amazon

Be Mine Tonight by Kathryn Smith

Overview
Be Mine Tonight (Brotherhood of Blood, #1) by Kathryn Smith

Title: Be Mine Tonight
Author: Kathryn Smith
Series: Brotherhood of Blood #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceParanormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 27th – 28th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Oddly enough, that realization wasn’t annoying so much as it was warming.

Synopsis

I am called Chapel…

For nearly six centuries I have roamed the night, a mortal man no longer. Would that I could undo the past – when I entered the sanctuary of the Knights Templar to wrest from them the Holy Grail, only to discover the chalice I raised to my lips was not the sacred relic but a hellish cup of damnation. Now I shun the day and all things human, driven by an ungodly thirst. And yet…

Never have I known a maiden the like of Prudence Ryland, whose beauty and spirit awaken a heart I feared long cold and dead. But her young life is slipping away, and she also seeks the deliverance of the Grail – unaware that the cost of her search could be her soul. I must help Prudence, for in six hundred years, no other woman has stirred my passions so. But dare I tender to my beloved that which she most desires – the sensuous “gift” of forever that is both rapture and a curse: my immortal kiss?

Thoughts

This was one of those books that I was like “eh, eh, eh, WOW.” It took quite a while for me to warm up to the storyline. But, once I got there… wow was I happy. It happened about a third / half the way in. Then, I really, really wanted to know what was going on. I also cried at one point.

I bought this book because I read a novella in this series which intrigued me. But, honestly? I had no idea what to expect or even what time period this would be in. I was pleasantly surprised that this read like a regency romance. Just with a much more intense paranormal spin.

Chapel is kind of a fool and a little bit too whiney for my taste in lead men. Plus, the constant need for retribution was just… seriously dude? You’re 600 years old!!! Grow the hell up! Luckily, Pru agreed and kicked his butt multiple times with her frustration at his stupidity. It made him more likeable since Pru found a reason to like him in spite of his stupidity…

All in all, this was a fun start to a series. Yes, there was this beautiful part towards the end that had me crying. But, mostly it was a good, easy read. I particularly liked how the story ended… leaving plenty of opening and intrigue for the next tale in the series.

<- More Kathryn SmithNight of the Huntress ->

Image source: Goodreads