Tag Archives: Paranormal

Review: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at The Romance Evangelist.

The final book in Deborah Harkness’s fantastic All Souls trilogy is finally here, and it seems like it’s been forever since we last saw Diana and Matthew. THE BOOK OF LIFE picks up where SHADOW OF NIGHT left off, with our favorite witch and vampire returning to their current timeline and dealing with the aftermath of their actions back in Elizabethan England. To say more is to spoil, and I won’t do that. But be assured, all their past interactions are accounted for here in the present, even as time appears to start circling back on itself while the story hurtles toward its final confrontation between good and evil.

After Diana and Matthew began their improbable quest in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, and then stepped back in time for SHADOW OF NIGHT, no less than the safety of everyone on Earth was at stake in THE BOOK OF LIFE. Its landscape spans across time and space, and nearly every question posed in the first two books is answered in full. But what made the All Souls trilogy work so well for me was the romance between Diana and Matthew. Their love was forbidden, impossible, and irresistible. It should never have happened, should never have lasted, and yet by the end of this final book, we see how perfectly they fit, and how their romance wasn’t just fated, it was required in order to save the world and everyone in it. To take their love story out of THE BOOK OF LIFE would be like removing the first three pages of the Book of Life in the story itself; all the words would run together in search of the missing portion that made them all make sense. And to call THE BOOK OF LIFE one of the best romances I’ve read this year is no insult – it is the highest compliment I can pay. If you enjoyed the first two books in Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy, this final book is the payoff you’ve been waiting for. If you haven’t read the other books, then you need to start now with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. I envy you the ability to read all three books in a row for the very first time.

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Review: Kept – An Erotic Anthology

KeptKept by Sorcha Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by one of the authors for an honest review at Night Owl Reviews. You can find the entire review posted there.

Overall, Kept was an entertaining read, and all of the stories were memorable. I’d recommend it to anyone who prefers their PNR/SF romance with a capture fantasy twist.
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Release Day: East of Ecstasy by Laura Kaye

It’s release day for Laura Kaye’s EAST OF ECSTASY!

EAST OF ECSTASY is the final book in her Hearts of the Anemoi Series. See below for a note from Laura and an excerpt!!


East of Ecstasy Excerpt:
By Laura Kaye

You guys! I can’t believe release day for East of Ecstasy is finally here! This is the final book in my Hearts of the Anemoi series, which includes: North of Need, West of Want, and South of Surrender. The Anemoi were wind gods the Greek associated with controlling the wind, weather, and seasons. In East of Ecstasy, hero Devlin Eston is the heir to the East Wind which has long been associated with unluckiness, misfortune, and, thanks to Devlin’s father, even evil. Devlin himself has been the victim of father’s evil, and thereby finds himself an outcast among his own divine family. In this scene, heroine Annalise Fallston—who gets visions that she’s forced to paint in order to quiet them in her mind—sees Devlin for the first time.

Here’s what she says:


Forcing the chaos in her mind away, Anna dipped her brush into the gray and stepped to the canvas.

Motion captured her attention from the corner of her eye.

The Dark Man, the subject of her recent paintings, stood in the doorway and leaned against the jamb.

Anna jumped and her pulse raced, but this time, anger flooded in instead of fear. “I will deal with you on my own damn terms,” she said, taking a perverse amount of pleasure from putting a figment of her imagination in its place. Because that’s all he was.

He didn’t move or speak. Not that he could, since, you know. Figment.Of.Imagination.

Anna rolled her eyes, done with being scared and so pissed to have to do this again that she was nearly out of her mind. “I’m doing your damn painting already. So just leave me alone.” She cut her gaze back to the expanse of white, but the desire to see if his image would still be there if she looked again drove her to distraction.

Finally, she gave in and…he was still there.

Completely still. Blatantly scowling. Totally unfathomable.

Was this a vision? Another image she’d have to paint?

Her heart tripped into a sprint, and she couldn’t look away from him. Like the compulsion that forced her to paint these images, Anna couldn’t help but return his stare and memorize his masculine features. The sharp angles of his face, the harsh set of his mouth, the dark shadows around his even darker eyes.Black eyes. Blades of black hair hung low over his forehead and just touched the hooded shirt he wore under his short, scuffed leather jacket. He’d crossed his arms over his chest, and the position caused his biceps to bunch up under the worn leather. In fact, everything about him appeared worn—the coat, the threadbare jeans, the scuffed boots. None of it struck her as the kind of shabby chic you could buy in some upscale store for a small fortune, either. The whole effect was rough.

Dangerous. Deprived.

Deprived? What a strange way of describing him. But as Anna’s gaze swept over him again, the thought stuck. For his height, he seemed thin, with his lean hips, clad in old black jeans, a trim waist, and pronounced cheekbones. Her fingers twitched around the nearly forgotten paintbrush. What would it feel like to cup that harsh face in her hand?

Anna gasped and tore her gaze away. She had to blink to pull herself out of the haze of thoughts.

Frustration surged through her and tensed the muscles of her shoulders and neck. She didn’t want to be working on another of these paintings as it was, so the last thing she needed was to lose a bunch of time daydreaming. Or would it be daynightmaring?

As she stared at the blank canvas, the image of the shackled man behind the prison bars filled her mind’s eye.

Definitely the latter.

Curiosity pulled her eyes to the left again. The doorway was empty.


So, did you have a favorite line from the excerpt? Thanks for reading!


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The final chapter in the award-winning and bestselling Hearts of the Anemoi series…

She’s the only one who can give him the strength to save them all…

Annalise Fallston made peace with postponing her big-city dreams to care for her ill father, but lately she’s been filled with a restlessness not even her beloved painting dispels. Worse, the colors don’t speak to her as they always have, and all her efforts produce dark, foreboding images of a dangerous man and a terrifying future.

Devlin Eston, black-souled son of the evil Anemoi Eurus, is the only one who can thwart his father’s plan to overthrow the Supreme God of Wind and Storms. But first, Dev must master the unstable powers he’s been given. Distrusted and shunned by his own divine family, he never expected to find kindness and passion in the arms of a mortal.

But Devlin’s love puts Annalise in the path of a catastrophic storm, and in the final Armageddon showdown between the Anemoi and Eurus, sacrifices will be made, hearts broken, and lives changed forever…or lost.

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Catch up on the whole series with the Hearts of the Anemoi box set featuring the first three books: North of Need, West of Want, South of Surrender!

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About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Review: East of Ecstasy by Laura Kaye

East of Ecstasy (Hearts of the Anemoi, #4)East of Ecstasy by Laura Kaye

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.


This review may contain spoilers for earlier books in the Hearts of the Anemoi series. You could try to read EAST OF ECSTASY as a stand-alone book, but I would strongly recommend that you read the previous three books first.

After all the life and death struggles for the brother-gods of the Anemoi, those who seek to stop their brother Eurus from destroying all in his path have come together for the final battle between good and evil. We have already met the good Anemoi, and seen them fall in love with human women as they work against Eurus, he who controls the East Wind and seeks to wipe out humanity along with his fellow gods and goddesses of Nature. EAST OF ECSTASY is our formal introduction to Devlin, middle son of Eurus, and one who may be good or evil, depending on who is telling the story.

In previous books, we saw Devlin from afar as he appeared to be doing his terrible father’s bidding, and heard how the other Anemoi believed him to be a threat to their cause. But in EAST OF ECSTASY, we discover that appearances are not as they seem, and that Devlin himself is the key to any hope of success in defeating Eurus before all is lost. But before Devlin Eston can find redemption, he has to find love. And that love comes from a woman who may contain more than a mere spark of divinity herself.

Annalise doesn’t look or act like anyone else in her family, or anyone else in their part of Maryland. Her countenance is almost colorless, including her pale gray eyes, and although she’s a gifted painter, the only time she can actually experience color is when she’s in the middle of creating a new work of art. When she spots Devlin hiding in her studio, it’s a toss-up as to who is more surprised, as no one has ever sensed his presence when cloaked in invisibility before now. But that’s just the start of all the unusual abilities Anna manifests in the initial moments after he reveals himself to her. It’s clear that Anna must be a descendant of one or more divinities, but when her parentage is revealed, even the Anemoi are taken aback. Yet it’s Anna’s concern for Devlin’s well-being that makes her valuable to their cause, and to him. Love can’t cure all, but it can be the missing element that helps a wounded hero heal in time to save the world.

Devlin would never consider himself any kind of hero, wounded or otherwise. Though he may be a god, his father Eurus is a stronger one, and that strength has been used against Devlin as the worst sort of weapon. Devlin has been judged unfairly by those unaware of just how greatly he has suffered at the hands of the one who should have loved and cared for him. And like so many other victims of parental abuse, Devlin has taken blame for his father’s evil deeds upon himself in the mistaken belief that somehow he personally could have prevented all the death and destruction. When Anna shows Devlin that he can love and be loved, it causes him to lash out at her at first. But Anna is resolute, and her unwavering need to show him he deserves better is what helps both him and those who should be his allies come together in shared purpose to stop Eurus from carrying out his plan to destroy the earth with a powerful storm unleashing all four winds. The question remains, however, as to who will survive among the Anemoi and their loved ones before success is finally theirs.

EAST OF ECSTASY is a wonderful payoff for loyal readers of Laura Kaye’s Hearts of the Anemoi series and an enjoyable romance in its own right as the abused and misunderstood Devlin finds the one woman who can see beyond his ingrained defenses to the gentle soul who has been starved for love his whole life. Even though the events of the past few books have taken place in only a few weeks’ time, the ultimate outcome never feels rushed or truncated. The final battle is just as fierce as I had anticipated, and the road to the Anemoi’s happy ending had me crying both sad and happy tears in turn.

I wasn’t a big paranormal romance fan when I began reading this series back at its start. But through the previous three books, Laura Kaye made me a believer in the Anemoi, and this final entry, EAST OF ECSTASY, is her crowning achievement.

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Review: Blood Mate by Kitty Thomas

Blood MateBlood Mate by Kitty Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was purchased by me for my own enjoyment

Kitty Thomas is one of the few authors who can release a new book and I will immediately buy it without a second thought. This trust has been rewarded by her time and again, but never more thoroughly than now with Blood Mate. It made me question what is real and what is delusion, and what love can mean in the face of eternal suffering.

If I sound like I’m wallowing in purple prose, it’s because this book has done such a thorough job of f*cking with my head in the best way possible. Only Kitty Thomas could take a 600 year old vampire looking for the one woman able to resist him so he could make her his own by choice and put a Beauty and the Beast spin on it that compelled me to love and curse him simultaneously. I don’t want to say more about what happens, because you need to read it for yourself. All I can say is that if you love Kitty Thomas, you will love this story. It’s everything you expect and everything you don’t.

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Review: Operation Saving Daniel by Nina Croft

Title: Operation Saving Daniel
Author: Nina Croft
Genre: contemporary paranormal romance
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Format: ebook
Release Date: 11/25/2013

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Publisher Summary:

At eighteen, Melissa seduced her best friend Julia’s brother only to run away shortly after. While Daniel was her fairytale prince, Lissa didn’t believe in happy ever afters.

Ten years and a near death experience later, Lissa is ready for a husband and family. But a cry for help from Julia puts that dream on hold. Daniel is acting weird and he’s about to marry his long term girlfriend—AKA The Evil One. Someone needs to save him.

Daniel has never stopped loving Lissa. Ten years ago when he gave her a little freedom, he always intended that one day they would be together. Right up until the moment he was bitten by a werewolf. Now, Daniel has to hide what he is. He won’t risk anyone else, especially the woman he loves.

But Lissa is back. Their attraction is stronger than ever and Lissa is nothing if not tenacious.

My Review:

I haven’t sought out many paranormal romance novels in the past few years, mostly due to the glut of sparkly vampire books written for the same readers who made the Twilight series such a big success. But I’ve been trying to expand my reading comfort zone to include more paranormal books, and have been rewarded with some wonderful reads. I’m pleased to say that Nina Croft’s Operation Saving Daniel is one of those rewarding stories, and one I wholeheartedly recommend.

Lissa has always loved Daniel, but as the brother of her best friend Julia, he was strictly off limits. It’s only when she’s about to leave for a job overseas that Lissa dares to take what she’s denied herself for so long. Her memory of the night she presented herself to Daniel for unwrapping is one she holds tight during the decade they spend apart, but it doesn’t stop her from believing that she could never settle down and truly love Daniel or anyone else. It takes a life changing experience for Lissa to reconsider marriage. But it takes a plea from Julia for Lissa to reconsider Daniel.

Daniel had never realized that Lissa had been crushing on him ever since they were kids, so he was thrown for a loop when she appeared at his door for a night of unforgettable passion, only to find himself alone the next morning. He thought she just needed some time to think things through, yet as years passed without a word between them, he was never able to make the next move to bring her back. When Lissa finally returns to Daniel, it’s his own recent life changing experience that could make their reunion dangerous for both of them and Daniel’s entire family. But this new Daniel has a heightened desire for Lissa more powerful than the supernatural threat they will soon face together.

What I especially loved about this book was how it started out seeming like one kind of romance and then suddenly transformed into something I did not expect in a way I found surprising and enjoyable. Lissa’s feelings for Daniel have always been superseded by her determination not to commit herself emotionally to another person, but Julia’s plea to save Daniel from his beastly girlfriend arrives exactly the right time in Lissa’s life for her to take action. The initial scenes where Lissa and Daniel reconnect after a decade apart are exactly what we might expect to read, and they set up the assumptions for what should follow. Those assumptions are blown away when we find out what happened to Daniel while Lissa was away, and how The Evil One is a more apt description of Daniel’s current companion than anyone might have ever imagined. It’s a startling change of direction that helps feed the sense of foreboding and concern that everything might not turn out okay, and it kept me riveted all the way to the end of the story.

But none of the thrills and excitement would work half as well if we didn’t believe in the romance between its hero and heroine. Their romance is what anchors Operation Saving Daniel, keeping the the story from devolving into just another story about nice people in danger from occult forces intent on destruction. Daniel and Lissa been separated by geographic and emotional distance, denying their true feelings and letting external forces keep them apart, until they finally accept the force of their attraction and do everything they can to defeat their enemies and save their loved ones and themselves. Operation Saving Daniel has both laughs and thrills to spare, but it’s the love between Daniel and Lissa that made it a book to be savored. And now I need to go find more Nina Croft books to read! 4 stars

Review: South of Surrender by Laura Kaye

South of Surrender (Hearts of the Anemoi, #3)South of Surrender by Laura Kaye

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance.

This review may contain spoilers for NORTH OF NEED and WEST OF WANT. You could try to read SOUTH OF SURRENDER as a stand-alone book, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

SOUTH OF SURRENDER continues Laura Kaye’s Hearts of the Anemoi series with the story of how Chrysander Notos, Anemoi and Keeper of the South Wind, stumbles on the one human woman who will love him for himself while trying to save his brothers and the world from the inevitable war between the Winds.

Laney Summerlyn may not consider herself truly happy with her life, but she has found contentment in the routine of caring for injured horses at the Maryland farm left to her by her late grandfather. Although her sight is nearly gone, thanks to the progression of Retinitis Pigmentosa, she can get around fairly well in her familiar surroundings and what she can’t do alone, her good friend Seth Griffin can assist her where she’ll allow him. But her sense of security is ripped away forever on the night when a violent windstorm ends with what appears to be a Pegasus crashing down through the ceiling of her barn. In the morning, the winged horse has transformed into a man whose presence Laney can’t stop desiring. But that presence has also put her in terrible danger from Eurus, Keeper of the East Wind, who has vowed to destroy all his fellow Keepers and anyone close to them.

Chrysander is the last Anemoi brother who believes he can still reach his rogue brother Eurus to keep him from destroying everything in his path. When Eurus responds by nearly killing him in a fight in the sky over Laney’s horse farm, Chrysander’s life is saved only by her ministrations. Their mutual attraction is immediate and powerful, yet Chrys believes he can only keep Laney safe by leaving her. But Eurus has already witnessed their desire for each other, and will stop at nothing to ensure that everyone he believed has wronged him will pay with their lives.

I was glad that I had already read the first two books in the Hearts of the Anemoi series because SOUTH OF SURRENDER contains significantly more development in the ongoing story of the war between the Keepers of the Winds. I was already vested in wanting to know the outcome of the ongoing war between the brothers, especially with all the terrible things Eurus has done, including murder. But I did wish that there might have been a bit less mythological exposition and a little more development in the romance between Chrysander and Laney. It was great that she was able to show him that there was such a thing as true lasting love by the way she never hesitated to put herself in harm’s way for his sake. Yet it would have been nice to have seen more grounding in that selflessness beyond the fact that she was just that nice of a person combined with what seemed to be insta-love for both of them.

SOUTH OF SURRENDER is at its best when it shows the enduring love between each of the Anemoi brothers and the women with whom they have chosen to share their lives. They provided the perfect examples for Chrysander and Laney to see that a god could truly be happy with one woman, goddess or human. It remains to be seen how much happiness will remain, however, when the final confrontation with Eurus takes place in the next book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series.

Favorite Quote:

Their connection — the way they fit together, the way they complemented one another, the fundamental feeling of rightness he felt when he was with her — he couldn’t deny it any longer.
Whatever happened. Whatever was right or wrong. Whether the world woke up in the morning or was going to bed for the very last time. He loved Laney Summerlyn to the very center of his being.
The fierceness of the feeling simply wouldn’t be denied.

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Review: Haunted Chemistry by Lindsey R. Loucks

Haunted ChemistryHaunted Chemistry by Lindsey R. Loucks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

I’m really enjoying the opportunity to review for the new Entangled Ever After and Covet lines because I’m discovering so many new-to-me authors whose books I love. Lindsey R. Loucks is a name I’d never heard before, but after reading her excellently-paced “Haunted Chemistry” I’ve added her to my list of writers to keep an eye out for in the future.

When you have a limited amount of pages available to tell the story, it’s important to ensure that you’ve set up the romance in a way that keeps the reader interested without resorting to the old tropes of insta-lust / insta-love. Alexis and Ian have a past together, albeit an unrequited and truncated one, thanks to Ian never showing up for their first date. So when they find themselves both living in a low priced but seriously frightening apartment building, it’s completely understandable that the sparks between them would fly once again, especially when Ian finally gets a chance to explain to Alexis why he’d never showed up that night. Then when all hell breaks loose and both their lives are in danger, the way they first cling to and then work to save each other works beautifully to cement their rekindled attraction and ensure a Happy For Now ending that is satisfying and believable.

What’s especially great about “Haunted Chemistry” is how the author sets up the time, the place, and the two main characters (three if you count Tri, the irrepressible cat who gets everyone else in trouble). The vivid descriptions of the apartments and the dreaded laundry room made me believe I was there with Alexis and Ian every step of the way. I was able to picture exactly how frightening the long narrow cabinets would be, especially at the moment when the analogy Alexis used to describe them nearly came true, with potentially deadly consequences.

“Haunted Chemistry” is a great way to get yourself in the mood for Halloween while enjoying a fast hot romance. I can’t wait to see what this author is going to write next.

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Review: Deceiving the Witch Next Door by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

Deceiving the Witch Next DoorDeceiving the Witch Next Door by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for an honest review.

Melissa Bourbon Ramirez is a new author for me and although I have previously enjoyed many paranormal romance novels, I haven’t read many of late, so I went into this book with no expectations other to be entertained. And entertained I most definitely was! I was pulled all the way through this relatively short but densely packed plot wondering exactly how the author was going to manage to resolve all the dilemmas swirling around their romance without ruining my enjoyment of the story as a whole. Because make no mistake, Storie Bell has had a lot to deal with since she’s returned to town after her departure eight years before. She’s trying to fend off Reid Malone’s advances at the same time she’s trying to reimagine her late father’s decrepit gas station as a combination bookstore/coffee shop, secretly leveraging her magic powers where she can, even as they are inexplicably starting to wane. Meanwhile, Reid can’t forget how he and Storie had nearly come together on that day she left town (a scene we see only part of in the memorable prologue) but he’s sure that all he really wants is what he thinks is hidden somewhere in the building her daddy left her.

The interaction between Storie and Reid is what made this story a compelling read for me, and the way Reid worms his way into Storie’s life despite both of them insisting that there isn’t anything real between them. Storie knew that there was something Reid wasn’t telling her, but with so many other fires to fight all in the short time before the scheduled opening day for her Storiebook Cafe, she was only able to keep at arm’s length for so long before the electricity between them ignited into something more. I loved how completely obvious he was in his machinations, in spite of whether either of them thought that was a good idea or not.

I haven’t always had good luck with books being able to successfully incorporate paranormal elements into a believable contemporary setting, but Deceiving the Witch Next Door manages to stay on track with both the magical and non-magical parts of the story. The way everything comes together in the final chapters was as believable as could be expected, considering Storie is a witch and all. My only quibble was with the loose threads left after Storie’s final confrontation with why her powers had been waning, but I’m hoping that means we’ll be getting another book following up on what was left unresolved. I quite enjoyed reading Deceiving The Witch Next Door, and I’ll definitely be seeking out more of this author’s backlist.

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