Archive for the 'Reviews' Category
Monday, October 8th, 2012
BOOK BLURB: FORBIDDEN MIND
She reads minds. He controls minds. Together, they might get out alive.
Sam thinks she’s months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.
Only Sam isn’t normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.
Drake wasn’t raised as a ‘Rent-A-Kid.’ He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.
When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn’t a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.
To survive, they must work together.
But will their powers be enough to save them before it’s too late?
She reads minds. He controls minds. Together, they might get out alive.
Forbidden Mind is a fast-paced Young Adult story that pulled me in straight away. This story is told in first person with some chapters from Sam’s POV and others from Drake’s POV.
Sam lives at a school for gifted children. It’s a super secret school and occasionally the kids go into the outside world to carry out assignments that require their para-powers. Sam can read minds, but when she finally leaves the school at age eighteen, she wants to pursue her art. One day she hears a new voice speaking directly to her, but his identity is a mystery. There are also a few odd things happening at the school that are making Sam uneasy.
It’s difficult to say much more about the plot without giving away spoilers, but this is an easy book to read with the plot propelling the reader toward the shocking conclusion. I enjoyed the characters, both the two main characters and the support cast and found them engaging and likeable. The gradual peeling back of the truth behind the school is well done.
My only quibble is the abrupt ending. I would have liked a bit more of a resolution. This is the first of a trilogy. Books one and two are currently available with book three due out on Oct 2 2012. I expect all the loose ends will be tied up once I’ve read the rest of the series.
If you enjoy a pacey young adult read with interesting characters, a little danger and some plot twists, this is one for you.
This book was received from the author and Innovative Online Book tours in exchange for an honest review.
Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal novels Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire and her illustrated children’s fantasy chapter books Lexie World, and Bella World, all on Amazon.
She lives with her three little girls who think they’re ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they’re humans and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.
For a list of her books, check out: http://Amazon.com/author/kimberlykinrade
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
The Zombie Always Knocks Twice
E. Van Lowe
Genre: YA Paranormal
Cover Artist: Ryan Doan
Kindle ebook: 978-1-926997-74-2
Trade paperback: 978-1-926997-81-0
Page Count: 177 pages
Hollywood California, Swimming pools, movie stars… and now the risen dead
Hollywood can be a difficult place to grow up, especially if you’re Kristine Golden, a fifteen-year-old necromancer with a sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest and no desire to be in the movie business.
When handsome deadie Alex Romero swaggers into her life, Kris must keep her promise, despite her growing feelings for him. If that’s not enough to give a girl a headache, a murderous zombie comes knocking at Kris’ door, rocking her world and threatening her family.
Can Kris solve the mystery of the rampaging zombie before someone else winds up dead? Or will the walking dead take over Hollywood and turn it into… Hollyweird?
The Zombie Always Knocks Twice is a first person young adult story featuring female protagonist Kris Golden. This is book one in a new series called Hollyweird.
On the surface Kris is a normal fifteen year old girl. She lives in Hollywood and has an agent who books her auditions for shows. She goes to school, works part time at Disco Diva’s Diner, and has a father who loves her even though he smothers her a little. Oh, and she doesn’t have a boyfriend and is failing algebra II. Just a typical teenage girl…
But Kris is also a necromancer. She can spot the walking dead and raise the dead, but it’s her sworn duty to lay the risen dead back to rest. It’s a duty Kris takes very seriously, even though she worries about her peers thinking she’s weird. It’s a secret she doesn’t talk about, except with her family and the man who trained her.
Kris is busy working at the diner when she spots a dead girl. The girl takes off, and Kris gives chase. Unfortunately the dead girl is fast and she evades Kris. Thus starts Kris’s search for the dead girl and the person who raised her from the dead. Then there’s murder…
Kris is a very likeable character. She adores her solo parent father, but has problems after the return of her runaway sister. She’s a loyal friend and determined to carry out her necromancer duties to the best of her abilities.
Alex, her romantic interest, is interesting—a famous actor—and I’m curious as to where this relationship will go. I grew to like Alex. Despite his fame, he comes across as sincere.
The rest of the secondary characters have their own agendas, and they usually end up making Kris’s life more difficult. I enjoyed the Hollywood setting with Kris’s semi-normal world jostling up against the world of movie stars.
My only quibble is that the story took a couple of chapters to get going for me, but after that it was plain-sailing with excellent chapter hooks that kept me turning the pages.
I loved The Zombie Always Knocks Twice. Once the story hits its stride it’s fast paced and enjoyable with each plot twist complicating Kris’s life. The main puzzle of the dead girl is solved by the end of the story, but the subplot related to Kris’s romantic interest isn’t tied up yet. Even so, I was happy with the conclusion, and thought Kris was both courageous and likeable—the perfect heroine. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended.
This book was provided by the author and Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase The Zombie Always Knocks Twice
Friday, September 21st, 2012
I’m pleased to welcome back Sky Purington for a spotlight on The Tudor Revival, the third book in her Callum’s Curse series.
The Tudor Revival
Calum’s Curse: Ultima Bellum
By Sky Purington
Genre Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 228
Word Count 78 K
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Is it true love… or is this dark need part of the Tudor’s Revival?
A man stuck between worlds.
Ghost hunter and dare-devil, Seth, is flung into the afterlife. His one draw to reality? Alana. He died. She lived. But he can’t let go. There is something more than friendship between them and he won’t say goodbye.
A woman drawn to the past.
The last thing Alana expects to encounter when she inherits her grandmom’s Tudor Revival is the spirit of her deceased best friend and crush, Seth. But everything is not what it appears to be. He is determined to live again. When his investigative team, The Worldwide Paranormal Society shows up at her door, Alana soon learns that she’s in for a wild ride.
Calum’s curse visits one more house. Things get hotter and more paranormal than ever before. Love, as always, struggles to overcome the odds. Time is limited though and the creature set to destroy Seth and Alana is the most cunning of all.
Will Alana and Seth face humankind’s worst fear and survive? Find out in The Tudor Revival.
Best-selling author, Sky Purington lives in southern New Hampshire with her son and husband. The written word has been her obsession from the very beginning. Purington writes time-travel paranormal/fantasy romance heavily influenced by history.
From Irish Druids to Scottish Highlanders many of her novels possess strong Celtic elements. More recently, her vampire stories take the reader to medieval England and ancient Italy.
Enjoy strictly paranormal romance? Sky’s latest novels follow three haunted houses in New England and the sexy ghost hunters determined to make sense of them. Make no mistake, in each and every tale told you’ll travel back to another time and revisit the romanticism history holds at its heart.
Sky loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Visit Sky’s Website, www.skypurington.com to download her FREE App on iTunes and Android.
A Writer’s Mind Blog: www.skypuringtonwrites.blogspot.com
Sky’s Paranormal Blog: http://paranormalromancedeepdarkanddelicious.blogspot.com
This is the third story in Ms. Purington’s Calum’s Curse series and features Sean, the third of Calum’s male descendants. Of all the cousins, Sean is my favorite, and the first page of this book is one of the best starts I’ve ever read. Talk about a hook. I went wow and plunged into the rest of the story wondering what the heck was going to happen next.
Like the first two books in this series, this one features a twisty and complex plot with surprises at the end when the curse is wrapped up. We meet characters from the first two books and Alana, the heroine, who is the perfect match for the intrepid and adventurous Sean. They’re like two halves of a whole and need each other to beat the creature trapped in the Tudor house.
I see from the note at the back of the book that there will be more stories about some of the connected characters, which I’m glad about because Ms. Purington knows how to spin a tale.
The Tudor Revival is an exciting read with layered characters and a plot that takes the reader on a wild ride until they reach the thrilling conclusion. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a paranormal story with a time-travel element.
Sunday, September 16th, 2012
The Georgian Embrace
Calum’s Curse: Acerbus Lycan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 234
Word Count: 77 K
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Is it true love… or is the allure just another dimension of the Georgian’s embrace?
A man with a mission…
Paranormal investigator, Devin O’Rourke, is drawn to Isabel the moment he sees her ghostly image in a picture. While searching for proof of her existence, Devin finds himself in another time, danger lurking around every corner.
A woman in need of saving…
Eighteenth century, Isabel Savol, is on the run. With help from a friend, good fortune finds her sheltered and managing the construction of a house. When a handsome Irishman appears on her Georgian’s worksite one day, everything she thought she understood about reality vanishes.
Untapped desire ignites between Devin and Isabel as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the time-warping house caught in Calum’s Curse and the werewolf determined to finish the legacy it began.
REVIEW: The Georgian Embrace by Sky Purington
This is book two in Ms. Purington’s Calum’s Curse series, and I think this is a series that is best read in order to gain full enjoyment.
Devin O’Rourke is the one of the descendants of Calum, and he has inherited wizard powers that thrust him into an adventure that will test him. Isabel is his feminine match and she is a strong woman from time’s past.
As with the first book in the series, The Georgian Embrace is a wild, twisty ride for both the characters and the reader. Devin and Isabel time travel from the past to the future and back while they seek to escape the enemy set on destroying them.
Devin is a fun-loving man who loves to cook, but he changes and becomes more serious as he faces the werewolf enemy. Isobel is a complex character. Sometimes she’s a ghost and at other times she’s a flesh and blood woman. Both keep secrets from each other in the hope of keeping the other safe. Full trust takes time, but gradually the complex layers are peeled back and the exciting conclusion reached.
The Georgian Embrace is another excellent instalment in Ms. Purington’s Calum’s Curse series.
Sunday, September 9th, 2012
In Samantha Kane’s sensual tale of wicked passion, a desperate woman must resort to burglary—but the beautiful thief ends up stealing the heart of a rogue.
The daughter of a reformed jewel thief, Julianna Harte knows a thing or two about stealth. When the foundling home she provides for finds itself in dire financial straits, Julianna is forced to do the unthinkable. In a bit of misguided Robin Hood derring-do, she slips through the window of a wealthy rake to search for a treasure she knows is there: an invaluable pearl. But when the towering and very naked occupant of the moonlit bedroom ambushes her with a bargain—a night in his bed in exchange for the pearl—Julianna doesn’t know if it’s masculine heat or sheer desperation that makes his terms so tempting.
Alasdair Sharpe had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain. Planning to offer his little cat burglar carte blanche instead, he promptly loses himself in the delights of unexpected pleasure. But when he awakes the next morning to find his family heirloom gone, fury quickly replaces sensual languor. Of course, Alasdair is more than willing to use seduction to reclaim his stolen pearl—and find the key to Julianna’s heart.
Julianna Harte is a woman with a problem. She is behind in rent payments for her children’s home, and she desperately requires money. Her solution is to steal the Stewart pearl from Alasdair Sharp and sell it to fund her home. Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan when Alasdair catches her in the act. She speaks without thinking, and once he learns she’s a woman he’s intrigued by his thief in the night. Julianna negotiates with him—her virginity in exchange for the pearl, and when Alasdair wakes the next morning both Julianna and the pearl are gone. Thus begins Alasdair’s search for the mystery woman who misunderstood his intent and stole his family heirloom.
The Devil’s Thief is a fast-paced third person historical set in 1817 London. The main characters, Julianna and Alasdair draw sparks on each page they spend together. Both were strong-willed and determined to best the other, but they soon come to see they’re better together. The scenes between the pair are fun and steamy with the odd Shakespearean quote thrown in for good measure.
The cast of secondary characters added to the rollicking fun, and I particularly enjoyed Sir Hilary St. John and Wiley. I hope we get to see more of both in the future.
The Devil’s Thief leads the reader on an enjoyable adventure through 1817 London. There’s danger, excitement, love and laughter before journey’s end and a satisfying resolution. Recommended.
Due out 12 November 2012 from Bantam Loveswept. This ARC was provided by the publisher.
Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
Contest Reminder: Want to win a copy of Fancy Free or other books? Check out the Labor Day hop here.
The Victorian Lure
Calum’s Curse Ardetha Vampyre
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Number of pages: 310
Word Count: 80,000 words
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Is it true love…or is the magnetic pull just another part of the Victorian’s lure?
Dakota Allerton depends on no one but herself, but then she’s never needed a ghost hunter. When her dream home becomes a house of horrors that is holding her hostage, her only hope is a Scotsman who investigates the paranormal.
The supernatural is nothing Leathan Stewart can’t handle. However, trapped in Dakota’s cursed Victorian home, he finds himself falling back in time. Only those who persevere can survive the dark domination.
Fear has a way of drawing two people together…but so does the need to be loved. Dakota and Leathan must fight against unknown enemies, discover the secrets of Calum’s Curse and defeat a vampire bent on finishing the legacy it began.
The Victorian Lure is a fascinating tale, and a blend of genres told in third person POV. It’s a combination time travel, vampire, ghost and mystery with a side of romance tossed in and is one of the more original stories I’ve read this year. This is the first story in a trilogy, each story featuring one of the cousins who work for Worldwide Paranormal Society.
From the start the reader is thrust into the action. Dakota England is drawn to the Victorian mansion and purchases it. When she enteres the property, she can’t leave and she’s told to contact Leathan and his paranormal team. Once they arrive the strands of the plot begin to unravel with more twists and turns than a mountain pass. There’s the strange way the furnishings in the house change, progressively becoming older and from previous decades, the weird noises and sightings caught on paranormal equipment and the appearance and disappearance of strange wizards from the past. The turns continually surprised me, and I had to keep reading to learn what happened next.
I found the hero Leathan quite abrasive, yet it was obvious he cared for Dakota and his cousins who work alongside him to sort out this ghostly mystery. The villain was suitably nasty while the heroine’s fear and distress was palpable.
Ms. Purington has written a compelling and at times, chilling romance that captured this reader’s attention and heart. Highly recommended.
Book provided by author and Bewitching Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review.
Monday, August 27th, 2012
Monster in My Closet is a first person urban fantasy. It’s fun and original and charming. I was hooked from page one when Zoey hears an intruder in her kitchen—who turns out to be closet monster Maurice—and grabs a toilet brush to defend herself. When she finally confronts Maurice in her kitchen, he’s cooking muffins and reading the newspaper. She warns him he better not have done the crossword and things advance from there.
I chuckled and grinned my way through this charming story. Yes, I repeated the “charming” bit, but this is the perfect description of Monster in My Closet.
I’m not going to say much more about the plot, except to say I enjoyed it very much. Zoey is the perfect heroine. She’s open to the impossible, she’s kind and brave and sometimes scared stiff. Heck, she’s charming too. Zoey is the kind of heroine I’d like to have living next door. I adored closet monster, Maurice. Hey, Maurice – you’re welcome to visit one of my closets any time. And that wife of yours – wouldn’t know good sense if it bit her on the backside. Fancy leaving you for a bridge troll!
Monster in My Closet is the perfect light-hearted urban fantasy to while away a few hours. It’s fun and charming, dammit! Highly recommended.
I understand there are more Zoey adventures in the pipeline. If they’re half as charming, readers are in for a real treat.
Purchase Monster in My Closet
Saturday, August 18th, 2012
Her heart says “never”. Her body says “now”.
When a wounded runner stumbles into her workshop, sculptor Talena Spenser’s comfortable, quiet life is shattered. Aiding the escaped slave risks losing more than just her freedom. She is in phase, when Cy’ren females are overwhelmed by the drive to mate.
Mordacki Loren, shadow sword of House Nightfall, knows the pain of losing a mate. He never intended to take another. But Talena, raised by humans with little knowledge of Cy’ren ways, leaves him no choice. As the mating lust consumes them, Dack promises to honor her wishes—even if that means letting her go.
Scarred and hardened by a munitions accident that sent her Alliance career up in flames, Carmen Hawke joined the Cy’ren resistance as captain of the flagship Talon. When old flame Dack returns from a mission with Carmen’s childhood friend and first love, Talena, in tow, the temptation to allow someone—or two someones—close to her again cracks her emotional armor.
Pursued by an unknown enemy, the trio works together to discover the secrets of Talena’s past, and to uncover a threat that could destroy the fragile peace of the Cy’ren homeworld.
Warning: If the epic space battles, gunfights and swordplay aren’t enough to get you going, strap yourself in for a male-female-female threesome that’s scorching enough to fire your engines into overdrive.
Talena Spenser is a Cy’ren, and she has her own sculpting business on a cruise ship. Unfortunately there’s a hiccup in her comfortable life. She has come into phase, the time when Cy’ren females are driven to mate.
Dack Loren crashes into Talena’s life and store, with armed men on his tail. When Talena helps him, he escapes his pursuers and takes her off the cruise ship with him, convinced she’s a slave and he’s doing the right thing freeing her. This one act starts something far bigger into motion, one that will put Talena, Mordacki and the crew of the Talon in great danger.
Nightfall is a space opera, and the first in a series. It’s a threesome story featuring two women and one man.
Things I liked about this book:
1. There was lots of fast-paced action with gunfights and ships firing at each other, and of course, the good guys managed to win in the end.
2. The reader is introduced to the Cy’ren race and the politics of the world gradually in small bites. I enjoyed the world-building aspect.
3. The relationship between Talena, Dack and Carmen is hot.
4. The main characters of Talena, Dack and Carmen are well-rounded and possess believable conflicts.
Things I didn’t like about this book:
I couldn’t think of anything to add to this category.
Nightfall is a hot, spicy read featuring a threesome, plenty of intrigue and cool fights. If you enjoy a little adventure and action in your romance, this is the one for you.
Purchase Nightfall: Cy’ren Rising, Book 1
This book was provided by the author and Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Book Five Nashville Nights
Print Length: 192 pages
Nikki Spencer is all grown up, but the world still sees her as the little girl she used to be. She’s ready to prove to her adoring public, and a certain rough riding rodeo champion, that sweet little Nikki isn’t as innocent as everyone seems to think.
J.T. McCall has a reputation as a rough rider, both on the bull-riding circuit, and in the bedroom. So what’s he to do when an innocent, like country crooner, Nikki Spencer, sets her sights on him? He plans to do what any good old country boy would do, save the lady from herself. But who will save J.T. when this little firecracker sets his world on fire?
Relentless is a contemporary romance and is book five in Ms. Douglas’ Nashville Nights series. Nikki Spencer is young, ambitious and determined to make her way to the top of the country music business. Nothing and no one will get in her way.
J.T. is a successful bull rider, a man at the top of his game, and starting to think about retiring. He’s rich, sexy and has a reputation as a ladies’ man. He’s bad boy through and through and has enjoyed every moment of his life to date.
These two know they’re not right for each other, not when they’re at different stages of their lives, not with the age difference between them, yet somehow that doesn’t seem to matter when the attraction between them is magnetic.
Ms. Douglas has done a good job in making this a standalone story, despite it being book five in her Nashville Nights series. It wasn’t difficult to follow the characters without previous knowledge of the stories. The combination of country music, cowboys and bull riders grabbed my attention first, and I enjoyed this aspect of the story very much.
When Nikki and J.T. were on the page together, the sparks flew and their attraction sizzled on the page. J.T.’s character grew during the story, and I liked the way he settled down and wanted to change his previous womanizing ways for Nikki.
Where the story didn’t work as well for me was the plot. The hero and heroine’s relationship was very stop-start—usually in the middle of the love scenes. I felt a long chat might have solved some of the conflict between them since a portion of the tension was due to misunderstandings rather than genuine problems.
Conclusion: While this particular story didn’t work for me as much as I’d hoped, the setting and the easy writing would entice me into trying another of the Nashville Nights series.
Sunday, August 5th, 2012
Hexes In Texas
By Michelle Kopra
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Number of pages: 128
Word Count: 40740
Fed up with the slushy snow of winter, and the frigid Canadian wizards Julie McNabb wants a transfer to somewhere warm, and where the men are smoking hot!
Instead, she ends up in Bug Tussle. A small wizard farming community in Texas where the unicorns freak her out, and the resident witches watch NASCAR and eat Barbeque.
Despite her goals to get out as fast as she can, Julie makes friends, has fun, and falls for Vance, the hunky animal manager.
Now if only Julie can convince Vance to give up on Mrs. Right, for Mrs. right now!
Julie McNab is a security witch. After years of frigid winters in Canada, she’s craving warmth and despite family objections decides to apply for a transfer to New Orleans. She’s thrilled to get a transfer, but things don’t go according to plan when the Witch relocating service malfunctions. She steps through the portal and ends up in Bug Tussle, Texas. Thus starts her adventure.
Hexes in Texas is told in first person point of view.
Things I liked about this story:
1. Michelle Kopra has a great sense of the funny and there are lots of laugh out loud moments in this story.
2. Julie is a fun character, and I liked the way she grew and changed over the course of the story.
3. The plot was interesting, and I was never sure what witchy thing/problem would pop out of the pages next.
Things I didn’t like about this story:
1. There were a few typos and punctuation problems, and the story could do with fine-tuning in this respect.
Conclusion: This was an original and enjoyable tale, full of smart quips and laughter. It’s a light-hearted paranormal and a bit different from what I’ve read to date. If you’re looking for a paranormal romance to make you laugh, try this one.
Purchase – Amazon | AllRomanceEbooks | Smashwords
This book was supplied by the author and Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an impartial review.