Category Archives: Paranormal Romance

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

The crazy keeps on coming in the eleventh installment of the Charley Davidson series!

11th GraveTitleEleventh Grave in Moonlight
AuthorDarynda Jones
SeriesCharley Davidson, Book 11
Publish Date: Jan 24, 2016, St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Mystery
Narrator: Lorelei King
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead.

In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, spoilers!)


Invested_Ivana_100

Invested Ivana says…

I decided to wait until Eleventh Grave in Moonlight was available on audio rather than request it from NetGalley. Audio is my favorite way to experience these books. Lorelei King is amazing at conveying Charley’s sense of humor and creating distinct voices for each character. She really does a masterful job for every series I’ve heard her read. Thank you so much to Macmillan Audio for being consistent with the narrator for this series.

As much as I love this series, I will make a confession: I’ve given up keeping track of the big story arc. It’s gotten so big and just gets more expansive with each book. First Charley was a Reaper and Reyes was the son of Satan. Then both Charley and Reyes were gods from another dimension. Now, Charley is 13 gods and in self-imposed—witsec? rehab? time out?—on Earth. Eventually, there will be no way to top the previous book and Beep’s story will feel anticlimactic by comparison. This part of the story was starting to bother me a little, so I just stopped paying much attention to it.

I think the heart of each book is really Charley’s relationships with other people, how much she cares, the lengths she’ll go to to help others, and, of course, her snort-worthy sense of humor. These are what I pay attention to when I’m listening, and I love them.

Charley is fierce when it comes to protecting her loved ones and anyone else she feels is deserving. Her uncle, Cookie’s daughter, Reyes, her clients, children, and innocent bystanders all benefit from her protection in Eleventh Grave. In fact, her inability to right some huge wrongs, when she has so much power at her disposal, is one of her major internal struggles that will likely play a larger part in future novels.

She’s also very kind. It’s quite amazing, really, how kind she is after everything she’s gone through in her life. Or perhaps, because of all that, she’s kind. She experiences the emotions of the living and the lives of the dead who pass through her. That has to make one feel an enormous amount of empathy. If only we, as humans, could experience more than just was is inside our own head, perhaps we would be more empathetic as well.

badge4v5Big story arc or not, I always enjoy a visit with Charley and her friends. Whether you read for the big story, the little story, the characters, the romance, or the humor, I think this series has a lot to say about simply being human.

Our reviews in this series…

Keir’s Fall by Pippa Jay

2016-standout-award-badge-smallBook Two of the Redemption series is here, and boy was it fun – but if that isn’t enough for you, author Pippa Jay is giving away a FREE paperback copy on her Goodreads page!

Title: Keir’s Fall 
Author: Pippa Jay
Series: Redemption Book 02
Publish Date: December 29th, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Source: Provided by the Author

Publisher’s DescriptionA seductive tyrant.  A lost hero.  And a galaxy about to fall…

It’s been a year in paradise for Keir and Quin, but now the idyll is over.  After Quin falls sick, they return to the hidden sanctuary of Lyagnius, and what she learns there will not only change their lives, but set them on a journey that could separate them forever.  

When Keir falls victim to a ruthless Nercaandi Empress bent on conquering the galaxy with her cybernetic army, it will take all Quin’s diminishing powers and the help of her son to find him.  But what waits for her aboard the tyrant’s ship will test her strength and the limits of their love, and put everything she cares about at risk.  Including Keir.

With the galaxy itself about to fall, will she be able to save him?  

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Vagabond Vahn says…

For those familiar with my review of Book One of Redemption: Keir, you know I wrestled with fitting this into a specific category before finally admitting that I enjoyed a novel whose genre officially includes romance.  Well, I enjoyed book two as well; more so perhaps because Keir and Quinn are now like friends, returned from a time away and I want the best for them.

The Good: Author Pippa Jay takes advantage of her second entry to introduce characters that help ground Quinn to the world, and provide experiences to both Quinn and Keir that we as readers can relate to.  At the risk of a very minor spoiler to those who have not read the first novel, we know that Quinn is not as young as she looks, and that she has a son who she mentioned in the first novel.  We meet him, a grown man with his family, and it solidifies Quinn’s character in a way that only benefits her and her story from here on.  It was great fun to have another character who had a real connection to Quinn, knew about her, accepted her and the actions that she had spent the first novel guilt-tripping over.  That was satisfying.

The villain in this entry was introduced as though borrowed from The Borg in Star Trek lore.  Yet, they ended up much deeper than that, with a culture founded on women in an almost Amazonian hierarchy usually reserved for cultures ruled by men – that you are the ruler because you have bested all others, but that you can also be challenged at any time.  They were very interesting, and the leaders’ ability to influence people – particularly men – made for interesting encounters that pushed the characters to their emotional limits.  And yet…

The Bad:  My frustration with common romance themes persists, like that itch in your calf you can’t quite locate, despite scratching your entire leg raw – or does that only happen to me?  With everything Keir and Quinn went through in the first entry, and to finally have had a year of peace to themselves – in addition to the life-changing knowledge they discover, they are bound, intertwined, and trusting.  Or so I thought.  Imagine my surprise when “The Betrayal” scene found in most romance novels and movies I’ve consumed occurs, and Quinn just dives into it completely.  Gone is all of that trust and bond strengthening they spent so much time building.  This may well be because I’m a man, but dammit, Quinn!  Think!  You too Keir, you don’t get off that easily.

Like the first entry, this was a bit short for me.  It seemed everything resolved before I was ready to say goodbye to that scene, that event, or those characters found within.  It reads very fast, and while often I find that to the credit of a novel, I noticed it here as, if not unfortunate, not as satisfying as it could have been.

The Conclusion: You may recall that Keir won my 2015 STANDOUT AWARD.  This is a proper follow-up.

I am a fan.  Keir and Quinn are my friends.  I will miss them while waiting for the next badge5v4entry to spring forth from Pippa Jay’s brain-space and onto my Kindle for my eye-holes to absorb.  Despite any frustrations my beard and I have over romance story tropes, I was never bored – the pace saw to that, even if there was more room to breath than was utilized.  While sex scenes are more prevalent in this entry than the last, they have a specific purpose and are not dwelt upon for sex-scene’s-sake, but to further the motivations of all involved.  I know that sentence reads strangely, but just roll with me on this one – it works.  Don’t forget to enter The Giveaway On Pippa Jay’s Goodread’s Page if you’re on the fence about picking this up!

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…consider trying Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell or Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. They don’t fall into the same genre, but they also feature protagonists who are from entirely different walks of life, with entirely different perspectives on reality, thrust together in an epic adventure.

The Midnight Circle by Jaylene Jacobus

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

midnight-circleTitle: The Midnight Circle
AuthorJaylene Jacobus
SeriesMidnight Series, Book 01
Publish Date: April 22, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Wordslinger

Publisher’s Description: Clara Winters, a non-practicing witch, has been living the life of an old woman in the body of a twenty-two-year-old ever since fated to everlasting life in 1919. With the unexpected death of her beloved aunt, the easy life on her southern plantation is over. Grief awakens hiding ghosts—in the form of age-old magic and thirsty vampires.

Long ago, powerful magic entangled and stole Clara’s great love, Wesley Russell, when he became a vampire. Wesley rises from banishment, forcing Clara to resist the temptation of a renewed life together by reminding him of the consequences that come to those who defy the spell of the Midnight Circle.

Mysterious mountain visions and guidance from her deceased aunt lead Clara on a journey to friendship and love, reintroducing her to the passions of youth. But as evil lurks and the Circle shows signs of unraveling, Clara becomes desperate to escape the spell without harming those she holds dear.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: For being a romance and a vampire novel this is a surprisingly clean read! Every once and a while it is refreshing to read a romance that shows the beauty of love all on its own without sexual content. Love is the central theme in this book whether it is familial, friendly, or romantic. The bonds between characters are well written.

badge3v4Dislikes: While the book is eloquently written, it has a very slow pace that often had my mind wandering to other books. The writing style just didn’t sit well with me.

Rating: This really is a beautiful book, but I can’t overlook the slow pace, and for that reason, I give it three roses.

Other recommendations…

If you love vampire romance, check out these reads: The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause, Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, and The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Everlasting by L.K. Kuhl

I received an ARC of this book book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

everlastingTitleEverlasting
AuthorL. K. Kuhl
SeriesEverlasting Trilogy, Book 01
Publish Date: February 8, 2016
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s Description: Seventeen-year-old Sophia Bandell is scared of boys and her biggest fear is dying. Boys make her uncomfortable and itchy and dying is …well …dying.

Sophia is surprised when her long lost friend calls her, inviting her to spend the summer with her on the beach at Charleston.

When a plastic saucer hits her in the head one day as she’s sunbathing, she has no idea it will forever change the course of her life. It is there she comes face to face with the impres-sive Tate Forester.

She is scared and …itchy, but he’s gorgeous and she can’t shake him from her mind. They begin dating and Sophia soon knows he’s the one.

But things turn dark when she finds out Tate really isn’t the person he says he is, and the real reason her friend has brought her here is to teach her about life after death.

This everlasting summer on the beach gives Sophia a taste of first love—the happiness as well as the heartbreak.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: Everlasting starts out creepily enough with a weird broken phone call. I figured out the paranormal aspect quickly enough even though it is presented as a mystery. Khul has unique descriptions in her writing. The plot has plenty of potential and the characters were interesting enough, even if they made me shake my head. It did make me glad to see that Sophia grows a little and becomes less afraid of death.

Dislikes: Despite the unique plot and colorful descriptions, there were many issues in this novel. Sophia’s mother is a worrier but she allows her seventeen-year-old daughter to travel halfway across the country alone when she has had no contact with Mandy’s parents for four years? It just didn’t add up to me. Sophia seems naïve and, despite saying the opposite, falls instantly in love twice – once with a controlling and very unlikeable man.

badge2v4Even though this novel has plenty of potential, I can’t look past all the work that it needs. For this reason I give it two ghosts.

Recommendations…

I received an ARC of this book book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Witch’s Bounty, Witch’s Bane & Witches Rule by Ann Gimpel

Only three demon assassin witches exist and only a zillion demons to assassinate.  The score doesn’t look so promising.  The Sidhe pawned off the job on witches only to have them nearly become extinct because of their selfishness.  Can this all be fixed?

I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

witchs-bountyTitle: Witch’s Bounty
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Demon Assassin #1
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Source: One of three remaining demon assassin witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way to kick some serious demon ass, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to England to quell a demon uprising.

Gutsy, opinionated, and outspoken, Colleen refuses to come. Witches need her help, and they trump everything else. Despite breaking a prime Sidhe precept concerning non-interference in mortals’ affairs, Duncan offers his assistance. Colleen fascinates him, and he wants to discover more about her. Lots more.

The Sidhe might be the best-looking man Colleen’s ever stumbled over, but she doesn’t have time for him—or much of anything else. She, Jenna, and Roz are Earth’s only hedge against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it.

Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (or, in other words, SPOILERS).


Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

This is an urban fantasy romance. A little violence, a little bloodshed but for the most part this is a romance with a mystery mixed in.  There is some rather colorful language, so the book doesn’t qualify as cozy.

I didn’t especially bond well with the characters in this book.  Duncan and Colleen took about 35 seconds to fall in love.  They also were very guishy and I could practically see the little hearts swirling around their heads. There wasn’t much room for growth between the couple and there didn’t have to be because their perfectness was seen in the stars.  Yeah, well, I’m not much into fluffy romance stories and with the series title of Demon Assassins, I expected a little more action and adventure.

I’d like to rate Witch’s Bounty higher, but it was just meh.

Now, Witch’s Bane on the other hand was much, much better.  Roz and Ronin is a whole different story.  Roz’s jealousy regarding Colleen’s love life is very relatable.  She’s been disrespected and used.  It’s hard to be lonely and see a friend so moony in love.

I like Roz and she’s a pretty tough cookie.  Ronin hasn’t had life all unicorns and rainbows either.  His human woman died giving birth to his son, who also died.  That kind of sent Ronin off the deep end and he’s been alone ever since.  I can respect that.

I enjoyed Witch’s Bane and I will give it a higher rating because it was such an improvement over book #1.  I liked the characters much more and their relationship seemed more substantial and something I could get behind.

Witches Rule is the 3rd in the series and I didn’t get it finished in time for review.  I’m interested to see how Jenna finds her love match so I’ll be sure to get it done.

All in all, this series was pretty ok.  I think it is geared to a less gritty audience than me.  I would recommend these stories to those who like a little kick ass with their romance instead of a little romance with their kick ass.

Witch’s Bounty
Witch’s Bane
Witches Rule

Available at:

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