Category Archives: Review

Tarnished Journey by Ann Gimpel

This is the final book in the Soul Dance Series. Shifters, Romani, and Celtic gods do battle with demons and vampires who have signed on with Hitler in order to save Earth.

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

tarnished-journey.jpgTitle: Tarnished Journey
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Soul Dance 04
Publish Date: July 18, 2017, Ann Gimpel Books, LLC
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionLong before Germany rounded up Romani and sent them to prison camps, the Netherlands declared them undesirables. Yara’s caravan disbanded when she was fifteen to avoid being driven out of the country. Ten years have passed, and she’s been alone for most of that time hiding in caves and abandoned buildings. It’s been a lonely life, but at least she still has one.

Stewart conceals his true identity for the best of reasons. He’s not actually Romani, even though he’s been a caravan leader for many years. In a bold and desperate move, he joins a small band of shifters and Rom to fight the Reich’s chokehold on Europe. When they’re crossing the border into the Netherlands, vampires attack.

Yara senses Romani near her cave. The stench of vampire comes through loud and clear too, along with shifters. While not nearly as bad as vampires, her people have always steered clear of them. Another type of magic plucks at her. She can’t identify it, but it draws her from her hiding place. That decision tilts her world on its axis when she comes face to face with Stewart’s raw masculinity and savage presence. She could still turn tail and run. If she stays, it doesn’t require magical ability to recognize her life will change forever.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I am almost sad that this series is ending. I was not sure at first, but it became one I greatly enjoyed. For Tarnished Journey we leave behind the vampires and Nazis (for the most part) and get into another mythos, that of the Celts. I enjoyed that aspect a little more than I did the previous novels.

I love that the author features strong women in her stories. Yara is no exception. She has had to be tough and independent since her caravan disbanded and she has been alone since she was fifteen. Meeting Stewart changes everything for her. He introduces her to a new life and reveals many secrets that have been kept from her such as where her power really comes from. I really enjoyed the romance between them. Stewart is very honest with her and genuine in expressing his love. Even though Yara fights him at first, their love had me rooting for them.

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There is a lot of action in the story and many twists. Readers never know what to expect next as the characters encounter all kinds of danger. Not only do they face vampires demons and the Nazis but now god and goddesses are thrown into the mix.Every chapter the characters face a new and exciting danger.

I liked this story better than the previous installments. I give it 4 talismans!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out the Dragon Lore series by Ann Gimpel, The Hathaways series by LisaKleypas, Gypsy Lord by Kat Martin

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

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Dragon’s First Rule by Silver Milan

The little warning about this book sums it up perfectly! This book contains explicit love scenes and is intended for mature readers who like their paranormal romance on the steamier side. Inside you’ll find sexy dragons, strong women, and kick-ass magic.

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

Dragons first ruleTitle: Dragon’s First Rule
Author: Silver Milan
Series: Dragons of Midnight 01
Publish Date: October 1, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s Description: Ariel, a newly turned lion shifter, stumbles into the subterranean City of Midnight, home of the dragon shifters. Alone and vulnerable, she catches the eye of the dangerously attractive dragon king. Jett. He charms her and promises help, but can she trust him? After all, he is the King of the Dragons. Why would such a powerful man come to the aid of a common girl?

When Jett realizes Ariel has no one, he vows to protect her, as the girl has been turned against her will in dragon territory. He plans not only to shield her, but to hunt down the very outlaw who hurt her.

But Jett soon finds himself growing attached to his quirky yet beautiful lion shifter. He begins a dangerous game with her, skirting the razor’s edge of passion. He must take care because if he surrenders to his desire, he will forfeit not only his throne, but perhaps both of their lives.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

I must admit, I have read Shifter romances before but none of them involved dragons. I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered. Often times with these types of romance novels we get the domineering alpha male – literally! But Jett is refreshing in that he wants Ariel to be herself. Sure he has his moments where you don’t touch “his” woman, but honestly, what man doesn’t have those feelings every once in awhile? I love that Ariel is a bad ass in her own right. She kicks butt and takes names and even brings down the man who forced the Shifter life on her.

The plot is fast paced and has a few twists that I did not see coming. The sex scenes were steamy and the action scenes towards the end were exciting. It is a quick little read so there isn’t much room for things to be slow. On the other hand, there were parts that I wish could have been expanded on. I wish we had more time to see the love develop between Ariel and Jett. At times they act like they have known each other for years badge4v5instead of a few days. The magic system is still a little confusing to me but it doesn’t play a big part in this novel so it is OK.

If you like Shifter romances you should give this book a try! I give it four gems for its steamy romance scenes and kick ass females!

 Other recommendations…

Try these other great Shifter reads: The Society series by Mason Sabre, The Demonica series by Larissa Ione, Leopard People series by Christine Feehan

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

T*Witches: The Witch Hunters by H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

Cam and Alex are back in their hometown with new drama and new powers – just as a new enemy comes to visit.

Title: The Witch Hunters
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 08
Publish Date: June 1, 2003, Scholastic
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: In the aftermath of an unsettled trip to Coventry Island, Cam and Alex cannot rest until they find out why one of the Six Pack is showing off some strange powers, and why a stranger to Marble Bay wants to deprive its people of magic.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat Mandu says…

If you were to read the original paperback summary of what this story is about, you’d probably be confused. My copy says that Cam’s BFF’s are acting way weird. But the fact is they’re really not. With the exception of one particular friend the twins discover is a “sensitive”—aka someone who is not born a real witch, but has certain abilities like ESP or heightened senses)—Cam’s friends don’t really play a particular role in the plot at all.

It does start with an assassination attempt on the warlock-turned-actor, Brice Stanley, which the girls manage to stop. Obsessed with finding this reaper-like stalker, the girls get in tune with their newly developed abilities to find out just who this mad guy is. Turns out he’s connected with Sersee, the enemy witch from the previous book. He hates all things witchy and has spent the last few years hunting down and calling out several witches in his attempt to expose them and magic in general.

Ileana and Miranda have their own adventure as well, confronting Sersee, who stole Karsh’s sacred journal, and Thantos, who gets a taste of his own medicine once Sersee exacts her revenge for cursing her into stone. But they end up retrieving the book and regaining some confidence. Plus, Miranda sees a new side to Thantos she’s been denying, so hopefully, she figures out that even if he isn’t a murderer, he’s still a dick.

This one had a nice flow to it, which is why I rated it higher. The bad guys are still goofy and there are some inevitably cheesy moments, but all in all, it’s a great addition to the series.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

You might try the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing, the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

Novus by Crystal Marcos

In this dystopian novel, the Cresecren are a race created by humans. Cayden is one of them, living in a world where people like him are treated like mere servants. Can he survive in a war between the species? Or will he lose everything if he does?

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

Title: Novus
Author: Crystal Marcos
Series: The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 01
Publish Date: August 28, 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s Description: Seventeen-year-old Cayden expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than Cayden ever imagined. He unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love.


Kat Mandu says…

This is a dystopian novel, though I wouldn’t relate it to the Divergent, Hunger Games, or even The Lunar Chronicles series because it didn’t remind me of any of them. It has a lot of action, intrigue, and interesting characters, but I’m not quite sure why people are calling it the next Hunger Games.

It’s set in a world where Mother Nature kinda went crazy because of all the industrial pollution and whatnot, so Cresecrens were invented to withstand the harsh nature of things and become humanity’s sacrificial slaves.

Cayden is one of these Cresecrens, exiled by the human family he served for stupid reasons. He and his fellow Cresecrens become entangled in a web of renegade deceit and end up becoming wanted terrorists.

The idea behind it sounds great, but for me, it kinda fell flat. There were quite a few action scenes I had to reread because I didn’t understand what was happening the first time. It felt like minor details were left out, and even when I went back to reread it, I still didn’t quite catch it. Maybe that’s just me, though.

The only other thing that bothered me was the repetition of an idea. Cayden and his ragtag group of friends are running, trying to find sanctuary, but this happens about four times, and each time, they are either betrayed completely by humans or their own kind, or something happens that makes them have to leave the sanctuary. You’d think they’d learn after a while not to trust anyone and move on by themselves.

Besides that, the characters are engaging enough to keep my attention. Cayden is your not-so-typical-typical teenage boy, all naïve and experiencing certain feelings for the first time. Later, there are two girls who become somewhat love interests—one more than the other—that play a role in shaping him into the person he’s meant to be. Plus a bunch of other silly and serious characters that make the story both fun and deadly along the way.

I enjoyed this read, I just feel like it needs some editing on the action scenes and some better world building.

Other recommendations…

…you might try stuff with cool, futuristic tech like Divergent, The Last Survivors, or The Maze Runner.

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

The Darkness: Giger Texas by Joe M. Solomon

What do you do when the very darkness is attacking you? A small group of friends is about to find out.

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

The DarknessTitle: The Darkness: Giger Texas
Author: Joe M. Solomon
Series: Stand Alone
Publish Date: October 3rd, 2017, NES Publishing
Genre: Horror
Source: Provided by publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionWhen night falls in Giger, Texas, shadows gather as they always do in dim corners and other areas bereft of light. But this time they consolidate and attack any who tread too close. Michael Warren, a twenty-four-year-old resident of Giger, finds himself at the epicenter of this horror and is stunned by the losses suffered overnight. Then the sun sets and the shadows again coalesce, growing more aggressive, the darkness eviscerating anyone it touches.

His only weapon light, Michael struggles to survive and searches frantically for his girlfriend, aiding friends along the way. When Hurricane Daniel roars ashore, wind gusts shred trees and tear down power lines, plunging all of Southeastern Texas into blackness that only feeds and strengthens the encroaching darkness. Rising floodwater provides easy thoroughfares from which the darkness can strike as Michael and his friends contend with the elements, clash with criminals, and battle their way to his residence where they will stand against the darkness and fight to survive. 


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

First off, let me just say WOAH! The creep factor is strong in this one!  When the author lists Stephen King as one of his inspirations, you can definitely tell. You can feel the horror that the characters are going through.  I mean, SPOILER ALERT—EVERYBODY DIES! Ok, ok, not everybody, but pretty damn close!

A funny little side note—I told my fiance that this story reminded me of Stephen King before I even knew that the author was inspired by him!

There are a lot of characters. Most are insignificant, and many meet their doom. All of them make you feel for them. Even the tidbits of background that we get on these minor characters make their demise that much more horrific. Not only are these characters battling this strange darkness, but they are also battling each other and mother nature. A lot happens in this book, but it works. And the twist when we find out what the darkness really is—WOW!

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I did have one issue. Many of the main characters are running around in a hurricane. A HURRICANE! That was just a little unbelievable to me as the winds can get very strong and streets can become rivers. Now, the author does have characters wading through rapidly rising waters, but with rapidly rising waters often comes swift currents, and none of our characters are swept away.

If life weren’t so hectic, I can guarantee you I would have finished this in a day! It is a horror novel worthy of Mr. King, and I give it 4 flashlights!

Other recommendations…

If you love horror novels you might try Horns by Joe Hill, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, Under the Dome by Stephen King

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