5 good things that happened this week


This is in no particular order. :).

– James Hetley released a new Stonefort novel.

This made me so happy. I love his books, and I had almost given up on reading a new Stonefort novel. It was really good. You should buy it from BVC.

Summer arrived.

The weather in June was a bit cold ( to put it mildly). But this week summer arrived with a bang. I am also reminded that I don’t like temps over 25 C. But the sunshine is nice!

– Patricia Rice named a character after me

I was reading Patricia Rice latest California Malcolm novel, when a character named Mikala appeared. I blinked, realised that she named her after me. It was the first time! ( Well, Kari did it once in a short story, but I knew about that before hand.)

The bookplate Nalini Singh sent me arrived

In May, I e-mailed Nalini Singh and asked if she could send me a signed book plate. Which she agreed to do, once she got home. It arrived this week! So now I have a signed copy of Shield of Winter, without having met Nalini person. 🙂

My cover was finalized.

I could finally post the faboulus cover that Skyla Dawn Cameron designed for me. I love it! And yes, I know, you have already seen it . But I’m just so happy. It feel as if things are moving forward. Now I need to get back to the edits…

Haunted on Bourboun Street by Deanna Chase

hauntednewartThe Particulars: Paranormal Romance,  Selfpublished, available as e-book and in print

The Source: Freebie from Smashwords

The Grade: C+

The Blurb:

Jade loves her new apartment ̶ until a ghost joins her in the shower.

When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn’t count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and having feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord.

Being an empath has never been easy on Jade’s relationships. It’s no wonder she keeps her gift a secret. But when the ghost moves from spooking Jade, to terrorizing Pyper, the dancer, it’s up to Jade to use her unique ability to save her. Except she’ll need Kane’s help—and he’s betrayed her with a secret of his own—to do it. Can she find a way to trust him and herself before Pyper is lost?



The Review:

This is the first Deanna Chase novel that I have read.  I am often a bit wary when it comes to selfpublished books, since they are often hit or miss for me.I was pleantly surprised by this one.

I liked Jade. It was interesting to follow her as she settled into her new apartment on Bourbon Street.  I liked her new neighbors and co-workers, they were an motley crew with secrets, but all of them felt genuine to me.  One thing I liked was how Ms Chase dealt with the prejudices regarding strip clubs.  Just because you work in a strip club, you don’t have to be criminal.

I liked Kane, he was kind, but he also had a strength that it felt like Jade needed, not that she was weak.  Their romance was a slow one, and I liked that both of them struggled with jealousy occassionally. The  search  for a way to exorcise the ghost made their relationship deepen.

But their relationship wasn’t the only thing affected by the ghost. As their search for ways to exorcise the ghost went on, more and more secrets was revealed. And as more secrets was revealed, the dangers increased.  But they stopped the ghost, finally, even if it cost them a lot.

The biggest problem I had with this book was very subjective. I liked it, but it lacked that something that turns a good book into a great book.  But I liked it enough to put the next book on my To Buy list.


ARC Review: Diamond Dust by Vivian Arend

16118795The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book

The Grade: B

The Source: ARC from the Author

The Blurb:

She can’t shift, but she can shake their world.

Caroline Bradley is having one hell of a week. Her wolf lover has sniffed out his mate, making her an instant free agent. Not only that, Takhini territory has been overrun with aggressive bear-shifters electing a clan leader, and the wolf pack is feeling the effects—pushing her diplomatic skills to the limit.

Tyler Harrison is a grizzly on a mission. If he’s going to win the majority of the bears’ votes, he needs one final thing: a female companion. The only woman in town with influence over wolves, humans, and more bears than he’d like to admit, is Caroline.

Despite the sexual pull between them, though, Tyler’s not seeking a permanent relationship. And Caroline isn’t looking to be anyone else’s political pawn. But she should have remembered that when shifters are involved, changes happen in the blink of an eye.

Warning: Billionaire bear hero plus kick-ass human heroine equals a sexually volatile power struggle. Get ready for what might be the naughtiest game of tag that’s ever been played in the great outdoors.


The Review:

I love Vivian Arend’s Takhini Wolves novels, and I am really glad that I requested this ARC.

It was interesting to revisit Whitehorse, and see how the Takhini pack prepared for the Bears Convent. It was interesting to get to know the Bears, and see how they handled the politics.

This was Tyler and Caroline’s story, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that bears doesn’t have insta-mates like the wolves does, and that have resulted in a tradition of arranged marriages. It was interesting to watch Caroline deal with the bears and their traditions. She is used to manipulating shifters, and got a spine. She needed it to deal with Tyler. Tyler was a bit arrogant, at times bordering on jerk. But he was also tender and protective toward Caroline.

It wasn’t a smooth romance. I loved to see how their world met and clashed in the beginning. Caroline is independent and used to deciding her own life. Tyler is used to giving orders. But I felt that they was a good match, and that they can bring change to the Bear society.

I really liked the other subplot that followed  the beginning of Evan’s romance with his mate. I think I know who his mate is, but I am not telling.

I had a bit trouble feeling that the romance built towards a HEA. Paradoxically, the source of that was  the interlude in the beginning was their wedding. Which removed a bit part of the feeling that they were building toward their HEA.


ARC Review: Haunted Wolves by Moira Rogers

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Review copy from the author
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:
Lorelei Adams has lost many things–her humanity, her life, even her son. She’s always fought through her exhaustion, always stayed strong for her pack, but now there are new alphas to take care of the others. Unfortunately, time to rest means time to think about her own pain.

Colin Knox knows about exhaustion. He’s acted as judge, jury and executioner to rogue wolves for over a decade, but never lingered long enough to help the survivors pick up the pieces–until now. Lorelei rouses his instincts, both protective and carnal. She’s willing, but only to indulge in physical distraction. Colin wants more, to be the hero who slays her monsters.

Especially when it becomes clear that malicious magic is loose in their sanctuary. The danger draws them together until it’s impossible to separate lust from affection, good intentions from rationalizations. Darkness is stirring at Green Pines. If they can’t fight it together, they could lose everything they have left.

The Review:
I loved Haunted Sanctuary, so when Haunted Wolves release approached I e-mailed and requested an review copy. And Bree graciously sent me one :).
This is a poignant tale, with a theme of taking the steps to heal past scars. And the most poignant part was Lorelei’s and Colin’s romance. I loved it. From the first step to acknowledging the spark, to acting on it, to starting to build a relationship. Both Lorelei and Colin had their scars, and I really appreciated how they started to trust each other, and help each other heal the worst of the scars.
The plot was well crafted, and filled with unexpected twists. I loved how everything was connected, and how even the most tiniest thing could turn out to be pivotal. I especially liked how the setting and the plot was interconnected. Things happening at the farm propelled the plot forward, as did old prejudices in the town.
The biggest problem I had was that all the other emotions in the book occassionally overshadowed the spark between Lorelei and Colin. But it was an wonderful romance, and I look forward to read the next book in the series.

ARC Review:The Wicked by Thea Harrison

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Review copy from the author
The Grade: B
The Blurb:
A Novella of the Elder Races

For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia’s new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure.

Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare. He has been hit with a curse that is slowly taking away his sight, and he doesn’t know if he will survive the results.

But the powerful feelings growing between them, along with Sebastian’s inner turmoil, take a backseat when they learn there is a traitor lurking among their expedition team. With Elder Races politics and a priceless library on the line, they’ll have to rely on each other to survive the experience.

The Review:
When Thea Harrison asked on Twitter for reviewers, I jumped on the chance. And I am glad I did. This was an excellent addition to the Elder Races Universe.
The story takes place on Carling’s Island, located in an Otherworld. It was intresting to follow the preparations for their trip there. It also felt right that it wasn’t easy to get to the Island, and the fact that part of the journey was the most dangerous one.
I really enjoyed Olivia’s and Sam’s romance. It felt nuanced. There was a sexual attraction between them , but they also talked with each other. I also loved the supporting characters, from Phaedra ( and I am having my fingers crossed that she will get her own story) to Bailey.
The plot wasn’t unique, but it was well crafted. I enjoyed the romance, with a dash of mystery tossed in. It was intresting to watch Sam struggle with his curse, and the despair he felt over it.
The biggest problem I had, was that I felt that the story should have been longer. For example, the part of the book that focused on Olivia, and her work to pack up the library felt… shallow. As a result, I didn’t feel the impact when the disaster finally struck. It was more ” Oh, the villain finally acted.”

Review: Fated by Lauren Dane

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain, available in print and as e-book
The Source: Allromance

The Grade: B
The Blurb:
 Could there be any worse fate than a road trip from Seattle to L.A.—with one’s mother—to attend a wedding? Why yes, when one isn’t married yet, like Megan Warden. Toss in a grandmother and a carload of already married sisters and it’s a recipe for sneaking sips of “special” coffee while someone else drives.

Shane Rosario has better things to do than attend a wedding where his father’s relatives will be at him nonstop about getting married and having children. If it weren’t for seeing his anchor bond, Layla, he’d have taken a pass on the entire weekend. It would be easy, since he’s become adept at hiding who and what he is.

When the two weren’t even looking, Fate steps in and before they know it, their bond is sealed. Bonded pair, married in the eyes of their people. Two people tied together in every way. Trouble is, Shane’s not sure he wants all that comes with Megan. And Megan’s certain she’s not willing to live outside her pack, pretending to be human.

The distance between them is more than geographical. It’s a widening gulf rapidly filling with resentment…an emotional divide only acceptance could bridge. Can Shane can accept himself to cross it? Only if they let love take control.

Warning: The usual players – hot sexing, pushy Warden males and the women who keep them in line, some EMO (read: grab your hankies) and bad words.

The Review:
I read an excerpt from this one a couple of months ago, and was hooked. Unfortunately, I was also broke so it got wishlisted. Until now. Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.
I loved the banter between Megan and her family. They might get exasperated at each other occasionally, but it was clear that they loved each other. They were comfortable with the fact that they were werewolves. Which is a contrast to Shane who is used to hiding who he is, living among humans. It was touching to see Shane struggle with who he was, and it made sense that he clung to his old life since that was all he knew.
The attraction between Megan and Shane sparked from the moment they met. Their romance was a whirlwind, but I liked that their path to a HEA wasn’t smooth. The issues they had to work through felt very human, and believable. It was interesting to see how the Anchor bond worked, and how it also affected the relationship between Megan and Layla.
It was interesting to get a glimpse of how living outside the pack affected a werewolf. It felt as if it was possible in theory, but I loved how Ms Dane showed why it had made Shane a mess.
That said, I felt that it went too fast between the first mating bliss, to the start of their issues. The issues made sense, but I wished the book had been a bit longer and Megan’s growing frustration had been shown instead of told.

Review: The Hob by Dana Marie Bell

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Purchased at Allromance
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:
When the Black Queen kidnaps one of the White Queen’s nephews, Robin Goodfellow is sent to ensure that the young prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. True to his role as Oberon’s Hobgoblin, he is ready for anything…except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human Michaela Exton.

Michaela has dreamed about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows Puck doesn’t really exist. In real life, it’s a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster.

She is closer to her dream man than she thinks, and nobody knows it better than Robin, who wears the guise of Ringo. But there’s competition for her love in the form of Lord Raven, who holds a secret that will rock the foundation of Robin’s world. As a Black Court delegate does the unthinkable, leaving an enraged, grief-stricken Robin hanging onto his humanity by a thread, only Michaela has the power to bring him back from the killing edge—if she survives.

The Review:
I have wanted to read the Hob’s story ever since I read Believe in Me. And it was well worth the wait.
I loved this book in so many ways. There was the setting, a Fairy Con in Philadelphia. It was a stroke of genius to have the latest dance of between the courts taking place there, hiding in plain sight. It was intresting to get a glimpse of how the different courts viewed humans.
Both the main characters and the secondary characters fascinated me. I loved Michaela for her open heart, and her dedication to her craft. Robin.. was his normal awesome, ass kicking self, despite courting Miranda. I could totally, understand his friends mirth. ( And that’s all I am saying, or I’ll wind up in spoiler territory) It was intresting to get to know new secondary characters. Both Kael and Raven was intriguing, but in their own way. I also liked how they gave a glimpse into life at the White Court and the Black Court.
The plot was fast paced, and filled with unexpected twists. I couldn’t stop reading as Robin and Michaela started to fall in love. I loved how they did it surrounded by members of all the courts, some of them friendly, some of them less friendly. While there was no doubt who Michaela would choose, it was intresting to follow the interaction between her, Robin and Raven.
The only weakness in this book was that I wish there had been some scenes showing Michaela’s reaction to Oberon’s decision. Since it did affect her life, in a way that would at least have me freak out a bit.

Review: Revelation by Lauren Dane

The Particulars:  Paranormal Romance,  Samhain Publishing, available in print and as e-book
The Source: Purchased at Books on Board
The Grade: B-
The Blurb:

He has the one thing she never thought she deserved. A place to belong…
At long last, Kendra Kellogg has found her sister—but she’s no closer to filling the gaps in her past. The magick that brought them together makes them targets for dark mages intent on finishing what started with their mother’s murder.
As if her life wasn’t chaotic enough, in barrels the one thing she doesn’t expect, Max de La Vega. He’s six-and-a-half-feet of cocoa-brown alpha male. He’s strong, intelligent, sexy and intense. Everything she’d wanted in a man. And he scares the hell out of her. Still healing from a disastrous past relationship, she wonders if she’ll ever have that kind of forever.
The next in line to run his jaguar jamboree, Max is unused to hearing “no”. Once he knows what he wants, he assumes he’ll get it. And he wants Kendra. She deserves happiness and it’s his mission to give it to her.
When dark mages attempt to steal her magickal energy, Max’s cat agrees with the man—Kendra is his to protect and he will stop at nothing to keep her safe. She can push him away as hard as she likes, he’s not going anywhere.

 The Review:
This is the second book in the De La Vegas series, and it is as good as the first book, Trinity.
It was intriguing to delve more into the world, and see how witches lived. From how they used magic, to how they struggled with change. I also liked to see how mages was affected by the magic they stole, and how they constantly was on the hunt for a new source to drain.
I liked Kendra, she had a streak of independence and sassyness that appealed to me. It was a hoot watching her and Max banter, and occasionally butt heads, as they took the first steps in their relationship.
The plot hooked me from the start. I liked how Kendra started to make a new life in Boston, at the same time as she connected with her sister. The plot twists took me by surprise, yet made sense. I I liked how several separate threads turned out to be connected. It was fascinating to watch Kendra struggle with her scars from the past, and at the same time take her place in the Jamboree.
So what I didn’t like. It felt like their romance happened so fast. I know they had know each other for a couple of months, but it felt like much shorter in the book.

Review:Trinity by Lauren Dane

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available in print and e-book.
The Source: All Romance
The Grade: B-

The blurb:
Renee Parcell loves her life. Her smoothie/coffee cart business is successful, and she’s deeply in love with her boyfriend, Galen. He makes her laugh, he’s gainfully employed, and he satisfies her as only a sexy cat shifter can. He even puts the toilet seat down.
Yet they both sense something in the air. An anticipation that leaves them both unsettled.
Tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Meyers, Enforcer of National Pack and one of the most beautiful men Renee and Galen have ever seen. When he stumbles into Renee’s life, the riddle of their expectation is solved—Renee is Jack’s mate. What surprises them all is when the three of them touch, magick creates an unexpected triple bond of witch, cat and wolf.
Even as they learn to navigate the steamy intricacies of their bond, a threat looms over Renee. First in the form of resurrected memories, then in the shape of darker magicks someone is aiming at her. Set on stealing her inherent powers—even her life.
Renee can stand to lose almost anything, except her mates. But there seems to be no talking them out of laying everything on the line for her…

 The Review:
This review is a sign of the power of the re-read. I read Trinity for the first time last year, and I liked it. But, then out of the blue I was hit by an urge to read more of Lauren Dane’s Paranormal Romances, so I decided to re-read it.
I liked the World that Lauren Dane had created. It was intriguing and believable. From the close knitted way of both the jamboree and the National Pack, to the way not everyone loved Renee.
I also liked how well intigrated the supernatural was into the society. While they didn’t tell everyone they met that they were shifters, they didn’t struggle to keep it a secret.
I loved Renee. She was a wonderful mix of independence and generosity. I liked the glimpses I got of her past, even though they were heartwrenching.
Galen was hot, supportive and just the right kind of possessive. In other words: just like I want my alpha heros. Jack was hot, supportive, but I liked that he pushed Renee into opening up.
The plot was well written, and engaging. It hooked me from the start. I liked how Renee’s past and present got caught up with each other, but also how it gave rise to more questions, and more trouble. But I’ll admit that I wished that story had given a better glimpse into the reasoning of the villain.
That said, I had a lot of trouble with the swift transistions. One moment they were in a public place, the next they were somewere else and having sex. It might be that I simply missed the lines that took them home, but it was a bit confusing.

Review: The Lure of Song and Magic by Patricia Rice

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Sourcebooks, available in print and as e-book
The Source: Allromance
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:
Her voice was a curse…

When Dylan “Oz” Oswin’s son is kidnapped, the high-powered producer will do anything to get him back. Desperately following an anonymous tip, he seeks help from a former child singing sensation called Syrene, only to find she’s vowed never to sing again. Immune to her voice but not her charm, Oz is convinced she holds the key to his son’s disappearance—and he’ll stop at nothing to make her break her vow.

Only he can make her sing…

She knows the devastation her talent can bring. There’s more than a child’s life at stake, but Syrene cannot unleash her dangerous siren’s voice upon the world, even for a man who is impossible to deny.

The Review:

This have been on my wishlist for a long time, but I never got around to buy it until now. And I am glad I read it. This is Patricia Rice at her best.
The book hooked me from the start. The California setting felt believable, and I liked how the citizens of El Paso supported Pippa. I liked how they were depending on farmers and tourists, and how it made their economy vulnerable.
And.. Into this Oz storms. I liked Oz, and how he was prepared to do anything to find his son. It would have been easy for Pippa be steamrolled by Oz, but I liked how she stood her ground, and refused. It was intresting to meet the rest of the inhabitants, and Conan. Who was geeky like always.
The plot was fascinating, and I liked how everything was connected. Pippa’s past, Oz missing son, the villain. What I also liked was how Pippa slowly started to step out of her shell, and start to heal from the past scars.
So what I didn’t like. Sometimes I got confused over when the kidnapping happened, if it had happened when Donal was a baby or when he was older.