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Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce

Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce (Steel #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  March 3, 2012

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Paranormal suspense,

Sensuality Rating: Hot!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Aurelia Fridell will always be a freak. Born to werewolf parents, her twin brother Ville can shift forms, but she can’t. Twenty-five years searching for answers yields nothing.

As her thirtieth birthday approaches, isolation creeps in, and worry settles in her gut. She accepted her existence long ago, and yet lately, she’s felt off-kilter. Eyes follow her, prickling her senses. Her headaches are getting worse.

Is she paranoid, or is there really someone, or something, stalking her? Watching. Waiting. Drumming fingers to a sinister beat she can’t hear.

Time will tell. 

Ceithin Starkley isn’t looking for a mate. Especially now. In fact, he doesn’t believe in true-matings at all. While he is being recruited for a new job, a scent on the wind stuns him, and he finds himself fighting an inner battle he never wanted, yet can’t ignore.

Sparks fly, as Ceithin and Aurelia fight fate and race against a clock neither knows is ticking. 

Will he claim Aurelia before he loses her for good?

Warning: This book is sexy. Contains a drool-worthy Alpha male wearing Beta clothing. A sassy and sweet heroine with brains and brothers you’ll adore. A best friend every girl would love to hate. I mean have. And an impossible road no one will see coming.

Review: 

From the very start I liked Aurelia Fridell. We meet her whilst she’s standing backstage at her brother’s bar waiting to be called out for a bachelorette auction that her best friend, Astrid (or Az for short) has roped her into participating in.  There were so many other things I should be doing with my Saturday night. Yet here I sat, nursing my Summer Ale, waiting for the current Barbie Bimbette to be sold. Soon it’d be my turn — I left my cheer meter at home. 

A little snarky and sarcastic – just how I like my heroines!

Aurelia is somewhat of an anomaly among werewolves – able to partially change her features and grow claws but not able to complete a complete shift into wolf form. This ‘defect’ makes her an outsider in her community and – despite their best efforts at being supportive – her family too. Depite this (or maybe because of it) Aurelia is a strong and capable heroine. She’s an incredibly smart, brave and passionate woman.

One year after the bachelorette auction, Aurelia comes face to face (quite literally as he tackles her to the floor of Az’s tattoo parlor) with Ceithin Starkley – a werewolf visiting the area on a business opportunity with Aurelia’s father. From the moment they meet they share incredible sexual tention – I could almost see the sparks flying! – but Ceithin sees himself as a little bit oldfashioned. He won’t cheat. Just Aurelia’s luck to meet the man who may be her fated mate and him be involved in a relationship with another woman. I admired Ceithin for that. I have to admit I get slightly annoyed when just because someone meets their fated mate – all rules and manners fly out the window.

I also relished in the chanced to see Aurelia jealous – and play a little dirty!

Just because Ceithin is in a relationship and trying to fight his werewolf nature and be faithful to his girlfriend doesn’t mean that Aurelia isn’t going to make a play for her potential mate! Her playful, sensual and jealous side made itself known when she was in the club. I didn’t expect it from her but it made me like her more. And made me realize that she wasn’t going to let circumstances stand between her and what she wanted in life. Her lack of shifting ability weighs heavily upon her and I was glad for her to see that she wasn’t going to give up. And this is fiction and a story of true mates! – so I don’t feel bad at all rooting for a woman trying to steal another woman’s boyfriend.

Ceithin unable and unwilling to ignore his desire for Aurelia, breaks up with his girlfriend and starts to court Aurelia. I loved the courting. Ever since I was 12 years old and read Jane Austen’s Persuasion for the first time, I’ve loved letters in novels. And whilst Ceithin’s emails weren’t quite as formal as Captain Wentworth’s, I loved them. He’s blunt and slightly awkward but I felt it was honest and that in itself was beautiful. Despite the chemistry and sexual tension between them – Ceithin and Aurelia got to know each other. The sex – when it happened – was hot but, for me, what made it ever better and that bit more intense was that the characters had fallen in love. This isn’t a story of instant love for no reason – these two knew each other. They knew their faults and their good qualities and genuinely cared for the other.

In addition to the romance plot, Aurelia has someone tormenting her with no apparent reason. Her tires are slashed and her house ransacked. Throw in some nearly incapacitating and blinding headaches

As the story goes on we get to find out more about why Aurelia can’t shift, her special mental bond with her brother, Ville. I thought it was an inventive and creative plot. I really enjoyed how everything unfolded. Many questions I had early in the novel were answered and I was satisfied with the ending. There was a shift in the point-of-view for a few chapters that I didn’t really like. I understand why it was necessary but the main reason why I liked this book was  Aurelia’s sassiness, her cheekiness and how at times she mentally berated  herself. She was a fantastic narrator. I missed that when we switched to Ceithin’s POV.

I really enjoyed reading this book. There is a lot to love about the characters and the storyline. It was interesting and sexy and highly enjoyable.

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version) / All Romance Ebooks (mobi, epub, html and pdf formats)

Click here to visit the author’s home page

Book Review: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu

Book Review: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu (Dirk and Steele #1)

Format: paperback

First Published:  March 6,  2005

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Urban Fantasy, Magic

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)He looks out of place in Dela Reese’s Beijing hotel room- exotic and poignant, some mythic, tragic hero of an epic tale. With his feline yellow eyes, he’s like nothing from her world. Yet Dela has danced through the echo of his soul and knows this warrior will obey her every command.

Hari has been used and abused for millennia. But he sees, upon his release from the riddle box, that this new mistress is different. There is a hidden power in Dela’s eyes- and with her, he may regain all that was lost to him. Where once he savaged, now he must protect; where once he only knew hatred, now he must embrace love. Dela is the key. For Dela, he will risk all.

Review: 

Dela Reese, an artist and sword-maker, is visiting Beijing for business when she comes across a mysterious old woman in the Dirt Market. The old woman insists that Dela buys an ancient little wooden puzzle box and from that moment things get even stranger. On her way back to the hotel Dela is accosted by a man who grabs her but Dela manages to get away. After returning to her room, Dela manages to open the puzzle box only to have a seven foot ancient, shape-shifting warrior pop out. Hari was cured thousands of years ago to do whatever his summoner demands from him – anything from killing to bedding them. Naturally to say, Hari is instantly suspicious and distrusting of his new mistress.

Throw in a few attempts on Dela’s life, the Chinese mafia, some more shape shifters and a few of the agents from Dirk and Steele detective agency and you’ll get a fairly entertaining story.

I enjoyed the characters in this story. Dela was a strong character who was brave and intelligent. Hari was hot and one of those characters that seem to be a little too perfect – he was too caring, too self-sacrificing, too handsome. There’s just something about characters like Hari that rub me the wrong way. I like my heroes to be a bit more flawed in terms of how they treat their mates. He’s just… with the exception of how they first meet and how suspicious he is of Dela, he seems to think she’s perfect. And she’s not. But I liked that about her. I just wish that Hari take off his rose coloured glasses for a little bit.

Whirlwind romances aren’t really my thing and Dela and Hari do fall in love VERY quickly.  I think it’s only a week from meeting to the final showdown. But I liked the development of their relationship. It was a nice progression, just a little intense time-wise.

The members of Dirk and Steele – a ‘detective’ agency where the agents all have special abilities – were a great supporting cast. They’re all a little damaged and should make good heroes in their own books later in the series. There’s nothing I like more than warrior men who have a caring side – which all of these men had.

I didn’t love this book but I did enjoy many parts of it. The romance was sweet, the characters were enjoyable. I will be continuing to read the rest (or at least the next book) of the series. 🙂

Rating: 

3 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #3)

Format: paperback

First Published: March 6, 2012

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads): They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

Review: 

This book takes place just after the events of River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) and a few years after Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2). In the time that has passed since the last book in the series, Charles has become more and more affected by the job he does for his father – enforcer and assassin. He is withdrawn and even becoming neglectful of his mate and wife, Anna.

After discussion the problem with  Anna and Asil, Bran decides to send Anna off to collaborate with the FBI on a serial killer case in Boston – with Charles along as her body guard. They discover that the serial killer who has recently been targeting Werewolves has been operating for decades – and his targets are not that of the human variety. Fae have been disappearing for dozens of years with none of the supernatural world investigating. Now, with Anna and Charles on the case – with the assistance of a few local werewolves and FBI agents – the killer will be stopped. One way or another…

For me, this is a very hard book for me to review simply because I loved it. I don’t want to come across as a babbling fan girl but I’m afraid I might.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again – I love how Ms. Briggs tortures her characters. Just because she’s let Anna and Charles get mated and married does not mean she’ll let them have an easy time of it. They’re both hurting. Charles especially – not wanting to let the spirits that haunt him to taint Anna but because of this and his pulling away from her, he’s hurting her more than ever.

I love Anna. And I love Charles. But I think what I love most about them is how they love each other. It’s evident in everything they do and how they interact. I think it’s really beautiful and a testiment to Ms. Briggs’ writing that she can write a fairly gritty urban fantasy novel where romance is very much in the background, and yet their love for each other is so prevalent.

The supporting cast in this book were brilliant. I loved the different government agencies and the feelings of forced co-operation between them. I have no doubt that the government would create a new paranormal agency just to handle new issues that would come to light with the werewolves and fae coming out into the world. I also really liked Isaac – the Alpha of the Boston pack. He gave a new insight to a different kind of alpha – you don’t need to be an old wolf to be a good alpha. Alistair Beauclaire also interested me. I feel like if Ms. Briggs ever wanted to write another spin-off with the Fae in the forefront, he would be a great character to have in it. Either as a main or serving a similar role to the one that Bran holds in this series. The fae are so interesting! All their magical powers and unspoken rules. I really would love to get a closer look at them. And the witches? I’m rather glad I’ve never had an encounter with one of Briggs’ witches…. they be crazy!

Pace wise, there was a lot of groundwork laid at the start of this novel. It did feel a little slow to begin with but after things got moving, I never felt like it was rushed. Everything felt like it was at a natural speed.

I loved the action. And I liked that the action scenes showed how Charles has grown as a person since the beginning of the series. He will always be there for Anna – but he now realizes that more importantly for her, she needs to be there for herself. They’re so perfect for each other… *dreamy sigh*

The wait for the next book is going to be painful for me! I might go into withdrawal! At least I have the other books in the series as well as the Mercy Thompson books to go back and re-read whenever I need my fix.

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback)/ Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Read  my review of Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs here
Read my review of Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs here

Book Review: That Voodoo That You Do by Jodi Redford

Book Review: That Voodoo That You Do by Jodi Redford (That Old Black Magic #1)

Format: ebook

First Published: October 12, 2010

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance, Shifters, Witches, Zombies.

Sensuality Rating: Burning!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

For ten long years Griffin Trudeau has managed to keep his paws off Jemma Finnegan, best friend and leading star of his kinkiest fantasies. As her appointed cat familiar, indulging those fantasies with the delectable witch is strictly forbidden. But when Jemma shows up at his door with seduction in mind, control goes right out the window.

Too late he realizes making love to Jemma is the trigger that launches a zombie apocalypse.

Jemma’s been dealt a double whammy: she’s just discovered she’s a witch. And Griff has been hiding whiskers and a tail. Oh, and if her life wasn’t crazy enough, a dead voodoo queen needs her blood to raise a legion of zombies.

There’s one plan that might work to increase Jemma’s powers so she can put an end to the looming holocaust. A sexy threesome with Griff and Logan Scott, a werewolf familiar with a history of rubbing Griff’s fur the wrong way. A cat and a wolf playing nice, much less sharing? It’ll take a miracle.

Warning: A witch, tiger and wolf doing naughty things. A dead voodoo queen doing evil things. And zombies doing zombie things. Get your shovels ready.

Review: 

Oh my! I wasn’t expecting this book to be as funny as I found it. From the first page I was laughing. And it’s not just funny – it’s exciting, it’s interesting and it’s earth-shatteringly hot! 😉

The story starts with Jemma Finnegan, a woman with a plan, setting out to seduce her super hunk of a best friend of ten years – Griffin Trudeau. Next comes some delicious and literally earth moving kitchen lovin’, the beginning of a zombie apocalypse and that’s just the first chapter!

From the start I loved the chemistry between Griff and Jemma. The comradeship of having been best friends for ten years was evident and the tangible sexual tension between the two was electric. I was rooting for them as a couple. And if I had any doubts of Jemma as a heroine they were wiped away when she tried to take down a zombie using a ThighBlaster.

The secondary cast of Clarissa (the coven leader) and the other witches (Mrs Peach, Gloria) were delightful. I loved the banter and pop culture references they delivered.

And Logan Scott? [He’s] the guy your mama warned you about. The ultimate biker boy complete with the mirrored shades, barbed wire tattoo and snug jeans – I loved him. Normally I don’t like any character that threatens the Happily Ever After that I desire but I loved what Logan brought to the story. The fact that he brought out Griff’s jealous side… that is just a bonus!

After finishing the book, I’m still a little unsure as to why the ménage à trois strengthened Jemma’s magic but it was such an hot and steamy scene that I’ll let it slide. I really enjoyed the creativeness of the sex scenes. And the humour that was present throughout everything.

The witch/zombie/shifter storyline was exciting too – this book, whilst mostly is about the romance and the sex also has more too it – and it kept me guessing. I loved how Jemma grew as a character. She became the kick-ass heroine that her witchy ancestors (well… most of them) would be proud of.

This is probably the funniest erotic romance that I’ve ever read. I am so excited about the next book in the series (which is out and I have already bought!) being about Clarissa and Logan. The little moments of those two were some of my favourite interludes in the story. I recommend this book for anyone who likes light hearted storyline and zombie apocalypses mixed in with their erotica.

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version) / Samhain Publishing

Book Review: Beauty in the Beast by Christine Danse

Book Review: Beauty in the Beast by Christine Danse

Format: ebook

First Published: March 5th, 2012

Source: an ARC provided by NetGalley

Genre: Fae, Fantasy Romance, Shifters, Paranormal Romance

Sensuality Rating: Kisses

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Journeying by steam-powered sled to London’s Frost Fair to perform, Tara and three friends are trapped in a blizzard in the woods. A gruff, handsome stranger offers them shelter-and wants one thing in return. Stories.

The travellers are glad to oblige. Their host, Rolph, is especially captivated by Tara’s story of an orphaned girl raised by the Fae in the world of the spirits. Equally intrigued by Rolph, and aware of an electric pull between them, Tara encourages him to share a story of his own. When Rolph weaves a tale of a man who is doomed by his own folly to turn into a wolf at the full moon, Tara suspects there is more than a grain of truth in his words.

When the veil between the mortal and spiritual worlds is parted, and danger threatens, will Tara make the ultimate sacrifice to save Rolph?

Review: 

Four travelling puppeteers and storytellers are braving a terrible blizzard when they come across a little cabin in the woods. Thankful to the strange but kind stranger who offers them lodging and food until the storm passes, they repay him by telling him stories – stories of dragons, fairies

The stories were enjoyable and were very reminiscent of other stories I’d heard before but with new twists. Whilst I enjoyed reading them, I’m not sure that Beth and Miles stories added anything extra to the novel as a whole.

Rolph’s story was my favourite. I loved the vividness and descriptions of both the story and the characters.

The interactions between Rolph and Tara were very cute. Attraction – at least on Tara’s behalf – from the moment they meet and that continues on throughout the book. It was a very sweet story.

My main negative about the story was the pace – it’s very slow. Action wise, not much happens (until the very end) and there are times when it feels like the characters talk too much about certain topics. I didn’t feel like there needed to be that many words spent in discussing travel and the vehicles they used (although I adored the term “mechanimal” for the mechanical horse) and all the details about the shopping trip that a few of the characters took into town. Sometimes less is more.

All in all, a very sweet story and an interesting take on the old Beauty and the Beast story.

Rating: 

3 out of 5

Purchase book at:

 Amazon (kindle version) / Carina Press (epub version)

Book Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #2)

Format: paperback

First Published: August 25, 2009

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son- and enforcer- of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…

Review: 

Anna is really finding her feet! In this book Charles and Anna represent the Marrok at a werewolf convention. With all the alphas running about the place I was slightly worried for Anna but I shouldn’t have been. She more than managed to hold her own against the century old strong and dominant wolves. I love the characters in this series. Charles is used to being his father’s assassin and because of this he has always been wary of being overly friendly with anyone outside of Bran and his brother, Samuel. Briggs doesn’t forget the history she’s created for Charles (or Anna either for that matter). Charles has many things he has to overcome and in his new relationship with Anna, he has many struggles. I love that. I love that just because he has found his mate and fallen in love with his wife it doesn’t stop his former nature from showing at inappropriate times.

Anna, too, has to overcome her past in order to be with Charles. The problems they’ve both faced (separately and as a couple) are just one of the things that I find unique and refreshing with this series. The author doesn’t gloss over the hideous nature of the beast nor does she simply apply the notion of love overcoming everything. Despite the werewolf and supernatural nature of this series the character I’ve read in this book are more real to me than in so many other novels.

It was nice to see some more interaction between the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series – this time being in the inclusion of Fey and Vampires. The blending of the two series whilst still keeping things interesting and new is very well done. The things that we know about the Fey and the vampires already from Mercy are consistent with what Anna discovers in Hunting Ground. 

The new characters introduced in this novel delighted me. The slightly odd Arthur who believed he was the reincarnation of King Arthur, the blind witch, the Beast of Gévaudan as well as another Omega wolf and a whole range of other wolves were all brilliant. There were so many personalities and little stories playing in the background that there was always something to keep me interested.

I loved this novel. I loved the drama and the outcome. Most of all I adored the evolution of Anna and Charles’ relationship. I find it refreshing that one novel isn’t enough for one couple to go from meeting to happily ever after. This has been my favourite novel I’ve read so far this year. I can’t wait till the third in the series comes out next week. Expect to see a review of it very soon. 😉

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

Read  my review of Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs here

Book Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Book Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (Elder Races #1)

Format: Paperback

First Published: January 11, 2011

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.

Review: 

Thea Harrison’s debut novel Dragon Bound both intrigued and excited me. The story starts off a little slow but that’s understandable considering that in the first novel in a series, a fair amount of world-building needs to occur. And I loved the world that Harrison created. This book is set in a complex alternate world. Wyr-shifters, Fae and a whole number of other otherworldly beings  interact with humans in modern society. Within that society there are pockets of Other Land where magic flows more freely and not all modern day technological inventions behave as they should. I found the world fascinating but at the same time it wasn’t overwhelming. There was enough character driven action mixed amongst the descriptions of the world that meant that the story kept moving forward at all times and didn’t get too bogged down in the details concerning the world building.

Dragos Cuelbrre is a dragon-shifter and debate-ably the most powerful and ancient wyr in the world. He controls New York City with an iron fist – noone dare defy him. So when half-wyr Pia Giovanni trespasses and steals from his hoard of treasures, Dragos is furious. Pia was raised to keep her true identity a secret from everyone and has spent her entire life living by the rules her mother instilled in her – 1. Tell noone who she is. 2. Be prepared to run at a moment’s notice and leave everything behind.

When Pia finds herself being blackmailed by her dead beat ex-boyfriend, she steals from the most power Wyr preditor in history in exchange for his silence on exactly what she is. Now her only problem is keeping the power Wyr from killing her.

I loved the characters in this novel. Dragos is a strong, sexy, all powerful kind of hero. He treats Pia more like a possession than a person at first. And whilst this behavior is the kind that would turn me off in real life, in fiction it just makes him all the more delicious. He’s unique blend of the ancient times which he came from and the modern world which he acclimated himself in. Despite his “mine!” and posessive personality, I found him to be incredibly romantic and at times tender and gentle with regards to Pia. Together they had some explosive chemistry and some unbelievably hot sex scenes. Pia was also a strong character. She was brave and determined. I liked how despite not being able to completely comply with her mother’s code, she didn’t completely betray her training. She wasn’t as flighty as a lot of female characters. She was a brilliant match for Dragos – not a complete walkover but at the same time she was willing to compromise and she tried to understand what Dragos meant even when his intentions weren’t entirely clear. Together they were fantastic. I loved the banter between them – it was funny and sexy and at times frustrating but at least it felt natural and not in the least bit contrived.

The supporting cast were another highlight for me. The sentinels were broody and yet cheeky. I’m excited that the rest of the series follows a different couple per novel so I get the chance to know these characters better.

I loved this novel. It kept me up half the night because I couldn’t put it down. It was the perfect mix of possessive, sexy, alpha hero, feisty heroine and fast paced action. The witty dialogue, intense sexual tension, romantic yet steamy love scenes and a fascinating supporting cast kept me hooked right until the lasts page. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Elder Races series.

 

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon FishPond