Book Review: No Rest for the Wicked by Krystal Jane Ruin

Title: No Rest for the Wicked
Author: Krystal Jane Ruin
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Since her release from the psychiatric facility and into the smothering guardianship of her aunt, twenty-one-year-old psychic Tatum Torabi has been sneaking away to sell curses and plagues in the underground, a black market known for illegal and supernatural wares.

Tatum’s unique abilities catch the attention of a hella-creepy trash peddler who offers her a job tracking down people who owe his boss “a favor.” She couldn’t be less interested, but when she refuses, the company forces her compliance by threatening the lives of the only family she has left.

Because tracking barely scratches the surface of what they really want from her. There’s a reason Tatum is so good at making curses, and they want her to use those skills for a much darker purpose.

No Rest for the Wicked has the kind of book blurb I can’t resist. Psychics selling curses in underground black markets, dark pasts, tough choices, just reading the blurb I wanted to read the book. I did enjoy the story, but I didn’t fall in love with it. I wasn’t always too fond of the writing nor the characters.

I did like Tatum, though. She suffered through a horrible past, but she didn’t let it stop her. She was strong, fierce, and while not fond of her abilities at the start, she confronted her demons and learned to embrace her powers. I also liked the mysteries surrounding the past, and was eager to figure out what happened. My favorite parts were the parts set in the underground market, where Tatum sells curses. I thought that was an original and clever thought, and I wouldn’t have minded to spend some more time down there, exploring the different booths and who had what to sell.

But what troubled me a little was how many characters there were. Everything seemed to be going on all at once, and all the characters seemed busy doing so many things, it was difficult to keep track of who was doing what and what everyone was up to. The storyline also had a lot of coincidences – a few I can take, but this was just a little too coincidental for my liking.

I also didn’t like Emmerick. I felt the relationship between himand Tatum was forced, and he was just too perfect. He didn’t have any flaws, or very little flaws, and I couldn’t relate to him.

The writing was pretty engaging overall, but felt a little sloppy at parts. Overall, it’s an enjoyable, entertaining book fans of paranormal fantasy with a hint of romance will enjoy. It’s also the author’s debut book, and it’s a pretty solid debut. I look forward to what the author has in store next.

 

Book Review: Lalin Bonheur by Margaret O. Howard

Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.

But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.

Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.

The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.

Lalin Bonheur is an extraordinary book. Set in New Orlean in the 1800s, it’s the story of Lalin, an extraordinary woman in an extraordinary era. Lalin is a healer, a voodoo priestess, a girl who can shapeshift and who knows things she shouldn’t know. Lalin meets Etienne Legendre, a French aristocraft who becomes her protector.

When Etienne’s wife dies under mysterious circumstances and he’s charged with murder, Lalin helps him scape from jail. Unfortunately they run from one danger into the next, and Lalin needs to use all the magic she knows to protect them both.

This was an intriguing book, not just because it focuses on a mixed-race relationship, but also because of its focus on voodoo and magic. I’ve always been intrigued by voodoo, and I enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about it.

The writing and storytelling was excellent, and the author managed to describe the historical period well, making me feel as if I’d actually transported back in time to New Orleans in 1830. Fans of magical realism and paranormal mysteries will enjoy this book.

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Book Review: Passion of a Witch by K.D. Friedrich

the-grove-cover-final-proof-8-15-16_edited-1Title: Passion of a Witch
Author: K.D. Friedrich
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

In a few weeks, Summer Leery will be mated. For most witches, it’s a time to celebrate, but Summer isn’t smiling. Her upcoming union is one of convenience, not love, contracted between her family and one of the most powerful families in the coven. As always, Summer’s loyalty remains with her kin and the traditions she’s expected to follow. No matter how much she detests her future husband. With her parents off to secure her nuptials, Summer is eager to enjoy her last moments of freedom.

Kian Lancaster’s relationship with his father is volatile. So finding himself at the bastard’s mercy is the last place Kian wants to be. Unfortunately, he has no choice. His mother is suffering from an unknown illness and needs constant care. Care that costs money. Money Kian doesn’t have. With little options, he lets his father pay his mother’s mounting medical bills, knowing the offer comes with a heavy price. Kian must work for his father’s ruthless company. Looking to forget his bleak future, he plans a nostalgic night of liquor and fun in the local woods. Unaware his destiny lurks in the shadows of towering pine.

Summer is shocked to find a human trespassing on her family’s land. More surprising is that the Goddess to all witches demands Summer welcome the cursed intruder. Summer has no time to waste playing host to a foolish human. No matter how handsome. With her wedding weeks away, Kian’s a temptation she can’t afford to entertain. But when her deity makes a decree to bring the male into the supernatural world… what’s a witch to do?

Kian’s about to find out. For the first time in his life, a woman didn’t fall to her knees to please him. Summer’s apathy shackled his lust and refused to let go. Kian knows he should stay away from Summer, but when it comes to this woman, he can’t get enough.

Their attraction is instant, their desire intense. Two hearts forced together by the will of a Goddess. Is Summer strong enough to resist Kian’s charm? Or will she risk it all to taste the power of love?

In Passion of a Witch, Summer Leery will be mated in two weeks. For most witches, that would be amazing. For Summer? Not so much. Her marriage isn’t exactly born out of passion – it’s born out of convenience. And it’s not that she just doesn’t know her future husband, she actually detests him. So when her parents leave to arrange the marriage, she’s glad to have some time to herself, enjoying her last moments of freedom.

What she never expected was that she’d run into a human, trespassing on her family’s land. Kian Lancaster is a complex, intriguing man, but Summer wants nothing to do with him, and she’s perplexed as to why the Goddess, whose will all witches must follow, orders her to welcome him.

The attraction between Kian and Summer is out of the roof, and the Goddess wants them to be together. But will Summer risk her family’s wrath, just to taste love?

This was a sizzling read about two people meant to be together but kept apart by circumstances. Kian was amazing, and I loved him from the start. It took me a little longer to warm up to Summer.

The writing was phenomenal, and really pulled me into the story. Fast-paced, hot romance, intriguing characters, what more can you want?

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Book Review and Giveaway Life as a Teenage Vampire

lastvcover_frontTitle: Life as a Teenage Vampire

Author: Amanda Meuwissen

Genre: YA M/M Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The last thing Emery expected at the end of his senior year of high school was to become a vampire and fall in love with his best friend… Emery Mavus just wants to survive his senior year of high school. Becoming a vampire complicates things. So does a bizarre mentor, a group of vampire hunters, and an unexpected, new attraction for his openly gay best friend, Connor. An occasional uncontrollable hunger for blood might be the least of his worries.

I didn’t have very high expectations when I started Life as a Teenage Vampire. The plot sounded not that original, kind of like Twilight except the main character, Emery, was a male in love with another male – his best friend Connor. But, don’t be mistaken by the short synopsis. This book is very different, and it’s quite frankly, a whole lot better than your standard run-of-the-mill vampire story.

Emery never expected his senior year would go down like this. That he would become a vampire. That he’d fall in love with his best friend, Connor. That he’d get chased down by vampire hunters. The focus was more on the characters and their blossoming relationship than on the vampirism, but it did bring a nice touch. As Emery is transforming into another creature, he’s also transforming as a person – growing up, learning who he truly is. There’s a symbolism there, between the act of growing up, and the whole vampire angle, that I thought worked really well.

The characters were very realistic, especially Emery. Sometimes they’re a little immature, sometimes they’re surprisingly mature for their age, but they all sound very realistic, like typical teenagers. The story pulled me in, but the writing and characters made me fall in love.

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Book Review and Giveaway The Power of Mortals (Spirit Vision 3)

spirit-vision-3-official-coverTitle: Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals
Author: Morgan Straughan Comnick
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

“You are the beacon of the Lord’s two worlds, but how can you protect them when you have lost your shining light?
When Stary Moon, the Spirit Warrior, awakes on the lunchroom floor of her school, battered and bloodied, she cannot recollect how she came to such a state.
Stary ignores the concerns of her best friends, Chloe, Rin, and Lauren, and continues to go on with her life, but no matter how normal her days and Spirit Warrior duties are, she feels a lingering sorrow like someone is missing from her life. Her friends discover some shocking truths about Stary and realize they’re the only ones who remembers Umbra—Stary’s boyfriend who has mysteriously gone missing. Stary’s universe crashes around her and the fate of the world rests on her shoulders. Her objective is clear, but when she leaves on this mission, there is no turning back, and she will lose one of her worlds—the mortal world of her family and friends, or the spiritual world of her duty and missing someone, for good. Still, Stary has a point to prove to this dark presence that is threatening to consume the planet: there is power from those one least expects, and Stary is prepared to risk everything on this claim.”

What attracted me the most about The Power of Mortals was, no doubt, the cover. I’ve never seen manga/anime figures on the cover of a paranormal book before, but I do like it. It brings something unique, and it made me want to read the book right away. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to read book one and two before diving into this one. I think it did make me miss a few things I would’ve known otherwise had I started in the correct order, but nevertheless, I did really enjoy this book!

Stary Moon, the Spirit Warrior, wakes up battered and bloodied on the lunchroom of her school, with no recollection of what happened. Ignoring her friends’ concerns, she goes on with life as well as she can, but something is missing, and she feels a lingering sorrow. Then things take a turn for the worst, and the fate of the world rests on Stary’s shoulders. One way or the other, she’ll lose one of her worlds: the mortal world of her family and friends, or the spiritual world.

I did like the idea of Spirit Warriors, what powers they have, what their duty is. I really liked Stary. Despite everything that happened, she managed to keep calm, and she was very brave, not afraid to fight. The writing was excellent too, and I really enjoyed spending time in the world of the Spirit Vision series. I look forward to reading the other books when I have a little more time.

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Book Review Where Doubt Remains by Sharon Johnson

where-doubt-remainsTitle: Where Doubt Remains (Doubt Series Book 2)
Author: Sharon Johnson
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The story continues for Alpha DeMatteo Santiago and his mate. After the nightmare of having his pregnant mate kidnapped and tortured, DeMatteo begins the seemingly impossible process of piecing together the truth. Forces against them take this time to regroup and launch an all-out attack. Lies and half-truths fall apart as the past is investigated, but it’s a race against time and failure could prove to be fatal.
This release is an M/M paranormal shifter romance. This series will contain scenes of graphic violence, graphic sex, graphic language, Mpreg, and graphic birth. What it will not be is an instant mate fairytale, as forces set out to destroy everything and everyone around him.

The story of DeMatteo Santiago, alpha of a shifter pack, continues in the second book in the series, Where Doubt Remains. The book starts off a little slow, but after a few chapters, it hit a good stride and I couldn’t stop reading from that point on.
DeMatteo and Sean are struggling with several things – Sean’s pregnancy (yes, a man being pregnant…it does get quite graphic sometimes), someone is still out to hurt the pride, and danger comes from all sides. There’s hardly any time to just sit down and enjoy each other’s company, but that’s not to say the book doesn’t have some romantic scenes or tender moments.
The story keeps getting better and better. The author has a fast-paced writing style, and the ability to tell an original, suspenseful story. I can’t wait to read what’s in store next for DeMatteo and his pack.

Book Review: Mirror, Mirror by Tami Lund

Young girl in a white dress

Young girl in a white dress


Title: Mirror, Mirror
Author: Tami Lund
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Adelle Hendrix doesn’t believe in hocus pocus. She doesn’t believe in happily ever after, either. So when she sees her best friend, Ben Jackson, in a supposedly enchanted mirror, she decides she’s not the crazy one, the loony old gypsy woman who showed her the mirror is.

Except that crazy old woman won’t leave her alone, and the more frequently she and her jack-o-lantern with the ever-changing carved faces show up, the more Adelle begins to wonder… Are she and Ben meant to be more than friends?

This book is not meant to be read by readers who are looking for a serious, boring read with a tragic ending. Only fans of funny and everlasting romance should pick this one up.

In Mirror, Mirror, Adelle Hendrix doesn’t believe in hocus pocus, or in happily ever after. When an enchanted mirror shows her the reflection of her best friend, Ben Jackson, who is supposed to be her soul mate, she doesn’t believe she and Ben are meant to be more than friends. After all, he’s always been a player, and although he’s her best friend and she always thought he was attractive, that’s just it – right? Wrong.

This was a fun, entertaining and fast read. The story kept putting the characters in hilarious situations. The writing was excellent and fast-paced.

Anyone who enjoys a funny, quirky paranormal romance read should definitely pick up this book.

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Book Review Deliverance by Kristy Centeno

deliverance-ebookTitle: Deliverance
Author: Kristy Centeno
Genre: YA/NA Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult and Up
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

He’s been locked away his entire life.

He dreams of freedom.

The only way he can accomplish his goals is by breaking free of the chains tying him to a dark past and gloomy existence. But there’s one catch. He’s not human.

And he’s never set foot outside his jail.

Devoted to saving his peers as well as his own life, he sets out to find the one person that can help him achieve his objectives. He knows where she will be and what she will look like, but what he doesn’t anticipate is the fact he finds himself caring for the girl whose life he’s put at risk, more and more each day.

He has no name.

He has only known hatred and violence before her.

However, she will teach him to have faith in humanity, even if she can’t trust him.

Together they will embark on a journey to bring down a corrupt system responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. But when he finds his feelings compromised, can he still move on knowing that doing so will put an end to the life she once knew? How far is he willing to go to be free?

It’s tough to review Deliverance without giving anything away in regards to the plot. Let’s start by saying that I loved it! The story is told from the dual POV of Tiger and Kristina. Tiger is an intriguing main character, a clever mix of a naive, almost gullible young man, and yet he can also be strong and determined. At the beginning of the story, we learn he’s not human, and that he’s locked up – and he’s never set foot outside his jail. But if he wants to save his peers and his own life, he needs to escape and find the one person who can help him achieve his mission.

That person is Kristina, and soon enough, the two of them start falling for each other. The romance is interesting because Tiger, having grown up very sheltered, is very unlike other YA heroes (who tend to be over-confident and ‘cool’ rather than sweet). Tiger is just adorable, and very innocent, making him an unique character.

The storytelling is excellent, and the author does an excellent job with the world building and crafting the characters. The interactions between Kristina and Tiger were very engaging. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance.

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Book Review: Fractal by Rachel J. Mannino

fractal-cover-mediumTitle: Fractal
Author: Rachel J. Mannino
Genre: Science Fiction / Romance
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Anna keeps to herself in rural North Carolina, raising her younger brother and never dreaming she might not be human. A ship descends from the sky and the handsome alien, Varick, proclaims that she is the long-lost ruler of his planet, forced to flee from their world by an experiment gone wrong. Determined to discover her heritage, she journeys with Varick to their abandoned planet. Along the way, Varick strengthens her belief in herself as she struggles to be the leader her people need. Anna discovers that as soon as they return, the Council will force her to marry a man she’s never met, even while her heart is drawn towards Varick. A romance between the Vadana and her Protector is forbidden above all, and can only end in Varick’s death. A prophet warns Anna and Varick that they can heal their solar system, but they can’t let anything stand in their way. Their growing love for each other will either save their world, or bring about destruction.

In Fractal, Anna has led a mostly quiet life – until now. She’s spend the last years taking care of her borther, raising him after her parents’ death, running a flower shop, and basically just being an ordinary person. That is, until the handsome alien Varick who shows up, who claims she’s the long-lost ruler of his planet, forced to flee from their world. Determined to find out more about who she truly is, Anna lets Varick take her with him, but the choice of finding out more about her home, her legacy, is not without consequences.

If Varick, the Protector, falls in love with the Vadana, in this case Anna, it could have disastrous consequences for both of them. As Anna learns that upon her return, the Council will force her to marry a man she’s never met, and a prophet tells Anna and Varick that they can heal their solar system, if they let nothing stand in their way, she begins to question if her feelings for Varick are real, and if so, if she can trust her own heart or needs to deny it.

This book reminded me a lot of Pocahontas, but then set in outer space. Anna falls for Varick although they’re vastly different, and they can’t be together because others won’t allow it (so in that way, it reminded me of Pocahontas and John Smith’s relationship). Of course, it’s a very different story! The world author Rachel J. Mannino creates is very large, and I feel like we’ve only seen a fraction from it in this book, and much more is to come.

Varick was, no doubt, my favorite character. Handsome, headstrong men do tend to be my favorites in fiction, and he fits that bill.

Fractal is an intriguing, sizzling scifi romance about love, choices, consequences and destiny.

Book Review and Giveaway Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

beyond-a-reasonable-doubtTitle: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Author: Sharon Johnson
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult (18+)
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

DeMatteo Santiago is the Alpha of one of the largest prides in North America. He is a young, successful lion shifter, surrounded by a large family and his devoted lover. By anyone’s account, he has more than any one man can ask for, but his lion cares of nothing except finding their mate.

An unexpected business trip pits DeMatteo and his long awaited mate on opposite sides of the courtroom. But when challenged by ex-lovers, nosy siblings, and crazy hunters, DeMatteo realizes that finding his mate was the easy part. The real question is whether they will live long enough to be together.

This release is an M/M paranormal shifter romance. This series will contain graphic violence, graphic language, and Mpreg. What it will not be is an instant mate fairytale, as forces set out to destroy everything and everyone.

DeMatteo Santiago is the Alpha of one of the largest prides in North America. He’s young and successful, has a large family, and a devoted lover, but his lion side is worried with finding his perfect mate. When he finds his mate on opposite sides of the courtroom, it’s like a dream come true. He’s finally found his mate! But when ex-lovers, siblings, hunters, all come into play, he realizes finding his mate was the easy part: living long enough to be together is the tough part.

I enjoyed the whole lawyer/attorney angle. DeMatteo is a divorce lawyer, and his mate Sean turns out to be a lawyer too. Being a lawyer too, I thought this was very intriguing, and I loved the whole side of it. Lawyers don’t usually work well as couples, but they did so here. Sean and DeMatteo are very intriguing.

The plot is rollercoaster-fast, and a few of the twists took me by surprise. I can’t wait to read the second book.

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