Category Archives: Paranormal Romance

Book Review: ‘Shadow Eyes’ by Dusty Crabtree

Title: Shadow Eyes (Book 1)

Published: 2nd September 2016

Author: Dusty Crabtree

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dustycrabtreeauthor

Twitter: @dustycrabtree

 

Synopsis:

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year-old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them.

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about angels. You, along with Iris, might not know they are there to begin with as dark shadows are what she sees first but there has to be balance to everything so light is on its way.

Iris has struggled with a gift that was awoken within her at a dark time in her past. From the moment she opened her eyes the first time to see shadows lurking around those she loved she was scared. She has been afraid of them ever since and has no real clue as it what they are, just that she knows they aren’t good. For three years she has hidden this secret, along with a darker tale from her past. One we don’t learn of until she is ready to face it head on. Now with seeing shadows everywhere, most around people but some flouting close by, she would naturally be drawn to someone who has none or better yet seems to flow lightness from them instead.

From the onset we see a close friendship with Nicole and Lexi but sometimes friends can be fickle when guys are involved. She never really noticed much of the guys in school but slowly and surely the shy advances of Josh get to her. With him comes a group that connects with her friends too. Date night with a crowd of six it seems with some pairings happier than others – Iris and Josh, Nicole and Tyler and Lexi and Sam, though really Lexi has no interest in him at all. Starting something new and exciting with Josh is one thing but when a mysterious stranger comes on the scene it soon causes her to doubt her feelings. Patrick is someone very sure of himself, a classic flirt, so she can never be sure if he is playing or does want to get close. Not that it should matter when she starts dating Josh but the shadows seem to like playing games and he could be in their sights.

So Patrick is appealing due to not having shadows round him and with Josh getting more you can see where it might lead. He’s a master at flirting but do his actions ring true or are things not as they seem? With the new group broken it tears the girls apart but true friends are ever close at hand with Lexi and their new friend Kyra. Iris knows there is something different about her with the fact that she seems to emit light so bright it pushes back the shadows. You can tell she wants answers but perhaps isn’t ready to ask the right questions. Kyra has a calming feel about her and Iris knows she can trust her from the first moment they meet. Just happens to be in the class with her new teacher Mr. Delany. Another enigma it seems as he too, sometimes just with a look, can push the shadows back.

The shadows seem to have a game plan and Iris is at the centre of it, she just doesn’t know she’s playing. Strange things are happening around her to those she cares for and she feels helpless to prevent them. You know she suffers from anxiety but don’t know its source at first. Something happened on her 14th birthday and it forever changed her. Its not just darkness in her life she has to cope with but her families too. The more they seem to struggle the bigger the shadows become. Darkness surrounds them and until she finds her inner light she is powerless to stop them down the dark paths they are on – not their choosing but have they been pushed to go a certain way. Manipulation and whispers seem to be a key part to the shadows. Ones you need to stay clear of.

Side characters I liked were Lexi, Kyra and Hanna, Iris’ sister. They seemed to always be able to bring light and happiness back into the room. Kyra seems to be a bit of a ninja in disguise with some skills that come in handy when Iris needs them most. Her other sister was a bit harsh to her regardless of what she had gone through, especially when you know everything. Is it really her though or the shadows whispers causing her to act a certain way? The same goes for others really. Can they find their own way back? Do they even want to?

It’s an interesting supernatural mix with the everyday worries of teenage angst. Who to trust and who to push away? The line is never clear. You need to look deeper to see to someone’s soul to find the real them trying to get out. Family drama, crushes gone wrong, friendships tested and a fight between light and dark, good and evil. Which way will she be pulled and can she find the correct path to go forward? Only time will tell.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Wicked and Wild’ by Cynthia Eden

Title: Wicked and Wild (Bad Things Book 7)

Published: 24th April 2018

Publisher: Hocus Pocus Publishing

Author: Cynthia Eden

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiaedenfanpage

Twitter: @cynthiaeden

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cynthiaedenauthor

 

Synopsis:

She was wicked…

Everyone knew that Valerie Storm was the baddest bit—um, witch on the block. She might look like Snow White, but she had the heart of a wicked queen. She turned her enemies to ash, she danced on their graves, and she had to be stopped. But who could stand up to someone so wicked?

He was wild.

Griffin Bastien was the most powerful shifter to ever walk the earth. His claws had sent plenty of his foes to the grave. Bloodlust burned fast and hard within him, and when his beast took over, there was no stopping him.

Then Wicked met Wild.

Neither of them believed in love. And neither of them ever expected the firestorm that ignited when they kissed. But some things—some people—can’t be controlled. The need that Valerie and Griffin feel for each other, the white-hot lust, will change their world.

Even hell doesn’t burn this hot.

Too bad that Griffin has been keeping secrets. Too bad that he is the original assassin sent to destroy Valerie. Because when she finds out the truth, there will be no greater fury than a wicked witch betrayed. Even the biggest, baddest beast might discover that he’s absolutely lost when a witch casts her spell, and he will be willing to do anything to reclaim the mate he never expected.

Buckle up, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

Author’s Note: WICKED AND WILD is a complete, stand-alone story that is set in the world of my “Bad Things” paranormal books. Expect a sexy alpha, a very fierce heroine, and hot times ahead.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A paranormal book. Got a bit of everything with this one – witches, shifters, vampires, Medusa and Fate to name a few. Interesting mix of supernaturals that made up one fun filled ride so hold on to your hats.

Hot, hot, hotter!! From the first page till the last I was hooked. She’s wicked and he’s wild, together they burn hotter than most. Fun quirky characters that draw you into the world they’re in no matter if you have read the others or not. Got the first 5 chapters free in authors newsletter and knew I needed to know more so one click buy later and away I was.

So Valeria Storm is a badass witch who likes to break rules wherever she goes. She tends to use the darker side of magic and is quickly seen as a threat by the witches’ council elders. Namely her old two BFF’s Devon and Genevieve. Not so much in the friend department anymore with the fact they want to burn her at the stake for her so called crimes. She finds herself stuck in a dungeon awaiting her fate. But it seems she may have been given a heads up in the fate department to figure out a way to not burn. Her dragon dungeon mate might just be the ticket. Seems he’s stuck in his beast form and if he doesn’t turn back soon will go mad and have to be taken care of. A little dark magic needed but everything has a price. She will free him from his current state only if he agrees to become her mate. He wants to be freed so you know what’s coming. He just can’t see why she would want him as a mate. Soon figures it out though when she is almost toast.

Griffin Bastien is the king of shifters – means he carries three beasts, dragon and wolf being key ones we know about. He wouldn’t have chosen Valerie for a mate due to the stories he’s heard but can’t help wondering how she manages to draw him to her. Good really as he crashes in to her almost burning at the stake. Seems one law trumps the council and that’s to do with shifter mates. You kill one of them and you create a war between the whole shifter communities. Boom! I love it when Valerie does that. She looks like she has all the cards right up to the point the council says if they can’t burn her then she need to be banished and what better place than shifterland – well that’s what she calls it anyway, along with hellhole.

Just when she thought she had the upper hand she gets thrown a curve ball. Though could this be a plan in the making too? Once home Griffin makes it clear he has rules for her to follow. It’s a shame she likes breaking them, more fun that way. Main one is to not use magic but for her that would be like telling her to stop breathing because she can’t use the air. Rules are made to be broken and she does so when she finds a group of shifters bulling another. Little vanity payback is in order and the outcome is getting herself a new henchman – Rio. He was being bullied because he can’t shift but she sees potential in him – a late bloomer perhaps? That’s not all she gets that day as a new familiar claims her. A crow called Edgar. Comes in very handy when she needs ears in places to find out valuable information. Case in point why Griffin keeps saying their mating is temporary. Seems to make it permanent they need to sleep together. Hard to do when he tries to keep his distance. I say try because it doesn’t take long for a situation to occur where he pounces on her with a scorcher of a kiss. She may be stuck there but her plan is still the same. She wants to take over the council; only fair really as she is the strongest. Being the strongest meaning you are cold of heart but it doesn’t take long for most to see that’s just not true.

Griffin might keep saying to those who will listen that the mating is temporary but his actions speak the voice of a man who sees her for keeps. Shame he’s keeping a secret of his own, one that just might make her run. Running would put her in more danger, though to be fair that does kind of follow her around anyway. They need to trust each other to see things through but nothing is ever going to run smoothly with this mating.

He’s a dragon so you know his flames make him hot already but when they finally succumb to their lust its off the charts. Talk about chemistry just waiting to explode. You can tell feelings are not far behind with the reactions made from both when faced with different dangers or pain. Can they stick together to see things through or will secrets keep them apart?

Seems going back to reasons of the past brings things full circle to how they were always meant to be. Who is she lying to and whom can she trust? Playing how many sides or just going the way she was always meant to. Either way a fun filled hot ride to blast through in a few hours. Another great read from one of my favourite authors. Loved all the other characters, clicked really well together. Need to work backwards with the series now as started at 7. You can read as a standalone but it will just make you want to check out the others.

5 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Blessedly Bound’ by Lucretia Stanhope

Title: Blessedly Bound: An Elemental Witch Trails Novel Book One

Published: 13th February 2017

Author: Lucretia Stanhope

Twitter: @dianas58

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/Lucretia-Stanhope/e/B01NGTHHUS

 

Synopsis:

Dark Secrets. Bound Magic. A determined witch.

Elemental witch, Gwen Hensley, wants answers. Why was her grandmother burned alive? Was it because she was witch? Did it have something to do the with the dark secrets of the family that orphaned her? Those answers won’t come easy and time is ticking.

Behind the smiling faces of the locals lies a killer whose sights are set on her. Is it one of the friendly shopkeepers? The mysterious neighbor she’s drawn to? Or is someone closer to her behind the gruesome murder? None appear capable of such evil. With the target on her, she can’t be wrong. How will she decide who she can trust?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about witches. A family line that seems to have a curse surrounding it, dark magic soon starts closing in.

Gwen finds herself being called back to the home she never knew by dark news of her grandmother being killed. Burned at the stake so to speak. A psycho on the loose some would say but perhaps a witch-hunt is on the cards. Danger follows as she tries to make sense of what has happened and what it means for her.

She might feel alone at times with no family but she isn’t truly as she always has her familiar Lewis – well at the start anyway. He is meant to be her guide and teacher in all things magical. Right from the start though you get the feeling that he is holding something back. He likes to make her think she is a weak witch. Something she has never wanted to question until coming to live at her grandmother’s home. With moving in she starts a friendship with her neighbour Sebastian, one she can feel has magic but isn’t completely sure what he is. A familiar too perhaps, just not her grandmothers even though they were close friends. It seems that he wants to guide her and feels a strong connection – like her – from the moment they met. There is just something about the other that draws them in close. Well it might start out that way but he has a dark secret that once told is likely to cause tension between them. Something Lewis is happy about. He might have made it clear that he and Gwen couldn’t be together but that doesn’t change their feelings. Though to be fair the longer you get in the book the more you are unsure about his true feelings for her. He might think he is doing the right thing to keep her safe from a possible dark future at the hands of someone powerful but his methods are a bit off. Sebastian is all too aware of what he is up to and so tries to help wherever he can.

The trouble of past visions and future fates is what triggers Sebastian and Lewis to come together to help train Gwen better. A quick study she may be and not one to shy away from trouble. Which is where she’s headed as she tries to figure out who really killed her grandmother. The cops might say the person is caught but she knows something’s not right. It seems for her to figure out the present she needs to look into the past but in doing so it might put her in more danger. A killer after witches it seems so she may need to learn faster if she is to be able to fight back and win. She can’t just rely on others, as they may not get there in time. Fight or flight kicks in and when the time comes to get revenge who is the one going to be on top.

Interesting mix of magic, familiars who can shift to and from their animal forms and a vampire twist, all mixed in with a murder mystery to figure out. That being said I did kind of call it as to who the killer was but that’s just the start of the adventure of Gwen being in this new town. Seems other magical beings might be about to get called into play. Romance on the cards but is it only due to a blood spell for protection. Who is meant to be and what are everyone’s true motives? Something I’m sure will be explored in the books to come.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Arista’s Legacy’ by Deborah Cooke

Title: Arista’s Legacy (The Dragons of Incendium Book 4)

Published: 10th November 2016

Author: Deborah Cooke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage

Twitter: @cooke_delacroix

 

Synopsis:

A Warrior Maiden of Cumae and a mercenary for hire, Arista is used to both hunting and being hunted. She accepts an assignment from Queen Arcana of Regalia so that she’ll have a chance to find the secret that can save both Regalia and Incendium from destruction. Arista never expects to be helped by one of Arcana’s own sons, much less that she will fall in love. How can she choose between defending her beloved and completing her quest?

Arista’s Legacy is a short story set in the world of the Dragons of Incendium. It should be read after Wyvern’s Prince and before Wyvern’s Mate. Arista’s Legacy is available in a digital edition. It’s also included in the mini-book print edition of Wyvern’s Prince.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with flames on the cover. Flames that are in the form of a dragon, which is cool and makes sense as this series follows the Dragons of Incendium. Though this book takes place on the sister planet of Regalia and then on Cumae.

Arista is a Warrior Maiden of Cumae and also a highly advanced cyborg, though only other cyborgs know this. She is one that has had extra programming added to test the effects emotions play with her and those she interacts with. After she returns from her latest mission she reports to the Hive for debriefing – like always – but this time she wants to hold onto some memories, ones she fears the Hive will want to erase. The Hive was the first cyborg to go to Cumae and through higher awareness advanced its own programming to help make the fighters the best they could be. It also started to introduce more cyborgs into the fold to see how they could go better undetected and turned into more effect fighters. All cyborgs are meant to follow orders and Arista’s were simple. She was assigned by the Queen of Arcana to get rid of a problem – namely a son – but a secondary mission from the Hive was to retrieve the ShadowCaster. Once Arista gets linked up to the Hive though it soon becomes clear that her priorities changed from the moment she met her target, Venero.

This was a good way to see through Arista’s eyes what happened when she met Venero. We found out from him in Wyvern’s Prince what went down but it was interesting to see things from a different perspective. Also because going in we know what Arista really is but in the other we – like Gemma – were left in the dark. It’s interesting to see how her own emotions started to grow, more rapidly than the Hive might have anticipated. Which given that they are programmed to calculate every possible outcome, was surprising for all involved. Arista might have started out with one plan but things changed the longer she is in Venero’s presence. Seems he was holding back what he knew also but was willing to do whatever it took to give the people of Regalia a chance at a better life – namely one without his mother and brothers rule. With the odds against them though from the very start it’s a wonder how things planned out. Seems some things are meant to be though and destiny will always find a way.

Another fun read from this series that I can’t wait to continue with. Interesting characters throughout that always take you on fun and intriguing journeys.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Wyvern’s Prince’ by Deborah Cooke

Title: Wyvern’s Prince (The Dragons of Incendium Book 3)

Published: 20th September 2016

Author: Deborah Cooke

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage

Twitter: @cooke_delacroix

 

Synopsis:

Once, in the Kingdom of Incendium, there were twelve princesses of the realm, each a dragon shifter. Each fiery and passionate. Each possessed of an appetite for pleasure that only her destined mate can satisfy. Twelve men are expected in Incendium, each with special powers of his own, each with the gift to claim one dragon princess’s heart forever.

Engaged to Prince Urbanus of Regalia, Gemma knows that her fiancé ordered the assassination of her best friend—but has been told that he’s her HeartKeeper. Caught between her destiny and her moral duty, she decides to take vengeance upon Urbanus after the wedding night. Gemma’s not counting on more dark revelations about Urbanus, much less his beguiling charm. Alone in his palace, Gemma can only rely upon herself to ensure her survival—or can she trust the mysterious stranger who pledges to aid her, for reasons unknown?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set on another planet. You have Regalia and its sister planet Incendium where the dragons rule. Well it’s time to see how Gemma’s plan of revenge for her murdered friend Arista plays out. She might have a plan but Urbanus is a sneak and has a few of his own, ones she won’t see coming. Good job she gets a helping hand from a friendly toad then isn’t it? One only we know the true name and nature of – Venero.

It seems years ago an astrologer told Gemma that she would marry the future King of Regalia and he would not only be the carrier of the seed but also her HeartKeeper. She might have been concerned when her sister Drakina was set to marry Cantos, the first-born son of Queen Arcana, but well we all know how that turned out. The second in line was Urbanus but from knowing what he had done with the assassination of her best friend you can’t believe it to be true. It seems not everything is as it seems though but somehow everything played out just as it was meant to. With a little hop along the way.

So Gemma’s plan is simple enough. Thinking that the astrologer can’t be wrong she means to marry Urbanus, let him get her pregnant, as he is meant to be the carrier of the seed, and then kill him in his sleep. Leaving before anyone is the wiser. Helps that he had a honeymoon home of sorts built away from prying eyes. The stories of magic that Regalia holds and how Queen Arcana is meant to have passed gifts to each of her sons doesn’t cause too much concern at the start but it seems she should have held more faith in it as it could be her undoing.

Venero has a plan to be returned back to human. That plan is to get the help of who he perceives to be the airhead of a bride that has married his twin Urbanus. He can think of no other reason why someone of sound mind would do so, even if her King asked her to. His opinion isn’t changed when he sees her for the first time as she comes giddily into the room he’s hiding in. That is until she is alone and her whole persona changes in a second. He can tell with one look that she is different and has the overwhelming need to help and warn her of what his brother is really capable of. Well it seems she knows he’s not someone to be trusted but doesn’t know much about magic and spells. So it’s not good when Urbanus does a slight of the hand to cast one on her. Seems Venero needs to lend a hand, or more precisely hop, to help her out this time. Crashing into a few things so his brother is knocked out for the moment seems to work but he still needs to get Gemma to safety. Yes he wants to use her for his own reasons but feels a need to protect her more, something that unsettles him.

Escape is what’s needed for Gemma, her palver cat like creature and hop along friend, one who doesn’t give her a name to start with. Spells and trouble follow if they don’t run fast enough. Gemma is still a little confused by it all and can’t shake the feeling that her heartbreaker and carrier of the seed are closer than she thinks. Seems her dragon can sense him but because of the spell is trapped from fighting. Not good when that’s what she was looking for.

Seems Gemma and Venero need each other to get their end goal but could there be more that binds them together? The secret of why he was cursed being aired might shed some light and also see forth to have the future told correct. If a princess kisses a frog her prince shall arise but what of kissing a toad? Not much from what Gemma thinks but then could that be the answer to all she really seeks?

Mystery and intrigue with many vying for different outcomes with what they seek. Got to love these dragon princesses, as they are a force to be reckoned with. You do not want to get in their way and certainly want them on your side. Something Venero is learning and starting to like. I liked the funny friendship that came with the two of them and the passion you know will follow, something else these dragons are known for. Well they do have fire so can get very heated. Liked the flow of this one right from the start and keeps you hooked till the end.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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