Tag Archives: Paranormal Romance

Review: Wolf Hills by Bianca D’Arc

Liz’s Review

Wolf Hills: A Brotherhood of Blood Novel by Bianca D’Arc
Paranormal romance released by Samhain Publishing April 17, 2012

Danger prowls on two legs…

Detective Sally Decker’s Wyoming trip to visit her newlywed friend, Carly, turns into a dangerous adventure into the unknown when she learns Carly’s husband is a master vampire, and there’s a pack of werewolves living just up the road. As if that wasn’t alarming enough, the sexy Alpha wolf has taken a shine to her.

Jason Moore is an Alpha on a mission to make Sally his own. His very public seduction doesn’t sit well with the pack’s available females, but instinct tells him that Sally can handle anything, including any werewolf bitch dumb enough to challenge her.

Romance gives way to a call to arms when the pack’s children come under attack. Their rescue mission turns into a mating dance and the hunt is on in more ways than one. Their attraction is mind-bendingly hot, though startling revelations about his magic and her origins could drive a wedge between them forever. Can love help them bridge the chasm between their worlds?

Warning: This book contains bombs, bullets, bare-knuckled and bare-naked lust, and some serious ass kicking. Please do not feed the frisky furballs, unless you’re willing to risk drawing back a bloody nub.

The sixth book in the Brotherhood of Blood series brings Sally, the last single girl of a group of college friends, to Carly and her husband’s home for a well-deserved two week vacation.  The first night, she’s told the truth about Carly, her vampire husband Dmitri, and their other married friends (their stories are told in the previous books – no spoilers here!).  She’s immediately plunged into a world that she had no idea existed.

Sally is a typical tough-as-nails detective that “used” to love her job but is unhappy and unfulfilled now.  She is looking forward to her vacation and spending time with Carly, but everything she ever knew about her friends comes crashing down around her head when she sees fangs for the first time and watches a young man shift into a werewolf.  What she once knew as truth has been skewed, but she takes the situation in stride.  Sally’s inner monologue as she considers things she never knew were possible is hilarious and when she proves herself to be quick thinking and willing to help, it’s clear there is more to her than meets the eye.

Jason is every bit the alpha for his pack – leader, hero, inspiration – but has a tender side for Sally that is endearing to watch bloom.  There are a few sections from his point of view that share just how fast he comes to care about her and the choices he makes because of their differences.

Although the focus of the book is split between Sally and Jason’s blossoming romance and the mysterious hunters in the pack’s territory, some attention is given to the pack members themselves.  Although secondary and tertiary characters abound, they are still drawn with depth so that it feels as if each character is important, no matter how small their part.

One of the things that I enjoy about Bianca’s books is her world-building.  She makes vampires and werewolves seem plausible and her sexy-as-sin leading men are enough to set my kindle on fire.  Wolf Hills is a well written story chock full of bullets, fangs, daring rescues, and plenty of red hot werewolf loving.

Grade:  B+

You can read an excerpt here, or buy the book here.

Review: Finding Chrissten by NJ Walters

Liz’s Review

Finding Chrissten by NJ Walters
Paranormal romance released by Samhain Publishing May 8, 2012

Legacy, Book 5

She escaped hell. Now love must capture her heart.

For eighteen horrific months, Chrissten Lawton was at the mercy of a crazy doctor and his pureblood werewolf flunky. She was subjected to experiments, beaten, mated against her will…and fading fast.

Just as she reaches the breaking point, the Haven pack comes to her rescue. Although any strange male makes her nervous, one of her rescuers stays by her side night and day, and something within her responds to this wolf’s gentleness.

From the moment Hank Brewer picked up Chrissten’s unique scent, he’s been driven to help her overcome her trauma-fed fears. He may be a half-breed, but he never does anything halfway. As he dedicates every waking moment to her healing, their fragile link leads them toward something they both hesitate to name.

But the danger isn’t past. Chrissten’s mate is still on the loose and he won’t rest until she—and the rest of Haven’s females—are taken for the cruel enjoyment of his rogue pack. Even though Hank would give his life to save her, the biggest challenge lies ahead. Admitting their love to each other.

Warning: This book contains an evil doctor, a crazy pureblood werewolf, a dysfunctional family, hunky werewolves, hot, sweaty sex, a daring rescue and a love that will make your heart sing.

I read a lot.  And by a lot, I mean that I’m always reading a book.  My goal for this year is to read 100 books, which averages to one every three days, give or take, and I’m already a dozen books ahead of schedule (thank you GoodReads).  Because I read so much, I don’t often remember authors right away when I see a book that catches my eye, so I have to go looking for them to see if I’ve read something before.  It’s nothing against the authors per se, it just means that I’m a harried mother of two young kids and most superfluous stuff not related to school or dinner or where the dog is, tends to slip right out of my mind.  When I selected Finding Chrissten to read/review, I picked it because the premise of the book was interesting.  It was later, when I actually looked up NJ Walters, that I realized why her name had sounded familiar – because I had already read several of her books and really liked them.  Among her books, the Tapestries series is one that I really dig.  Besides being hot and steamy, she writes her worlds and her characters so well that it’s easy to forget that it’s fantasy.  A real mark of a fantasy author for me, is one that makes me forget that what they’re writing about isn’t actually plausible in real-life.  Even though I had not read the previous books prior to Finding Chrissten, I had no trouble at all stepping into the series at book 5 because it was well written and engaging.  Because NJ just writes that well.  In Finding Chrissten, you feel Chrissten’s pain and vulnerability, the sheer madness of her mate, and the awesome determination of Hank.  The characters don’t just leap off the page, they stand around you and watch you read.

When the book begins, we find Chrissten near death, locked in a cage and being experimented on by a demented doctor and brutally used by a werewolf claiming that she belongs to him.  Just being rescued isn’t enough to put her at ease, as the months of degradation and abuse she suffered have taken their toll.

Chrissten emerges from her captivity a changed woman.  No longer the sister that her brothers remember, she’s erected walls to protect herself from ever being a victim again.  As a half breed of a human woman and a werewolf father, she and her twin brother turn to the father who never knew they existed for help in finding and destroying the wolf who claims her.  She finds safety within Hank’s arms as she begins the road to recovery, but struggles to separate herself from him so she can face her mate on her own terms.  She is the very definition of a survivor, choosing not to be a victim forever but gathering strength where she can to set her world right and protect the people that she loves.

Hank is a man that enjoys simplicity in his life, but falls for Chrissten, an incredibly complex woman with serious problems.  Up to the challenge, he slowly shows her just what makes a real wolf, and helps her regain the things that she lost.  He gladly opens his life to her, vowing to set her free even if he has to die to do it.  The blossoming romance between the two is bittersweet and wonderful, as they both try and fail, but never quit.

The cast of characters is vast, including Chrissten’s twin Quinn, and their human half brother, Craig.  They’re desperate to have her back safe, joining forces with the Chicago pack led by Isaiah and his mate Meredith, their own father and his pack, and utilizing the mysterious vampire, Damek.  The pack is a family, and they accept Chrissten and her family readily when she’s rescued and she finds herself ensconced in genuine affection and care from people she only just met.

A sweet story about redemption, finding love, and survival, Finding Chrissten is a great addition to the Legacy series, but one that even new readers will enjoy.  It’s full to the brim with possessive werewolves (both half-breeds and full-blooded), more than one rescue, a mostly broken but feisty half-breed woman, and a man that is willing to go to any lengths to protect her.

Grade: B

You can read an excerpt here or buy a copy here.

Review: Beneath the Skin by Lauren Dane

Liz’s Review:

Beneath the Skin by Lauren Dane
Paranormal romance released by Samhain Publishing on April 3, 2012

A whole world exists…beneath the skin.
De La Vega Cats, Book 3
Gibson de La Vega is the Bringer, one of the Alpha’s right-hand cats. It is his job to mete out justice and defend the law that holds their jamboree together.
After a contentious meeting with another jamboree, he’s shot—Mia stumbles onto the scene and saves his life. He’s immediately drawn to the female who dug three silver bullets from his body. Even after he discovers she’s a Porter, a family his own harmed grievously half a century before.
Mia has enough in her life. She’s recovering from a vicious hate crime—an attack using silver has affected her ability to do what she loves most. The last thing she needs is a bossy alpha cat like Gibson. A de La Vega no less.
Despite the myriad reasons to stay away, even as they continue to hunt down the would-be killers, their attraction deepens into something else entirely.
The answers they find bring that threat far closer to home than anyone could have imagined and it’ll be up to Gibson to end the mess once and for all. And up to Mia to stand at his side, even as he risks his life…
Warning: A super hot alpha male with a gruff façade, and an uppity female who’s not buying it. Some violence. Some red-hot sex. Bad words. Lots of fun.

Lauran Dane’s De La Vega Cats series revolves around a world that is both fantastic and plausible. Even in human form, the were-cats act like real cats in the wild, following hierarchy, protecting territory, and finding their mates. The clear hierarchy and laws of their kind were very well drawn and fascinating.

Mia comes across as a no-nonsense, stubborn, feisty woman and were-cat. But it’s clear that her nature – that fighter under the skin – isn’t just because she’s a were-cat, but because she’s a strong woman and she won’t back down no matter what. She proves herself again and again to be a worthy woman that any man would be lucky to have by his side.

Gibson is a great character. Typical alpha male, he’s used to people following his orders until he meets Mia. She takes all of his pre-conceived notions about women and throws them out the window. Mia tells him at one point that underneath the gruff exterior that he’s a marshmallow, and it’s very true. Hard when he needs to be, but soft when it’s called for. A worthy hero to the story.

What I really enjoyed about this book, aside from the suspense and action packed fighting, was the interaction between Mia and Gibson. There is no abrupt “I’m in love” action between either character, but a slow burn to the point that neither of them can ignore it and neither choose to. Their conversations, in and out of bed, punctuate the story with funny quips, bossiness, and exasperation on his part when he realizes just how little he knows about women.

Packed full of steamy love scenes, old grudges, betrayal, and witty banter between the characters, Beneath the Skin is a great story about were-cats standing up for their people and finding love in the middle of war.

Grade: B

You can read an excerpt of the book here, or buy it here.