Tag Archive | Paranormal

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Royal House of Shadows Series

Paranormal Romance

Lord of the Vampires (book 1) by Gena Showalter

If you’d like to watch a short video of my review of Lord of the Vampires, you can visit Love Serially Book Blog Facebook page by clicking on the blue link. It’s 1 minute & 40 seconds long, so I’m talking about just the highlights.

Lord of the Vampires

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Nicolai the Vampire is heir to a throne that has been stolen. Not only the throne, but his memory and even his very body has been lost. Instead, Nicolai is a slave to the perverted desires of a pair of sisters. He calls to one who will save him—a woman from the human world. Jane Parker has faced enormous loss and pain, so when she sees Nicolai in her dreams, she feels for him. But when Jane suddenly awakes in another world, she’s not sure she can believe in her feelings for Nicolai.

This is classic Gena Showalter and she doesn’t disappoint. The entire book reminds me a bit of her Lord of the Underworld series, especially because Nicolai has enormous strength, but is bound by magic. Jane is a scientist and so she approaches the world with a bit of skepticism, but also a lot of courage. Another quintessential Showalter hero and heroine couple.

I’ve read some of the reviews of the book, and I think you should ignore most of the negative reviews. Whoever wrote them didn’t read the book closely enough because the discrepancies they talk about are answered in the book. You’ll notice that even while I write that, I didn’t give this book a 5 star rating. And that’s because, while it’s a fun book to read, the love between Jane and Nicolai moves rather fast. It skips a lot of the tender bits to give us a lot of action and adventure, which is great, but can feel abrupt.

Since this is a four book series, the overarching conflict in the novel is not resolved, so be forewarned. You’ll need to read the other three books to see how that particular storyline finishes. I plan on reading them, and am a little bit of the way into the second book. You can check back on this blog later for updates on what I thought about books 2-4. It’s also good to note that each of the books in this series is written by a different author. I’ve read books by Showalter and Nalini Singh, but I haven’t read books by Jessica Anderson or Jill Monroe, so I’m curious to see each writer’s take on the characters and conflict.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $3.99)

I borrowed the book from the library and I highly recommend doing that. I was able to find all four books as an ebook bundle from my library, in addition to the paperback copy. If you’re a big fan of Gena Showalter, I don’t think this book disappoints so it might be worth buying.

Something else you might enjoy:

I love Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London Series. It also puts a unique twist on vampires and other paranormal characters. The last book in the series is my favorite.

Get to Know the Vampire Girl

Vampire Girl Series by Karpov Kinrade

Young Adult/Paranormal Romance

 

Vampire Girl

Vampire Girl 2: Midnight Star

Vampire Girl 3: Silver Flame

Vampire Girl 4: Moonlight Prince

 

These books are not standalones and must be read in order.

Vampire Girl

Overall Rating: 4.5 (XOXO)

Quick & Dirty summary: Arianna Spiro is just another girl when she walks to work on the night of her 18th birthday. But nothing in her life will ever be the same once she returns home to find her mother dead. Arianna will do everything in her power to save the people she loves the most, but when she finds that vampires are real, she’s not sure how much she can really do to save herself let alone anyone else.

These books are wonderfully written. From the very first page I was transformed into another place, following Arianna around on her birthday. Karpov Kinrade (KK), a married couple who have put their last names together, do a wonderful job of describing the characters and scenery enough to pain a vivid picture without slowing down the narrative. I love the dialogue and Arianna is an awesome heroine.

This is a love story, but what I love about so many young adult novels is the love they portray goes beyond the romantic. It’s about love of family, love of friends, and love of yourself. Yes, of course there is romance. I enjoyed reading about Arianna’s relationship (I won’t give it away since you aren’t really certain until further along in the story), but Arianna’s love for her friends and family play a major role in this novel.

In order for that to effectively happen, the secondary characters have to be strong and multidimensional and KK do that beautifully. This is the kind of book where you have more than one favorite character because there are so many good ones to choose from. And this is not a story of simple human beings (or vampires). Instead, each character makes choices based on a whole series of complex factors. While there is a “bad” guy, most of the characters have redeeming qualities. This adds a bit of mystery and suspense to the series, but also gives the books great depth.

I could not wait to read each book in this series! They are enthralling!

 

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $13.96 for all four books)

Now you guys know that I am not one to advocate buying a $14 ebook. I highly recommend checking to see if your library has this series since it’s one you don’t want to miss. And I also highly recommend buying it, if a $14 ebook is in your wheelhouse (it’s just not in mine). If you’re wondering how I got to read these books, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that they are FREE on Kindle Unlimited! I’m finding it is paying off more and more to have KU.

Something else you might enjoy:

Try one of the first series I reviewed on this blog, the Witching Savannah Series by J.D. Horn. You can read my review of the series here, but it’s similar in that it’s PG rated and full of paranormal love.

Darkest London Book 3

Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan

Paranormal Romance

 

Winterblaze (Book 3)

darkest-london-3

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Poppy London has always been the steady sister. With her husband and her bookshop, her life seems mundane and ordinary. But when a werewolf attacks her husband, Winston, long held family secrets are revealed that may cost Poppy her marriage. After Winston recovers he leaves Poppy to find some semblance of solace after his wife’s betrayal, but when Poppy suddenly appears on his ship, his life takes another dangerous turn. As Poppy and Winston face a threat bigger than the two of them they must decide if the love that brought them together is enough to overcome a deal made with the devil.

This might have been my favorite Darkest London book yet. And that’s saying something because I love the first book in this series. But there is something about the undeniable love between Poppy and Winston that makes my heart sigh. It’s not that Winston doubts his love for Poppy, but it’s whether the two of them can forgive and move on in their relationship.

The universal theme of forgiveness is so applicable to life, whether staring down a demon or ignoring the little hurts your partner may inflict. People inevitably require forgiving, we are so imperfect, and Kristen Callihan’s portrayal of this truth is quite moving. I wouldn’t say that the resolution is definitive, but the story offer glimmers as to how a couple can move on.

The pacing of this story is kind of like the sea: it swells with action and then ebbs a little with memories and dialogue. I enjoyed it and read the novel quickly. The climax of the novel is a little hazy for me—I’m not sure I understand exactly what happens, but it’s a happily-ever-after and for that I am grateful.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $6.99)

Even though it’s a bit expensive, because it’s my favorite book in the series so far, I’m going to have to say yes, you should buy it. It’s sweet and touching and lovely, plus you get to see Poppy’s two sisters as they live out their happily-ever-afters.

Entranced by Moonglow

Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan

Historical Romance/Fantasy

 

Moonglow (Book 2)

moonglow-darkest-london-2

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty Summary: Daisy Ellis Craigmore has always seemed like the daring sister. Outrageous and infectious, Daisy’s big personality seems to imply a certain looseness of character. And now that her year of mourning her stuffy old husband is done, Daisy is determined to earn her reputation. Her pleasure is short-lived when she witnesses a gruesome murder and is almost killed herself. When Ian Ranulf happens to come along and save her, she promptly puts him in his place. Yet, as killings continue to happen in London, Ian must keep Daisy close in order to keep her safe. And as he does so, they both learn some startling new things about each other and themselves.

To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. I was completely enthralled and had a hard time putting it down. I love Daisy’s personality, although parts of it seemed uneven to me. She loves perfume and has a great sense of smell, but hates dirt and being outside. It seems like all the best smells would be outside in a garden. But what do I know? In any case, she is spunky and outgoing and I really enjoyed getting to know her better (her appearance in the first book is rather brief).

Ian I could take or leave. He wasn’t the super swoony guy I’d always hoped for, but the dialogue between Ian and Daisy is great. His tragic backstory explains a lot of his behavior in the first book of the series, and I love when an author takes a challenging character and transforms him into a sympathetic one. That Kristen Callihan succeeds is evident in how much I like this book.

There is a lot of action and quite a few plot twists throughout this novel. I was very surprised by the evil mastermind behind all the killings and really enjoyed that aspect of the storyline. I can’t wait to read the next novel, since the end of this one gives a glimpse into the next one. That’s the bad thing about borrowing the books from the library—it takes FOREVER to get the next installment. But I’ll happily wait if it means more of this exciting goodness!

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $8.99)

This one makes me edgy because even though I liked the book, more than the first one even, nine dollars for an e-book makes me uncomfortable. I definitely recommend reading it, but I think borrowing it from the library may be the way to go unless you’re going to buy the whole series.

Something else you might enjoy:

The London Steampunk Series by Bec McMaster has a similar feel to the Darkest London Series and I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Kiss of Steel. And the best part about it is that it’s free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited. I didn’t read the rest of the series, but there are a lot of books, five to be exact with an additional two novellas, so if you’re looking for a new series this may be a good option.

Enthralled with Darkest London

The Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan

Historical Romance/Fantasy

 

Firelight (Book 1)

firelight-darkest-london-1

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Miranda Ellis knows what it’s like to live as a prisoner of guilt. Thanks to her extraordinary gift and her fiery beauty she is at her father’s beck and call. When he demands that she marry Lord Benjamin Archer, she knows that obeying will absolve her sins, but at the price of her life. Surprisingly, she is drawn to Lord Archer, despite his cold masked appearance. When evidence mounts that Lord Archer is a killer, Miranda must decide if she will stand by her husband or heed the rumors.

This is definitely a kind of Phantom of the Opera meets X-men story minus the singing and the superhero outfits. I was totally surprised by what happens with Benjamin and love the book because of it. The storyline is so imaginative and unexpected with layers of traditional fantasy components and lesser-known myths.

The characters are well written and the dialogue is great. There is tons of action and the mystery of who is setting up Archer is exciting all the way through the book. While I guessed who the villain is, I was no less enthralled with the ending. It is a great story and so much fun to read.

This made me want to read the rest of the series and I am so happy that the books are available through my local library. I cannot wait to dive back into this fascinating world and see what Kirsten Callihan has next.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $4.99)

Yes! Although I borrowed it from the library, which is always awesome, this book is one that you may be tempted to read again and again!

Something else you might enjoy:

The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger is similar, with a steam punk twist. I loved this series… in fact I need to go back and re-read it! The first book of the series is titled Soulless.

Strange Luck Book 1

Strange Luck Series by Amie Irene Winters

Yong Adult Fantasy

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The second book in the series is The Nightmare Birds and I will be posting a separate review once I have finished reading that book.

Strange Luck (Book 1)

strange-luck

Overall Rating: 4

 

Quick Summary: Daisy Darling has spent her life listening to far-fetched stories in her father’s shop Strange Luck. Specializing in the mythical, mystical and mysterious, Daisy has enough material to pursue her dream of writing for years. But Daisy has to take care of the store, especially since her father needs a heart transplant that they can’t afford. When Daisy finds out that these stories aren’t just made up, she’s trapped in a world that she can’t quite decipher or escape.

This is not a love story in the traditional sense so it’s a little out of the blog’s normal reach. There is a bit of romance, but the story is much more focused on Daisy’s journey. Essentially it’s a coming of age novel where Daisy realizes that there are more possibilities in life than she originally thought. I appreciate that the lesson Daisy learns has to do with the place of dreams and memories in creating meaning in our lives. This is such an important lesson and I love that it is interwoven into an exciting tale of adventure.

The writing and dialogue are smooth and the world that Amie Winters creates is vivid and interesting. However, there are some lingering questions in my mind. I don’t quite understand everything that happens in the novel and that unsettles me. Fantasy/paranormal is a genre in which a lot of odd things occur, but I still like everything to add up. So that’s my only real problem with the novel. I don’t want to go into more detail because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)

Yes! It’s a lot of fun and it’s a quick read. Although it is a part of a series it can stand alone with no cliffhanger ending and I would definitely recommend it to my 17-year-old sister. It’s also a Kindle Unlimited book so it’s free to read if you have a subscription.

Something else you might enjoy:

The Savannah Witches series is another great young adult fantasy/paranormal series. I loved it and it is one of the first books I reviewed on my blog so it has a fond place in my heart.

Best Buy of the Year!

Seattle Wolf Pack by Kristin Miller

Paranormal Romance

 

I received this advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review. This new box set is scheduled to be released on April 25, 2016.

 

Seattle Wolf Pack Box Set

Gone with the Wolf (Drake and Emelia)

Four Weddings and a Werewolf (Logan and Veronica)

So I Married a Werewolf (Carter and Faith)

510dz7wqJ+L._SY443_BO1,204,203,200_

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

It’s hard to tell which is my favorite of the three novels. All three of the novels are awesome. Each one is full of steamy sex and love that will last centuries. Ultimately, I think Carter and Faith were the most developed of all of the characters and so their story really resonated with me. There were still parts that tore at me about Carter and Faith’s story though. Faith’s feelings are hurt over and over again, and while she is a strong woman, I’m not sure I could have overcome my feelings as “easily” as Faith. But that’s probably why she’s named Faith, which I love.

My favorite leading male is probably Logan. He is such a strong wolf and I have a clear sense of what his issues are with relationships. Veronica is a bit of a twit, but I love Kristin Miller’s description of her—she’s beautiful, but you have to look at her because she’s understated. There are so many women like that in real life and it’s always nice when they’re noticed. The actual story is fast-paced. There is always something going on, which makes sense because this is more of a romantic suspense than So I Married a Werewolf, which has no suspense. It’s a really quick read in that sense, and there’s tons of steamy sex.

I had the most problems with Gone with the Wolf. The characters are developed, but the way the dialogue is written and formatted, it’s difficult to always tell who is speaking. In fact, one of my biggest pet peeves about reading ebooks is formatting issues. So often there aren’t line spaces where there needs to be, and line breaks at random intervals. This makes it difficult for character development because when I don’t know who is saying what, I can’t get a sense of their chemistry and their thought processes. Emelia is written as a free-spirited character, but there aren’t a lot of scenes where I get to see her in that vein. Drake is much more successfully portrayed as a cold, analytical businessman, especially because there are so many scenes where he makes the wrong decisions based on those characteristics.

The best thing about this is that you can read all three books one after another like I did. There are time gaps between each of the books, so you can track Emelia and Drake’s family over years, as well as Logan and Veronica. Each of the couples makes cameo appearances in So I Married a Werewolf. Miller has added some nice additions to the werewolf trope that I really love too. That they become stronger and live longer with their luminary is awesome (and true in real life to a certain extent). I love that each couple realizes who their luminary is at different times—this allows each plotline to develop along different lines. It’s nice that each novel is unique and doesn’t fall into the same tired storylines.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $0.99)

Here is the big news folks! You can get this amazing box set for less than a dollar! Is that the deal of the year? YES! It’s a no-brainer. You should get this one.

Something else you might enjoy:

This series does remind me of Vicki Lewis Thompson’s series Wild About You. You can read reviews of the first few books here.