Tag Archives: genre: paranormal

The Hanged Man’s Ghost by Missouri Dalton

The Hanged Man's Ghost

The Hanged Man’s Ghost by Missouri Dalton

Series: The Night Wars, Book 1
Published by:
 Torquere Press on January 31, 2012
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Detective Fynn Adder of the Chicago Police Department is about to embark on a case that will not only make or break his career but also change his life forever. Still reeling somewhat from the loss of his fiance, Robert, a few years ago, he’s drinking more than he knows he should and is engaging in meaningless sexual encounters. So when a series of murders occurs that seem to pulling in closer to Fynn, and then when he starts getting clues from the ghosts of these murder victims, it’s only a matter of time before everything could go completely off the rails. But as Fynn and his partner Jack start to dig deeper into the case, they learn there is a lot more to the crime spree that than meets the eye. And they uncover an Adder family secret along the way.

There are moments when I was reading this one that I honestly wasn’t quite sure where it was going. But it found its way back every time, and every time an additional layer of complexity was added to the story. This is an entertaining read, with a great paranormal element threaded throughout. The relationship development aspect seemed a bit glossed over, but it felt like such a minor point in the story (with an inevitable outcome) that I didn’t see it as impacting my enjoyment of the story.

Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause

Extrasensual Perception

Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on January 5, 2017
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Christopher Vincent has tried his best to avoid drawing attention to his psychic abilities. That’s more of his mother’s thing, and he’d like to try to live a normal life. But when a bit of desperation leads him to accept a job as a psychic at his friend’s club, it looks like he may have no choice. And then there’s the issue of his friend’s brother, Jack. Chris can’t keep his eyes off the man, and they even had a brief encounter years ago, but they’re from two different worlds. Which is made even more apparent by Jack’s clear disapproval of Chris’s work in the club. But when a mysterious stranger begins to target the three of them, they may all have to rely on Chris’s abilities even more than any of them expected. And it just might be what’s needed for Chris to break down the wall between him and Jack once and for all.

I would describe this as a light and easy read, despite the fact that there’s a very dark character hanging out on the periphery for most of the book. There are some definite twists and turns that I didn’t expect while still keeping many of the elements one might expect from a romantic thriller. Enjoyable, entertaining, and recommended.

Bloodlines by Andrea Speed

Bloodlines

Bloodlines by Andrea Speed

Series: Infected, Book 2
Published by:
 Dreamspinner Press on December 16, 2010
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Roan McKichan was born infected–it’s what he’s always known. But in a world where the virus turns people into werecats, the noninfected don’t really care how you got it. An ex-cop, Roan works now as a private investigator with a reputation for taking cases many others might not. Despite being newly married, Roan is not one to slow down, and the case he’s just pulled is one that is going to pull him down to some of the lowest depths of society while rubbing elbows with some of the most well-known elites in the city. With Roan’s line of work, he knows everyone meets their end at some point–even though many of us are often unwilling to face what that means until it’s too late.

I know this series is not “new” per se (hey, it’s new to me), but there’s a freshness to it that I found to resonate with me as a reader. The entire cast of characters really reflect a humanity that I think would appear (and be needed) in a world like this. And there are some strong parallels to some things we have seen throughout our own history reflected back in this story of an alternate future. As much as he would probably refuse to admit it, Roan is also developing as a character, and I am very interested in seeing where he goes next.

Nocturne by Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt

Nocturne

Nocturne by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

Series: Hours of the Night, Book 2
Published by:
 Prescourt Books on October 12, 2017
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

When a prominent society lady (and, as it turns out, essentially the head of a powerful coven) mysteriously dies at her own party, the only thing anyone knows for certain is that foul play is more than suspected. So it’s also no surprise that Thaddeus and Sarasija find themselves working to track down the murderer. And if it’s not enough to be on the trail of someone (or something) nefarious, they still need to track down the missing grimoire (a.k.a. guide to demon summoning) while Thaddeus is struggling to keep himself in control and Sara is having strange dreams that he is keeping to himself. Recipe for disaster? Probably. But these two just might be up to the challenge.

I was excited to see another installment in this series. There was something about Thaddeus and Sara that drew me in when I read Vespers, and that something is definitely still here. These two have experiences that are so different–they’re even from different eras, really–and through those differences they have managed to find something that works for them. Now, sometimes it doesn’t work as well as others, but I think it’s safe to say that is true of nearly any relationship. There are some unexpected twists to rush down in reading this story, and–I’ll just put it out there now–there are some unanswered questions that remain at the end. But that’s what book three is for, right?

[Disclaimer: This review is based on an advance reading copy provided by the authors.]

Dare to Love Forever by Jake C. Wallace

Dare to Love Forever

Dare to Love Forever by Jake C. Wallace

Series: New Vampire Justice, Book 1
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on September 26, 2016 (2nd edition)
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Connor Locke is a rare vampire, a Tabula Rasa. When he bites someone, he has the ability to completely wipe their memories. Because he can work this power on both humans and other vampires, he’s considered dangerous by some and useful by others. But it means he needs to be careful what he does, where he goes, and who he trusts. So when he’s caught stealing blood to survive, he’s understandably suspicious of Lincoln Samuels, the New Vampire Justice Commander who saves Connor’s life, heals his wounds, and offers to help him. But as other forces prepare to move in on Connor and use him for their own purposes, he finds Lincoln might just be the one person he can count on. And together, they might just be able to change the world.

I’ve found that I’m reading more vampire stories than I think I have in the past. It’s not really a conscious thing; they’re just the ones that are popping up on my reading list at the right time lately. But I’m also finding that I’m enjoying the stories that I’m reading more than I think I did in the past. And that’s largely because I’m picking up books that are about more than the fact that a vampire is involved. There’s more going on in the story. Yes, one (or more) of the main characters is a vampire, but the story doesn’t revolve around that chapter after chapter after chapter. And an action romance like this one is a shining example of how to tell such a story without resorting to tropes to get through it…

Waiting for Patrick by Brynn Stein

Waiting for Patrick

Waiting for Patrick by Brynn Stein

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on September 16, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Elliot Graham is an architect who specializes in restoring old houses and flipping them for a profit. But when he purchases an old plantation home in South Carolina, there’s something about the place that makes him wonder if he’ll be able to part with it. He’s found something that he didn’t even know he was searching for even if he can’t exactly articulate what it is.

Ben Myers promised Patrick that he would wait for him to come back. And he’s someone who is true to his word. Even though that promise was made during the Civil War, Ben is still waiting in the same plantation house where they parted more than a century ago. A bit restless, Ben reaches out to Elliot and tells him his story. Elliot does his best to try to convince Ben that Patrick is gone and isn’t coming back, but Ben is devoted. And it turns out there may be a bit more to this love story than either of them realizes…

Are you someone who believes in fate? Even just a little? Well, even if you aren’t, I have a feeling you’ll still enjoy this well-written and engaging story of love that spans more than a lifetime. In life there are very few second chances–and sometimes even few first chances–and it’s imperative that we take the chances that we are given. Who knows, sometimes they may surprise us and we might even surprise ourselves. And that’s exactly what you’ll find here…

Sunchaser by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

Sunchaser

Sunchaser by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus

Series: Smilodon Pride, Book 2
Published by: Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus on October 14, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Werecat Roan has found that he can manage to live among humans on his own as long as he doesn’t stick around too long. It’s not that they’ll figure him out; it’s that he can only put up with certain people for so long. And he’s well past the time he should be moving on from his current living situation. But when he discovers a traveling circus has captured a werewolf and is subjecting him to torture to entertain the masses, he decides he has one last thing to do before he leaves town. Not that he’s a fan of werewolves or anything. It’s just that no one deserves to be treated like that. But Roan isn’t the only one who wants to set the wolf free, and after the rescue attempt goes wrong he finds himself on the run with none other than the sheriff’s daughter. And as a lone cat, Roan has to quickly adjust to being part of a crowd–and figure out what to do about the circus ringmaster who is hot on their trail (and is some sort of supernatural creature himself). Will they manage to keep themselves and the werewolf safe? And will Roan be able to set his loner nature aside while they continue to run together?

There are more than a few unexpected turns in this book, which is something I am always a fan of. Roan is a character that you simultaneously love and grumble at a bit while reading. He’s gruff and a bit jaded while kind and caring at the same time. And it’s not so much that he tries to reject the caring part of his nature, just that he doesn’t want all of the trouble and fuss that seems to go along with it. His arch is indeed an interesting one, and it’s as much of a journey itself as is the cross-country road trip that the group undertakes as part of their getaway. This is a fun and entertaining read that I can’t help but recommend.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

Vampire Prince by S.J. Frost

Vampire Prince

Vampire Prince by S.J. Frost

Series: Paranormal Nobles, Book 1
Published by: Ellora’s Cave on March 7, 2014
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Three years ago, Sebastian Beaumont was tricked. Having been kicked out by his parents when they discovered he was gay, Sebastian tried to make it on the streets. But living on the streets is hard enough for an adult; it can be even harder for a teenager. So the offer for a roof over his head, good food, and security was something he jumped at. He just didn’t expect that he would be come a blood slave, forced to let random vampires feed off of him, in exchange. And he expects he will die in Wesley’s blood house.

Sebastian’s outlook changes when a mysterious new patron arrives and selects him. Valentin is a vampire prince–something Sebastian didn’t know existed. The two hit it off quickly, and when Sebastian is threatened, Valentin buys Sebastian’s contract off a reluctant Wesley and takes him home. Sebastian is free, but for someone who has been enslaved and expected to die that way, freedom is a difficult concept. And Valentin has some wounds of his own. Of course, there’s also the fact that Wesley feels scorned over the loss of one of his slaves, and he may stop at nothing to get him back. With the cards stacked against them, can Sebastian and Valentin find a way to make this work?

There’s something I really enjoyed about the world in which this story takes place. I mean, yes the concept of blood slaves isn’t a huge stretch in a vampire universe, though I don’t know that I’ve read many stories that have featured something like that. But the interaction with demons, the backstory of how vampires were created, and some of the other lore kept me intrigued. And Beezle–everyone needs a Beezle.

There isn’t as much focus here on the development of the relationship between Sebastian and Valentin, but that was okay with me. There was a good balance between focusing on them and letting other characters shine while drawing readers into this world. Definitely an enjoyable read.

Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles

Flight of Magpies

Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles

Series: A Charm of Magpies, Book 3
Published by: Samhain Publishing on October 28, 2014
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Life for Stephen Day has never really been what one would call normal. But things are getting weird even for him. The justiciary is still in the process of rebuilding their forces, and one of the apprentices may be going mad with power. Of course, this only adds to the stress between Stephen and his lover, Lord Crane. A stress that comes to a head over the investigation of a theft in which Crane finds himself the victim. Can Stephen help solve the theft, figure out what’s going on with the young apprentice, and keep his relationship afloat?

I have enjoyed this series; the combination of historical and paranormal always has a way of drawing me in. And the characters here are the same characters that I’ve grown to enjoy reading about during the previous two installments. I have to say that I do feel like there’s just a little bit too much going on in this one, though. There’s the case at the core, there’s the drama with the justiciary, there’s the short-staffing of the judiciary–it’s just so many layers and makes things suddenly more complex than I feel they have been thus far. Perhaps I just wasn’t ready for this turn. I still enjoyed this book, and I absolutely recommend it. It just didn’t quite hit the spot in the way I expected it would.

Prickly by Nature by Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade

Prickly by Nature

Prickly by Nature by Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade

Series: Portland Pack Chronicles, Book 2
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on November 16, 2015
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

It’s been four months since hedgehog shifter Avery Babineaux started his investigation into the disappearance of Lacey, a young woman from the Portland Pack. Despite finding himself in danger more than once, he’s continuing to investigate, committed to bringing Lacey home. Now that he’s started working with a licensed private investigator, Corbin Reid, he’s hoping to learn more and be able to track down every possible lead.

There are days when Dylan Green would prefer that his mate not get himself tangled up in his private detective work. He admires and appreciates Avery’s dedication; he just doesn’t care for the fact that Avery’s investigations put him in danger. And Dylan’s wolf is very much the protective type, so he can’t just stand back and let Avery walk into situations where he might get hurt. But he knows that Avery’s just as unlikely to back down as he is, and the two of them will need to find a way to live with the current state of things.

But as Avery gets closer to finding out the truth about Lacey, the danger is likely to only grow–for both of them.

Of course I had to read the follow up to the first ever hedgehog shifter novel I’ve read. And I love that the authors carried over the same spirit, that excellent balance between humor and seriousness, that I enjoyed so much in the first book. And he same sort of unexpected twists and turns exist to keep readers guessing and on the edges of their seats…