Reading Fanatic Reviews

Paranormal Romance

Death’s Choice by Laura Greenwood

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Death's Choice*

Fast, Action-Packed Read

Wow, that was a quick and busy ride! The author gets you right into the action, showing us exactly what Kali does for a living. Then her assignments get changed up, and she is thrust into a completely different world. She discovers court intrigue, a little mystery, and romance—also discovering her soulmates. Just when she’s getting comfortable with this idea, another monkey wrench is thrown into the works. Like all books by Ms. Greenwood, the action is tight, and the characters are well-defined. You’ll be turning the pages fast to figure out what is going on. An enjoyable, fast read.

Nixie and the Healer by Ellen M. Bard

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Nixie and the Healer*

Good Installment of Excellent Series

There are so many things to like about this series. I’ve read and enjoyed every book so far. Because the author has woven such a complex world with its own codes and laws, the books are really best read in order so that you can fully understand what is going on.

As a longtime student of the chakras, I absolutely adore how the author has incorporated the concept into this series. She’s made the bedrock for much in this world. But it makes so much sense in the way that she has ordered it, and it gives structure to both the characters and the plot. I love how this series, unlike others, really weaves in the characters from the previous books even though each book focuses on a new couple. The overarching ongoing plot regarding the prophecy, which is slowly being revealed,  and all that must be done truly lays at the heart of each book. I love seeing more about how the lives of those characters already known are progressing and how they impact the next part of the story.

In terms of the two main characters in this installment, they are just about as opposite as they can be. However, that makes them complimentary. It was fascinating to watch Jeb grapple with his energies, especially the one that he did not identify with. Nixie was a hard character to like at first as she comes across as a bit shallow and only interested in superficial pursuits. But the author has done a fantastic job of creating a growth arc for her. She grows and changes so much in this book that in the end you cannot help but appreciate her growing strengths and core goodness, even if she is still somewhat immature. I look forward to finding out about the next couple and the next steps in this amazing journey.

Slayer Academy Books 1-3 by Amelia Shaw

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Slayer Academy Books 1 to 3*

Nice to Have Series in One Place!

I quite enjoyed this series about a nerdy young woman who was believed to be destined to be great in the magical realm as others were before her in her family. Her family, though, could have never known the twists her life would take! She did, in fact, become great and powerful, but not in the expected ways. I like books about magical academies and the paranormal world–yup, a Harry Potter fan–so I was intrigued by the potentials set up by this author. I felt that the pacing was a bit uneven in all the books, but that did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the books.

Let me tell you a little more about books one and two…

Book 1: The Legacy: I was particularly intrigued by the idea that the heroine considers herself to be a nerdy bookworm, and she is suddenly thrust into a magical world that she had no idea existed. In this world, she is to be trained to be a fae slayer, as her family has been such for four generations. I thought this was a little slow to get started, as, she doesn’t even get to the academy until near the halfway point of the book. While we do see a few interesting scenes at the academy, the author chose to flash forward through much of her time there, focusing on a couple of key scenes instead. I would have liked to have seen more of her regular daily life at the academy and her adjustments to this world and her role in it. That said, even though this book felt a little slow at times, I think it does a good job setting up this magical world.

Book 2: Fae Hunter: The blurb of the book makes you think that the bulk of it will take place in the Fae realm, but after a brief visit there, we stay stuck in the human world at the Academy until around the 50% mark. The book felt slow in the beginning and through much of the middle, but then really sped up–and the end was at lightning speed. The book has a little more profanity than I am comfortable with. I thought some sensual scenes, as well as regular ones, had elements that were slightly cringe-worthy. The heroine learned a lot more about herself, the Fae realm, and the Academy, much of which will come as a surprise to the readers of the first book. Not everyone is who or what they seem. The end of the book is a bit shocking, with a nail-biting cliffhanger at the end…  so if you’re not a fan of those, be glad that you have all the books in one volume! While this book did have shortcomings, I am curious to see the resolution to the cliffhanger as well as what happens in the heroine’s evolving relationships with Fae princes.

I’ll let you discover book three for yourself!

The Blood King by Amber K. Bryant

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The Blood King*

Not Quite What I Thought But Still Good

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting after reading the book description, but what I got wasn’t quite it. I don’t think the author was wholly honest in the blurb about the actual nature of some of the characters in this book. Rather, she danced around what they were, perhaps hoping that the reader would draw their own conclusion or might not connect the dots. Despite feeling like I was somewhat tricked into choosing a book that I would not normally have chosen, the authors’ writing style is actually quite good. She has a command of the use of descriptive words; they truly do create a word picture without feeling as if they are overly descriptive, making the writing feel ponderous. She has crafted a complex paranormal world here. The heroine is strong in a take-no-prisoners way. She is definitely is the boss and in control. There were several scenes in this book that were really evocative, allowing you to feel as if you were actually immersed in the world and experiencing it. It is rare when authors can do this, so I quite enjoyed that aspect.

The Dragon’s Witch by Lola Gabriel

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The Dragon's Witch*

Intense Shifter Romance

What an intriguing plot and a sexy yet sometimes sad read! Unusual, but in a good way. The hero and heroine seem to be at cross purposes in their ultimate goals in life. He is an immortal dragon shifter who wants to die because he feels burdened by immortality. She, on the other hand, is actually dying unless she finds an ancient artifact. She’s a particular kind of witch that has historically had issues with the type of dragon shifter he is. They have the ability to kill each other; yes, the “immortal” dragon can be killed by a Gaia witch. But they meet as humans, not knowing of the other’s background, and the sparks really do fly. They do have a palpable chemistry. They’re actually a great couple together. But there are lies and secrets, most often coming from a good place of wanting to protect the other. It is a surprisingly intense love story for a shifter paranormal romance, and as you are reading along, you really do wonder how they will get to their HEA.

Lethal Waters by J. P. McLean

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Lethal Waters*

More Danger for Em

When you review a book that is a part have a long series, there’s always the danger, it feels like, of telling too much. So, I’m going to try to avoid that. Em’s adventure continues. One thing I can definitely say is that the author does create a very different plot for each book of this series. In this one, Em has to make a hard choice that definitely puts her in danger. She interacts with some new people as well as some old ones. The author does do a good job showing this parallel paranormal world that exists within the greater nonparanormal society.

Renegade Dragons by Laura Greenwood

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Regnegade Dragons*

Delightful PNR RH Story

There’s always something so nice about box sets of a series: having all the books together makes it so easy to binge read! I’ve read other books by this author, and I do like her style. She is always able to create interesting paranormal worlds with characters who feel real even though they don’t exist in our reality. As this is a reverse harem story, I was surprised at the relationship between the females and how it evolved over the course of the books, but it seemed right. It is definitely an interesting group of characters, and I enjoyed watching their interactions.

Come Halloween by Robbie Cox

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Come Halloween*

Come Halloween, Indeed

I have read a few books by Robbie Cox before, and I like the way that he is able to make characters seem so real, even paranormal ones. This book is relatively short, but the author is able to build anticipation, making the reader wonder what the heroine is going to do about the two men who take up so much of her mental space, her dead husband and a good friend who has helped keep her from despair while she has been in mourning. Surprisingly, it is not as simple a choice as it might seem. You can’t help but feel for poor Derek, the living man who has a ghost for competition. The author has created a world that feels much like our own but with a paranormal twist. The author did warn about strong language and sexual situations. I don’t mind the sexual situations, but I don’t think that the use of strong language was necessarily handled well. If profanity and crude language are going to be used, I think it should be done to illuminate character, not just to use “bad” words. After all, a writer’s medium is words, and there are so many more than the blue ones! That said, this is still a delightful and intriguing read, and it might be fun to re-read it around Halloween.

The Key to Her Past by Blanche Dabney

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The Key to Her Past*

Surprising Supernatural Element… and Not in a Good Way!

I have read two other books in this series, and I wasn’t particularly wild about them, but I do like to give authors several chances before I give up on them completely. Sometimes a book or two just isn’t right for me, but other ones will be. The issues I didn’t like in the other books were present here and were actually worse. While historical time travel books do have an element of the unreal to them, because time travel isn’t currently possible, they are usually still grounded in the reality of both in contemporary times and historical times. But this author has chosen to take time travel romance in a completely different direction that wasn’t even really hinted at in the blurb. In this book, there is a wholly supernatural element that underpins the entire story, and I found it to be shocking and bizarre—and not in a good way. When I realized it this is where the author was going, I had a hard time keeping with the book because it was just too bizarre. Honestly, the author should have warned about this in the blurb or had it accurately reflected in the book’s cover. The cover looks like it could be for any Highland romance, not for a supernatural one.

Like the previous book in the series, too, this one didn’t have the hero and heroine meet until after the 30% mark of the book. Even if the book didn’t have the bizarreness mentioned in the previous paragraph, this late meeting of the couple makes it so that there is not any time to truly develop the romance. This is especially important in the case of this book because it explores the enemies-to-lovers trope.

I will admit to being somewhat surprised at how well this series is rated by other readers. The stories are not well plotted, the characters are without much dimension, extraneous information that adds nothing to the story takes up valuable time, and the books are too short for the romance plot to be explored as it ought to be. I cannot recommend this book or the series.

Star-Crossed with Scarlett by Shelley Munro

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Star-Crossed with Scarlett*

Main Characters Lacked

I have read at least one other book by this author, and I enjoyed that one, so I thought I would give this book a go. I liked the dramatic beginning and appreciated that it wasn’t weighted down with too much backstory. However, the two main characters never really became “real” for me, and I didn’t sense chemistry between them (most likely because of that fact). As so much of the book relied on their evolving relationship, that made the entire book fall flat for me.

Disclosure

The asterisks (*) by the book title denote the source of the book copy.

One star = I received it as a free advance/review copy or directly from the author.

Two stars = I borrowed it through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Three stars = I purchased the book outright (sometimes for free).

The Amazon book links on this site are affiliate links, which means I make a tiny percentage if you choose to buy a book linked from this site.

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