Book Review: Mated To The Dragon

cover-review-mated to the dragonTitle: Mated To The Dragon [Fated Dragons 1]

Author: Emilia Hartley

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

All her hard work had paid off. Dakota was finally going to be studying Art History abroad at Bangor University in Wales. It was a dream come true, everything was going to be perfect. Or so she had hoped. She knew about the dragons of Snowdonia, how couldn’t she? The whole world knew dragons existed ever since The Occurrence. It’s been years since then, but the one golden rule of the university was never get involved with a dragon. Dakota knew the consequences, she’d be sent home if she was caught even looking at one. Yet… here one was, standing in front of her in all it’s glory. There was absolutely no way she could tell anyone about this.

Wesley was a bit of a show off. To be fair, he was flying home when he heard the girl gasp. His beast took control and flew straight toward the pretty little vixen. There was something different about this woman, he couldn’t quite figure it out. She clearly thought he was magnificent, she wouldn’t have gasped otherwise. Then why didn’t she pay attention to him when he approached her? Even hours after he’d left, she was all he could think about…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I thoroughly enjoyed Mated to the Dragon by Emilia Hartley. The book was fast-paced, fun, sexy, and held just a bit of danger. The writing was easy to follow and sink into, and the characters were fun and approachable. If anything, my one and only complaint is that I wish the book was deeper. I wanted more backstory to sink into at the beginning. I wanted the story to go on longer, the danger to be more present. The story was short, but I really wanted it to be meatier.

That being said, it was still a fun little romance – and I enjoyed the out-in-the-open aspect of the dragons in the world building. Usually, in books like this, the more supernatural aspects of the plot are hidden from the general public by a veil of secrecy. It was nice to find a story where something so ancient and magically was right at the forefront and accepted by the modern age.

If you’re looking for a quick, fun paranormal read with dragons, this is the story for you. I recommend you give it a try.

Book Review: Touch of Smoke

cover-review-touch of smokeTitle: Touch of Smoke

Author: Karissa Laurel

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars (4.5)

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Description/Synopsis:

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel was a uniquely fantastic tale of a small town romance overshadowed by the danger and allure of old magic. The story was fast-paced, well written, and easy to sink into. I thoroughly enjoyed the small cast of characters – Especially Rikki.

My only complaint is that the narrative had a tendency to be a bit overly dramatic, especially in the beginning, and I really wish that the author had spent more time delving into the darker and more mysterious aspects of the plot.

That aside, it was an intriguing paranormal twist on the usual small-town contemporary romance, and I really enjoyed it. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance who is looking to delve into the paranormal genre – this was a nice blend of the two.

Book Review: The Genesis of Evangeline

cover-review-the genesis of evangelineTitle: The Genesis of Evangeline [The Lost Royals Saga 1]

Author: Rachel Jonas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Evie Callahan is positive there’s something strange going on in Seaton Falls, her new home. The locals are bigger, stronger, and faster than most. That includes Nick, the boy next door who’s become her silver lining in this godforsaken town.

She wants to trust her instincts–about Nick, about what she suspects in Seaton Falls–but rumors of wolves and dragon shifters makes it hard to tell what’s real. With a history of odd dreams and the nagging sense that she’s never belonged, Evie fears she’s losing touch with reality. Her concern only grows when someone who’s haunted these dreams is suddenly tangible… and claims to hold the key to unlocking her true identity.

Finding out her entire life has been a lie is scary enough, but what’s downright terrifying is discovering who she’s destined to become.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

The Genesis of Evangeline by Rachel Jonas was a solid, fast-paced read. I immediately sank into the story and fell in love with the characters. The author did a good job of making the reader empathize with all of the different characters, particularly the love interests. I’m a firm believer that love triangles only work if both choices are equally appealing, and the author managed to pull that off.

The world building, though cryptic in this first installment of the series, hinted at a depth that I look forward to expanding upon in the subsequent books. The characters were authentic and smart – none of the ridiculous choices and actions you find plaguing young adult fiction these days. My only complaint really is that I did run into a handful of spelling errors. That aside, I would easily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys supernatural YA stories. This book was well worth the price for a fully-fleshed out read hinting at a larger saga.

Book Review: Adored by the Mountain Wolf

cover-review-adored by the mountain wolfTitle: Adored by the Mountain Wolf [Mountain Wolf Protectors 2]

Author: Emilia Hartley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Two weeks after she started living on the Compound – the home of the Mountain Wolves – Amara was getting anxious to return to her life. She had a job, friends and family to return to. Not only that, she had to make sure her sister was safe from her psychopath boyfriend, Kal. If only she could tell Sadie the truth, that he was the wolf shifter who wreaked havoc on Strathford for all these years.

As much as he wanted to protect her, Nova knew that he couldn’t keep Amara from her life forever. He and the Mountain Wolves have been vigilant in the fight against the Valley Clan, but they begin to lose their footing as the attacks increase in frequency. When Nova is reminded he has to protect his pack he has no choice but to bring Amara with him, for her safety.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Adored By The Mountain Wolf by Emilia Hartley was a solid addition to the Mountain Wolf Protectors series. The book was fast-paced and easy to sink into. The characters were familiar from the previous book and the romance was just as sexy and heated as I’d hoped.

If anything, my one complaint about this book is that it wasn’t long enough. I read through the story in less than 2 hours, and even though it was a great read, I couldn’t help but feel that there should have been more to it. The book ended abruptly and the tension of the war between the wolf clans kind of petered out. I wish more time had been spent developing the characters, their relationships, and the plot’s tension – I think we only scratched the surface here.

All that aside, it was a solid read, perfect for readers looking for something sexy and short to sink into, and I recommend it to all paranormal romance readers looking for a new shifter book to get into.

Book Review: Revenant

cover-review-revenantTitle: Revenant [The Apparition Trilogy 2]

Author: Dylan White

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

After everything Jade has been through, Sean wants to make life as normal as possible for her. But being in love with a ghost is anything but normal. The threat of Feeders has grown worse. Despite Sean’s efforts to keep Jade safe, he might not be able to help her anymore. When Ray senses a dark spirit has descended on the house, he will do anything to dispel it. And that could mean eliminating Sean, as well …

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Like the previous book in the series, I am torn on giving Revenant by Dylan White a rating. On the one hand, I like the characters, the romance, and the plot. However, I am not a fan of the narrative voice, the omnipotent 3rd person point of view, or the penchant the author seems to have for giving the reader backstory through little asides. I find the narrative voice distancing to the reader, and I am constantly pulled away from the characters by the frequent head hopping.

I did spot less glaring typos and textual errors in this installment, which is a plus, but I also feel like I didn’t learn anything new. Most of the drama of the plot revolved around ghosts interrupting the main character’s life, but for the most part, it was the same old thing. We got very little new information regarding Sean or his place in the afterlife. It was a bit frustrating to close the second book feeling like little had been gained.

Overall, the book was okay. There are parts of it I liked, and parts of it I didn’t. I was entertained for a few short hours, and I guess that’s what matters.

Book Review: Apparition

cover-review-apparitionTitle: Apparition [The Apparition Trilogy 1]

Author: Dylan White

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Jade Foster just moved to a new city with her mother and step-dad in the middle of her senior year. She doesn’t know anyone. She has a midterm on Monday. And her house is haunted.

Sean Clayton died at eighteen almost seventy years ago. He believes Jade is the one who can help him finally move on. But his connection to Jade exposes her to dark forces from the afterlife. Despite the danger, Sean promises to protect her.

But falling in love with her might be the scariest thing he could do …

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Giving a star rating to Apparition by Dylan White is hard to do. On the one hand, I was intrigued by the story. I liked the main character, and though perhaps not the most thorough of world-building, I did enjoy the overall concept.

Not all was puppies and rainbows, however.

There weren’t a lot of typos or errors, but there were some obvious ones that should have been caught by an editor. The narrative style was sloppy and confusing at times as the author bounced back and forth between the many characters, often within the same chapter. The voice was third person omnipresent – which meant that the story felt like we were hearing it second hand through an impartial observer. At times the author took too much time stepping aside from the story to give the reader context through asides instead of letting the reader figure things out on their own. The style reminded me more of a middle grade or children’s fiction than a Young Adult book.

Basically, the narrative voice nearly wrecked the story for me. I almost put the book down in the first 15 minutes. Luckily, the story pulled through.

Overall, it was an okay book. Though I hated the narrative style and voice, I enjoyed the story and the characters. I may go on to read further in the series. Maybe.

Book Review: The Haunted

cover-review-the hauntedTitle: The Haunted [Sleeping With Monsters 1]

Author: Cassie Alexander

Genre: Paranormal, Erotica, BDSM, Romance, Horror

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Daphne Vance’s life is perfect — she’s a beautiful, devoted wife, and her husband has just bought her a vast countryside estate to start their family in.

But when her husband leaves on a business trip, it doesn’t feel like she’s alone in the mansion — she can feel eyes watching her, and hot hands trailing up her thighs. The domineering spirit of the mansion’s former owner is still present — and when she discovers her husband cheating on her, she doesn’t want to resist the Master anymore….

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I quibbled with myself for a little while before I came up with an appropriate rating for The Haunted by Cassie Alexander. Some people aren’t going to like it. It is a niche of dark fantasy erotica that isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It is dark, sexy, terrifying, and at times very graphic. If those things don’t appeal to you, you’re probably going to want to pass this one up.

The story was incredibly steamy, a bit taboo at times, and not always easy to understand. The main character, Daphne, makes a lot of questionable decisions as to her safety and her own happiness. She gives in to a very dark temptation, and it takes her on a lustful journey with an unseen force – and she isn’t always sure what its motives are. Sometimes the ghost that haunts her seems tender and kind. Sometimes it is jealous and possessive. Sometimes it is downright murderous.

All of that aside, and personal tastes aside, the book is well written. The characters show a sense of depth, the author is good at writing in tension, and the book doesn’t hand-hold the reader. The ending is dark and terrifying, but also appropriate to the story – and one of the reasons this book didn’t stray too far into the ridiculous side of erotica. I think the author did a really good job on the story.

As I said, this book isn’t going to be for everyone – but if you’re looking for a dark take on a paranormal erotic story, this is a good one. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.