Tag: paranormal romance

March Wrap Up

“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” 
― L.M. Montgomery

I started March with a few rereads. I guess I was feeling nostalgic or something…. I should have been reading for The Irish Readathon but sadly only managed one book for it. I was visiting family and traveling for two weeks at the end of the month so that’s my excuse for not reading as much.

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A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016. You can read my original review here. I enjoyed it a lot more on my second read. The main characters annoyed me a lot less because I understood why they behaved the way they did and where their story was going.

This book seems to have very mixed reviews from people because Lachlain hits very highly on the Alpha-Asshole scale.

Shadow Game (Ghost Walkers #1) by Christine Feehan ★★★☆☆

Shadow Game (GhostWalkers, #1)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016 as well but it was on audio and I kept falling asleep. Not cause it was boring just cause I was listening at night and kept snoozing so a lot of this seemed new to me reading as an ebook.

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Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9) by Lara Adrian ★★★★☆

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

Paranormal Romance

This one I read for the Kick’n Down Your TBR challenge in Gotta Have Romance With a Kick on Goodreads. I read book #8 in this series in 2013 so it took me awhile to remember everything about the series when I started this one (and most of it hasn’t come back to me 😅). Despite forgetting most of what was going on Adrian’s little recaps throughout the story reminded me of the important stuff and I ended up enjoying the story. I think the earlier books in this series were more romance focused and this one felt very story and action focused with a romance.

The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

YA, Fantasy

So close to the end now 😭😭😭 This series has been such an insane and emotional roller coaster! I am VERY invested in these characters now and if anything bad happens (or worse that what has already happened) to them I will be very upset. Cole is such a fantastic writer. She manages to write fiction in genres that are usually so predictable in a way that’s familiar but still refreshing. And she is a master at developing tension.

Dreaming of You (Gamblers #2) by Lisa Kleypas ★★★★☆

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)

Historical Romance

I read this book for the Romanceopoly challenge. I landed on Austen Row – Read a classic romance OR a historical romance on UTC or Peace Love Books rec lists. So I chose a book from the rec list and really enjoyed it. This was my first Lisa Kleypas book, it was published in 1994 and I think certain elements of it show that it was a historical romance from that time. There are some things that the characters do that just don’t happen in historical romances anymore. But it’s a very good book and definitely doesn’t go as far as being rapey like romances often did in the 70’s/80’s.

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes ★★★★☆

Under the Duvet

Essays

If you want to see what life was like for Irish people in the late 90’s and early 00’s then read this. Some of the language may be a little confusing if you’re not Irish but it’s a very entertaining collection nonetheless.

March Wrap Up

So I read a fair bit this month and some pretty good books too. I kind of got a bit obsessed with a series I started reading last month. I wasn’t very impressed with it then but after reading the second book this month I was hooked!

Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)Wild Fire (Leopard People, #4)A Local Habitation (October Daye, #2)SaloméShe Stoops to ConquerAn Artificial Night (October Daye, #3)Late Eclipses (October Daye, #4)One Salt Sea (October Daye, #5)Mammy Walsh's A-Z of the Walsh Family (Walsh Family, #6)Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles, #3)Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6)Tall, Dark & Hungry (Argeneau #4)Asking For It

Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance book photography Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance

The 6th book in the Cassie Palmer series. Love it though not as much as previous books. Maybe 4.5 stars. I felt like some of the action scenes were a bit lengthy and the lack of Pritkin annoyed me 😉 Love the introduction of witches and the Pythian court.

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A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire book photography A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

I read the first book in the October Daye series in February and, honestly, couldn’t see why everyone loves the series so much. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator pronounced Irish words wrong and has a terrible Irish accent. At least I think it’s meant to be Irish… Anyway, I was much more impressed with the next book and every book that followed. The narrator is still pronouncing Tuath de Dannan wrong and her Irish accent is still useless but I don’t care. The series follows October Daye, a fae halfling who has returned to fae society after a 15-year gap as a mystery-solving knight.

Tall, Dark and Hungry by Lynsay Sands book photography Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands

A total fluffy read. Great for reading after something heavy or when you’re feeling stressed out. It’s a straightforward vampire romance.

Asking for It by Louise O'Neill Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

Amazing book. So haunting. I have a feeling it will stay with me forever. You can read my full review of this book here.

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Merry Gentry by Laurell K. Hamilton

“My name is Meredith ‘Merry’ Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why…”

The Merry Gentry series is an urban fantasy series by Laurell K. Hamilton that borders closely to paranormal romance. It is similar to her Anita Blake series in that the main character, Merry, has multiple lovers but it makes a bit more sense here (I don’t have anything against polygamous relationships it just seems to go against Anita’s nature). Merry is more comfortable with her sexuality than Anita and is much more accepting of her multiple partners and their various interests (Anita becomes so later).

The series is told in the first person from Merry’s point of view. Merry is a faerie princess turned private investigator in hiding from her sadistic aunt, Anadais, Queen of Air and Darkness and of the Unseelie court.

There are currently 9 books in the series.

A Kiss of Shadows (Merry Gentry, #1) A Kiss of Shadows

A Caress of Twilight (Merry Gentry, #2) A Caress of Twilight

Seduced by Moonlight (Merry Gentry, #3) Seduced by Moonlight

A Stroke of Midnight (Merry Gentry, #4) A Stroke of Midnight

Mistral's Kiss (Merry Gentry, #5) Mistral’s Kiss

A Lick of Frost (Merry Gentry, #6) A Lick of Frost

Swallowing Darkness (Merry Gentry, #7) Swallowing Darkness

Divine Misdemeanors (Merry Gentry, #8) Divine Misdemeanors

A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry #9) A Shiver of Light

******Beware of Spoilers Ahead!!******

I’ve tried my best to avoid spoilers but some points may appear as spoilers.

In the first book, Merry is called back to the Unseelie court and pitted against her cousin Cel in a race for the throne. Her aunt decrees that whichever of them can produce an heir first becomes the next ruler. Hence the multiple suitors Merry acquires. The fae have gone into decline in recent years, unable to produce offspring, slowly dying and losing their magical heritage. Since Merry is part mortal she is more fertile than her faerie kin. Some believe she will save the race and some believe her mortality will infect the race and push them closer to death. Many attempts are made on her life but she ultimately achieves her goals.

In true Laurell K. Hamilton style, the books have a lot of action and a lot of sex. Later books focus mainly on sex and have little story progression. The series starts well with the first four or so books but it seems to slow down then. There are some great scenes in later books but there is too much focus on sexual encounters, stunting the story. The last three or four books I found especially disappointing with the final book feeling like something Hamilton had been forced to write or just had no enthusiasm for. They begin to feel like books written solely for sex with a few plot points thrown in to make it seem like there’s a story. A bit like porn.

Having said that, I really like the series and would count it among my favourites but it is likely to lose that place if the next book (if there is one) follows the same path as A Shiver of Light.

All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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December Wrap Up

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a nice Christmas and if you don’t celebrate it, I hope your December was good. Mine was really lovely. We spent Christmas day with the in-laws and Stephen’s day with my family. So much food was eaten!! New Years was much quieter. We stayed in by the fire and watched The Graham Norton New Years Special and then the New Years show on RTE which actually turned out to be pretty good. I now want a water jetpack or at least a spin on one.

December is always a busy month with very little reading time but I managed five books and knocked two books off my Winter TBR.


Master by Colette Gale ★★★☆☆

This is a dirty book. If you’re not into those then please move along 😉

Gale’s second instalment in her Seducing the Classics series is a naughty retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I haven’t read the original mostly because it’s huge and I just don’t want to so I can’t really compare the stories. I have seen the movie though. Master is told from the perspective of Mercedes Herrera, Cristo’s first love who betrays him by marrying one of the men that conspired against him. From reading a previous retelling by Gale I know she has no qualms about changing details to suit the story she’s telling but I don’t know what changes she made here (other than the copious amount of sex the characters have).

It’s a good book but I found it a bit slow and I mostly didn’t like Monte Cristo. But this is Erotica and the point of Erotica is sex and it delivers on that front.

Once Upon A Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt ★★★☆☆

A Christmas novella set in the world of Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series sees Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, (aka Scrooge) stranded at the home of Sarah St. John (aka the chick Scrooge wants to bang). Adam hates Christmas, Sarah hates rakes (which Adam is of course) but nothing can stop the passion and love and that ignites between these two underneath the mistletoe.

It was fine… I think a story with just a romance isn’t really enough for me. Hoyt’s full-length novels usually have a very interesting subplot to carry the romance but since this was so short there wasn’t really anything else going on.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare ★★★☆☆

The fourth book in Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series brings us back to New York to deal with the repercussions of what happened in the previous book, City of Glass. It’s impossible to talk about this book without spoilers so all I’ll say is that someone has been killing Shadowhunters and making it seem like Downworlders are to blame. Oh the deviousness!!

It was ok… took a long time to get going but it ended well. To be honest I don’t know if I’ll bother with the next one…

Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

My highest rating for December. Bit of a meh month thank Zod for Kresley Cole, eh?! The eleventh book in Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and the first book in her kind of spin-off series The Dacians. The reclusive vampire race known as the Dacians were introduced in Lothaire but we get a better understanding of them here. Trehan Daciano is hunting down a fugitive in Bettina’s kingdom during a bloody contest for her hand and the crown of her realm. Upon meeting her he discovers she’s his Bride and enters the contest.

It’s classic Kresley Cole if you like any of her other books you should like this.

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne ★★★☆☆

Kelly is told by a psychic that she has already met the love of her life and they will be together by Christmas. This sparks a hunt through her list of ex’s to find this man not realising he’s been standing next to her all along.

If you like contemporary romance, especially ones set during Christmas, then you will probably like this. I’m not a big fan of contemporary romance but it was enjoyable enough. It’s very light-hearted and easy to read.


And that’s it for December and 2017. I’m hoping to read 6 books in January, so far I have one done and I’m halfway through my second. To reach my goal for the year I need to read about 2 books a week so I’m a bit behind already… oh well 😉

Happy reading everybody!

All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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Howlin Books 2017 Book Awards

Ok, not really an award just what I decided to call my favourite books of 2017. In total, I read 154 things I think actual novels would make up about 100 of that number. I’m only using the novels for this list though I think the YA book I picked is technically a novella…oh well.

I divided my choices into 10 categories including a Best Book of the Year.


Author of the Year

Kresley Cole

Every time I read a book by this woman I find it absolutely impossible to put down. I end up devouring them every dang time! Even when I think I’m not in the mood for a paranormal romance once I’m past the first paragraph, I’m hooked.

Cole writes romance novels in four sub-genres. She has two Historical series, one Young Adult, one Erotica and her amazing Paranormal series. The only series I have yet to try is her YA but that’s just because I’m always wary of YA. But she’s so amazing I will definitely read it at some point.

Series of the Year

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

I can’t believe it took me so long to really get into this series. I read Storm Front (book #1) in 2014 and loved it but I was struggling to get into Fool Moon (book #2) until someone suggested I try the audiobooks. Well, I fell in love all over again. I started them near the end of 2016 and listened to one after the other until I was caught up in 2017. As a whole, the series blew my mind. Butcher has an amazing ability to reinvent the series but still stay true to the characters and the world he created in the beginning. Not an easy job with such a long-running series (there are currently 15 novels released plus novellas and short stories). The Dresden Files follows Harry Dresden, a wizard for hire (no kids parties or love potions please), on his adventures assisting the police and dealing with Chicago’s paranormal baddies.

Urban Fantasy Book of the Year

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

An Urban Fantasy series that borders a touch closer to High Fantasy than most UF. Bishop does a fantastic job of building the world of The Others without stunting the progression of the story. It all flows quite naturally and she creates a very interesting and exciting world here. In The Others, the supernatural species are dominant and prey on humans whenever they step out of line. Written in Red follows Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet who escapes her controller and finds refuge in the Lakeside Courtyard. Home to vampires, shape-shifters and elementals who are all suspicious of her and her peculiar behaviour.

Romance Book of the Year

The Professional by Kresley Cole

*Ahem* technically this is Erotica but that’s still romance!!! Sex is an important part of a romantic relationship and boy howdy is there sex in this book! The story follows Natalie Porter after she finds her long last Russian birth father and then discovers he is part of the mafiya. He assigns ‘The Siberian’ as her guardian and *ahem* you can guess what happens after that. But you may be surprised by the intensity of their relationship and, even though the situations they end up in may seem far-fetched, it makes for a very entertaining read. Great if you like action and probably perfect for you if you enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey (I’ve never read that so I don’t really know but there’s lots of BDSM in this book).

Young Adult Book of the Year

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

The second book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series follows twin sisters Jack and Jill while they were in the world of their door. They were introduced in book #1, Every Heart A Doorway, in which we learn about Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. The series follows children or teenagers who have returned from adventures in other worlds (such as Narnia and Wonderland) and have trouble adjusting to being young again and back in this world.

Non-Fiction Book of the Year

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We should all be feminists and we should all read this book. This 52-page essay explores the meaning of feminism in our modern world. What it means to everyone not just women from everyday sexist slights do the more damaging situations.

Literary Book of the Year

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book was huge this year, it barely needs any introduction. But if you haven’t heard of it, The Handmaid’s Tale is the disturbing story of an entirely too possible future America. For whatever reason infertility has become very common and a religious group decides to take over and instil women known as Handmaids into the homes of wealthy/powerful men as pretty much a broodmare. We follow a handmaid known as Offred through her daily life in this new regime.

Classic Book of the Year

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South is basically Pride and Prejudice with strong socialist themes but it’s still a beautiful romance in its own right. If the masters vs workers stuff annoys you it’s easy skim over it but a lot of it is necessary for character development I think. The story follows Margaret Hale after her father decides to leave his job in the south and move his family to an industrial town in the north. Here she meets John Thornton, one of the masters, and begins a turbulent relationship with the man. And speaking of Mr Thornton *swoon* serious competition for Mr Darcy!

Favourite 2017 Release

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

The eight and most satisfying instalment in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series (I am a total fangirl for this series). This was it. The book we were all waiting for and Chance did not disappoint. She tied up some of the recurring storylines but thankfully it’s not the end. Since it’s the eight book I can’t really tell you much about the plot without spoiling it but the series follows Cassie Palmer a clairvoyant who becomes the supernatural communities chief seer. Her boyfriend’s a vampire, her trainer’s a mage, together they kick ass!

Best Book of 2017

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Fully expected an Urban Fantasy book here but got an Urban Fantasy – Science Fiction combo. Any time I’ve read something like this in the past it doesn’t quite work but it really does here. Andrews are such a great writing team every book I’ve read by them has been a 4 or 5-star read. The book follows Dina Demille the proprietor of a Victorian inn in Texas. But her inn is not just an inn and Dina is no ordinary innkeeper. Her Shih Tzu is not just a Shih Tzu for that matter.


All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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