Book Review: Fire by Lisa Carlisle

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

FIRE (Underground Encounters Book 2) by Lisa Carlisle is HOT!

I am very glad I continued on in this paranormal romance series, even though the first novella in the series had a few problems for me. This story begins a year after the fire at Vamps and follows Maya. It can easily be read as a standalone, even though it does bring characters from the first novella back.

Maya Winters is missing her best friend and decides Halloween is the perfect time to return to Vamps and blow off some steam dancing after a long shift working as a firefighter. As she is dancing away to her favorite tunes, she suddenly feels eyes on her. When she sees the tall, dark and brooding bad boy staring at her she feels an instant attraction.

Tristan Stone is the new, mysterious owner of the rebuilt Vamps. Tristan is from a long line of Salem witches. He stays away from people due to what he considers his curse, because he has only ever been able to see darkness around people and it drains him. When he comes up from his underground lab beneath the club one day to check on things, he immediately spots a woman dancing because of the brilliant light surrounding her. This has never happened before and he has to find out why she is different.

Maya and Tristan combust when they are together. The two opposites are light to dark and outgoing to cautious. Tristan thinks Maya may be the answer to his curse, but he has never told anyone about it outside of his family. Maya is harboring a secret of her own that she has never shared. The sex is hot, but can a relationship with secrets last?

Maya and Tristan are main characters that are perfect together. Ms. Carlisle has given these characters depth that is as fun and entertaining as it is serious. The sex scenes bring the fire and heat. With the return of Nike and Michel, I cannot wait to see what happens next in this series!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Smolder by Lisa Carlisle

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

SMOLDER by Lisa Carlisle is the revised novella start to her Underground Encounters paranormal romance series which was originally released in 2012 as Smoldering Nights. I love Ms. Carlisle’s various series, but this novella still lacks the depth of character and originality I look for in her books.

Nike is a firefighter who loves to let off steam with her best friend, Maya on the dance floor of Vamps, the local goth night club. On one of their nights at the club, she sees the man she has a crush on from her rock climbing gym. He has a French accent, a gorgeous body and beautiful eyes. She cannot believe her luck when Michel asks her up to accompany him to a private room upstairs, but she is about to get an education in other creatures that coexist with mortals.

Michel is a nightwalker. He does not know what draws him to Nike at the club or the gym and he knows he should not get involved with a mortal, but he finds her irresistible. When he gets Nike to agree to accompany up to the private rooms, they are attacked by an old enemy right when things begin to get interesting.

Michel and Nike go on the run. The attraction is too much to resist and they begin to explore their sexual attraction and also begin to wonder if it could become more. Can they have a future or will Michel’s enemy find them once again and destroy them both?

This novella was a very quick read and a good introduction to the Underground Encounters series. Nike is a strong heroine who can stand on her own which I loved. Michel is sexy and a dream, even with the fangs. There just was not enough depth to the characters due to the shortness of the story, it was very predictable and it ended abruptly. If you have not started this series, it is a fun intro and the sex scenes are steamy, hot and well written.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: When Darkness Whispers by Lisa Carlisle

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

WHEN DARKNESS WHISPERS by Lisa Carlisle is a mix of military romantic suspense, paranormal/urban fantasy and serial killer thriller all woven together to make an AMAZING book!

Eva Montreaux is a biologically enhanced Marine. She leads the NEO (Night Eagle Operations) team 17 sent to Okinawa to investigate who or what is brutally murdering American servicemen. With the increased tensions between the American military and the Japanese it is essential to solve and stop these killings as soon as possible. As she works with her special team, she runs into military colleagues from her time in Afghanistan, but her enhancements have made that portion of her memory incomplete until she sees Gunny Delacruz.

Gunnery Sergeant Marcos Delacruz has had three years since Eva left Afghanistan to come to terms with promises not kept. When he runs into Eva on Okinawa, he cannot believe she shows no emotion at seeing him again. The past will have to be dealt with, but right now he is on a mission. With his special ability to communicate with spirits, his superiors hope he can solve the serial murders. What he does not expect is to continually cross paths with Eva during the investigation.

Eva and Marcos both have secrets that cannot be revealed to others in regards to their missions. They also have misunderstandings that are tied to their pasts in Afghanistan. As Eva struggles to remember Marcos and their shared past, they both have to find a serial killer that does not appear to be human.

I loved this whole book. Eva and Marcos are great main characters that are fully fleshed with flashbacks that in no way confuse or interfere with the main plot. Trust is a huge issue for them in the past and present that has to be resolved for them to work together. Their romance is written past and present and grows throughout the story. There is great sexual tension as well as tender yet hot sex scenes.  I also really enjoyed the last chapter of this book which is unique.

Ms. Carlisle has delivered a well written military romantic suspense with paranormal characters. She has then intertwined the whole story with Japanese folk lore that adds to the uniqueness of the story. This is a book that I highly recommend!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Viktor by Sarah Marsh

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Unique! Entertaining! Snarky! Smokin’ hot sex scenes! Fairy Godmothers, vampires, shifters and everything in between. This is a paranormal world with a fairy tale twist that I can’t wait to get more of!

VIKTOR (Happy Evil After Book 1) by Sarah Marsh is a novella beginning to a new series that I devoured! This author has a unique voice and easy to follow world-building in this paranormal romance series that keeps you turning the pages.

The character that will connect all the books in this series is Pandora “Dori”, who is a dark Fairy Godmother. She has never fit in with the rest of the Godmothers. She comes to realize that like herself, different doesn’t necessarily mean always and forever bad. She decides to help others deemed ‘not worthy’ of a happy ending to find one with her black matchmaking mastermind notebook.

Viktor likes his scary boogeyman reputation. It keeps others away and leaves him to do what he likes. He has almost completed his revenge on the vampire coven that turned him. Only one remains, Conrad Daire, who is now head of the North American coven. Few realize what lies behind his façade, but Viktor knows him for the psychopath he truly is. As Victor enjoys a drink at The Pit, in pops Dori to tell Viktor how he can ruin Conrad’s happily ever after.

Halle Briggs is a beautiful leopard shifter. She is the beloved daughter of the head of the leopard pard and has become the prize that Conrad wants for saving her father’s life years ago. Halle has spirit and hates Conrad, but sees no way out until a certain dark Fairy Godmother pops in to tell her that she will be rescued, but she needs to do everything in her power to make sure she stays with Viktor. She will have to fight for her happily ever after and her mate.

This novella contains so much and yet is extremely well paced and never seems rushed or missing information. The sex scenes are explicit and sizzling, but I did not feel they were gratuitous. I just fell into this new world and was very sorry to see the end. I will definitely be following this series into the future and hope it continues to make me cheer for the unlikely H/h’s and laugh out loud at Dori’s matchmaking and snarky attitude.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Tempted By the Gargoyle by Lisa Carlisle

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

TEMPTED BY THE GARGOYLE (Boston Stone Sentries, #1) by Lisa Carlisle is the action packed, sexy hot novella length introduction to the paranormal world of gargoyle shifters that protect the human world. If the rest of the series is as well written and imaginative; this is going to be the “new” paranormal series to follow.

Larissa Riley is a Boston police officer who is still trying to deal with being present at the Boston Marathon bombing. Her emotional problems broke up her last relationship and her best friend is still going to rehab for her leg injuries. Larissa knew that day something big was going to happen because she had been having premonitions since she was young, but she fights them so the premonitions were never clear or focused. She has always been different.

Now, she is having that same overwhelming feeling of dread on the night of the red Supermoon. Janie wants to go out dancing after spending so much time in rehab and the Supermoon is supposed to allow you to find your soulmate. Larissa can’t say no and the two set out for the new gothic themed bar downtown. Larissa feels a gorgeous stranger watching her from across the bar and goes to confront him.

Roman has a bad feeling about this night and since he is the commander of the Boston Stone Sentries, he has all of his gargoyle shifters out on patrol. Black magic sweeps past Roman and goes straight to Larissa. Roman tries to figure out what is different about the beautiful woman and if she is a threat or being threatened.

Larissa and Roman soon find the city under attack from demons. Larissa is confronted with other beings and has to decide quickly who she can trust while also learning that she is more than human. Roman begins to realize that Larissa is his life mate and knows he has to keep her safe and in his life as they fight to defeat the demon invasion.

These two have explosive chemistry as they burn up the sheets! Hot sex scenes that are well written abound in this novella. Lisa Carlisle’s world-building has fully fleshed believable paranormal characters. I had two small problems with the ending. It seemed to happen abruptly and there are a few questions not answered, but it is the start of a series so I can let that go this time. I cannot wait to get the next book in this new world!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Scorched by Paula Quinn

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

SCORCHED (Rulers of the Sky, #1) by Paula Quinn Is an original dragon shapeshifter paranormal romance that BLEW ME AWAY! The world-building, all of the characters and the love story were all completely engaging.

Marrkiya is a beautiful, arrogant and proud Drakkon. He is of the Aqua line and is the last of his kind. He is hunted and transformed into a human against his will by the Council of Elders led by Padgora, who has control of the Phoenix Amber. Padgora wants Marrkiya’s treasure. As a human, Marrkiya is now called Marcus Aquara. He can still bring forth his wings to fly and communicate using telepathy, but none of this is good enough. Marcus wants to be in his dragon form again, which he is promised if he brings his hoard to the Council.

Samantha Montgomery is a historical romance writer who has fled to England after a failed romance. She has purchased a rundown castle which is her first real home. Samantha writes about knights and finding true love even though she is not sure she knows what true love is. She survived the New York State foster care system and now she wants her own forever love and family. Oh, yeah and she is a virgin.

From the moment Marcus falls through the roof of Samantha’s barn, the two of them begin a well plotted and paced romance. They start off with Sam not believing in Drakkon and thinking Marcus is mad or she is even though he is the most beautiful man she has ever seen while Marcus smells a virgin and wants to take her essence. Sam has to open her mind to accept this new reality and open her heart. Marcus is portrayed brilliantly by Ms. Quinn. He has to go from being an unfeeling, arrogant dragon to a human man with understanding of others feelings. The author makes you feel the loss and love of his dragon form, all while he is learning the benefits of his human life.

This story will stay with me and I will definitely recommend it to others who enjoy this genre. I cannot wait to get the next book in this series!

Written for and posted first on the Romance Reviews.com.