Book Review: To Catch A Spirit by Carrie Pulkinen

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

TO CATCH A SPIRIT by Carrie Pulkinen is a paranormal contemporary romance that pairs two unique characters in an emotionally charged romance and ghost story.

Allison Gray is a psychic who works to help heal people, cleanse antiques of trapped spiritual essence and is afraid of ghosts after a failed ghost-busting assignment. While attending a party with her best friend, Tina, Allison is immediately struck with emotions of loneliness and despair emanating from their host. She wants nothing to do with the new playboy billionaire in town. Instead, she goes to console a crying woman sitting on the stairs only to have her disappear right before her eyes.

Logan Mitchell is the playboy billionaire throwing the charity party. Logan has moved to Detroit to start out on his own and away from his controlling father. Underneath the shell, Logan is hiding being an empath who has no control over his gift, which has led to attacks of OCD symptoms and other problems. When he sees Allison, he knows she is different and he can’t stay away even with a frightening recurring dream, which is the reason he doesn’t do more than one night stands. Before he gets the chance to introduce himself, she runs out the door.

I loved Allison and Logan. Their relationship was immediate, but it was believable because of their gifts. The author wrote about OCD, fears and suicide with great empathy. The H/h were sympathetic and not just caricatures. The sex scenes were hot and steamy, but never overdone. Both of their best friends were also realistic and fully fleshed out. There were a few times that the story slowed down and was a little repetitive, but overall it was well written. The plotline is predictable, but with the handling of the H/h’s gifts, it is still very entertaining and well worth reading.

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

Book Review: Wynter’s Bite by Brooklyn Ann

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

WYNTER’S BITE by Brooklyn Ann is a historical paranormal romance vampire read that is the fifth book in her ‘Scandals With Bite’ series. This story takes you on the run with a rogue vampire and the mortal love of his life throughout England. This fifth book can be easily read as a standalone.

Bethany Mead is a bluestocking and just being brought out at country house parties. Her father wants a political connection in Parliament and to be rid of his daughter whom he fears will inherit his mother’s madness.

Justus de Wynter is scandalous and not looking for a partner, but he can’t help but feel sorry for the young girl that the other debutants have set up for failure. As he dances with Bethany, he finds she has a love of literature and books just like him, besides being enchanting and as beautiful on the inside as on the outside.

No matter how much they come to love each other, he is a vampire and it is against their law to allow a mortal to know of their kind. Justus will break that law and Bethany accidentally blurts out the truth. Bethany is confined to an insane asylum and Justus is named a rogue and banished.

Eight years pass until Justus finds Bethany again. Together they are on the run across England to find a Master Vampire who will pardon Justus and let the couple be together and safe. On their fast paced trip across England they run into many interesting characters and trials as well as grow to know and love each other all over again.

This is an enjoyable and easy read. Justus and Bethany are definitely deserving of their HEA. I also love when either or both of the main characters love reading and books. The sex scenes are short, but steamy. This story also sticks to the old rules and laws of vampires which makes the historical setting perfect for the story. An overall entertaining addition to the series.

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

Book Review: You’ve Got Aliens by Fiona Roarke

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I loved this story and characters! They are both entertaining, fun and quirky. YOU’VE GOT ALIENS (Alienn, Arkansas Book 1) by Fiona Roarke is a laugh out loud short romance read that I highly recommend. I just finished the first book in this new humorous alien vs. human romance series and I want the next one NOW!

Juliana Masters needs money and accepts a writing assignment from her old college professor. She is to go to nearby Alienn, Arkansas for travel publication, Finders, and find out if the alien sightings at the Big Bang Truck Stop are real.

The Fearless Leader of the Big Bang Truck Stop is Diesel Grey. The oldest of seven children, inherited the leadership of the Truck Stop last year from his father and takes his job very seriously. The Big Bang Truck Stop is located in a small town with fun alien ads everywhere on the surface, but a galactic refueling station and rest stop underneath. When Juliana shows up for an interview, he can’t believe how attracted he is to this human, but he has to be careful or all of their covers will be blown and humans will know that aliens have always been here among them.

Besides the cute premise for this story, you just have to love all the clever names, Big Bang Truck Stop, Alienn, Arkansas, Diesel, Axel, Cam, Wheeler, Gage, Jack and Valene. The romance was fun as both Diesel tried to hide his true heritage and Juliana wanted the truth for her article so that she could use the funds to discover her past. The romance was very sweet and the sex was behind closed doors.

The secondary characters were all as entertaining as the H/h. An elderly aunt who wants to raise funds for her retirement home with a wet t-shirt contest. A brother who is head of security and keeps mind zapping Juliana into forgetting what she has learned.

This is a fun story that you just have to read. You will be wanting the next in the series as much as I do. Please write quickly Ms. Roarke!

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

Book Review: Retribution by Shana Figueroa

retribution

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

This is only the second book in this series and it is already one of my “must read” urban fantasy series! RETRIBUTION (Valentine Shepherd #2) by Shana Figueroa gave me complex characters, a plot that continues to surprise and kick-butt action. This second book, while still having smokin’ hot sex scenes, is more focused on the world-building and plot.

At the end of the first book, P.I. Valentine Shepherd walks away from her relationship with Max Carressa. Val can see the future, but it is usually only death and destruction outcomes that she sees. She has tried to change the future and has managed a very few times to accomplish it, but usually the worst outcome occurs. She has seen their future and rather than try to change it, she walks away.

Six months has passed. Val has a new case of a girl who has disappeared. As she follows leads on the girl, Val is abducted and remembers nothing that happened to her for 12 hours. When she tries to piece together what happened, she finds two uploads on the internet of the missing girl and herself, unconscious and being sexually abused. Now all Val wants is revenge and she needs Max’s connections and help.

Max has tried to move on and has become engaged and adopted a dog to try and get the normal life he has always craved, but he is hiding an Oxy addiction that he is using to bury his real feelings. When Val calls, he knows he will do anything to help her, no matter the cost.

The first third of the book, I was so involved with Val and Max’s pain and self-destruction. They were both hurting so desperately and wouldn’t admit it to each other. The main plot of the book, a mad scientist with psychic abilities who wants to experiment on Val and Max is resolved, but you still have the overarching series story of the cabal that wants Val and Max together to steal their future child.

The secondary characters are just as complex and you never know if they are helping or hurting Val and Max or strictly out for their own gain. The plot twists and weaves all of these characters into an intense story that moves at a fast pace throughout. I love this series and cannot wait for the next book!

Thanks very much to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and Net Galley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Beast Within (Mended Souls #2) by Jacquie Biggar

the beast within

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I have been looking forward to reading and reviewing this second book in the Mended Souls series. THE BEAST WITHIN by Jacquie Biggar did not disappoint! These books are a great blend of contemporary romance with added suspense and the paranormal element of guardian angels that have ties to the main characters.

Julie Crenshaw has made the move to Vancouver from Chicago with her two boys to help move on after the deadly accident a year ago that killed her husband and unborn daughter. It has been a difficult adjustment for them all, but at times she feels Mike is there to help her get through her toughest days, and he is watching over them.

One morning as she is out jogging, she stumbles across a severed foot inside of a sneaker. She reports her find and meets Detective Connor O’ Rourke, who is working similar cases attributed to The ABC Killer. Julie cannot get the detective off her mind and is surprised that she is finally attracted sexually to a man besides her deceased husband, but that cannot interfere with her job as a reporter for the local news to look into the murders.

Detective Connor O’Rourke is struck by the strength and not just the beauty of Julie to survive her past trauma. He is also worried about her safety since her find on the beach and her continued investigation into the killings. Julie takes his advice and sends her boys to visit their grandparents in Chicago. The sexual tension comes to a head and both Julie and Connor have to decide if they can have more than just a sexual relationship and build a future together. What neither of them realize is that they both know the killer and he already has plans for Julie.

Interwoven between the main romance plot, guardian angels Lucas and Mike are still both working to watch over those they loved before they died. They also are still working towards the forgiveness necessary to move on instead of the hate, blame and suffering after the accident that killed them both.

I loved this book as much as the first in this series. Ms. Biggar’s characters come to life emotionally in scenes that move you in every way. The second chance at love, the letting go of previous love lost, forgiveness and understanding. Both plotlines intertwine into a moving read that has me anxiously awaiting the next book!

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

Book Review: The Guardian (Mended Souls #1) by Jacquie Biggar

the guardian

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

(I previously posted this review on The Romance Reviews and Goodreads on May 19, 2016. I wanted to post it on my website, since I will be adding the review for the second book in the series The Beast Within soon.)

The Guardian is the first book in a new paranormal series that grabbed my attention from the first page! The characters come to life and the plot is intriguing and keeps you turning the page. Ms. Biggar’s paranormal romance, featuring guardian angels has become an instant must read for me.

Tracy York is a Cook County Medical examiner who is great at her job, but not so great with live relationships. She is assigned the case of a tragic auto accident that has killed a famous Hollywood bad boy, Lucas Carmichael, his best friend’s sister, and others. Alcohol is suspected, but Tracy is pressured to cover this up. At the same time, Scott Anderson, another Hollywood hunk, is left to live with the loss of his best friend and sister while recovering in the hospital. He blames himself for the accident and doesn’t believe it is Lucas’ fault. When Scott meets Tracy it is instant attraction. She is beautiful, smart and doesn’t fall for his fake persona. Tracy feels the same way, but doesn’t trust that Scott could be attracted to a regular person and insecurities abound. As the romance progresses, so do the threats against Tracy.

As you are engrossed with Tracy and Scott, Lucas’s story is being told and entwined throughout. Lucas finds himself in heaven and learns that he can atone for past mistakes by being a Guardian angel. He is paired with another and they must learn to work together, while helping those on Earth they love and know are in danger. This storyline is just as intriguing because there is a huge plot twist around who the other angel was on Earth. The book does end on a series arc cliffhanger involving these angels, but the author does wrap up the main suspense plot and romance in this book.

Romance, sex, suspense, greed, revenge, Guardian angels, guilt, forgiveness and atonement are all packed into this book. Ms. Biggar’s writing is fast paced, crisp and pulls you right into the characters’ lives. I can’t wait for the next Mended Souls book!