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: Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

There are a large number of great authors and out of that group everyone has their favorites that just always deliver for them. You disappear into their fictional worlds with no difficulty and love all the characters no matter how long you have been away and it always feels like you just visited yesterday.

One of my favorites is Suzanne Brockmann and her latest romantic suspense SOME KIND OF HERO (Troubleshooters, #17) delivered. Once again she gave me a noble and hunky Navy SEAL to fall in love with right along with a unique heroine and a fast paced suspense plot. Even though this is the 17th Troubleshooter book, it can easily be read as a standalone, but I don’t know why you would not want to meet all the other great characters in this series.

Lieutenant Pete Greene “Grunge” whips BUDs into SEALs that are ready for anything. What he is not ready for is the sudden guardianship of his sullen 15 year old daughter, Maddie after the death of her mother. They are strangers that are having serious difficulties relating to each other. Before Pete can connect, Maddie gets into serious trouble with a girl she thought was her friend and disappears. Pete knows she is in trouble, but does not know how much and is desperate to find and help her.

Shayla Whitman is a romantic suspense author and Pete’s neighbor. She has seen him around with his daughter, but has always been too intimidated by his hero worthy looks to introduce herself until she finds out Maddie is missing. Being a divorced mother of two boys, she knows the terror of having a child missing and at risk and wants to help in any way she can. As Shayla and Pete work to find Maddie and figure out who she is running from and why, Shayla can’t believe she is actually living a real life romantic suspense story.

These two are just perfect together. They both have been hurt in love before and need to learn to trust and open up again. Maddie and her buddy, Dingo make great secondary characters. I really loved when Shayla kept sending Maddie text stories of her mom and Pete’s relationship to make her understand that Maddie and her dad did have common ground; they both loved her mother.

Once again, a great addition to the Troubleshooter series! Strong, fully developed characters introduced in this book and a few friends from previous books. A suspense plot that keeps the tension high and the pages turning. A must read series for me!

 

Book Review: Weave a Murderous Web by Anne Rothman-Hicks, Ken Hicks

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

WEAVE A MURDEROUS WEB by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks is a fast paced thriller full of duplicity and a twisted murder mystery featuring a strong, smart-mouthed female protagonist who narrates the story. Even though the main character is a lawyer and it begins with a custody case, it is not a legal thriller set in a courtroom. This book is the second in the Jane Larson series, but it is easily read as a standalone.

Jane Larson is an intense litigator for a major New York City law firm who does not like to lose. An associate in her firm asks Jane for her assistance for a friend in a simple divorce and custody case. The case turns out to be anything, but simple. Jane’s client, Gail Hollings is only interested in how much money her ex is hiding from her. The associate, Francine is more of a mother to Courtney than Jane’s client. The ex is a slimy attorney with mob associates and dealing drugs on the side until he turns up dead.

Jane finds that every person involved in this case has a secret or motive to hide and they all could be the killer. As she delves deeper, her friends and enemies warn her to get out, but Jane just has to figure out what is really happening and why. It could cost her more than just the case.

Jane is an intelligent, witty and dogged main character. Even after several attempts on her life, she just has to find the answers to what is really happening. The plot is fast paced and full of twists and red herrings. The only problem I had with this story was the number of characters involved. They all seem important, but you also need to keep a score card to keep all of their relationships straight. Other than that small point, I would definitely recommend this to all who love a strong female protagonist and/or a tightly woven thriller.

Book Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

I was excited and surprised to see WIRED (Buchanan-Renard, #13) by Julie Garwood made available by Net Galley. I enjoy this series, but I have not read the more recent books until I requested this one. It was an O.K. romantic suspense, but not my favorite in the series. The suspense plot was well integrated and interesting with several subplots, but I had some problems with the H/h’s romance.

Allison Trent has a brilliant mind that can solve complex puzzles and problems. When she discovers computers, there is no program she cannot fix or hack. This is her escape from an aunt and uncle who have raised her sister and her after their parent’s death. She is also beautiful and is a model for a local designer part-time. Allison’s main fault is complying with people who take advantage of her rather than confronting them.

Liam Scott is a hot shot FBI fixer. His missions are all secret and he travels the world. He does not believe he will ever be willing or able to settle down in one town with one woman. He is assigned to recruit Allison for her super computer skills.

As in any romantic suspense, this would begin the back and forth romance dance, but Liam comes into Allison’s life and then disappears repeatedly. Allison keeps letting him back in and then regretting it when he is gone. He reappears to solve a problem or save Allison from bad guys and starts to realize he cannot stay away from her, but they never share their feelings until the end of the story. This is just not the type of relationship I hope for when reading this type of book.

For me, this is book was not up to my expectations from previous books in this series. The way Allison thinks was interesting, as was the suspense plot. The romance was lacking for me.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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.

Book Review: Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

DEATH PLAYS A PART (Cornish Castle Mystery Book 1) by Vivian Conroy is the first of a new cozy mystery series featuring Guinevere Evans and her adorable dachshund, Dolly. It is a clever locked room cozy set in an old castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall.

Guinevere is a costume designer for a London theater that has to close for renovations over the summer. She receives an offer to work and live at Cornisea castle cataloguing their library. She is excited to have a summer of island adventures with Dolly to tell all of her theater family about in the fall.

When she arrives on Cornisea, she is immediately thrown into the mix of players that are producing a reenactment of the medieval trial of Branok the Cold-hearted. Arthur Haydock is playing Branok and is locked in a cell in the dungeon for the rehearsal and found stabbed to death by the cast. Only Lord Bolingbrooke has a key to the cell, but he swears he is innocent even though he and Haydock were at odds. Guinevere and Dolly, with the help of Oliver, Lord Bolingbrooke’s son who has returned after traveling the world, work to uncover all of the players’ secrets and motives for wanting Haydock dead.

I enjoyed every aspect of this story. The plot was tightly woven and had me guessing until the end, even though I suspected who was responsible, I could not figure out the “How”. The pacing is steady and as you read the story, you are always given some new piece of the puzzle that makes you want to continue on. The setting of the castle and village on the tidal island was vividly described and a unique setting.

Guinevere is a main character that I am looking forward to reading more about. We gets peeks into her past, but some things are still unclear. She is mature and steady even though she is only 24 years old, which could come from being raised by her grandmother and/or being on her own. One thing is certain, she and Dolly are a great pair. Oliver, Lord Bolingbrooke’s son, makes an interesting co-sleuth and possibly more in future books? Ms. Conroy portrays the islanders vs. the main landers mentality realistically and shows how it effects the characters’ moods and actions.

I am looking forward to more Cornisea adventures with Guinevere and Dolly.

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