Seeing is Believing – a funny romance with mystery

Seeing is BelievingSeeing is Believing by Erin McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Piper Tucker has lived in Cutterville, Ohio for most of her life and does not plan on leaving. She was dropped off at her father’s place when she was eight years old by her stepfather who did not treat her well and did not want her. It was the first time her biological father knew about her and she has been treated special ever since.

Brady Stritmeyer comes back to town after being away for twelve years. Brady just lost his job and decides he wants to come home for awhile to make some decisions. Piper has had a crush on Brady ever since she can remember but he was years older and left for school and until now never returned. Brady does remember Piper and how she would ask him to sketch pictures of her ghosts as she described them.

Piper has seen ghosts ever since she can remember and Rachel is a ghost that Piper has seen several times throughout her life, she died 150 years ago in an asylum after being accused of killing her fiancé.

Piper and Brady find an old newspaper clipping of the murder that Rachel committed and he finds out that he has the same name as the man Rachel killed. As they spend more time together and get to know each other it seems that Rachel disapproves and gets angry, she even hits Piper over the head with a candlestick. To find out more Piper and Brady dig deeper into the murder and find some interesting things that may shed new light on who killed the old Brady and why Rachel seems to be jealous of Piper and the current Brady.

Seeing is Believing is a wonderfully fun contemporary romance with a twist. I enjoyed the humor, the sweet romance and mystery of a century old murder. A recommend read for me.

View all my reviews

The Reunited – A romantic suspense with mystery and paranormal elements

The Reunited (FBI Psychics, #3)The Reunited by Shiloh Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joss Crawford is an FBI agent working for a special task force that is a little different than most, as many of the agents have special psychic powers. He is known as a mirror, one that can take the abilities of others he is mind-melted with which makes him a very valuable agent.

For most of his life, he has been searching for a woman, one he has had weekly dreams about since he found her grave in college. In his dreams he remembers being with her and dying at the hands of another but is not sure what happened to her, only that they have this strong connection.

Drucella Chapman is working undercover privately trying to infiltrating a ring of human traffickers. She has been undercover for two years and has gotten so deep that she is about to marry an evil man named Patrick Whitmore. She does not care about the cost to her, she only cares that the ring is broken up and Patrick is dead. Dru has her own psychic abilities; she is called a Psychometric, and can read the thoughts of those she touches and when she touches Patrick she sees the evil in his mind. Tucker is Dru’s outside contact and has helped her for these last two years.

Taylor Jones is Joss’ boss and his wife Dez also works with the FBI, they all had some type of ability that helps with the most difficult jobs. Because Joss is a mirror, for this task force he needs several abilities and so is using one from Dez and one from Jillian a very powerful fourteen year old that is the daughter of another FBI agent, it was Jillian who got them involved as she “found” out about the women who were missing while on a family trip and could not get the images and voices out of her mind.

Joss finally finds Dru while walking one day and he stops her, they have this strong connection and it is after that meeting that they are able to connect mentally. He tells her about the past, something she does not remember or it was so painful she is suppressing the memories.

Joss goes undercover, posing as someone who finds girls for Patrick; they use FBI agents as the girls to infiltrate the compound and as they get closer to Patrick the danger increases for all those involved. While undercover Joss gets invited to a party and Joss and Dru officially meet and immediately assume the worst about each other, she thinks Joss is one of them and he thinks she is marrying a man that is evil and she knows it.

The present is catching up to Dru, Patrick is seeing through her façade. To make matters worse he also has an anonymous person calling him telling him they know about his ex-girlfriend who disappeared two years ago, he is running scared. So after one chilling night where Patrick threatens her, Dru has Tucker help her escape.

All parties seem to find the compound at about the same time, they know that Patrick is getting nervous so is going for damage control and will kill anyone that might hurt him. At first there is confusion about who is good and who is working with Patrick, so when Dru finds out Joss is with the FBI she is not sure what to think.

The danger to everyone escalates as they try to get the girls out of the compound while the guards are shooting anything that moves and yet the man everyone wants is not around. The fact the Dru desperately wants him dead leaves another dangerous mission ahead.

I really enjoyed this book, the characters are intriguing and the psychic element adds to the romantic suspense. The subject matter is disturbing and Ms Walker does well telling the story. This is the third in the series however I was not lost and although characters from the first two books are featured the flow of this book works. I recommend.

View all my reviews

Hearts of Darkness

Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass, #1)Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass Series)
Author: Kira Brady
Publisher: Zebra (August 7, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1420124560
ISBN-13: 978-1420124569
Pages: 352

The Seattle Kayla Friday arrives in is a dark and dreary place, it looked like a war torn third world county, a far cry from the city she recently left. Most electrical devices do not work, people drive old diesel cars and street lights are mostly gas lanterns. This is the Seattle that has stolen everything from Kayla, her mother died violently years before, her father from heartbreak a year later and now her sister Desi has died. Kayla is on her way to the morgue to identify her sister as she notices strange things around her and finds trouble when a man named Hart approaches her and others try to kill him.

Souls are supposed to pass through Gates of death peacefully and move on to the other side; however those that refused or are forbidden swarmed around and caused problems. Kayla can see the Aether which are the waves that surrounded all matter. The Aether does not like the ghosts that do not pass through the gates; these beings are the cause of modern day problems for a city like Seattle.

In the recent weeks before her death Desi had become remote and non-communicative and although she was studying at the university, she was dating a mysterious man that Kayla did not know, named Norgard. Desi became very interested in Babylonian history and mythology and Kayla believed she was caught up in something violent and evil that got her killed.

Hart is a wolf shifter from the Kivati pack, but was run out of the pack because he was “moon marked” and not welcomed. It is said that Hart is not able to control the beast within and therefore he is not to be trusted during a full moon. He believes Kayla has information about a necklace he needs that gets him one step closer to freedom from Norgard. The necklace is believed to open the Gates of death and bring evil into the world and many want it for power.

Norgard is a powerful Drekar, dragons that feed on human souls, and although they are not the only ones that want the necklace Hart was making sure Norgard gets it first. The Kivati also want the necklace, they are a legendary species of shifters that have been around for years, Raven, Cougar, Coyote, Thunderbird and Wolf. They once protected the land and humankind and although they still do officially, they are too caught up in a war with the Drekar to help.

Hart tells Kayla that he will help if she gives him the necklace when they find it. With clues her sister left, they find the necklace at her mother’s grave and Kayla gives the necklace to Hart for safe keeping not knowing he will give it to Norgard, she feels betrayed and soon finds herself in trouble as Norgard believes she can fulfill a destiny and is kidnapped. When others find out Hart is free and what his last mission was to gain it they are angry and asks him to try to save her, and even though he believes he has no redeeming qualities, he does have a conscience and begins to think that although it may be a suicide mission he can rescue Kayla from Norgard.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the world building and characters take you to an alternate Seattle that looks nothing like you would imagine. The ending is surprising and the fact that neither the Drekar nor the Kivati seem to be the good guys and we really do not know who to trust makes the story even more fun to read. Humans are unaware of “the others” that surround them every day until the fight to free a valued leader and find the necklace to keep the Gates closed bring it all to a head. Hart and Kayla learn to trust each other to help with the fight and become much more than they ever thought to each other. A riveting and engaging read that grabs you until the end.

View all my reviews

The Moonstone and Miss Jones – an alternate London is unraveling and the Moonstone is the key

The Moonstone and Miss Jones (Paranormal Investigator, #2)The Moonstone and Miss Jones by Jillian Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: The Moonstone and Miss Jones (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator)
Publisher: Brava (September 25, 2012)
ISBN-10: 075826898X
ISBN-13: 978-0758268983
Pages: 320

America Jones makes it back to London without Phaeton, and has no idea where he is, only that he is missing and seems to have deserted her. The only message she has received was a short note that said he had been shanghaied in Shanghai, she did not know what that meant or if she even believed him.

America goes to the flat that she and Phaeton rented, as it is familiar and she is sure Phaeton will return if he arrives back in town. On the way, she is attacked by a strange creature with skeleton arms and legs; she gets away with the help of Edvar, the gargoyle that has been by Phaeton’s side since he was a small child. She is told by the creature that there are many more of them in London. Meanwhile, Phaeton wakes up while still in the bowels of a vessel that he does not remember boarding, he only knows that he is soon to arrive in London and as he easily escapes the ship, he heads to the flat and is happy to see that America has already arrived.

America greets Phaeton hesitantly as she is not sure why he disappeared however she believes him when he tells her that he truly was kidnapped and forced onto this ship returning to London. They find out there are strange things going on in London and it seems some entity wanted Phaeton back no matter how he got here. They soon find out that the reason Phaeton is wanted back in town is because the orb (Moonstone) that was gifted to Phaeton by a Goddess has been stolen from Dr Exeter’s lab and according to several, Phaeton is the only one that can unlock the powers.

With the help of Gaspar Sinclair, a man who has been a thorn in Phaeton’s side for years and his team of Nightshade warriors, they piece together what they believe is happening. They find out there is an alternate London called Outremer, that exists and is unraveling and creating havoc in their current London. The Moonstone is the key to correcting the problems and must be retrieved as soon as possible.

Unpredictable danger follows Phaeton, America and the Nightshades while they travel back and forth between the two London’s following leads to the Moonstone. The story grips you from the beginning and does not slow down until the end as the gang tries to prevent a catastrophe. The ending is startling and leaves you wanting more.

What a wonderful gripping steam punk fantasy. I truly enjoyed the story. This is the second installment in the Paranormal Investigation series however it can stand alone as the author catches you up. I enjoyed both Phaeton and America, the chemistry between them is wonderful, and the secondary characters are a joy, the Nightshades are an entertaining group and I am looking forward to seeing them in future books.

View all my reviews

Fear the Darkness

Fear the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity, #9)Fear the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Fear the Darkness
Author: Alexandra Ivy
Publisher: Zebra (August 28, 2012)
ISBN-10: 14201137X
ISBN-13: 978-1420111378
Pages 352

The Guardians of Eternity are trying to stop the apocalypse and with the help of Cassandra, a prophet whose sisters are mated with other Guardians and Caine, a full blooded were who is protecting Cassie and has been a pain to the Guardians in the past, they hope that they can prevent the Lord of Darkness from coming through the veil where it is being held prisoner.

The Dark Lord had been banished beyond the veil and kept there by The Phoenix (Abby) for several years, however over the past few months The Dark Lord has been trying to come through and allowing other dark creatures through as well. She created twin babies to use as a vessel for her return and has succeeded in capturing the girl child and currently looks like a young cheerleader.

As Cassie and Caine are on the run, they feel they can be more helpful on their own then with the other Guardians, as they feel the Guardians would just hamper their progress, however even as they try their best to stop The Dark Lord from finding the boy child, he is taken and reunited with his twin to become the Gemini that helps The Dark Lord become powerful enough to come through the veil.

The Guardians along with The Phoenix stand against The Dark Lord at the rift to fight to the death to prevent her from coming through. Cassie has another vision in the middle of the chaos showing that in order to win the battle they must tip the balance in their favor. She believes she knows just the person to help in that matter and sends a message to Levet, the small gargoyle who has little magic but can see through all illusions.

This is a great book that the action does not stop from start to finish. I enjoy this series and this book is a wonderful addition to the overall story arc. I have enjoyed watching Caine through several books and was very curious about Cassandra. They are a perfect match for each other and the attraction is very believable. The characters that come back in each book are a joy to see again and I am looking forward to more.

View all my reviews

Not your typical angel story

Ravyn's Fall (Heaven and Hell, #1)Ravyn’s Fall by Julie Blackstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Heaven and Hell
YA Paranormal Romance
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Nope
Favorite Line: I feel like the other shoe jus dropped. And I can’t wait to find it. (pg 18, ebook)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review

Twitter is an amazing thing. You can follow big wigs or celebrities as easily as you can your friends, you get news and gossip first had as it happens, and free books are constantly being given away…if you know where to look. Pam threw a tweet my way that one of her authors had branched out and written a YA PR and was looking for reviewer. So, I jumped on the opportunity and emailed the author, requesting a copy. Thus, this review was born. See? Twitter’s great. Fun, info, and free books.

Even though this is Julie’s first YA book, she has several of her normal PR books under her belt which give her the experience and skill to write a good YA book. The push and pull of the relationships, the fast plot pace, and quick character development all make Ravyn’s Fall a quick read (the fact that it comes in at under 200 pages helps, too).

Zeke comes into her life, it only confuses her more, and not just because his aura is scarlet—so different from the usual gray and blacks that surround Ravyn. Even stranger than the Goldens that terrify her. It also has to do with her unexplainable raw to him. In the span of one night, an entire world is opened to her. A world of angels and demons. Of Nephilim and hell hounds. A world she belongs to and can’t turn away from. A world where everyone wants her, but not everyone wants her to live. Ravyn must navigate this new world with limited knowledge—no one seems to know the truth about her—or they’re not willing to say it. She must decide between not who’s good or evil, but between what’s right and wrong. And maybe find herself and love along the way.

Like vampires, there are MANY angel and demon books out on the market. It’s hard for an author to twist their story enough to make it stand out. But Julie did that. What stuck out for me the most was her take on the “good vs. evil” aspect. One of her characters, Zeke, put it best when he said, “[Angels & demons are] the same, we just live in different zip codes”. Just because someone’s an angel, doesn’t mean they’re good and just because they’re a demon doesn’t mean they’re bad. And it’s interesting how Julie still creates a distinct difference between the two sides.

The book is a fun, quick read (I read it in one day while camping). I was rooting for Ravyn the entire way, wanting her to find love and herself. She’s a strong female lead with a snarky best friend/sidekick. I’m eager for Ravyn’s Grace (book two in the series) to come out so I can see what happens next.

A Victorian historical with a twist

Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Moonglow
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Forever (July 31, 2012) 432 pages
ISBN-10: 1455508586
ISBN-13: 978-1455508587

London 1883
Daisy Margaret Ellis (Craigmore) had been in morning for 366 days and she is done. She believes she has wasted plenty of time on a husband that she hated. She is ready to wear colors and do something infamous and mysterious, so she sets her sights on a man she does not know, but who will hopefully fulfill her needs. Unsure if she can go through with her plan she is surprised when the man is killed in front of her by a creature that looks surprisingly like a wolf. She is rescued by Ian Ranulf, who is the Marquis of Northrup, but not before she is injured by the creature.

Ian Ranulf was at one time, attracted to Daisy’s sister Miranda and tried to turn her against Archer before they were married. Ian and Archer were good friends at one time until Ian’s father died and blame was laid on Archer who had brought Ian’s father into a secret society called the West Moon Club. The club was obsessed with immortality and when Ian’s father wanted to leave the group a demon named Victoria tried to burn him alive and scarred him badly, making him weak and unable to lead his clan. Ian comes from a family of werewolves or Lycan and should have lead his clan however he had left the clan years before when his wife and son died. Ian let his younger brother Conell take over, however many in the supernatural world are unhappy with Ian’s decision.

Daisy is what is considered a “nose”, a person with exceptional smelling abilities and knowing her husband would never provide for her after his death, started working with a perfumer to make a future for herself. She developed a signature perfume however someone took the recipe and sold it to other men to purchase for their ladies. This seems to be the connecting piece between the women who are being targeted by the crazed beast around London. Ian notices that the beast (who he knows is a werewolf) has the smell of sickness about him and that could be why he has let the wolf side take over his body.

The Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals (SOS) has a duty to be kept informed of all supernatural beings and their activities. The SOS, along with most supernaturals want Ian in control of his clan, he is the true alpha and they do not believe his brother Conall is a good choice and his right hand man Lyle has made some suspicious choices.

As Ian and Daisy investigate the murders, they seek help from others in the SOS and visit a man named Lucien who is a GIM, ghost in the machine, an individual that has chosen to live forever after taking over another body. GIM’s are the spies of the supernatural world. Ian ends up employing a GIM to spy on Conell to find out if he is hiding the werewolf in order to frame Ian.
The story is steady and fast paced with wonderful suspense as it comes to a roller coaster ending when they try to find who is behind the attacks, who is hiding the sick werewolf and why the werewolf is attacking these women. The conclusion is surprising and fascinating as they search for answers. As Ian and Daisy fall in love they must find the courage to fight one more conflict to find true happiness.

View all my reviews

90’s nostalgia, here I come!

Drain You
By M. Beth Bloom
YA Paranormal Romance (light romance)
HarperTeen, July 24th, 2012
Rating: Strong PG-13. Open door sex scenes, but no really details given
Coffee Beans: 4/5
Favorite Lines: So I loved Libby, but in a vintage way. Like a childhood blanket, or my dad’s mac and cheese. A deep love, but not one you tap into on a daily basis. (Ebook, pg 25)

Okay, no big deal, I’d just call Stiles…at his underground lair, where he most likely had Libby chained to a radiator and she was loving it. Stella gave me the number, which contained not even one six, let alone the three in a row I’d expected. (Ebook, pg 76)

…I drew on so much eyeliner I looked like a sobbing drunk raccoon on a tequila bender… (Ebook pg 134)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.

Publisher’s Summary:
Every night I’d lie there in bed and look out at the hills behind our house, listening. I knew there’d be consequences.
Actions meant reactions. Sunrises meant sunsets. My fear was too permanent, lasting longer than eyeliner, something I wore every day and didn’t wash off.
Quinlan Lacey’s life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BFF Libby. There’s also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed-out coworker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn’s whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.
But with good comes bad and unfortunately, Quinn’s new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. Now, to make things right, she has to do a lot of things wrong (breaking and entering, kidnapping, lying, you name it).
There’s normal, and then there’s paranormal, and neither are Quinlan’s cup of Diet Coke. Staying sane, cool, in love, and alive isn’t so easy breezy.

My Review:
I admit, when I read the first chapter, I wasn’t that impressed. The voice was a little off and the writing didn’t grab me. But I kept reading and figured out that this was pretty much awesomeness. It instantly reminded me of The Lost Boys, but now. It also reminded me of the 90’s (which I loved) and made me want to move back to SoCal and remember the good times I had while growing up.
There were multiple things that impressed me with this book:
The dialogue. Snappy, witty, snarky, and funny, Bloom’s dialogue is just downright good. I was there, it was real, and it carried the story much more than just narrative alone

The MC’s voice. Quinn has a dark sense of humor and is so quick with everything, and her attitude of “whatever” is the icing on the cake. There were so many funny lines that were added that perfect certain something, which made the entire reading experience that much better

The MC. Quinn, for me, is very real. She cares deeply about those who mean something to her. She doesn’t know what she wants when it comes to boys. She’s shallow and selfish at times, but she has drive. And I didn’t find that off-putting at any point. Mainly because she gets called on it (several times) and she knows it’s the truth. But we’ve all been there. Admit it.

The relationships. There are several different, unique relationships Quinn is a part of, and they all come to life so realistically. Her absentee parents but their very functional relationship. Her coworker and complicated relationship-er, Morgan. Her casual best friend, Libby. The snobby girl from school, Naomi. James, the hot brother Quinn never knew existed. The equally hot other brother and instant best friend when crush disappears, Whit. And the evil twins, Stiles and Sanders. They all work brilliantly.

The package. I’m assuming this is going to be a series. Depending on how well this one goes. I thought it was a tight, well-written story encapsulated into one book. The ending was finite but there are definitely LOTS of questions that still need answering.
There were two thing that didn’t sit well with me, though.
Instalove. I’m not a fan of this. It’s unbelievable and really jars me out of a story. Yeah, we get Quinn thinks James is hot and she’s majorly crushing on him and they have to get together for the sake of plot progression. But getting as close and invested as they did—and in only a week—is a little hard for me to swallow.

The MC sleeps. A lot. Which isn’t bad, I guess. But she’s always tired and sleeping. *Shrugs shoulders* Just thought I’d mention that.

If you’re a fan of the 90’s (and if you aren’t, you should be), if you liked The Lost Boys (and if you didn’t, shame on you. Watch it again and change your mind), and if you enjoy dark humor, pick up the book. You’ll probably be pretty entertained.
Pick it up and decide for yourself. 🙂
And yes, this is another vampire book. I love them so much. ❤ I will buy this book so I can have a physical copy forever and always.