by B.R. Kingsolver
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
RB Kendrik is a British private investigator normally assisting in finding proof of marital infidelity, corporate fraud, or finding missing relatives. Then RB is requested to find a young succubus who has gone missing from university in Ireland. It is soon suspected that the beautiful young succubus has fallen victim of an underground sex trade ring.
In Kingsolver’s ‘Telepathic Clans’ saga the definition of a ‘succubus’ is rather different to what readers might be familiar with (meaning they aren’t demonic ladies who cruelly steal the respectability of sleeping/dreaming men *eye roll*). The telepaths (RB included) have numerous ‘gifts’. The succubus gift involves numerous talents and physical attributes. Of course those talents and attributes are linked to attractiveness and sexual prowess. RB, as all telepaths are, is very beautiful and sexy but not a succubus. She’s just really awesome. BR Kingsolver’s ability to create fantastic extremely likeable characters seems inexhaustible. RB is definitely my favourite so far.
She uncovers a whole world of exploitation and illegal activities. There’s lots of travel, posh and not so posh venues, shady underground people and extremely likeable allies for RB. But what’s greatest is the strong storytelling. Reading Broken Dolls I felt that this is how reading a mystery should be. I did not want to put it down and I really should have at some points because I was busy!
I never expected to enjoy a mystery like this so much. It was a real pleasure to read.
by Mia Darien
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Mia is such a great story teller sometimes I feel like she could write a description of the table I’m sat at and it could be entertaining. But thank goodness, because I don’t really want her to write about tables, she specialises in really fun genres like paranormal romance, sci fi romance, and paranormal mystery (among others).
Alien forces heartlessly seek to steal human resources. Major Jesse Katana Chantel is one of the best fighter pilots around who’s capable of fighting those forces. She resurfaces out of an early retirement to find herself on a ship with Lieutenant Colonel ‘Dixie’ Jameson. He happens to be the only true love of her life. But they have a history with each other (as well as planets in chaos and said ruthless alien forces) to overcome.
The sci fi world ‘Kat’ and ‘Dixie’ live in is believable. Mia Darien is obviously no stranger to sci fi as the revealing of the world here comes across so easily. The ‘G’thaar’ aliens are scary enough. The fighter pilot training, the dynamic between the ‘military’ personnel is a lot of fun. The battle sequences are intense and effective. But the focus of this story is the romance. It fits nicely as the biggest piece together with all the previously mentioned elements. The attraction between ‘Kat’ and ‘Dixie’ really works; their story is so moving and romantic. And there are points where it’s just really funny. I rather enjoyed the combination of sarcasm plus sci fi plus sweet sweet romance.
Prophecy of the Most Beautiful
(Oracle of Delphi # 1)
by Diantha Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
I was very happy to discover the writing of Diantha Jones. This is a fantastic opening book to what is going to be a very entertaining series. Jones’ creativity and attention to detail made this YA story surprisingly rich for someone (like me) who doesn’t always read YA.
Chloe Clever (the reader must get used to the quirky names in this book but just go with it as they get funnier) is a senior in high school with a bad reputation thanks to her issues with mental illness (a little problem with voices in her head, seeing visions and being occasionally violent). As it turns out the reason behind her issues is that she is an ‘oracle’ with a very important place in Greek myth.
Chloe soon finds herself hanging out with demi gods (half human half god adolescents) and fighting for her life. Chloe’s tough side (and her ability to have visions) prove useful when one challenge after another is thrown at her and her new friends from varying deities.
There is a love interest for Chloe in Stafford Law who is also her guardian. Stafford Law is fantastic as a powerful protective hunk under a lot of pressure from his father (who happens to be the sun god – Apollo). There are a lot of ‘beautiful’ and ‘hunky’ characters in the story. This would be expected in a YA paranormal romance involving Greek mythology, but to have them be so easy to visualise and their story so fun to follow is a treat!
I got really involved in Chloe’s world and I’m anxious to finish the series and find out how things turn out for her as in this first instalment it was one mad challenge after the next. Jones’ use of Greek mythology and inventive storytelling really worked for me. I’m definitely going to carry on with the series. Jones’s style is clever and satisfying with a high octane entertainment factor.
Book #1 of the Svatura Series
by Abigail Owen
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Abigail Owen’s writing was another worthwhile discovery. This is the first book of the Svatura Series. Her style is simple and precise, which I thought made the world building and varying ‘gifts’ or ‘talents’ of the characters much easier to digest. Sometimes the details in paranormal writing can be overbearing, but I found reading Abigail Owen’s first Svatura installment very refreshing (as well as entertaining).
Ellie Aubrey moves to Colorado with her twin brother Griffin, unable to stop herself from what she thinks might be there. Ellie and her brother are Svatura (a tribe of people with varying exceptional talents – things like telepathy, shape shifting, control of elements and emotions, healing, etc.) Ellie attends a high school where she suspects others like herself and Griffin are but out of fear for everyone’s safety, she has to keep their abilities hidden.
But an unavoidable attraction to one of the people she meets, Alex Jenner, makes keeping her distance difficult. When a real threat from Ellie’s past comes for her and new friends – Ellie is forced to fight to protect those she has come to love.
Another treat for the reader in this work is the ‘eternally youthful’ characters – for example Ellie herself, Griffin, and Alex Jenner. They are all late high school/early university appearance but have been around since before the American Civil War. That and the varying gifts of the characters add to the story’s ‘fun’ factor.
As a reader you can’t help but get more emotionally invested in the characters. The paranormal family element is cool, and the romance is very (very) effective between Ellie and Alex. The pace at which the story gripped me definitely made me want to read the next installment.
I like Abigail Owen’s YA style. It’s classy and intelligent but easy to read. I’m excited to read the rest of the Svatura series.
Dark Sentinels, Book One
by Dariel Raye
Genre: Paranormal Romance (for adults)
I’ve only recently become familiar with Dariel Raye’s work, and I’m looking forward to reading more. She specialises in paranormal romance between adults. In my experience so far those adults are usually lovely human ladies who meet fallen angels, jinns or shifters. Her female heroines are strong, likeable but with soft sides that are easy to relate to. The men are (often literally) out of this world.
In Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable, Dr. Akila Marshall is a veterinarian with a heart of gold. When a beautiful but sickly wolf is brought to her, she does her best to help him. When the wolf goes missing, she’s terrified that he has fallen victim to a string of animal mutilations in the area. Akila soon meets Dr. Sable Adler another veterinarian with the same striking hue of blue eyes as her missing wolf. Love and lust spike between them as their story unfolds. But Sable’s missing sister, and the cause behind animal abductions and abuse in the area bring Akila into a world she didn’t know existed.
Dariel Raye is a writer of very sexy, very grown up paranormal romance. The content is heated and sensual but the true love and committed nature of the relationship in this story rings true. In other words, the characters are destined for each other. Sable’s story was a very comforting, warm (ok hot) read. Especially if you are an animal lover like Akila. I love shifters too so this was a real pleasure.
It wasn’t too long it wasn’t too short, but it definitely made me eager to read the next Dark Sentinel’s installment. If you are having a night in, this is fantastic stuff for curling up with a cup of tea (or whatever) blocking out the world to enjoy the sizzle between Dariel’s characters. This story is coherent, creative and sexy. It’s like Dariel Raye knew what I wanted to read before bed.