Audio Review: How (Not) to Kiss a Prince (Cindy Eller, Book 2) by Elizabeth A Reeves

howtonotkissaprinceLet the Magical Mayhem begin! Cindy Eller has not one, but two weddings to prepare for in less than two weeks when the cupcakes hit the fan – a mysterious man has appeared, claiming to be betrothed to Cindy and that she must marry him before her sister’s nuptials can take place. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with Cindy’s Ordinary boyfriend, Timothy. That’s the way to cake – and the wedding – crumbles!

Start at the beginning: This is the second book in the series and there were times as I was listening that this became quite clear for as a reader I didn’t know what the author was referring to, which is fine, as I generally didn’t really need to know it. Because this is the second in the series, the conclusion is a happy for now with some threads left open for the next in the series.

How to know if you’ll like this book: Are you a foodie? You’ll love this. Lots and lots of descriptions of baked goods. You’ll want to open up a shop and start selling some of the goodies described.

Is there romance between a chef and a prince? One of my favorite scenes is when the prince kidnaps Cindy because he read a romance novel and thought it was considered romantic. Bwuahahaha.

Narrator: Michele Carpenter’s narration and accents give all the characters flair. She does a great job using a similar accent for all the characters so they sound like they’re form the same region, without making any character too similar. They are all distinguishable.

Disclaimer: Michele Carpenter is the narrator for my own trilogy.

Buy: How (Not) to Kiss a Prince (Cindy Eller #2)

[rating:4]

Review: Lord of the Hunt (Court of Annwyn, Book 2) by Shona Husk

lord of the huntReviewed by Sharon S.

She Wasn’t Cut Out for His World…

The realm of the fairies might be unbelievably beautiful, but its people are notoriously treacherous. Raised among mortals, Taryn hoped to avoid her fairy heritage her whole life. But now she must cross over to Annwyn and appeal to the King to pardon her exiled parents, or they’re sure to die. And to get to the King, she’ll first have to face the Lord of the Hunt…

He Can’t Imagine Life Without Her…

Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is sworn to serve to King. But the moment he sees Taryn, the attraction is instant and devastating. How can he not help the beautiful, brave young woman who refuses to bend to the will of the court? Yet the power in Annwyn is shifting, its magic failing. No matter how much he may love Taryn, the Hunter knows that abandoning his duty could bring down the mortal world forever.

I have reviewed all three books in Shona’s Goblin series and both books in her Court of Annwyn series. I am not a big paranormal romance reader, but I love Shona’s writing and stories. I have never been disappointed by her books. I was so excited when she decided to write a series about the Fae. They are my favorite supernatural characters. Lord of the Hunt is Verden’s story. We briefly met Verden in book 1 Outcast Prince. He was cold and ridged in his ways, but I knew there was more to him. This book can be read as a stand-alone.

Verden has only lived in Annwyn, traveling into the human realm only when his job as the Hunter required it. He never mixed with humans. He has spent his whole life playing the games of the court, lying and gambling to reach the highest status the King could bestow. His loyalty to the King has been unwavering until now. Taryn is fairy, but was raised in the human world because her father was banished before her birth, and her mother followed because she loved him more than her loyalty to the King and his court. Taryn has also had to pretend and lie about who she was so she could fit in with the humans, but it was nothing compared to the games she would have to play in Annwyn.

Annwyn is dying because the King and Queen’s relationship is failing and full of nothing but hate and resentment. Their son and heir Prince Felan hasn’t found a human wife yet, therefore the power can’t seamlessly shift to him and bring Annwyn back in balance. The failing of Annwyn also has dire consequences for the human realm. Taryn goes to Annwyn to get the King to lift her father’s banishment so her family can come back to Annwyn and not die in the power shift that is coming. Taryn is a fish out of water in fairy and must quickly learn how to play the court games and politics. Failure would most certainly result in her death there. Taryn’s innocence touches a forgotten part of Verden that had been buried by the numbness of life at Court. He struggles with his loyalty to the King and the life he fought so hard for and the unknown of love and freedom with Taryn.

I love the world Husk has created in this series. There is enough world building complexity to satisfy the urban fantasy lover in me as well as feed the addiction for my favorite romance troupe, forbidden love. The sexual tension built between Verden and Taryn while they had to hide their feelings for each other at Court made those moments when they could be together much more intense. They pain they both go through breaks your heart. Yes, I shed some tears. This book also set up the next one about Prince Felan and his quest to win back the only woman he has ever loved.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Lord of the Hunt (Annwyn)

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Review: Call Me Yours by Celia Kyle

Call Me Yours by Celia KyleReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Mitchell Faerigan owns and works at a motorcycle shop. He builds the bikes as well – got to love a hot mechanic/owner. But he’s not all that he seems. Clover Brady owns an antique shop close by. And he’s being “worshipped from afar”.

Celia does a great job with this book. While you read, you tend to forget that they’re two males – you just see them as two people who are into each other. There was one scene where our author had Clover giggle. I’ve never heard a man giggle before but Celia has left me wanting to hear the sound. This is when I wish the book had audio.

Celia could have done like other authors and put in lots of sex (because isn’t that what people assume a M/M book is about) but she didn’t do as expected. The love story is what’s important and the sex is put in right where it belongs. She also writes so that gender seems to be an afterthought. You’ll love the scene where Clover meets Mitchell’s mother and brother – just sayin’.

Our author also includes just the right amount of fantasy/paranormal. Language is graphic but don’t let that bother you – after all it’s told from a man’s perspective. If you’ve never read any of her work before, this will leave you wanting to read more. So, stop over to her web site, http://celiakyle.com, and see what other books she has written.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Call Me Yours (Gay Paranormal Fantasy Romance)

Review: The Outcast Prince (Court of Annwyn, Book 1) by Shona Husk

outcast princeCaspian Mort can feel the history in anything he touches, a gift he inherited from his father, the Crown Prince of Annwyn. Devastated over his ex-wife’s infidelity, Caspian has withdrawn from human contact except when working as an antiques dealer.

While assessing the contents of the historic Callaway House he encounters the beautiful Lydia Callaway and senses that her home is haunted by a banished fairy. But what does the dangerous exile want? Unbeknownst to Lydia, she’s the owner of the last remaining portal to Annwyn—a mirror hidden somewhere in the house. To keep Lydia safe, Caspian will have to divulge the secrets of his heritage, and risk losing his heart again.

Husk has taken one of my favorite mythologies and put her own twist on it. I love everything about the Fae; from their arrogance and contempt for humans to their militant need to uphold tradition and the politics of the court. I especially like the idea that fairies are dark and dangerous creatures and want nothing more than to trick you out of your soul. You will get all this and more in The Outcast Prince.

I read Husk’s Goblin series and instantly fell in love with her dark storytelling style. I was happy to see she continued this in The Outcast Prince. The heart of the story is the romance between Caspian and Lydia. They may be from different worlds, but their struggles with family secrets and heartbreak connect them on an emotional level. You will enjoy the romance of two people willing to take one last chance at love even though it could break them completely. I really appreciate the fact that Lydia is the sexual aggressor in the beginning instead of the clichéd human enchanted by fae magic. And Caspian’s psychometric ability adds a unique complication to their relationship.

If this was nothing more than a romance I wouldn’t have been satisfied. There are many secondary storylines and intriguing characters we are teased with. They have bearing on Lydia and Caspian’s situation, but also have you wanting to go deeper and discover their secrets. The next book in this series will be about Verden, the Hunter of Annwyn. We only get a taste of him, but I can’t wait to take a bigger bite. Unlike Caspian who is half fae, and therefore has a soul and a moral compass, Verden is full fairy and in Annwyn he is to be feared. I can’t wait to see his icy exterior melted.

There are enough urban fantasy world building elements to make me happy, but not so much it will turn off the die-hard PNR fans. There is a lot of sexual tension and only a couple of sex scenes. The only complaints I have are in the romance part of the story. During their first sexual encounter things were “butterflies in my stomach” sexy and then an erotic term was used and it jarred me right out of the moment. But that is just me. I don’t like erotica terminology. There is a formula feel to the romance trope, but the uniqueness of Husk’s spin on Fae mythology more than made up for it with me.

If you love PNR this book is for you. If you are like me and prefer urban fantasy, here is a chance to expand your romantic horizons a little.

Favorite quotes:

It would be very easy to fall and not think about the landing. Too easy. And he knew how destructive and devastating the impact of loss could be.

and

Caspian’s eyelids flew open. Lydia stood in the doorway looking like a beautiful thundercloud.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Outcast Prince (Annwyn)

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Review: Broken Prophecy (Heirs of Aedan, Book 1) by Raven Raye

Broken ProphecyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Killian is thinking of a human and her name is Marcella. His purpose in our world is to find out who is threatening his kind. Marcella Rowan works at Cloudcroft’s hospital. She cares a lot about her patients. Her friend Brenna also works there as well.

Raven gives her readers a little bit of everything – paranormal, mystery, thriller, horror, and romance. She shows what lengths some people will go to for the person that they love. She has also made Lilith, an angel who’s not so angelic, the evil in this piece. I think she could give any other evil being a run for their money.

A circle seems to connect our characters. They all interconnect – both good and evil. For some, family has no meaning. For others, friends and family mean everything. Brenna and Marcella are the perfect friends. They complement each other and seem to know what the other needs. Plus they each have a special gift that can help the other.

This is a story that took a lot of creativity. Raven has taken everything that we thought were just fairy tales, and myths, and turned it around into a story that could be totally believable. She also shows the reader that no matter how “superior” a race, prejudice can exist and until something changes it always will. Hatred can cause a lot of destruction but can love and faith have a chance to change the impossible?

The only disappointment I had was that I kept seeing the pages disappear. I didn’t want the tale to end. But knowing that this is book one means that there will be another tale to follow. It will be interesting to see if Killian and Marcella’s story will continue or if Raven will introduce two new characters. You may want to keep an eye on her web site, http://www.ravenraye.com/, for any possible updates.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Broken Prophecy