Review: Immortally Ever After (Monster M*A*S*H, Book 3) by Angie Fox

Immortally Ever AfterReviewed by Sharon S.

In The Heat Of Battle

The hard-won cease-fire between the battling immortals doesn’t last long. In the blink of an eye, human surgeon Dr. Petra Robichaud is back on the frontlines, and starring in yet another of the oracle’s prophesies. As the only healer who can talk to the dead, Petra doesn’t have much choice about her role—even when her breathtaking ex-lover shows up at exactly the wrong time…

Two Hearts Fight To Survive

Petra may have moved on when Commander Galen left her, but she never forgot him—and the passionate moments they shared. Seeing him again is a distraction she really doesn’t need with both armies honing new weapons, and wounded all over her M*A*S*H unit. But how can she resist him? It’s now or never for the demi-god Galen to become Petra’s mate…but with the fate of humanity at stake, will their desire be worth the cost?

I have been waiting for this last installment of Angie Fox’s paranormal romance trilogy Monster M.A.S.H. The beauty of a trilogy is it is like one very long story, but usually you can’t read them out of order or you risk spoiling important reveals. I suggest you start this series with Immortally Yours (book #1). I promise you won’t regret it.

Angie Fox is known for the humorous light tone you find in her PNR series Demon Slayer. Monster M.A.S.H. has a darker tone to it. It is about a war between the mythological old gods and the new, and Angie doesn’t shy away from the horrors of working in a M.A.S.H. unit. But it is tempered with some of the silly and witty writing she is known for. You can call it a dramedy.

I can’t give away too many details about the plot because this is the final installment. I can tell you it was the most action packed of the three. At first I was worried because it started out focusing on Petra’s love life instead of the story like in the first two books. It got a little too PNR for me. It did eventually change the focus back to the Petra’s role in the war and it was page turning action from then on. I really liked learning about the dragon shifters. After years of being enslaved by the old gods and used as weapons, they are ready for some payback. The female dragon shifter Leta was my favorite secondary character in this book. I was able to feel her helplessness and then empowerment as she grew strong and unleashed her furry. Gave me goosebumps!

There are so many fabulous characters in the series. Medusa (yes, that one) and Jeffe (a sphinx) add a lot of humor. Galen is our hero and he is the swoon worthy demi god you would expect him to be. The story is told in the first person POV of Petra. In the beginning of the series she already jaded by the war and has serious trust issues. Over the course of the three books she slowly and hesitantly starts to let her heart open to those around her.

If you are looking for a great balance of urban fantasy and paranormal romance with humor, mythology and unique world building, give this one a try.

Immortally Ever After Rating: ★★★★☆
Monster M.A.S.H. series: Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Immortally Ever After (Monster MASH)

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Review: South of Surrender (Hearts of the Anemoi, Book 3) by Laura Kaye

South of Surrender Reviewed by Adria

This a first for me. A Pegasus shifter? Okay so maybe not exactly a shifter but one of his forms is a winged horse.

South of Surrender mixes Greek mythology with romance and weaves an engaging story that will leave readers wanting more. The Greek wind gods, otherwise known as the Anemoi (in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced ANny-moi), must corral one of their own before the Olympic gods interfere.

Eurus is out of control and must be destroyed, but his younger brother Chrysander still thinks Eurus can be redeemed. After a battle with Eurus, Chrys finds himself injured, drained and in the mortal world. There he meets Laney Summerlyn, a mortal woman with problems of her own. Thrown together by circumstance beyond their control, Chrys and Laney start to fall for each other but just as things are looking up, Eurus threatens their lives and happiness.

Romance novels that stem from Greek mythology are either a hit or a miss for me, due in part to their being so many gods and goddesses. If an author puts too much complex mythology into a book it can weigh down the story and stall the pace. However if an author puts too little into a book then it becomes an afterthought and that same story may not have a strong back story. South of Surrender manages to merge Greek mythology and the romance genre into an interesting and effortless story of loss, betrayal and love.

As book 3 in a series, South of Surrender can be read as a stand-alone book but why deny yourself the pleasure of getting to know Chrysander’s brothers?

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: South of Surrender (Hearts of the Anemoi)

Review: Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg

Grave IntentionsReview by Lynn Reynolds

David Anderson works for Death. He’s on his way to an appointment with his newest trainee, Adam Javorski. Adam doesn’t quite understand what the job entails but David is there to guide him. Adam seems to be the voice of compassion and David seems to be very cynical. I think Adam is perfect for David. He’s the shot in the arm that David needs and then they meet Sarah.

Sarah Griffith has a very spunky grandmother named Pearl. Pearl feels she has a gift that no one understands and that gets her into constant trouble. Sarah works in a lab and you can tell how she only believes in things that can be seen or proven. Sarah doesn’t believe in the unknown.

I love the first meeting between Sarah and her next door neighbors – can we say big misunderstanding. Then there is a scene where David and Sarah are watching a football game. It’s interesting when I find that I have a connection to the story – do you ever feel the same?

David has a talent that left me wishing that this book came with illustrations. This is where your imagination and mind’s eye need to work overtime. One can always hope that someday the e-reader will evolve into having illustrations/pictures – and in color too.

This book shows that it’s never too late to change our lives. David has a job that he had no choice but to take, he’s made the most of it and then along comes a woman. Love can come when you least expect it but what will you do to keep the person that completes you. Lori also does a great job of building the suspense until its final conclusion. It takes a lot of creativity to come up with the world that David and Adam live in.

I loved this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. It’s not a book that is based around sex. It’s about the love that builds between a man and a woman no matter the odds. And the reader also gets their paranormal fix. But it also leaves me hoping to see what happens with Adam.

Make sure that you read to the very end and Lori will give you a sneak peek. There was a secondary character that works with the guys and her name is Ruby. Book two is her story. There was no title listed and I did my best to try to find out what I could for you but with no success – we will just have to wait and see.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Grave Intentions

Review: For the Love of a Goblin Warrior (Shadowlands, Book 3) by Shona Husk

For the Love of a Goblin WarriorI loved the first two books in this series. Hush has an amazing ability to weave a mesmerizing story with a magical dark fairytale feel to it. And she achieves that again in For the Love of a Goblin. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading the first two because compared to the first two books this one doesn’t quite measure up. It is good, but the pacing of the story is a little awkward.

Meryn was the first of Roan’s men to go goblin and spent 2000 years as one. When the curse was broken and Dia pulled him from the Shadowlands he was about as broken as a man could be. And like all fairytales, his fate is entwined with another. Nadine’s world fell apart when her mother was murdered 20 years ago and her father was convicted. She was witness to the crime but can’t remember what she saw and hasn’t communicated with her dad at all. Her father is now out on parole. Meryn and Nadine are both wanting to move on with their lives, but not sure how too. Their emotional wounds are deep and dark.

Husk spends most the book slowly developing their relationship and there is a big build up to their first kiss and love making, which is totally worth it. There is a lot of time spent on them working through their individual issues such as Nadine and her father and what really happened the night her mother disappeared and Meryn coming to terms with why he turned goblin and having to face his king and adjusting to his new life. While I liked the characters I think too much time was spent on this aspect of the book.

The big reveal when Nadine finds out about Meryn’s past life and how she reacts is dealt with in the last four chapters. It all happened way too fast compared to the pace of the rest of the story. Sort of a let down from a writing perspective for me.

Not every book in a series can be a homerun to a reader and this one is more like a double with a RBI for me. I will keep reading this series because I love the beautiful and dark fairytale Husk has created.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: For the Love of a Goblin Warrior (Shadowlands)

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Dark Hero or Creepy Psycho: Vampires in Contemporary Romance

Guest blog by Kenya Wright, author of Fire Baptized and The Burning Bush

Last month, to my husband’s dismay, I bought all of the contemporary romances on the New York Times Bestseller list. Usually, I only read paranormal romance, but I decided to explore other genres. What I discovered shocked me. It was an interesting phenomenon. Heroines, insane enough to fall for men that most women would run from shrieking in horror, filled the pages.

Now I’m not denying that these guys weren’t sexy or that the books weren’t page-turners. I’m just shocked that the dark heroes were so terrifyingly creepy. And then a theory came to me. These guys are just like my crazed blood-lust vampires. So I tested the theory, comparing the contemporary dark heroes to my favorite fanged creatures.

Alpha Male

Gideon Cross (Bared to You) is a powerful millionaire that manages many businesses. He gives the orders and doesn’t receive them. He demands what he wants and expects it handed to him immediately. Christian (Fifty Shades of Grey) is another millionaire who thinks the world belongs to him. Although Travis (Beautiful Disaster) isn’t a millionaire, he has the reputation around campus as a bad boy brawler who takes no mess. Guys think twice before bothering him. Women swoon in his presence.

Emotional Vampire

For me, Travis (Beautiful Disaster) has the ability to suck all the life right out of Abbey. Travis needs constant reassurance that she loves him, gets worried about the outfits she wears, and takes her on an extreme emotional rollercoaster throughout the whole novel. Like my paranormal vampires, one disturbing bite from Travis could drive Abbey into pure insanity. Christian (Fifty Shades of Grey) drowns Anastasia in his emotional baggage. Gideon (Beautiful Disaster) is a bed mate who could traumatize you in the middle of the night if he doesn’t take his pills. (I wish I could explain that further, but it would be a major spoiler.)

Dangerous Sex

In paranormal romance, having sex with a vampire can be dangerous to the heroine’s health. The bloodsucker could go overboard and snap into a vein during climax. The lingering risk is what makes paranormal romance sex scenes intriguing. To me, Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey) provides this same threat of harm while he makes love to Anastasia. He has clear rules that they follow to keep them safe, but the possibility of injury is always present.

Hot Fantasy Lover but Reality Hell No!

I love to read and fantasize about vampire love interests, but if I met a real vampire, I would run to safety while clinging to wooden stakes, silver crosses, and vials of holy water. Like vampires, Gideon, Christian, and Travis are real-life nightmares. These are not the men I would want to dedicate my heart to, and if they arrived at my doorstep holding my daughter’s hand, I would kill them.

All in all this is an interesting development for paranormal romance readers like me that swim in that murky pool of bad boy love. I recommend that if you adore sexy vampires lurking in the night and hovering over an unsuspecting heroine, then you may want to check out the contemporary romance novels I mentioned.

Author Bio: Dark fantasy bestselling author Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on her head at night. Visit Kenya http://kenyawright.com/

Buy: Fire Baptized and The Burning Bush

Review: The Storm that is Sterling by Lisa Renee Jones

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

The reader first meets Rebecca Burns as a very studious high schooler. She’s so smart that she tutors during the summer. Sterling Jeter is a young man that hacks into computers for money. He uses the money to take care of his grandmother. We think that they will be sweethearts right away but then Sterling gets into trouble and Rebecca doesn’t see him after that.

The story then jumps fourteen years. Sterling is now part of a special elite team. He then goes to see Rebecca. This is where Lisa gives her reader an indication of what makes Sterling a hero. This is also where our adventure begins.

If you have not read Lisa’s first book in the series, The Legend of Michael, you may not understand a lot of what’s happening in the story. Originally, I read this book first and was totally lost in what was going on. I then went to my local library and took out Michael’s book. This time everything was less confusing and it made sense. You do need to read this series in order.

This book is darker than the first – the evil in Michael’s book continues here. You can tell that this is a book about good vs. evil but that the evil is getting stronger. As you get into the story, you will question as to which will win.

The first time I read this book, I was reading it as a paranormal romance. This second time, I read it as a paranormal romantic suspense. The book is good as a paranormal suspense but it is a little light on the romance. Danger always seems to get into the way of any type of romance between Sterling and Rebecca.

In other paranormal romances, that I have read, the life mate appears early on and we see the instant connection between the two main characters. As I started to read the first few chapters of Sterling’s story, I just didn’t see that connection. At the end of chapter 5, Sterling and Rebecca finally admit that they want each other but as a reader I just don’t feel it.

In Chapter 21, Becca says how badly she wants him but as a reader I’ll have to take her word for it. I just never saw it in the pages previously. At the end of this chapter, we finally start to see their romance take shape. But as a romance reader, I felt that the author had to put in a love scene somewhere and this is where she decided to put it. To me it felt out of place. It just didn’t seem to flow with the rest of the story.

Once the romance finally starts it seems like the dark side of the story seems to take a back seat. You see glimpses of it so that you know it will continue into the next book but the feeling of the story changed.

Would I buy this book? No. Would I borrow this book from the library? Yes. Would I read the next book in the series? Yes, I would like to see what happens next. I will say that I did like Michael’s story better.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Storm That Is Sterling

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Adding Supernatural Elements to Pride and Prejudice

Guest blog by Mary Lydon Simonsen, author of Mr. Darcy’s Bite

Hi Keira. It’s good to be back at Love Romance Passion. In setting up this guest post, you mentioned that I love writing about history and that I’m pretty finicky about getting my historical facts right. Correct on both points.

Your question: How did you feel about adding elements of pure supernatural fantasy to Pride and Prejudice? What was easy/hard about it?

First, let me tell you how it was that I came to write a werewolf story. For two years, I was a contributor and reader of stories on A Happy Assembly, a Jane Austen fan fiction site. A contributor posted a werewolf story that was getting hundreds of hits and dozens of comments every time a chapter went up. Although I had never read a paranormal story, I was drawn in by the sinister atmosphere the author had created. Because Halloween was just around the corner, as a goof, I decided to write a short story called “Mr. Darcy on the Eve of All Saints’ Day” about a werewolf. The reception was so great that I expanded it to a full-length novel.

As mentioned, I love reading history and writing historical fiction, so, naturally, I had to research werewolves. But when I learned that these creatures of the night dined on exhumed corpses, I decided that, in this case, I was going to write my own history. I just could not imagine Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy visiting local cemeteries for reasons other than paying his respects.

Completely liberated from the shackles of being historically accurate, I went down my own path—werewolf wise. My intent was to write a love story about Darcy and Elizabeth, one in which Mr. Darcy just happens to be a werewolf. Of course, there were difficulties because what is more complicated than Elizabeth finding out that the man she loves grows fur, fangs, and a bushy tail and roams the woods of Pemberley’s for two days in every moon cycle?

It was easier to write the story than I thought it would be, and that is because I love wolves. I once spent a half hour watching a wolf in Yellowstone National Park trying to catch field mice. He was a determined critter, but on this day, the mice won. Here in Arizona, we successfully reintroduced Mexican wolves into the White Mountains. But people of the Middle Ages did not share my admiration for lupines. By the time of Alfred the Great (circa 900), wolves had been completely eradicated from England, and possibly, the whole of the British Isles. Considering my love of wolves, it seemed appropriate for me to reintroduce, not only wolves to England, but werewolves as well.

Here is the set-up for the story: Mr. Darcy had been calling on Elizabeth Bennet for six months. Although a proposal was expected, Darcy did not make an offer because he was unsure if Elizabeth could accept his dual nature. When he invites her to Pemberley, she must decide if she can love a man who is part beast, and if she does, she must understand that she will always be looking over her shoulder in order to protect the man she loves from those who would harm him. To thicken the plot, there is danger of exposure as well as another woman vying for his affections. Doesn’t that sound interesting? I hope you will want to find out and read Mr. Darcy’s Bite.

So what would you say if Mr. Darcy made you an offer of marriage and then revealed that he was a werewolf? I know what I’d say. :D

Buy: Mr. Darcy’s Bite

Historical Paranormal Romance Vs Contemporary Paranormal Romance

Guest post by Sandra Scholes

The man of your dreams is nibbling on your neck, and you like what he is doing. Is he a demon in disguise? A vampire waiting to take you as his next meal? Or an incubus? Maybe he’s an angel sent to save you from ever meeting a nasty piece of work werewolf who wants to eat you up – whole! Whoever he is, he might also be a few hundred years old, and getting to know him might be tricky, especially if he’s got parents to take you to see.

In Historical Paranormal Romance, ghosts and other undead are featured a great deal. Contemporary Paranormal Romance has its own interesting problems where the female characters have to deal with hundred-year-old men who look as young as Ed Cullen. Here we tackle the two genres to find out exactly what the differences are.

  1. There’s A Ghost In My Head: In Historical Paranormal Romance the main characters tend to not know why he or she can sense ghosts or spirits, yet in Contemporary Paranormal Romance they know already that they can sense them and can actually communicate with them too.
  2. Be Careful What You Say: The characters have to be careful when they are in polite company in Historical Paranormal Romance, as they can be embarrassed and/or socially ostracized if their supernatural gifts are revealed. Society is easily shocked by the supernatural. Whereas in Contemporary Paranormal Romance they will either be believed or laughed at (at least until the gifts are proven)! There’s no real lasting harm.
  3. Troubled and Troublesome: Some spirits in Historical Paranormal Romance are seen as demons who could cause many problems, and were a scourge against the church of the day – but later in Contemporary Paranormal Romance they are seen as nothing more than cruel or spirits of the long dead people who need to find rest.
  4. Bite Me…Please: Vampires in Historical Paranormal Romance cannot wait to get with a woman who wants to understand them and their nature, while in Contemporary Paranormal Romance; it’s the women who can’t wait to get with the rangy, handsome and entirely deadly vampire.
  5. Touch Me There – Touch Me Anywhere: In Historical Paranormal Romance the man wouldn’t dare touch a lady who is out investigating ghosts and other paranormal activity in a run down mansion house. You are lucky if she has brought her chaperone with her and not her mother! In Contemporary Paranormal Romance, the man just wants to get to know the girl before he gets to the touching and kissing… which leads to the, oh well, just use your imagination. ;)
  6. Lords and LadiesHave Some Fun: In Historical Paranormal Romance women start out by hating the lords they get paired with, whereas in Contemporary Paranormal Romance, they find the vampire or demon lords irresistible and want to know everything about them.
  7. Getting To The Nitty Gritty: Occasionally in Historical Paranormal Romance women always have to unravel the mystery of their birth and find out all kinds of horrid things– the murders, lords, demons, and dwarves– while in Contemporary Paranormal Romance the women already know their background and don’t seem to care, they just want to get to the handsome man at the middle of the story!

What other differences have you noticed between historical and contemporary paranormals?