Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

This is Probably the hardest book review I have ever written.

I contemplated writing this because of 1) the subject matter 2) My reaction to this book. I’ve put on my Big Girl pants, so here goes…

Forbidden

First off, this book is about an incestuous relationship between a brother and a sister. There I said it… Obviously, this book is controversial and taboo, BUT it’s one of the most moving, shocking books I have ever had the pleasure to read.

“You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel.”

Let’s start with the title & cover. Many books I’ve read have the same title. Mostly Paranormal books, where ones an angel the other a demon.. etc.. But really I don’t think the author could have picked a better one. The cover is genius. The barbed wire indicates prison and of course in a heart shape, which only reinforces the Forbidden part.

“At the end of the day it’s about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.”

Prior to reading this book, I had not read anything by this author, and I haven’t read anything since, although when I look back, I can’t say why.

You know when people say they have a Book Hangover… I couldn’t stop thinking about this book WEEKS later, that’s how heart-wrenching this story is. The Story is slow, to begin with, but I liked the Britishness of it all.

“Out of the millions and millions of people that inhabit this planet, he is one of the tiny few I can never have.”

I come from a working Class background so I could relate to some of it, but (and I don’t know if this is harmful to the book or not) it was based on what I call ‘benefits Britain’- I don’t mean to be derogative but think Jeremy Kyle.

Their situation, I’m sure nowadays, isn’t unusual, but it is tragic, made only better/worse for their love for each other.

“There are no laws, no boundaries on feelings.We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want.No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us.”

I recommend this book to everyone. Ignore your initial misconceptions. Give it a go, you will not be disappointed.

WARNING: This book will make you Laugh, ugly Cry, Gasp, and possible throw it across the Room.

“As the light begins to intensify, so does my misery, and I wonder how it is possible to hurt so much when nothing is wrong.”

Review: Bite the Dust by Cynthia Eden

Rating: ★★★★★

Series: Blood and Moonlight #1

Pages: 244

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Vampires. Werewolves. Beasts that hunt in the night. When New Orleans Detective Jane Hart investigates her first official homicide case, she never expects to have her world ripped apart. But the murder she’s investigating is part of a deadly war between vampires and werewolves and now Jane is caught in that eternal battle. A battle that can’t end well.

Werewolf Aidan Locke has been running New Orleans for years. It’s his job to keep the vamps out of the city. But when a Master Vampire comes to town, determined to unleash hell, Aidan knows it’s time to fight with all the fury of his pack. Beast versus vamp, until the last breath. Then he meets Jane.

One look, one taste, and Aidan knows that Jane is far more than she seems. Far more than she even knows herself to be. She’s important in the paranormal war, not a pawn to be used, but a queen to be won. And if he can’t keep her at his side, if he can’t stop the darkness from descending on the town then Jane Hart will become not just a fierce cop, not some guardian, but something deadlier. Darker. Aidan will fight heaven and hell to change her fate. To change their fate because he is more than just a predator.

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And Jane is more than prey. Far more.

Format: Audiobook

Narrated by Sophie Eastlake. I liked her performance, she had a calming voice, and in doing so made the thriller parts seem scarier.

Review

I have read several of Cynthia Eden’s books and they are amazing. She is so imaginative and this is a fabulous example of why I love this author.

A brutal murder leads Jane to a victim whose blood was drained and throat ripped out. Then the body disappears, and Jane is introduced to Aiden, the Alpha of the pack, and the one who needs to stop Jane from interfering in the Otherworld..

“Are you sniffing me?”
He stopped.
“Because that is some weird serial killer shit if you’re doing that. Don’t make me go for my gun again.”

Jane was incredibly likable; a tough as nails cop who was Kick-Ass. She reminded me a bit of Jane Tennison from Prime Suspect.

Aiden.. oh Aiden. Just yum! He was demanding and strong, Possessive and protective.

“What was that about? Why did you kiss me?”
Propping his shoulders against the door, he leaned back and let his gaze sweep over her. “I want to fuck you.”
She stopped pacing.
“I thought the kiss made that pretty clear.” He lifted a brow. “Was I too vague? Should I try again?”
“You’re not supposed to say things like that.” Her voice had gone hoarse.
She obviously had him confused with a human. Her mistake. “What am I supposed to say? That you’re beautiful? That you charm me? That I look at you and ache?” His laughter was rough. “Those lines are for mortals, not for me. That isn’t the way I work.”
After drawing a quick breath, she took a step toward him. “How do you work?”
“I’m a very primitive kind of guy.” That was the flat truth. “When I see something I want, I take it.”
“I’m not something. I’m someone.”
“And I’m not the flowers and candy type. I am the type who’ll give you so much pleasure you’ll scream until you’re hoarse.”
She stared at him. “Got it. You’re the way too overconfident type.”

Cannot wait for the next in the series

Review of Here be Sexist Vampires by Suzanne Wright

... And this is why I read Paranormal Romance. 

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Deep in your Veins, #1

Pages: 258

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Sam Parker is a Svente Vampire. The weakest out of the three breeds of Vampires. Trapped with her sire, Victor, Sam has resigned herself to his cruelty, until one night she is invited to partake in a test for a place in the Grand Master’s Army.

Once there she meets with Jared, The Grand Master’s Heir, and the sexist man she has ever met.

The Pagori, the super strong breed, and the Keja the beautiful breed, often look down on svente due their weaker, and less beautiful nature, however, Sam’s gift is usually strong, which earns her a place as a co-commander of the army as well as the only woman svente vampire.

Problem is that there is a war coming and the army needs Sam, so does Jared, they just don’t know how much.

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I started this book, via audible, Saturday night before bed. What started as a quick 30 minute listen to relax before bed, became three hours of ‘This is great!!!’

I adore it when you begin a book, and you just know you are going to buy and love every book that this author writes!!

Format

AudioBook: The book was narrated by two people.

The part of Sam was narrated by Justine Eyre, Whilst the male part was played by P J Ochlan. Whilst Justine did brilliant, unfortunately, PJ butchered the cockney accent. Dick Van Dyke would be proud.

“Men! If he was a woman he’d be considered a bit of a slut, but apparently because he was a male it was completely normal and acceptable.”

I had read Suzanne Wrights, Phoenix Pack series previously, so I knew to expect a good novel, but this book was amazing.

Characters

Sam was Fabulous. She was kick ass, strong, and sassy-as-fuck. She was brutally honest and completely knew her own strength. She swore like a trooper, and I loved her for it!

How could you be attracted to someone who made you so pissed off that you’d considered burning their balls with a lighter?”

I rolled my eyes at Jared quite a few times, especially when he said something sexist. At times he was a pig, and he was always wrong about Sam, but he had a heart of gold. He was fiercely protective of Antonio (the Grand Master) and his twin brother.

Romantic Conflict

“Whether she realized it yet or not, this betting stuff and the constant conflict between us was foreplay.”

Sam, had a terrible past with vampires underestimating her, along with believing that she was a second-class citizen because she used to be a consort to her sire, she’s a Svente and she’s a woman.

Jared had never really had a relationship other than with his three (yes three) consorts. He was prejudice, and arrogant. He was exactly what Sam hated in this Vampire Society.

Understandably this caused misunderstanding between the two, along with fights. The banter between the two was so funny.

Jared’s lips were suddenly at my ear. “The only vampire who’ll be manhandling you tonight is me.”

“If I let you.”

“You get such satisfaction out of teasing me, don’t you?”

“I still maintain that you like it.”

Supernatural Elements

“Three breeds? Well you see, basically, you know how there are varying accounts of vampires? Some humans report us to be terribly aggressive with hulk-like strength, some report us to be entrancingly beautiful and charming, and others believe that we are actually more human-like than the stories say. Well the reason for all the confusion is that there are actually different breeds.”

Not completely original. Vampire Academy has the whole three breeds of Vampires, each with special gifts, but what I loved about these was that some of the powers where SOO original. For example
🦇 His gift was power augmentation, meaning that he could weaken or strengthen the gift of another.
🦇 Thorn-exhaling vampire
🦇 He was a Shredder: his gift allowed him to disband until he was nothing but molecules and then reform again at will.
🦇 one of them could become a slime
🦇 Another was a merger. they could merger forms

Conclusion

Hose me down with Holy water- this was a great read. I have found a great Vampire Romance, that has a Kick-Ass heroine and an Alpha Vampire, with an intriguing world- A Perfect Trio!! 

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Review of Southern Spirits by Angie Fox (FREE on Amazon & KOBO)

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #1

Pages: 320

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Verity, is on the brink of losing her ancestral house. In debt because she left her fiancee at the altar, she’s selling house to repay.

Whilst selling everything she comes across an vase and scatters the dirt on her roses.

This action causes an ex-gangster Frankie the German to appear back from the dead.

He’s the great-great grand uncle of aforementioned fiancee, and he is going to help her keep her house.

Less than a year ago, my life had been so simple. I had a nice little freelance design business going. I was marrying a man I thought I loved. And then –poof. Ghosts in my kitchen and ramen for breakfast.”

Verity was a pure southern Belle and I absolutely adored her. Even though she was scorned by the ex, she didn’t have a bad word to say in public about him.

She was funny and super likeable, and smart. Everything I was happy reading. When she was in danger/pain she had real reactions. I loved her inner monologue.

The next morning I was up bright and early. Mostly because I’d sold the curtains.”

She also had a pet skunk!!

Ellis..well I hated his name. For some reason in my head I kept scoffing ‘ stupid name’

That’s the ONLY fault I had.

The storyline with hidden jewels, cash and murders did not get dull once, and it was an even pace the whole book.

“chill swept the room. I retreated until my back hit solid wood. I’d never seen a ghost or heard a ghost although I watched Ghost Adventures on television and I certainly believed in them and sweet Jesus I was trapped.”

This book isn’t very romance orientated, but I liked that all the focus was on a clever plot full of humor, action, ghosts and small town politics.

Great read.

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Review of The Pageant by Leigh Walker

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Vampire Royals, #1

Pages: 204

Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance

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Maker:S,Date:2017-9-27,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

I’m a part of the Netgalley readers community, and I was shocked by the lack of Vampire Novels. In my desperation I searched ‘Vampire’ and this was the ONLY book.

But it must have been kismet because this book was awesome.

It’s set in a slightly futuristic American, where there is a Vampire Royal Family.

The Prince, Dallas, is looking for a wife, and he wants a human wife one from one of the settlements. And so begins, a ‘The Bachelor’ type reality with Vampires, Rebels and an impending war.

I’ve heard this book called ‘The Selection’ with Vampires. I haven’t read The Selection, so I can’t really compare, but it was a great read.

Sensitivity training so they won’t insult the Vampires. Now I’ve heard of everything.

The Heroine

Gwen was a likable heroine. At first, she had a kind of Katniss complex, looking out for family etc.

“I no longer let myself want things. Wanting wasn’t something I could afford. It lead only to disappointment.”

She made friends quickly, and was quite sassy, and clearly wanted to help. I could see that the author was setting her up to be a ruler.

She was my friend, and she was kind. And she was certainly easier to get along with than me.”

The Hero

Very Byronic. He had a tortured, kind of way about him. He clearly had a lot of responsibility and was trying to change the problems within the kingdom.

The Vampire Myth

Fangs, impervious to bullets, drink only liquids (Blood & Wine) Northern Vampires can have children, Vampire can be made via bite.

Conclusion

Amazing, 5 star YA Vampire read. I believe it’s a Trilogy and I cannot wait to start The next in the series- The Gala

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Review: Reckoning by Jeanine Frost

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Night Huntress, 0.5

Pages: 100

Genre: Paranormal Romance

In New Orleans, a pair of undead ghoul serial killers is about to turn Mardi Gras into a horror show – unless the immortal hitman Bones can hunt them down first. Can he avoid redhaired vampire mercenary in pursuit at the same time? From anthology Unbound.

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I wasn’t sure about this. A Pre-Cat Bones, seems like I’m cheating on the other books.

Not only that, but I really hoped he would shag anything. As unfair as that sounded but I’ve got addicted to their relationship.

A Hard limit for me, in Romance is a cheater. He/she cheats, I walk.

Sooo pleased it didn’t happen. Thank you Ms Frost.

The story was Bones basically hunting a pair of Ghoul murders. In relation to the actual series, you don’t need to have any prior knowledge, and it doesn’t alter the series that I’ve read this far.

It was also set in New Orleans, a place I’ve dreamed of going for years, so I ate that up.

5 star short read.

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Review: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Night Huntress, #2

Pages: 357

Genre: Paranormal Romance

See my previous Review about Halfway to the Grave 

 

You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide…

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around Bones awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline rush of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard Cat tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever…and Bones won’t let her get away again.

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“You know that old saying. Once you go dead, no one’s better in bed.”
I am so Happy…so very very happy.. Cat and Bones are back, and they are better than ever..
4 years have passed since Cat left Bones in Halfway to the Grave, and she has missed him like crazy, and he’s been hunting her.
Cat is such an amazing heroine, she has a level of compassion that astonishes me, but it just proves that she is more human than Vampire, and that is the whole point of her.
“I have been stabbed, shot, burned, bitten, beaten unconscious too many times to count, and even staked. None of those held a candle to the pain I felt at seeing his mouth on hers.”
I love Bones. There’s a scene where he first returns to the end of the book he is a complete scene stealer.

“You know what your problem is, Justina? You’re in desperate need of a good shag. “Not that I’m offering you one myself, mind. My days as a whore ended back in the seventeen hundreds.”

The gin was abruptly sucked back into my lungs as I gasped. He did not just tell my mother about his former profession; sweet Jesus, let me have heard incorrectly!

I hadn’t, and Bones went right on. “… But I have a friend who owes me a favor and he could be persuaded to… Kitten, are you all right?”

I’d stopped breathing as soon as he casually admitted to his prior occupation. Add that to the liquid stuck in my lungs, and no, I wasn’t all right.”

Cat now heads up a team for the government who kills and studies vampires, and she is an amazing leader, which was the bit I had a little problem with. No one is that perfect.
Still, her gin drinking won me over.
“Juan gave Bones the most admiring look he’d bestowed on him yet. “You talked her into going without panties all these years? Madre de Dios, now that’s impressive. I could learn a great deal from you, amigo.”
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Review of Real Vampires Have Curves by Gerry Bartlett

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Gloriana St Clair, #1

Pages: 330

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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What – did you think all vamps were pale, thin and brooding? Don’t I wish.

Gloriana St. Clair is an eternally “full-figured” vampire-she just happened to be bloating when a sexy Scotsman sank his teeth into her. She and said Scot- Angus Jeremiah Campbell III, aka Jeremy Blade-have been on and off again for centuries, currently off. A couple hundred years has taught them how to press each other’s buttons-in good ways and bad.

Glory’s headed for Austin and a new business venture: Vintage Vamp’s Emporium. After all, she loves clothes, and she is an antique. Only problem is, there’s a billionaire techno-freak vampire hunter on the loose. Blade’s in total he- vampire mode, and wants Glory to move in with him so he can “protect” her. But it’s time for this vamp to explore her own powers.

Whilst there are a lot of plus size heroines in novels now, back when this was published in 2007 this was rare. REALLY rare.

Additional to that Glory is a really flawed Heroine. She has a gambling problem, a shopping problem, and men problem (s).

I loved this about her. I am a plus sized girl (and proud!) And it was so refreshing to read about a Vampire whose a big girl.

“Vampires are everywhere. Lose all-vampires-are-rich-and-powerful stereotypes. Think Mike the night Clerk at the mini-mart. Brittany, the barmaid who brings you Appletini at last call”

Like the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries there’s a new blood substitute, and whilst the vampires won’t be coming out of the coffin, most vampires in this series drink it.

Even still a Hunter is after them, and he likes to play with technology and create new things to detect them, which was refreshing.

This series is far more light-hearted than some vampire novels, and I could relate to Glory more than most paranormal heroines.

Glory is put down by many of cast, but she has a heart of gold, and i adored her relationship with her talking dog.. if only my dog talked.

She was constantly trying to change and reinvent herself, and get the feeling that Glory will have such a journey of self within these novels and I cant wait to continue on her path.

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Review of How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

Life was good, even with the undead

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Love at Stake, #1

Pages: 371

Genre: paranormal romance

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Nobody said love was perfect…

Roman Draganesti is charming, handsome, rich…he’s also a vampire. But this vampire just lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn’t have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop-sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren’t going well for Shanna Whelan, either. After witnessing a gruesome murder, she’s next on the mob’s hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral, because she’s afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she’s found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman’s fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her?

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With a tagline like ‘It’s just as easy to fall in love with the undead’, I was super excited to start this novel. The title suggests an almost manual-like story, but alas. It does not tell me how to marry a Millionaire Vampire.

I’ve read a lot of vampire novels, in fact, I breathe them, so this is a great addition to my vast collection.

I love the cover, the wedding dress, with the door open, looking outward to a very blood red sky with a bat flying away is very cool to me. If only there was a desktop wallpaper…mmm. let’s settle for a picture of Eric from True Blood then…

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The back cover states ‘ leaving him a lop-sided eater for all eternity’ this made me chuckle. Many authors have managed to create humorous vampire novels, like Mary Janice Davidson and Gerry Bartlett, so I was looking forward to this!!

“Roman might have survived the Great Vampire War of 1710, but he was about to face an even worse terror.
A mortal female in full rage.”

 

 

The Hero

Roman Draganesti (great name) is a tortured hero. Believing he is going straight to hell because he is an abomination. He is a part of some very forward thinking Vampires, who have helped create a robot that Vampires can drink from. However, upon trying said robot, he chips a tooth. He has an immediate attraction to Shanna, and although he’s reserved at first (see above abomination) he acts on his lust.

The Heroine

Shanna is quite a strong character, even in the face of the unknown, she doesn’t buckle. She doesn’t demand to be a Vampire, and she is very self-aware. Despite being kidnapped by a creature she did not know exist, she didn’t fall to pieces. She was not a damsel in distress, no matter however it seems she is portrayed by both the cover and he blurb. She did, however, have a fear of Blood, which was kind of ironic.

The Myth

In HTMAMV – Vampires are like corpses when it’s daylight. However, during the night they have a heartbeat.   There is also Vamp TV network, and once again, blood substitute.

“Gregori strutted toward the door. “I’m too sexy for my cape, too sexy for my fangs. Too sexy.” He whirled in a circle, then struck a disco pose with a hand pointing at the ceiling. “Too sexy!” He left with a flourish of his cape.”

I loved this first start to a new series, it was humorous and sexy, and a great premise for the rest of the series.

Here’s another Eric for us all:

Image result for eric true bloodooo look he’s reading… reading is FUNdamental!!!

 

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Review of Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Rating: 🦇🦇🦇🦇🦇

Series: Women of the Otherworld, #1

Pages: 436

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Elena Michael’s is the only female werewolf in the world. Her past has been filled with anger and violence, and for once Elena just wants to be human again.

After moving away from her pack, Elena is forced back to help hunt and kill rogue Werewolves who are challenging pack authority.

“Are you the welcoming committee? Or has Jeremy finally chained you up to the front gate where you belong?”
“I missed you too.”

This book was recommended to me by a friend some years ago, and it is Dreadfully good!! Elena is such a complex character. On the one hand, she is the mate of Clay, and she is desperately still in love with him, but he betrayed her by turning her into a werewolf. Her wolf once around her pack feels at home, but her human side is better away from the pack. She is capable of incredible anger but hates that about herself. She also Hates Clay about that too.

She is the strongest Tracker of her kind, and also the only female, a myth amongst her kind. She tracks rogue werewolves, and then mostly kills them. or warns them. Pack law is harsh.

“The truth is, if a werewolf behaved like this psychopath it wouldn’t be because he was part animal, but because he was still too human. Only humans kill for sport.”

Now Clay. oooo yummy. He’s pure crazy, killer, but he has a huge love for Elena. He’s much different from other Hero/Alpha male types that you see in Most Paranormal Romances. He’s a Killer, and he’s okay with that. He does what his pack leader/adopted father needs, whatever it takes.

“You forget, darling.
am the local psychopath.”

Armstrong packs a powerful first book punch. Her story world is filled with loss, anger, death, blood, love, and family.

It’s also less mystical than the rest. It’s gritty enough that it’s not that unbelievable. The way she describes the transformation from humans to wolf is descriptive and ugly, not at all the sexy that you get used to in most Paranormal Romances.

Recommended to —> 

If you like to read Crime novels, I recommend this to you 100% because, other than the odd change, it has all the mystery, violence and suspense of a good Crime novel.

“Spend too much time around these guys and you become a little too nonchalent about blood-soaked clothes and bodies in the trunk”

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