Ghouls Rush In (by H.P. Mallory)

Paranormal Romance

After escaping her domineering husband, Peyton moves into a rundown antebellum home left to her by a distant aunt. Needing to keep herself busy she decides to restore the home to its former glory and manages to get Ryan, a specialist in restoring homes to take on the job.

She soon discovers the home is haunted by Drake, a policeman who died sometime in the early 20th century, and as he visits her in her sleep a story unfolds about a series of brutal murders which terrorised the people of New Orleans in nearly 100 years earlier. And it’s possible that Peyton has inadvertently invited the spirit of the murderer into her home.

She finds herself caught between a ghost who is protecting her from the malevolence that has entered her home and the contractor who is still mourning the loss of his wife.

Ghouls Rush In is quite a surprising book. It wasn’t till page sixty that the ghosts arrived, until then it felt very much like a renovation romance. Even then it seemed liked a fairly cute and harmless ghost story. But at the half way mark it definitely got creepy. There were things going on in this book that had cold shivers running up and down my spine.

 
It’s really very good, and if books about ghosts, spirits and voodoo sound like your thing, this is definitely one of the better ones I’ve read.

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 5.42.32 pmMany thanks to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Yellow / Orange / Red –– What it means. http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

 

Night Broken (by Patricia Briggs)

Paranormal Romance

Christy, Adam’s ex-wife, shows up in pack territory after her latest lover turns seriously weird on her. Adam, a natural protector puts her up but she immediately starts subverting Mercy’s position in the pack. Then the crazy stalker guy shows up and the body count rises.

I read Moon Called, book one in the Mercy Thompson series a while ago, but despite enjoying the book a lot I walked away. The main reason was the price of the Kindle version is about 50% more than a paperback and it seemed a bit unfair paying more for something which essentially costs the publisher a fraction of the price. Anyway, that just goes to say I haven’t read any other books in the series except book 1.

This book is good. It’s great fun but it doesn’t quite work as a stand-alone. If you like paranormal romance…if you like books about vampires, werewolves, shifters and fae, this book is for you. But I think the series needs to be read in order and If spending something like $85.00 buying eight books makes you blanch, there are other much cheaper options. Faith Hunter’s Skinwalker series is every bit as good in my opinion and half the price.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 5.44.24 pmYellow / Orange / Red –– What it means. http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

 

How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

Anna gave up the life she knew to escape from her violent husband. On the run she has moved from town to town, escaping in the night every time her husband came close to finding her.

Caleb is is a bounty hunter just on the shadier side of the law. He’s also a werewolf. When a collection goes wrong and he gets shot, and nearly run over (twice), Anna steps in and saves him. Unfortunately in the course of her rescue, her car and all her possessions go up in flames. Desperate to get to Anchorage so she can collect her new identity and find another bolt hole, she reluctantly agrees to join him on the road.

How to Run with a Naked Werewolf continues the story of the Graham Pack of loveable but slightly redneck werewolves in Grundy Alaska. Think less Twilight and more Duck Dynasty. It’s what Molly Harper does best, cute and quirky romance with snark. She has the remarkable ability to blend a moral message into her stories without ever sounding like she’s preaching.  Another great book from one of my favorite authors.

Many thanks to Pocket Books and Edelweiss for providing me with this ARC.

Best of 2013 (imo)

It’s coming up to Christmas and it’s time to do the book review blog version of a sitcom’s dream episode. Yep, the best (imo) of 2013.

The Very Best Five (published in 2013)

1. Up to the Challenge (by Terri Osburn)

(Contemporary Romance.)

I read a lot of contemporary romance and a book needs to be pretty special to stand out.  I’m tempted to put her first book Meant to Be in the Best 5 as well, but maybe I’ll let the #1 spot be for both her books and make room for someone else.

 

 

 

2. Heart ofVenom (by Jennifer Estep

(Urban Fantasy)

It’s book 9 in the author’s elemental assassin series.  I usually start to yawn after three or four books and there was a bit of that a few books ago, but this one blew me out of the water.

 

 

 

 

3. Raw Deal (by Mark Henwick)

(Urban Fantasy)

The first of two novellas in the Best 5, Raw Deal reminded me of those great hard boiled detective stories of the 1930s…but with vampires.

 

 

 

 

4. Night of Cake & Puppets (by Laini Taylor)

(Paranormal Romance)

Laini Taylor writes books you want to read out loud. You just want to say what she has written. Night of Cake & Puppets was a beautiful, sublime fairy tale and the second novella in my Best 5.

 

 

 

5. Lingerie Wars (by Janet Elizabeth Henderson)

(Contemporary Romance)

One of the rare books that had me laughing like an idiot.  And yes, when I was writing my review for this I did google “erotic kilt” and I would strongly urge you not to.

 

 

Notable Mentions – The Hits

  1. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/683410012
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/761296161
  3. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/586418589
  4. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/563245914
  5. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/667221942

…and the Misses 

  1. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/683721997
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/697471196
  3. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/754007922
  4. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/672244922
  5. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/607949402

(yes the irony of mentioning Bloodring is not lost on me).

Villere House (by Leslie Fear and C.D. Hussey)

Paranormal Romance 

When Lottie travels to New Orleans, she fully expects it to be a few days of drinking and partying.  But almost immediately she starts having vivid flash backs to a drama that unfolded 200 years earlier.

With help from Xavier, the sceptical owner of a shop selling voodoo trinkets to tourists, she needs to unravel the mystery, end a curse, and hopefully be alive at the end.  But the malevolant spirit that cursed her family has other plans.

Disclosure:  Leslie Fear is both a Facebook and Goodreads friend of mine.

Villere House is an old school ghost story.  It’s well paced, well written and entertaining. The romance didn’t entirely work for me, but to be honest that was probably because I kept thinking about the author’s children reading it…it’s hard to get past that. The real highlight for me was the ghost story. It’s rollicking good fun and even managed to creep me out a little.

A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses (by Molly Harper)

After the death of her grandmother, Nola becomes the head of her coven of witches. Her first duty is to travel from Ireland to Half Moon Hollow, Kentucky and retrieve four magical items –– talismans that contain the power to bind their arch rivals, a coven of witches who would use their powers for evil.

On arrival she literally runs into Jed, her enigmatic neighbor who goes to ridiculous lengths to avoid being outside when the moon is out. He’s hiding something but exactly what it is she can’t quite figure out.

Molly Harper returns to Half Moon Hollow, Kentucky for what I think must be the sixth or seventh novel. I honestly have no idea how she does it. This series should be getting tired but once again she manages to deliver a book that enthralls from beginning to end with a very healthy dose of Molly Harper’s trademark snark. She’s a favorite author and this book is a good example of why.

Many thanks to Edelweiss and Pocket Books for providing me with this ARC

The Cat’s Meow (by Stacey Kennedy)

Libby is an enchantress. It’s her job to investigate crimes committed by witches and warlocks within her Charlston coven. When cats start showing up badly mutilated all the signs point to them being used in dark rituals. With the unwelcome help of Kale, a mysterious and powerful warlock she sets out to hunt down the miscreants.

There are some good things in this book, but all those things when added up don’t quite make a good book.  Within the 182 pages of this novel there is an exceptional 90 page novella.

Many thanks to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC