Tag Archives: Paranormal

Release Day Review- Named of The Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Title:  Named of the Dragon

Named of the Dragon

Genre: Contemporary Romance (mystery, suspense, paranormal, history)

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, Oct. 6, 2015

Pages: 322

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 2

Description from Amazon.com:         

SOMEWHERE IN THE HEART OF LEGEND LIES THE KEY TO HER TERRIFYING DREAMS

The charm of spending the Christmas holidays in South Wales, with its crumbling castles and ancient myths, seems the perfect distraction from the nightmares that have plagued literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw since the loss of her baby five years ago.

Instead, she meets an emotionally fragile young widow who’s convinced that Lyn’s recurring dreams have drawn her to Castle Farm for an important purpose–and she’s running out of time.

With the help of a reclusive, brooding playwright, Lyn begins to untangle the mystery and is pulled into a world of Celtic legends, dangerous prophecies, and a child destined for greatness.

**

This is very much a romantic suspense novel with touches of the paranormal just like most of Kearsley’s books.  The setting is Wales and the characters are for the most part English.  Not only do we get a mystery but also some insightful looks at Welsh history. Once again Kearsley touches on all of my favorite tropes; romance, mystery, suspense and learning something new.  The author has combined a real life setting with fictional characters and plot.  Once you start reading you are immersed in the setting, time and place.  It is not apparent that there is evil lurking but there is something that is just a bit off.  As an involved reader you will try to help Lyn figure it out but it is often elusive and difficult to know who to trust. This is truly a wonderful book from a supremely accomplished author.

I recommend this book to all who like a good mystery and a happy ending with doses of history thrown in for good measure.

This edition is a re-issue of the book first published in 1999.

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, E-Book, History, Mystery, Suspense

Review- The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

Title: The Witch of Painted Sorrows

The Witch of Painted Sorows

Genre: Gothic/Paranormal

Author: M.J. Rose

Publisher: Atria, Mar. 17, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires. Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse. This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

**

I struggled with this novel whether to give it a 2 or a 3 star rating.  I found the pace slow and I kept putting it down and picking it up thinking each time it would finally go somewhere.  That never happened until nearly the end.  Then it sped up and ended abruptly.  Although I like gothic and especially with a touch of paranormal this one was just not my cup of tea.  That said, the writing was well done and the characters well drawn. I will only recommend it to those who are especially into the Gothic genre and/or the Belle Epoch era in Paris.

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Review- Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

Title: Mariana

Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2012

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew at once that it was her house. Now, twenty-five years later, by some strange chance, she has just become the new owner of the sixteenth-century Wilshire farmhouse. But Julia soon begins to suspect that more than coincidence has brought her there. As if Greywethers were a porthal between worlds, she finds herself abruptly transported back in time. Stepping into seventeenth-century England, Julia becomes Mariana, a beautiful young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love for Richard de Mornay, handsome forebear of the present squire of Crofton Hall. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past, falling ever deeper in love with Richard…until one day she realizes Mariana’s life threatens to eclipse her own–and that she must find a way to lay the past to rest, or risk losing a chance for love in her own time.

**

Here we have a ghost, reincarnation, time travel and a heartrending love story of soulmates all wrapped up in exquisite prose. I could not put this book down, I had to read until the last page no matter the late hour.  There is an element of subtle danger that culminates in heart pounding action and suspense. The ending is satisfying and romantic.

Romantic quote:

“Ordinarily,” he went on, evenly, “I’m a patient man. But I think I’ve waited long enough.”……”Time we both stopped waiting, and began to live.”…. “These are your beautiful days, Julia Beckett.” He promised me softly.

I recommend this book to all romantics who like their stories well written and totally engrossing.

This is my fourth Susanna Kearsley novel in the past two months. She is my new favorite author.  I thought her book THE ROSE GARDEN was my favorite until I read this one although I have loved each of her novels.

Other Susanna Kearsley novels I’ve reviewed:

1. The Rose Garden

2. The Winter Sea

3. The Shadowey Horses

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Review- Dracula In Love by Karen Essex

 Title:  DRACULA IN LOVE

Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance

Author:  Karen Essex

Publisher: Doubleday 2010

Source: library

Rating: 4

Review:

The Dracula tale is revisited in this novel from the point of view of one of the “victims” of the Count, Mina Harker.  Mina contends that Bram Stoker got it wrong and she proceeds to set the record straight in this hauntingly dark, sensuous telling of her story.

Victorian England and its misogynistic underbelly are brought to vivid life as Mina tries to uncover the reasons behind her friend Lucy’s death.   Essex gives us the full horror of the infamous insane asylums and the reader is plunged into the fear that the inmates must have endured.

This novel provides a totally different view of the supernatural than we are usually accustomed to reading.   Vampires and Fairies are not nearly as horrific as humans in this tale.

This is a love story and Mina’s choices may give you pause as they did me.  I was enthralled by the many stories within the story as legends revealed became realities related.

Not your Stoker DRACULA. This hauntingly dark story is of Mina Harker from her point of view which differs from Stoker’s telling of the tale. Although we don’t meet the famous Count until later, he is ever present in Mina’s sleepwalking dreams. Essex lulls us with stories of the fairies and then surprises us with the doubts that perhaps these are not just stories but realities. The author’s prose kept me totally involved in this beautifully plotted novel. The view of Victorian England is deftly drawn as gritty and misogynistic.

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Review-Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

Title: Before Ever After

Genre: Women’s fiction, fantasy, historical

Author: Samantha Sotto

Publisher: Crown Publishing, 2011

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4.5

Sexy rating: 5, not too explicit

Description:

Three years after her husband Max’s death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max–same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose–he could be Max’s long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well.
 
As outrageous as Paolo’s claims seem–how could her husband be alive? And if he is, why hasn’t he looked her up? – Shelley desperately wants to know the truth. She and Paolo jet across the globe to track Max down–if it is really Max– and along the way, Shelley recounts the European package tour where they had met. As she relives Max’s stories of bloody Parisian barricades, medieval Austrian kitchens, and buried Roman boathouses, Shelley begins to piece together the story of who her husband was and what these new revelations mean for her “happily ever after.” And as she and Paolo get closer to the truth, Shelley discovers that not all stories end where they are supposed to.
******

This was a genre bending novel.  It was part historical, part fantasy, part romance, part mystery and totally intriguing.  The romance drives the heroine but the mystery drives the reader.  We have to find out how this book will end but the journey to that destination is truly fascinating.  There are times we can’t fathom why our hero does what he does and then all is made perfectly understandable.  I liked this book, a lot, and whole heartedly recommend it.  It didn’t rate a 5 from me because of a few minor irritations like some disjointed or not complete explanations where explanations would be very helpful.  Otherwise, it was delightful and moving.

I thought you might like to see a video made by the author about this book.  (I don’t always like book promo vids but this one was well done.)

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Advance Review-The Bride Wore Scarlet by Liz Carlyle

Title: The Bride Wore Scarlet

Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance

Author: Liz Carlyle

Publisher: Avon Books, July 26, 2011

Source: Advance Reader Copy

 Free from Amazon Vine for review

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from back of book:

Passion and secrets simmer behind the elegant façade of Victorian London in another deliciously intriguing novel featuring the mysterious men of the St. James Society.

AnaÏs de Rohan has faced danger in her past, but never anything so great as posing as the new bride to one of the St. James Society’s most magnetic—and ruthless—leaders. But Lord Bessett’s bold challenge to prove herself worthy of joining his secret all-male society is impossible to resist. So she daringly agrees to travel with the enigmatic nobleman on a dangerous mission to save one of their own—a little girl with a frightening gift.

Soon intrigue swirls about them, drawing them ever closer. And AnaÏs quickly realizes that the intimacy of sharing Lord Bessett’s bedroom is proving a temptation impossible to resist. As for Bessett himself—well, he might be a soldier sworn to the Society, but he certainly isn’t anyone’s saint. . . .

*******************

This is the second book in the series ONE TOUCH OF SCANDAL being the first.  I confess I have not read that one but this book is a stand alone with many references to the first so one does not get lost.

This is a paranormal novel unlike any others I have read.  It revolves around a secret society of individuals who have varying degrees of special gifts of precognition.  Their goal is to protect and serve those who need their help.

The heroine is more than capable of joining the secret society but because she is a woman they are reluctant in the 19th century to allow her entrance.  She is not put off and agrees to help in rescuing a child from the clutches of those who would use the child’s “Gift” for their own purpose. 

Ms. Carlyle is adept at writing a plot that intrigues and characters we care about.  The dialog is on occasion a bit too modern for the 19th century and the story slows down every now and then.  But those considerations aside this is a good read.  The action is adventurous but it is not over the top.  The romance is sizzling.

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