Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Falling in Love Again by Cathy Maxwell

Falling in Love Again
by: Cathy Maxwell
ISBN#9780380787180
$7.99 mass market paperback
Avon Books
Historical Romance
Released: August 1997






Mallory didn't want to marry John, but knew it was the only way to save her family estate.  After taking her vows, she's shocked to find her new husband gone in the morning, with no clue where he's went.

Over the years, she's heard rumors of him off at war, but nothing more than two letters a year with no more than a few sentences in each.  She's content to be left alone, until the creditors force her and her mother out of their castle due to John's excessive gambling debts.  Enraged, she heads to London to find her estranged husband, intent on divorcing him to clear her name.

What she finds is a drunken womanizer, one who doesn't even remember her name!  Forced to flee with him when the authorities try to arrest them both, she begins to realize he's not the blackguard she once thought him.  But nothing, not even her husband, will stand between her and getting her family estate back and her name cleared.



Carla says: 
I hate to be mean, but this book just did not hold my interest at all.  For me, the most exciting part was the chase through London.  Other than that, I just felt like the characters were going through the motions.  Mallory was quick to alienate John, although she did have good reason, what with him abandoning her for nine years and all.  John started off as a rake who didn't remember his wife's name, but after meeting her again decided to do whatever it took to keep his wife by his side.  The writing itself was fine, all the necessary ingredients were there, but I just couldn't connect with the characters.

Carla gives this book a



Annette says:
I laughed at the beginning and even read this book in one night which has not happened in a long time.  This is a re-issue which I am glad they did.  I thought John trying to win Mallory over was not only what he deserved no wife should have to sit and wait for her husband so I am glad he had to do a little groveling.  Were there some parts that got a little show sure but it picked back up and still held my attention.

Annette gives this book





 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: Black Heart Loa by Adrian Phoenix

Black Heart Loa
Hoodoo #2
by: Adrian Phoenix
ISBN#978439167922
$7.99 mass market paperback
Pocket Books
Paranormal Fantasy
Released: June 2011





Kallie has discovered that her cousin Jackson has gone missing and while she tries to search for him she finds that magic is now being undone or is well in a word unstable. How is a girl suppose to figure out how to fix everything going wrong when she has no idea who or what is causing it. What more can happen?

Well, the wards that protect New Orleans are no longer holding and a hurricane is heading straight for them and that Kallie may be the cause of all that is happening. Will she have time to stop the storm and will she ever find Jackson? And of course then there is Layne what to do about him as she knows Nomads never settle down in one place.



Kallie is back along with all her friends and family in a new adventure that will have you feeling as if you stepped into the pages yourself. Everything is so detailed that you can almost feel the mud and the rain. And of course who doesn't like to read about a hot Nomad.  There are not many authors that can shock me but Adrian Phoenix does this time around with a surprise I never even seen coming and no I will not tell you what it is you have to read the book to find out. For those who have not read the first book BLACK DUST MAMBO I suggest you do only so you know Kallie’s back history and learn who she is as well as the other characters. Bring on book three!!

Annette gives this book a






Review: A Werewolf at the Falls by Marisa Chenery

A Werewolf At The Falls
Big City Pack #2
by: Marisa Chenery
ISBN#9781419934933
$4.45 eBook
Ellora’s Cave
Paranormal Erotica
Released: June 2011





A Werewolf At The Falls is part of Ellora’s Cave’s Oh Canada series for 2011. For anyone who’s been to Niagara Falls, Ms. Chenery incorporates lots of nice detail about the place. If you haven’t been, you’re going to want to check into Fallsview Casino. Heck, I’m ready to spruce up my resume so I can apply for a waitress job there just like the heroine has.

It’s on the job that Jorja meets The One and I’d be willing to wear heels and sling drinks for an eight-hour shift any day just to get up and close with the book’s hero. He’s hotness incarnate and I applaud Ms. Chenery for penning such an appealing man.

That said, I found the writing a bit stilted. More variety in the sentence lengths would have cured that. For me, there was too much tell and not enough show. I was also distracted by all the unusual character names. Not sure I was pronouncing them right in my head, I stumbled as I read.

A Werewolf At The Falls is a nice love-at-first-sight romance. The sex is hot and the author established a good level of romance between Jorja and Kian.

Brooke gives this book a 





Review: Heart of the Highland Wolf by Terry Spear

Heart of the Highland Wolf
Heart of the Wolf #7
by: Terry Spear
ISBN#9781402245527
$7.99 mass market paperback
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Paranormal Romance
Released: June 2011





Julia Wildthorn is a romance writer who decides to travel to Scotland under the guise of working on a movie crew who is filming at a castle that the owner keeps everyone out. Of course other than researching her next book she is on another mission to find something left behind by one of her ancestors.

Ian MacNeill is the owner of Argent Castle and head of his clan who also happen to be werewolves. Hence the reason he does not like humans on his land. But, when his brother has put the family in financial straights so what could he do when approached to allow a movie crew on his land he concedes.

When Ian sets eyes on Julia he is drawn to her like he has never felt about a woman before and of course he can sense she is also a wolf. But, he knows she is hiding something from him and how can he be sure that she is not working for his enemy.


 

What happens when you bring a writer, two warring clans, a film crew and lots of testosterone together? One word exciting!!

Terry Spear continues to draw us into her world of wolves and this time she takes us on a trip to Scotland where men are warriors as well as wolves. From the first book in her series I have been hooked and I continue to be totally amazed and feel as if I am inside the story myself. I look forward to her next book coming in December DREAMING OF THE WOLF.

Annette gives this book a





Review: Fire Wolf by Anh Leod

Fire Wolf
by: Anh Leod
ISBN#9781419934780
$4.45 eBook
Ellora’s Cave
Paranormal Erotica
Released: June 2011





Fire Wolf has a smokin’ hot cover. No pun intended. That should have tipped me off that the book, at the beginning, is solidly in porn territory. The first few chapters are sexual act after sexual act, in various locations, with no plot other than the hook-ups. After that, I was very happy the author steered Olivia and Smokie (yes, Smokie) into a romantic relationship. They’re reluctant lovers, which I loved. For me, it’s always a bonus when a writer throws together two seemingly incompatible people, and challenges them to find a way to make it work between them. Olivia and Smokie certainly qualify.

Under stress, the hero isolates himself from his girl. That’s a great foible for a guy who’s a go get’um, high testosterone fire fighter, who doesn’t back down from anything for anybody. Smokie isn’t alone because they’ve both got their flaws. Olivia’s coming off a bad divorce and has commitment issues stemming from it. She’s ten years older than him and, at times, that plays on her insecurities.

My only disappointment was the author glossing over what could have been great dramatic incidents. Smokie’s physical change from human to werewolf happens without descriptors…almost like somebody simply flipped a switch. Unfortunately, for me, the change had the same impact. What could have been a great stressor—Smokie revealing himself as a werewolf and bringing her into his pack—had minimum fuss and, seemingly, just as little impact on Olivia’s life.

I liked Fire Wolf. It’s a quick, erotic read. I didn’t love it, but I liked it.

Brooke gives this book a







Review: Echoes of Darkness by Victoria M. Noxon

Echoes of Darkness
The Siorai Legacy
Author: Victoria M. Noxon
ISBN#9781601549228
$6.25 eBook
$13.99 trade paperback
The Wild Rose Press
Paranormal Romance
Released: April 2011




Elizabeth Forrester is a Medical Examiner and she is also a clairvoyant. She tries to avoid working at night as well as the ghosts that visit her morgue as much as possible. She has two assistants that she relies on to take night time callouts, but one night when they don’t answer she’s forced to go in for an autopsy that must be done and the report finished as soon as possible. When she gets to the morgue, the body is waiting for her on the table. Just as she begins to do the autopsy something unexpected happens, the corpse wakes up.

Fallon O’Callaghan is one of four immortal warriors that protect mankind from demon vampires and shape shifters. It’s a destiny that he resents since he feels he had no choice and everything was taken away from him. He feels responsible that the woman he loved died and he has spent most of his time for the last 500 years trying to make amends for her death. He vows he will never love anyone again because he feels he will just bring them death. He then wakes up on Elizabeth’s autopsy table and is drawn to her. He chooses her as his mate but refuses to consummate the union because he is afraid that he won’t be able to keep her safe.

But when an ancient evil awakens and threatens the world and the future of mankind, they are thrust toward their destinies.



I liked the storyline of this book for the most part. I felt it had a lot of potential. However, I didn’t love it and I really wanted to. The story idea is a great one and different than most recent vampire books because vampires and shape shifters are the bad guys. I feel Elizabeth could have been a little stronger and I wish that she would have been. I love heroines that are strong and independent. I didn’t get that feeling from Elizabeth. One minute she seemed strong and the next she seemed meek. I also feel that Fallon was a little too stubborn. I understand that there must be some sort of tension and that the hero and heroine can’t always fall right into bed with one another, but sometimes Fallon’s stubbornness made him seem more dense than stubborn. I had high hopes for this book and I really wanted to love it. I would read the next book in the series because I do feel it has potential. I am hoping that in the next book the story and the characters have a chance to develop to their potential.


Angie gives this book a







Review: Dead Undead or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare

Dead Undead or Somewhere in Between
by: J.A. Saare
ISBN#9781594267123
$4.99 ebook
$12.95 trade paperback
Mundania Press
Paranormal Fantasy / vampires
Released: May 2011





Rhiannon Murphy works as a bartender in a strip club. Sometimes her job entails helping the bouncers out with backup. She’s always on the look out for trouble. She is also a necromancer meaning that she sees ghosts, but unlike other necromancers she doesn’t just see human ghosts she also sees vampire ghosts or the twice dead, which is rare. She tries to keep her talents hidden.

Enter Disco a sexy vampire who is also a powerful head of a local vampire house and he asks for her help in finding out what is happening to all of the vampires that are disappearing. Rhiannon wants nothing to do with vampires, but Disco is persistent and won’t take no for answer.

Rhiannon also knows very little about her hidden talent, especially since she has always tried to ignore it. She gets help from Ethan or Goose as she refers to him. Goose is human but under Disco’s protection and a member of his house. Goose is an experienced necromancer but he isn’t able to see the twice dead. Soon word spreads that Rhiannon is able to do this and she becomes a hot commodity. Disco offers her protection but she would have to become marked and she is reluctant to do that. She has trust issues and is not so sure about trusting a vampire. Can she trust Disco?

It is soon discovered that even though it is tough to kill a vampire they are meeting some very gruesome ends. Time is running out and they must discover who is killing the vampires. Will they find out in time? Will they be able to stop it?



I have to say that I loved this book. Rhiannon is a kick ass heroine. She’s a smart ass, she’s tough and can hold her own in a fight. Ah, a girl after my own heart. I love kick ass heroines and Rhiannon Murphy is certainly that. She had a rough life growing up so she has trust issues but she is independent and smart. She also had me laughing in several places which is also good. She does have a softer side as well, that Disco is eventually able to bring out in her.

I also love Disco. He’s a vampire, he’s hot, he’s powerful and he’s a gentleman. Disco is quite the opposite from Rhiannon which makes it more interesting. Even the secondary characters in the book are well written.
If you like strong, smart mouthed heroines you will enjoy this book and I do highly recommend it. Although, I do need to warn that the ending is a cliff hanger with an unusual twist. I am certainly looking forward to the next book in this series.


Angie gives this book a



 
 
 
 
 



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Terry Spear Contest Winner!!!

We have selected our winner from the guest blog written by Terry Spear and the winner is.......

diva donna

Please contact me within the next 72 hours with you snail mail at annette@romfanreviews.com and Terry will forward your book to you.  Thank you for stopping to see us and congrats!!!!

~Annette~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Blog with author Terry Spear

Today we have author Terry Spear with us to talk about how her idea for her her newest book HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF came about and what she has coming up.
So, I now turn it over to Terry.

Werewolves in Scotland
By
Terry Spear

For my birthday, my co-workers gave me a song card that played “Werewolves in London.” I was thrilled, of course! One year, they gave me a cake featuring a torso of a Highland hunk, naked chest and wearing a kilt, and one of my co-workers--gray beard and all--was photo-shopped into a Highlander on a book that was being discarded because it was in bad shape. But I love it, and he says he’s ready to be a cover model for my next book too. I’m not sure a gray beard would work for a hunky jaguar, but…


I work at a library, and all I’ve got to say is that my co-workers are part of my pack! Two went with me to a wolf reserve south of where we live, and one of the ladies brought me literature home from a trip she’d made to New Mexico with her husband. When we have enough staff to cover our absence, we want to visit the reserve together. One of the ladies who went with me to see the wolf reserve gave me the kernel of the idea for HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF.

So I want to thank Robyn again. We were at work during one of our infrequent lulls at the library, and I said, “So, Robyn, what can I write about now?”

I had already written the first six stories and had been wanting to write about a Highland werewolf clan, but wasn’t sure of a plot.

“You’ve never written about a poor werewolf before. All your werewolves are rich.” She said this in a very annoyed way.

I smiled. Every story has to be unique in some way. I LOVED the idea of a poor werewolf. But like my mother always said, “There’s no fun in being poor,” and so just being poor wouldn’t do.

I read tons about the Scots, having lots of roots over there, and I read lots of historical Highland romance stories, which have a lot of similar plots—laird is rich and gets the girl. Or laird is trying to get his land back and gets the girl.

But mine is a contemporary werewolf story. I still wanted the sword fights, the wearing of the kilt, the castle, the laird, the clan, all the good stuff that goes into the Scottish historical romance stories, but with a modern setup.

So I said to Robyn, “Okay, what about a Highland laird who has a castle, but is about to lose his ancestral home because of some financial investments in a crook’s scheme, and the master thief has taken off with their money? So to tide them over, Ian must agree to film a movie at his castle, which isn’t good because they’re not just a clan, but a werewolf pack? Now, the heroine is a romance werewolf writer who writes strictly contemporary, but has writer’s block and wants to write a Scottish historical romance. And she plans to write about this clan in her new story. Only she doesn’t know they’re wolves. And at first, they don’t know she is either.”

That was the start of the idea, and what with the billions of dollars stolen by several big financial scam artists in the news about that time, it fueled my interest in the plot and became HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF, all because my co-worker suggested I write about a poor werewolf.

I start out with a kernel of an idea, but as I actually write them, the plot deepens and so Julia isn’t there just to write her story, but she plans to sneak into the castle to take back a box and all its contents that belong to her family.

The Highland Wolf in Paradise continues with the youngest brother going to the Grand Cayman Islands in an attempt to track down the man who stole their money. The dark warrior who is never sidetracked from his mission meets a wolf in paradise, and for the first time ever, he’s sidetracked!

That’s what happens when a male wolf meets a female wolf alone in paradise. And the Highland clan is still struggling with debt, so I continued the poor werewolf saga.

DREAMING OF THE WOLF is coming out in December and you want to know how I came up with the idea for that? In DESTINY OF THE WOLF, Jake Silver photographs wildflowers as a hobby. So when they have enough framed photographs all over the house, he’s talked into offering them for sale at art galleries. But when he sees a woman photographing a car’s license plate and the way she looks and the fact he can’t get into the gallery because it’s closed for family reasons, he’s intrigued with the woman and wants to learn more about her.                 

Now, the dreaming part is important to the story, and a couple of fans had asked a long time ago when I was going to have more dream mating because they loved it in DESTINY OF THE WOLF. I kept thinking, how could I include that in a story?

With THE SEAL IN WOLF’S CLOTHING, my editor had given me the idea when she mentioned about TO TEMPT THE WOLF and Hunter’s ties to being a Navy SEAL, that it would be fun to have had him being part of a Navy SEAL team that included all wolves. Hmmm. So I kept thinking about it, and several fans wanted to see Hunter’s sister, Meara, get her man, wolf, and voila! The SEAL team comes to call.

So just a kernel of an idea can get me going! Sometimes it takes a long time before I can work it into a new story, but it’s worth it in the end. With 6 more stories contracted, 3 wolf and 3 jaguar, it’ll be a while before I can think of another story, but I’m always, always open to suggestions!

The jaguars don’t even have any plots yet, except for the first that I’m working on. So I’m all ears.

Anyone ready to join a wolf pack in a castle in Scotland, even if they’re a little low on funds?

Thanks so much for visiting with me today, and thanks so much to Annette for having me here today!!!

May all your days be filled with wolfish delights!

Terry Spear
http://www.terryspear.com/
http://www.facebook.com/#!/terry.spear
https://twitter.com/#!/TerrySpear
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tspear





Thank you so much Terry!! Now for one lucky commenter Terry is giving away one copy of HEART OF THE HIGHLAND WOLF.  Contest is limited to US/Canada and winner will be drawn on June 20th.  Please include your email in your comment.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One Year Celebration Contest Winner

The contest for our one year anniversary is now closed.  Thanks to everyone who has commented, and for all those who chose not to comment but love our site anyway.  It means a lot to us to know you're out there supporting us.

We've drawn a winner for the contest, and the winner is...

Elizabeth Gray! 

Congratulations!  Please email carla@romfanreviews.com within the next 48 hours with your name and mailing address, and we'll get your goodies out to you.

Again, thanks to everyone for helping to make our site a success!


Monday, June 6, 2011

We've Hit One Year! Thank You!

When Annette and I started this site a year ago, we wanted to create a review site for multi-genre romance and fantasy that would give fair and honest reviews of what we've read.  Back then, we had no idea of the amount of time and effort that would be needed to get the site up and running, not to mention finding publishers and books to review.

But once everything started coming together we got excited, thinking, "Hey, maybe this is going to work after all."  Not even a week after our site went live, we got our first review request from author Terry Barnett. (http://www.romfanreviews.com/2010/06/review-of-shadow-dreams-by-teri-barnett.html)  From there, we've been proud to review books of all genres, from indie to big houses.  We've also had a number of author interviews and contests, with some phenomenal turnouts.

Along the way, we've made some new aquaintances, like Estella, who's been a fan of ours since the beginning. (You rock!)  We've also added a few new reviewers, including author Franny Armstrong, who aside from writing and reviewing, just started a new site called PNG Stock Pics.  Sarah,Moriah and Angie have also joined our list of reviewers, and we're glad to have them on board. (Thanks ladies!)  I know the site has been changing lately too, and I'm hoping this will be the last major overhaul RomFan Reviews gets for a long time.  Big thank you to Cyrene for designing the banner for us you are amazing!!

Annette and I are always trying to come up with new ideas in our ongoing effort to make this site as user-friendly and awesome as possible.  I personally don't think a website should be too cluttered or confusing, or that you should get frustrated trying to find what you're looking for. 

And here's where we come to the fun part.  In honor of hitting our one year anniversary, we're going to be giving away a gift basket full of goodies to one lucky person who leaves a comment.  But we don't want just any old comment.  No, what we're asking from you is an idea on how we can make this site better and more user-friendly than ever.  If you'd like to see something added, or even taken off for that matter, then leave a comment and let us know.  We've only gotten to where we are because of you, the reader, and we'd like to hear what you think.  If you think the site rocks the way it is, tell us.  If you want to see a change, tell us.  I can't guarantee every recommendation will be put into effect, but I can guarantee that every idea will be taken into careful consideration. 

I'm thrilled that we've made it this far, and your comments and recommendations will help us ensure that we stay in business for many years to come.  Thank you to everyone who's helped make RomFan Reviews a success, and also a big THANK YOU to the authors who write the books that we all love to read.

-Carla

*In order to be put into the drawing for the gift basket, please leave a comment with your email address between Monday, June 6th and Sunday, June 13th.  Contest only valid for the United States and Canada.*

The gift basket contains:
-Bookmarks
-A reading journal to jot down your own notes on the books you love (or maybe don't)
-Signed bookplate from Adrian Phoenix
-Signed copy of A Rush of Wings and In the Blood by Adrian Phoenix
-Signed copy of Darkfire Kiss by Deborah Cooke
-Signed copy of The Beauty Bride by Claire Delacroix
-Signed copy of Fallen by Claire Delacroix
-Signed copy of Raphael by DB Reynolds and bookmarks
-Unsigned copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons by Katie MacAlister
-Unsigned copy of Simply Forbidden by Kate Pearce

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: Bound by Darkness by Alexis Morgan

Bound by Darkness
Paladins #7
by: Alexis Morgan
ISBN#9781439176047
$7.99 mass market paperback
Pocket Star Books
Paranormal Romance
Released: April 2011





Larem is a Kalith warrior caught on Earth.  Due to the actions of a fellow Kalith, he faces a death sentence should he ever try to return home.  He's trying to fit in among the Paladins, but it's hard when he faces nothing but contempt and hatred from most of them.  Still, he's trying, and honing his healer abilities at the local animal shelter. 

Sasha is the daughter of a Regent, which is the governing board of the Paladins.  She's determind to gain her own Regent position in Seattle, but first has the daunting task of cleaning up the mess her predecessor left behind.  The first thing she plans to investigate are the rumors that the Kalith are living openly among the Paladins. 

Once she meets Larem, she's drawn to him both as a warrior and a person.  She realizes he's not so different from them after all.  But when someone starts trying to kill her because of her association with Larem, she must make a choice--stay with her hunky warrior and possibly lose her life, or give up her once chance at happiness.




I didn't expect Larem to get his own story, but it was a nice surprise.  It's hard watching Larem try to fit in when everyone around him considers him the enemy.  Sasha knows that by being attracted to Larem she's endangering her chances to become the next Regent, but she can't bring herself to care when she realizes Larem's no different than she is.  He's just trying to make his way in a strange and hostile environment.  The character interaction in these stories is great, and the love scenes are hot.  I feel I should mention that reading the books all in a row like I just did, you can see several similarities in the sex scenes, but they're still smoking hot regardless.  The series idea is great, and I eagerly plowed my way through books 1-6 to get caught up in time for #7 and 8 to come out.

Carla gives this book a
 

Review: The Darkness Beyond by Alexis Morgan

The Darkness Beyond
Paladins #8
by: Alexis Morgan
ISBN#9781439176054
$7.99 mass market paperback
Pocket Star Books
Paranormal Romance
Released: May 2011





For months, D.J. has been taunted by a fellow hacker, one whose skills match his own.  It's all fun and games until the hacker manages to break into the Paladin database and steal classified information.  Now D.J. has to fix the problem before his boss finds out what happened.  He finds out where the hacker lives and drives out to confront them and demand the info back.  What he doesn't expect is the gorgeous woman who answers the door.

Reggie has been tracking down a mysterious hacker known only as the Knightwalker.  Too bad she found out months ago his real name is D.J., and she's been secretly taunting him since then.  But her job demands that she bring the Knightwalker down, so that's exactly what she's going to do.  While following his trail, she comes across a file filled with legends of sword-wielding men who repeatedly die to keep our world safe from invaders.  She doesn't think anything of it until D.J. shows up at her door with a message--forget everything she's learned about the Paladins or else.  She knows she should be terrified he's found her, but she can't help but feel attracted to this kindred spirit.

When Reggie is kidnapped after poking her nose where it doesn't belong, she thinks that maybe she should have listened to D.J.  Her only hope now is he'll follow the trail of clues she's left behind, and manage to reach her before it's too late.




The idea of the Paladins is new and creative, and I love the story behind the books.  Paladins keep the world safe from alien invasion, to put it bluntly.  There's another world that is separated only by a thin barrier.  The barrier is located in several caves along the major fault lines.  When the barrier goes down, Others come through, bloodthirsty and insane.  It's up to the Paladins to kill them before they make their way to the surface and start killing people.  Through some strange genetic twist, Paladins don't stay dead, but come back to life over and over. 

This is book 8 in the series, and each one paints a little more of the big picture.  Basically the Paladins don't enjoy all the killing, but that's what they're born and raised to do, so they do it.  Over the series, they realize that the Others aren't so different from us, and not all of them are crazy.  They're driven insane because their sun is dying, leaving them in perpetual twilight. 

Back to this story, I've been waiting a long time for D.J. to have his own story, and I was thrilled to see him get paired with a woman who can hold her own, not to mention give him a run for his money with hacking.  I would strongly recommend you read this series in order, though.  It makes way more sense that way.

Carla gives this book a