PJV Quickie: I picked up the first book in this series on a whim. I figured it was a risk-free read – if I hated it, I was only out $0.99. The price-point worked and I was sucked in to this series of shapeshifters and magic – I went through this series in a week!
I love “woman falls for older brother’s best friend” stories and had been looking for a good shapeshifter romance read, so when I saw the blurb for the first book, Seven Years, I went for it. Seven Years is Lexi and Austin’s story: Austin was Lexi’s brother’s best friend, but left town after he died and never contacted her family after he left. Seven years later, he’s back, and he’s got his eye on Lexi.
Sounds good right? And it was pretty good. There were a few spots where the world-building wasn’t very clear, or the character’s motivations didn’t make total sense to me, but I was interested in Lexi and Austin, their family histories, and the secondary characters; not only Austin’s pack but some of the other shapeshifters as well. And that’s why I kept reading – I wanted to know more.
In book 2, Six Months, Austin’s brother Reno is the hero, and he falls for a human. Again – book crack for this paranormal romance lover I liked their story and was even more interested in the pack. I tore through this one in a day.
Book 3, Five Weeks, has a rock-star hero (he’s a former addict) and the heroine is The One Who Got Away: yes, please! Again, I enjoyed the main characters, and I love that not only do we see how the previous hero/heroines are doing, but the pack is moving along too, and we’re learning more and more about their world.
Book 4, Four Days, features a hero who is the Alpha from another pack, and the heroine is the strong, silent type. Four Days is the best in the series so far, in my opinion.
Ms. Dark’s writing is getting stronger with each book and there are some differences from shapeshifter world-building that I’m used to reading, but I like it. I plan to continue this series to the end. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I will say that I’m hoping book 7, the last in the series, will feature one particular human and a very old werewolf.
If you’re looking for a fun, sexy werewolf romance and you’ve read the “bigger” authors out there, give The Seven Series a try. The first book is still $0.99 right now, and although the story is good, the writing is weakest in this book, so I’d definitely recommend giving at least the first two books a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
PJV Quickie: Boomerang was a quick, fun read. I had a few eyeroll moments, but ultimately enjoyed the story and was happy with the way things turned out. The story had a definite ending (not a cliffhanger) but when I saw who’s going to be in book 2, I’m interested in continuing the series.
Mia Galliano wants to be a filmmaker more than anything. She’s just been accepted as an intern for Boomerang, a national e-dating-type service. She celebrated a little too hard, and wakes up in a strange apartment not remembering the hottie in the bed’s name and she’s late for her first day of work.
Ethan Vance is a soccer phenom who’s been permanently sidelined due to injury. But he’s landed an internship that will lead to a paid position at Boomerang. His bank account is empty and he’s got student loans adding up; he really, really needs this job.
As they both rush to get to their first day of work…you guessed it – they’ve both been hired as unpaid interns at Boomerang, competing for the paying position at the end of the internship. And the first rule of employment at Boomerang? No dating between co-workers. Which would be awkward anyway, because they both want the job.
I had no idea that Noelle August is actually Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger. I’m not familiar with Ms. Oberweger but am a fan of Veronica Rossi. That being said, Boomerang is very different from what I’ve previously read.
I liked Mia and Ethan both, and I wanted them both to get the job. And I really liked that Mia didn’t stand back and bow out, which I feel is often a theme in this type of storyline – the female selflessly gives up her dream or decides it’s not really what she wanted. I’m not going to give away any spoilers and say who won, but I liked the twists to the story and the way their competition ended because of them. The romantic tension between them, due to the internship, was well done.
Boomerang’s side-characters provided a nice backdrop for the story, from Mia’s artist mother and grandmother with Alzheimers to Ethan’s young soccer team that he coaches after work. Because of that, I felt like I had a good grasp of the main characters’ motivations and reasons for their actions, whether or not I agreed with said actions.
I had a few quibbles, but nothing that made me want to throw the book against a wall. I’m happy to say that the next book features Boomerang’s owner, Adam – I think his story will be pretty interesting *winks*
If you’re looking for a fun, contemporary New Adult read, Boomerang is a fun way to spend a few hours. Fans of Chelsea Cameron and J. Lynn may want to give Boomerang a try.
Beth Flynn, Ilona Andrews, Penny Reid, Shay Savage, Tracey Garvis Graves
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Girls & Women, Paranormal, Romance
I try to review one book a week here at Parajunkee’s View, but in between I read whenever I can. Here are a few of the highlights over the last few months, with just a “PJV Quickie” to tempt you. I may not have rated them all 5 stars on GoodReads, but the stories stayed with me long after I read them, and that’s the kind of book I love to read.
(links through book covers are amazon affiliate links)
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (Innkeeper Chronicles #1) December 2, 2013/NYLA
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.
And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.
PJV Quickie: I really, really enjoyed this. I listened to the audiobook, so there were a few spots I missed, but I’ll definitely buy the ebook. (This is why I usually only listen to books that I’ve already read, sometimes you have to pay attention to the road while driving, not the audiobook you’re listening to.) Not a romance but enough of a possibility in the future to make me happy, and the narrator was terrific. 5 stars.
Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn (Nine Minutes #1) July 23, 2014/Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida.
From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.
And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life.
So begins a tale of emotional obsession and manipulation, of a young woman ripped from everything she knows and forced to lean on the one person who provides attention, affection and care: her captor. Precocious and intelligent, but still very much a teenager, Ginny struggles to adapt to her existence, initially fighting and then coming to terms with her captivity.
Will she be rescued? Will she escape? Will she get out alive—or get out at all? Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel, filled with mystery, romance and unexpected turns, Nine Minutes takes readers into the world of one motorcycle gang and inside the heart of a young girl, whose abduction brought about its fall.
PJV Quickie: I was looking for a good MC romance when I saw Dear Author tweet about this book. She reviewed it this weekend. Although I wouldn’t say this was a romance, I also couldn’t put it down. There were some problems, but overall an absolutely riveting story. Dark and totally fucked up, but I couldn’t turn away and will be reading the second book when it comes out! 4 stars.
Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid (Knitting in the City #4) August 28, 2014/Caped Publishing
There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, reclusive mountain man, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the ‘Knitting in the City’ series.
PJV Quickie: Absolutely fabulous – a really great story that made me laugh and made me cry (chap 19/20 – have a tissue handy). Excellent writing; I think this may be my favorite book in the series. It’s got a different feel than the previous books but is just as good and my can’t-put-it-down meter is off the charts. If you’re not reading this series, why not? Fans of Alice Clayton should give it a read. 5 stars.
Transcendence by Shay Savage February 13, 2014/Shay Savage, LLC
It’s said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?
Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.
Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.
With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.
PJV Quickie: Jill Myles makes me wish for all the strange books, so this was on my wishlist and when it went on sale for $.99 I snagged it. I’m so glad I did! This was quite different from anything I’ve read. I didn’t realize the entire story was told in the caveman’s POV. There were some spots I rolled my eyes (ie “that’s convenient”) but so many other spots made me laugh. I did enjoy it, and the end made it worth the read, especially when I thought about the story knowing what I knew at the end. My co-worker ended up reading it the same weekend and we spent that whole Monday walking past each other’s office saying “Ehd luffsBeh” and “ksszz”. 4 stars.
Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves (On the Island #1.5) July 2, 2013/Dutton Adult
Tracey Garvis Graves – and Anna and T.J. – return in this companion novella to the New York Times bestseller On the Island.
When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all.
Calia Reed wasn’t part of Owen’s plans. The beautiful British girl – on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James – made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn’t know anything about the life he left behind.
But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago.
And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.’s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.
PJV Quickie: I started listening to an old favorite last week, On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves (read my straight-talking review here), and ended up reading the rest of the book when I was away from my audible. I was looking over my wishlist and realized I’d never read the companion novella, Uncharted, so I bought it and tore through it in a day. We get to see how Anna and T.J are doing in the future, and we learn about Bones, the mysterious skeleton on the island, and another character I won’t mention because spoilers. If you read and enjoyed On the Island, I highly recommend this companion novella.
What books have you read recently that knocked your socks off?
Anything you want to recommend?
PJV Quickie: I have heard from a few different people what a great series this is. What I did not realize was how funny it is! I absolutely loved Charley Davidson and didn’t want the book to end. Add First Grave on the Right to your “Must Read” list now!
UPDATE: I was supposed to review a totally different book this weekend, however, upon finishing First Grave on the Right, I immediately started book 2, then, moved to book 3, and am now halfway through book 4. This series is book crack. It’s going places I didn’t see coming, and I’m going to pick up books 5, 6, and 7 at the library today. (see more edited notes at the end of this review)
Charley Davidson is not your typical Private Investigator: yes, she does occasionally help out the local police department with difficult cases, but she’s got a little-known secret – she’s the Grim Reaper. That’s right, THE Grim Reaper, as in “Go into the light” and “I see dead people” Grim Reaper. Granted, she doesn’t get to pick and choose which dead people come to her for help, but being able to talk to them is a handy skill for solving murder cases. In First Grave on the Right, Charley is trying to solve the murders of three attorneys working on the same case, and each clue leads to more questions.
Why did I wait so long to read First Grave on the Right? I purchased this book years ago, but it wasn’t until I got the audiobook from the library that I started reading it (I like to read and listen at the same time, it helps me catch anything I missed while listening). I honestly had no idea the book would be so funny. Charley is a kick-ass heroine who’s full of snark and doesn’t take crap from anyone, living or dead. Her interactions with the dead are usually hysterical, but sometimes very touching.
I also like that Charley is smart enough to surround herself with people who love her, because her ability can cause problems with people who don’t understand what she is and just think she’s crazy. Her dad and her uncle are cops, and she helps them solve murders, and sometimes they help her with her PI cases. Her secretary, Cookie, is one of the best friends a girl could ask for, and pretty darn good at her job, too. There’s also her ghostly assistant, Angel, who helps her in ways no living person ever could. She’s got a few ghostly contacts she can lean on for assistance, and one sexy, antagonistic cop she loves to hate, making a great group of secondary characters that keep the story moving.
I thought the narrator did a great job on the audiobook, my only complaint is that her voice for the female lawyer sounded like a man and I was a bit confused before I realized which character she was doing. Production-wise, there was no distinctive chime or notice that the disk ended and it was frustrating when the disc would start over without notice and I’d wonder what the heck was going on. I’m assuming this is not a problem if you’re using audible or some other service. (I do a lot of driving so I prefer listening to disks on my car stereo.)
While First Grave on the Right does have a complete story arc, we are left with enough questions to leave the reader immediately reaching for the next book. I absolutely can not wait to read the next book in this series, Second Grave on the Left -: I’ve purchased a copy but in the meantime, my library copy and audiobook should be in today (!!!!).
Fans of Paranormal Fantasy and Paranormal Romance will enjoy First Grave on the Right. The spunky heroine and her ghostly crew will keep you laughing. I tagged this as romance, even though the romance is pretty mild there is the promise of more to come. I would suggest this series for fans of Molly Harper or Gini Koch.
UPDATE: So I’m almost done with Book 4, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, and I am just obsessed with this series! There are some lingering questions I’m hoping will eventually be answered; I need to talk to someone about this series. OMG she had me going in book 3, certain events left me speechless. If you’ve read this series, comment here or hit me on twitter (no spoilers after book 4 please). My family doesn’t care how much I’m loving this series and I need to be a fangirl about it.
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
PJV Quickie: Mmmmm…. Oh, sorry! What was that? That’s the noise I make when I read a deliciously dirty book. And that’s exactly what Dirty Rowdy Thing is – an absolutely delicious, totally sexy read. Hot Canadian Fishermen just topped my list of heroes I want to read more about!
In Sweet Filthy Boy, Harlow Vega and Finn Roberts were married for 12 hours after a sexy Vegas hookup. After the quickie annulment, they both went back to their lives; Harlow is an intern for NBC in San Diego, Finn is a commercial fisherman in Vancouver. Despite one quick hook-up after their divorce, Harlow and Finn have a mutual dislike for each other.
Now, Harlow’s mother is sick, and she needs to stay occupied so she’s not spending all her time worrying about her mom. Finn’s family’s fishing business is in trouble, and he’s in San Diego trying to figure out how to keep the business afloat. What they both need is a diversion from their troubles, a sexy distraction, if you will…
By the end of Sweet Filthy Boy I was looking forward to Harlow and Finn’s story. I have to be honest, it’s not what I expected… and I loved it! They start off slightly antagonistic towards each other but can’t deny the sex was amazing, and since they both need a diversion from obsessing over problems they can’t immediately solve, they agree that sex is a good way to achieve that goal.
First of all, the sex is hot and dirty. There might be ropes involved, Finn is a fisherman, after all. I hear they’re good with rope*winks*. But it’s not just the sexy scenes that kept me turning the pages – Finn and Harlow were genuinely interesting characters who were both in difficult situations and I felt bad for them both. Then, to watch as their relationship grew from sex to something else, was captivating. As they realize their initial observations about each other may not have been correct, and that they actually like each other *gasp!*. This is exactly why I choose to read Romance – I love the ups and downs of the relationship, the slow hints of something special, a conclusion that makes your heart happy: Dirty Rowdy Thing made my heart happy.
Romance aside though, the characters in Dirty Rowdy Thing were entertaining – from Oliver’s comic book shop and his employee, Not-Joe, to Finn’s hunky brothers, to Harlow’s parents, the story as a whole was engaging and fun. I felt like I could have been sitting with the group at “The Regal Beagle” or walking onto the dock with Harlow. The scenes relating to Harlow’s mother’s illness were powerfully written and emotionally touching.
I’m going to lay it all out here: I didn’t really care for the first book in Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard series, and if Rachel (Parajunkee) hadn’t talked me into a joint review of the second book in that series, I would have left it at that and assumed Christina Lauren books weren’t for me. I’m so glad she talked me into that review, because since then I’ve gone on to read and enjoy the rest of that series, and I’m loving the Wild Seasons series even more. Thanks Rachel!
If you’re looking for a sexy contemporary with a solid story, believable characters, and an ending that will leave you smiling, Dirty Rowdy Thing may be just what you’re looking for.
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
PJV Quickie: Echoes of Scotland Street is another captivating entry in the On Dublin Street series. Readers who have been waiting for Cole’s story will not be disappointed; I love, love, love grown-up Cole!
I have loved Cole Walker (Jo’s younger brother in Down London Road) every time he appeared as a secondary character in this series, and was really excited that he’s finally getting his own book. I was not disappointed. As we know from On Dublin Street, Cole and Jo’s mother was an abusive alcoholic. Although she’s dead now, her abuse left emotional scars that haven’t healed. Now an adult, Cole manages a successful tattoo parlor, INKarnate, in Edinburgh and has stayed close to his sister and their circle of friends. He remembers the cute new receptionist from a chance meeting almost 10 years before; he’d never been able to forget that brief moment of enchantment he felt.
Shannon MacLeod has had a string of bad boyfriends. Her last relationship ended with serious injuries and tore her family apart. Now she’s in Edinburgh for a clean slate and a new start, and landed a job as a receptionist at INKarnate. With her string of bad relationships behind her, she’s determined to avoid Cole and all his tattooed, bad-boy hotness.
Okay, here’s the thing: I love stories that showcase characters who don’t have a great family and therefore surround themselves with a family of their own making – loving, supportive friends who you would do anything for, and would do anything for you.
Shannon and Cole had a rough start, as she was trying to push him away and at one point had succeeded, but their friends could see what they couldn’t – that they were perfect for each other. There were some bumps in the road, but I thought the author handled them beautifully, real life is not smooth and trouble-free, and family is always a sure thing for creating some of those bumps. I actually wish that Echoes of Scotland Street had been a little longer, my only niggle was that I felt like the “go big or go home” came a little too quickly.
Echoes of Scotland Street can easily be read as a stand-alone, the characters from the other books are there, but their stories are not integral to this story. Honestly, if you pick up Echoes of Scotland Street first, you’ll probably want to immediately turn around and read the rest of the series!
Fans of contemporary romance, tattooed heroes, and family drama should enjoy Echoes of Scotland Street; I know I did.
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