Conversion by S.C. Stephens #Review

Conversion by S.C. Stephens #Review

PJ header

 

Conversion by S.C. Stephens #Review

Conversion by S.C. Stephens

three-stars
Conversion #1
Published by: Self-Published on September 3, 2013
Genres: Adult, Family, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

 

PJV Quickie: Conversion is probably one of the strangest books I’ve read in a while:  there was quite a bit of WTF happening, yet I couldn’t stop reading.

Review: I was a fan of Ms. Stephens’ Thoughtless series, so when I saw she had written a vampire series I was very interested.  I knew going into it that it would be different, but what I got was totally unexpected:

The two main characters, Emma and Teren, have a meet-cute and the attraction is instant. They quickly get into a relationship but Teren seems to be taking it slowly… until he accidentally pricks her lip while they’re kissing.  She takes the news that he’s “sort of” a vampire pretty well.  I enjoyed the twist on traditional vampire lore. Then it gets weird.  They visit his family and secrets are revealed; things are not as happy-go-lucky as Teren has led her to believe.  Emma must make some pretty momentous decisions, and she doesn’t have a big window of time to make them in.  Then it gets weirder.  I’m not going into spoilers, but it felt like I was reading a category romance with a paranormal twist.  Just as I’m thinking I know what’s going to happen, a villain pops up out of nowhere with a weak premise.

There were some funny bits, but even so the story itself kind of dragged in spots; it definitely could have been shortened and the plot would not have suffered.  Throw in a self-centered best friend, a horribly scarred sister, and a really sweet ending, and you end up with a book that left me wondering what the heck I just read… and looking up the next book.  I have issues, I know.

Recommendations: If you’re looking for a vampire tale that’s a little different and not too dark, you might enjoy Conversion.  It’s lighter than traditional vampire lore, not dark and broody, and the hero is pretty likable.

PJ new signature

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper #Review

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper #Review

PJ header

 

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper #Review

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

four-stars
Published by: Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster on June 24, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Molly Harper has this wonderful, almost-but-not-quite over-the-top way of writing that always makes me smile. Always.  Better Homes and Hauntings continues the trend of me wishing I was besties with her characters, in spite of, or maybe because of, the crazy situations they manage to get themselves into.

Review: Take one gardener, one billionaire computer nerd, an angry ex, a vengeful ghost, and an abandoned mansion, mix them together with Molly Harper’s signature humor, and what you get is an entertaining ghost-story with a twist.  The ghost-story aspect of Better Homes and Hauntings was surprisingly spooky – it wasn’t as light as I had expected and it was genuinely creepy. Molly Harper’s signature humor shines through and the hero and heroine were so nerdy and awkward that their slow-moving relationship was adorable.  The secondary characters are fabulous; my understanding is that this is a stand-alone but I would really love to see another story featuring the cousin.

Recommendations: If you’re already a Molly Harper fan – you know you’re going to love it. Fans of quirky paranormal romance will love Better Homes and Hauntings – even though there are no vampires or werewolves, this “ghost story with a twist” will keep you laughing (and a bit creeped out) until the end.

PJ new signature

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James #Review

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James #Review

PJ header

 

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James #Review

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James

four-stars
Blacktop Cowboys #6
Published by: NAL, Penguin on August 5, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance, Western
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: While I was introduced to Lorelei James’ seductive brand of cowboy in her Rough Riders series, it’s her Blacktop Cowboys that steal my heart. I was a little nervous going into Hillbilly Rockstar, since the hero of the story didn’t actually do any ranching, but I shouldn’t have worried – Lorelei James writes some sexy, sexy cowboys!

Review: Whenever I’m in the mood to read some hard-working, good-looking, fun-loving cowboys, I know exactly which author to turn to – Lorelei James.  In looking at my ratings for this series, I’ve given each of the previous books 4 stars.  In her Blacktop Cowboys series, she’s created a world in Muddy Gap, Wyoming that is full of sympathetic characters whose stories are irresistibly readable and I enjoy going back to visit with each new book.

Hillbilly Rockstar pairs two unlikely characters:  Liberty Masterson, a former soldier who now works for an elite security company as a bodyguard, and Devin McClain, a country-music superstar who is having some security issues on tour.  When a member of his crew is attacked on his personal tour bus, Liberty is called in to go undercover as his “assistant”. Devin doesn’t want a bodyguard, and Liberty doesn’t want to guard Devin, but her boss makes an offer she can’t refuse.

I liked Liberty in that she was confident and brash and doesn’t put up with stupidity. She works hard and has goals.  One thing that sort of stuck around in the back of my mind though, was the fact that she dated her superior officer in the army and then she dated her charge (Devin) as a security guard; I don’t have any sort of medical degree but this seems to be self-destructive behavior to me.

That being said, I really enjoyed reading these two interact and build trust between them. Their scenes together were sexy and fun. The mystery was a bit predictable, but for me the romantic interaction between Liberty and Devin made up for it. Both characters are stubborn and have issues that can’t be avoided while they’re spending so much time together in the isolated world of a music tour; they start off antagonistic towards each other, but that animosity turns to lust and then genuine affection.

Recommendations: If you’re looking for an entertaining Cowboy Romance, look no further than Lorelei James – great characters, steamy love scenes, and interesting storylines make her books hard to put down.

PJ new signature

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl #Review

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl #Review

PJ header

 

PJV Quickie: I love stories with librarian heroines!  It’s been a while since I read a Victoria Dahl book, and after finishing Looking for Trouble I’m wondering why it’s been so long – I really enjoy spending time in the worlds she creates.

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl #Review

Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl

four-stars
Jackson: Girls' Night Out #1
Published by: Harlequin, HQN on July 29, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

 

Review: This story was sweet and hot and sad and wonderful. Victoria Dahl has a way of writing that drags your emotions through the mud and leaves you begging “Again!” I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked both the hero and heroine. The tragedy that changed their lives 25 years ago has suddenly become hot news again. Alex has come back, reluctantly, but plans to leave ASAP. Sophie wants a night of hot sex so she can forget what her life is like, but even as she realizes who Alex is, she can’t resist the opportunity to take what she wants, even it it’s only temporary.

Victoria Dahl takes a storyline that should be depressing and injects hope and love where before there had only been hurt and resignation. These two shouldn’t have been right together, but their chemistry was so good. Their romance was slow and sexy and full of wanting; I loved it. The conflict was well-written and kept my emotions raw (but in such a good way!). The rich characters and gossip gave Looking for Trouble a small-town feel that semed realistic and made me laugh but also broke my heart – there are no perfect people here, instead we get these amazingly flawed characters who sometimes make mistakes.

Recommendations: If you like small-town romance and complex characters, I wholeheartedly recommend Looking for Trouble.  If you’re a fan of Jill Shalvis and Shannon Stacey, you will probably enjoy Victoria Dahl’s books too.

 

PJ new signature

Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey #BlogTour and #Giveaway

Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey #BlogTour and #Giveaway

PJ header

 

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Shannon Stacey’s latest Kowalski Family book, Falling for Max!  I absolutely adore this series – she writes such great characters and her stories are so much fun, and after you’ve read a few of her books it’s like coming back and visiting family.

One of the things I love about Shannon Stacey’s books is that her characters feel like real people and do goofy stuff that real people do.  I’m going to share a quote from the very first page of the book, and then tell you the story of ‘How I Met My Husband’ – no, really – because it’s so similar (and adorable!):

On the first day of each month, Max Crawford made it a habit to compile a list of everything he wanted or needed to accomplish that month. Without a list, he tended to immerse himself in work and then wonder why he was out of mouthwash and the car payment was overdue.
As the calendar ticked over to October, he catalogued which projects he was working on and their due dates. He noted there were two birthdays on his calendar, which meant shopping for and sending gifts to his mother and niece. The furnace needed its annual check up. And he wanted to find a wife.
After a moment of deliberation, he drew a line through the last item. Then he wrote find a girlfriend.
On a separate sheet of paper, he jotted down a list of work supplies he needed to replenish. It took a while, as he had a tendency to jot down the items running low on any scrap of paper near his workstation, including the occasional napkin. Another sheet of paper for the monthly grocery order he’d place online.
Flipping back to the original paper, he amended his list again. Marking out find a girlfriend, he replaced it with four simple words. Go on a date.
He should probably start small.

Cute, right? So here’s my story… I met my husband while we were in High School.  I thought he was a #badboy and was actively avoiding him (because I was a #goodgirl), but my friend and I ran into him and his friends at a Mardi Gras parade. I thought his friend was cute (I know, right?), so I started dating the friend.  Fast forward a few weeks and the friend is old news and I’ve set my sights on the hubs.  We’ve been dating a while at this point (I think I dated the friend for all of a week) and I’m in his room, and it’s sooo messy (little did I know that would NEVER change) and he’s looking for something and I’m helping.  And then I stumble across this little gem:

post-it

Obviously, this is a re-creation and not the original.

THAT’S MY PHONE NUMBER!!!  And did he…cross out the word “potential”? I was a note stuck on his “to-do” list?  Once I got over my annoyance (it was funny), I forgave him and we dated throughout high school and got married 4 years later. Yesterday (August 1) was our 22nd wedding anniversary.  So, yeah, I might have a soft spot for Max and his lists…

 

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

 

Carina Press has been generous enough to offer a copy of the lastest Kowalski Family book, Falling for Max, to a lucky US reader. Enter via Rafflecopter below.

PJ new signature

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey #BlogTour and #Giveaway

Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey

Kowalski Family #9
Published by: Carina Press, Harlequin on July 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

ShannonStaceySHANNON STACEY is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives with her husband and two sons in New England. Her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up. You can contact Shannon through her website, shannonstacey.com, where she maintains an almost daily blog, or visit her on Twitter at @shannonstacey.

Lead by Kylie Scott #Review

Lead by Kylie Scott #Review

PJ header

PJV Quickie: There is a reason Kylie Scott is an auto-buy author for me, and Lead continues her run of spectacular storytelling. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read Jimmy’s story – he was such a jerk in the last book.  I should have known better… I was hooked from the first page!  Great characters, an addictive story and smokin’ hot sexy times all resulted in my staying up until 3am so I could finish this book in one sitting.

Lead by Kylie Scott #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

Review: I didn’t think I was going to like Jimmy and Lena’s story, but I really, really did.  Jimmy is definitely an anti-hero: he’s a recovering addict, selfish, rude, and an all-around jerk-face.  He keeps his emotions under a tight lock and has forgotten where he put the key.  He’s met his match in Lena, though: she’s loyal, dedicated, and stubborn.  What she’s not is the kind of girl to take any guff from Jimmy – he’s fired her several times and yet, she’s still there!  The sexual tension between these two simmers throughout most of the book, occasionally boiling over until Jimmy does or says something stupid, cooling things off, and then BAM! it’s hot all over again.  Jimmy knows Lena’s something special, but it’s not until she tries to leave that Jimmy starts to realize there might be something extra-special about her- something he doesn’t want walking out of his life…

There’s not really any external conflict in this story, it’s more character-driven and I think that’s why, even though Jimmy is such a jerk, the story moves along and we start to see what Lena sees in him and *maybe* fall a little bit in love with him.  Both characters have strong personalities but somehow, when they’re together, it works.  I found their back-and-forth verbal sparring adorable and loved how everyone could see that they belonged together, even as Jimmy fought it as hard as he could (he was exceptionally clueless on this point).

There’s not a lot of “rock-star” stuff going on in Lead; yes there’s practice and fans and stuff, but it’s more focused on Jimmy staying sober and his relationship with Lena and his band-mates.  The end was a little too quick and “neat” for my taste, which is the only reason Lead is getting 4 1/2 stars and not 5 from me.  Even so, I closed the book with a smile on my face and can’t wait to get back into this world that Ms. Scott has created; I will be counting the days until book 4, Deep, is available.

Recommendations: I would definitely recommend reading the first two books in the series, Lick and Play, before you read Lead.  There are a lot of characters running around these books and it may be difficult to figure out who’s who.  Trust me, you will not regret starting with book 1 – this is a really fun, sexy series and as soon as you put down one book you’ll be reaching for the next.

PJ new signature

Page 1 of 1912345... »10... »Last »