I have yet to read anything by Molly Harper that wasn’t a complete delight. A WITCH’S HANDBOOK TO KISSES AND CURSES was no exception, following in the trend of light, fun paranormal romances, with the little twist of magic this time around. Fans of Harper’s Jane Jameson series will be happy to know she plays a larger role in this book than in the previous Half Moon Hollow stories, and those new to this world won’t find themselves too lost picking up this book in the middle of the series.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
The Arcadia Bell series works on two levels, both as a series with grand, sweeping plot points, and within each book, with the more intimate moments between characters. The cross series action is interesting, but not a motivating factor for me. It’s the personal bonds, the interactions between Cady and Lon and Jupe, that have me excited to go from one book to the next.
As a prequel to the Coveted series, readers already know where Aggie ends up, but its the journey there in BITTER DISENCHANTMENT that really fleshes her out. Aggie is tough, independent and privilege being the daughter of the alpha wolf. What I like about this series is that it shows people with problems and disorders realistically and it shows that while they don’t overcome their problems they learn to manage them eventually.
Less formula and more content than your average werewolf romance, TARNISHED is a brand of urban fantasy that I treasure. Though heavily steeped in character, the slow arc of action that Held weaves through this story and her series as a whole has a level of patience that is becoming rarer and rarer in the serialized genre. Patience to let injuries heal, patience to let obstacles stand, patience to let characters struggle without a magical panacea to sweep the slate clean every book.
PREDATORY shows the gamut that vampire mythology has run in genre fiction, containing short stories about everything from victims of maddening viruses to undead fashion designers. I picked up this book based on Dianne Duvall’s name, and her short taste of the Immortal Guardians series didn’t disappoint. If I hoped to find another series to sink my teeth into, however, PREDATORY left me empty handed.
Full of strapping alpha werewolves that would make me weak in the knees before they ever started saying “lass…” A HIGHLAND WEREWOLF WEDDING was exactly what I was expecting. It is your typical romance: boy meets girl, pretty predictable conflicts ensure, boy and girl end up together happily ever after. Though I wasn’t surprised, A HIGHLAND WEREWOLF WEDDING was well written, easy to pick up out of series order, and featured a great couple with tons of chemistry. A contemporary romance set in Scotland, it also had a bit of a historical feel to it, likely because of the abundance of castles, daggers and kilts.
HEART OF IRON is a fun steampunk story with a plethora of political dealings both with other countries and high society. There is a unique take in this story on women vying for a husband/suitor by going to balls like in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Except vampires take the place of Mr. Darcy and the debutantes are vying to be blood donors in order to have a life of privilege and wealth.While I loved the ideas and world building in HEART OF IRON I couldn’t connect with either Will or Lena.
The blurb for THE CURSED was what drew me in- a supernatural private investigator in a dimensional fold in New York City with a romance storyline to boot? Yes please! But if there is one thing I’d like to get across with this review, it is that though THE CURSED definitely has those elements, it is more a book about Rio and Luke (not just Luke), and it is far better than the blurb makes it sound. Set in a richly created world, with likable main characters, and excellent pacing, THE CURSED is a perfect first installment in the League of the Black Swan series.
AS TWILIGHT FALLS is one of those romances that I felt a little guilty about liking so much. It was fun, but the more I think about it after the fact, the more I feel it wasn’t as great as I thought. However, while I was reading it, I couldn’t put it down, and the romance between Kadie and Rylan totally sucked me in.
SINNER’S HEART, the third installment in The Hellraisers series, has one of the most unique heroines I have ever read in a romance novel- a ghost. While this gave the book an original feel, it didn’t help the rather lackluster romance plot line. Readers who are familiar with The Hellraisers will most likely be satisfied with this book, because it offers a very clear and gratifying conclusion to the trilogy.