Tag: Paranormal (page 1 of 47)

BOOK REVIEW: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK REVIEW: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutStorm and Fury (The Harbinger #1)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Enter a world of gargoyle protectors, rising demons and one girl with an explosive secret.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

Review:

Storm & Fury was an addicting, emotional ride!  I absolutely loved being back in this world and that Zayne got his own story.  It was so much more than I ever could have hoped for!  There was a slow burn romance, a kick ass girl, a sexy protective male and friendship, lust, sacrifice, trust and banter filled the pages.  If you’re a fan of JLA or paranormal romance, then you definitely have to add this one to your tbr!

“Are you sure you’ve had years of training?”I taunted, steadily approaching him.
Several strands of hair had fallen free, brushing his cheeks as he faced me. “Are you sure you’ve just had a few training sessions?”
“Guess what?”I darted under his swing and hit the floor, planting my palms on the mat as I kicked out, taking his legs out from underneath him. “I lied.”

We started out this book meeting Trinity Marrow, who was going blind, but could see and communicate with ghost and spirits.  She lived in the middle of nowhere and within a Warden community, even though she wasn’t a Warden.  Wardens were gargoyle shape-shifters who protected humankind from demons. But if the demons ever discovered Trinity, they would destroy her.  So when three men I cherished from The Dark Elements Series came to her compound, her whole life was about to change.  They informed her clan that something out there was hunting Wardens and demons, and before she knew it, it became critical that they work together.

Zayne let go of my hand . “Only you would argue with me over the condition of your back.” He placed the jar on the counter. “I need you undressed from the waist up.”
“What?” I gaped at him. “Usually a guy tells me I’m pretty before he demands that I take my shirt off.”
He shot me a bland look. “Is that all it takes for you to take your shirt off? You’re very pretty, Trinity.”
My eyes narrowed as I placed my OJ on the sink so that I wouldn’t throw it in his face.

I absolutely adored Trinity.  This whole story was from her point of view and I loved how she was so easy to connect with.  Trinity was kind, smart, compassionate, but she was also brave and had so much heart.  I loved that she could be fearless, especially when it came to her diminishing eyesight.  She didn’t let not being able to fully see hold her back, whether it came to training, fighting or even just life in general.  She was someone one could look up to.

“What are you going to do if it does get worse?” he asked.
“Maybe I’ll get myself a seeing-eye gargoyle.”
Zayne chuckled. “I can be that for you.”
“Uh, yeah, I feel like you’d grow very bored of that.”
“I don’t think so.” His fingers curled around my chin, bringing my gaze back to his. Air hitched in my throat. “I don’t think… there’s ever a boring second around you.”

When Trinity and Zayne met, sparks flew.  There was a lot of friction between them, and they didn’t get off on the best foot.  So they constantly threw barbs at each other and it was hilarious and addicting to watch.  It was impossible not to smile at their antics.  But underneath that banter was an element of lust.  And there were some moments that left me fanning my face.  As they got to know each other, I couldn’t help swooning and hoping they’d turn into something more.

His touch was featherlight, but I stirred restlessly. Lust pricked my skin as he moved his fingertips down my throat, over my shoulder. A small sigh escaped me.

Zayne always had a special place in my heart from the White Hot Kiss Series.  But I was never on Team Zayne.  Not because I wasn’t obsessed with him, it was just that I always felt like Layla and Roth were meant to be together forever.  So after everything went down in the previous series, I desperately wanted Zayne to get his happily ever.  Especially since I had fallen so hard for him. 

I…I wanted him.
I’d never really felt desire before, but it was burning me up from the inside. Want. Need. This was what had been missing when I’d kissed someone before. This was what yearning really felt like, and as I lifted my head off the mat, bringing our mouths so close that I could taste his breath on my lips, I thought I might drown in it. Zayne didn’t pull away. Instead, it seemed as if he became even more still.
I kissed him.

While Zayne was jaded from his past, he was still beautiful inside and out.  And it was addicting how he was not only sexy but tenacious and brave.  But there were so much more to him, like I absolutely loved how he could be funny, and then in the next breath he could be so emotionally deep.  When Zayne opened up, even a little bit, it always stole my heart and soul.  I was obsessed with Zayne and I thought Trinity would be the perfect fit for him.

“This seems very un-Warden-like,” I whispered.
The hand at my hip tightened. “You’d be shocked by all the un-Warden-like things going through my head right now.”
I shuddered, feeling dizzy and warm and alive. “Then show me.”
And he did.

While you can technically read this spin-off series as a standalone, I highly recommend you start with The Dark Elements Series first.  There were so many little moments or references that linked us to that first series.  And I loved how things pulled at my heart, made me smile or I had tears in my eyes because I was able to realize the importance of a certain moment since I had already read The Dark Element Series.  Even if it happened in the blink of an eye, the significance was there.  On top of that, I loved that we got to see all of our favorites!  Roth and Layla played such an important role!  Cayman was still making me laugh so hard.  And we even got to see Bambi, I’ve missed that snake so much!  But there was also new characters in this world, like Peanut, who I came to adore with all of my heart.  Peanut was hilarious and made me laugh so much.  And I loved how he helped out Trinity.  He was such a good friend, even if he was a ghost.

His breath coasted over my lips as he spoke. “We got this, Trin. We only have to stop the end of the world with little to no direction.”
“No big deal.”
He chuckled, and my lips curved up at the sound and the feel. “None at all.”

Action and moments that made my toes curl swirled together and it made this book beyond phenomenal!  And by that last page we had a lot of questions answered and stopped at a spot where I could breathe.  So while we got some closure to some issues, I can’t wait for that next book so we can dive into more of the unknowns.  And hopefully we’ll also get some more sigh inducing moments between Zayne and Trinity.  Fingers crossed!  So yes, I definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this series goes!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist

BOOK REVIEW: Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma BerquistMissing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

With a touch, Lexi can sense how and when someone will die. Some say it’s a gift. But to Lexi it’s a curse—one that keeps her friendless and alone. All that changes when Lexi foresees the violent death of a young woman, Jane, outside a club. But Jane doesn’t go to the afterlife quietly. Her ghost remains behind, determined to hunt down her murderer, and she needs Lexi’s help. In life, Jane was everything Lexi is not—outgoing, happy, popular. But in death, all Jane wants is revenge. Lexi will do anything to help Jane, to make up for the fact that she didn’t—couldn’t—save Jane’s life, and to keep this beautiful ghost of a girl by her side for as long as possible.

Thank you Edelweiss, Greenwillow books and Emma Berquist for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Shoulders bump mine, and I grit my teeth as deaths wash over me in a sticky gray wave. I only get flashes, but it’s enough; all these plump, dimpled cheeks, thick hair, and painted nails, I glimpse the way it ends. Throat cancer, aneurysm, pneumonia. They beam even white teeth, and all I can see are the skulls smiling beneath.

What drew me to this book was this unique setting: Lexi can see anyone’s death with a simple touch. And if that was not hard enough, she can also talk with, touch and expel ghosts to the “other side.”

Lexi is a tough girl, who has a soft spot for her grandfather, who has the same powers as herself and Trevor, a teenage ghost who hangs around Lexi. She works at a bar with others who have a wide array of powers, but which are only featured sparingly in the book. However, the bar plays a large significance overall. Lexi also has an on and off relationship with Phillip, who also works at the bar, but struggles to be with him due to her ability to see his death every time they touch, which is an understandable downer.

Because being with you makes me lonelier than being alone. Because I can’t stop picturing your body on a cold metal table.

One night, Lexi accidentally bumps into a girl outside the club named Jane. She sees that Jane will be murdered that night, but doesn’t do anything about it, because as she has learned, there are serious repercussions for interfering with fate.

Jane then reappears as a ghost, and convinces Lexi and Trevor to help her figure out who killed her and if it is related to other killings in the area. Lexi does her best, but her powers weigh on her mental health heavily. Several times over the course of the novel, she is forced to check herself into a psych ward just to tune out the world and get some much-needed sleep. I really appreciated that this was included, as it rings incredibly true. Someone with this kind of power, who could not shut it off, would probably be overwhelmed. These scenes also lead to a small but cute relationship she develops with a doctor at the hospital.

Even without turning around, I can sense Jane behind me, feel the gravitational pull of her. I can’t escape it; she’s like my compass, like a lodestone. I always know where Jane is.

As Lexi and Jane work to solve Jane’s murder, they also become far closer to each other and begin to develop feelings for each other. While I certainly enjoyed their relationship, I was also struggled with the world-building that allowed for physical interactions for Lexi and Jane. You always see ghosts as corporeal, which Jane and Trevor are 99% of the time, except with Lexi. I wish I could put into better words why this slightly missed the mark for me, as I did like Lexi and Jane together, but ultimately I didn’t love them together or the fact that romance was such a major factor in this book. I guess I could have been OK if it would have stayed as mostly a creepy thriller book with just a small emphasis on a love story.

I loved the premise of this book so much. It was such a cool idea and unfortunately I think it was squandered away a little bit, focusing too much on romantic relationships and tying up the ending with a big shiny bow. This easily could have been a really cool and creepy series – there’s so many directions this could have gone and areas to be explored, especially all the side characters with different powers – but it just ended up being a very narrow story. I just wanted more from this and ultimately left feeling OK, but not great.

This book will be released on May 21, 2019.

BOOK REVIEW: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

BOOK REVIEW: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. CraigHouse of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Thank you to Netgalley, Delacorte and Erin A. Craig for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I honestly can’t believe this book doesn’t come out until August, because all I want to do is shove it in people’s hands and make them feel all the same magical feelings I felt when reading this phenomenal novel.

It honestly had everything I love in a book: Castles. Royalty. Strong family ties. Unique but not overly complicated world. Strong female lead. Swoon-worthy romance. Creepy atmosphere. Supernatural entities. Heart stopping peril. A book cover to die for.

Once there were twelve of us: the Thaumas Dozen. Now we stood in a small line, my seven sisters and I, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a ring of truth to the grim speculations.

From the very opening scene, which was a funeral for one of the Thaumas Dozen sisters, I was immediately taken into this world, where (originally) twelve sisters, their father and their stepmother live in Highmoor, a grand castle near the ocean and rule over the land, but always in touch with the sea.

Unfortunately for Annaleigh, after her mother passes some years ago, her older sisters keep dying in mysterious and unfortunate ways until she is suddenly the second in line to take over the throne after her father’s passing. While several of the deaths could be attributed to accidents or suicide, Annaleigh is certain her most recent sister’s passing has something more sinister beneath it and is determined to figure out what is happening to her family. It is on one of her sleuthing missions does she meet the wonderful Cassius, who Annaleigh comes to befriend and trust.

I couldn’t help but smile, remembering their confrontation at the ball. “You sound jealous!”
“Hardly. And do you know why?” I shook my head. “Because I’m the one whispering in the corner with the prettiest girl in the room.”

Even with a blossoming romance to contend with, Annaleigh is determined to figure out what is causing members of her family to die. And here is where it starts to get creepy: one Annaleigh’s younger sisters starts drawing incredibly disturbing images she shouldn’t know anything about, Annaleigh experiences vivid dreams/moments that she can’t figure out if they are real or not, and all manner of spooky things are occurring around the house. Plus, more death.

I shook my head, as if warding off a buzzing mosquito.
None of this is real, it persisted. No one else sees it because it’s not really here to see. You’ve gone mad, my girl.
No. that wasn’t it. That wasn’t possible.
I wasn’t mad.
There had to be another explanation.
Does there?

The story continues to climb and build until everything comes crashing together at the end. And let me tell you, what an ending it was. Some things I had kind of guessed relatively close, while others I didn’t see coming at all. So many different plot points were so expertly tied up that I felt exhausted when I finally finished the last page. So much happens at the end and I just want to talk about it. I have so many feelings! I need to reread it, honestly, because I’m sure I missed things as I raced to see who made it out alive.

I loved Annaleigh’s dedication to her family, even when it meant putting others’ feelings ahead of hers, but at the end of the day, she had the ultimate say in what what would make her happy. Her relationship with her sisters was complicated, but full of love, and the same can be said of her relationship with her father. I adored Cassius and the wonderful aspects of Annaleigh he highlighted. His arc was super interesting and only added to the awesome world building of the story.

I’m honestly surprised this is the author’s first published novel, as it was so well done. I truly do not have enough good words to say about it and am already looking forward to reading it again, probably closer to the fall when the atmosphere will perfectly lend itself.

In case it wasn’t clear, I adored this book and almost all that it entailed. I will say, there are two scenes that involve an animal (a turtle). They aren’t the worst I’ve ever read, but they are disturbing, albeit short. As this is a major trigger for me, I feel it’s only fair to give others notice as well. So just be warned, but it’s easy to skip. I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did!

“All my years of imagining you,” he murmured, leaving a trail of kisses across my face, “and you are so much more than I ever could have dreamed of…”

This book will be released on August 6, 2019.

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah Lampkin

I was so happy to join this tour because I adore Paranormal stories! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: To Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1) by Sarah LampkinTo Dream Is To Die (Dead Dreamer #1)
by Sarah Lampkin
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Brenna Whit is entering college as a freshman and starting to meet new people, but she hides a dark secret. Because of an accident that happened three years ago, her spirit wanders the Fade whenever she falls asleep. It's something she wants to keep hidden from the world, but when she sees someone watching her in spirit form, she fears the secret's out. With new friends, possibly new enemies, school, and a new crush, Brenna has too much to worry about for just her freshman year of college.

Review:

To Dream Is To Die was a story that kept me turning the pages.  It all unfolded so effortlessly and each time we were given a piece of the puzzle, there was still so much I couldn’t wait to learn more about.  There was a few different mysteries along with some twists and turns that kept me guessing. So if you adore paranormal stories, set in college, then definitely check this one out.

Brenna Whit was a dark, snarky college student who ended up dying three years ago. She came back from the dead and her life had been different ever since.  Now, when she was supposed to be dreaming, she wandered the fade instead. Brenna moved into the college dorms for the first time and I loved watching her friendship unfold with Aeria.  They were kindred souls and friendship definitely played a central theme in this story.  And while each character was unique, I wasn’t able to connect with any of them.  I tried my hardest, because the story line was a ton of fun, but sadly I couldn’t ever make that connection.  Regardless, I still enjoyed reading about Brenna and her journey.

As the story unfolded, we learned more and more about the world that Brenna wandered while her body slept.  I was beyond fascinated, especially since some of it seeped into the times when Brenna was awake. It was entertaining watching how it even affected those around her.  So when I reached that final page, I was so happy that some of my questions were answered. Yes there is still so much for us to learn, but we stopped at the perfect waiting spot until the next book in this series releases.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

About Sarah Lampkin:

Sarah Lampkin is a New Adult/Young Adult fiction author from Southern Virginia. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her cat, Fox (who is practically a dog). When she’s not writing, she’s playing video games, rock climbing, or getting ready for hunting season. Sarah began writing over a decade ago with her first novella called Angels: Moon and Sun, which is now being rewritten as Tainted Wings on Wattpad. She draws inspiration from Celtic mythology in her stories and aims to create unique worlds following strong female protagonist. In 2015, Sarah was able to utilize her Dead Dreamer series in her graduate program and graduate with an MA in English.

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Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW: Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW: Soul in Darkness by Wendy HigginsSoul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.

But gods are known for their jealousy.

Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts.

Psyche's punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely.

Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche from Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

Review:

Soul in Darkness was enchanting, seductive and smile inducing.  This story was everything I love about Wendy Higgins.  It had the most delicious sexual tension, characters that I quickly loved and a story that made me fly through this book way too fast.  If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, retellings, or Wendy Higgins then definitely pick this one up. I absolutely loved this story and can’t recommend it enough!  

“Bright soul, why must you make this difficult?”
In his nearness, I felt his words on my cheek. A scream immobilized in my throat as I was suddenly overcome by the surprising scent of rain and honeysuckle. That was not what a monster should smell like.

If you aren’t familiar with the mythology surrounding Cupid and Psyche, their story is an exhilarating ride.  Princess Psyche was said to be so beautiful that the villagers brought her gifts, instead of the Gods.  With Venus angered, she asked her son, Cupid, to punish Psyche.  Psyche’s punishment ended up being married to a creature that was described as a dark-deeded winged serpent.  Oh how I loved Wendy Higgins’ approach to this classic tale.  What unfolded was a story woven with betrayal, love, twists, friendship, trust and sacrifice that completely enraptured me .

“Sometimes,” he said, “we fear that which we should embrace because we do not know better.”
I swallowed, shaking my head, closing my eyes.
“When I touch you,” he breathed, “your fear disappears. You enjoy my touch.”
No, I don’t,” I blurted.
“Your lies are useless.”

Psyche was filled with such loneliness, beauty was truly her curse.  She had no friends, she was terrified to make her sisters jealous and men saw her for nothing more than her beauty.  My heart hurt for her. Especially when she showed us time and again what a kind heart she had.  So when her fate of marrying a monster was laid out to her, her bravery was remarkable.  Psyche proved herself in that moment that she was born to be a queen.  She was spirited, determined, smart and I absolutely loved her!

“Trust yourself, Psyche. Trust your soul.”

Upon arriving on her husband’s land, Psyche discovered there were rules.  She wasn’t able to see her husband, yet he could touch her.  And while she had free reign of his lands during the day, she had to spend her nights with him.  Psyche’s fears leaped off of the pages.  Her thoughts were consuming and I truly understood her horror of being a prisoner, married to a monster.  Yet her husband wasn’t anything like she expected.

“I cannot say all the things I wish to say.” His voice was deeper and huskier than ever, sending a ripple through me. “But if you listen, Psyche, listen to my touch…perhaps you will hear.”

Psyche’s husband showed her kindness.  He was compassionate, heartfelt, listened and tried to make her happy.  Yet creatures, especially those shrouded in mystery, can be deceiving.  So Psyche was waiting for the moment that he would cause her physical and mental anguish.  Now here’s the thing. I don’t care what others think, but I absolutely loved her husband.  While it seemed like he could give her the world, I only wanted what Psyche desperately needed the most.  To be able to see him.

All I knew for a fact was that if he was an enemy, he was the most dangerous enemy possible, because when I was with him, my heart, my body, and my soul wanted him.

I loved how Psyche’s husband made me laugh, he had such a funny way with words.  And it warmed my heart that he called her bright soul. His words could be mesmerizing.  But what I loved the most, was when he touched her.  Soul in Darkness was extremely seductive, sensual and the tension between them was electrifying.  Even with fear looming in the back of Psyche’s mind, she couldn’t deny that her husband made her body come alive.

When I got to his earlobe, my teeth grazed the skin there as I took it into my mouth and dragged my lips away. He whispered my name and shuddered. Everything in me felt animalistic and proud that such a small gesture could bring about a reaction from an immortal.

While I guessed some of the secrets in this book, I still found my heart beating hard in my chest.  I could taste Psyche’s terror and I was even filled with dread over her fate.  As the story unfolded, it took turns I wasn’t prepared for.  I cried my heart out and I was ecstatic when I reached the end of the book and found an epilogue.  It left the hugest smile on my face.  So yes, I definitely recommend Soul in Darkness, this story was completely enchanting.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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