Half Wolf by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

51vdyCX+j7LA new wolf shape-shifter has been created by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, and I instantly fell in love with this compelling hero. Michael Hunter has traits that are all his own, and he proved himself to be compassionate when needed. The heroine, Kaitlin Davies, is even more unique, and the disclosures about this spirited woman often left me amazed. With an innovative plot plus a large group of fascinating supernatural beings, HALF WOLF is constantly entertaining.

When Kaitlin Davies left the university library and was returning to her apartment, she had no idea how much was about to change in just a few moments. Becoming the target of a vampire almost ended her life, but another type of creature saved her from dying. Upon giving consent for Michael Hunter to keep her alive, Kaitlin is in for a shock when she learns how her future would be forever altered. Now her body is transforming from a human to something much different.

Though Michael knew vampires were responsible for the disappearance of several people who had gone missing lately near Clement College, he never thought about being put in the position where his Lycan capabilities would be used to save someone. But while out patrolling the campus one night, he comes upon Kaitlin only minutes from dying. Then an impulsive decision is made by the Alpha wolf to make her like him. As Michael stays near the once human female as her body begins to change, he admires the way she is unwilling to give in to the fears that could consume her. But when her transition is not at all normal, both he and Kaitlin are in for one surprise after another.

There is always originality in a story by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, and HALF WOLF is one of her most inventive. Several species of beings are in the book, and each one is portrayed in very special ways. Werewolves have traits that are only found in paranormal books by this author, while vampires featured in the story definitely do not have any romantic thoughts. There is even another race making an appearance, where little is known and mysteries abound. Folklore related to any of these groups is definitely attention-grabbing, and many of the legends are given their own distinct twist.

The premise of HALF WOLF is extremely imaginative. I was instantly drawn into the storyline, as Michael and Kaitlin are facing so many challenges from the very beginning. Although he knows saving a human by possibly turning her into a Lycan should not occur, he feels not letting her die is more important than following the rules of his kind. The gentleness Michael shows to Kaitlin won me over, but it was the strong connection between them which really pulled me in their lives. There are several times in the story where the author had me experiencing the powerful feelings this couple felt for each other, as every moment is backed with such sincere responses. How they are now linked leads to passionate encounters where desire is almost uncontrollable. The reactions of Kaitlin to what is going on in her life came across as very realistic, and I felt for her as she tried to adjust to all the new happenings.

In previous stories by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, wolf shifters who live in Miami were introduced, and some of them come to the college town with a specific purpose in mind. Their books do not have to be read in order to understand what is going on, but learning about them would make you want to find out what had been missed.

Received copy from author

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  July 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zf523g8

Genre:  Paranormal

Author website:  http://www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Awakened by the Wolf by Kristal Hollis

51NBI0keAwLIn the first book of the Wahyas of Walker’s Run series, there is much originality all throughout the story. The Wahyas are wolf shape-shifters who possess unique traits that I have never before come across, and they also have customs which are exclusively their own. I was totally fascinated by these extraordinary beings, as the imagination of Kristal Hollis has given this particular group of shifters their own special qualities. When one Wahya male with a troubled past unexpectedly encounters a human female, sparks fly and emotional turmoil increases with every new development in their lives. But sometimes what they think is the correct choice to make is not what destiny has in mind for them. AWAKENED BY THE WOLF is captivatingly innovative.

Though Brice Walker agrees with the decision of his father, who is the leader of the Walker’s Run pack, to be sent away because of a bad choice, he has missed the Appalachian Mountains where he grew up. After being gone for five years, he has returned in order to see his grandmother as she means much to him. Brice plans to hide the fact he is in the area, as he could be punished for coming back, but he wants to check on his favorite relative. But upon entering his old bedroom at his granny’s home, he finds his bed is occupied by a human woman who has no interest in sharing it with him.

By working at the Walker’s Run resort and continuing her education, Cassidy Albright is following a plan to make her future better than her unhappy childhood. Yet circumstances place her in contact with Brice, where they clash again and again. Although they are connected in ways neither wants to mention, these links bring the couple surprisingly closer. For the first time ever, Brice and Cassie realize their lives might turn out differently than they thought if they choose to follow their hearts.

Happenings in AWAKENED BY THE WOLF are easy to envision because of the way in which Kristal Hollis describes any specifics using precise details. Happy times were made all the more enjoyable because of the frequent candid banter spoken by Brice and Cassie to each other, and I repeatedly laughed at their more clever comments. While there are many humorous episodes, there is also much drama that greatly affected me. Family discussions are often heated when Brice is involved, and some of the talks he and Cassie had were almost as intense. The sexual tension between them is heightened by the feelings he was willing to express but she kept unsaid. I really felt for these two, as both their pasts have been filled with heartbreak. Though Cassie wants to remain independent, it leaves her at risk of keeping everyone at a distance. I could see her point because of all she has gone through, but it sure did make for a lonely life. Brice is a wonderful hero, as he is protective plus supportive of those for whom he cares, and his charming personality made me fall in love with him from the very start.

There is some suspense in the story, and I became concerned when it was not clear as to how things would turn out. Some issues are fueled by desire, while others are caused by opposing beliefs, and I often never knew in what manner someone might react. There are several characters in the story that definitely need their own books, and I am very glad AWAKENED BY THE WOLF is the beginning of a series.

Received copy from author

Series:  Wahyas of Walker’s Run – Book 1

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  June 1. 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zo2t3h6

Genre:  Paranormal

Author website:  http://kristalhollis.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Vampire’s Protector by Michele Hauf

513K9xpML-L._SY346_The stories by Michele Hauf that focus on the paranormal are always entertainingly unique, and THE VAMPIRE’S PROTECTOR may be the most original creation yet. Actual historical facts are cleverly blended with the author’s inventive imagination to create scene after scene of captivating fascination. I am constantly amazed at the innovative storylines brought to life by this talented author, where characters are often remarkably special and grab my attention with their distinctive personalities. In the latest novel about the Beautiful Creatures world, the story is centered on two individuals who meet because of an ill-fated incident which could lead to disaster. The journey they must take together is frequently comical yet also heartfelt at times because of genuine emotion.

Various capabilities that come with being a vampire are often useful in the assignments Summer Santiago does for the Council which supervises the many paranormal species. She retrieves objects that are considered dangerous, and her present task is to locate a violin previously owned by Nicolo Paganini. The Italian violinist was reportedly linked with the devil, and the instrument might even be cursed. So Summer needs to take it back to the Council in Paris for safekeeping in case it really could be destructive. But upon finding the violin, an unplanned event causes a huge problem.

Because of the instrument’s magical powers, Summer ends up bringing Nicolo back to life when a few notes are inadvertently played. When she learns what has happened, she knows it is her responsibility to watch over the newly awakened violinist, especially since he knows nothing of the current world. There are many worries for him now that he is alive again, and a wrong decision could be catastrophic. As Nicolo and Summer try to discover what is actually going on and if there will be any repercussions, he finds himself desiring her along with the temptation to play the cursed violin.

There are so many compelling scenes written for THE VAMPIRE’S PROTECTOR. The high regard and understanding Michele Hauf has for classical music made the story very interesting, while using truths and even some speculations about a renowned violinist doubled my reading enjoyment. I did look up information about Nicolo Paganini, and the way in which the author interweaves his factual life with her imaginings is truly ingenious. Since he died so long ago, reawakening in modern times where cars, phones and electricity are commonplace definitely caused plenty of complications for Nicolo. His reactions are often hilarious, while his comments are amusing because he is awestruck by all the changes from when he lived.  I could easily visualize his expression when he saw his own photo so quickly.

Summer is a delight during the whole story. She is a dedicated employee, yet her concern for the confused Nicolo proves she is caring and cannot be swayed from what she feels is her duty. Whenever these two experience the sexual pull between them, it only takes a moment for the heated lust to ignite. A large number of their conversations are filled with wit plus lots of cunning retorts, causing me to smile countless times. Books by Ms. Hauf repeatedly encourage laughter, and there were certainly plenty of chuckle-inducing scenes in this enthralling story. But there are also several episodes where I was left breathless because of the heartfelt drama being played out. I never know what the concept of a story by Michele Hauf will end up being, but each one has been extremely original. THE VAMPIRE’S PROTECTOR is a notable paranormal romance.

Copy received from author

Publisher:   Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  June 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/zeofsr5

Genre:   Paranormal

Author website:  http://www.michelehauf.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Her Werewolf Hero by Michele Hauf

51qU6q5HMdLThe countless paranormal ideas that Michele Hauf thinks up continue to amaze me, and the new story in her Beautiful Creatures world is truly one of most original. When a werewolf is sent to obtain an object, he never thought procuring the item would be so complicated or awaken long buried emotions. The human woman with whom he becomes entangled is very curious about anything supernatural, and the truths she is learning leave her surprisingly thrilled. What happens on the perilous adventure that this couple takes together is a journey filled with fascinating discoveries. HER WEREWOLF HERO captures the imagination on every enthralling page.

Working as a Retriever for Acquisitions is something Bron Everhart thoroughly enjoys, as the werewolf likes the quest of tracking down an object. His latest assignment is an item that many might want, so he plans to find the Purgatory Heart before everyone else. After hearing the piece has special powers and needs to be kept from anyone who would use it for evil purposes, Bron knows he must quickly locate the much desired heart.

Shortly after arriving at the site where it should be found, a woman starts being chased by several supernatural creatures. Though Kizzy Lewis has always believed in the paranormal and wanted proof any beings with special abilities were real, she did not want her first experience to end with her dying. So she is grateful to the stranger who was in the park and kept her safe. Bron is stunned when Kizzy does not seem shocked to see otherworldly creatures, and he is even more astonished to realize the artifact he wants is actually her own heart. It soon becomes apparent a huge group of unsavory beings are also determined to get what he is looking for, and none care if Kizzy dies. Bron is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the human woman from losing her heart, even if it means a trip to Purgatory.

A multitude of emotions are experienced while reading HER WEREWOLF HERO. I laughed, felt anxious and even rejoiced over what occurred to the romantic couple in the story, and my feelings were always completely involved in each compelling predicament they faced. Bron is someone whom I loved from the start, and his actions throughout the story made him a hero with numerous honorable traits. An incident in his past still haunts him, and I wanted to give him a big hug when all is revealed. Kizzy is a delight with her charming personality, and I thought her ability to see the bright side of any situation made her even more appealing. Their conversations are frequently packed with quick wit and plenty of humor, while anything sexual between them includes lots of heat backed by genuine caring. The characters Michele Hauf creates always have unique behavior, and the distinctive natures of Bron plus Kizzy are demonstrated time and again.

When it comes to extraordinary circumstances, Ms. Hauf can be counted on to fill her stories with loads of innovative weirdness, causing her books to be particularly entertaining. The premise of HER WEREWOLF HERO is creepily spine-chilling, where a number of situations cause much fear for the beloved couple. Various supernatural beings make an appearance throughout the story, and I was just as excited to see some of them as Kizzy. The part Purgatory plays is especially interesting and greatly added into the puzzle of what was going on. Another notable novel from Michele Hauf.

Copy received from author

Publisher:   Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  April 1, 2016

Purchase:   http://tinyurl.com/gm2r3bs

Genre:   Paranormal

Author website:  http://www.michelehauf.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Immortal Redeemed by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

51V7SkecdsL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_A long time ago, a group called The Seven was formed and these immortals have lived for centuries. The oath they pledged to keep a sacred relic safe is being fulfilled, and now they also protect humans from Others whose intent is great harm. But one of them is ready for his long life to end, and his latest mission is to achieve this personal goal. The legend behind Galahad is cleverly interwoven into the fascinating paranormal story created by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, where myths about the noble knight of the Round Table become even more intriguing when he battles supernatural creatures. IMMORTAL REDEEMED is truly unforgettable because of its groundbreaking originality.

An immortal now known as Kellan Ladd has watched over humanity for many years, but the responsibility has left him weary and ready for his life to finally be over. There are six others like him, and each has carried out the obligations given to them after becoming Blood Knights. Though Kellan has diligently followed the vows he once made, he thinks the time has come for locating the only person who can make it possible for him to not live any longer. He is now on a mission to find this individual without letting any of the other Blood Knights know his decision.

Helping people brings McKenna Randall much satisfaction, and when she could not remain a cop because of an unfortunate incident, she became a nurse. One night after a grueling shift in the ER ends, she feels strangely drawn to a guy on a motorcycle outside the hospital and goes to speak with him. There seems to be something about the man that makes McKenna want to be around him though she knows it is unwise. Kellan plans to discover if she is the person who holds the secret to his future. But as he pursues his quest for this crucial answer, a large number of vampires also take an interest in McKenna and makes the circumstances even more challenging.

The whole concept behind the Blood Knights miniseries is innovative, and I was engrossed in IMMORTAL REDEEMED from beginning to conclusion. A knight of the Round Table is turned into a powerful warrior fighting despicable creatures, and I enjoyed every attention-grabbing detail that the author had me visualizing. Imaginative ideas are turned into realistic situations, as Linda Thomas-Sundstrom makes every moment seem so conceivable. I definitely wanted to accept many of the events happening as true, because then it would mean there are honorable individuals protecting humans without our knowledge. While the vampires in the story may be unpleasant, the author does let several werewolves display their more praiseworthy traits to my delight.

When Kellan made his way to Seattle, he had only one thought and that was terminating his life. But when he sees McKenna, he instantly begins having feelings he has not experienced in a very long time. While she may have a part to play in what happens to him, she also affects him and makes his emotions become involved. Their scenes together are some of the most intense I have ever read, especially those at first when the force of their sexual craving is so overwhelming. This mutual desire results in encounters filled with explosive passion yet also conflicted emotions. Kellan is such an honorable person, and I worried over what his final choice would end up being. McKenna has been through so much, and I admired how she would not give in despite the odds against her. IMMORTAL REDEEMED is everything a paranormal story should be and more.

Received copy from author

Series:  Blood Knights

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  April 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/hesqnv2

Genre:  Paranormal

Author website:   http://www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com

Rating:  5 Stars

Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert

51VNaRjf0lL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_BAYOU SHADOW HUNTER fascinates with believable originality. From characters with unique capabilities to a very creative plot, the story is intriguing all the way through. There are plenty of unexpected turns that often shake up the lives of those trying to defeat evil, and I often fretted over who was going to be the victor when any battles arose. The Nocturne line regularly has innovative stories, and those written by Debbie Herbert are often some of the most imaginative. The Bayou Magic miniseries is compelling with cleverness and distinctive circumstances.

When Annie Matthews came to spend time with her grandmother who lives in southern Alabama, several of her experiences are stranger than any events during previous visits to Bayou La Siryna. One unusual episode is when she spies a colorful ball of light in the swamp and goes to investigate. Since auras can be heard by Annie, she is not shocked when a man’s voice from the orb tells her disturbing information to give his best friend. It seems the man was betrayed by someone he knew, and Tombi Silver is the only person who can set him free.

Not long afterward, Tombi arrives in the area and Annie gives him the message. Though he is doubtful about what she says at first, the Native American who hunts shadow spirits comes to understand the abilities of the witch are his only means of helping his friend escape a dire existence. Knowing there is peril from an unknown source, Tombi has little choice but to get assistance from Annie. But as he realizes the malevolent spirits in the swamp are getting stronger, worry over her safety increases when his feelings become involved.

By blending Choctaw legends into many of the situations in BAYOU SHADOW HUNTER, Debbie Herbert skillfully creates a story filled with captivating wonder. By adding her own attention-grabbing developments into the mix, I became totally engrossed in the many extraordinary occurrences taking place. It was really interesting to see Annie learn how to perform hoodoo spells plus do healings. Ms. Herbert has a talent for conceiving incidents that feature the supernatural and are also unlike anything previously read. What Tombi and Annie have to face at times had my heart racing because so many things could go wrong. Just thinking about the many unknown dangers in the swamp gives me the chills, and vivid descriptions let me live through the ordeals right along with these two characters.

Though Tombi and Annie are certainly not looking to be in a relationship at the moment, their connection is swift because of concern for others. While both actually want something from each other, the wish to stop evil from spreading unites them and brings the couple closer. The sadness Annie regularly feels because of her unwanted capabilities was easily sensed by me, and it was so good to see Tombi accept them as the truth without regarding her as crazy. With his own inherited skills, these two made a wonderful couple. While sexual desire between them may be expressed without any problems, finding the right words to convey any inner feelings is especially hard for Tombi. He has dedicated many years to fighting shadow spirits, and letting someone into his life will take almost as much courage as clashing with a horrific creature. BAYOU SHADOW HUNTER is a notable start to the Bayou Magic miniseries, where dangerous adventures and romantic desire entwine.

Copy received from author

Series:  Bayou Magic

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocturne

Releases:  March 1, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/hoxwk6z

Genre:  Paranormal

Author website:  http://www.debbieherbert.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Charmed and Dangerous by Debbie Herbert

51I4vEDcDrLThe Dark Seas series from Harlequin is one of my all-time favorites in the Nocturne line, and the talent of Debbie Herbert to create enthralling paranormal stories makes her Appalachian Magic series equally fascinating. A New Adult romance, the first book has a witch with a complicated background becoming involved with an immortal who is very wary of her kind. Throughout their complicated relationship, difficult choices must be made when futures are at stake. CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is magically enchanting.

When Callie Bradford was twelve, she and a friend decided to use a hidden Ouija board in her home for fun. But right after the event which had a scary ending, the witch was sent away for seven years and had little contact with anyone back in Alabama. Now Callie has been summoned to come home but not told why. During a morning walk, she encounters another hiker, James MacLauren, and is delighted to hear both will be attending the same college next semester. While she enjoys being around the young man, she knows any of her capabilities as a witch must be kept secret.

Callie does not realize James is an immortal with his own distinctive skills that few know about. When he accidently discovers she is a witch, he thinks being around one of her kind could be disastrous if she turns on him. After finally told the reason for being called back to the area is for her protection, Callie has a hard time thinking the danger is real. Yet upon learning her supposedly long dead father is a powerful warlock who practices dark magic, Callie starts to believe the peril may be genuine. When several disturbing incidents seem to be connected to her upcoming birthday with its special significance, the relationship she has with James is truly tested.

With lots of original details, CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is constantly entertaining. I really liked how Debbie Herbert included plenty of unique aspects in the story, such as the Dismals Canyon, an actual place in Alabama. How crystals and other practices used by witches are depicted all through the book is certainly intriguing, and it made scenes seem much more convincing to me. Facts about rituals and spells added even more credibility, making me think the events actually could have happened as portrayed.

There are many likable characters in the story, from the main couple to her good friends, and I enjoyed seeing how these college age individuals reacted to each other and any situations featuring the paranormal. I really loved how the author gave James and Callie normal problems teenagers must face along with many challenging consequences of having supernatural abilities. James is a great hero, as he often listens to his heart instead of what his mind recommends. Though Callie is often puzzled over what is taking place in her life, I liked how she tried to find solutions without bringing any true harm to others, even though she could. Any sexual interaction between Callie and James is understated yet perfectly fit their budding relationship. I am thrilled more characters in the Appalachian Magic series get their own book. CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is cleverly imaginative.

Series:  Appalachian Magic

Publisher:  Secret Quills Press

Releases: January 28, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/hmvgalx

Genre:  Paranormal

Author website:  http://www.debbieherbert.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars