Tour’s Books Blog

September 24, 2009

Two Short Reviews: Paranormal Romances

Well I’ve been busy doing other things besides reading this past week – like doing some serious sulking because I had a head cold.  I do not enjoy being sick and I notice that my attention span for reading is limited when I’m busy being crabby and feeling persecuted by the evil cold virus.  No, I didn’t have flu.  I had a head cold, a plain old, boring head cold.  I’m disgusted.  Well, I did get some reading done, and it was a slow week for ebooks, but what with one thing or another I have enough for some reviews.

  • Title: Weremones
  • Author: Buffi BeCraft-Woodall
  • Type: Paranormal romance
  • Genre: Psychic meets alpha werewolf
  • Sub-genre: Suburban shifters
  • My Grade: C+ (3.2*)
  • Rating: NC-17
  • Length: Full novel
  • Where Available: print only from New Concepts Publishing

Weremones is a book I won in a game on the Paperback Swap site.  I only recently began playing various elephant swaps and getting involved with virtual boxes.  This is one of the books I won in a swap of paranormals.  Unlike many New Concepts books, this one was not an erotic romance, but it was an interesting story.  There are two more books in the series and like Weremones, they are print only.  The story line was inventive enough that I would consider getting them as well.

Weremones created a paranormal world where there was a kind of caste system among shifters, especially wolves, and also secret communities of psychics, as well as Fae and other beings.  The world is not as complete or complex as that created by Jim Butcher for his Harry Dresden books, but it is deeper than you normally see in paranormal romance.  The wolf shifters – Wolven, not were’s – are the top of the shifter food chain and rank as dangerous as Vampires as dragons.  The vamps are still around but busy just fighting with each other well away from the rest of the supernatural community.  The dragons have gone to another world and eat the unwary travelers that happen upon it.  The Wolven are integrated into human society, even though their own is tightly controlled by laws that each pack must enforced.  The link among pack member is more than instinct, it’s a psychic bond and at the top is Adam Weis, Pater Canis of his small pack.  He killer the abusive and perverted former alpha and took over a struggling pack, as well as becoming guardian of 5 teen boys who had been victims of the late alpha’s perversions.  The thread of child abuse, abuse of power, sexual perversion is fairly strong, though thankfully graphic content is limited.

Adam Weis is at his wits end trying to deal with 5 emotionally wounded males who fear him because of what the old alpha did.  He also has problems with the construction company he started with someone sabotaging the homes he’s building and killing wolven strays.  The coyotes, regarded as the untrustworthy bottom on the food chain among shifters, are out running in his territory chasing a woman through the woods. Diana Ridely came to the woods to pick up her son and somehow she found herself running for her life from a pack of coyotes.  An empath, she feel there their sick desire to tear her apart and it doesn’t feel right somehow.  She doesn’t usually pick up emotions from animals.  Hell of a time to start!   Suddenly wolves are in front of her.  She figures she dead, but these wolves don’t feel like wolves either, but they chase off the coyotes and she runs smack into this huge blond dressed in nothing but sweat pants as she watches the wolves that saved her turn into high school friends of her daughter’s.  Her system on overload, she passes out.

Adam Weis is holding a human who is more than human, she’s a psychic.  What she’s doing out in his woods and how is young wolven know her he isn’t sure, but he is sure that his wolf wants this woman, badly.  The wolven in this book are different from those in many others, behaving far more pack-like even in human form.  They share many of traits assigned to the Wolfen created by Madelaine Montague, though this troy came first and includes other supernaturals.  The dance between Diana and Adam is interesting, but more interesting is her relationship with the 5 boys and their trust in her.  They had hung out at her house like the other strays her daughter Karen, another psychic, was always bringing home.  She’d married too young and her ex-husband was a user who left her for a younger woman.  She wakes up in a strange bed, in a strange house with one of boys she knew transform from a wolf to a human.  Brandon.   Diana isn’t sure she’s ready for this, but she immediately sees the boys do behave like a pack, with Brandon’s brother Bradley acting like their leader.

The story has many layers to it beyond the two lead characters.  You have the whole struggle for teens to become adults, the letting go that parents must do, the rocky relationship between Diana and her ex, but the part that rang false was Diana’s sudden knowledge of and comfort with the supernatural community and how it functioned, as well as her sudden command of her powers.  Adam stays truer to form and grows into his uncomfortable role a Pater Canis and guardian of troubled teen boys fast becoming men.  The story was a good one, and had the occasional laugh to lighten the otherwise rather bleak tale.  A worthwhile read.

OF INTEREST:  This book was printed some while ago by the looks of paper aging.  The over all quality is much superior to what I’ve gotten from New Concepts over that past 6 months.  The binding quality was better and mostly importantly, the print was MUCH better.  In current books, the typeface is so crammed together the letters literally run into each other.  With the middle section overemphasized, it reminds me of the rounded scrawl you see from young teen girls.  The lack of any discernible spacing between letters makes for very difficult reading.  Here, the typeface was very similar, weighted to the mid-section, but with letters reasonably space, words with proper spacing and adequate spacing between lines making the text completely readable.  I addition, the clarity of the print was  far superior to what they sell today.

****************************************************************************************************

  • Title: Dominating Victoria
  • Author: Kitty DuKane
  • Type: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
  • Genre: Werewolf cop vs. human female bent on vengeance
  • Sub-genre: Light D/s; dual of wits and strength
  • My Grade: B- (3.7*)
  • Rating: NC-17 to X
  • Length: Novella – about 39,000 word
  • Where Available:  ebook at Loose-ID

I’m a sucker for paranormal romantic suspense, especially when they feature a strong female character.  This one had all the elements I like, one I’m not fond of (D/s) and a sneaky ending that appealed to me.  The balance was in favor thanks to limited D/s elements, something that often overwhelms stories with stock dialogue and  sex scenes.  And I admit I was delighted that the heroine was not so bowled over my the hero’s prowess in the bedroom she rolled over for him.  She was more than willing to fight for the vengeance she felt her due while he fought for her life and soul.

Victoria McLain was raised by her father to be as tough as any covert operator.  She trained and trained hard under his tutelage.  As a DEA agent with a price on his head, Red McLain knew he had to keep his only child a secret and make sure she could take care of herself.  DEA agents put their whole families at risk when facing off against violent drug lords, especially the slimy South Americans like Juilo and Manuel.  They killed her father, now she’s going to kill them and she can’t trust anyone, least of all the DEA.  Her dad died because the drug lord had an inside man in the agency who betrayed her father and the other agents.  She finally had Juilo cornered, but she made the mistake of trying to make him sweat first.  He might have pissed himself from fear, but she waited too long and the damn DEA burst in and stopped her from shooting the little bastard.

Hayden Hunt was a tough DEA agent – and a werewolf.  Taking down the beautiful redhead with big green eyes that had Juilo in her sights was pure pleasure, until he got a stong wiff and his wolf screamed, “MINE!” in his head.   For such a little thing she was armed to the teeth and about a stone faced and uncooperative as they got.  And she wasn’t in any database.  No driver’s license, no passport, no fingerprints anywhere and she wouldn’t give a name.  She acted just like a well trained operative, only she wasn’t with any agency or the military.  Who the hell was this woman who had his wolf clawing to get free?

The sudden onset of an acute migraine has her vomiting in the interrogation room and she lands in the hospital.  Victoria takes advantage of the less than attentive guard on her emergency room cubicle and exits by crawling along the floor from bed to bed till she gets to a unit with 3 visitors in it.  She claims she’s being chased by controlling and possessive ex and the ladies all lie to Hayden and give him dirty looks.  Her tactics of exiting the hospital are textbook.  She could teach the damn classes the agency gives.  But she’s not better than a werewolf and he’s scented his mate.

The next night he tracks her at Juilo’s estate.  Armed with an excellent sniper rifle, she damn near shoots the bastard before Hayden can stop her.  Damn, she’s good.  But he’s a whole lot bigger and he’s a werewolf and he stops her.  Victoria doesn’t know whether she wants to beat this interfering man into the ground or fuck his brains out.  He wins and she ends up strapped to a spanking bench in his house.  No, this does not get really icky with BDSM, but there is some.  It didn’t leave me feeling like my brain needed a good bath.

Both Hayden and Victoria are well drawn.  She might enjoy some kink in her sex, but she’s no one’s doormat.  She smart, self reliant and never gives up and has an acid sense of humor.  Hayden is not an alphahole, thank heavens- he’s tough, principled, and he’s not about to see his mate destroyed, even if that means an off the books operation using his packmates to help take down two sleazy, smarmy drug runners who both get what they deserve.

For a novella, this was a damn good read with all the plot and character you could reasonable expect in a short format.  Even the secondary characters are good, though the villains are straight from CSI: Miami.  I didn’t feel cheated or rushed and the story was satisfying in the way few novellas are.  The sex was good, but it wasn’t the point of the story, it added to it, rather than dominated it.   Recommended for those who enjoy romantic suspense with some spice.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for the review. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Comment by Kitty DuCane — November 13, 2009 @ 6:37 pm | Reply


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