Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

Following Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs, the second in a hilarious, smart, sexy romantic series about an out-of-work librarian who is turned into a vampire.

With her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that she’s expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.

Meanwhile, the passing of Jane’s future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiancĂ©, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow has finally met her match.

Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilbur’s marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?

Combining Mary Janice Davidson’s sass and the charm of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, this is an incredibly satisfying read for fans of paranormal romantic comedy.

Where to Buy

This book picks up more or less where the first book left off, though there is the implication that a certain amount of time has passed. Jane continues to settle into undead life while having to deal with a variety of different relationship issues, both her own and others'. She manages to navigate all the pitfalls with grace (for the most part anyway), sass, and good ol' Southern charm. While there are certainly limits to how much crap she'll put up with from others, and she rarely hesitates to stand up for herself, still she recognizes that sometimes you have to pick your battles and compromise is often the best policy. Still, for all the leeway she's willing to give those around her, she draws some definite lines in the sand that those others would do well not to try to cross.

How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

Our favorite zombie Angel Crawford has come a long way from her days as a pain-pill-addicted high school dropout with a felony record. After a year highlighted by murder, kidnapping, and the loss of her home, all she wants to do is kick back, relax, and maybe even think about college.

But when key members of the “Zombie Mafia” go missing, she has no choice but to get involved. Angel is certain Saberton Corporation is behind the disappearances, yet she can’t shake the sense that a far deeper conspiracy is at work. With the small band of friends she can trust, Angel strikes out to track down the missing zombies.

Where to Buy

The Angel we've come to know and love is back, and this time she gets yanked WAY out of her comfort zone when Saberton makes a bold move against the Tribe (as her group of zombie friends calls themselves). Anxious not to let her friends down, she goes all in on the rescue efforts and learns a bit more about herself, her capabilities, and her limits. She learns how to shine, and how to be more than she ever thought she could be, but will the stress and constant demands of the operation and her new lifestyle end up proving too much for a simple girl from the bayou to handle?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper

Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.

Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She's forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn't enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What's a nice undead girl to do?

Where to Buy

Molly Harper is usually a good choice when you're looking for something light and humorous with perhaps a bit of suspense thrown in, and this book is no exception to that. With characters that are genuinely like-able, or at least in the like-to-hate category, it's a fun read that you rarely have to think too hard about. While some things are a bit predictable, much that happens isn't, and following some of the twists and turns is half the fun.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Night Lover by Rosanna Leo

Canadian soprano Renata Bruno is tired of waiting for her big break. Unfortunately, her boss, the conductor of a chamber ensemble, sees her as little more than background material. When she learns of an opportunity to sing solo with a different troupe in England, she knows she must seize it. Especially when she hears the group is to perform Mozart's Requiem, her favorite work.

As soon as Renata decides to make her move, a strange, sultry presence invades her life. She begins dreaming of a man, one who makes love to her, bewitching her. It isn't long before her night lover leaves startling proof of his nocturnal presence, making her doubt her senses.

To compound her discomfort, she learns her new conductor is the college boyfriend who broke her heart years ago. As Renata grapples with old hurts and renewed passion, she must also fend off the increasingly fervent advances of her night-time visitor. She realizes she is under the influence of an incubus, a sexual demon.

It becomes harder to resist the incubus when she learns he has a name and had a tragic history. The more she discovers about his past, the more she realizes they are linked in more ways than one. Renata begins to rediscover love and her sense of faith, but will it be enough to save her night lover from an evil curse? And will it destroy her in the process?

Where to Buy

Another amazing departure from the norm for Rosanna Leo, though this one does take her back into paranormal romance territory rather than contemporary. That said, this still reads as much like a contemporary as it does a paranormal so those who generally prefer contemporaries shouldn't rule this one out simply because of the other-worldly element to it. As with all her books, the characters are very realistic and have their problems and failings just like real people do. There are many familiar themes at work here, yet they are presented in such a unique way as to be fresh and not entirely as predictable as you might think.

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland

Our favorite white trash zombie, Angel Crawford, has enough problems of her own, what with dealing with her alcoholic, deadbeat dad, issues with her not-quite boyfriend, the zombie mafia, industrial espionage and evil corporations. Oh, and it’s raining, and won’t let up.

But things get even crazier when a zombie movie starts filming in town, and Angel begins to suspect that it’s not just the plot of the movie that's rotten. Soon she's fighting her way through mud, blood, bullets and intrigue, even as zombies, both real and fake, prowl the streets.

Angel’s been through more than her share of crap, but this time she’s in way over her head. She’ll need plenty of brainpower to fit all the pieces—and body parts—together in order to save herself, her town, and quite possibly the human race.

Where to Buy

Those who have read the first two books of this series should pretty much know what to expect from this book and for the most part you won't be wrong. Angel is still her adorable self and she continues to ratchet the respect bar higher and higher in her continuing journey of self-discovery and ever-growing self-confidence and self-respect. Many of the stories from the first books are continued here and explored further, some from different and sometimes surprising angles. Again there are tropes at work here that I don't personally care for usually, but they didn't annoy me as much in this book as they did in the last one. Perhaps because there are enough surprises in store to keep things interesting.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Vice by Rosanna Leo

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protester hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler.

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control...and losing themselves.

Where to Buy

Warning: This review may contain some mild spoilers

This book book represented a departure for Rosanna Leo from her usual sort of romance which is generally light-hearted at its core despite any temporary forays into darker scenes or subjects. Even when things are dire for her characters, there's generally plenty of humor to be found to keep things from getting too dark. While this book does have some light moments as well as flashes of humor, the overall tone is much darker, grittier, and at times almost downright depressing. And yet, it is exactly this sort of edgy realism that makes this such a great story in my opinion, for the characters here are real, with real problems and failings, and just as in real life there are no easy solutions for them. Love and attraction aren't necessarily magic wands that make everything better, and in fact they can actually be part of the problem at times, a fact that is highlighted well here.