Review: The Night House – J.C. McKenzie

The Night House Book Cover The Night House
J.C. McKenzie
Sci-Fi Romance
March 22, 2019
231

What would you pay for your freedom?

Caught by a powerful lord from the alternate realm of Arkavia, Taya’s offered the chance to avenge the dead, save her home world, and win her freedom.

Her days of stealing supplies and surviving among the remnants of Earth are over, but can she afford the price of Lord Thane’s deal?

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Taya and her friends were having a camping trip filled with food, drink and fun until a blue wave appeared and her friends turned into dust. Taya was the only one who was in the water and that was the only explanation she could come up with for why she did not end up like her friends. All she wanted to do was get home and check on her mother, father and brother but the cars wouldn’t start, the phones were dead and it appeared that nothing electronic would work.

The only thing she could think of was that this was the apocalypse so many were afraid would some day come but she would learn that this was a reaping from people of an alternate world who would drain Earth of everything it had and take those that were fortunate enough to have survived like her back as slaves. Heading to a town with the hope of getting supplies she discovered a man who also survived and he informed her of what he had overheard. The soldiers were Arkavians and they were lead by a Lord who was referred to as a Tarka. The Tarka had magic and they laid waste to the town and took whatever humans they found.

For weeks John and Taya managed to scrounge up food and added to their number. As their group got larger the need for more supplies made it necessary to attack Arkavian wagons filled with supplies and one such attack led to her capture. Her captor was Lord Thane who insisted he was not taking her as a slave but had a proposition for her. If she would serve him for one year as his assassin he would then release her giving her the opportunity to either return home which after a year would be a dry empty husk or remain with him.

She accepted his offer and he magically bound her so escape was impossible but while he was doing that they were both able to see the other ones memories and his were not pretty. A father who insisted he was illegitimate and a brother who did nothing to help him. He is from the House of Jericho ruled by his cruel father but Thane manages to stay away from him and his brother.

As an assassin Taya knew she would be in a position to protect Thane and kill Arkavians and killing them was all she wanted. In time the feelings she had for Thane went way past that of his bodyguard and assassin but she belonged to him for a year and there was no chance of anything ever happening between them. Her hope was after the year to return and search for her family.

From the very first page till the very end I was hooked on this book and read it in less than one day. Taya in spite of her circumstances never backed down and proved to be a very talented fighter. She never once cowered to Thane and he was all over him verbally and physically if she felt threatened. Thane was a wonderful man and the exact opposite of his father and brother. He was determined to find the ones responsible for not only the leaching of Earth but brutally killing any humans they found.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough because it had everything you could want from a story romance, secrets, lies, suspense, surprises and more.

Review: Dangerous Liaisons – J. C. McKenzie

Dangerous Liaisons Book Cover Dangerous Liaisons
Obsidian Flame Book 2
J. C. McKenzie
Shifter Romance
October 23, 2018
153

Dragon shifter in hiding, Lara Stone wants nothing to do with Rafael Dragoi, no matter how good he looks in and out of a suit. She plans to make enough money to disappear. Vicious attacks on dragons have increased and if Lara’s exposed as a lone shifter, she might become the next target. Her brain tells her to run, fast, but her heart tells her to melt in the heat of Raf’s gaze.

Dragon leader, Rafael Dragoi wants to protect his clan and find his mate who legends claim will break the curse looming over his family for generations. He should focus on destroying his enemies and finding his match, but he can’t get sassy Lara Stone out of his mind. Logic says he should let her run, for her safety and his sanity. Yet a chance meeting has him hooked on the scent of her skin all over again.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN THE STOKING THE FLAMES II BOX SET

Reviewed by Melissa Brus

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Lara Stone is a dragon shifter in hiding.  She is also a mage that works as a bodyguard.  Rafael Dragoi is the Astarot-or Alpha-of the Dragon enclave.  He and Lara met when he hired her to protect him from a mysterious magic attack months ago.  Rafael is once again the target of attacks when they meet again.  They have to determine if the source of the attacks could be a curse, or could be the dreaded ispolini-a species dedicated to the eradication of dragons.  When Lara discovers the curse can be lifted by Rafael finding his mate, she is faced with keeping her secrets or facing fears she has held her whole life.

This book takes our pair of commitment phobic dragons, and forces them to face not only their fears, but each other.  The fun and snark that was a huge part of the first book, and frankly was my favorite part, is less evident in this one.  It kind of has to be though, as the pair is embroiled in much more action with outside forces.  We get introduced to more of the dragon leadership.  We also learn a lot more about the lives of Lara and Rafael before we met them in the first book.  This is truly a fun series.  There is fantastic action with HEAT between Lara and Rafael that will scorch your eyebrows.   It will be interesting to see what will happen next!

Review: Dangerous Dreams – J. C. McKenzie

Dangerous Dreams Book Cover Dangerous Dreams
Obsidian Flame Book 1
J. C. McKenzie
Shifter Romance
March 1, 2018
63

What would you sacrifice to protect those you care for?

As a dragon shifter in hiding, Lara Stone wants nothing to do with others of her kind or finding a mate. No way, no how. She's perfectly content to work for a security company, masquerading as a simple mage.

When the leader of all the dragon clans personally requests her as a bodyguard, Lara fears her secret is blown, or worse. What danger could possibly make Rafael Dragoi, the powerful Astarot, seek protection?

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN THE MOON, MIST & MAGIC ANTHOLOGY

Reviewed by Melissa Brus

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Lara Stone is a mage that works as a detective/bodyguard.  Rafael Dragoi is the Astarot-or Alpha-of the Dragon enclave and is being magically attacked.  When their paths meet, secrets long held by Lara are suddenly in danger of being revealed.  This is a very quick read, but it is jam-packed with heated flirting and some hysterical banter.  My favorite thing about this story, that I truly hope are included in the rest of the series, is Lara’s internal dialogue.  This book definitely set a fantastic tone, as well as establishing a great premise with some interesting characters all in less than 100 pages!  I am looking forward to reading more to see what happens, and to hear more of what goes on in Lara’s inner struggles.

Review: Anthology – Stoking the Flames II: Tales of Legend, Lore and Everlasting Love – Various Authors

Stoking the Flames II: Tales of Legend, Lore and Everlasting Love Book Cover Stoking the Flames II: Tales of Legend, Lore and Everlasting Love
Kelly Abell, Grace Augustine, Solease M. Barner, Kathi S. Barton, Linda Boulanger, Isobelle Cate, L.J. Garland, Darlene Kuncytes, Andi Lawrencovna, J.C. McKenzie, Julia Mills, Dara Fraser, Kate Richards, Kali Willow, Victoria Zak
Anthology, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Romance, Dragons
May 22, 2018
2236

Find everlasting love in the clouds. Go back in time. Spring into the future. Soar on the wings of magic.
Discover Legends of Fate, Destiny, True Mates, and Forever Love that’s written in the Stars.

Take flight with fifteen amazingly talented bestselling authors as they bring these special Dragons to life. In each life-changing journey you will see that the heart gets what the heart wants, happily ever after is so much more than simple words at the end of a Fairy Tale, and Dragons prevail no matter the time, place, or obstacle.

This is Stoking the Flames II – spread your wings and soar with our Dragons. Once you’ve touched the clouds, felt the wind in your hair, and held the power in your hands, you will forever fly high.

Overall Rating

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

This is a fourteen story boxed set by fifteen different authors and it is the perfect read for anyone who loves dragons and romance.

Child of Grace: Soul Fire #2 – Kelly Abell-5*****Stars

Grace and Gabriel have discovered that the son they thought was dead is actually alive and they are doing everything they can to find him before it is too late. He lived with the Dark Witch and now is in the hands of a vampire all of whom have been doing everything they can to make him hate his actual parents and embrace evil. If Grace and Gabriel don’t get to him soon then Lucifer will be the one in control of his powers, which are huge and will use their son for evil. Is it too late to save him from the dark? Can Grace and Gabriel find him before it is too late and turn him to the light?

Dalgaard Castle: Grace Augustine – 5*****Stars

Brenna Dalgaard is the eldest daughter of the queen of the small Norweigan Kingdom of Taydaryn and has to face the fact that her beloved mother is dying and she will soon have to take her place as the queen. Brenna is an ice dragon and a clothing designer with a prosperous business in Chicago and being a queen and running a kingdom is not something she is prepared for she is also not prepared for the actions of her sister Eldra who wants the throne and is willing to do whatever she has to to get it even if it means killing her sister. This was a great story of jealousy, love and secrets and that is all I am going to say about it for fear of giving anything away.

Tempting Destiny: Reigning Sisters #2 – Solease M. Barner – 4****Stars

Danika Drayca’s family rule the kingdom of Hati and tradition dictates that they kingdom be ruled by siblings who rule as one. Carmen the oldest is mated and with child and that means Danika is next in line to find and mate a prince. She finds the fact that she is forced to mate hard to accept but knows that she has no choice. Things become even harder for her when she meets Raylar, a builder and a dragon very far from royalty.

Raylar Majes is not a prince but is the grandson of a God and he knows that Danika is his mate, the problem is he is not royalty and he has to win her heart and have her reject tradition and pick him. Due to a family dispute thousands of years ago between his father and grandfather all of their riches and powers were taken away but when he marries, well if he marries Danika all will be returned. Does love win over tradition?

Simeon: Kathi S. Barton-2**Stars

I found this book to be very hard to get through due to the fact that there were so many characters and it went from one time period to another. I was able to get through some of the book but by the half way mark I just went to the end. The story just went on and on. It is the story of a Fairie warrior named Brynhilde who is given the task of delivering a book to one of the sons of the king, a book that would help rebuild the castle that was destroyed. Bryn searches for the Dragon King Asher who she is to deliver the book to. Unfortunately during her search so much goes on and so many characters appear that I was lost.

On Wings of Fire: Lochlainn Guardians #2: Linda Boulanger – 3***Stars

This is a story of love transcending time and is filled with surprises and betrayals. When Brianna the daughter of Lord Evermore found herself in a compromising situation with Derak Dugan she managed to run away and was prepared to tell her parents that she would not accept his proposal. Unfortunately a fire kept her from doing what she intended and it was a fire that would send her 220 years into the future where she would meet Will Tavish the man she fell in love with but couldn’t have because they both returned to the past where she knew she had to do her parents proud and marry the man they chose for her in spite of him being, in her eyes a monster. But first she finishes her duty to Will and gives him what he needs to become who he really is supposed to be. Why she was sent into the future, what her relationship with Will really is and if she marries Derak is not something I will reveal but I will say it is a story all about dragons and love but at times the jump back and forth in time could get confusing.

Dragon Slayer,Dragon Light: Isobelle Cate – 4****Stars

Ty Cameron a.k.a. Perseus of Rhodes is a dragonslayer and for hundreds of years he has searched for his Omega the dragon who possesses his soul. His Omega is Lia Deveraux and after searching for so long he finally has her in his sights bathing at a lagoon. Ty manages to hurt her but since she is a water dragon she manages to go so deep that Ty has no choice but to let go. Hurt she is saved by a hermit named Eamon. This is 1782 and it is the beginning of Ty and Lia’s story. When he meets her in her human form he cannot tell that she is a dragon or his Omega and she of course has no idea that he is a dragonslayer, her dragonslayer. Although they fall in love the truth will come out and then it will depend on how strong their love is for each other and if they can put everything they have been taught aside and be together, dragonslayer and his Omega. Does love conquer all?

Legend of a Dragon: Of a Dragon #2 – L.J. Garland – 2**Stars

This story begins with Dayr Xindu captured and watching a video of himself telling him that he can’t trust the Tav Legion of which he is a new recruit but unfortunately the rest of the story left me lost. I found it hard to read through the entire book and that could be due to the fact that Sci-Fi is not one of my favorite genres and this story takes place on an unknown planet filled with so many characters and places that I couldn’t keep up.

Winter’s Kiss: Darlene Kuncytes – 5*****Stars

Maddox Westbrook has been given some very disturbing news from the family Seer, he is the first born son and it is time for him to mate and rule. This is all legend but something his mother wants to happen and Maddox definitely doesn’t. Maddox has no intention of mating with anyone and giving up his freedom so he rushes off to his cottage to get away from the two women who seem to have his life decided for him.

Wynter Clarke is a green witch who was left to practically grow up on her own. She had noone to guide her in her magic but was doing pretty well on her own. A walk in the woods to gather supplies led her to a crop of mushrooms and although a storm was brewing she couldn’t leave the mushrooms behind. Unfortunately in her quest to gather them she fell down a ravine and fell into the water. If it wasn’t for Maddox in his dragon form seeing her in the water she would have drowned. She awoke with no memory but knew without a doubt that she was attracted to Maddox and trusted him.

Mushrooms brought her to Maddox and Nico Black the were alpha who has wanted her for years was not about to let Maddox have her,even if he wanted her. This is were the story takes a turn and where Maddox and Wynter’s relationship changes.

The Dragon’s Storm: A Breath of Fyre: The Neverlands Saga – Andi Lawrencovna- 3***Stars

Ouros, a dragon fell in love with a Djinn, a Djinn that he believed he would be bonded with only to find out that she betrayed him. She convinced him that she wanted the priests to attend their bonding but that was a lie they were there to chain him in iron mixed with her blood and put him at the bottom of the sea where he would spend nearly one thousand years. The only thing that could free him was Djinn blood but he has long given up on that ever happening.

Havence (Ven) is the granddaughter, actually great many times over of the one that betrayed him. She is also a Djinn and hears his call from below the sea. Without Ouros and his ability to bring rain everything has turned into a giant desert and water is as valuable as gold since there is very little of it. Imprisoning him brought nothing but disaster.

Ven’s blood would be required to free Ouros, but whether he is freed or not I am not going to reveal. I will say that a bond begins to form between the two even as he sits chained to the sea bottom. There are secrets revealed, secrets of why he was betrayed and who was the driving force behind everything that happened.

Dangerous Liaisons: An Obsidian Flame Story – J.C. McKenzie –   5*****Stars

Lara Stone is a dragon and has kept that a secret from everyone even Rafael Dragoi the leader of all the dragons and the Obsidian Dragon Clan who also happens to be her mate.Lara knows that as a dragon without a clan she is always in danger from their deadly enemy the Ispolini a vicious paranormal beast determined to destroy all dragons. She knows that she has very strong feelings for Raf but she also knows that as her mate he would be over protective and try to control her something she refuses to allow in spite of her dragon trying to push her into his arms.

Rafael met Lara when he hired her as a bodyguard but had no idea that she was a dragon or his mate but yet he had a very strong attraction to her. He never wanted a mate inspite of the curse, a curse that you will find out all about when you read this story. Like Lara, Raf never wanted a mate he always felt that it was a forced relationship and not one based on love but he will learn how wrong he is.

When Lara and Raf’s lives are in danger and a traitor is discovered in their circle they will learn that secrets can kill. Loved this story and loved Raf and strong, stubborn Lara and I can’t overlook Lara’s dragon who brought humor to this story.

Raynor: Dragon Guard Berserkers #3 – Julia Mills – 5*****Stars

Raynor MacLeod is known as the Beserker and shares his soul with the Dragon King. For three centuries he was imprisoned and tortured and six months ago he finally got his freedom. He was finally able to exact revenge against his enemies, the ones who imprisoned him and now he just waits for death until he rescues Elizabeth Wentworth when her car crashed.

Lizzie suffers from acute emphatic abilities that keep her a prisoner in her own home. When she finally decided to risk mingling with others she found herself upside down in her car. While in prison Raynor and Lizzie touched minds and she painted what she remembered, the Beast. After Raynor healed her and even knowing that she was his mate he left her for her own protection but unfortunately he left her alone to face an enemy she never knew she had. What happens between the two is not something I will go into but I will say that this story was wonderful, the characters were wonderful and there was sex and betrayal.

Dragon of Her Dreams: Scorched Ember:Guardians of the Zodiac: Taurus #2: Dara Fraser & Kate Richards – 4****Stars

In 1824 all dragons were captured and placed in an orb leaving their human halves empty. Now Franz of the House of Flame has come to release the dragons with the help of Rosalind Ramaah. Rosalind lives on a farm and this village still lives in the past with no modern appliances, running water or any mode of transportation other than wagons drawn by horses or oxen.

Rosalind as the ability to see the future in her dreams and she knew that Franz was coming. He is the most unlikely of his three brothers to be the heir of the throne but his first brother went to free the dragons and was killed and the second brother is disabled leaving the one everyone calls the playboy. Franz hopes that he can do the job he was sent for but doubts his abilities. In addition he realizes that Rosalind is his mate but he must return home when his mission is done and she is tied to her farm. Rosalind and Franz need to find the dragons before it is too late because there is danger waiting.

Curse of the Dragon’s Lair: The Legend of Dragon’s Peak – Kali Willow – 5*****Stars

Vala is the youngest of nine sisters, they are dragon witches and their mother was tried and killed for being a witch. When Vala felt that she and her sisters were in danger she devised a plan where they would shield the castle and protect themselves but the spell did not turn out as she planned because when she woke up her sisters were frozen solid and she was just defrosting. What she would soon find out is that two hundred years had passed and she still needed to find a way to release her sisters from their frozen tomb.

When she meets two brothers from the Southern Dragon Clan, Tyr and Jera she finds herself with allies in her fight to undo the curse that her family is living under. Along the way the three of them find themselves more than allies and in addition to helping free Vala’s sisters and end the curse they work at bringing the castle into the twenty-first century and it was fun watching as Vala learned to adapt to all the modern conveniences.

I loved this story it was filled with love, sex and a psychotic grandmother. Gargoyles, shifters and all manner of paranormals were in this story and it was everything I could have wanted in a paranormal book.

Hearts Under Fire: Victoria Zak – 4****Stars

Stone MacMarcus was hired by the Dragon Bureau of Investigation to take care of a serious problem, one of his own men has gone rogue and he has to eliminate the problem. Even after shooting the rogue dragon he managed to shift and fly away only to fall from the sky dead.

Cynthia Sinclaire is the lead crime scene investigator for the Dragon Flight Unit and she is called in to investigate the dead dragon shifter. She finds a thumb drive on the man and puts it in her pocket, it was that thumb drive that Stone was searching for because if it fell into the wrong hands it could be deadly. When he appears before Cyn who is his mate and left him a year ago with a broken heart the old feelings that both of them thought they had under control are reignited but Cyn refuses to give in. Stone is always keeping secrets leading her to believe he doesn’t trust her and now nothing has changed. He refuses to explain why he has showed up and what he is after.

I don’t want to give too much away but there is betrayal and some very sinister things happening to she-dragons. Can Cyn and Stone keep the thumb drive from falling into the wrong hands and is there any hope of them getting back together in spite of how much they love each other.

This boxed set will satisfy any lover of paranormal, especially dragons and I highly recommend it.

Review: Moon, Mist, & Magic: A Paranormal Romance Anthology – McKenzie, Kelley, Saracino, Bonatch, Owen

Moon, Mist, & Magic: A Paranormal Romance Anthology Book Cover Moon, Mist, & Magic: A Paranormal Romance Anthology
JC McKenzie, LA Kelley, Sharon Saracino, Maureen L. Bonatch, and Abigail Owen
Paranormal Romance
Self
August 4, 2016
263

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

A Ghost of a Chance – Abigail Owen: 5*****Stars

This is a Legendary Consultants story and I highly recommend reading the other books in this series. Josie Barton has been visited by her brother Peter’s ghost, who is in desperate need of her help. Peter is laying at the bottom of a cliff near death and it is imperative that Josie find his body as soon as possible before he is dead. In order to save him she must go to Peter’s best friend Bryce Evans and the man she has always loved but who she walked away from. An incident occurred six years ago during her freshman year of college and from that moment on she has turned away from everyone she loves. Now she needs Bryce’s help and is unsure how she can get it without revealing the secret she has kept from him, she sees ghosts. I don’t want to go into too much but this is a wonderful story.

Dangerous Dreams – J.C. McKenzie: 5*****Stars

This is the prequel to Obsidian Flame and before I start my review I want to state that I can’t wait for the rest of this series. This story gave me a taste of what is to come and I can’t wait for more. Lara Stone is a dragon shifter who has managed to keep that a secret. Her birth parents protected her and her adoptive parents changed her name and introduced her as a mage. Now as a mage she has been summoned to Rafael Dragoi, the leader of the Obsidian Dragon Clan and the whole entire dragon enclave. He needs her to be his bodyguard and she has to do everything in her power to keep him from finding out what she really is. Putting these two together can only lead to trouble.

Myths & Legends 101 – L.A. Kelley: 5*****Stars

Jim Calloway is a new professor at Octavian College in the Anthropology Department. He is giving a lesson in an old building on campus when an elderly man in a Hawaiian shirt appears. The gentleman is Toshi Yamada, and he did not appear on the roster but he was there none the less. It seems that Mr. Yamade senses a succubus in the building and has decided to attend Jim’s classes to destroy the demon. Jim has no idea that Toshi will change his life in more ways than one. First he will introduce him to the idea of a demon that really exists and then his granddaughter will have an influence on him.

The Keeper – Sharon Saracino: 5*****Stars

Olivia Duncan is a doctor and works in the morgue. Her latest body is a leopard shifter who apparently died at the hands of a vampire. His stomach was filled with silver coins. This death has really shaken her up because she has a secret, a secret she once revealed. When she was working in a clinic near Syracuse she was convinced that she was totally alone and that no none would she her shift, but the dead shifter came from Syracuse and there is every reason for her to feel he had seen her when she shifted. Olivia knows that she is the cause of the shifter’s death and then the near death of her assistant another leopard shifter. It is the appearance of Nick Alexios her keeper when she finally faces what is expected of her and it is not something she is willing to embrace.

Witch You Were Here – Maureen L. Bonatch: 5*****Stars

This is a Just My Type series story, a series I will be following now that I have had a taste. Shane Tower has hired Lucy Rhae, a witch, to discover who in his company is using magic and holding a grudge against him. What Shane did not realize is that Lucy is actually a girl from high school called Betty, who has held a grudge against him for ten years. She has blamed him for giving her the nickname “Sweaty Betty”, something he insists was not his doing. When Shane realizes who she is, he wants her to remove a tattoo that he blames her for, she also insists it wasn’t her. Now ten years later they may finally get the truth and can actually admit they both had liked each other.   

This was an amazing anthology with authors that I am very familiar with and some that I will now be adding to my ‘to-read’ list. I have read many of J.C. McKenzie’s books and loved them all, as well as Sharon Saracino and Abigail Owen. These stories just whet my appetite for more. I totally recommend this anthology to anyone who loves paranormal romances and who are not familiar with some of these authors. This is the perfect way to be introduced to authors you may not know and will most likely want to learn more about.