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 The Monster Librarian Presents:

Paranormal Romance and Erotica


Ever dream of dating something tall, dark, and deadly. Whether it is vampires, werewolves, or even zombies (who knew!), readers enjoying dating on the darkside and these are some titles along those lines.


Rhonda Wilson interviews paranormal romance/erotica writer Devyn Quinn.



Silencing Sam by Julie Kramer*New Review

2010, Pocket Books Fiction

ISBN: 978-1-4391-7800-3

Available: New

        TV reporter Riley Spartz finds herself in hot water yet again in Julie Kramer’s Silencing Sam. The third book surrounding Spartz’s unconventional sleuthing skills has her tracking down who killed Sam Pierce, a newspaper columnist who has more than his fair share of enemies, including Spartz. Naturally, as these stories are wont to do, Spartz is implicated in the murder and she must not only find a way to prove her innocence, she must maintain her television ratings and helps solve two other grisly murders at the same time. Kramer knows the journalism field and spices it up just enough to provide large doses of humor and intrigue while focusing on real issues.

        Kramer has quite obviously done extensive research into the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota region, which brings the story to life and gives it an authentic air. She’s great at queuing in plot devices to keep the pacing brisk while leaving the real culprit just behind the reveal curtain. While Silencing Sam is not Kramer’s first book surrounding the Riley Spartz character, it is not necessary to read the first two titles (Stalking Susan and Missing Mark) prior to reading this third installment. Each book can be read independently. Readers’ advisory note: this story is written in the first-person.

Recommended for public library mystery/thriller collections.

Contains: while violence is discussed, it is not overly graphic or gory.

Reviewed by Kelly Fann




Divine by Mistake by P.C. Cast

Harlequin, 2009

ISBN: 9780373803163

Available: New and Used

A probable case of self-insertion on the part of the author leads to strong character building in this fish-out-of-water tale of an ordinary English teacher transported to a magical world to take the place of her soul-twin (who just happens to be the incarnation of a goddess). Heavy on European mythology, Wicca magic, and sassiness, Divine by Mistake is richly written, but the tale is a predictable fantasy romance (as predictable as a romance between a shape shifting centaur shaman and a new goddess-incarnate can be).

Shannon finds herself literally in the shoes of Rhiannon, an ill-tempered (and promiscuous) Favored One on the edge of war and about to undergo a handfasting to the centaur High Shaman. Unlike Rhiannon, who abandoned a stranger to her problems instead of trying to solve them, Shannon embraces her new identity (who wouldn't with an automatic, hot husband and a load of nymphish servants? Not to mention the clothes, horses, castles, etc. that come with being a goddess incarnate).

Some readers will be able to let the tale wrap them up in a fantasy escape, while others will find Shannon and her story eye-roll worthy. Divine by Mistake is a “love it or hate it book” that will appeal more to romance fans than traditional fantasy fans. It's likely to be a popular addition to a public collection though, due to the popularity of its author (though personally I just didn't feel that Shannon carried the story as well as Zoey, the main character of Cast’s young adult House of Night books, does.)

One major word of warning—this book is not appropriate for a majority of Cast's younger teen audience as it contains sexual context that's definitely at an adult level.

Contains: sexual themes, blunt sexual language & sexual situation, some violence 

Reviewed by: Michele Lee




When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck

Random House Publishing Group, 2010

ISBN: 9780440245773

Available: New
    When Blood Calls is billed as a “dark” paranormal romance. It certainly has its share of darkness- it starts with the aftermath of a brutal murder. Unfortunately, it’s short on romance. Sara, the heroine, first appears as a brief memory of a one night stand while Lucius, the murderous vampire “hero” is waiting for the paranormal police to take him out.  We don’t actually meet her until more than thirty pages in (and there was enough profanity in the first 25 pages that I almost didn’t make it that far), and once we do… well, there’s a limit to how much I can suspend my disbelief, and I reached it here as Sara Constantine, a brand new district attorney was promoted to the “paranormal division” of the LAPD just in time to take charge of prosecuting the guy with whom she just had fabulous sex.  And J.K. Beck has written some breathtaking sex scenes. I was amazed that Sara could see straight, or keep from melting into a puddle… forget effectively prosecuting the defendant.
    The chemistry between Lucius and Sara is undeniable, but it’s also creepy. Lucius is obsessed enough with Sara to stalk her, and, in spite of the fact that she’s just put away a serial killer, she allows him past significant paranormal defenses installed in her apartment for her protection. She sets aside her strong belief in the system to protect him when she’s supposed to be prosecuting him, although he is unrepentant about his actions. Lucius claims her presence is soothing, but it never seems to slow his amoral actions down- instead, he uses her as his get-out-of-trouble-free card. Their actions don’t show growth or real connection. Sara’s willingness to set her principles aside when it comes to Lucius is depressing, and Lucius’s attitude towards the law and toward Sara doesn’t change at all.  
    This is the first in a trilogy, and J.K. Beck has done some great world-building here, implying that there’s more to many of the characters that we meet here, like paranormal cops Tucker and Doyle, and creating an impressive law enforcement division for paranormal crimes. She sets up some good opportunities for conflict through vampire and werewolf politics that will likely complicate more straightforward storylines. I can only hope that Lucius and Sara and their relationship fall into the background and other, more convincing, relationships take center stage as Beck explores the world she’s created.
It’s hard to imagine an audience this book might satisfy. Libraries looking to build their paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy collections have many other choices, and this may not be the best use for limited funds.  The other two books in this collection are due out later this year, and depending on how the trilogy develops, as the world-building is very interesting, it may be worth it to take a second look at this after all three volumes are in print.

Review by Kirsten Kowalewski


Siren's Call by Devyn Quinn

Signet, 2010

ISBN: 978045123093

Available: New

    Siren’s Call is the first novel in Devyn Quinn’s new Dark Tides trilogy.  The lead heroine, Tessa Lonike, is not your typical lighthouse keeper, as she is also a mermaid.  One night, while keeping watch, she sees a man attempting to commit suicide and uses her special powers in order to save him, unbeknownst to him.  Many months later, her two sisters hire on a man, Kenneth Randall, to help Tessa out with repairs on her island.  Tessa is less than thrilled that her sisters had gone against her wishes and hired someone to help her, though once they both find out each other’s secrets… his being that he was the man she had rescued and hers being that she is a mermaid… she starts reconsidering things.  And that narcissistic personality she had aimed at him goes to the wayside a bit.  Unfortunately, things don’t just go to a “happily ever after” ending, as Tessa’s ex-fiancé comes along stating that he has evidence to help her find out more about her family and background.  Now, with both guys in the picture, and with the surprising knowledge that Tessa learns about her family, she has a lot to consider about her future.
    Whereas Quinn’s previous titles have had a strong erotic edge to them, Siren’s Call takes things down a notch and makes for a more sensual read.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t any sex in the book, but the scenes are tamed down a bit so that even those who blush easily can handle reading the novel.  Siren’s Call is not only a love story, it is also a novel about self-discovery.  Tessa has wanted for years to discover more about her heritage, and throughout the story, that’s exactly what she does.  In the process, she also learns a bit more about herself as a person as she discovers that she doesn’t have to be  hard-nosed, but can open up to people who care about her and even have a close relationship.  The blend of action and romance that Quinn has spun together in this beautiful tale of discovery should please all readers of the romance genre as it truly is a magnificent tail (pun fully intended).  Highly recommend for all fans of romance books!
Contains:  Adult Language, Adult Situations, Sex
Review by Rhonda Wilson


Sins of the Night by Devyn Quinn

Aphrodisia, 2008

ISBN: 9780758220189

Available: New and Used

    Following its prequel, Sins of the Flesh, Sins of the Night jumps forward a bit in time to the final stages of pregnancy for the main heroine from the first book, Rachel Carnavorn, with her husband, Devon’s child.  The Kynn have never known a child to be born within their “race” and Rachel is struggling through the process.  To add even more stress to her condition, another vampire has popped up… and old “friend” of Devon’s named Adrien Roth.  Adrien once hunted the Kynn, and one kill he did succeed at was the murder of Devon’s previous love, Ariel.  In order to get revenge on Adrien, Devon had Ariel’s sister Lilith turn him into one of their kind, thinking that would be the worst thing that could happen to him.  However, Lilith went beyond that and tortured Adrien for weeks, causing him to want revenge.  And that revenge he wants to take out on Devon’s new wife, Rachel, and their unborn child.
    Even more action-packed then Sins of the Flesh, Devyn Quinn really heats things up in this second novel of the Kynn.  Not only is the reader left to wonder how things will turn out with the first Kynn birth, but readers are left wondering throughout the book if there even WILL be a Kynn birth, since both Rachel’s life and the baby’s is in jeopardy due to Adrien’s character.  While reading, I formed a love/hate relationship with Adrien’s character.  I sympathized with him for the torture he had endured in his past, yet he instigated some of that with the murder of Ariel.  And then while seeking out revenge of his own, he stumbles across a woman that he is instantly attracted to, and I feel hope that maybe she can help soothe things over given the circumstances.  Sins of the Night is a bit of a rollercoaster ride all the way through and as any ride, it came to an end way too quickly!  Looking forward to seeing where Quinn may take the Kynn in the future.    Highly recommend to all readers!
Contains:  Adult Language, Adult Situations, Graphic Sex, Minor Violence
Review by Rhonda Wilson


Sins of the Flesh by Devyn Quinn

Aphrodesia, 2007

ISBN: 9780758220172

Available: New

    Sins of the Flesh is the first of a series, which introduces readers to the life of Rachel Marks and Devon Carnavorn.  Due to lack of funds, Rachel has been forced to close down her bookstore. In search of a new job, she stumbles upon an ad for a local Goth-themed nightclub, Mystique, hiring for several positions.  She goes in for an interview and after being interrogated by both Devon, the owner of Mystique, and his assistant, she accepts the job.  Even upon first meeting, there is sexual tension between Rachel and Devon, which increases in intensity as the novel continues.  Not only is Rachel pulled into the world of the Goth club, but Devon introduces her into his own world, the world of the Kynn… a world of vampires.  After getting attached to Rachel, Devon’s difficult decision is whether he should turn her or not as he is unsure of whether she is ready to fully take on a whole new life.
Devyn Quinn charges in full-steam ahead with this introduction into the world of the Kynn.  She throws the reader, as well as the heroine, Rachel, directly in line of bad boy Devon right away and with the tension building from the start, you know things are going to heat up.  However, Sins of Flesh has more going on than the title and cover art suggest.  The pages of this book are filled with a couple of major key plotlines that tie together nicely to bring both Rachel into Devon’s life and then for Devon to bring her into his “Kynn life”.  The balance of storyline, dialogue, and “the naughty bits” is very well-balanced throughout the book as Quinn is a talented writer and knows how to keep the reader interested.  Naughty with just a hint of nice sprinkled throughout, Sins of Flesh leaves the reader craving more!  Highly recommended for any readers that don’t mind a few intense sex scenes within the pages of their books.
Contains:  Adult Language, Adult Situations, Graphic Sex, Minor Violence
Review by Rhonda Wilson



Lucky Stiff by Tonia Brown

Library of the Living Dead Press, 2010

ISBN: 9891452833972

Available: New

Peter Lyles is an average eighteen-year-old college student—studious, boring, and bad with girls.  While on spring break in New Orleans, Peter accidently overdoses and dies in his hotel room.  In their grief, shock and fear Peter’s friends take him to a Voodoo practitioner and he’s brought back to life—actually he’s turned into a zombie.  Peter says goodbye to his friends, tells his parents he’s quit school and spends the next five years in the swamps of Louisiana learning how to live as a zombie.
              Peter learns the ways of sex magic from his Voodoo madam.  He reads her books, learns how to keep himself from decaying in the heat, and he has LOTS of sex.  Eventually he is sent out into the world to find his own way and build a life.  Peter goes to see his parents and he tells them the truth about what he is, but they don’t believe him.  He leaves and has no other contact with them for a long time.  Peter travels from place to place for the next few years.  After some time he settles down and goes to work for an escort service.  Peter likes his new life and stays longer than he planned…he even falls in love.  Through all his years he has kept his hunger for flesh at bay.  One fateful night, however his past finally catches up with him and he must face his fears.
              Tonia Brown has written a pretty good story in Lucky Stiff.  It’s a nice change of pace to have one zombie because of Voodoo as opposed to an entire world full of them due to the apocalypse.  When I hear “erotic horror” the first thing I think of is vampires, not zombies. Tonia Brown gets huge props for combining great sex and a zombie.  How Ms. Brown brings Peter back as a zombie is extremely imaginative.  The climax—no pun intended—of the story is quite unexpected.  However I thought the end of the book was just a little too neat.  I like my horror messy, including the end.  Overall it’s a fun read, and I recommend it to fans of erotic horror.
Adult Content
Review by
Colleen Wanglund



Undead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley, 2009
ISBN:  978-0-425-22773-2
Available:  New and Used

    MaryJanice Davidson's 8th installment of the Undead series (also known as the Betsy the Vampire series) is written from two different perspectives throughout the book.  Half of the book is written directly from Betsy's point of view and the other half is written from the view of Dr. Mark Spangler, who is one of Betsy's roommates.  Betsy, her boyfriend Sinclair, their adopted son BabyJon, and her best friend Jessica fly off to Cape Cod at the start of the book to visit the Wyndham Werewolves.  They are on a mission to return the deceased body of their fellow werewolf, Antonia, to them.  The Wyndham Werewolves are more accusing than welcoming, as they can't comprehend how one of their own could have died protecting a vampire!  Adding to the stress between the werewolves and the vampires is BabyJon.  The werewolves seem to be uneasy around him, but Betsy can't fathom why they would be uncomfortable around a baby.  It seems there might be a bit more to BabyJon than meets the eye.
    While Betsy is away, sister Laura, the Antichrist, has a bit of her own "party" going on.  She has sent their friend Tina away, brought in a group of Satan Worshipers, and has even started killing vampires.  Mark is doing everything he can to get in touch with Betsy, but unfortunately every time he sends her an e-mail he types it in text messaging shorthand and Betsy can't seem to translate it.  Sinclair tries to call Tina to check in after not having heard from Tina in a few days and finds out that their phone service had been cancelled.  It looks like the only way to find out what is going on is to head home, but they can't do that until they resolve the whole "war" with the werewolves on how it is Antonia died.  Just your average Betsy week, right?
    Once again, MaryJanice Davidson has written a light, fun read that the reader will fly right through and that leaves you wanting more.  The quirky dialogue is always what I most look forward to in a Davidson book and this one is no different.  In this particular book, I think some of the funniest lines were in the emails sent from Mark to Betsy where he was using the text messaging shorthand.  Betsy was having a lot of trouble figuring them out, but it was fun sorting them out.  I mean, come on... who wouldn't know that "TSIATHTF" stands for "The Shit Is About To Hit The Fan"?  I am definitely ready to see what happens next with BabyJon and Laura so would like to have had a longer book in that sense, but it'll be well worth the wait for number nine!  MaryJanice Davidson's books are always a joy to read and are usually a one or two sitting read.  I just can't put them down!  Highly Recommended!
Contains:  Adult Language, Adult Situations
Review by Rhonda Wilson


Mermaid Series #3 - Fish out of Water by MaryJanice Davidson
Jove, 2008
ISBN:  978-0-515-14549-6
Available:  New and Used
    The final book in MaryJanice Davidson's Mermaid trilogy starts off with Fred buying a house and slowly obtaining unwanted roommates.  Houseguest number 1... Jonas, Fred's best friend, who insists on dragging her around to help plan his wedding, which Fred hates!  And to make matters worse, her boyfriend, Prince Artur, proposes to her!  Now Jonas is all excited at the prospect of planning a royal wedding for her.  Can things get any worse?  Wait!  This is Fred we're talking about.  Of course they can!  Enter... Thomas Pearson, marine biologist, and the guy Fred chose over Artur.  As if that isn’t enough bad news, let's add one more houseguest to the list... Fred's long-lost father, Farrem, who she has never met and who all the other sea folk think is their worst enemy.  How's a girl supposed to cope with everyone in such close quarters... especially when one is her ex?
    It's a shame that this is the end of the series, as I have really enjoyed the characters in this trilogy.  Davidson definitely could have continued on with this series a while longer as there is much more potential, so I'm hoping that more will come from these characters in spin-off stories somewhere down the road.  Dialogue is definitely Davidson's strongest suit and this book is filled to the brim!  Jonas had some of the quirkiest lines in the book and Fred's foul mouth makes me think of times I want to say something to and don't.  I admire her for being so outspoken.  She is never afraid to speak her mind, and that shows in this book, as she spoke up to several of the head people, including her own father. It's amusing as well, as they all tend to just laugh at her when she goes off on a tirade instead of getting angry with her.  I'll miss hearing about Fred, but I did like the way that Davidson ended this book.  I thought it was a good finish.  I think all readers of the paranormal romance genre will enjoy this fun, fast-paced read.  Highly Recommended.
Contains:  Adult language, Adult Situations
Review by Rhonda Wilson




Wolf Tales VIII by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2009
ISBN:  0-7582-2694-4
Available:  New

    In Kate Douglas' latest release in the Wolf Tales series, we learn about the lives of six young, new, Chanku.  In the beginning of the book they are split up. Three of them go to stay with Ulrich and Millie in Colorado and the others stay with Anton Cheval and his pack in Montana.  A chunk of the book takes place in Montana where there is still a fear that, after the attacks from book seven, all is not quite "right".  When an intruder is discovered and identified, will the Chanku give the person time to explain the reasoning for spying on them, or will they just go ahead and kill them?  In the meantime, in Colorado, who is really teaching whom more, the elders or the new youth? This book was a "growth book" for all intents and purposes, and a lot of lessons were learned by both old and new Chanku.  I can't wait to see what Douglas will have in store for us with future releases in this fabulous series.  Highly recommended.

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson


Wolf Tales VII by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2009
ISBN:  0-7582-2693-4
Available:  Used and New

    A dream sequence featuring Anton Cheval starts off this seventh. installment of Kate Douglas' Wolf Tales series.  In his dreams, he is in capable of moving and calling out for help yet he realizes that both his mate, Keisha, and his daughter, Lily, are in trouble.  Sensing his struggle within his dream, Keisha wakens him and offers him comfort, but Anton chooses not to tell her about the dream in order to avoid worrying her.  He is unsure if it is just a recurring dream for him or if it is a premonition, but soon attacks on the Chanku start, and Anton starts taking the dreams more seriously. He calls all the Chanku together, thinking that united as one they might be able to figure out who is behind the attacks and stop them.

    Douglas has developed some very sympathetic and likable characters throughout the series, and readers who have grown attached to them may find this book difficult to read. In addition to the mystery, Douglas’ writing gave me goosebumps, powerfully capturing the bond between a father and daughter in one scene. I don't want to say any more than that for fear of spoiling the book for future readers, but it was an extremely emotional read and showed another area of writing that Douglas excels at.  Highly recommended.

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson

Wolf Tales VI by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2008
ISBN:  978-0-7582-1871-1
Available:  New and Used

    In Wolf Tales VI, Eve visits Florida, where she is from originally.  She stumbles into an old friend, Mei Chen, who is in a bit of trouble, and decides to help her out.  The experience leads Eve to believe that Mei might be Chanku, though something seems a bit "off".  Missing her packmates and wanting help with Mei, she calls "home" for help.  Adam, the man she left behind, as well as Oliver, jump at the chance to come see Eve again, not knowing that there is another woman in the picture.  Of course, Oliver is more than ecstatic to meet Mei when they reach Florida.  Adam and Oliver agree that they are picking up something different about Mei though.  Is she really Chanku?  If so, what is it about her that makes her stand out from the rest of the pack? 

    Kate Douglas does a great job at building compelling characters. Adam is one intense guy!  He has some very unique powers that are very helpful, and I don’t know what the members of the Chanku pack, especially Oliver, would do without him. This particular book has some jaw-dropping moments. I really wasn't expecting where Douglas went with Mei Chen's character at all.  Let's just say, this book was very full of surprises!  Readers will enjoy being able to absorb themselves in the magical world of Wolf Tales VI. It would be amazing to be surrounded by people like the characters in her books every day.  But, since that obviously isn't going to happen, I will count on Kate Douglas to keep my fantasies rolling.  Highly recommended.

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson


Wolf Tales V by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2008
ISBN:  978-0-7582-1870-4
Available:  New and Used

    Kate Douglas continues the story of the Chanku in this fifth Wolf Tales book.  Here, two more women are added into the mix, Manda and Millie.  Manda has been living alone and avoiding the world  because she is stuck in the transitional stage between woman and wolf, and unable to make the transition to fully be one or the other.  Scarred from the cruel treatment she has endured in her past, she fears being around others, not knowing how they will treat her. The Chanku pack finds out about her when they see her picture  in a tabloid magazine.  Baylor Quinn, feeling lost without a mate of his own, takes it upon himself to seek Manda out in hopes of helping her. 

    While Baylor is off on his "mission", Ulrich Mason is off on one of his own.  Anton Cheval has requested that he seek out a woman by the name of Millie West, who he believes is Chanku, and help her make the transition to wolf.  He thinks that Ulrich is the only one to do it and that this could possibly be a new mate for him. Can Ulrich finally move past his wife's death and take a new mate?

    Baylor and Manda are a very strong couple and Baylor’s help, which allows her to "turn" fully to Chanku, makes one of the best transition stories throughout the series so far.  I loved the way Baylor explained everything to her and how she was so shy and naive.  It was like he was talking to a child the whole time rather than a grown woman.  It truly was a magical story between the two of them and I was happy that Baylor got his "happy ever after".  Overall, this was a very powerful book, as it had a lot of depth and emotion to it.  Douglas made a lot of connections between characters that I wasn't expecting and had a lot of surprise twists.  The series just keeps getting better and better!  Highly recommended.

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson

Wolf Tales IV by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2007
ISBN:  978-0-7582-1869-8
Available: New and Used

    The Chanku saga continues in the fourth installment of the Wolf Tales series.  This novel is the story of Tinker McClintock, who seeks out Lisa Quinn and teaches her of her Chanku heritage.  Lisa resides in Colorado and works at a wolf sanctuary.  At this particular sanctuary, wolves have been turning up missing and Lisa's boss has been pointing the finger at her, because he has seen her out late at night in areas she shouldn't be in just looking at the wolves.  She can't tell him, but the reason she is out there is because she feels close with the wolves.  Once Tinker gets to town he helps her understand the attachment she has to the wolves. Tinker and Lisa, with the help of Pack Dynamics, a Chanku Detective agency, solve the case of the missing wolves.

    This is the most action-packed book in the series yet.  There are lots of subplots, and Douglas comes from all angles with little plot twists and surprises to keep readers on their toes. I was on the edge of my seat for quite a while in this book, not knowing how the wolves were going to escape when they were "caged" at one point.  It was very suspenseful!  I was also really happy to see Tinker finally find himself a mate in this book after being the "third wheel" in previous books within the series.  I know he was greatly loved by the others in his pack, but he was missing that extra special bond between mates.  I love how Douglas keeps the balance flowing between erotic scenes and the rest of the storyline. Readers will also appreciate how she keeps adding onto the storyline without using awkward flashbacks to provide background.  Highly recommended.

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson


Wolf Tales III by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2007
ISBN:  0-7582-1388-3
Available: New and Used

    In the third book of the Wolf Tales series, Jacob Trent (aka Jake) is on his way to Boston to protect Shannon, a friend of Tia Mason’s. At the beginning of this novel, Shannon has a male visitor over who is about as boring as a wet noodle in bed. She excuses herself to take a shower, while hinting that he shouldn't be there when she comes back.  He’s smart enough to take the hint and leave, but lacks the common sense to lock the door on his way out, and after her shower, two men attack her and kidnap her.  Luckily for her, Jake pulls up and sees her attackers smuggling her into their vehicle. He is able to knock them out and steal her away from them, and their wild adventure begins, with Shannon wrapped in nothing but a blanket, knowing nothing of Jake Trent but his name.

    The first scene in this book had me rolling with laughter as it brought back memories of past experiences I've had in life.  It was definitely a memorable scene in the book and I have to give kudos to Kate Douglas for that chuckle straight away.  Going beyond that, yet again, she has kept my interest piqued tremendously with this series.  Not only are new characters introduced to and intermingled with the previous cast, but there is one character that comes into play in this book that you wouldn't expect to be Chanku at first, but it's a pleasant surprise and actually quite a powerful addition to the Chanku.  The mysteries of why the Chanku are being targeted for attacks is also explained a bit more, so the whole storyline starts to come together.  Douglas does a really great job keeping the storyline pumping and making you wonder just what is going to happen in the next book and who is going to end up mating with who.

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson


Wolf Tales II by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2006
ISBN: 0-7582-1387-5
Available: New and Used

    Rookie cop Lucien, Luc for short, was trying to protect a group of kids in the park from what he thought was a wild wolf chasing after them.  After shooting the wolf, he approached, and instead found a beautiful naked woman, dead.  After Luc explains all of this to the woman’s husband, Ulrich Mason, Ulrich fills Luc in on some information of his own... the secrets of the Chanku. Ulrich has realized that Luc is also one of the Chanku, like Ulrich, his late wife, and his daughter Tia. What will happen now, as Luc has killed this man's wife and the mother of his child?

    The world of the Chanku is further revealed in this second release of the Wolf Tales series.  There are numerous characters added to the series within this book.  Also introduced is a detective agency called "Pack Dynamics" which helps at a lot of "meat" to the storyline.  Whereas book one leaned rather heavily on sex scenes, this book balanced out a bit better due to a kidnapping that took place in the second half of the book.  I feel that Douglas is building up for an even stronger balance as she gets more characters established, but she already has a really good standing right now.  The characters are very strong, the writing style is fast-paced and fun, and the love scenes are smokin' hot!

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson

Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas
Kensington, 2006
ISBN:  0-7582-1386-7
Available: New and Used

    Wolf Tales is Kate Douglas' introductory book into the world of the "Chanku", a group of people who have the ability to shapeshift between human and wolf.  In the beginning of this first book, Alexandria, better known as Xandi, drives off the road in a bad snowstorm.  Near death from freezing, she falls unconscious in the snow.  She awakens in a warm bed, wrapped in the arms of a naked man who makes love to her throughout the night.  Come morning, she finds herself once again alone on the side of the road.  Unable to abandon her, her rescuer returns and takes her back to his home. She later finds that this man, Stefan, has been cursed by a powerful wizard, Anton, and therefore has become part man, part beast.  She decides to go home with him and then together they decide to seek out Anton in order to have him undo his curse on Stefan.  Little do they know that it isn't truly a curse, but rather something that is truly a part of Stefan that hasn't been fully brought out yet.  And what about Xandi?  Was Stefan's meeting of her by accident or could they have been meant to meet?

    Kate Douglas does a wonderful job introducing readers to the Chanku world and establishing the backgrounds of several key characters in this book.  The book is divided into parts.  The first several books focus one at a time on each of the main characters in the book, and the last is kind of a conclusion where it brings all four people together as one, in a sense.  The book is highly erotic and explores many variations of erotica such as lesbian, gay, group sex, etc...  So readers looking for a "vanilla" book should probably look elsewhere, but anyone that is up for a bit of spice should definitely give this book a try because Douglas takes things above and beyond.  In addition to the erotica aspect, there is also a mystery involved when a tabloid reporter is trying to track down one of the wolves.  I highly encourage fans of erotica and paranormal to give this book a read because Douglas does a great job blending the storyline and erotica together. 

Contains:  Graphic Sexual Situations, Adult Language, Violence

Review by Rhonda Wilson 


Symptoms of a Broken Heart by Cory Cramer
Damnation Books, September 2009
ISBN: 978-1-61572-032-3
Available: Forthcoming (Trade paperback and digital)

    While Symptoms of a Broken Heart is a solid fit into the shape shifter category, the “change” in this book is a metaphor for many of the characters’ innermost desires, rather than a power or curse. It’s an interesting application that is almost a throwback to older werewolf tales where the monster represented the fear of giving into such desires.

    Lisa and her soon-to-be-married sister attend a Full Moon party, meant to be one last hurrah before they settle down, but they get more than they expect when it turns out to be an actual full moon party thrown by actual shape shifters. Tragedy strikes, and one sister is left alive and seeking the power of the attendees in order to save her own rear and cover up the other sister’s death.

    This is a fast, hard read with two strong female leads, neither of which are flat stereotypical female characters or stereotypical horror-fiction lesbians. Erotic, dark and spiked with a creepy aftertaste that will stick with readers, this is a novelette worth snatching up.
Contains: graphic sex

Review by Michele Lee



Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowen
Forever, 2009
ISBN:  978-0-446-50584-0

Available: New

    Michelle Rowen brings Sarah Dearly back for her fourth book in the Immortality Bites series.  Dearly has recently been turned into a vampire and has just started adjusting to things when she stumbles into a witch, Stacy, with a grudge.  Stacy decides to make Dearly's adjustment period a bit more complex by placing a curse on her that turns her into a bloodthirsty nightwalker instead of the sweet vampire that was able to drink from the carton rather than the neck.  Sarah has to race against the clock to find a way to make Stacy reverse the curse before it becomes permanent and Sarah is stuck as a nightwalker forever.  Along the way she looks for assistance from her best friend, George, her boyfriend, Thierry, and the Red Devil, a masked stranger who saved her from getting staked.  As she seeks a solution to the problem of her curse, Sarah is also trying to figure out who the Red Devil is, and if he's for real.  In the midst of it all, she’s trying to figure out how to get Thierry to marry her, despite the fact he's already married.  If anyone can handle it, Sarah can!
    Stakes and Stilettos is yet another fun read in the Immortality Bites series.  This series has been fun from the start and Rowen has kept it interesting all the way through.  The more I read this series the more I find myself getting deeply involved with the lives of the characters.  They all have unique personalities and are very likable, despite the wicked personalities of some (i.e. Thierry's wife, Veronique).  I really have nothing negative to say about this book other than it left off with a major cliffhanger which made me want the next book immediately! I had a great time reading this book and will continue to read this series and anything else Rowen puts out.  I think all fans of the paranormal romance genre would enjoy this series.  Highly recommended.
Contains:  Mild Sexual Situations
Review by:  Rhonda Wilson



Dead and Dateless by Kimberly Raye

Random House Publishing Group, 2007

ISBN: 034549217X

Available: yes

    Dead and Dateless  is the second book of a series that falls into the ever-popular chick-lit meets vampires genre. In this book , a female "born-vampire"  who prefers to get her blood from a bottle fights her attraction to a "made-vampire"  and tries to run a dating agency for paranormals while on the run from the cops on a murder charge.  A good vacation book and a fun read, it is worthwhile to track down the first volume, Dead End Dating, especially for readers waiting for their next MaryJanice Davidson fix.  Recommended for public libraries.  Contains:   Sexual Situation  Entry by Havoc.


How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks

Avon, July, 2005
ISBN: 0060751967

Available: New and Used
    Vampire Roman Draganesti just sank his fangs into something he shouldn’t. Dentist Shanna Whelan is running from the mob. Roman’s mission is to make the world safe for vampires and mortals by providing synthetic blood. Shanna is terrified by the sight of blood. In the midst of mafia assassination attempts, vampire terrorist attacks, market studies, and CIA kidnappings, and in spite of Roman’s nosy harem and Shanna’s father’s psychic vampire slaying team, Roman and Shanna manage to fix his fangs, conquer her fear, outwit everyone who’s out to get them, and redeem each other through love. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire is suspenseful and funny, with some great secondary characters. It’s a wild ride, with a hopeful ending and a story arc that suggests Sparks will be back to continue her story of love and war. There is a sequel, Vamps in the City, which showcases a few minor characters in this book. It’s much campier and doesn’t really advance the story arc suggested in this book, so I suspect we’ll see more books set in Roman and Shanna’s vampire universe. Contains: references to sex toys, graphic erotic sex, and terrorist violence. Recommended.

Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson

Berkley, May, 2006
ISBN: 0425210812

Available: New and Used
    The adventures of Betsy Taylor, vampire queen and shoe fashionista, are continued in the fourth installment of the series. Undead and Unreturnable doesn’t have quite the snap of the first few books: Betsy’s not quite as acerbic, the dialogue’s not quite as witty, and now that she’s decided she’s in love with Eric Sinclair, tall, dark and vampire, their conflicts seem pretty superficial. Of course, we have the reappearance of Laura, the devil’s daughter and Betsy’s half-sister, and of Jon, a former vampire slayer who wants to write up Betsy’s life story for his English class. Throw Christmas, a brand-new half-brother, and a serial killer into the mix, and you get an overstuffed but still entertaining plot, and an overcrowded but still enjoyable houseful of characters. Undead and Unreturnable could use some trimming, but readers of Betsy’s adventures should still enjoy this book. Contains: violence, murder, steamy sexual situations. Other titles starring Betsy Taylor include: Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unappreciated, and Undead and Unpopular.

Vamps in the City by Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, April, 2006
ISBN: 0060752017

Available: New and Used
    The title is a little deceiving: you won’t find four single women looking for vampire love in the big city here. The premise is original, though: Darcy Newhart, an unwilling vampire and former television reporter, applies for work at DVN(Digital Vampire Network) and gets the green light to produce a reality show, The Sexiest Man Alive. Wealthy vampire Roman Draganesti has fallen in love with a mortal and released the ladies in his harem, who are mostly at a loss as to what to do next. On the show, Draganesti’s former harem will choose a new master. Darcy decides to puncture a little vampire arrogance: unknown to the judges and viewers, half of the contestants are mortal. Our hero is Austin Erickson, a powerful psychic working undercover for the CIA’s “Stake-Out Team.” Darcy and Austin definitely have chemistry, but the vampire harem steals the show. Sure, they’re superficial, bigoted, and quarrelsome, but they are also very, very, funny, and by the end of the book you can see they’ve grown up quite a bit. The book’s ending was a bit of a letdown, but it was certainly different from what one expects in the average vampire romance. A note: The sexism and bigotry in Vamps in the City is hard to stomach, but it’s satirical in nature. If you can get past the yucky network executive at the very beginning, you’ll probably enjoy the book enough to want to read the next one.

This book is the sequel to: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire

Contains: steamy sexual passages, obnoxious sexism and bigotry, minimal gore and violence. Entry by Francesca the Librarian

Undead and Unwed. By MaryJanice Davidson
Berkley, 2004.
ISBN: 042519485X (paperback)
Available: New and Used
Elizabeth (Betsy) Taylor’s birthday really bites. First, she’s fired from her job as a secretary, then an SUV hits her and she wakes up dead. The rules don’t seem to apply to her: she can enter churches, sunlight doesn’t kill her, and holy water just makes her sneeze. It’s not enough that her stepmother stole her Manolo Blahniks and put her in cheap knockoffs for the funeral, now she’s the prophesied queen of the vampires, to her great annoyance. Adjusting to vampire life isn’t easy: she gets mired in “vamp politics”, and it seems like she’ll have to choose sides: repulsive, beastly Nostro or fabulously handsome, sexy, and obnoxious Sinclair. Is it too obvious that she picks the sexier of two evils? The vampires are the ones who are horrified- by her irresponsible, compassionate, contrary ways and her very human nature. The dialogue is a scream- Betsy gets better one-liners than Buffy ever did- and the sex is steamy. The relationship between Betsy and Sinclair is unresolved at the end of the story, which is okay, because it means you get a sequel which is equally funny and sexy. If you’re ready for a break from serious vampire fiction, look up Undead and Unwed. You won’t be sorry you did.  Contains graphic sexual situations, references to suicide and rape. Highly recommended.

Sequels: Undead and Unemployed
Undead and Unappreciated
Undead and Unreturnable
Undead and Unpopular
By Francesca the Librarian

Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowen
Warner Forever, January, 2006
ISBN: 0446617008

Available: New and Used

    An addition to the "chick-lit" genre of vampire romance, with a sad lack of either horror or romance. Rowen is trying to create another Betsy Taylor: unfortunately, her heroine, Sarah Dearly, lacks Betsy's attitude, morals, dialogue, and fashion sense.  She has no chemistry with Thierry, the master vampire who made her promise to help him kill himself if he shows her the vampire ropes, and outside of one awkward groping scene there's not even any sex to keep it interesting.  She's got more chemistry with Quinn, a vampire hunter turned vampire who can't seem to decide whether he wants to kill her or date her. Rowen does create some very funny situations: Sarah's a vampire because her blind date decides she'd be a great undead girlfriend, and she discovers her cousin's married a vampire when she's asked to sign for a keg of O negative blood at the wedding. There's nothing too horrible about Rowen's vampires- sunlight, crosses, and holy water don't affect them, and they work as accountants, bartenders, and executive assistants. They don't have to bite people, they can just order up blood from delivery guys who get it from willing donors.  The main disadvantages of vampirism  seem to be an inability to keep down your lasagna and those pesky vampire hunters. An okay read to fill your time while you wait for MaryJanice Davidson to finish the next installment in the Betsy Taylor saga. Mild sexual situations, violence, references to suicide.

By Francesca the Librarian


Paranormal Romance series

MaryJanice Davidson’s “Queen Betsy” books

Kimberly Raye’s  “Dead End Dating” books

Katie MacAlister’s  “Sex and the Single Vampire”



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