Review: Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh

Monday, August 22, 2016

Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 15.5
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance Wild Embrace Cover
ISBN: 9781101989715
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

“Echo of Silence”
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander…

“Dorian”
A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play…

“Partners in Persuasion”
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…

“Flirtation of Fate”
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries…

“Echo of Silence”
In the heart of the deep-sea station Alaris, a chance encounter with her Psy station commander has human engineer Tazia looking at the telekinetic Stefan in a whole new way. Psy are Silent. Emotionless. And Tazia’s sure her inexplicable attraction to Stefan will come to nothing… Until an unexpected trip lets her see the man beneath the calm fa├žade.

“Echo of Silence” is sweet as can be. It’s a romance of discovery and joy and I absolutely adored it. Tazia is a brilliant engineer who is estranged from her family because she chose her dream job over marrying and living in the village she grew up in. I loved the attention and importance given to Tazia’s culture; it’s not something we see too often in romance. Stefan is also alone in the world. He’s Psy, but not the perfect vision of a Silent Psy. He comes alive with Tazia, and watching them come into their own and find happiness over the course of the story was simply beautiful. It’s not a simple matter of falling in love for them. Cultural mores and the threat of discovery over Stefan breaking Silence aren’t obstacles that are easy to overcome. You’ll be cheering them on, however, because the risk is worth it when you have two such smart, generous, endearing characters to root for.


“Dorian”
Dorian captured my heart from the very first in Slave to Sensation and he remains my favorite of the Psy-Changeling characters to this day. It’s no surprise, then, that “Dorian” made me melt. The story is a series of vignettes following Dorian from childhood – where he struggled with his inability to shift and the pain it caused him and his leopard – through adulthood and the events of his book, Hostage to Pleasure. This story is truly a treat for anyone who loves Dorian. It gives extra insight not only into his character, but into the bonds between pack members. “Dorian” is sweet, heartwarming, and definitely makes me go all squishy just thinking about it.


“Partners in Persuasion”
Submissive wolf Felix has been hurt before by a dominant female and he’s not about to risk his heart again on any dominant, even one as beautiful as Dezi. Yet there’s something about the leopard changeling Felix can’t seem to ignore and it’s not long before he begins to wonder if he can trust her enough to try a relationship. But it’s not only their human hearts Dezi and Felix will have to convince if they want to take things to their next level; the animals that are every bit as much of their nature may break them apart before they have a chance to discover all they could have together.

It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite story in this anthology, but “Partners in Persuasion” may just be mine. A female dominant/male submissive pairing like Dezi and Felix have never taken center stage in the series and I loved this change. Dezi is strong, confident, and sexy, but she’s always tangled with other dominants. She’s attracted to Felix, but the quiet horticulturalist is incredibly wary. He’s smart and strong in his own right, but his submissive nature means that both he and Dezi have to be extremely careful when courting. The attraction between them is palpable and they are both such rich, interesting characters that it’s impossible not to root for them. But it isn’t easy for them to navigate the delicate balance between persuasion and unwitting coercion, and the struggles they faced made “Partners in Persuasion” one heck of a compelling read. Every obstacle they faced, every setback only made the story feel more real and I honestly could have read an entire book about Dezi and Felix. The way they are completely gone over one another, how Dezi appreciates Felix’s strength and nurturing and he sees the woman who should be treasured not just the fearsome leopard in her, just grabbed my heart. Theirs isn’t just a story of passion and love (though there’s plenty of that), but of trust earned and taking care of those you want to call your own. I loved everything about “Partners in Persuasion” and I hope to see Dezi and Felix as a couple pop up in future Psy-Changeling books.


“Flirtation of Fate”
On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. The two are now lieutenants and their flirtation/bickering is well known throughout the SnowDancer pack. Yet Kenji won’t ever let Garnet see that the two of them are meant to be, for he has a secret that means he will never ask her to give him a second chance. Then the two of them team up to investigate a packmate’s murder, and close quarters make it nearly impossible for Kenji to keep his feelings hidden from the too-perceptive wolf he’s always loved.

Sparks fly right, left, and center in “Flirtation of Fate.” Garnet and Kenji have great chemistry and the wealth of emotion between them had the pages of their story flying by. Kenji has loved Garnet for years, but he hides his feelings for her under the guise of teasing and flirtation. He wants her to be free, but he can’t bear to let her go, and though I won’t spoil his reasons why, I think his secret will be clear to readers from the start. Kenji has made mistakes with Garnet, but those mistakes were made with a good heart. Garnet, in turn, carries a wealth of hurt from his rejection of her all those years ago, but now that they’re forced to work together, she’s starting to see that Kenji’s attitude is hiding something. I loved watching Garnet go after him and was rooting for them to break down each other’s walls and grab the happiness that’s long overdue. A mystery involving a packmate’s murder adds another dimension to the story though, like Kenji’s secret, it seemed fairly clear how things were going to play out. Still, Kenji and Garnet made me smile and I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two dance.


Wild Embrace is a must read for any Psy-Changeling fan. Each of the four stories are so different, yet all feature strong, memorable characters who will grab your heart and not let go. Nalini Singh is a master of worldbuilding, but she’s also phenomenal at creating interesting, unique characters. “Echo of Silence,” “Dorian,” “Partners in Persuasion,” and “Flirtation of Fate” are all character-focused stories and the timelines are spread out through the course of the Psy-Changeling series. I loved getting to know more about relatively minor (with the exception of Dorian) players in the Psy-Changeling series and each of these stories makes the series as a whole feel richer. Wild Embrace is unique, gripping, and as wonderfully entertaining as I’ve come to expect any Nalini Singh story to be.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Tied Score by Elia Winters

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tied Score by Elia Winters
Series: Slices of Pi, Book 2
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Erotic BDSM Contemporary Romance Tied Score Cover
ISBN: 9781501140976
Release Date: August 15, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Iris Parker never planned on ending up in HR because, let’s face it: HR isn’t the most glamorous position in the world. She took a comfortable job and always planned on leaving when something better came along, but before she knows it, she’s thirty and the HR director for PI Games. Even though she likes her coworkers, there’s no excitement in the job for her, and Iris is worried that she’ll lose her spark. Luckily, Iris’s romantic life provides some thrills—living the confirmed bachelor life, when she wants her bed warm, she can find company, and in her sights at the moment is the cute pastry chef at her favorite bakery.

Owen Hobbs has noticed the gorgeous businesswoman making eyes at him when she comes in for coffee and sweets, but he’s not the type of guy who dates much anymore. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t take long in his sporadic dating history to learn that most women aren’t interested in taking charge in bed, which is what he really craves. Working early mornings at the bakery keeps him from the nightlife where he might meet someone who can fulfill his needs, so he’s resigned himself to fantasies and pretty much given up on the dating scene altogether. But when Iris’s advances become too much to resist, Owen finds himself revealing his desire to be sexually dominated…the only question is, is she the right woman for the job?

Tied Score is an outrageously sexy, incredibly addictive romance. Author Elia Winters doesn’t hold back in this red-hot story of two people who are clearly made for each other falling in love as they explore their kinky sides.

One of my favorite things about Tied Score was watching Iris come into her own. Iris is smart, organized, and focused, but while she’s found professional success, her life doesn’t feel complete. She doesn’t want commitment – she’s been burned badly in the past – but she would like a little excitement to chase away the moments of longing that seem to be popping up. She’s had her eye on Owen for a while, but when she makes her move and he accepts, what should be a temporary fling rocks both of their worlds. Owen is a sexy-as-hell baker and businessman who is dominant in the bakery and longs to be submissive in the bedroom. However, his lifestyle isn’t conducive to him finding a woman who meets his needs. When he and Iris first hit the sheets, they’re both shocked to learn Iris has a hidden dominant side. Intrigued, they agree to an arrangement where Owen’s needs as a sub can be fulfilled while Iris learns about and explores her desires to be a Domme. It’s not long before their casual arrangement has each of them craving more. The emphasis on open communication adds a level of intimacy beyond the sexual and made me really fall in love with Iris and Owen’s burgeoning romance.

Owen and Iris are extremely compatible as Domme/sub, and make no mistake, Ms. Winters knows how to turn the heat up high; this isn’t a story for the faint of heart. But equally important is the fact that they’re also a great fit outside their Domme/sub roles. They encourage each other to grow professionally, take chances, and risk their hearts for the possibility of something more. Fears and thinking they’re set in their ways threaten to derail this couple just as they’re about to start, but the obstacles they face are logical. I appreciated the lack of fake drama in the story and loved that I got to enjoy a sometimes sweet, frequently spicy journey to happily ever after.

Tied Score is the second book in Ms. Winters’s Slices of Pi series, but you don’t have to have read Even Odds in order to enjoy this story (though Isabel and Caleb do show up). PI Games and the cast of characters who work there help round out the book and make the world incredibly appealing. I loved everything about Tied Score and I’ll definitely be revisiting Owen and Iris over and over as I wait for the next Slices of Pi book, Single Player!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels, Book 3
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance The Highlander Cover
ISBN: 9781250076076
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As Laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated Marquess has vanquished his foes with all rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent…in the game of love.

Defying all expectations, Miss Philomena is no plain-faced spinster but a ravishing beauty with voluptuous curves and haughty full lips that rattle the Laird to his core. Unintimidated by her master’s raw masculinity and savage ways, the headstrong lass manages to tame not only his wild children but the beast in his soul. With each passing day, Liam grows fonder of Miss Mena―and more suspicious. What secret is she hiding behind those emerald eyes? What darkness brought her to his keep? And how can he conquer this magnificent woman’s heart…without surrendering his own?

The Highlander is a rich, emotional story that will knock your socks off! Kerrigan Byrne has delivered yet another lush, addictive romance in this third Victorian Rebels book and I loved every bit of it.

Mena has been through hell. She’s been physically and emotionally tortured, terrorized, and institutionalized by her husband, and through all that she hasn’t broken. Mena has an inner strength that I admired greatly, and when you combine that with her generous heart, it’s easy to see why she’s a heroine to root for. She’s vulnerable and in hiding from her husband when she first arrives in the Highlands and you want to see her feel safe and cherished because it’s impossible for Mena not to grab your heart. She deserves happiness, freedom, and love, and she unexpectedly finds all that in the arms of the man they call the Demon Highlander.

Liam also knows evil – he was raised by it. His violent, abusive father tried to mold him in his image, and Liam fears he’ll turn into a monster like his sire one day. It’s clear to readers – if not Liam – that even though he has only known violence, he has a protective heart. He loves his children and will fight to the death for them and Mena. Liam and Mena help each other become who they’re meant to be, and the character growth in The Highlander is wonderful. Equally engaging is the romance. The desire between Mena and Liam is palpable and the two of them have incredible chemistry. But lust doesn’t overtake the romance; the two of them actually learn about each other as they fall in love, adding a level of realism to the story. Their romance isn’t perfect because neither Mena nor Liam are cardboard perfect characters, and I loved that about this story. Instead, they have to have the courage to overcome their pasts and face the obstacles in their present in order for them and their love to survive and thrive.

The Highlander is the third book in Ms. Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series and if you start with Mena and Liam’s book, be warned that there are spoilers for The Highwayman and The Hunter. You’re also missing out if you skip the first two books in the series, because they are flat-out phenomenal. Ms. Byrne’s writing is utterly fantastic and she draws you into each story so well that you might (as I did) have to shake yourself when you stop reading in order to rejoin the real world. The only quibble I had about The Highlander was the ending felt a bit rushed. Even so, I highly recommend this book. Mena and Liam’s story is deeply emotional, incredibly compelling, and, quite simply, a must read for fans of historical romance.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Worked Up by Tessa Bailey

Monday, August 1, 2016

Worked Up by Tessa Bailey
Series: Made in Jersey, Book 3
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Worked Up Cover
ISBN: 9781633757080
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.

Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.

As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it?

Worked Up is a sweet and spicy romance with endearing characters. Commitment-phobes and quickie marriages that become all-too-real aren’t new to romance, but author Tessa Bailey makes this story stand apart from the rest with her unique characters.

Sam is an artist with a big heart and a sunny disposition. She’s the queen of bad puns (which I adored) and is desperate to make her vision of Art on Wheels – a program that would benefit children – a reality. How could you not root for a heroine like her? Duke, in turn, is a giant pouty man bear who acts like all he wants to do with his free time is watch SportsCenter, when really he’s an incredibly generous, giving soul who worries about everyone. Both of them have hearts as big as Texas (or Jersey, as it were), so even though they may seem like an odd couple at first, Duke and Samantha work really well together. When Worked Up focuses on the characters, the humor, the romance, and the obstacles that threaten to derail Samantha and Duke’s burgeoning relationship, the story is really strong. For me, the story takes a bit of a hit when it comes to the erotic scenes. Duke’s a fan of dirty talk, and though I’m all for that in my romance, his brand of dirty talk felt awkward and pulled me out of the story. In general, there was something stilted about the sex scenes that took away from an otherwise solid (if lighting quick) romance. Chalk it up to personal preference, I suppose.

Worked Up is the third Made in Jersey book, and as I have not read Crashed Out or Thrown Down, I can safely say Duke and Samantha’s book can be read as a standalone. The world of Ms. Bailey’s Hook, New Jersey is appealing and its residents lively; the secondary characters added charm to the story. Yet for all the likeable characters there are in the story, it’s the one not-so-charming character – Samantha’s brother, Renner – who grabbed my attention. By the time I was finished with Worked Up, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Renner’s book. Even though there were a couple of elements to Samantha and Duke’s romance that didn’t appeal to me, I still enjoyed the story overall, so it’s safe to say I’ll be returning to Hook, New Jersey.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Fool Me Once by Katee Robert

Fool Me Once by Katee Robert
Series: Foolproof Love, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Fool Me Once Cover
ISBN: 9781633757059
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Aubry Kaiser doesn’t like people—actually, that’s not right. She loathes people. With her crippling anxiety, there’s no way she can demo her favorite video game at a convention with five thousand other people. Maybe if she brings someone to act as a shield…

But the only person available is the sexy cowboy she can’t stand.

Quinn Baldwyn is in a mess of his own. He’s been dodging his wealthy family’s matchmaking attempts—and life advice—for years, but with his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs of a shield of his own.

He and Aubry can barely hold down a civil conversation, but in bed…fireworks. And the closer they get to Quinn’s sister’s wedding, the more he realizes that he might actually like Aubry.

Now it’s up to him to convince her she might actually like him, too.

Opposites attracting has never been as fun – or as hot – as it is in Fool Me Once. Aubry and Quinn have insanely good chemistry, which makes this enemies-to-lovers romance utterly irresistible.

I love imperfect heroines, and Aubry is wonderfully flawed in an incredibly relatable way. She’s smart, sexy, and has a good heart, but she also isn’t a people person, is snarky nine times out of ten, has a wealth of phobias, and suffers crippling anxiety. She isn’t an easy person, and I have a soft spot for characters like her, ones who are vulnerable and guarded, but have a lot to offer. The emotional walls Aubry has built around herself are a mile high and almost impenetrable, but Quinn gets under her skin.

Quinn is too hot, too confident, and pushes Aubry out of her comfort zone. He’s an outgoing cowboy to the bone, where she’s a serious gamer who doesn’t like to leave the house, and that’s only the beginning of their differences. They only tolerate each other because their best friends are in love. When he agrees to be her shield she can go to a gaming convention without having an anxiety attack in exchange for her being a human shield at his sister’s wedding where his family is sure to be a nightmare, neither is sure they’ll both make it through the week alive. But the attraction that blossoms between them is too potent for either to resist, and slowly they begin to open up to one another. It isn’t easy for them to admit they’re good together outside the bedroom, but I was rooting for them every step of the way. They challenge each other, make each other better, and man do they make the pages of Fool Me Once sizzle. But it isn’t the heat factor that makes them stand out (though that definitely doesn’t hurt). It’s the way Quinn helps Aubry through her anxiety attacks, the way she slowly lets down her guard, their banter, and the incredibly addictive writing of author Katee Robert that makes this book shine. I loved every bit of Fool Me Once, and I cannot wait to re-read Aubry and Quinn’s romance.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Seducing the Boss by Mari Carr

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Seducing the Boss by Mari Carr
Series: Pulse, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Seducing the Boss Cover
ISBN: 9781633756915
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Kellan James is unwinding at Score when he spots the last person he’d ever expect to find in his favorite bar. Sara Connelly--ER nurse, do-gooder, charitable crusader, and frequent pain in his ass. Both grew up privileged in swanky Southampton, but that’s where the similarities end. Kellan's made it his mission to seek out life’s pleasures; Sara gains pleasure from lecturing him on his lifestyle. Kellan would never date someone like her. Ever.

But when Kellan discovers Sara's been stood-up by an online date, something fierce and protective awakens inside of him. Typically, Kellan would enjoy teasing the jilted Sara, but something in her face sends him over to her table with a plan. He encourages her to take a walk on the wild side, one weekend of sin, no holds barred.

She accepts, but it quickly becomes apparent that one night isn’t enough. As the pull between them grows stronger, Kellan discovers it’s a very dangerous thing to say never.

Sara and Kellan have been friends since childhood and that friendship has withstood becoming boss-employee, as Kellan is the CEO of the hospital where Sara is an ER nurse. They’ve always had a comfortable relationship, each knowing that they aren’t what the other is looking for. Kellan never does relationships, while Sara is ready for commitment and all that goes with it. But when Sara is stood up on a blind date, Kellan starts to look at her in a whole new light. The attraction between them is immediate, unexpected, and so potent that neither can resist giving into the temptation of one weekend of no-holds-barred sex. But what happens when one weekend isn’t enough?

Seducing the Boss is a sizzling friends-to-lovers romance I devoured in one sitting. Kellan and Sara are a couple with plenty of heat and heart to keep this addictive story moving at a fast pace.

Sara and Kellan are both incredibly likeable characters who charmed me from the first. Yes, Kellan is a playboy with commitment issues stemming from his past, and yes, Sara is the good girl who wants to take a walk on the wild side, but though those types of characters are common in romance, author Mari Carr made these two protagonists feel fresh and new. There’s an energy to them that makes Seducing the Boss feel vibrant, whether Kellan and Sara are hitting the sheets or squaring off in the hospital. Both of them work hard, and even though they find themselves on opposite sides at the hospital a lot of the time, they respect each other. They also have years of shared history, common interests, and an easy compatibility that gives this story its heart. And it’d be remiss of me not to mention the way these two can turn up the heat. The innate trust between Kellan and Sara means they can really let go and steam up the page.

There’s a lot to enjoy about Seducing the Boss, but what really made the story stand out for me was the simple connection between Sara and Kellan. The solid foundation they have from the start and the way it shows on the page makes the fast slide from friendship to sex to happily ever after believable. I absolutely adored this story and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the multi-author Pulse series.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Bayou Nights by Julie Mulhern

Monday, July 25, 2016

Bayou Nights by Julie Mulhern
Series: Haunting Desire, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Select Historical
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romantic Suspense Bayou Nights Cover
ISBN: 9781633757189
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

New Orleans, 1903.
Before he died, Christine Lambert’s father won a piece of eight in a poker game. How was he to know the coin was part of a puzzle that when solved revealed the location of Jean Laffite’s treasure? Now Christine must find the treasure before a killer beats her to it.

Mattias Drake is as out of place in New Orleans as a raven in a flock of hummingbirds. He has serious work to do and Christine is a distraction he doesn't need. But how can he resist a lady in distress--even if that lady can win a fight armed with a hat pin?

Together they must overcome their pasts and defeat dark forces sent by a shadowy evil. In the process, they just might find the greatest treasure of all…

When a zombie attacks milliner Christine Lambert in her own store, it’s only the beginning of her troubles. Her father gave her a piece of eight to guard, and the coin in question just happens to be the first clue in uncovering a priceless treasure that once belonged to a famed pirate. The problem is, every thief, murderer, ghost, and voodoo priestess in New Orleans seems to know she has the coin. On top of that, Christine’s father has gone missing and for all her knowledge of the supernatural, she doesn’t know how to find a missing ghost. It’s time to ask for help. But the help her friend sends – stuffy Yankee investigator Mattias Drake – isn’t exactly who she expected. Now, Christine will have to work with an undeniably compelling stranger if she hopes to rescue her father, locate a pirate’s treasure, and live long enough to tell the tale.

Bayou Nights is an intriguing blend of mystery, romance, and the supernatural, all set against the sultry backdrop of early twentieth century New Orleans. I absolutely love how Julie Mulhern brings the richly atmospheric world of 1903 New Orleans to life in this tale. The world draws you in from the start and you feel like you’re walking alongside Christine and Drake as they encounter the most incredibly vibrant spirits, both living and dead.

As for Christine and Drake themselves, they are compelling leads with solid chemistry. Christine is a strong, clever woman who has made a name for herself as a milliner. New Orleans is in her blood and spirit, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her charm all those around her, ghosts and the living alike. Christine is no wilting flower, but a woman used to protecting herself, both physically and emotionally. It’s not easy for her to trust Drake, and her family history has given her good reason not to. But Drake, for all that he’s a fish out of water in the South, is an excellent match for Christine. He’s reliable, honest, and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her, while respecting her own strength and talents. Drake is also our eyes for this world, and watching events unfold from his point of view was delightful. It’s interesting to watch both he and Christine grow over the course of the story. Their romance isn’t a case of insta-love; the two of them come to know and respect one another as they fall in love, which I really liked.

The romance in Bayou Nights takes a back seat to the treasure hunt and the mystery of who is behind the attacks on Christine and the kidnapping of her father. There’s danger around every corner in this story, and somehow the almost languid pace of the book pairs well with the intensity of the action. Ms. Mulhern packs a lot of history, characters, and paranormal encounters into Bayou Nights, and it serves this unique story well.

Bayou Nights is the second book in Ms. Mulhern’s Haunting Desire series. As I have not yet read the first book, Bayou Moon (formerly titled A Haunting Desire), I can safely say that Drake and Christine’s story can be read as a standalone. That being said, by the time I was done with Bayou Nights I definitely wanted to go back and read Bayou Moon. I absolutely love the unique world Ms. Mulhern has created in the Haunting Desire series and I’m looking forward to revisiting it.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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