Beautiful Stranger by: Christina Lauren

New apartment? Check. Fantastic job with Ryan Media Group? Check. Loyal and loving boyfriend? Not so much for Sara Dillon who fled her Chicago lifestyle in favor of a new start in the city that never sleeps. During a girls night out adventure with long time bestie Chloe, Sara runs into Mr. Sexy himself, Max Stella. Max sweeps Sara off her feet by being the antithesis of her dirt bag ex but is Sara ready for another shot at love? Picking up right where Beautiful Bastard left off, this steamy read is sure to leave you wanting more.

WOW. What else can I say? From their effortless romance to spectacular…uh…physical encounters these two are one of the best in the erotic romance genre. Since dipping my toes in the erotica waters in 2008, Beautiful Stranger was the first novel that did not have a tortured hero or heroine as the protagonist. Neither Sara nor Max had a horrific incident (either rape, domestic violence or abuse) that caused them to be part of the BDSM scene. Even with that aside, Sara and Max’s romance is genuine and adorable in the “you jump I jump Jack sort of way.” Its not the sort of this only happens in fiction type thing but a cutesy yet realistic way. The way that their relationship grows from a friends with benefits into something that is natural – not forced or drawn out – and makes you want to put the book down and grin from ear to ear.

I loved Beautiful Stranger more than its’ predecessor and is probably my favorite in the genre.

4 STARS

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Reviewed by: Brittany Morgan

Diana Biship and Matthew de Clairmont are dealing with the consequences of their quest for what vampires refer to as the Book of Life or Ashmole 782, according to witches. With Diana’s beloved second mother Emily murdered, the paranormal couple must act quickly and decisively to save themselves and their lives of those they love. But as centuries of secrets from the de Clairmonts continually mount, Matthew must revisit some of the darkest points in his life to complete their quest. And even with Diana’s increasing power and abilities, she still has her own obstacles to overcome in order to become the witch she is destined to be. Magical, enchanting and a true page turner, Harkness’ final installment in the All Souls Trilogy provides a dramatic conclusion to the New York Times best selling series.

Over one year and 30 books later I was happy to sink my teeth back into Harkness’ story of Diana Bishop and Matthew de Clairmont. The characters were as strong willed, judgmental and as devoted to each other as I remember. It took some time for me to recall the nuances of the complex plot line which detracted from the first portion of the text. I would have liked for Harnkess to include more subtle reminders of the first two books in this “The a Book of Life” to help establish a pace. However, once I got fully immersed there was no stopping. I got fully sucked into the story and needed to find out all of the secrets that Diana and Matthew were hunting for so long. I was rooting for them as a couple, and individually when they had to face their past in their own, and wanted to discover the reason why the congregation forbade creature interaction.

“The Book of Life” was expertly written and was full of different allusions and figurative language and elevated the text from a mere paranormal story into a superb read. With numerous themes present ranging from forgoing one’s fears to relying on help from freinds, any reader will find something to relate in the novel. For those who did not read “Discoery of Witches” and “Shadow of Night” I highly recommend doing so before picking up “The Book of Life” to fully appreciate different nuances and the multiple plot lines that Harkness uses throughout the trilogy. I recommend this series to those who like “Twilight” but want something a bit edgier or readers who are a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” and would like a vampire and witch novel.

RATING: 4 Stars

Changeless by: Gail Carriger

Reviewed by: Brittany Morgan

Alexia Maccoon follows her werewolf husband to Scotland to figure out the reason that supernaturals wont change. Along with a brigade of her stepsister, best friend Ivy, scientist Madame Lefoix and maid, Alexia tries to solve the 1800’s latest conundrum. With all of the flair of a Victorian Age tea party, Lady Maccoon confronts a danger directly related to being a preternatural, in more ways than one.

Gail Carriger’s “Changeless”, the second in the parasol protectorate series, picks up the same witty banter of “Soulless”. The novel is fully enjoyable and an imaginative read that challenges the reader to solve the mystery along with Alexia. Her marriage to Conall is the ideal werewolf/preternatural pair –if there ever was one—that features trust, romance, humor and parasols.

For those that adore steampunk, or simply want to try a unique and witty novel, this book is for you!

RATING: 4 Stars