Monday, October 28, 2013

Review of Realm Walker ~ Three & Half Stars!

Realm Walker
~ Realm Walker Series
Book One
Kathleen Collins

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication:  October 28, 2013

ISBN: 9781426896545

Word Count: 76,000

Today, I am reviewing Book One of the Realm Walker Series, "Realm Walker" by Kathleen Collins. It has been a little while since I last picked up an Urban Fantasy, but I am happy that I picked up this one. While I think that this one could have been hotter, overall I enjoyed the read.

Miss Collins really hit the jackpot when she created the heroine Juliana Norris as she is the typical UF heroine - strong, snarky and non-emotional. I really her personality and her tone, without her being annoyingly snarky like some UF heroines are. The hero, vampire Thomas Kendrick is interesting, but I wasn't as drawn to him as I am many other UF heroes. I actually was more drawn to his "number two" in command, Michael, who I found extremely fascinating to the point that part of me kind of wished that maybe Thomas hadn't come back for Juliana...I'm hoping that Michael will get his happily ever after in a future story.

One of the things that really pulled me in besides the characterization of the heroine was the worldbuilding. I loved the use of the different paranormal characters and the world that they live in. I also love the uniqueness of the paranormal ability of the heroine. There are the shifters, vampires and trolls to name a few of the species that are within the world, but they feel fresh. I loved her mentor "Nathaniel" the wolf and his protectiveness of the heroine. I also enjoyed the enemies, like the banter with the troll.

I also absolutely fell in love with Miss Collins' writing and voice. She has such a gift with stringing along descriptive sentences and a great flow. I flew through the chapters without even realizing it because of the amazing flow of wordings. The tone is perfect for UF and just a really easy read.

I breezed through the book in about two nights, but I wasn't as satisfied with the ending. I won't give away any of the details, but it just felt stilted to me. Now that may because at the end of the paranormal romance novels that I normally read, there is always that happily ever after and no abruptness, but the ending just didn't feel satisfying. I will however pick up the second book when it comes, especially if it's about Michael! :)

This is a great read and the skill and voice is something that writers can study. The sentences are beautiful written and as I mentioned, Miss Collins is very gifted as an author. The writing takes you away to a different place. I would give Realm Walker three and a half stars. I would have given four if the ending hadn't felt so rushed. I enjoyed everything else.

There is an amazing giveaway for a great package, so make sure you check out the rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Check the awesome picture ~ isn't the owl cool???

 Book Description:

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…

As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That's only the first of her secrets.

Most people don't know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don't know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don't know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…

Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can't reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.

About the Author:

Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.
The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.
She is currently hard at work on her next book.  


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Entangled's "Wish Upon A Star" ~ Four and a Half Stars

Wish Upon a Star

Michelle McLean

Book Description:

Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.

Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as a zombie uprising threatens them all.

My review:

This romance book had me hooked at "zombie uprising" and it didn't disappoint. It had a perfect balance of romance with the zombies. Now I am definitely not a girl that loves zombies or that could read a "zombie romance" novel, but the zombie elements were a perfect addition to make this Paranormal Romance a really awesome read. Don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post for the Rafflecopter.


The concept of this book as I mentioned above hooked right away. I love zombies and I love Paranormal Romance. To be truthful, I wanted to read this book because I have read other zombie romance books that just kind of wigged me out. I wanted to see if anyone could really write a good romance with zombies and sure enough, Miss McLean did. It was a short read, but a very enjoyable read. Even with the short read, I didn't feel that I was missing out or that the story was rushed. The story unfolded with a perfect timing - not too fast and not too slow. I found myself fighting with my eyes to stay open for a little longer to get through another chapter.


I really enjoyed the characters, especially the heroine, Ceri McKinley. Although she is still pining away for ex-fiance Jason Cricket, she isn't whiny or annoying, which some heroines can be when jilted at the alter. Her motives were real and I could sympathize with her immediately. I also enjoyed the love that she had for her daughter. Despite the still broken heart, Ceri is a strong chick that is independent and very likable.

And then there is the hero...and despite Jason breaking off his engagement three days before the wedding, you can't help but like him when you learn his motives. The guy has a good heart and is one of those good guys, although he's not a wimp. He's such a nice guy that he's appealing.

The villain, Ceri's ex-husband is an awesomely wicked written villain. You love to hate him.

World building:

I loved the zombie background and the concept. I thought that the world building was unique especially in the Paranormal genre where vampires, shifters and witches still rule the shelves. The zombie concept was very clever and very cool.


If you love Paranormal Romance and you want to read something different, then this is your book, especially if you've ever wondered if zombies could be included. The characters are strong and fully dimensional. The plotting is a perfect pace with twists and turns. This is a really easy read and worth the price. Entangled's "Ever After" line is perfect for the reader that is looking for a fast read, but still an enjoyable read. I would give "Wish Upon a Star" four and a half stars and I will definitely be looking at the Ever After line for more novellas to fill my nights.

Do you have a zombie romance novel that you'd recommend? What do you think of zombies in romance?

Thanks for reading!



Jason sank down beside me and pulled me toward him, pressing a kiss against my temple.

“Are you okay?” he asked, brushing soot and a few burned leaves from my face and hair. The smell of burned plastic and singed hair coated everything. But it could have been worse.

I leaned against him for a moment before trying to push to my feet.

Jason stopped me. “Rest for a minute.” He reached into my backpack and pulled out another bottle of water.

I took it gratefully, gulping down half the bottle before handing it to him to finish off. When he was done, he bent down, kissing a drop of water from my lips. His hands cupped my face. “I’m sorry. For everything. All of it. Everything I put you through. These wasted years without you.”

“I’m sorry too.” I pulled away and looked up at him. “If we get through this—”

“When we get through this. Not if.”   

I gave him a small smile and nodded, knowing he knew what I wanted to say without having to voice the words. “When we get through this, maybe we can talk. About things.”

He gave me one more lingering kiss. “I’ll hold you to that.”

“But for now,” I said, brushing a lock of hair from his forehead.

“Rain check?”

“Rain check.”

About the Author:

I grew up in California and have lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. The oldest of five children, I am generally an organized mess with slight Obsessive Compulsive tendencies. I have a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, an insatiable love of books, and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at.

I am the author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, (Career Press Jan 2011), To Trust a Thief (Entangled Scandalous Jan 2013), a historical romance trilogy Blood Blade Sisters (Entangled Scandalous 2013), and a zombie fairy tale retelling Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After Oct 2013). In addition to my novels and non-fiction work, I write picture books and a bit of poetry. If I'm not editing, reading, or chasing my kids around, I can usually be found in a quiet corner working on my next book.

I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.







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