Category Archives: Adult Paranormal Romance

Interview with author Sondrae Bennett

PictureI am ridiculously ecstatic to have Sondrae Bennett on my blog today! I love her Alpine Shifter series, the latest book, Covert Desires (review here) was fantastic! I was excited to get the chance to ask her some questions about the series and am happy to share the interview with you. Enjoy and make sure you check out Sondrae’s website so you can check out all the books in this series. Onto the interview!

A Bookworm’s Haven (ABWH): Can you tell us a little bit about Covert Desires for those who might not have read it?

Sondrae Bennett (SB): Sure, Covert Desires is the fifth book in my Alpine Woods Shifters series and picks up where the last book, Worth Fighting For, leaves off (although it does read as a stand-alone if needed). In Covert Desires, Covert DesiresAmber comes to Alpine Woods undercover to determine the cause of an outbreak of violent riots in the area. Danny, one of the wolf shifters who run the local pack, knows what she is, and sets out to lead her away from any shifter activity. So the book starts out with both characters deceiving the other, and follows them through love and beyond.

ABWH: Do you have a favorite scene from Covert Desires? I personally loved the whole rock climbing scene because it felt like a turning point in their relationship and the hot make-out session when they sneak away for a minute. ;)

SB: Thanks! The rock climbing scene is a good one, but I think my favorite scene is when Danny tries to get Amber to go out with him again. I find it really amusing that Amber can’t resist Danny even when she sets out to do exactly that.

Artic WindsABWH: I am hoping with the way you ended this book that Laurie is going to get her book next. *crosses fingers* If it is not Laurie, can you tell us which sibling is up next in the Alpine Shifters world?

SB: Yes, Laurie will be the next book in the series, but I’m still in the planning phase and will probably begin writing it in January. Her story will open up a whole bunch of new characters, at least one of which will get a story of his own after that. Before Laurie’s story though, I have at least one book outside the series releasing. Keep your eyes out for Kalindra next May. It’s another paranormal romance and I’m very excited about it.

ABWH: If Covert Desires could be made into a movie, who would your dream cast be for Danny and Amber? Worth Fighting For

SB: Sometimes when I write, I have clear actors in mind for a character. Julie from The Wolf Within would have absolutely been played by Bridget Regan (with her dark hair). But I don’t know who I would get to play Danny or Amber, so I would probably hold auditions and go with some unknown actors.

ABWH: You have created a fascinating world you in the Alpine Shifters novellas, with lovable characters and great shifter mythology. Which comes first for you? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

SB: A little bit of both I suppose. The books are very character driven. That’s just how I write. Without a clear idea of who the characters are, I can’t put them on paper. But I also have a rough idea of the plot as well. Especially in the last three which have all grown from the conflict in the previous books.

The Wolf WithinABWH: Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

SB: This is a hard one! I’d love to say yes, but I can’t think of any. I certainly see aspects of myself in characters. For that matter, I see parts of my personality in every character I write. But I can’t think of one character I’ve read or seen that personifies me. There are plenty I wish I was more like, though, lol.

ABWH: Who are some authors that are on your must read list?

SB: I love this question. Shelly Laurenston is one of my favorites. She adds humor into her books so beautifully, and I absolutely adore every character she writes. Patricia Briggs is another. Both her Mercy Thompson series and her Alpha and Omega series are among my favorites. I also love Maya Banks, Lauren Dane, Kresley Cole, and Karen Marie Moning (there are no words to describe how amazing the Fever series is).

ABWH: What is something you have to have with you chasingparadise when writing?

SB: Paper and pencil. Even though I write on the computer, I’m constantly jotting down notes in a notebook. That and something to drink, usually coffee or some fancy latte beverage. Food nice, too, but have to have the beverage.

ABWH: Is there anything you are working on now that you are really excited about?

SB: Well, as I mentioned above, I’m in edits for Kalindra, which will be releasing in May. At one point, I was bawling as I wrote one of the scenes, and I’m excited to see if the emotions come through for readers like I hope they did. I also am working on a completely different book at the moment that’s very mystical and very soft paranormal, presently titled Bring Me To Life, that is still early in the writing phase, but I have big hopes for it. After that, it’ll be on to Laurie’s story which I can already tell is going to be a lot of fun. So lots of good things on the horizon.kalindra_cover

ABWH: Thanks so much for being here today Sondrae! Is there anything that you would like to add?

SB: Thank you for having me! If anyone is interested in learning more, my website is www.sondraebennett.com and all my books can be found on Amazon, B&N, and digital bookstores everywhere. That and I’ll be checking back throughout the day, so if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer them!

Want to know more about Sondrae? Find her in the following places.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Blurb for Covert Desires:

Will desire be enough once all their secrets are revealed?

Still recovering from a traumatic assignment, Amber is wary of the man who shows up at her door with a plate of cookies and a welcoming smile. Instinct warns her he’s not all he seems. Then again, neither is she. Since she was sent to root out the secrets of the town and its people, she might as well accept his invitation to dinner. But when things start to heat up between them, will her loyalty lie with her job, or the man trying to win her heart?

Danny knows Amber is an FBI agent. Tasked by his brothers and the shifter council to keep her from discovering too much, he sets out to seduce her, a perfect cover to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t learn about his pack or their society. He hadn’t counted on a blazing attraction at first sight, though. His wolf knows Amber is his mate, and he’ll do anything to keep her safe and happy. But how can he reveal everything he is, and everything he’s been keeping from her, without losing her forever?

Novella Review of Covert Desires by Sondrae Bennett

Title: Covert Desires

Author: Sondrae Bennett

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 5th, 2012

Will desire be enough once all their secrets are revealed?

Still recovering from a traumatic assignment, Amber is wary of the man who shows up at her door with a plate of cookies and a welcoming smile. Instinct warns her he’s not all he seems. Then again, neither is she. Since she was sent to root out the secrets of the town and its people, she might as well accept his invitation to dinner. But when things start to heat up between them, will her loyalty lie with her job, or the man trying to win her heart?

Danny knows Amber is an FBI agent. Tasked by his brothers and the shifter council to keep her from discovering too much, he sets out to seduce her, a perfect cover to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t learn about his pack or their society. He hadn’t counted on a blazing attraction at first sight, though. His wolf knows Amber is his mate, and he’ll do anything to keep her safe and happy. But how can he reveal everything he is, and everything he’s been keeping from her, without losing her forever?

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not normally one who likes novellas. I have tried quite a few of them and I always end up feeling like I was cheated out of something. Whether it was the plot or character development, I usually finish up the story and feel frustrated. However, I will never say that about Sondrae Bennett’s novellas. They are just hands down amazing! She manages to pull off an incredible story, well developed characters that are impossible not to love, and some sizzling romance that always heats up the pages. I have read some full length novels that don’t even come close to making me feel the kind of connection I always get out of one of Sondrae’s books.

In Covert Desires, we pick up right where we left off in Worth Fighting For. Danny has been enlisted by his siblings to get close to the FBI agent, Amber, and keep her off the trail of what really goes on in their town. They don’t want to drive her away or harm her, they just don’t want her discovering that shifters live in Alpine Woods. Danny, who is usually the quiet one, begrudgingly accepts the job and hopes that he can just get it over with quickly. That is until he meets Amber and all logically thought goes straight out the window.

Amber is still reeling from some pretty traumatic personal issues when she comes to Alpine Woods on assignment. She is hoping to use this trip to prove herself as an agent, but she is also struggling with where she fits in. She lives in DC, but has no real ties there and is drawn to the cabin she is staying in while in Alpine Woods. She desperately wants to find somewhere she belongs, but has built so many walls around herself, she keeps everyone she meets at arm’s length.

Since Danny and Amber are not really sure if they can trust one another, they take the relationship very slow. The side effect of this was a delicious build of tension that oozed off the pages. I was so absorbed in the story and the romance between Danny and Amber.

I also enjoyed seeing past characters come back and weave into the story seamlessly. Amber does not get along with Danny’s family right away and the conflict that arose because of this was very interesting to watch.

Overall, I cannot say enough good things about Sondrae. She is an amazing writer who I always know I can turn to when I am looking for an engaging story filled with hot shifters and even hotter romance. You can read these novellas out of order, but I highly recommend starting at the beginning of the series and working your way through. Trust me, it is worth it! I am very eager to see whose story Sondrae will bring us next.

FTC: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review of Knight Awakened by Coreene Callahan

Title: Knight Awakened

Author: Coreene Callahan

Genre: Adult Historical Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 4th , 2012

In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him—dead or alive.

For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good—if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.

Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic—and handsome—hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead.

Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop adventure.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: I am a big fan of Coreene’s Dragonfury series, so when Coreene contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing Knight Awakened I jumped at the chance. I do not read a lot of historical romance, but there is enough paranormal in this book to keep me satisfied. And I actually found myself really loving the language of this time and the historical elements that were woven into the story. Since this is the first book in the series Corenne did have a lot of information to give us to develop this world, but she gave it to us in small doses and avoided the info dump that can often come with a new series. I appreciated getting just bits and pieces of the puzzle as the journey unfolded before us.

In Knight Awakened, we follow Xavian and Afina. Xavian is a trained assassin who has escaped his maker in an attempt to start a new life. He no longer wants to bend to someone else’s will, but desires freedom. Some have followed him and he has become their unintentional leader. While he still has killer instinct he tries to go about every situation fairly and does not punish those who do not deserve it. He is a complete alpha male, but is broken inside and needs someone to help him realize that he too deserves to be happy. Enter Afina, she has also been dealt a bad hand in life and has no family to speak of, except her sister’s daughter who she now cares for. She is on the run from Vladimir Barbu who wishes to use her for political gain. She starts off a little skittish and is unsure of her own strength, but she quickly develops into a head strong woman who is brave, caring and fights for what she knows she deserves. While both characters go through physical obstacles, Knight Awakened is really a novel about self-discovery. Xavian and Afina are just now learning what they are truly made of and how to heal a lifetime of hurt so they can let someone else in.

The romance in this book was a slow build since the two characters do not trust each other right away, but the tension was extraordinary to watch! Xavian and Afina both need someone to help heal their pasts and together they form a fragile bond that is tender and very sweet to watch as it slowly grows stronger. They are both inexperienced when it comes to divulging their feelings and I enjoyed watching them learn how to love together.

The action in this book was non-stop and really exciting. There were multiple people coming after both characters and danger lurked around every corner. We do get to see inside the enemies heads which was very intriguing. They are after Xavian and Afina for different reasons, but they are both evil to their core. They were villains that were easy to hate and I am sure we have not seen the last of at least one of them.

The world itself was so alluring. I soaked in all the vibrant details that Coreene gave us. We travel alongside Afina and Xavian as they journey cross country and I could picture it all as a map unfurling in my head. Since the characters do not remain stagnant and the scenery kept changing, it kept my mind fully engaged in the world and even when there was a lull in the action I was still fully immersed in the world.

Overall, Knight Awakened is a stellar start to a new series. Coreene has blended together a magical world filled with fierce warriors, an intriguing prophecy, malicious villains, mythical creatures and scorching hot romance that will burn up the pages. Even though this book was four hundred and fifty pages, I devoured it in one sitting, it was just that amazing! I loved every second I spent in this world and can only hope Corenne will continue the journey and let the other warriors have their own books as well. I am personally hoping to see more from Henrik. ;)

FTC: I received this ARC from the author. Thank you!