Tagged: Romance

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books) (Volume 1) – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews ROMANCING THE BEAT: STORY STRUCTURE FOR ROMANCE NOVELS by Gwen Hayes - Nonfiction, Writing Craft, Romance Writing

About the Book

Romancing the Beat: Story Structure for Romance Novels (How to Write Kissing Books),  Gwen Hayes 

Teen/Adult, Research, 98 Pages

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 2, 2016)

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre–something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc–not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.

About the Author

Gwen Hayes lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real-life hero and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world.

Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin and followed up by the sequel, Dreaming Awake, in January of 2012.

In addition to writing, Gwen is a freelance editor at www.fresheyescritique.com.

For more information, please visit http://www.gwenhayes.com or sign up for her non-spammy newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/v-4Xj

Gwen is represented by Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency.

Jenn’s Review

I’m pulling my writing craft books off the shelf and reading them as November draws near. I picked this particular book up, hoping to clarify plot beats for my romance writing. When I received it, though, I lost hope. It’s so slender, how could it possibly help me straighten out my messy storylines?

I took my time reading it, though, and have all but chained it to my desk as a permanent part of my writing toolkit. The author of this slim book on romance writing packs so much into this volume in a clear and concise way, and then throws humor and music playlists in on top of it! I’ve been able to sit down with my manuscripts and walk through each, with this book, and identify what’s missing and what needs to be cut. (Hallelujah!)

Of all the books on my shelf, this one tops the list for helpful. Aspiring romance authors, grab this one and don’t let go!

Jenn reviews ROMANCING THE BEAT: STORY STRUCTURE FOR ROMANCE NOVELS by Gwen Hayes - Nonfiction, Writing Craft, Romance Writing

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions. [affiliate link]

Two Hearts, One Stone – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Thrice Read Books helps contemporary romance author Leslie Scott celebrate her new release with a review of her new release: Two Hearts, One Stone

About the Book:

Two Hearts, One Stone by Leslie Scott

Contemporary Romance

The Wild Rose Press – September 26, 2018

Horse trainer Stone Dempsey’s life is all about the ride—with horses and women. He uses his equine talents to impress the country club set and earn money for Smoky Mountain Reining Horses. When his drug-addicted sister deposits her sick baby on his doorstep, he’s suddenly saddled with real responsibility.

Dr. Emmersyn Cole’s goal of starting a practice in her favorite place on earth is finally coming to fruition and she is not going to be sidetracked. Everything is going great until Stone swaggers into her life, half-dressed with a smile that could melt her insides. She’s determined to keep her distance…until he rushes into her grandfather’s home, clutching a feverish baby, terrified and vulnerable, and her heart’s hard shell begins to crack.

In only a few short weeks, Stone’s wayward heart suddenly relies on two women—one who needs him—and one that he might not be able to live without.

Excerpt (by permission of the author & publisher)

He was spinning and dizzy because of Emmy. He hadn’t expected her to throw him for a loop like she had, have him waiting on her after work, cleaning up his cabin, and all the other silly things he’d done in the past few weeks.

Yet there he was, with a shoulder against the stall door, watching the sparkles of faded sunlight dance in her reddish, curling hair.

He was a goner.

“I feel naked when you look at me like that.” Her fingers trembled as she tucked a lock behind her ear.

“That’s not the way I look at you when you’re naked.”

About the Author:

Leslie spends most days attempting to wrangle the voices in her head and often wishes she could clone herself so that their stories get told faster. She loves words, romance, and characters that feel like family and spends almost all of her free time with her own family; including a boisterous eleven-year-old that she homeschools and an assorted cast of rescue pets. She lives her own happily ever after with her soul mate and best friend in the northern part of Alabama and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest    Youtube Playlists

Jenn’s Review:

Sexy cowboy Cassanova meets sweet pediatrician in Leslie Scott’s newest cowboy romance, Two Hearts One Stone.

Stone Dempsey is sexy, smooth, a fantastic horse trainer… And a shameless playboy who has more notches in his bedpost than any man has a right to. When his boss’s granddaughter, Emmersyn, moves back to town to start her pediatric practice, Stone is immediately attracted. Except she has a front row seat to a spectacular exit from his latest conquest, and his reputation precedes him.

Emmersyn doesn’t have time for a relationship. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself. Stone makes it easy to resist, at first. But when he shows up at her grandfather’s house with a sick baby, she’s caught in a tornado of emotion. When she learns the baby isn’t his daughter, and a bit more of Stone’s story comes to light, she has an increasingly difficult time convincing herself to stay away.

Ms. Scott weaves steamy sexual chemistry with deep characters against a southern rural backdrop filled with tempting debutantes and high-value horses.

This is the kind of romance I love to read, and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happens next.

For fans of adult contemporary romance and sexy cowboy stories. Mature language and scenes, with a sweet story and subplot.

Jenn reviews Two Hearts, One Stone, a new Adult Contemporary Romance from Author Leslie Scott and The Wild Rose Press on the Thrice Read Books Blog

Where to Buy:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon: 

To Hold A Siren’s Heart – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn's review of adult paranormal/urban fantasy romance TO HOLD A SIREN'S HEART by Rachel Leigh Smith

About the Book

To Hold A Siren’s Heart, Rachel Leigh Smith (Redemption’s Price Book 1)

Adult,  Romance/Paranormal, 336 Pages

Rachel L. Smith (November 15, 2016)

Sleeping with the enemy is never a good idea. Neither is falling in love with her.

Siren David Michaels lives by one rule: no relationships. His kind is cursed to lives of jealousy and selfishness when it comes to relationships. Having a one-night stand with a sexy stranger sounded good at the time. The last thing he expected was to see her show up seven years later claiming his very sick little brother is the long-lost next alpha of the Boulder pride.

Megan Kincade, the only daughter of the Boulder pride alpha, hasn’t stopped dreaming about the dark-haired man she slept with in Florida. The last thing she expected was to find him claiming her little brother as his own, and learning he’s a siren. The enemy.

Taking his little brother back to his family is the only way for him to live. But if David loses him, he loses his humanity. And he also sets off a war if his symphony finds him. Then there’s the problem of falling in love with the alpha’s daughter.

When David’s symphony comes for him, he gives himself up to save Meg and Owen. The love he thinks himself incapable of is the only thing that can save him. Provided Meg can find the courage to defy her pride and save her siren’s heart.

About the Author

Rachel Leigh Smith was swept off her feet at the age of six by Magnum, P.I., then again at nine by Frank Hardy. She remembers her favorite romance novels by the hero’s name, so of course, she writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family, a half-crazed calico, a ginger tabby lion, and a menagerie of book boyfriends.

She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America.

Jenn’s Review

Shapeshifters, warring ancient pantheons, and love that transcends tradition and discrimination, all packed into a smooth, free-flowing paranormal romance? Where do I sign up?

David’s brother is dying. Rheumatoid arthritis is tearing apart his frail body, bound into human form by an unknown person for unknown reasons. When his friend Dante shows up to tell David that he’s located Owen’s birth family, the news is a mixed blessing.

Owen grounds David, helps him manage his Siren urges and keeps him from becoming the monster David knows hides inside. Owen doesn’t know anything about their secret world, though, and David’s father handed down a blood oath to protect Owen. No matter what.

Owen needs his birth family, though, if he’s to break the curse that’s killing him. And Dante’s news is the first ray of hope. The catch? The sister Dante brings is the one night stand that David can’t forget.

Meg’s life is a shadow of what she wants. Her pride blames her for her brother’s abduction and has all but shunned her. And the amazing night she had back in Florida several years ago, is the one time she felt unburdened. Too bad he was a one not.

When Owen agrees to return to the pride, he has one condition – David has to be allowed to come along. The problem? David’s kind has been at war with Owen and Meg’s kind for millennia. David’s parents fled from their symphony, not far from Owen’s pride lands, but they never told him why – only that he had to stay away from Denver at all costs. Unless Owen’s life depended on it. Can he keep the secret of what he is long enough to settle Owen and get out before he brings a war to the two people he loves most?

To Hold a Siren’s Heart had all the requisite beats in all the right places. Even though the sex was all behind closed doors (mentioned but not played out on the page), the story still packs in the heat. The fast pace had me turning the pages (just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed), but the ending? Not quite satisfying. It felt rushed and incomplete, which was a disappointment after such an awesome plot.

Compelling characters, slight cliffhanger ending, action and irresistible bonds of love make up this story. My only dislike was that ending, but the ending alone doesn’t make me rule out reading the next book in the series.

Jenn's review of adult paranormal/urban fantasy romance TO HOLD A SIREN'S HEART by Rachel Leigh Smith

Buy the Book

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle edition.

We Are Mars – Review

About the Book:

We Are Mars: The Rubicon Saga – Part 1      By Cheryl Lawson

Publisher: Southernwood Technologies Inc.

Series: The Rubican Saga      Genre: SciFi Fantasy

Release Date: May 15, 2018

The year is 2128. 

For the people of Rubicon, Mars is Home – hostile and unforgiving – but still Home. When Rubicon is taken by surprise by an unexpected and deadly threat, it’s a race against time and a desperate fight to stay alive. 

Jax and Dana, Ridley and Chuck, Lenny and Maliyah all stand on opposite sides of a class divide, battling passions and tensions in equal measure. But can they work together to avert a disaster? Could the fundamental differences between them be the key to their survival, or to their destruction? 

To make matters worse, unsettling events on Earth put the entire Mars Mission at risk and Rubicon – with little choice left – declares its independence. The news of this is not welcomed by powerful politicians that devise dubious plans to shelve the settlement, once and for all. 

Mistakes are made, allegiances shift and lives hang in the balance. No one can be trusted as allies become enemies and the true nature of life on Mars is revealed – One wrong move, and it will be your last.

About the Author:

Cheryl Lawson lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, with her husband and son. Cheryl grew up in South Africa, moving to Canada in 2006 when her son was just a year old. They settled in the lower mainland of BC, before moving, in 2017, to Kamloops. After a long career as a graphic designer, photographer and artist, Cheryl began pursuing writing, full-time, in 2014. She released her first non-fiction book in 2016. When she is not writing, Cheryl continues to pursue her passion for nature through her art and photography. Cheryl is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and a member of the Kamloops Arts Council. Her non-fiction book, a manifesto of her career as a creative professional, is entitled Authentic Creativity, How to Make the Most of Your Creative Intent, Strategy & Perspective. It is penned under her married name, Cheryl Bezuidenhout. We Are Mars is Cheryl’s first fiction novel.

Brian’s Review:

 As a person who would love to be a Mars Colonist, We Are Mars, is a great starter book for Cheryl.  The book moves pretty fast, and has enough entertainment to keep me interested. There are a few questions I have about some of the things that take place, but they aren’t hard to over look for the entertainment of the story.  Again for a first novel, the writing was pretty good and I am anxiously awaiting book two. Cheryl really hits home with her descriptions of life on Mars and the struggles that would come with it. The “Red Planet” never read so good, as far as I have read.  Recommend this book for anyone who looks at the stars and wonders.

Brian reviews Cheryl Lawson's debut science fiction novel "We Are Mars" on the Thrice Read Books blog

Sam’s Review: 

We are Mars by Cheryl Lawson was okay. It bounced from person to person, but it’s still worth reading. The book is a science fiction, for those who are wondering.

Mars has been claimed by the human race for science. However, the precious water from the dry planet has been poisoned, causing an outbreak that kills many. The heroes (and heroine) learn that they are not the only humans on Mars.

We are Mars is perfect for people who don’t mind sudden changes of point of view.  It was still good, though. I liked the characters, and the plot twists, though I don’t like the cliffhanger.

Sam adds her thoughts to the review blog for Cheryl Lawson's WE ARE MARS, book 1 in the Rubicon Saga, on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Beyond Circumstances – Revew

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews new release Adult Contemporary Romance by Gloria Joynt-Lang, Beyond Circumstances

About the book:

Beyond Circumstances     by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Series: Out of the Darkness     Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting     June 12, 2018

Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.

Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.

Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distance himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the Beyond Circumstances blog tour, hosted by Fiery Seas Publishing

 About the author:

Beyond Circumstances author Gloria Joynt-Lang

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.

Join Gloria on social media: Facebook     Twitter     Website

Jenn sat down for a chat with Gloria recently, to talk about her debut novel. You can read all about it here, in this edition of Between the Pages.

Jenn’s Review:

Holy wow! I had to read this book in about 3 sittings (darn you, Housework!), and had a hard time putting it down. Gloria Joynt-Lang knocked it out of the park in her debut novel, Beyond Circumstances.

When I say the characters of this book are well-developed, I mean that they could easily be the couple sitting next to you in the diner Friday evening. These aren’t “perfect” people. They are flawed, they struggle, they do their best, and they don’t always win. Even the secondary characters are developed and easy to picture (I actually spent time describing some of the characters, by giving them counterparts in our own small town).

Ms. Joynt-Lang lovingly, exquisitely crafts the inner and outer experiences of PTSD and bigotry. No subtle conflicts reside here. Nope. The reader is dropped deep into the mind of someone struggling with severe anxiety attacks and mental health problems. You walk right alongside the hero of the story as his past and present unfold and he fights to find something akin to peace.

The zinger, is in Lexie’s story. While you might think you understand what drove the heroine of this story to leave her big city life, the author waits…and waits…and waits…before she zaps you with the rest of the story.

This is the first book in a series, and I can promise that this reader will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series. An easy 5 stars.

Book review of Gloria Joynt-Lang's debut adult contemporary romance novel, Beyond Circumstances, by Jenn of the Thrice Read Books staff.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here.

Boy of Blood – Review

Boy of blood book review

About the Book:

Boy of Blood promo banner

Boy of Blood     by Megan O’Russell

Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

Series: Girl of Glass    Genre: YA Dystopia

Release Date: April 10, 2018

After Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

Boy of Blood by Megan O'Russell Book Review

Buy the Book:

Amazon     Barnes&Noble     Kobo     iTunes

About the Author:

Megan O'Russell - Author of Boy of Blood

Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

Megan’s Social Media:

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Blog

Megan’s also running a Rafflecopter for her new release. Click the link to enter!

Jenn’s Review:

Megan O’Russell hits another home run with Boy of Blood, book 2 in the Girl of Glass series.

This book picks up right where Girl of Glass left off – the night Nightland attacked the domes. Nola struggles with intense feelings; she’s betrayed the domes, and those she tried to help, betrayed her. The boy she loved has turned on her, and she begins to accept Jeremy’s love as she starts to heal. The blinders are off now, and every time Nola turns around, she discovers another lie, another secret, more and more blood on her hands as she starts to ask herself who the real monsters are. What’s a girl to do?

Megan’s world building in this series is amazing. She’s created vivid settings and torn them down, piece by piece. Her characters are rich, deep and (mostly) relatable – I can’t honestly say I can relate to the blood thirsty, murderous and snarky Vamper, Raina. However, even the difficult-to-understand characters have their own story that makes them understandable, even if they aren’t likeable. (What kind of dystopian/urban fantasy would it be if everyone was rainbows and sparkles?)

Boy of Blood is just as fast-paced and full of plot twists as book 1 was. And… Nah. Not gonna give away the spoilers. Though, I will say that Megan has confirmed that there are at least 2 more books coming in this series. (I say “at least” only because she revealed this was originally supposed to be a trilogy, during our interview.)

Girl of Glass and Boy of Blood are easily on par with Hunger Games and Maze Runner. Fans of dystopian fiction – this one’s for you! Paranormal and urban fantasy fans looking for a twist on the usual vampires and werewolves – check this one out.

Easily 5 out of 5 stars from this reader. (Sam’s reading this book as I write my review – keep an eye out for her vlog post, coming soon to a YouTube near you!)

Sam’s Review:

Megan O’Russell continues the Girl of Glass series with Boy of Blood, which starts up right where its predecessor left off. Nola, Raina, and all the rest star in this book yet again, and it doesn’t disappoint this reader.

Nola has been safely, well, semi-safely, returned to the domes after Nightland attacks her home. No longer trusting Kieran, she chooses to trust Jeremy with her heart. Another mistake, for while she tries to help the outsiders, she hates the drugs. And the males Outer Guards have been taking drugs like that to survive. Nola feels like she can’t stay in the domes any longer.

This was just as fun to read and enjoy as the first book, and it had some angry and tender moments. I loved how Megan brought back Raina, because she, overall, is one of my favorite characters. My second favorite, to be exact. First favorite goes to Eden from the first book. I didn’t like how Nola has lost two boys in her love life due to betrayal.

Last words:

Click here to read our review of Girl of Glass.

We also sat down with Megan and talked a bit about her new release. You can read the interview here.

Healer – Review

About the book:

Healer by Susan Miura

YA Inspirational Fiction 

Vinspire Publishing January 31, 2018

258 pages

A young adult novel from Vinspire Publishing

Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli’s average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn’t something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji. Definitely not Kenji.

​Deep beneath Misty Morning’s tough façade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters…until Shilo prays for Tyler, and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.

Shilo can’t give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.

The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.

About the Author:

Susan loves to wander. Beaches, mountains, deserts, caves and canyons…it doesn’t matter, as long as she’s surrounded by God’s amazing creation. When wandering isn’t an option, she’s an author, travel presenter, public relations professional and photographer. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Susan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in journalism and a determination to become a reporter. From a newsroom in Berwyn, Illinois to a television station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her dream became a reality. Back in her home state, she works in public relations for a library and is a member of Willow Creek Community Church and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Susan is happily married and the mom of a daughter, son, stepdaughter, and one incredibly adorable Cleo cat.

Sam’s Review:

Filled with religion, and magic, Healer is a good book. The author is Susan Miura, so please show her some love by reading her books.

Shilo, an Italian Christian, has the Lord’s healing power. This means that she can heal anyone, so long as God wills it. The gift runs in the family, but it has to remain a secret. If anyone knows about the gift, oh boy, reporters, sick people, injured people seeking out help, etc., will not leave her or her family alone.

Susan Miura’s Healer is a true fantasy with magic and a bit of drama. Even though it’s religious, I’m okay with that because I try not to judge people on what they write and what they like. Honestly, I can’t find any dislikes about this book, so that’s that.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Susan Muira's new release, Healer, a YA Inspirational/Christian fiction novel on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

More Praise for Susan Miura’s Healer

Susan Miura’s thought-provoking novel, HEALER brought out longings in me I’ve had for years. How I’ve wanted to have the gift of healing during times when loved ones were suffering, but to no avail. However, Miura’s ever-present theme of “be careful what you wish for” is carefully balanced with the supreme mes- sage of what faithfulness, acceptance and love do to heal our wounds and bind up our hearts. It doesn’t take a special gift to exhibit those, but the resulting miracle is just as powerful. Beautifully rendered. – Lisa Samson, author of Women of Faith’s Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer, The Passion of Mary Margaret, and Summer of Hope.

Miura pens a unique and moving tale of a young woman’s extraordinary spiritual journey amidst all the tangles of being a teenager. Evocative in its possibilities and yet totally relatable, this is a book that will not only keep any reader turning the pages, but also stop and think “What if that happened to me?” — Allie Pleiter, award-winning author of over 25 inspirational nov- els.

Talented author Susan Miura has crafted an engaging young adult tale of the power of faith, love, family, and friends. I can’t wait to read more of what Shilo does next with her amazing gift. –A.J. Cattapan, award-winning author of Angelhood and Seven Riddles to Nowhere

Muira’s own gift of writing well crafted young adult suspense shines in this page turning story. Shilo’s strug- gle to learn what her gift means for herself and those around her parallels questions many have about their identity and purpose. This diverse, sympathetic cast deals with weighty situations in between soccer practice and normal life in a seamless, enjoyable story. – Amy Alessio, multipublished author, speaker, and librarian.

Spirit Fall – Review

Jenn reviews Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, starting with book 1, Spirit Fall - Adult Paranormal Romance review on the blog at Thrice Read Books

About the Book:

Spirit Fall  by Tessa McFionn

Paranormal Romance     The Guardians, book 1

Published by Etopia Press December 26, 2014

306 pages

The Guardians Book One

After a year-long depression following the murder of her fiancé, Siobhan Whelan stands on a bridge, tormented by unending nightmares, one step away from jumping. Only the kindness of a seductive stranger brings her back down to earth. But the handsome stranger is more than meets the eye, and soon Voni finds herself thrust into a strange new world.

For seven hundred years, Malakai Vadim has shouldered the mantle of Guardian Warrior. But a chance encounter with the tormented beauty brings him face to face with his destiny. His nemesis, Dmitrius Konstantin, has been feeding Voni’s grief through nightmares, wanting her and her untapped powers for his own. As Kai learns of his foe’s deadly interest, he must solve the riddle of Voni’s tortured dreams while holding his growing desire for her at bay. 

Too bad the enemy Rogue Warriors have other plans. Now, along with fellow Guardian Eamon McClearon, Kai must venture into the In-Between, the enemy’s powerbase, to save her soul as well as his own. But can his love be strong enough to save them both?

About the Author:

Tessa McFionn, author of Spirit Fall

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music, as well as the regular trip to The Happiest Place on Earth with friends and family.

Jenn’s Review:

Romance fans – grab a glass of ice water, some tissues and hold onto your seats for this one.

I’ve read Tessa McFionn’s science fiction Romance, To Discover a Divine, and when she asked me to read and review her paranormal romance series, I jumped on the chance. And I was definitely not disappointed.

From page one, Kai and Voni’s connections and conflicts pulled me in, and had me sing-songing, “Just one more chapter, honey,” at bedtime. You know I love a good romance – the hotter the better.

Sparks fly between these two characters almost from the beginning, and when they finally give in to the call of their wild natures, it’s hotter than hot. but there are mysteries and problems on the horizon, and the story keeps you turning pages right to the end before all is revealed. And the best part? This book isn’t the final chapter in their story.

In a style reminiscent of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ms. McFionn spins a steamy-hot, action filled romance between an Otherworldly being and a seemingly normal human. 

Thrice Read Books review blog: Jenn reviews Spirit Fall, by Tessa McFionn. Guardians book 1 - Adult paranormal romance

Buy this book:

This book is available in Kindle and Paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other books in the series:

Spirit Bound (book 2)

Spirit Song (book 3)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Also by Tessa McFionn: 

To Discover A Divine (Rise of the Stria Book 1)

And finally:

You can read our interview with Ms. Fionn here.

Spirit Bound – Review

Jenn Reviews book 2 in Tessa McFionn's Guardian series, SPIRIT BOUND - Adult paranormal romance on Thrice Read Books' blog

About this book:

Spirit Bound by Tessa McFionn

Paranormal Romance The Guardians series, Book 2

Published by Etopia Press October 15, 2015

282 pages

The Guardians Book Two

Ancient danger. Deadly rivals. A love that spans the Void of time…

Kidnapped and tortured for days, grad student Calliope Vandeen is sure her pleas for mercy have fallen on deaf ears. But when she hears a seductive voice in her head, followed by a towering warrior straight out of her ancient history textbooks, she begins to believe in fairy tale endings. Swept into a world of living heroes with magical powers, Cal must call upon her deepest wells of strength…if her captors have left anything alive within her.

Galen Alexiou is one of the oldest Guardian Warriors, serving the cause for almost 2,500 years. Never once did he think he would find his spiritmate, much less that she would call to him across the Void. But when he hears the voice calling for help, he realizes that not only is she real, but she’s in deadly danger at the hands of Rogue Stefan de Coldreto, an ancient enemy with a ruthless gift. With this mysterious young beauty in his hands, he must learn how his enemies found the female who holds the key to his salvation, and destroy this evil before it claims both Calliope’s life, and his very soul…

About the author:

Spirit Bound author Tessa McFionn

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music, as well as the regular trip to The Happiest Place on Earth with friends and family.

Jenn’s Review:

Holy Moley, girlfriend. Tessa McFionn strikes again with book two in her Guardians series with Spirit Bound

Once more, the story kicks off with the heroine, Cal, in a very dark and dangerous place. The bad guys (Rogue Warriors) once again, have their hooks in a woman destined to be a Spirit Mate, and when our hero, Galen, crashes onto the scene, he has zero mercy for the culprits.

Their journey together isn’t all roses and champagne though (or pastries and coffee, for that matter). Cal comes with her own set of struggles, and Galen is wrestling with an old nemesis, and his haste to help Cal settle into her new reality kinda screws the pooch – and significantly shortens his window of opportunity to woo his new-found Spirit Mate.

Another kick-ass heroine in disguise (this time, as a grad student of ancient history) defies the damsel-in-distress cliche, and a literal ancient Greek hero adds spice to this paranormal romance. 

I likened Ms. McFionn’s writing to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series in my review of book one, but to be honest, by the time I finished this part of the book, I think Tessa is on the verge of passing Kenyon in the ranks of “My Favorite Authors”. (Sorry, Sherrilyn! Hubby and I both still love you!)

If paranormal romance, packed with action, is your thing, check out Spirit Bound. It isn’t entirely a stand-alone – the couple from book one does make a significant appearance in this book – but it can be followed easily enough on its own. One word of caution – this book is heavily peppered with the F-bomb. But with its plethora of street-wise warriors and assorted, seedy gang bangers, it is well-used for character. 

This week on the Thrice Read Books blog, Jenn reviews book 2 in Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, SPIRIT BOUND. Adult paranormal romance

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Other books in this series:

Spirit Fall (book 1)

Spirit Song (book 3)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Other books by Tessa McFionn:

To Discover a Divine (Rise of the Stria, book 1)

Check out our interview with Ms. McFionn in our newsletter archives here.

Spirit Song – Review

Jenn's review of book 3 of Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, SPIRIT SONG. Adult paranormal romance review on Thrice Read Books' book review blog.

About the Book:

Spirit Song by Tessa McFionn (Book 3 of The Guardians)

Adult Paranormal Romance

Published by Etopia Press August 30, 2016

181 pages

The assassin and the angel. Can her song redeem his soul?

Miranda Devalande had long since given up on her dreams of a happy life. Forced to sing at mob boss Slick Sal’s seedy nightclub to cover her brother’s rising gambling debts, she survives from day to day as a caged bird. With each new bad bet by her wayward brother, her hope of finding a way free of her “contract” fades. Until a mysterious stranger arrives at the club and turns her whole life upside down…

Danger has always swirled around reluctant Guardian Warrior Sebastian Lambert. Trained as an assassin and recruited out of desperation, he now battles the evils of power-hungry Rogues in Chicago. When his friend and fellow Guardian Viktor Arnhart drags him into a nightclub, he would have never imagined to find an angel at the mic.

Caught between his desire to keep Miranda safe and his drive to hold her close, Bastian must walk the line between the light of a beautiful songstress and the dark of his perilous past even as dangerous forces threaten to destroy them both. Will he open his heart to her in time, or will she fall prey to her soulless fate?

About the Author:

Tessa McFionn, author of Spirit Song and the Guardians Series

Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards. 

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music. 

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

Jenn’s Review:

Number three in a series can be a killer, but Tessa McFionn dodges the blow and has a winner in Spirit Song, book 3 in her Guardians series.

Sebastian is a warrior, an assassin and a Guardian by chance, rather than by choice. Centuries after being roped into an eternal gig, he’s tired, raw, and a little off the rails. The only thing keeping him this side of crazy-town is fellow Guardian, Viktor.

Viktor drags a reluctant Bas to the seedy side of town, where the lovely angel on stage tugs at something inside Bas he’s long-thought dead.

Bas isn’t the only one tired of the hand fate dealt. Miranda wanted nothing more than to finish school and enjoy a career as a singer. Instead, she belongs to a mob boss who’s trying to impress Bastian’s arch-nemesis.

Will Miranda accept Bastian in all his brokenness? Can Bas find a way to get Miranda out of the bind she’s in?

Once again, Ms. McFionn keeps the pace brisk, and the plot driven. I struggled with having to put the book down to sleep.  (Just one more chapter!) The end snuck up on me, and I am more than ready to start book four, Spirit Shattered, which is already loaded and open on my tablet.

I think fans of Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series will enjoy this series. Paranormal and romance in a perfect balance with hot heroes, strong heroines, snarky humor and well-developed characters.

Jenn's review of book 3 of Tessa McFionn's Guardians series, SPIRIT SONG. Adult paranormal romance review on Thrice Read Books' book review blog.

Buy the Book:

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Other Books in the Series:

Spirit Fall (book 1)

Spirit Bound (book 2)

Spirit Shattered (book 4)

Other Books by Tessa McFionn:

To Discover a Divine (Rise of the Stria book 1)

We sat down with Tessa to talk a bit about her books, and you can read the interview here.