Tag Archives: humour

Recommended Reads: The Tassamara Trilogy by Sarah Wynde

The Tassamara series is one I’m very happy to recommend to readers of urban paranormal fantasy – particularly if you enjoyed the TV show ‘A Town Called Eureka‘!

I originally blogged my review of A Gift of Ghosts here but I am including that review in this post, too, for the sake of completeness. 🙂

When reading each of my reviews in this post, please bear in mind that they were written independently of one another, immediately after reading each book!

A Gift of Ghosts (Tassamara, #1)A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Description

Akira Malone believes in the scientific method, evolution, and Einstein’s theory of relativity. And ghosts.

All the logic and reason in the world can’t protect her from the truth—she can see and communicate with spirits. But Akira is sure that her ability is just a genetic quirk and the ghosts she encounters simply leftover electromagnetic energy. Dangerous electromagnetic energy.

Zane Latimer believes in telepathy, precognition, auras, and that playing Halo with your employees is an excellent management technique. He also thinks that maybe, just maybe, Akira Malone can help his family get in touch with their lost loved ones.

But will Akira ever be able to face her fears and accept her gift? Or will Zane’s relatives be trapped between life and death forever?

My Review

A Gift of Ghosts is a book I enjoyed on many levels.

The lead characters are strong, with doubt and uncertainty as much a part of their relationship as the attraction.

I thought the conflict between Akira’s scientific, analytical approach to her gift, and the reality of her experiences, was realistically portrayed. As she learns more about her gift, and its apparent limits, we in turn discover more of her past, such as who broke the bones in her hand – and why.

There’s plenty of humour, too, not least from the cast of ghosts in attendance. Akira’s interaction with the ghosts brings an unusual and quirky feel to the story.

No dull moments, no wasted scenes, just a really enjoyable, intelligent read. So glad it’s the first in a series… the sequel, A Gift of Thought, awaits!

A Gift of Thought (Tassamara, #2)A Gift of Thought by Sarah Wynde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description

At seventeen, Sylvie Blair ran away from the small town of Tassamara, Florida. She joined the Marines, traveled the world and made a life for herself, but she never forgot what she left behind. Now a close protection security consultant (aka bodyguard) for a spoiled teenager in Washington DC, her empathic gift helps her keep her charge safe, if not out of trouble. When her past catches up with her, though, in the form of her telepathic high school sweetheart, Lucas, she’s forced to face her regrets even as she tries to decide whether his ridiculous stories about ghosts and Mexican drug cartels are signs of insanity or somehow true.

For Dillon Latimer, meeting his mom comes too late—it’s been five years since the drug overdose that killed him. But a little thing like death isn’t going to get in Dillon’s way when he decides that his parents would be much better off together. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for ghosts to influence the world of matter, especially when every choice Sylvie makes takes her deeper and deeper into danger. Can Dillon keep his mom alive long enough for her to live happily ever after with his dad?

My Review

Another great read from Sarah Wynde! I really do enjoy her writing, and the world and characters she’s created within (and beyond) Tassamara.

I liked finding out more about Zane’s brother, Lucas, and his past; and also more about Dillon as he continues his existence as a ghost. This isn’t Akira’s story (her tale was told in A Gift of Ghosts, the first in the series) but I was pleased to see her character pop up again here!

The only trouble is, the more I read of this series, the closer I get to finishing it…

A very strong 4 stars.

A Gift of Time (Tassamara #3)A Gift of Time by Sarah Wynde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Description

She thought she could see everything. Time is proving her wrong.

Ten years ago, Natalya’s ability to remember the future cost her the life she wanted when her vision of her fiancé’s death tore them apart. Ever since, she’s considered her precognition more of a curse than a gift. How can she live in the present when the future looms so large?

But when the night she’s long dreaded finally arrives, Natalya’s vision and reality diverge. She and her ex, Colin, are drawn into a web of the unexplained, led by a mysterious little girl. Who is Kenzi? And where did she come from? The little girl might be the reason Fate has spared Colin’s life, but could she also bring Natalya and Colin together again?

With Colin, Kenzi, her family, the townspeople of Tassamara, and a set of circumstances that nobody could foresee, Natalya must solve the puzzle of a lifetime. Her discovery that her gift is not the only one at work will change the lives of everyone around her as time becomes precious in a most unexpected way… and the clock is ticking.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book (the third in the series) – it was like meeting up with an old group of quirky friends! I was pleased that Akira and Rose had important supporting roles, and key character Nat is easy-to-like.

But for me, the show-stealers were one little girl, and a sheriff named Colin, which really did add that Sheriff Jack Carter/A-Town-Called-Eureka vibe (definitely a bonus as far as I’m concerned!)

I think this might be my favourite book in the series. If you’ve read and liked the earlier books then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this one.

[I can’t find a Twitter account for Sarah Wynde, but she has a Facebook page here.]


Have you read any of this series? Did you enjoy it? If you haven’t read it yet, does it appeal to you?

~ Joanna

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please do leave a comment, and/or share the post on your favourite social media site(s). We’re so grateful for any support like that! 🙂



Recommended Reads: Vampires and Romance, Oh My!

If you’re a fan of the paranormal romance genre,  then I think you’ll love the five books I’ve selected for this Recommended Read post!

So without further ado, let’s get started! 🙂

Hidden (Marchwood Vampire, #1)Hidden by Shalini Boland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description

Hidden is a paranormal romance that spans the centuries from modern England to 19th century Paris and ancient Cappadocia.

Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune, she inherits a house, she inherits a cellar full of danger.

Eighteen-year-old Alexandre Chevalier lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition, he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.

For each of them, life is finally beginning. Little do they know it is closer to ending. Something lies buried that should have been forgotten. A Pandora’s Box that was meant to stay shut. But Madison and Alexandre have never been any good at following the rules. They are about to find everything they’ve ever desired and everything that could destroy them.

Falling in love has never been so dangerous.

My thoughts

What a great read! I don’t want to give too much away, but I loved how the dual storylines of 1881 and the present intersected.

Shalini writes with great skill, with each character having a distinct voice. I look forward to reading more. If the option existed, I would have raised this rating to 4.5 stars.

Since reading and rating the first two books of this Marchwood Vampire series, Shalini’s republished the books with some truly stunning covers:

http://www.amazon.com/HIDDEN-paranormal-romance-Marchwood-Vampire-ebook/dp/B004SCS738Marchwood Vampire Series, Book 2http://www.amazon.com/Hunted-Marchwood-Vampire-Book-3-ebook/dp/B01AQNA8IE

Thicker Than Blood (Marchwood Vampire Series #2)Thicker Than Blood by Shalini Boland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book description

Chilling and fast-paced, Thicker Than Blood is the supernatural sequel to Hidden. It combines passion and drama with a historical twist.

Aelia lives in 6th century Byzantium. She is sixteen years old and her life is about to change forever. She doesn’t yet know it, but she holds the fate of thousands in her hands and her actions will echo across the centuries.

Fourteen hundred years later the lives of Madison and Alexandre are once again plunged into danger. To save Madison, Alexandre is forced back to a world he thought was dead and buried. But time is running out.

The chase is on…

My thoughts

THICKER THAN BLOOD was a fabulous read. Shalini Boland is a highly accomplished writer, bringing her characters and locations vividly to life with a wonderful skill. I loved the imagery as much as the storytelling.

Alexandre is a beautiful hero, and young Maddy is a courageous and likeable heroine. We are introduced to new characters, Aelia and Zoe, both of whom are crucial to the unfolding story. The ending was an unexpected twist, and paves the way for Book 3, “Hunted” . . . I can’t wait!

Another page-turner, and a worthy successor to HIDDEN. This series is a keeper.

No Such Thing as ImmortalityNo Such Thing as Immortality by Sarah Tranter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description

I will protect you until the day I die … forever!

A vampire does not have to feel any emotion not of his choosing. And Nathaniel Gray has spent two hundred years choosing not to feel. But when he accidentally runs Rowan Locke off the road, he is inexplicably flooded with everything she’s feeling, and that’s rage, and lots of it.

He is consumed with the need to protect Rowan at all costs, including from himself. To Nate what is happening is unthinkable, and is pretty much as unbelievable as the existence of faeries.

But you see, there is no such thing as … immortality.

This is Nate’s story …

My thoughts

Right from the start, Nate and Rowan are a scintillating combination – one so cool and intense, the other so fiery. It’s a wonder one doesn’t melt the other!

The additional contrast between the immortal earl (yummy!) and the sassy, modern woman is hilarious at times, making the book a fun read as well as a compelling one.

Nate’s family is a story in itself. They form a great cast of support characters, each with their own hopes and dreams and fears; I’d love to meet them again.

Loads of drama, tons of humour, and a highly engaging storyline means I rate this as a solid 4 stars – and hoping there *will* be a sequel as some reviewers have indicated.

This is the first book I’ve read by Ms Tranter, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last!

Vampire State of MindVampire State of Mind by Jane Lovering
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description

Jessica Grant knows vampires only too well. She runs the York Council tracker programme making sure that Otherworlders are all where they should be, keeps the filing in order and drinks far too much coffee. To Jess, vampires are annoying and arrogant and far too sexy for their own good, particularly her ex-colleague Sil, who’s now in charge of Otherworld York.

But when a demon turns up and threatens not just Jess but the whole world order, she and Sil are forced to work together, and when Jess turns out to be the key to saving the world it puts a very different slant on their relationship. The stakes are high. They are also very, very pointy and Jess isn’t afraid to use them, even on the vampire that she’s rather afraid she’s falling in love with …

My thoughts

​This hugely enjoyable book is a lively blend of vampiric charisma, snappy dialogue, Otherworld strangeness and magic, and love in its many forms … all delivered with a deft sprinkle of humour.

Wonderful characters and an entertaining story … one I didn’t want to end.​ More, please?!

A solid 4 stars.

Falling ApartFalling Apart by Jane Lovering
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book description

Jessica Grant liaises with Otherworlders for York Council so she knows that falling in love with a vampire takes a leap of faith. But her lover Sil, the City Vampire in charge of Otherworld York, he wouldn t run out on her, would he? He wouldn t let his demon get the better of him. Or would he?

Sil knows there s a reason for his bad haircut, worse clothes and the trail of bleeding humans in his wake. If only he could remember exactly what he did before someone finds him and shoots him on sight.

With her loyalties already questioned for defending zombies, the Otherworlders no one cares about, Jess must choose which side she s on, either help her lover or turn him in. Human or Other? Whatever she decides, there s a high price to pay and someone to lose.

My thoughts

Another cracking book from Jane Lovering! The vampires are brilliantly characterised, while quirky Jess, lover of Hobnobs and a certain Otherworlder, is easy to like and a lot of fun to read.

Well-written, with great dialogue and a fun and engaging narrative, this novel was hugely enjoyable from start to finish.

With plenty of unresolved questions and newly-revealed secrets, I really hope book three will be written soon!

See all my reviews on Goodreads.

We really hope you enjoyed this Recommended Reads selection ~ if you did, please let us know by Liking, leaving a Comment, and/or Sharing the post. Thanks so much! 🙂

~ Joanna



Recommended Reads: The Wind Weeps & Fire and Ice

Today I’m including two novels in one Recommended Read post. What both novels have in common is a wilderness backdrop – one which is as dangerous as it is beautiful. The first of these novels is set in British Columbia, Canada, while the second is set in the Alaskan Bush.

I’m not expecting to visit either location (oh, for a TARDIS or something of that ilk!), so I really enjoyed being immersed in them through the writers’ words and local knowledge. Oh, and the stories were pretty good, too. 😉

The Wind WeepsThe Wind Weeps by Anneli Purchase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Andrea leaves big-city boredom in Ontario to search for love and adventure on B.C.’s rugged coast. As she seeks independence and romance, the love of two men and a relationship with a woman lead her into the world of commercial fishing. She is drawn into a rough life alternating between savage beauty and serenity.

But adventure turns to terror and Andrea’s survival is threatened. Will her newly acquired wilderness skills be enough to save her life? This is a pure Canadian tale of love, betrayal, and triumph, told with gusto, humour, and bold insight.

My review
The main appeal of this book for me was the promise of being immersed in the author’s landscape – that is a character in itself! However once Andrea began her story, I found it hard to leave the book alone. While I may have found Andrea’s decisions rash and impulsive (even irritating, sometimes) she does, at her core, simply want to fit in and be liked and loved. She is doing her best to learn; she is endearing and human.

But as the story progresses, the menace of control begins, hinting at a lurking violence. It’s like in the horror movies … you can barely watch, but you have to know how it unfolds, and how the characters will handle their difficulties. Will they quake and crack under the pressure, or will they find determination and the strength to survive?

The Wind Weeps is easy to read, partly because it’s well-written, and partly because the story keeps you hooked on its line right until the last sentence … and beyond.

The sequel, Reckoning Tide, is now out – and safely ensconced in my TBR pile!

Fire And Ice (Liam Campbell, #1)Fire And Ice by Dana Stabenow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Newenham, Alaska, is a long way from the big-city comforts of Anchorage, where Sergeant Liam Campbell was an up-and-coming state trooper with everything going his way. But that was before his life unraveled.

Transferred in disgrace to this rough-and-tumble fishing town on the shores of Bristol Bay, Liam knows Newenham is the end of the line. It’s also his last shot at getting his life back.. He’s about to come in for a very rough landing.

Stepping onto the airstrip at Newenham, Liam walks into a crime scene: a body torn apart by the propeller of a Piper Super Cub. As if that isn’t enough of a welcome, the woman bending over the corpse is Wyanet Chouinard, the only woman Liam ever truly loved – and soon to be his prime suspect.

Next, a man is held hostage in the town’s only decent burger joint–held for shooting out a jukebox that was playing Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

And Liam still doesn’t have his uniform on.

My review
With an interesting mix of characters, multiple crimes, humour, tricky relationships, and an insight into Alaskan life, Fire and Ice held my attention right until the last sentence.

I purchased book two in this series (So Sure of Death) just minutes after finishing Fire and Ice. I’ve since read that one, too, and can happily state that it was another solid 4-star read for me! The next in the series awaits . . .


Do you like reading about locations you may never have the chance to visit? Do either of the books appeal to you? Or perhaps you’ve already read one or both of them?

– Joanna