Review – Prayer for the Dead by Nicki Scalise



Title: Prayer for the Dead (Book #1 Revenants in Purgatory)
Author: Nicki Scalise
Pages: 221
Genre: Adult – Paranormal Romance
Reviewer: Nicole
*** Copy provided by Author in exchange for an honest review***


A story about a girl who lived, died, and met a guy… in that order.

Is it possible to find true love and happiness, while condemned to purgatory until the end of days?

Olivia Brennan wasn’t eager to find out. Working for a division of Purgatory and Associates, her job consisted of one headache after another, caused by the impatient souls waiting to move onto eternal paradise. After a hard day at work, she was most content to stay home, watching reruns or reading a book. Aside from a few friends occasionally
forcing socialization, her afterlife was nothing special.

That all changed the moment Drake walked into her life. He was handsome, charming, and had a sadness behind his eyes she could relate to. It seemed that Fate had finally brought her a kindred spirit…

But could Olivia move past her own dark regrets of the life she left behind or would falling for him demand the ultimate sacrifice—herself?



Congratulations to Nicki Scalise for delivering a fresh and innovative paranormal romance filled with humor, suspense, love, loss and friendship.  What an incredible effort for her debut novel!

Olivia Brennan, the protagonist in Prayer for the Dead, is a “Revenant”, struggling with the darkness of guilt, pain and grief resulting from her decisions and actions when she was alive. Revenants are souls who, for all intents and purposes, are dead but they walk the middle plane of existence and purgatory to the end of time. Revenants are created when a person dies and moves on from the land of the living without a proper funeral or prayers for them. Without a service or prayers there is no absolution, without absolution there is no chance for your soul to leave purgatory.

Olivia works with her brother Tore, best friend Devon and friend Portia at Purgatory and Associates. Her job is to process souls who get to move on to “Paradise” or to “Silence”.  Silence is a separate state of purgatory where souls must spend eternity alone, unable to interact with anyone or anything, living or dead, and they never move on for they become lost.

It is when Olivia is dragged along to go clubbing with her friend Portia that she meets Drake. Olivia had never felt a more physical or emotional connection to anyone while she was alive or since she has been dead, but little does Olivia know that from the moment she meets Drake the rest of her existence will never be the same again!

The characters in this story are very well rounded.  Each character is emotionally exposed at some point throughout the story as they reveal their own personal desires, insecurities and battles.  This is a perfect set up for the reader to witness the characters interact with each other, open up, grow, mature and develop throughout this series.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of Olivia’s personality.  She has such a great sense of humor, which had me laughing out loud as I followed her train of thoughts. I found her to be a strong lead character and while she is flawed and shows weaknesses in this story, I can sense her character becoming quite strong and of some importance throughout the series.

The chemistry between Olivia and her best friend Devon is off the charts! The way these two characters know and understand each other is very enjoyable to read and this could be wishful thinking but I am hoping this friendship develops throughout the series.  Whether the development would be mutual or one sided is yet to be seen.  I am hoping my prediction is correct as I didn’t feel the same electricity between Olivia and her other potential love interest, Drake. I felt very little chemistry between Olivia and Drake, which I think is mainly because I found his character somewhat weak.  I could feel my dislike for his character grow throughout the story, especially when he identifies with his weakness but doesn’t have the strength or drive to change.  I am intrigued to see how Drake develops throughout the series and maybe he will redeem himself, thus changing my opinion of his character.

In Prayer for the Dead, Scalise creates a unique story around Revenants and Reapers as well as introducing new paranormal identities such as Necromancers (witches of the dead).  While simply putting in a cameo in this story, the reader is given yet another indication of the direction of this series.  This direction comes with a guarantee that the next installment is going to be filled with more new and interesting paranormal identities and forms.

Prayer for the Dead was well written with great plot flow and pace that kept the reader constantly engaged.  The plot twists and turns and cliffhanger ending leave the reader wanting the next book to the series immediately.   I am sure the next installment is going to expose a whole new dimension to this series!

If you are looking for a fresh, new paranormal romance series to read, I highly recommend this book and in the meantime my advice to you…..don’t forget to say your prayers at night!

lips grey 4

Review- Unbreakable (Legion # 1) by Kami Garcia



Title: Unbreakable (Legion # 1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal/Romance
Publication:  Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 305
Reviewer: Kelly

Kennedy Waters didn’t believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her.

When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world unravels. Then she meets gorgeous identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart who reveal that her mother was part of the Legion, a secret society responsible for protecting the world- a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now the Lockhart’s need Kennedy’s help to track down the evil being responsible – will they be able to destroy it before it kills again?

Unbreakable is the first book in the new Legion series by Kami Garcia. It centres on the life of seventeen year old Kennedy Waters. Kennedy was just a normal school girl until her mother is murdered and she becomes a part of the Legion. The Legion is a secret society that protects the world against evil spirits. The Legion consists of five living members at any one time. The current five members being teenagers, Kennedy, the Lockhart twins Jared and Lukus, Alara the granddaughter of a Haitian witch doctor and Priest the genius grandson of a spirit based mechanical engineer.  They must work together to stop the evil demon Andras from entering and destroying the world.

Wow, wow, wow! This book had me hooked from the first chapter! I read this entire book in a day! Kami Garcia truly outdid herself with her descriptive and suspenseful writing. The story was new and refreshing being about spirits, ghosts and ghost hunters. The mystery of the unknown and the sleuthing that the characters needed to do kept you gripped throughout the story.

Kami Garcia did a fantastic job in using emotive language in the story, to the point where you feel as though you are in the scene. This book did what no book has done before; it made me so scared that I had to sleep with the light on! Now I am not a person who likes scary stories, movies or shows, so I always steer clear from this genre. Though I never imagined that a book of this genre would also make me feel so scared! Garcia wrote so well that I could picture the scene as if I was the character being just as fearful of what lay ahead.

The storyline was mysterious and suspenseful, with the reader piecing together this mystical world of the Legion alongside Kennedy. The reference of the Legion to an actual historical group made the story feel even more real. As the teenagers work together to solve new clues and go on an adventure to stop evil spirits the reader becomes more engrossed with every step along the way. The twists and turns made me read faster as I was anxious to discover what was going to happen next!

The romance in Unbreakable was subtle and slowly developing in this story. It allowed the reader to see every angle of the characters and understand their true intentions and feelings. It also made the story a real page turner as I was excited to find out what, when and how the love story would develop.  The romance, however, didn’t overpower the story but was necessary to make it a well rounded read.

I cannot believe there is not a sequel out yet! Pick up a copy of this book and read it now!

lips grey 5

Review – If I Should Die by Amy Plum


TITLE: If I Should Die (Book #3 Revenants Series)
AUTHOR: Amy Plum
GENRE: Young Adult – Paranormal Romance
PAGES: 405


I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future has been shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend and I lost him

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying – to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others – so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?


Praise to Amy Plum for writing this unique series, with such a romantic story and setting, with beautiful characters that captured my heart. Thank you!

What captured my heart about this series was its unique plot and paranormal element.  It’s not another overdone vampire, werewolves or witch series. This series is about Revenants, which is a euphemism for Zombies – I know what you’re probably thinking and picturing but it’s nothing like the zombies in The Walking Dead series! You have the good Revenants (Undead Angels) called the Bardia, who spend their existence sacrificing  themselves to save humans and fight against the evil Revenants (Undead demons) called Numa, who spend their existence manipulating and influencing humans to commit evil acts or self sacrifice.

Then you have the fact that this series is set in Paris, which is, in my opinion, the most magical, romantic, historical and artistic place on earth.  Paris provides the perfect setting for the series overall plot and the beautiful love story between Kate and Vincent.  The chemistry between these two characters was so magical and magnetic.

The first book of this series, Die for Me, captured my attention by its beautiful cover and I loved this book so much I read it in a day – I simply couldn’t put it down. Then I was left waiting for the next installment, Until I Die, to be released and after the long wait I felt slightly deflated due to the book’s slower pace and the fact that Kate and Vincent spent a lot of their time apart causing me to miss the magnetism of their relationship.  I am glad to say this installment, If I Should Die, brought the series back with a vengeance.  It has a great pace, great plot, intriguing character twist and turns and more romance with Kate and Vincent working together throughout this installment.

If I Should Die, picks up the story right where it left off in, Until I Die. Vincent has been captured and murdered by the new Numa Leader in an attempt to steal his powers under the assumption he is the Champion, but there is a flaw in the Numa Leader’s plan. Kate, Jules, Vincent and the Bardia, are racing against the clock not only to save Vincent’s spirit and resurrect him back to his body, but to stop and defeat this new Numa Leader and their Numa army before they destroy the city.

All characters in this installment were amazing, especially the characters at La Maison, with a few unexpected and sad surprises. Kate’s character experiences so much growth in this installment, showing so much strength and maturity. Then there is Vincent’s character, which is perfect! He is tall, dark, handsome, romantic and French – what’s not to love? The way I hear him speak to Kate and call her “Mon Ange” (my angel) in my mind in his French accent has me swooning!! Overall, it was Jules’s character that made the biggest impact on me in this installment.  I really felt for him and the feelings he had for Kate which she could never reciprocate.  The romance was always a Kate and Vincent story with Jules falling in love on the side. Amy Plum detailed the exact scene for the reader to witness the exact moment Jules realizes his feelings for Kate in the first book, Die For Me. I truly hope Jules’ story is not over, because it would seem that Plum has set up a perfect spin-off series based around his character and the Revenants in New York City, in which he may have a chance at the happy ending that his character deserves – fingers crossed!

So this is goodbye to a beautiful series. Kate, Vincent and all the characters at La Maison will be sadly missed!

C’est donc au revoir à une belle série. Kate, Vincent et tous les caractères de La Maison sera malheureusement manqué

lips grey 4.5

Review – Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol


Title: Inescapable (Book 1 The Premonition Series)
Author: Amy A. Bartol
Pages: 383
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal Romance
Reviewer: Nicole


My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me-my freshman year of college. I had been hoping that once I had arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmares that I have been having would go away. It hasn’t. I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he is near, I feel an attraction to him-a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be-if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life. What is the secret that he is keeping from me? I’m hoping that its anything but what I suspect: that he is not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I have been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is….inescapable.


Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol caught my attention while surfing Amazon Books because of its high review rating.  After checking out the blurb I thought – Oh yes this sounds like my type of book! Bartol didn’t disappoint me; she delivered a heart pumping, jaw dropping, and altogether fantastic paranormal romance resulting in an enjoyable read! When I read the first chapter my initial thought was that I misjudged this book. My mind was racing trying to determine what the paranormal focus was in this book, as it was really dark, mysterious and a little unsettling.  Turns out my “good book radar” is still sharp – once I read a few chapters in, I was hooked. What makes Inescapable a stand out for me is its original and interesting plot that slowly revealed the “paranormal” element in the story, combined with the intriguing, complex characters. There were so many twists and turns in this story that I was constantly being surprised. Just when I thought I knew what was going on and where the storyline was heading – BAM! Surprise! The last third of the book, I was constantly lifting my mouth from the floor. This book contains one of the most complicated love triangles I have read, unfortunately, I cannot reveal why since I don’t want to take anything away from you, but if you read this book you will understand. I mean, how can you choose? Which soul mate wins your heart knowing the consequences of your choice – it’s a tough call, a call I certainly wouldn’t want to make, and as the reader I can understand Evie’s loyalty and connection to both love interests. Out of all the characters in this book, I have to make a special mention about the characters of Buns and Brownie, these girls are a hoot! They are just fantastic and I totally loved them! They put a much needed element of fun and lightness into this story and are perfectly written as the type of “best friends” all girls need on their side. With the shocking twist at the end of the book, it leaves a fantastic opening for the next book. I can already anticipate all of the drama that’s going to unfold, and that said, I have to go start Volume two!

lips grey 4

Review – Fallen by Lauren Kate



Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal Romance
Publication: Delacorte Press
Release Date: 2009
Pages: 452
Reviewer: Kelly


What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?  

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword and Cross boarding school in Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forebidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.  

Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce- he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her. 


Fallen is set in swampland Savannah and follows the main character, Luce, as she navigates her way through her new reform school. Luce has just been admitted under the guidance of her counsellor, who recommended that reform school was the best fit for a girl, who under suspicious circumstances, set alight and killed a potential boyfriend.

At her new school Luce does not have access to cell phones or communication with the outside world. The students at the school are watched constantly by cameras, have strict curfew and learn very little in their classes. Luce makes friends with some of the girls in the school, Penn and Arrianne. They look out for her, especially when she is navigating her first few days at school.

Luce then meets Daniel Grigori, a fellow student at the school. She instantly feels a connection to the handsome and mysterious boy. She doesn’t know how but she feels she knows him, even though they have never met before. Luce tries to break any sort of contact with him, especially as he is constantly rude and mean to her. Unfortunately, she just can’t seem to let him go.


This book has been haunting me at the bookstore for the past year. I have wanted to buy it to take home and read, and yet something always held me back. Maybe it was the blurb, the fact it was another story about the paranormal or the fact it looked a little bit too dark and serious for my liking. I finally made the plunge and bought the book- and what a mistake that was!

The story leaves the reader utterly confused. The main character, Luce, does not know what is going on, just that strange things keep happening to her. It isn’t until the second to last chapter that any clarity is established and the main character finally works out some of what is going on.  Unfortunately for the reader, Luce is not told everything.

The love story is lacklustre and barely a main feature of the book. As Luce is so bemused most of the time she really can’t understand her feelings for Daniel, or if she has any at all. It doesn’t help that the story is set in a reform school with strange, dangerous students. The essence of any kind of romance seems unlikely to bloom amongst a drab school built alongside a cemetery.

I found the foreshadowing that was used so complex that as a reader I was not able to make connections or predict what might be going on. The title Fallen also suggests the book may be about fallen angels, but that is not confirmed or denied until the final chapters. Ideas that you are usually able to link within a book are not made clear within this story.

Now I get that this is the first in five part series, and every book series needs some suspense for the next novel, but seriously, Lauren Kate, when the reader is just as confused and lost as the characters, it is not a fun read. There was no conclusion to this story, no reader satisfaction, no understanding of what was to come in the next book, and because of this you were left feeling bemused and disappointed that you just read over 400 pages for nothing! I finished the last page as puzzled as when I began.


Unless you are a person who enjoys complete dissatisfaction and bemusement upon the completion of a book, do not pick it up!

lips grey 1.5

Review – Nightshade by Andrea Cremer



Book: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: Atom Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 454
Reviewer: Kelly

I wanted him to kiss me- wished he could smell the desire that I knew was pouring off me.
You can’t, Calla. This boy isn’t the one for you.

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: graduation, marriage and then a life leading her pack.

But when she defies her masters’ laws and saves a human boy, she must choose.
Is one boy worth losing everything?

Nightshade begins in the mountainous town of Vail. The reader sees everything through the eyes of seventeen year old Calla Tor. Calla is a mythical werewolf, known as a Guardian, who can shift from human to wolf form at will. She is a member of the Nightshade pack, ruled by an ancient Keeper, or witch, named Lumine Nightshade.

The Keepers control the wolves, with their role being to protect them from their enemies, the Searchers. The Guardians, in return for the Keepers protection, receive houses, money, cars and jobs. The Keepers however control all aspects of the Guardian’s lives – including who they are to marry. As Calla’s parents are the alphas of her pack, she is soon to become the alpha female of a new pack. She betrothed to the alpha male Renier Laroche, from the rival Bane pack.

Calla is impartial to marrying Renier. He is nice looking, kind to her and it is their destiny. She doesn’t see it any other way. That is until she meets and saves a human boy, Shay Doran, from the clutches of a hungry bear. Shay is the new boy at school and he slowly begins to change her viewpoint about an arranged marriage and marrying for love.

The book gets into the storyline straight away. There are new words, labels and names for people being thrown at you constantly within the first few chapters. It takes a few re-reads of some sections to work out who is who and what is going on. Once you have the terminology down, the book is a great read! It has action, suspense, a love story, a heroine and a whole lot of mystery.

I loved how the main bulk of this story detailed Calla and Shay’s efforts to work out the origins of the packs, and where the Guardian, Keeper and Searcher history originated. It is rather engrossing as the reader is discovering all this information right along with the characters. The foreshadowing techniques used in the book were sometimes a little obvious, so it wasn’t as exciting as it could have been when main cruxes in the story were revealed.

Personally, I dislike when characters do not follow their destiny. I know that this makes the story and complicates the plot, but let’s just say that this is probably my own moral conscious getting in the way of following your heart. So when Calla begins to stray from her intended course, I began to cringe through the story. I think what made it hard to swallow as well, was that Renier, her intended mate was not the lecherous, rampaging wrench that you wanted her to run away from. Even though I was dealing with my own inner turmoil over this whole situation, Calla’s struggle with her choice made for a very engaging read.

The book was an overall extraordinary read. It had plot twists, mystery and introduced the reader to a whole new world. The story is very much unfinished at the end of this book, so thank goodness this is a three part series!

lips grey 3.5