Superior Saving Skills. In this continuation of the new (non-paranormal) series from Pine, a lot of people need saving in a lot of different ways, and everyone saves everyone else in their own ways. 😀 Along the way, yes, Saxon does find a Savior – in more ways than one (though religion is never mentioned, for those worried about that either direction). But you get all kinds of other things too – superheroics during a traffic accident gone bad (think: severe accident, 80s movie style action 😉 ), more superheroics during a hurricane to bookend the tale (with a different person/ people being the superhero(es) here), and some subtler saving – saving from preconceptions, saving from bad relationships, saving from family disasters that could have been far worse, etc etc etc. Overall arguably one of the strongest books in this series, and yet another fine example of family coming together – particularly the family you choose. Very much recommended.
Great Continuation – With An Intriguing Twist On Vampires. This is Book 9 of this particular spinoff series and something around book 30 or so of the overall universe, so if you’re particularly sensitive to any remote spoilers of previous books… you don’t want to start here (but should absolutely read this entire excellent universe). If you’re just looking for a good story with a decent entry point and don’t mind reading previous books to get the details on what you’ve missed so far… this is an *excellent* story to start with. Many/ most of the characters from the overall universe make an appearance here, particularly the recurring ones, and the usual hijinks of a police procedural-ish tale unfold. Though with seemingly more pop-culture references this time around, including an excellent chapter-closing line about going off to an interview with a vampire. And yes, there actually is a remarkable twist on the overall vampire mythos, along with some excellent commentary about said mythos to boot. Truly an excellent work and very much recommended.
Dynamic Duo. Pine yet again hits it out of the park, this time with two strong characters who are each hiding something from the other – while being completely oblivious about their surroundings. Which can be dangerous for a fireman and a reporter. And Pine does an excellent job ratcheting up the tension – be it sexual, dramatic, or dangerous – at exactly the right moments. An excellent entry into this non-paranormal, First Responder based series. Very much recommended.
Pleasurable Writing. In this continuing saga of Private Investigator Jude Byrne and Witch/ Medium Copeland Forbes’ lives together, we get some of the more hilarious scenes of this spinoff series (and arguably even the entire connected universe) and ever more harrowing threats. And seriously, the truly hilarious scene is one of the more explicit scenes, involving a particular toy used to great effect both comedically and sexually. The investigation this time is excellent, and the threat a very sad reminder of America’s not-so-distant past. At this point in the series, I can’t recommend starting the series here – but I can say without hesitation that if you begin with Haunted Souls #1 you will enjoy the progression when you get here. Very much recommended.
Cops and Firemen and Arsonists Oh My! Pine has long worked with police procedurals in her Cold Case Psychic books, and she has broken away from that with her Lost Treasures books. Here, with the advent of a new series, we see Pine combining the police procedural and family elements of the Cold Case Psychic series but ditching the paranormal and replacing them with a wider look across the spectrum of First Responders. And yet again she does an excellent job crafting a compelling story and beginning a larger universe, completing the romance angles of this tale for a RWA-rule-meeting HEA while leaving other plot points open, presumably for continuation into at least one other book in the series. Which should be one wild ride. Very much recommended.
The Cop Becomes The Accused. This is the latest chapter in Pine’s long running and expansive Cold Case Psychic universe, back in the “main” storyline once again. And as with most of these tales, it can work as a first book for you, if you don’t mind coming in and already seeing an established relationship(s), rather than the initial building of one. In this particular tale, Ronan and Tennyson’s relationship is put to its biggest test to date when Ronan walks in on Tennyson kissing another man… and that man is dead hours later with his blood all over Ronan’s body. A solid look – from the eyes of a cop – at the issues of when a cop becomes the accused, though in at least a slightly Hallmarkie way. (ie, this *is* still a romance book, and follows RWA conventions to that point.) Yet another great entry, and very much recommended.
A Confrontation Decades In The Making. With the way the previous Haunted Souls book ended, the anticipation for this book was *sky* high. On the relationship side, the book absolutely did not disappoint, particularly in relation to this being a spinoff series from the Cold Case series. (Jn other words, the Cold Case characters are referenced but never actually appear “on screen” in this book.) On the action and mystical side, I gotta admit, the final fight was a bit more anticlimactic than most of either this series or its main series. Until the final confrontation that side of the story was its usual excellent nature, it was that particular scene that had issues. Still, truly one of the best books of this series and an absolute must read for those who have been invested in it. As always, it *can* work as an entry point to both this series and the overall universe- and actually my issues with the final confrontation may be lessened for someone using this book as an entry point. Very much recommended.
Hot, Heavy, and Quick. For fans of the genre that like lots of hot action, a fair amount of angst – including an opening scene featuring an explosion in Afghanistan – and/ or a quick read… this book hits all three notes in spades. If you’re a fan of MM romance, you’ll likely enjoy this book. Very much recommended.
A Cop A Week From Retirement. A Baby A Day After Being Kidnapped. When these two meet up, we get yet another excellent entry in Pandora Pine’s expansive Cold Case Psychic universe. Filled with further progression both professionally and personally for both Ronan and Tennyson, this story is yet again episodic in a long running universe – enough is explained in the text here that you won’t be lost starting here, if you don’t mind spoilers from previous books. Which is a balance that Pine is particularly skilled at. Very much recommended.
This entire spinoff series has been my entry point into Pine’s universe, and I’ve been very impressed so far. She manages to bring the paranormal and the normal together in ways rarely seen in other similar efforts, all while keeping the series focused on the people involved even as the individual books feature specific cases. (As the better long running series – in any medium – tend to do.)
This particular book is a typical entry in that vein – we open up dealing with the aftermath of the ending of Ghost of a Chance (Book 5), and because of that at minimum that book needs to be read before that one. But even that book deals with the events from the very first book in this spinoff series, Ghost of Himself. (And on and on and on :D) So read all six books – because by the end of this one Pine basically calls her shot with presumably the next book, and it is one that has been building since even before this spinoff series began.
This book in particular was Pine’s usual excellence in storytelling and execution, and I am very much looking forward to Book 7! 🙂
And with that… the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Continue reading “Featured New Release of the Week: Ghost Pain by Pandora Pine”