Posts Tagged ‘Kristen Painter’

The Dragon Finds Forever: Nocturne Falls 7

March 22, 2017 - 1:41 pm No Comments

The Dragon Finds Forever
Nocturne Falls Book 7
Author: Kristen Painter
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Page count: 240pp
Release Date: 21st February 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

 

It’s back to Nocturne Falls again. Where supernatural creatures (vampires, werewolves, Valkyrie, gargoyles – the list goes on) hide in plain sight in the town which celebrates Halloween 24/7. This time, we have a dragon.
It starts with Monalisa (don’t sing please!) Devlin, watching her father play with the gold coin that’s supposed to be hers; her birthright given to her at eighteen. But Padraig Devlin, father and king of the Leprechauns could be crafty, sneaky and greedy.
She should’ve got her coin twelve years ago as she turned eighteen, but no, no matter that she’d done what he asked, there was still that ‘loose end’.
As soon as she got her coin she’d be able to leave, which is why the king held onto it tight, as blackmail – there was something he wanted her to do.
Her parents were known worldwide for the casino, The Shamrock, and the fights held beneath the venue. Monalisa’s manipulative father wanted her to persuade a certain dragon to fight in their arena. Urging her to use her ‘will-o-the-wisp’ skills to get the Dragon in her thrall.
Van, Dragon in metaphorical hiding, is determined to leave fighting behind and settle down in Nocturne Falls. Close friends with Pandora, she helps him choose a dog as a new companion as he heals on crutches; a dog he hopes to bond with. His life in the fighting arena over. He just wants to mope, recover and read and pet his new timid Doberman Grom. He’s in no place for female relationships.
Too bad the ‘rehabilitation therapist’ ‘Lisa’ (Monalisa’s cover to lure back Ivan the Hammer) is easy on the eyes, he is not interested in women – at all! But he also doesn’t want her getting in Trouble and getting sacked for not doing her job, after all, she seems desperate. So reluctantly he agrees to the therapy.
With the therapy comes an interesting aspect of the book. Van has been severely injured by a manticore’s poison and is suffering a form of sports PTSD or injury-related trauma as a result.
Painter seems to have really grasped what trauma feels like and through the therapy sessions between her two protagonists, leads the reader through the recovery process, exploring the emotions involved. As Monalisa helps Van deal with the physical and emotional scars from his fight, the two, inevitably, become closer.
Painter also deals with perceptions in the novel; how Van is seen by the tourists as something or someone to be feared because of his size and shaved head, juxtaposed with his sweet nature, his sense of humour, and how the locals and Lisa see past his exterior.
Overall, this is another fun, romantic romp from a Painter in the Nocturbe Falls series, with a cameo of Jayne Frost. The more I read of this Halloween town, the more I’d love to move there!
4/5

The Shifter Romances the Writer by Kristen Painter

January 18, 2017 - 2:51 pm No Comments

The Shifter Romances the Writer
Nocturne Falls Book 6
Author: Kristen Painter
Publisher: Independent
Page count: 364pp
Release date: 24th May 2016
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Realtor Pandora Williams returns in this book as supporting cast member, helping writer Roxy St James (currently going through a divorce) to find the right new home. She has moved to Nocturne Falls, a town where every day is Halloween and Supernaturals roam free. Hidden in plain sight, as it were. Though hiding is something Roxy can relate to. She is desperate to shake off her ex; her “awful, controlling soul-crushing ex.”
Roxy is friends with Delaney Ellingham, now pregnant with Sebastian’s baby. And she is delighted love is working out for them, though can’t help noting the irony that she, a romance writer, has somehow got it wrong. So, better to say she was done with men. She would remain single and get a cat, or a fish.
Of course the house is perfect, especially with its added bonus of a spacious shed/tree house at the back that she can use as a writing room. So, decision made, she takes it.
Elsewhere in the town, deputy and shifter Alex Cruz is being lectured in Spanish by his Mom on the same subject as always! When will he find a good woman and give her grandbabies? For Alex, there’s plenty of time. After all he’s only 59 and shifters live a long time. But Carmen (aka Mom) doesn’t think so. She’s addicted to romance novels and can’t help it that romances dance in her vision. And she just happens to be a fan of Roxy. It’s a pity that for Alex, romance means a soul mate and unless he finds that, he’ll stay alone. It had to be better than little brother Diego though, who’d turned up again looking for somewhere to stay after another relationship breakdown. Three weeks later and little bro still has no job and is getting on Alex’s last nerve.
There are some great characters here and relationship dynamics. Roxy is struggling to escape her ex and set up her new life. But amidst the drama, and the budding romance, is the usual comedy. Painter loves a good pun (Undrea Seely who I’m betting is some sort of mer-creature) runs a fish pet shop called Tanks A Lot. Baddum. Ching. ¬†For me, I found the irony aimed at PNR writers, which Painter partly is, very humorous, but as a writer myself, I got Roxy’s frustrations as well as her joy. And her fears. Deadlines loom, but life gets in the way. Yet writing this stuff is extremely satisfying as well.
This series never gets old. I’m on my sixth book and I find something new in every one.
My only bug bear in this one is the baddie. It came out of the blue and wasn’t the one I’d expected from hints in Howlers. Of course I can’t say any more without spoiling the ending. One other thing, was Alex’s issue with a human as a potential partner. Whatever way you want to look at it, it’s a form of racism or xenophobia, despite Alex’s rationale behind it. Whilst his Mom does pull him to task on this, I don’t feel it was given enough attention. Otherwise, it was a fun read, with a solid character line up and emotional punch. What I particularly like about this series is the multitude of other supporting characters within the Nocturne Falls universe. It bodes well for future books. Great fun.
4/5