Good evening my lovelies,
I had a great time last month joining with Top 5 Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm and so I’m taking part again this month. Shanah comes up with the topics a month at a time so that we’ve got some thinking space.
If you’re interested in participating in Top 5 Tuesday, all you have do is write up your post and pingback to one of Shanah’s posts. Make sure you pingback to her posts and not just her blog so she can add you to the list.
This week, Shanah wants us to list our Top 5 books that have less than 300 pages. Many Fantasy and Urban Fantasy authors frequently write books around the 400+ page mark but I’m quite lucky because most of the Paranormal Romance books I read come in at less than 300 pages.
Once again, I have scoured through my bookshelves to share with you those books that meet the required criteria plus have earned a place on my Goodreads 5 Star Review shelf. I have also set myself the addition challenge of only including those books that have had less than 300 ratings! I love highlighting unsung heroes in these memes. 🙂
As usual clicking on the link will take you directly to my review in a new tab. I have to warn you now, there are more than 5 books in my post this week but I’ve grouped them together depending on how many Goodreads ratings they’ve received. So without further ado…
Fear The Light: Who Murdered Dracula by William Massa ~ (201 pages) 277 Goodreads ratings
Over the centuries, many had tried to kill the Count. All had failed. Until now…
Eight vampires gather at Dracula’s castle to solve his murder. But as the sun rises outside the chateau, a voice cries out and another creature of the night is slain. Trapped, the sun burning bright outside, the vampires realize they have met their match — a killer who plans on picking them off one by one!
As the daylight reigns and their numbers dwindle, a dark suspicion grows — could Dracula’s murderer be hiding in plain sight?
I read this back in 2015 and wasn’t expecting to like this story as much as I did.
The writing style was easy to read, you got to know the characters enough to like or hate them, the pace was good – never a dull moment, the mystery was cleverly written and kept me guessing until practically the last few chapters and there were a few plot twists & turns that came as complete surprises!
Excellent book all round – highly recommended!!
100 to 199 Goodreads Ratings
I had quite a few books on my 5 star shelf that came in under 300 pages but have – so far – only received between 100 and 200 ratings from fellow Goodreads users but instead of listing them all, I wanted to highlight a fairly new author. The Amanda Cadabra Cozy Paranormal Mysteries series was launched in 2018 by début author Holly Bell.
Click below to be taken to my review and the relevant links.
Amanda Cadabra and the Hidey-Hole Truth by Holly Bell ~ (282 pages) 110 Goodreads ratings
Asthmatic furniture restorer and covert witch Amanda Cadabra is a survivor. After all, her family’s bus went over a Cornish cliff. Now the presentable but irritating Inspector Trelawney is dogging her footsteps as he investigates the unexplained deaths.
But that’s the least of her problems. Amanda has just got a furniture restoration job at the old English Manor of Sunken Madley with its murky past.
Armed only with a wand and Tempest, her grumpy reincarnated cat, she’s going in. A body, ghosts, hidden tunnels, chills and unexplained lights; can Amanda solve the mystery in time and save the village from the scandal of murder?
Amanda Cadabra and the Cellar of Secrets by Holly Bell ~ (284 pages) 49 Goodreads ratings
Amanda Cadabra, covert witch with irascible feline familar, always said that was no place for a research centre. The lost village in Madley Wood, where the leaves don’t grow, and the birds don’t sing.
An old secret. A new build. A body. Only one witness. Only one person who can see that witness: Amanda Cadabra.
Only one place that can tell the story: the Cellar of Secrets, in 1940.
And only one person who can go there: Amanda Cadabra. With, of course, only one grumpy cat.
But this is a peaceful English village … who would do anything as criminal as murder? Will she find them before they find her?
Amanda Cadabra and the Flawless Plan by Holly Bell ~ (312 Pages) 16 Goodreads ratings
An accident waiting to happen. Sunken Madley village church hall seems safe enough for a dance class. Now there’s a body. Or is it two? Only ghosts for witnesses. Covert witch Amanda and her grumpy feline familiar must look for answers in the past. But whose past?
With a spy, a saboteur, an uncooperative ghost, multiple puzzles ,and herself as the number one suspect she’s going to need backup.
There’s only one choice: the personable but intractable Inspector Trelawney. Only if Amanda can dare to trust him can they survive and solve the case before the murderer strikes again.
But who, in this peaceful English village would resort to murder?
In the words of Grandpa: ‘This one is going to be more complicated than the last one. Possibly … probably. Definitely.’
I love this series and couldn’t put any of the books down; they’re so quintessentially English! They’ve got everything that I look for in a great story; scenes that get the adrenaline pumping, an intelligent mystery or two to get the little grey cells buzzing, tension to make you hold your breath and well written humour (there’s even a sprinkling of romance for our heroine, Amanda).
I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys “cozy mysteries” within the paranormal genre and I don’t think there is any content within these books that could offend anyone. I’m looking forward to finding out what adventures Amanda gets caught up in next.
51 to 100 Goodreads Ratings
I feel so sad when I find a book that I really like but it hasn’t received the warm gush of ratings that I feel it deserves. There were a few I could have chosen here but I’ve gone for a couple of fantastic ‘first in series‘ books that I loved.
Masked Possession by Alana Delacroix ~ (272 pages) 86 Goodreads ratings
A Man Who Can Wear Any Face
Caro Yeats doesn’t run from much. As a former investigative reporter now working PR for Toronto’s supernaturals, what she hasn’t seen mostly isn’t worth seeing. But the assignment to “rebrand” Eric Kelton’s out-of-control alter egos has her on edge from the start. Kelton is the heirarch of the Masquerada, beings able to change their face—their entire persona—on a whim. Eric’s charisma muddles her instincts. How can she trust a man who can become anybody?
A Woman Without A Past
Eric has never met anyone like Caro, with her lightning wit and uncanny insight. But desirable as she is, he’d be a fool to let her near. Struggling to hide the sudden loss of his powers, Eric can’t risk becoming entangled with a woman who scorns her supernatural side and claims not to play politics. The enemies on her trail are strong, clever, and vicious. And when they force Eric and Caro together, the fallout could shatter far more than two hearts . . .
I read this book in 2017 and loved it! Great world building, multi dimensional strong characters and a gripping background story! It’s a tale of prejudices, secret histories & hidden enemies, fighting your inner demons as well as battling real life foe but running through all of that – it’s a passionate roller-coaster of a love story.
Due to the sexual content, I’d recommend this book to adults only – it’s definitely steamy – who are fans of relationship and romance stories that feature some darker themes.
There are three books in this series, book 2, Masked Desire, is waiting patiently on my Kindle and I will post a review once I’ve read it.
Tall, Dark & Deadly by Kharma Kelley ~ (214 pages) 77 Goodreads ratings
Chloe Hunter can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Incarcerated by The Bureau after running amok for a century with a gang of vampires, grifting and terrorizing humanity, she’s ready to make up for her dark and naughty past. Luckily, when The Bureau would rather see her at the end of a wooden stake, in comes her new straight-laced boss, Ethan Raines who’s got other plans. An enigmatic vampire who finds her hybrid blood and sexy street prowess too irresistible to pass up, Ethan requests The Bureau to release her into his custody. Her debt to society is to punish other supernaturals who break the law and cut them down.
When Chloe’s old gang involves her in a plot to unlock a mysterious box of woe, she’s forced to make some hard choices that threaten to betray the trust of the man who’s given her a second chance at life and love.
I read this last year and after a shaky start, I ended up really loving this action-packed, emotional, passionate, and sometimes dark, paranormal romance novel.
Due to the graphic violence and sexual content, I’m rating this book 18+ and so I’d recommend Tall, Dark & Deadly to adults who aren’t offended by content of this nature who like hunky heroes with a dark edge and enjoy seeing the female lead character really grow and come into their own within a relationship/romance tale that has some gritty story-lines and oodles of passion.
Less Than 50 Ratings *sniff*sniff* I’m very sad 😦
This really breaks my heart. Why are there so many great stories out there that I’ve managed to find but that the Goodreads community haven’t discovered yet?! Please help me to bring these fantastic books into the spotlight and get those numbers up!
Love Lies Bleeding by Meghan Ciana Doidge ~ (163 pages) 48 Goodreads ratings
Pamela just wants to reunite in the afterlife with her dead fiancé, Grady. Problem is, Grady was a secret agent, and his coded emails have infuriated both his employers and his enemies. They need Pamela alive. So, instead of her planned suicide, she is kidnapped by black ops agents, tortured by mobster warlords, hunted by a psychotic killer, and chased by zombies … all necessary evils in order to ultimately walk into the sunset with her true love.
This novella (approximately 28,000 words) is adapted from a screenplay written by the author. As such, it is best to let the story wash over you … like you would watch a movie. As an added bonus, this version includes a twelve-chapter excerpt from the novel, After the Virus.
WARNING: Love Lies Bleeding is a darkly comedic, bloody romance about love conquering all, even death. This is NOT a young adult novel. It contains graphic violence, nasty language, and more than a little bit of flesh eating. There are no soft kisses, soulful stares, or moonlit rainstorms.
I read this way back in 2014 and was blown away! I still love how the story made me feel. I loved this darkly comic love story; it has a “True Romance” “Reservoir Dogs” feel with hints of the Cornetto trilogy about it.
Loved the writing style, engaged with Pamela (the heroine) & enjoyed the plot twists & turns. Can’t believe more people haven’t read this.
Forbidden Blood by Felicity Heaton ~ (272 pages) 18 Goodreads ratings
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.
Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?
As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.
Forbidden Blood is a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.
I loved this book; there wasn’t anything about it that niggled or didn’t work for me.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a fan of Ms Heaton’s writing style; I enjoyed both the twists and turns in the thriller aspect of this tale as well as the romantic journey that our main couple, Kearn and Amber, went on throughout this gripping book.
Due to some of the more explicit sexual and violent scenes I understand that this book might not be suitable for everyone, but if you’re not offended by content of this nature and enjoy relationship/romance stories with some gritty story-lines but Happily Ever After endings then I’d recommend Forbidden Blood to you.
I didn’t want to leave without mentioning The Rune Witch Mysteries by Victoria DeLuis This series is a completed cozy paranormal mystery that I really loved reading. I have included these books because each one is a novella size (no more than 100 pages long) so quick to read but individually, have received less than 100 Goodreads ratings each!
Click below to be taken to my review and the relevant links.
Taken by Victoria DeLuis ~ (87 pages) 88 ratings
There’s always a price to pay with magic. The question is, who pays?
I’m Summer Daniels. Friend. Foe. Witch.
It was never going to be a simple day: visiting my childhood home and finding the murderer of a house fairy. Whose master happens to be a heartless goblin… Yet, as it turns out, the goblin is the least of my problems.
A lover endangered. A friend betrayed. A memory taken.
The cards are stacked against me but hell hath no fury like an angry Witch.
I’m Summer Daniels and my life is about to change.
Hidden by Victoria DeLuis ~ (109 pages) 43 ratings
One death, one pledge, one price to pay!
There’s nothing better than a walk amongst the trees with the man I love. So, how dare someone disrespect the sanctity of life and my forest along with it!
With the body of a murdered young man placed at my feet, there’s not a chance on Earth, I’m not using all the power at my disposal to find the killer. Even if that means I have to put on hold my quest to discover the magical curse that plagues my family.
I’ll fight to the end to discover the truth, but what do I do when the man I love wants to fight for me?
I’m a pawn in a game I’m only just beginning to comprehend, but I’m not the only one.
Forgotten by Victoria DeLuis ~ (158 pages) 22 ratings
Some things are worth fighting for…
How much is worth losing?
A curse plagues my family. It killed my Nana and broke my mother’s heart. Now, it’s after me, but I’m going to do everything in my power to find those responsible and defeat the curse.
My investigation connects me with my mother’s past and leads me deeper into the world of the Tylwyth Teg.
With danger all around, I’ll do everything I can to keep safe and find the truth, but when I’m surrounded by enemies, how can I protect everyone I love?
Unbroken by Victoria DeLuis ~ (133 pages) 8 ratings
The Tylwyth Teg took someone from me. I want him back.
When Thomas was taken from me, I wanted to burn the world. To rip it from its orbit and send it crashing into the sun. I’d been broken. But no more.
I’m Summer Daniels. Friend to few. Foe to many. And one angry witch…
… I’m coming for what is mine.
I really loved this series and enjoyed the mix of Welsh Mythology and magic that was weaved throughout the books. The series had everything that I look for in a great story; mystery, action, magic, humour and even a sprinkling of romance.
I would recommend this series those of you who love a mystery to solve, enjoy fantasy and adventure themes and don’t mind a bit of romance thrown in. There are no explicit or graphic violent or sexual scenes and so I feel comfortable recommending this series to anyone who likes reading paranormal mysteries.
So that’s it for this week’s favs, thanks for stopping by and for reading my post. Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Do any of them spark a flicker of interest? I hope so.
Now that you’ve read my post, why don’t you hop along to some of the other amazing blogs taking part in this week’s Top 5 Tuesday.
Don’t forget to leave a link to your Top 5 Tuesday post so I can visit your blog if you’re joining in the fun this week.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Bye for now. x