Thursday, November 13, 2014

REVIEW: The Secret Door (+25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: The Secret Door
Author: Stephanie Burkhart
Series: Budapest Moon #4
Pages: 156
Date Published: July 29th, 2013
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Format: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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It's 1927 and Lord Zoltan Kristos, Hungary's Minister of the Interior, takes great pains to hide the fact he's a werewolf from the world. Despite his efforts, he's recognized when he goes to the Austrian-Hungarian border to inspect the area for damage from a recent rare earthquake. 

Zoltan is accused of stealing Kurt Meklau's witch, Inna, and is recklessly followed to Volturn Manor, a residence belonging to another werewolf family, the Vargas. After a fight with Meklau, Zoltan barely escapes and his adversary is found dead. 

Sophia Varga and Tomas Martin find Zoltan. Sophia is determine to attend to Zoltan's injuries and protect her home, but when Kurt's father, Marcus, comes seeking revenge, Sophia is tested like never before. As Zoltan and Sophia work together, attraction and desire flame between them.
Will the secrets Volturn Manor harbors offer Zoltan and Sophia the clues they need to defeat Marcus and give them the opportunity to explore their feelings for one another?

~My Thoughts~
Historical paranormal romances are my new favorite paranormal romances! I don't know why I didn't really think about mixing the two before. I love Steampunk and that genre frequently dabbles in the paranormal genre of Victorian England or Western America. The Secret Door is set in the 1920's in Hungary. This was a particularly interesting choice. Although the language is completely different, the setting and the imagery brought Dracula immediately to my mind. I am a huge fan of the old classics and seeing any kind of hint of similarity is always fun for me. Of course, we are mixing two different breeds of paranormal here...the main character Zoltan? Yep...he's a werewolf. 

Sophia was my favorite character. I liked Zoltan, but he smacked a little too much of the dark and brooding hero and for some reason I just wasn't feeling that. Sophia, on the other hand, had a spark to her that I really appreciated. She was interesting, different, and while she was attracted to Zoltan (which was very apparent) she also was smart and used her brain to think about the consequences of their dalliance. It's probably not too much of a spoiler to say that she succumbs to his dark and brooding-ness...but it was fun to watch their interaction play out! 

Having not read the first three books in this series, I was worried that I would have a hard time understanding this one, but it works pretty sufficiently as a stand alone. Of course there were brief mentions of past happenings that I probably would have understood better with the other books under my belt, but that is to be expected in this situation. The book begins with a bang and keeps on rolling the entire time through. 

Give the Budapest Moon series a try if you like Historical Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Romances, or any of the above! 
~Try an Excerpt!~
He looked her over seductively. His heart skipped a beat with desire. She rubbed the lotion into her hands and placed them on his stomach. He groaned, reaching out with his left hand and threading his fingers into her hair, jerking her head back so they were eye-to-eye. She set her jaw. His pulse pounded. Something intense flared between them, yet she kept her hands on his abdomen. Encouraged, Zoltan tugged her toward him, pressing her chest against his. Her nostrils flared and her brow furrowed in confusion.

He stopped, reminding himself he needed to offer a choice. "Do you want me to kiss you?"

"No." The sound of her denial was weak. He held her close.

"Do you want me to release you?"


"How should I solve my predicament?"

"I don't know."

"I do." He leaned close, her sweet fruity scent sending his senses into overdrive. He placed his lips on her jaw and kissed her.
~Meet Stephanie!~ 
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD.  She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  She served 11 years in the US Army and currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate and is addicted to coffee.  She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children's books published with 4RV Publishing.

You can find her on the interweb at: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Youtube, Pinterest 
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  1. Thanks for the review. I have a book by this author but haven't read it yet. This book sounds like one I'll enjoy and am looking forward to reading it soon :)
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

  2. The excerpt was good, thank you for the chance :)

  3. i enjoyed the blurb...
    thx u for hosting :)

  4. Thank you for having me here today. I'm glad you enojoyed the story. The Secret Door won the cover award for I'ndy Tales Magazines back in AUG 2013.

    Steph Burkhart
    Romance Under the Moonlight

  5. The excerpt was interesting but I love the dark cover. My wife's family comes from that part of Europe, in fact she had an uncle by marriage who was from what used to be Transylvania. I'd love to add this book to my home library.

  6. Thanks for the review and excerpt.! I do love historical paranormal romances!