Friday, March 16, 2018

Review: Immortal Nights

Immortal Nights Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was an almost parallel story to Tomasso’s brother’s tale. Here, we join Tomasso, having just been taken away in a plane from his original kidnapping spot. While the team is working madly to find both brothers, Tomasso isn’t going to just wait around to be rescued.

Abigail has hit a big turning point in her life – her biggest responsibility, her ailing mother, has suddenly been removed (via her passing) and she has no money for school (or life). Meeting up with her longtime BFF, Jet, is supposed to get her back on whatever path she’s destined for, but instead she ends up sneaking onto his plane (at his insistence) and getting dragged into the world of kidnapping and immortals.

Tomasso, the immortal Abigail stumbles upon locked up in the back of the plane, immediately recognizes his life mate and knows they have to act quickly. They jump for the plane and end up stranded on some sort of deserted island. This is obviously not the optimal place for an immortal, or for newly identified life mates. Hiding what he is from her while starving makes for tough, life threatening work for them both. This couple was good to watch grow into a great pair, no matter how insistent Abigail is about being independent. While her struggle to make decisions was sometimes a bit annoying, I’m glad she didn’t let him bowl over her in every decision. It will be interesting to see where this larger evil doctor storyline ends up.

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Review: Alpha Unleashed

Alpha Unleashed Alpha Unleashed by Kathy Lyons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I’ve read the other books in this series (a pretty long time ago), this book felt a little bit different (I think). Here, we join a woman determined to save her brother and her city by accepting that shifters exist.

The shifters in this world are not the sexy and awesome type you (and I) might be used to in the PNR realm. Instead, there is something horribly wrong with people in Alyssa’s neighborhood. Some are dying while trying to shift for the first time while others are becoming a horrible smelling gross half-shifter. The only idea that Alyssa has for saving everyone is to go find the only person her brother has outed as being a shifter – Simon.

Simon has almost abandoned his human half when an attractive woman goes after him with a gun. Upon shifting back, he’s forced to go through the slow process of becoming “man” again. It would probably be a little easier to just give up if he wasn’t undeniably attracted to Alyssa. Oh, and she’s his best friend’s younger sister, so that’s awkward. Luckily, shifter hierarchy plus military training equals Simon suddenly being able to get away with starting a relationship with someone who might otherwise have been off limits. While the romance is a little light, the story was interesting enough to keep me flipping pages.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Review: Dark Alpha's Night

Dark Alpha's Night Dark Alpha's Night by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a quick, light read with enough plot and smut to keep things interesting. Admittedly, I have been horrible about reading books by this author in order (I jump around, I pop in and out of the Dark world series, etc.) but I recognize some names and generally understand the overall story so I don't think it really impacted my enjoyment of this book.

Daire is a reaper who has watched his fellow reapers get paired up with mates. Sure, he thinks it won't happen to him and wants to help progress the larger battle with the big bad, but to do that he needs a direction. Following a lead about possible half-breeds, he goes out to find Ettie, the eldest sibling of a possible half-breed family. What he finds, however, is someone he can't deny attraction to. Couple that with the fact that she is indeed a gifted half-breed, and it's pretty clear that he's found his match. On top of that, she can help in their battle!

Ettie is tough, independent, but also knows what she wants. What she wants, immediately after meeting Daire is to spend as much time in his arms. These two are quick to the smut and end up stronger as a result of their blossoming relationship. While I don't know where this bigger storyline will end up, these two are a key piece in this growing battle.

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Review: The Big Bad Wolf

The Big Bad Wolf The Big Bad Wolf by Jus Accardo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved everything about this book! It was jam packed with YA goodness, smutty awesomeness, and reluctant romance. What more could you want?

Kensey is the daughter of a werewolf leader who has recently been given an ultimatum - find a mate or one will be found for you. In true rebellious teenage fashion, she decides to choose the one boy that her father is sure to hate enough and possibly force him to let go of this forced mating. Slade, said "bad boy" choice, used to be her best friend until they both grew into their pack dynamics. Slade's pack is the worst of the worst, stealing and hurting people for fun, but that doesn't mean he agrees with it. In fact, he's been hoping to get out of his situation, but for that to happen, the council would have to dissolve his father's pack. It's with this promise that he agrees to "fake" a relationship with Kensey.

Of course it is hard to fake a relationship with there are actually real feelings on both sides. It was fun to watch them tiptoe around their emotion and even more satisfying to see how they get to their HEA. No, it isn't easy or straightforward, but it was really great reading. I couldn't put this book down from start to finish and was shocked when I reached the end. I want more!

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Review: Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic Midnight Magic by Jo-Ann Carson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was apparently a spinoff from a short story, but having not known that going in, I don't think you need to read that story to appreciate this one. If you like ghost hunting stories, this is worth checking out.

Abby is a single mother (widowed) who is just trying to user her abilities to make ends meet. While her primary job is a janitor for a haunted tea house, she also has some sort of affinity for the paranormal. It's this ability that gets her a customer in the form of a woman hunting for diamonds in her recently inherited mansion. Said mansion is also haunted by some mean ghost that makes searching the mansion more difficult.

While the story started out a little slow, it picks up with layers of mystery and a subplot dealing with Abby and her Viking ghost boyfriend's relationship. I think that might be the only thing that I sort of missed by not reading the previous short. We join their relationship already in progress and intense enough for him to risk everything to be with her (in exactly the way you're thinking). There is some level of romance and smut, but the book is primarily and mystery and sets up Abby's even more interesting paranormal predilections. Future books should be able to dive right into that drama without the build up that this book went through.

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Review: Hooked on a Phoenix

Hooked on a Phoenix Hooked on a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am in love with this world! This book is a spinoff from the previous boston dragon series, but I don't think you even need to start there first (but you should, because they are awesome!).

This book lets us continue with the wonderful, wild, wacky world of the Fierro brothers. The family of phoenixes is mostly filled with firefighters (except one black sheep cop) and they are all being urged by their mother to find mates and give her grandchildren. This is a little hard when you are forced to keep a secret or awkwardly explain that you can turn into a mythical bird if needed (and reincarnate). To combat this, Gabe is determined to not settle down.

Of course, all of this is called into question when his close friend asks him to watch out for his little sister while he is deployed. Misty, said little sister, is not so little anymore, though. She's also going through a little bit of a rough time that immediately calls out Gabe's protective instincts. One thing leads to another and now Gabe might actually be breaking his own rules about commitment.

This quick and quirky read was filled with everything you could want from a paranormal read - smutty goodness, solid characters, wonderful world building, and the lead in for even more books about these brothers finding their mates. I can't wait to see who gets their own book next!

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Review: The Curse

The Curse The Curse by Harper A. Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Admittedly, I did not read the first book in the series, but I don't think it really hindered my enjoyment of this follow-up book. In general, it read as a mix between a paranormal romance and something slightly historical romance-esque (there is definitely a lack of technology and other contemporary aspects).

In this world, shifters are cursed to die if they don't find their destined mate before their 25th moon (which corresponds to years in their world). Astrid is on her last moon and has generally given up the search. She is independent and not willing to live my someone else's rules, no matter how much she might be expected to, as the daughter of their pack leader. One night, after sneaking out again, she and her brother stumble upon a slaughtered pack with a single survivor. It's this naked and attractive survivor that Astrid finds herself drawn to.

Erec is a loner who was taken in (and subsequently ran away from) the neighboring pack. While those around him appear to immediately see his ability to lead, he is blind to it all. He has such integrity and ability that makes him an easy to spot alpha, if he would just accept what he can do. One thing he is very clear on, however, is the fact that Astrid is his.

These two dance around this issue for almost too long a time, counting down their last moon together while some big bad loom on the horizon. The slaughtered pack wasn't just a random killing, and it turns out that Erec has some history hidden from him as well. This whole story culminates in a satisfying happy ending and some hope for the future.

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