Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: Midnight Unbound

Midnight Unbound Midnight Unbound by Lara Adrian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really sexy and fun little novella set in the Midnight Breed world. Since we have previously met both characters, this was definitely something a fan of the series should make sure to read.

We join Scythe a little while after his reluctant assistance in getting Chiara Genova and her son to safety. Scythe is a breed male with a lot of baggage, most noticeably in the form of a missing hand. He started his life as a part of the hunter program, which was ultimately ended by the order. Since then, he has been avoiding complications in the form of friends and lovers. Having loved and lost an adopted son of sorts, he knows better than to ever get involved with a woman who has a child. Of course, the order ends up tapping him to help protect one such woman who has been haunting him.

Chiara is working on finding her footing after being so shockingly attacked and chased from her home. Her prime objective is to protect and care for her son. When a man ends up attacking her while her son was nearby, the order steps in to try to get her out of danger. There is also the added bonus of having one of their loose ends tied up, too. Having just become the independent woman she was always meant to be, she is very hesitant to give up any control to a domineering man, especially the breed male they send her way.

Scythe and Chiara, of course, end up dancing around one another for a little time before giving in to the draw of mates. Because they are both super stubborn, it ends up with them both making concessions to their relationship in order to make it work. The epilogue was one of the sweetest and most adorable endings in this series. We are guaranteed a HEA in these books, but this one was particularly satisfying.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Review: Burning Bright

Burning Bright Burning Bright by Chris Cannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so conflicted! I loved this book but I am so sad to say goodbye to Bryn and her friends!

This book is the last (?) book in the series about Bryn and her adventures in being a dragon shifter. From the start, I fell in love with this awkward orphan/not-orphan newly discovered hybrid dragon shifter. Though I sometimes questioned her judgement in these insane situations she finds herself in, she has ultimately become one tough chick.

This is Bryn's senior year, she's agreed to marry Jaxon (and all his baggage) and she is trying to adjust to the fact that her parents are not dead. Sure, her grandparents, Jaxon's family, and her mom and dad can't really all be in the same room together, but what's life without family drama? Jaxon, however, is proving to be a bit more difficult to live with than she anticipated. This farce of an engagement is hard to sell to the outside world when you can't stand one another. Slowly, however, they begin to adjust and adapt.

Bryn's friends, as always, continue to be awesome. In fact, all the characters in this universe are pretty great. The mystery that abounds this time? Dragon-pires appear to be making a come back. There is just so much to explain around that entire story that you'll just have to take my word for it. Bryn, as usual, is in at the center of all this and is, of course, one of the first to be attacked. What's a Bryn story without a little assault and kidnapping? Things, of course, resolve themself in a huge and flashy way, complete with a shocking HEA.

Throughout this series, I have changed my mind about Jaxon back and forth. This story, definitely, put me firmly on Team Jaxon. He grows so much (maybe even more than Bryn) along this series that I would find it hard to argue against him in the end. If you are even a little interested in a YA paranormal story, I would suggest you start with book one and enjoy!

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Review: Planet Dragos

Planet Dragos Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I admit that I haven't actually read any of the previous Elder Races stories, but after this introduction, I'd definitely like to check them out!

This was a short story with lots of twists and turns, quirky characters, and unique families. It occurs at a pivotal time in the Elder Race history, so every decision could have dire consequences. The main story is about Pia and Dragos. Pia is pregnant and is is very difficult on her. Some combination of paranormal elements has come together to put a serious strain on her life and relationship. On this trip to Vegas, which should be a celebration, it quickly takes a turn for the worse.

Turns out, Dragos has a secret brother, who also happens to be a paranormal with a bad rep. Oh, and there's kidnapping, and more kidnapping, and really powerful paranormals freaking out all over the place. We get a quick introduction to how each character handles a crisis and it isn't all good. Ultimately, we get some resolution (kind-of) but a definite step into a promising future. As I said, this novella really did what I guess they should - deliver just enough to make you want more.

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Review: Kitty's Greatest Hits

Kitty's Greatest Hits Kitty's Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up this set of short stories just so I could feel like I was completely finished with the Kitty-verse. I'm usually not a fan of short story compilations and this was really hit or miss.

As expected, the best of this set of stories were the Kitty and Cormac stories. Kitty stories are always a fun adventure and reminded me why I like Kitty (sometimes). The Cormac story was much longer and more in depth than all the others, so that was really the highlight here. If you are considering picking this book up, it should really only be for this one.

Cormac's story gives us some insight into what his time in prison was like. Much like the Cormac-centric book in the series, you get to see some really great parts of the story that you typically miss in Kitty books. Cormac is still one of my favorite characters and it was really nice to visit with him again. This story starts with Cormac's time in prison, right before he meets the famous Amelia. It fills in some gaps that existed in the storyline and was genuinely an interesting read.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Review: Hunt the Moon

Hunt the Moon Hunt the Moon by Kari Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was so good, I couldn’t put it down! It felt like I was already joining a world that was previously built in a series all its own, but I came to find this was the first book of what I hope is a long and awesome series.

Izzy is joining her brother as he prepares for his wedding. It seems a rather ordinary outing for normal humans, but there are just oodles of secrets hiding behind every corner. Because of her tragic and abuse-filled past, she’s got a few issues surrounding werewolves. This makes her being a werewolf an even more difficult pill to swallow. When confronted with tons of werewolves (and her brother is marrying one!), she obviously freaks out.

Luke is the alpha of said group of werewolves. He’s begrudgingly accepted Izzy’s brother into the pack (even though he is human), but he can’t quite understand the whole mating thing. In true karmic fashion, he instantly knows that Izzy is his, even before she threatens to kill them all. These two obviously have an uphill battle ahead of them, but Luke is a very patient man.

The sizzle between these two was obviously there and there’s enough of Izzy that is willing to listen that they can actually begin to pursue a relationship. It probably helps that her brother is uniquely qualified to give advice and calm her prejudices. On top of all this drama, they also have some disappearances and mysteries to solve. Somewhere along the way, Izzy gets to learn that, just like humans, there are good shifters and bad shifters out there. I absolutely cannot wait to see where this series takes me next!

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Review: Wolf of Her Own

Wolf of Her Own Wolf of Her Own by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a little sad to say goodbye to this wonderful and interesting group of characters. While I’m happy that everyone ultimately gets their HEA, I could read a bunch more of these stories and not get tired. Each tale has its own little spin on werewolf romance.

We met Mikhail in the previous story about his sister’s arrival in the pack. Even if you have no experience with this world and the characters in it, you could probably still start here (and then go back and read them all!). Mikhail isn’t exactly a classic hero, but he’s stood up for his sister and has fallen completely in love with Elise. Elise has previously been seen as a fragile, abused mother figure to the alpha, but here she really grows into her own story. She’s far from the fragile flower that she’s been deemed as previously.

Mikhail is finally pushed by his wolf to force the issue of dating (and ultimately mating) with the woman he can’t get out of his head. He knows that their relationship will be difficult, especially since the alpha is not going to be pleased with his mother “dating.” These two have their ups and downs, but their story was a beautiful built on patience and understanding. The communication and romance was definitely there. As I said, it was sad to see this story end, but it was a great read.

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Review: Kitty Saves the World

Kitty Saves the World Kitty Saves the World by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the last book of the series and it is a very satisfying one. After all of the strategy and bad decisions along the way, it all comes down to this one final stand, and all your favorites make an appearance.

I’m a little conflicted on this one. Sure, I could have read a few more books in this series, especially if they were from Cormac’s point of view, but this ending novel certainly does the series justice. After all of this talk of the “end game” it has finally come to this one final battle. At the end of the previous book (which, jeez, if you haven’t read that, what are you doing here?!) we knew that there was going to be a trap. Since that trap happens in the first part of the book, you can kind of guess that things don’t go so smoothly (do they ever, for Kitty?). Dux Bellorum isn’t the long game orchestrator that can be easily beaten, or they’d have done it a hundred times by now.

There’s some betrayal, a lot of familiar faces that I was so very happy to see, and it all ends up… saving the world (obviously). The actions and twists in this book made me a little less bitter about the last Kitty-centric book’s pointlessness. We have definitely been slowly building to something and that something ends up being pretty big. In the end, while not everyone makes it out alive, enough do that it can be called a solid happy ending. There was one big loose end that I had some trouble with in that we don’t get to see where Cormac actually ends up in his life. I feel like he was one of my favorites and could definitely get his own spin off. Please?

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