Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Review: Healer's Need

Healer's Need Healer's Need by Rhenna Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I completely didn’t realize this book was the second in a series of books, but I don’t think it hurt my enjoyment of this awesome read. I absolutely could not put this book down!

Tate is a shifter, a tattoo artist, and a warrior. He has also newly identified his fated mate. Too bad for him, the mate chosen for him is newly introduced to this world and is still adjusting to the craziness of people transforming into animals and magic being real. Elise, Tate’s fated mate, is completely unaware of this fact. He may have started avoiding her to not put pressure on her, but instead it seems to be telling her that he isn’t interested.

Tate has his inner animal driving him to claim his mate all the time, especially with some bad guys still up to no good. With Elise’s soon to be discovered magic, everyone assumes she will be in an elevated position of power, so there is added pressure on Tate to protect her. Throw all of this in the pressure cooker, and you’ve got the breaking point for Tate’s patience. It was great to watch it break! These two sizzle together and it made me just want to go back and see where this whole world started. As a new series (for me) it is a definitely interesting twist on your typical paranormal read.

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Review: Otherworld Chills

Otherworld Chills Otherworld Chills by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This may be my favorite of this set of short stories. While I’ve definitely read most of these before, they involve some of my favorite couples from slightly different perspectives. If I had to choose just one set from this anthology series, this would be it. Also, we get the bonus of having a new story from Paige and Lucas that was filled with pretty awesome updates.

I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed most of the short stories, so I’ll just discuss the overall themes. In this set, the time period does have a lot of jumping around, which was a little difficult to get used to. Aside from that, the theme in these seemed to be general creepiness. Even the puppy plan story, which was told from Logan’s perspective, was a little dark. Maybe that’s why I prefer this set? I like this world because it is a good blend of romance and paranormal.

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Review: You're Never Weird on the Internet

You're Never Weird on the Internet You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book gave me all the nostalgic feels of re-living my internet discovery and meeting online friends. Boy can I relate! I also really learned a lot about the gaming world that I haven’t actually been exposed to. As this book is narrated by Felicia Day on top of being written by her, you get the bonus of her super entertaining storytelling style and the wonderful sounds of old school dial-up.

I don’t think it’s worth summarizing her entire life here, but I completely admit that I had no clue about the Guild. Does that make me a bad person? Am I no longer qualified to be a nerd or geek? This book was like a treasure trove of relatable memories from childhood, quirky awesomeness, and an insider view of anxiety. If you are even a little nerdy or geeky, this book will make you laugh out loud (sometimes while working out when everyone around you thinks you’re insane) and smile ear-to-ear. Read (or listen to) this book now!

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Review: The Witch's Dream

The Witch's Dream The Witch's Dream by Victoria Danann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

UPDATE: Re-reading this series and this book certainly feels different from the first. There is a lot of new character addition (clearly setting up the many books to follow) but the love story was a little... rushed. After all this flipping between characters, it was a little hard to get into the romance (was there a lot of romance?) and celebrate the HEA for the broody warrior.

So many new characters! This can't possibly be the last book, right?!? This one blew the first one away in so many different ways that I would love to read another one in this series! Loved the witty banter of the demons and half demons! Give me more!

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to this audiobook on a long car ride and was absolutely hooked. I know that I enjoy Trevo Noah on the Daily Show (although was very hesitant in the beginning to "cheat" on Jon Stewart). I didn't even really know anything about him going into this so it was 100% a surprise (other than him being from Africa, which comes up a lot on the show). I don't think I can accurately summarize the plot, except that it shows you South Africa through the years Trevor lived there and how he adapted to the his ever changing surroundings. For someone with very little background and knowledge of the region, everything was new and completely engaging. Trevor's storytelling had me hoping for more time in the car so we could get further in the book.

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Review: My Familiar Stranger

My Familiar Stranger My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

UPDATE: I am re-reading this series from the beginning as part of a book club and, yeah, this book is still really good. While the main character isn't my favorite, the supporting guys are all so unique and I know they ultimately get their own stories (so I'm excited to keep going... again... for real this time).

This book was completely not what I expected. Maybe I suck at reading plot summaries or something but I thought it would revolve around a girl who went from our dimension into some alien dimension. Instead, it is more like the opposite with some differences. Also, I know Black Swan isn't always about ballet but there was none if that in this story. This book was a great setup for a fun series taking place in a sort of Buffy-esque "Unit" compound. A lot of the characters were entertaining and I actually found myself rooting for the wrong guy again. I can't wait to see where this goes.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Review: Protecting the Wolf's Mate

Protecting the Wolf's Mate Protecting the Wolf's Mate by Sasha Summers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I feel like this book can either be read as part of the larger storyline or as a standalone. Though there are not giant chunks of “catch you up” paragraphs, it was easy enough to join back in without this refresher.

Ellen joined the misfit pack that Hollis is a member of by protecting the alpha’s pregnant mate. She has an affinity for man/wolf relations (internally, as shifters), so she has been a surprisingly good influence on these new-er shifters. She’s also got a boatload of secrets that she keeps tucked away, but finds herself more willing to open up and shed the prickly exterior, especially for Hollis. Hollis has been tormented by Ellen since she came to live with them. Since he’s a man of science and facts and she is a strong believer in magic, they were bound to clash. He also has the unique disadvantage of not being able to shift into his wolf because of a heart defect.

Once it becomes clear that the Others (the big bad) is coming for them in a very real way, Ellen and Hollis (or their inner wolves) recognize the urgency of their fated mating. This was filled with dirty sexy times, lots of action, and one tough magical shifter in the form of Ellen. Hollis isn’t too bad, either. This pack is rapidly growing on me and it is clear there are even more happy couples in the not so distant future.

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Review: Sentinel of Darkness

Sentinel of Darkness Sentinel of Darkness by Katie Reus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick, standalone read in the Darkness series that was absolutely wonderful from start to finish. Even if you have no experience with this author, I would recommend picking this book up to check out what you are missing.

Keva was introduced to shifter at what became a very dark time in her life. Her boyfriend at the time came out to her as a shifter as just another way to control and manipulate her. After the abuse began escalating, she made a break for it and never looked back. Her savior, a dragon shifter, further introduced her to the world, but she’s been happy just to work on her art and focus on her business.

Dagen recently joined the dragons in Keva’s town and ends up putting himself in front of her in a rather unflattering way. Unfortunately/fortunately for them, Keva’s past comes back in a real way, forcing Dagen to protect her as only mates can. This book had a wonderfully fast-paced and completely engaging story that should not be missed! Oh, and there’s some good sexy times, too!

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Review: Vampires Like It Hot

Vampires Like It Hot Vampires Like It Hot by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was yet another installment in the never-ending series about the Argeneau’s and their extended family. I don’t think you’d actually need to have read any other books to start here, but I’m just not wired that way.

Jess is an attendee at a destination wedding tasked with babysitting the bride’s evil sister. Maybe not evil, but she certainly manages to find a way to spoil most activities for her. Chasing after her ends up putting her on a pirate ship filled with vampires that leaves her no choice but to escape overboard. Raffaele is playing babysitter himself, except to his fellow vampire/immortal as he heals from the physiological trauma he’s endured. Saving a woman floating in the ocean comes naturally to him, but even he’s surprised when he life mate turns up in the off season at a resort.

There is a lot of deception and misdirection as Raffaele tries to win over Jess and overcome her natural fear of vampires (and pirates). There’s a lot of kidnapping threats, sneaking around, travel, and sexy times thrown into a short amount of time for these two. While the book ends happily (not for everyone), I don’t think this book was my favorite. Ultimately I think the reason for that was the character of Jess. In theory, she should have been like any other tough chick character – resilient and strong, able to overcome her past and the fact that they are vampires to make the difficult decisions. Sure, she’s got all the components to make her a great character, but her actions were all over the place. One particular sticking point with me was the fact that she started the book (and got into this whole mess) because she felt responsible for her mean cousin. Said cousin may be mean and may have bad motivations, but if Jess really was this great person, I don’t understand why she would laugh about her cousin being stuck with a sexually abusive guy. It just seemed… strange and off-putting. It made me second guess Jess and Raffaele actually being a good match. Maybe it was just me?

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Review: In the Mood Fur Love

In the Mood Fur Love In the Mood Fur Love by Eve Langlais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am loving these little sets of 3 stories. The combination of authors, story, and smuttiness makes for some wonderfully easy and entertaining reading. While I’ll probably not do justice to each story individually, you can expect to enjoy a nice variety if you pick up this collection.

The Eve Langlais story was adorable with a bit of a noir feel. Becka has been kidnapped and is trying to escape during a “scuffle” when she finds herself face-to-face with an overprotective man. Said man, Stavros, may also happen to shift into a bear and have identified her as his mate upon first touch, but that’s beside the point. These two are caught in an internal tug of war with themselves – Becka wants to run to keep this nice man save and Stavros wants to run because having a mate means commitment and settling down. Through it all, they end up getting caught up in some action, some sexy times, and lots of nosy family scenes. This was probably my favorite of the three.

The Milly Taiden story continues with the “mate for hire” world (if you’ve read the previous ones, which are probably not required). These two poor lovebirds are also in denial. This story was a bit of boss/employee taboo, some shifter fated mate madness, and lots of miscommunication. Oh, and did I forget to mention super naughty sexy business?

The Kate Baxter story also continues in an established world but is definitely not required reading to dive in here. Ellie is a woman who has been cursed by a witch to stay trapped in a town that will never thrive. She’s essentially immortal, which makes her a good fated mate to Colin, who wanders in and shakes up her whole life. With magic and an old-timey feel, this story was a neat departure from the norm.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Review: More than a Phoenix

More than a Phoenix More than a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was just bursting with magic and paranormal craziness! We even get two love stories for the price of one!

The first of two stories involves Dante’s mate. He’s had a crush on a girl from his high school for as long as he can remember. He was never really expecting to discover her talking to herself walking down the street. Turns out, Mallory has been cursed in a few different ways. The first way is that she has been making friends with ghosts. It would be a little more manageable if they didn’t look and seem so darn real. The other way is a bit more concerning. Sure, ghosts are bad (and ends up getting her fired), but turning into a monkey when she get stressed out is somewhat worse. What kind of guy would be up for that kind of challenge? Dante. He has grown up in a loud and invasive phoenix shifter family and knows exactly how to go with the flow. He manages to balance supporting her budding art career while at the same time trying to fix her curse issues.

Dante’s roommate and brother, Noah, ends up meeting his match while going to bat for his brother’s girl. That ghost thing ended up landing her in the ER, where Kizzy happens to work. Since nothing is ever really normal, Kizzy ends up coming from a family of witches who are protecting one of a set of 3 books. As fate would have it, Noah has an interest in fancy old books and happened upon one just recently. After overcoming the secrets and worry, these two end up teaming up with the whole gang to go after the big bad. A huge installment and undertaking, this book went by super-fast!

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