Thursday, February 25, 2021

Werewolves of London

Werewolves of London (The Monster MASH #3)Werewolves of London by Angie Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was exactly what I wanted in a follow-up book about Petra and Galen. Sure, there was a book in between here, but I'm glad we got here eventually!

As the last in the trilogy, you know stuff is going to go down. Marc and Petra are not in a good spot, the peace is just temporary at camp, and we all know another set of prophecies is coming soon. With all that tension, the occupants of this MASH unit still find time to play pranks, bet random items in poker, and generally be awesome. The first step towards chaos comes in the form of secret missions and refugees. We learn a lot more about dragons in this one.

Throwing Galen into the mix is sure to shake things up, but for Petra it changes her whole world. I was glad to see her step up in this one, taking responsibility for her life and actions. Have no fear - we get a really nice and satisfying HEA at the end of all this. Oh, and in between we get to see some of our favorite characters, which is a nice send-off to the series.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

The Christmas Pact

The Christmas PactThe Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this audiobook up as part of the plus catalogue a while ago and finally had an excuse to start it. I figured it would be a light, silly romance with not much to it. This delivers on being... interesting? But I found the main male love interest to be a jerk at the start and he never recovered in my eyes.

Riley works in a publishing office and has a coworker in a different office with a similar name. She is Riley Kennedy and he is Kennedy Riley. Cute, right? Except he keeps reading emails of hers that get inadvertently sent to him, including his 2 cents, even when it is clearly person. Jerk. They end up meeting at the company mixer and he somehow worms his way into her trip home, offering to "solve her problems" by pretending to be her boyfriend.

I'm a girl who enjoys a good fated mate paranormal romance, so I'm used to skipping the formalities, but the leap here from jerk to "somehow offering to pretend to be dating me" was just too jarring. I never recovered. Is there a reason he's a jerk? Sure. Did I forgive him? No. The story takes you on a journey, but it ultimately left me feeling sorry for Riley.

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Tempt the Dragon

Tempt the Dragon: An Afrofuturist Paranormal RomanceTempt the Dragon: An Afrofuturist Paranormal Romance by A.C. Arthur
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I did not closely read the description of this book before starting and it took me a little while before I realized this was part of the Legion series and that I had read 1 of those before. I guess this also reinforces that you can start the series at any point, since I didn't have trouble understanding the world, the characters, or the big bad here.

This story belongs to Aiken and Mel. They are both dragon shifters, but they have tremendously different backgrounds. Aiken has always been a fighter - whether in the realm he was born in, acting on behalf of the evil ruler, or in this human world trying to protect innocents. He has also always known that he is a dragon shifter. Mel, on the other hand, has not been so fortunate. Her parents got her to this realm but then left her, unaware of her heritage and her powers. She spent some time in the foster system until she found her chosen guardian. It wasn't until she met and trained with Aiken to be a version of bounty hunter that she was forced to face the facts.

Mel, however, did not accept this easily. In a typical tantrum, she refused and still refuses to accept her dragon half, never shifting or using most of those powers. This baggage is ultimately what broke Mel and Aiken up 80 years ago, and when we meet them again Mel is still holding that same belief somehow. That doesn't stop the big bad from coming out and bringing them back into each others lives, though. The attraction is still there because they are the equivalent of fated mates.

The big bad in this story? Well, there's a lot of evil doers trying to raise an undead army to take over the world. No big deal! Luckily there is a whole gang of folks equipped with special abilities who are ready to dive in, now including Mel. Things aren't very easy, but we do get to a happy ending here for some if not most of the characters. While Mel was completely irrational at times and frustrating the rest, she really stepped up by the end to give Aiken the mate he deserves.

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Friday, February 19, 2021

Mind Magic

Mind Magic (World of the Lupi, #12)Mind Magic by Eileen Wilks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book takes us back to Lily and Rule, but throws in some new folks, just to keep it interesting.

The large story here is almost comical when put in simple words - the top secret shadow organization that Lily & Rule belong to is under secret attack by a competing secret government organization. So, who's the good guy here? Obviously we are rooting for our team, especially because the other team appears to be kidnapping orphan kids with abilities and using them to murder. Almost at the start, Lily and Rule decide to follow an ancient dragon's suggestion and separate - Lily going to a strange location and Rule staying behind. While this tests all the instincts they have, dragons tend to have reasons for doing the things they do. In this case, it is definitely true in the most shocking of ways.

While Lily does her thing, we also get to meet Danny/Demi who is on the run from the bad guys. She's hiding as a boy but appears to still use she (I think) so hopefully that isn't too offensive. The way she is built has given her a gift, but done nothing to blunt her genius mind. She's somehow managed to evade the bad guys with very little on her side but her own routines and instincts. When these world collide, it was great to watch. Also, it was a great bonus to see more interaction with the pack Rule is now leading.

This book does end with a bit of a cliffhanger. The big bad and the good guys do face off and there is some satisfaction in the good guy wrap-up, but in meeting this organization and the motivations behind it, we get a whole new realm of people that somehow Lily and Rule are in charge of protecting the world from. These folks might be superhuman, but they have *a lot* on their plate now.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Banshee Cry

Banshee Cry (Blood Fae Chronicles #1)Banshee Cry by Jen Katemi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very short read that gave a pretty self contained story. We get a tidy happy ended that was satisfying and can most likely standalone.

Aleah is a banshee who doesn't quite work right. Her voice was injured/hidden when her father was horribly murdered, so while she still feels the deaths close to her, she can't actually warn anyone. To handle this, she's set out to find her own land set aside from most other humans. That doesn't stop her from making reluctant friends, but this story almost immediately starts with her announcing (brokenly) some nearby deaths.

This coincides with the arrival of a vampire investigator (supernaturals are "out" in this world). The horrible deaths in the area are part of his larger investigation, but that gets pretty derailed when he Luc meets Aleah. She has some baggage about vampires, though, so they have some issues to overcome before getting that HEA.

By the end, we get a lot more information about this world and the supernaturals. Aleah's family is further revealed, as is the world that is involved in tracking a bunch of banshee half-siblings that I assume we will meet in future installments. This book had a blend of smut, mystery, and fantasy - so if that's a good genre blend for you, this book is a quick an easy read.

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Wicked Hour

Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland, #2)Wicked Hour by Chloe Neill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I continue to insist that I am only audiobooking through this series so that I can complete this world, but this one really tempted me to stop. I'm a little muddled on where we are headed and who/what we should be hoping for here. That being said, I finished it and it wasn't super painful, and I'll keep going, so...

Here we go - a roadtrip book! Elisa and Connor haven't worked out the kinks in their attraction/dating/relationship world yet, so why not go on a weird road trip to shifter territory where there are problems and drama and it will probably be bad, right? Whereas in the original series there was palpable sexual tension, I just don't get the same feeling from these two. Maybe I'm just jaded? I am more hopeful that we get further development of Elisa and her inner beast than between those two. We do get a new character in the form of a sugar-loving shifter friend to Connor who, for some reason, comes on the road trip too.

The big story here is that the pack they visit is a MESS. There are bad guys all over the place, nobody believes anybody, and everyone hates everyone else. Georgia is an exception to this rule, but even she goes to the dark side for a little bit. Aside from some smooches, we don't get much romantic progress, but this book is certainly laying the foundation for some more characters, more drama, and (I hope) some sort of reveal for Elisa's beast. Who knows, though, because I honestly ended this book with a bit of a shrug. What did we get out of this? I found myself pretty frustrated for most of it.

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Sunday, February 14, 2021


Unbinding (World of the Lupi, #11)Unbinding by Eileen Wilks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alright, so I admit that I do not at all remember originally meeting Kai and Nathan, but I really enjoyed this story as a different aspect of the Lupi world.

Of course, banishing their enemy from the previous book didn't go down as neatly or as cleanly as they all would have liked. Kai has been working with the victims of the mind attacks and generally living with the wolves. Nathan appears to be enjoying challenging himself with Benedict, which makes everyone involved pretty happy (because they're wolves/hellhounds). The big bad resurfaces, however, and has unknown allies that end up causing, you guessed it, chaos. While Lily and Rule are notably absent from this book, I found it to be OK.

We get a bit of a road trip book here, complete with separation between even the mates. They are forced to show who they are alone and how much they are willing to risk and/or show their true powers. Kai was a surprising superstar here, and I am really glad I pushed through this relative unknown to really enjoy her character. For being paired up with an unstoppable, nearly unkillable hellhound, she ends up being the stronger and smarter of the two. Now I'm even more curious about where this book is headed, since we gathered a lot more magical theory in this book.

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Star-Crossed Dragons

Star-Crossed DragonsStar-Crossed Dragons by Chris Cannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK, wow, it took me the entire book before I realized this was a prequel to the other series about dragons by the same author. Woops! That would have helped me prepare for the ending a little bit sooner than when we got there. I guess this proves you totally don't need to read the main series in order to enjoy it.

This world is pretty wonderful. There are dragons, kept separate from society and managed into stereotypical clan roles. The blue dragons, of which Sara is one, are the most uptight of the bunch. They are tasked with managing money and are generally wealthy folks. Their mate pairings are also 100% business arrangements. It might not be so bad if Sara wasn't paired with the worst of the worst. It's while she is trying to hide from this horrible match that she meets Ian. He's a red dragon, so lives more modestly and focuses more on protection and strength. The attraction is instant and they are in serious trouble.

Clans in this world are not intended to mix, especially, but not exclusively, because both are already paired and promised to other people. That, of course, does not stop this Romeo & Juliet couple. Do they make some bad decisions? Sure. But they're so young! As an intro to the world, I think this is a good one. It gives you some good and bad, and even some redeeming Blue dragons, too. While the ending is a little... sad... it should make you want to pick up and see what happens some years later.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ancient Enforcer

Ancient Enforcer (Ancients Rising #3)Ancient Enforcer by Katie Reus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are so addictive. I know that we will eventually work our way through all the unpaired off characters and cannot wait for more.

Mikael is an ancient dragon who was awakened soon before the public outing of supernaturals through a horrible attack. Since then, humans and supernaturals alike have been trying to figure out what this new world looks like. Avery, the appointed "babysitter" of Mikael and his brothers, becomes very valuable after "the fall" due to her construction background and having already known about the things that go bump in the night. Mikael, immediately upon meeting her, knows she is his mate. Avery... she takes some time to get convinced he is even interested in her.

In this new world, there are tons of big bads floating around, and the one from this book just so happens to be tied to both Avery and Mikael in one way or another. Throw in a dragon baby, the building burn between King and his unclaimed mate, and some new dimensions, and you've got a book that is very hard to put down. I really enjoyed the romance here, no matter how long it took to get to the smutty bits. These two are a great match and I hope we get to meet the mystery women that Mikael's brothers are interested in!

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