Sunday, March 27, 2022

Ancient Retribution

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

These books are so fun to read from start to finish. You're guaranteed a HEA and they've somehow tricked me into enjoying a dystopian setting.

Zephyr was previous introduced as a bit of the odd man out, having come back from a hell realm and having to re-learn society, his brothers, their mates, etc. On the edge of the group, he ends up on a mission that introduces him to Juniper. Juniper has a bit of baggage, having had her memory erased before being dropped in to be raised with wolf shifter. A dragon with unusual talents, she had a loving family, but this was always hanging over her head.

These two are a great couple to watch. The fact that they are taking down a human trafficking ring also makes them the very clear good guys here. Throw in some curve balls in the form of Juniper's past, Zephyr's patience, and a bunch of familiar faces pushing their own stories along and we've got a wonderful book. I highly recommend this and all associated series'.

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Dragon Mine

Dragon Mine (Dragon Kings #2)Dragon Mine by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book read almost like a novella with not a lot of big steps forward in any of the main storylines, but a good romantic story.

Vaughn has been searching for his mystery girl for years and it's probably not his dream scenario that she's his dragon king's only daughter. No pressure, right? They've been sharing dreams for years unconsciously, but when they meet face-to-face on the other side of the doorway she opened to Zora, the pressure is really on. Eurwen has a lot to shoulder being the co-ruler of a whole world. Her twin is also not the most supportive when she admits to meeting up with a dragon king and potentially being his mate.

I feel like the star of this one is really Vaughn, who swallows his pride and becomes really great mate material. While the stakes feel low when Con can heal anyone, this one still had some risky situations and hopefully ends up leading to some sort of reveal of the "big bad" in books to come. Overall, this was a nice, light read.

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Dark Alpha's Passion

Dark Alpha's Passion (Reaper, #14)Dark Alpha's Passion by Donna Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was another solid installment in the very long and winding road to Reaper/Dragon King/Others/Six Showdown. While we don't quite get there in this one, we are still building to a nice finale.

As this is a reaper book, we know that someone needs to be betrayed, get killed, and turned into a Reaper, right? Those are the rules, so why am I surprised every time it happens? Ruark has been trying to be a good spy, a good son, and stay as far away from Chevonne, his lady love, to keep everyone safe and hopefully help the good guys win. At a pivotal point in the fight, he decides it's worth the risk, and reconnects with Chevonne. She's a fighter but there are a lot of things at play here that put them both in an unwinnable situation.

Lucky for us, there are lots of very powerful players already in the game. With all the action and excitement you'd expect, I think this book focuses more on that than the romance here and I'm not mad at it. This book does help along the X storyline too, and we will hopefully get some very satisfying payoff in the coming books.

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Friday, March 25, 2022

Enemy of the Fae

Enemy of the Fae (Caledonia Fae, #3)Enemy of the Fae by India Drummond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ugh. This book series took a TURN here.

This particular installment picks up with Eilidh as queen (with way more queen behavior than I was expecting) and Quinton still hiding his relationship with her. I was completely not shocked by the more love triangle-y turn we took there (yum), and happily await future installments for that group. The mystery here was someone working against Eilidh from either her assumed supporters or some shadowey group. In parallel, there is a lot of druid stuff going on. Quinton is transforming, showing new skills, and all the while the other druids are working to make something cool.

Here's where it all takes a TURN - The druid with powers over time connects with the VERY YOUNG fae who is their friend (turns out I was confused in the last book and there actually was a VERY YOUNG fae girl that the druids spend time with). So. Things happen and magically she is outwardly older but inside she is AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL. This girl then goes on to do terrible things with an older guy and it's TERRIBLE. I'm scarred, or as scarred as someone can be when you've also read the KMM series that treads in this very same (but maybe older?) territory. I guess if you can accept all that, this book does push the overall kingdom storyline along with not many other huge surprises. The twists and turns were OK but pretty predictable. Seriously, 8 years old - I'm not over it.

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Demon Kissed

Demon Kissed (The Summoner’s Mark Book 1)Demon Kissed by J.D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First book in a series and this has a unique spin on your typical demon tale.

Becs is a summoner who wants out of the business, but is unable to do so while she has some unpaid debts (both rent and demon related). Her own responsibility in the last summoning she performed tasked her with some demon follow-up that throws her into a complicated web of favors and mixed motivations. Her upstairs neighbor is also oddly helpful, sexy, and way too comfortable with the supernatural.

This story has it all - sizzle, paranormal mayhem, way too many dead birds, and high school mistreatment coming back to haunt them. Did I mention the birds? Yuck. Overall this story introduces a good team of players, lots of loose threads, and some interesting abilities that I'm sure we'll learn more about in book 2. Here's to a rich world building!

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A Grave Girls’ Getaway: A Night Huntress Novella

A Grave Girls’ Getaway: A Night Huntress NovellaA Grave Girls’ Getaway: A Night Huntress Novella by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy the Night Huntress world, so will dive back in at any chance I get. Here we get a short vacation story for Cat and Denise that also manages to delve into Cat's mother/daughter dramas.

Cat is struggling to let her daughter grown and develop without a hovering parent. It's not hard to understand why, given the past, but in an effort to step away and reconnect with Cat the person, she goes on holiday with Denise. It was good to see Cat as the tough fighter, crime solver, independent woman who can also cry for her husband and daughter. Of course, the holiday goes all wrong and Cat and Denise are forced to step in where there's a bad situation going down. We are fortunate that people maybe come to expect this and we get some good cameos in the end. While not required reading for the world/series, it was nice to visit with all these characters in a different circumstance.

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Shadow's Seduction

Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #16; The Dacians, #2)Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Did I want to rate this high just because people were rating it low based on the M/M aspects? YES. Does it deserve a high rating? Sigh... probably not. I really wanted to hate like this to balance the true haters, but it was just... tough.

So, we know Caspion from the previous installment, where he was obsessed with women and yet not at all interested in the main female character. Maybe that's why I struggled here? If we were meeting two unknowns it might have been easier to get on board. Mirceo is a hedonist who goes about finding pleasure wherever, racing against when his heart will stop beating until he finds his "bride." Caspion meets him in a previous un-shared time, which is ultimately what gives him a death sentence in the previous book.

I can get behind a M/M romance as much as a M/F romance, but this felt very forced and rushed. I get it, it's a novella (not offered in audiobook format, which was annoying as a series completionist here). Still, there was just a bit of a quick "oh, yeah, a lot of time passed" blurb for poor Caspion and we were all left in Mirceo's shoes having not gotten any time at all. I'm glad there is some diversity in this world, but wish we could've gotten a full fledged novel out of it all.

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