Monday, July 11, 2022

The Darkest Destiny

The Darkest Destiny  (Lords of the Underworld, #15.5)The Darkest Destiny by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really missed the Lords of the Underworld, and even as a novella, I found this refreshing. We know Viola from her co-star role in some Lords of the Underworld books. She’s vain but being possessed by the demon of narcissism makes her that way. She’s also got a demon/vampire/dog/immortal pet named Fluffy that she needs to feed immortality to keep alive. As a damaged person, she’s got some baggage. This presents itself in her fear of being abandoned, which is only made worse when she’s captured by Brochan.

Brochan has his own issues. His brother/son/person had his immortality stolen by Viola shortly after he recognized her as his fated mate. Bummer, right? Well, he fell with his brother/son/person and now he’s “horribly deformed” and can’t allow Viola to harm another by stealing immortality. At odds with one another, they of course must go through some hoops to get their HEA, but we get there and that’s all that matters.

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Elder Druid

Elder Druid (Caledonia Fae, #5)Elder Druid by India Drummond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books, I think, are getting better and better. While Munro and Eilidh’s relationship may be headed into bad places, the overall story is rich and engaging.

This book revolves primarily around Trath. He’s the misunderstood guy who has suffered with a mate who doesn’t broadcast that they’re mates. Douglas has some baggage around hooking up with a guy, but Trath’s poor heart is so broken that when he is tasked with wooing a princess for political reasons, he accepts. This book changed my entire opinion of him, making me a true Trath fan. As a bonus side story, we get to see a little bit of a softer side for Aaron. I think if asked what I knew about him I’d only really remember that he was the only one never stopped standing up for Rory throughout his ordeal. Now that he’s got his own responsibilities and baggage, he’s a lot more interesting as a maybe main character.

The big events of this book are all rolled into the ending, which leaves us hanging a bit. So many changes! So many things we thought were set in stone (haha-druids-etc) were not and I can’t believe we only have one more book to wrap things up. Also – are we changing our minds about the possibility of Rory really having feelings again? Are we undoing it all? I’m better with that than where we left things when they reunited.

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Dragon Eternal

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

We’re still on Zora, still trying to hunt down the threat to dragons in this world, so if none of that make sense to you, I’d recommend starting at least a full book or two before this one. Since this is the spinoff of another series that includes some spinoffs of its own, there is a lot of character and world building prior to this that may be rolled into my enjoyment of this one.

Shaw is the broody one (which is saying something when I’m pretty sure all the dragon kings are broody). He agrees to “infiltrate” the human kingdom to try to find their invisible enemy. This kingdom is all sorts of wrong. There is an extreme class system that is determined and ruled by “the Divine.” It’s implied that this person/thing/whatever will be the big bad, but we do not get any such straightforward resolution in this single book. Instead, we follow the story of Nia. She was a starving orphan until the Divine decided she should serve court. After some horrible darkness, she ends up as a courtesan, tasked with getting secrets out of folks. It’s in this role that she is sent after Shaw.

Fate has different plans for these two, however. They are draw to each other without the additional subterfuge they are tasked with. While we get some good happily ever after for these two, it’s almost like we took one step forward and two steps back in the overall story. I can’t wait to see what happens to Shaw’s partner and his journey, which I assume is the next book in this tale.

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Wolf in the Night

Wolf in the NightWolf in the Night by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the last book in this series, I was happy with where things ended up. While you can certainly dive in with this as your first book from this world, it is much more satisfying to go back to the beginning and work your way here.

Emma is the rather sheltered daughter of some immensely powerful wolf shifters. After begging for a night delivery job that would give her some freedom to perhaps meet a nice guy and hook up, she ends up in the worst-case scenario – hunted by other shifters. Her pack is not without its enemies, and she is the unfortunate easy target they zero in on. Dmitri is the alpha’s son of the pack chasing Emma down. Determined to stop his father’s plans, he rescues Emma, and the sparks immediately start to fly. Ironically, they end up in lust with one another which sort-of works to Dmitri’s father’s benefit. Have no fears, though, because we get the help of Emma’s awesome pack. There are tons of familiar faces and pie to fill the pages. The balance of romance, family, smut, and action was perfection. This was the perfect way to end this series (for now?).

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Saturday, July 9, 2022

Hell Bound

Hell Bound (The Summoner’s Mark Book 3)Hell Bound by J.D. Blackrose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the third book in a series, I highly recommend you start at book 1. There's already a lot of baggage up to this point that is necessary to understand how we ended up on this quest.

What's the quest? Well, Becs is going to hell to save her dad. Seems almost too simple, but gets infinitely more complicated thanks to her companions - an angry mobster with mommy issues and a guardian angel with sexy time fantasies for Becs. The cast of characters is great, though since this is a bit of a roadtrip book, we miss the bar crowd mostly. Happily, Becs is still her tough as nails self, who manages to stumble/trip/fall her way through this adventure. I'm enjoying the world building that grows with each book and though we don't come out of this one with everyone happy, we get some good progress towards an eventual showdown (I assume).

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Fall of Night

Fall of Night (Midnight Breed, #17)Fall of Night by Lara Adrian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love the Midnight Breed gang in all their weird and messed up glory, but this book was tough for me. I'm all for a redemption story, but had a really hard time getting over Micah's general jerkiness.

Micah is the second generation of Midnight Breed warriors and has a gigantic chip on his shoulder. We meet up with him in bad shape, having watched all his men die after he led them on some sort of fated mission/pull from outside his control. Phaedra, an Atlantean, had a dream showing that exact scene, which means more than it sounds like for her kind. When she and Micah meet, it's obvious that there are forces at play pushing them closer to getting these magical crystals.

Phaedra is great and I loved her from the start. She's got a good heart and is trying to use her powers (or lack of them) and her immortality for good. Upon meeting Micah, however, I was immediately against them pairing up. He is such a ... jerk. He is whiney and abrasive and even after we go through the acrobatics of getting them together I just couldn't get on board. He never got better, there was just more smut. Meh. Maybe it's just me.

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Hollowmore Slaying

Hollowmore Slaying (Thea Grove Vampire Hunter, #0.5)Hollowmore Slaying by Molly Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a cute, short story that gives a little more color to Thea's back story than you get in the central series. It answers a lot of question about how she met her friends and somehow landed on her feet after leaving her family behind. I needed something to help hold me over in between books, so when I saw this I jumped at it (also - free!). I think this may have even been better to stack at the start of the series so you don't jump in feeling a little bit behind. Either way, if you plan to enjoy or already enjoy Thea, you get more of what you like here. Now to wait for more Thea in full book format!

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