Saturday, July 29, 2023

Taming the White Wolf

Taming the White WolfTaming the White Wolf by N.J. Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a great new series! I love this author and was eager to see what new world we’d be stepping into here.

Devlin is a lone wolf. There is usually only one born at a time, but in this particular instance, there are three. As lone wolves, they are obviously not keen on teaming up, so Devlin is still relatively alone. His primary function is hunting down rogues and that’s what leads him to Zoe’s city. He arrives and is quickly drawn to his target, who appears to have taken a liking to Zoe, a woman who strangely shares his unique eye and hair color. These two fight to continue their independent and pretty lonely existence until undeniable danger throws them into an uneasy alliance.

There is bigger magic and badness surrounding this seemingly random meeting and they both work tirelessly to untangle the web. I was completely addicted to this story from the start and I absolutely cannot wait to see where the future books take us. This can easily be read as a standalone, but be warned that you’ll be hooked!

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The Witch Hitch

The Witch Hitch (A Cupcake Coven Romance, #2)The Witch Hitch by Elizabeth Bass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whoops, I didn’t realize this was a series and I missed book #1. That being said, while the insanity level is high, I don’t think I missed much in backstory so was able to dive in here.

Bailey is engaged to be married but has run into a bit of bad luck. She’s saddled with reluctant wedding party participants, her soon to be husband’s ex returning in time for the wedding, and trouble finding a wedding dress. When Esme turns up offering to solve her wedding dress problems it seems to be magic. And it is. Magic is real here and it turns out that Bailey is a witch! Trying to hide this from her friends, family, and fiancĂ© proves to be more than she can handle, especially when she is also responsible for Seton.

Seton turns up in her car after a magical run-in, having been relocated across time into present day. It is never a good sign when you find yourself connecting more with a man out of time than your intended husband. Things go very wrong before they can go right here, but the mayhem all ends up worth it for all involved. A nice HEA to end this magical ride is exactly what this witch needed.

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Sweep of the Blade

Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles, #4)Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a joy to read. I really appreciated the pivot from Dina to Maud here, though we do get a bit of transition time with overlapping views.

Maud and Helen are a team and it was such a joy to watch play out. She is steadfast in her determination not to become some sort of trophy wife again to a vampire, but Arland is just as stubborn about his commitment to them both. We get a lot of backstory on vampires, their wars, their politics, and their family structures. I’m not even sure where to start in a review, so I’m going to focus on the relationship goodness.

Maud is obviously an outsider when she arrives with Helen and there is also something going on in the vampire politics realm. She really leverages all her training in both fighting and innkeeping to make sure she and Helen can survive all these machinations. Arland is clearly much stronger and more well equipped with Maud by his side than without her. Even Arland’s family becomes Team Maud (and Helen) along the way, which was lovely to watch. I think I would have enjoyed this book even as a stand-alone without that whole innkeeper buildup and background, but I’m not sure you would get the same bang for your buck. While I’m happy to join back up with the earth-bound folks, this was definitely a nice diversion and addition to the lore.

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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Ancient Guardian

Ancient Guardian (Ancients Rising #9)Ancient Guardian by Katie Reus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books do the impossible -make me addicted to a post-apocalyptic series. I thought I had determined what I liked, but this series has happily pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Orion is the ancient dragon that this story revolves around. He’s been woken up and thrown into a world he doesn’t recognize. He does, however, have a strong pull towards Violet. Violet and her sisters have pulled together their rather remote hometown to survive in this new post-dragon world. Living largely off the grid pre-dragons, they did still need to adapt a bit to thrive here. Orion ends up getting pseudo-adopted by the sisters, playing a largely hidden role in their security.

Orion is actively hiding his supernatural nature when we join them in this book. He’s got other shifters that are all keeping the security of the town with him, all hiding, but nobody is ready to “come out” just yet. An intrusion from outside their borders in the form of a possible alliance forces them to show their hand and deal with the potential fallout. After tip-toeing around their feelings for one another, it adds even more complexity to Orion and Violet’s relationship. The other sisters, however, appear to eagerly embrace the supernatural discoveries in sexy ways. There’s a big bad and a big battle, but the interpersonal relationship definitely take center stage in this one. That’s what makes these books so fun to read!

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Isabelle's Forbidden Love

Isabelle's Forbidden Love: Scanguards Hybrids #4 (Scanguards Vampires Book 16)Isabelle's Forbidden Love: Scanguards Hybrids #4 by Tina Folsom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After all the build up for these two getting together, I knew this would be explosive! We dive *RIGHT* in!

Ever since her dad was kidnapped and Orlando got injured, the sizzle between Orlando and Isabelle has been set to inferno levels. They, of course, are oblivious. Orlando has a secret past that really comes into focus in the previous story. Isabelle is the boss’s daughter, so has certain expectations cast upon her. She, however, is awesome. Orlando goes through exactly what you’d expect - I’m not good enough syndrome. Lucky for us, though, Isabelle doesn’t let that persist for even an hour of her time.

The big story here is about some brutal killings that seem to point to a certain mysterious vampire. Don’t worry, though, things get way worse before they get infinitely better. Samson was a standout in the “worse” category, but I guess you can’t blame him when his daughter is involved. I’m hoping off screen he got a dressing down from his mate, though, after all the dust settled. Another strong book in this series that makes me want even more of these books to come out even faster!

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A Farewell to Charms

A Farewell to Charms (Mystic Bayou, #6)A Farewell to Charms by Molly Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These books are always wonderful little fun stories that take you to a town filled with the best characters.

Finally Alex gets his own book! I will say, I didn’t predict this match at all, but I’m here for it. Alex is very buttoned up and has had a string of heartache, but at his core he’s a solid guy. Eva has been obviously hiding her past when she arrived in Mystic Bayou, but everyone adopted her into their group more so than they did Alex even. When Alex’s car breaks down and Eva ends up saving him, these two finally get the push to see what happens.

It wouldn’t be Mystic Bayou if there wasn’t some nefarious plot afoot. It’s good to see the town now prepares for it, but even with all the preparation in the world, you can’t plan for everything. Turns out that Eva’s species, her past, and who is after her is all something brand new to our heroes. Don’t worry, though, because we get a really great HEA for everyone involved. I wish this series could go on forever!

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Secrets of Shooting Star Lake

Secrets of Shooting Star Lake (Black Rock Guardians #1)Secrets of Shooting Star Lake by Susanna Strom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow - this was a really fun read that had me hooked from the start! I can’t wait to see where this series ends up taking us!

Adam is a potential alpha to the pack, tasked with picking up cupcakes when he meets Marit. Marit is a baker dealing with the loss of her grandmother and some recent shocks by heading in to work. This chance meeting ends up getting weirder for them both when it turns out Marit owns the cabin that Adam’s pack is looking to purchase. Oh, and she’s Adam’s mate.

For Marit, supernatural folks are still not a “real thing” so there are oodles of secrets and hiding at the start of Adam and Maria’s friendship. Take all this and throw in some very aggressive enemies that force Adam’s hand, and we’ve got a lot for Marit to take in. These two are a great pairing and I was really engaged in the potential mysteries of Marit’s past. I love all the characters and cannot wait to see the next pairing we get! All in all, this was a wonderful start to a new series by an author I will now be watching.

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Friday, July 7, 2023

Dragon Arisen

Dragon Arisen (Dragon Kings #6)Dragon Arisen by Donna Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, just when I think this series doesn't have any more twists/turns/reveals in it - this book comes along.

This book is masquerading as just another installment in the Dragon Kings series, but is definitely a pivot point not to be missed. We join the kings, with one of their own missing on this newly discovered realm. Here, the dragons and humans are distinctly separate and may be on the cusp of war. Alasdair is anxious to take action so sets out to find is missing dragon king. On his way to the human city he encounters a loner named Lotti standing over a randomly appearing child (as happens in this weird realm).

Lotti has always been separate from others, instilling a sense of unease so she's been on her own for a while. When she meets Alasdair, even without them sharing secrets, she is determined to stay away. Of course, fate would have other plans for these two and they find themselves teamed up to attempt a rescue of sorts. The ending of this book is insane. I can't even begin to wrap my head around where we ended up, but there is a lot to unpack in future books. There is romance and smutty goodness along the way, but this book really take us on a journey where dragons probably didn't expect to go.

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