Author: Jennifer Ashley

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley

Posted December 7, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Series: Shifters Unbound #10
Also in this series: White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Guardian's Mate returns to the world of the Shifters and a tale of a new love under fire...

A man is only as strong...

Red wolf Shifter Dimitri has fought his whole life for respect. It is claimed that red wolves are tainted with coyote blood and therefore not pure. He may not be skilled at verbally defending himself, but because he's a bodyguard, tracker, and champion of the fight clubs, his fists are always ready for some rough and tumble. However, he'd prefer a roll in the hay with the woman who is his oldest friend.

...as the woman who's got his back...

A spirited leopard Shifter and a fellow tracker, Jaycee Bordeaux has no problem forging a mate bond with Dimitri, but soon the two are called to infiltrate a rogue group bent on enslaving Shifters. Jaycee may have defended Dimitri from taunts before, but they now face a more lethal danger--one that threatens not only the future of their people, but also their love.

I really like the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf follows two un-collared shifters from Kendrick’s pack, Dimitri and Jaycee. They were introduced in White Tiger. Jaycee thought she was in love with her alpha (Kendrick), but realized it was just being safe and loved in the pack she wanted. When Kendrick and his mate start mate bonding, Jaycee and Dimitri end up in bed together, too. They’ve been best friends as long as either of them can remember. Dimitri had a speech impediment and Jaycee is the only one who seems to always get him. During a tense situation Dimitri mate-claimed Jaycee, in the hope that he could tell her not to put herself in danger. That didn’t work. Still, the mate-claim stands until Jaycee either accepts it or rejects it. She wants to accept it because she loves Dimitri and wants him in her life, but she doesn’t want to be controlled by a male. Nor does she want to lose the easy friendship they have. For Dimitri, there’s never been anyone but Jacyee. He didn’t claim her on a whim, he’s wanted her all along. When they’re put on an undercover op, their mate-claim will really be tested and Jaycee will have to decide what’s really important.

This started out slow, with a lot of the focus on Jaycee’s internal feelings and exploring a borrowed house. It does eventually pick up and I really enjoyed the second half. The story-arc is continued from White Tiger, and we also saw threads from other books coming together here. Ashley has a wonderful, solid writing voice that really brings this world to life. Though the romance was slow and somewhat lacking, the overall story-arc and progression of things inside the world really worked for me. I love how she tugs so many threads at once. In this book we see how many of them are connected.

I didn’t much care for Jaycee’s internal struggle about the mate-claim. Her main hesitation was that she didn’t want to be controlled or under the thumb of another. That would make sense if Dimitri ever tried to control her. He didn’t want her in danger, of course, but that’s because he loved her. He never tried to stop her from doing her job and in fact often encouraged her. So her fears there were groundless and therefore didn’t hold sway with me. The outside conflict was much more interesting and kept me reading.

3.75 out of 5

Shifters Unbound

three-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Jennifer Ashley Giveaway)

Posted June 29, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 14 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’ve had a great reading week. I read The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter, which was amazing. It’s in my top three favorites in the series. Look for my review on Monday. You will love Gillian and Puck. If you haven’t read the Lords of the Underworld series, you really should.

After a brief hiatus from the Dark Protectors series by Rebecca Zanetti, I am back to it. Last night I finished Provoked, which is the fifth book in the series. I’m starting Twisted next. It’s actually a novella and I’m not a fan of novellas. They usually don’t have enough meat for me. As I’m not a meat eater, that is really weird to say. Each book in this series is better than the one before it. That sounds like such a cliché, but it’s true. This series will definitely be in my top five of the year.

Holly: I had very little reading time this week. I managed to listen to the McCabe trilogy by Maya Banks. In Bed with a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass and Never Love a Highlander are all wonderful books. Banks’ contemporaries can be hit or miss for me, but all three of these were amazing. If you haven’t read the trilogy, I highly recommend them.

I also reread The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon after forcing recommending Tracy read it. It’s such a fun book. If you’re looking for something light and outside the box, you really must try it. I also started listening to Diamond Bay by Linda Howard. It’s my first time in audio and so far it’s pretty good.

Rowena: This week was a productive week on the reading front of me so I’m a happy camper. I’m really hoping that this reading business sticks with me for the rest of the summer because I have a bunch of books to read. I read One Small Thing by Erin Watt and that was an enjoyable read that was complicated, a little angsty but still super sweet. After that, I read The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young and that was another fabulously sweet contemporary YA romance. I followed that up with Hard Sell by Lauren Layne which was my favorite read of the week because Matt and Sabrina’s story is everything that I wanted it to be. Lauren Layne is so my jam these days.

Now, I’m finishing up The Accidentals by Sarina Bowen and it’s another great contemporary YA. Sarina Bowen is really rocking this writing business. She writes such great stuff. When I’m done with this, I’ll be jumping into The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Jennifer Ashley Giveaway)Scandal Above Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #2) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Kat Holloway Mysteries #2
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
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Priceless artwork has gone missing from the home of a wealthy baronet, and his wife stands to take the blame. When Kat's employer asks for help in clearing her friend's name, Kat trades her kitchen for the homes of Mayfair's wealthiest families. Soon antiques are disappearing not only from the extravagant households of connoisseurs and collectors, but from the illustrious British Museum. As the thefts increase in frequency, Kat calls upon her friend Daniel McAdam, who has already set himself up in a pawnshop on the Strand as a seedy receiver of stolen goods. When a man is murdered in the shop, Kat must use all of her wits to see that the thieves are caught and justice is done.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What Are You Reading: Scandal Above Stairs

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Review: White Tiger by Jennifer Ashley

Posted August 11, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: White Tiger by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Shifters Unbound #8
Also in this series: Red Wolf
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Pages: 335
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A woman is lured into the shadows of a dangerous manhunt...Wanted and on the run...   For twenty years, Kendrick, a white tiger Shifter, has been the Guardian of un-Collared Shifters who spend their lives living in secret—and in fear of being shunted into Shiftertowns. When Kendrick’s group is discovered and forced to flee, Kendrick is more desperate than ever to protect them His only salvation was in a beautiful stranger.   In a diner in the middle of nowhere, lonely waitress Addison Price has seen a lot of unusual drifters come and go, but none has ever captivated—and intimidated—her like the imposing fugitive who wields a broadsword with incredible skill. But when he risks all to protect her, Addison’s fear turns to empathy—and empathy to desire as she learns more about her savior. Soon she’s more than willing to help the crushingly sensual white tiger and his cubs in a passionate bid for freedom. Whatever the cost.

White Tiger was an entertaining and intriguing read. I’ve been anxious for Kendrick’s story for ages. He’s a white tiger who, for twenty years, led a band of Shifters without collars in a secret compound. He’s been on the run since the compound was raided, and now his Shifters are turning against him, which put his cubs in jeopardy. He knows he needs a safe place to leave them while he eliminates the current threat, so he enlists the help of Addy, his favorite local waitress.

Addy hasn’t had a lot of contact with Shifters and she isn’t too pleased when her first encounter with one includes a drive-by shooting and an execution. She agrees to keep watch over Kendrick’s kids because she can’t stand the thought of them being hurt. When he tries to send her on her way, however, she finds she isn’t ready to walk away from them. She wants to help keep his kids safe..and she wants to get to know him better. Kendrick wants to send Addy away for her own safety, but the truth is it doesn’t take much to convince him to keep her around since he’s pretty sure she’s his mate.

I love the freshness of this series. The premise is interesting and makes for lovely intrigues. I enjoyed the tale and both main characters. Especially Addy. She was hilarious and wonderfully loyal. In the beginning, her easy acceptance of the situation she’s thrown into bothered me, but as the novel progressed I realized that’s just the type of person Addy is. Which was just what Kendrick needed – someone who was fully there for him and stuck when things got rough. I really enjoyed how they pulled their ragtag band around them and created a family.

Ashley’s world-building is clever and detailed, which makes for a very immersive reading experience. I didn’t want the story to end.

4.25 out of 5

 

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley

Posted November 19, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Tracy
A Mackenzie Clan Gathering by Jennifer Ashley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 17th 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Fiction
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four-stars

Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart's birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth's late husband's brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the "cure" to Ian's madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart's treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?

Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives.

Ian Mackenzie is at Kilmorgan Castle in preparation for his brother Hart’s birthday gathering when the castle is robbed. The authorities are alerted as well as his half-brother, Inspector Lloyd Fellows in London. Fellows arrives at the house to investigate but that doesn’t stop Ian from making his own deductions about the case.

In the chaos John Ackerley, Beth’s late husband’s brother, shows up and tells Ian that he thinks he can “cure” Ian from his madness. Ian thinks about the fact that Beth is a social person while he is not and wants to be able to be social for her. He agrees to John’s “cure” and they start. The cure consists of going back in his memory to try and figure out what triggered the madness and this brings up some terrifying memories for Ian. The memories also bring up a memory that may help them solve the robbery case. When someone threatens Ian’s child, Jamie, Ian is determined to catch the criminals and get to the bottom of everything.

I loved the book The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. I loved almost everything about it but Ian was really the one that made the book for me. While we’ve had bits and pieces of Ian in the books released since then it was never in full doses. This book was all Ian, all the time and that was perfect for me.

Ian knows himself. He knows that he goes into “muddles” as he calls them but Beth can usually get him out of them. He loves her and his children with all his heart and wants to be the best he can be because of them. When John Ackerley offers this cure he goes for it but doesn’t really believe that anything can be done. And frankly, he doesn’t need to be cured. His family loves him just the way he is and because of his brilliance and despite his “madness” he manages to solve the case along with Inspector Fellows. I loved when Ian finally realized that he was who he was and that there was no changing him – nor did he want to. Seeing him embrace that knowledge was really wonderful. He had grown considerably over the years and was much more…there than he had been before.

The gathering that the book title mentions is for Hart’s birthday and Hart shows up after the robbery. Unfortunately we don’t get to see too much of Mac, Cameron and Daniel and their wives but that was ok as we got a wonderful book even without their presence. 🙂

Overall I really enjoyed the book and getting to know Ian as he is now. A good man with a good family who loves him – my kind of story.

 

four-stars


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Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley

Posted October 23, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Mackenzies & McBrides #8
Also in this series: The Untamed Mackenzie, A Mackenzie Clan Gathering
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Rules for a Proper Governess returns with an engrossing tale that promises to delight lovers of Outlander.
1745, Scotland: The youngest son of the scandalous Mackenzie family, Malcolm is considered too wild to tame…until he meets a woman who is too unattainable to resist.
Lady Mary Lennox is English, her father highly loyal to the king, and promised to another Englishman. But despite it being forbidden to speak to Malcolm, Lady Mary is fascinated by the Scotsman, and stolen moments together lead to a passion greater than she’d ever dreamed of finding.
When fighting breaks out between the Highlanders and the King's army, their plans to elope are thwarted, and it will take all of Malcolm’s daring as a Scottish warrior to survive the battle and steal a wife out from under the noses of the English.
From the Paperback edition.

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride is a prequel of sorts to Jennifer Ashley’s wildly popular Mackenzies and McBrides series. In some of the latter books, Old Malcolm is mentioned as the original whiskey producer and man who started many of the traditions the current Mackenzie’s follow. This is his story. I really enjoyed it.

Just like the current generation of Mackenzie’s we know and love, Malcolm and his brothers are reckless, intense and fun-loving. Malcolm meets Lady Mary Lennox and falls instantly in love. He’s determined to have her, despite that fact that she’s English and, oh yeah, engaged to someone else.

Lady Mary is ever dutiful, and she’s resigned to her upcoming marriage to a man quite a bit older than her. Until she meets Malcolm. He makes her realize there’s more to life than duty. His passion ignites her own, and she begins to feel things she never has before.

Mary’s sister is having her own troubles on the love-front, and Malcolm decides the way to gain Mary’s heart is to arrange for her sister to elope with the man she loves. He also arranges it so Mary has to help him, which puts him in direct contact with her often. He’s determined to have her for his own, and every encounter brings him closer to his goal.

First I need to just say how much I loved Malcolm. I really loved him. He’s passionate, friendly, responsible and determined. He was a well-rounded character with depth and strength, as well as a quick wit and a fun-loving personality. And he says the sweetest things to Mary.

“Ye are for me, Mary,” he said in a quite voice. “And I for you. And this will always be.”

He has a great sense of responsibility toward his family. Despite his sometimes silly antics, it’s really Malcolm who takes care of his brothers and father. Malcolm and his brothers have a wonderful relationship. I loved their interactions with each other. They teased each other mercilessly of course, but they also protected and loved one another.

“The least ye could do is help me meet yon beautiful lass.”

“And I’m calling to mind the last time I did ye such a favor. I remember pulling your naked self out of a burning house, and taking shot in my upper arm, which still hurts of a rainy morning. All because ye had to go after what wasn’t yours.”

Malcolm flushed at the memory. “Aye, any husband should be angry to find a strapping lad like me in his place next to his bonny wife, but he had no cause to set the bed on fire. Nearly killed the poor woman. Not surprised she left him behind and went to the colonies with her mum.”

The story doesn’t focus exclusively on the romance, but encompasses Malcolm and his brothers, his father, the journey of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause, etc. It has a decidedly different feel than the other Mackenzie novels because of this, but I quite enjoyed it. The adventure was propelled by the brothers’ involvement (or not, as the case may be) with the Jacobite cause. I enjoyed the rich history Ashley imparted throughout the story, along with the personal tales of each brother. Duncan, the eldest, the twins Alec and Angus and the youngest, William, each added flavor to the story.

This was a sweeping tale of adventure, romance and intrigue. I was hooked from page one.

4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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