Genre: Paranormal Romance

Review: Echoes of Fire by Suzanne Wright

Posted January 8, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Echoes of Fire by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Echoes of Fire (Mercury Pack, #4) by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Jill Redfield
Series: Mercury Pack #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 348
Length: 11 hours and 5 minutes
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

They may not be made for each other, but animal instincts are impossible to ignore.

Madisyn Drake is a rare breed of cat shifter…a loner, unpredictably wild, and emotionally distant. A recent betrayal has left her ready to sharpen her claws on the next man she sees…until a prowling wolf with steel-gray eyes and a brooding dark edge challenges her distrust. No matter how fully he satisfies her touch-hunger, Madisyn’s not ready to open up again, even if it is oh so gratifying.

Bracken Slater has earned his reputation as an indomitable predator. Once broken by grief and guilt, Brack is feeling alive again, thanks to the heady scent of this independent feline. Convincing her that they’re meant for each other is going to take more than branding Madisyn’s beautiful neck. She’s not interested in joining an unfamiliar pack, much less answering to an alpha. But when threats from both their pasts take shape, their unexpected destiny may be the only thing that can save them.

Echoes of Fire is the fourth book in Suzanne Wright’s Mercury Pack series. It follows Bracken Slater as he finds and courts his mate, Madisyn Drake. Jill Redfield narrated and I really enjoyed her for the most part. She does the voices well and overall I like her voice. I did struggle with two things, however. 1) She spoke in a very forceful way as Bracken, which often made him come off as controlling instead of caring. 2) She did a kind of valley girl, breathy thing during the love scenes that drove me absolutely batshit crazy. Still, I listened to all the books in both the Mercury Pack and Phoenix Pack series’ and she narrates them all, so obviously those things didn’t completely ruin the stories for me.

Throughout the series Bracken was kind of lighthearted and sweet. When his family is murdered right in front of him, including his nephew whom he was holding at the time, it changed him. Now he’s broken and angry, with no outlet for his pain since he wreaked vengeance on those who stole his family from him. When he’s hit by a car and has a moment of openness, he feels the mating connection to Madisyn Drake. They’ve been circling each other for years, rubbing each other the wrong way and denying their mutual attraction. Madisyn is a lone feline shifter who has no desire to join a pack or be stuck mated to a man who doesn’t even like her. But Bracken knows he can’t let her go. She fills something inside him and he knows he’ll never become whole without her.

I really loved how Madisyn was described like Grumpy Cat. She was an angry little cat, but unexpectedly so. She looked so sweet and adorable no one expected her to turn feral and whoop the shit out of everyone. She was the perfect match for Bracken in every way.

My heart broke for Bracken and his struggle to find his footing after his family was murdered. The fact that he was holding his baby nephew when a bullet passed through him and killed his nephew just made it all the worse. His fire and intensity were well contained until then. Now he has a reputation for being ruthless. I liked how well Madisyn balanced him out and how determined he was to put her first, even though he had so many dark parts inside himself.

I don’t really care for the suspense plots in Wright’s novels. The villains are always easy to spot and I often end up scratching my head over some of the decisions the pack makes in their pursuit of them. But the romance and friendships more than make up for any frustrations I feel.

While I enjoyed the entire series, Echoes of fire is hands down my favorite. Bracken and Madisyn made a wonderful couple. His intensity and anger were tempered so well by her inner strength I couldn’t help but love them.

4.5 out of 5

The Mercury Pack

four-half-stars


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Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Posted January 4, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe NeillReviewer: Holly
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of an ambassador brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

Wild Hunger is the start of The Heirs of Chicagoland spinoff series. This is my first Chloe Neill. I meant to read the Chicagoland Vampire series years ago but never got around to it. Since this is the start of a new series (featuring the heirs of the characters from the Chicagoland series) I figured it was a good place to start. While the premise was interesting and the overall story good, the main characters were very immature.

Elisa Sullivan is the only vampire child ever born. As she’s grown up, she’s found it difficult to find her place in the world without constantly being judged by what her parents have done. She ended up going to school in Paris and taking an apprenticeship with a vampire house for a year after. Her first assignment is to guard the members of the Paris house as they travel to Chicago to a peace summit being led by her parents. When a vampire is killed the first night of the summit and a shifter is blamed for it, Elisa knows there’s something fishy going on. Determined to get to the bottom, she and her best friend, along with Connor, son of the local pack alpha, team up to investigate.

I really enjoyed the basic premise of the story. Trying to puzzle out how the fairies were involved in the scheme with the vampires is what kept me reading. Elisa and Connor were both pretty immature and didn’t do a lot for me. Elisa, especially, drove me crazy. She jumped into things without thinking and kept a major secret from pretty much everyone for the entirety of the book. She read more like an 18-year-old than a 23-year-old.

This read more like a young adult novel than anything else. As the book wore on, the immaturity of the heroine really began to bother me and detracted from my overall enjoyment. It’s possible I’d feel differently if I’d read the Chicagoland series and therefore had some kind of connection to these characters. As it stands, I doubt I’ll continue on.

2.75 out of 5

Heirs of Chicagoland

three-stars


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Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Posted December 28, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1) by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #1
Publisher: Self-Published, Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 217
Length: 6 hours and 24 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.

Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be....

Length: 6 hrs 33 mins

How to Date Your Dragon is the first book in Molly Harper’s Mystic Bayou series. I generally prefer darker, more serious paranormal romances, but I was looking for a new audiobook and this was part of the Audible Romance Package so I figured why not. It turned out to be just what I was in the mood for. Light and funny, but not campy. This is one of the better audiobooks I’ve listened to this year. Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis were both wonderful narrators. I especially enjoyed Jonathan Davis’s southern accent for Bael. I immediately downloaded the 2nd audiobook after finishing this one.

Jillian Ramsay works for the League for Interspecies Cooperation. She’s about to take a trip to South America to study were-dolphins when she’s suddenly reassigned to Mystic Bayou, Louisiana. The League is worried about how much longer Supernaturals can stay hidden, with cameras and cell phones and GPS everywhere. Mystic Bayou is one of the only places different types of magical creatures and humans have lived in harmony for almost a century. They want Jillian to do a study of the town and find out how and why things work so well. Her point of contact is Mayor Zed, but it’s the Sheriff, Bael Boone, she really sparks with. But things really start to heat up as she tries to discover how Mystic Bayou works so well despite closed-mouth townsfolk, and danger seems to lurk just around the corner.

I enjoyed Bael and Jillian’s romance, as well as the town of Mystic Bayou. The inhabitants of the town were so fun and quirky I couldn’t help but love them. Bael’s surprise and ignorance over how to court Jillian was hilarious, and I like that she was the one who wanted to keep things casual. There were several times I laughed out loud, and a couple times my heart just melted. I wasn’t at all surprised by who the villain was, but since I wasn’t here for that the lack of mystery wasn’t a problem for me. I was so into the romance and the fun, quirky town nothing else mattered.

If you’re looking for something light and breezy, this is a wonderfully done, hilarious paranormal romance. I highly recommend it.

4.25 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


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Review: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Silver Borne by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #5
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2), Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3), Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: March 30, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 342
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, never knows what the day - or night - may bring in a world where "witches, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters live beside ordinary people" (Booklist). But she is about to learn that while some secrets are dangerous whose who seek them are just plain deadly...

Mercy is smart enough to realize that when it comes to the magical fae, the less you know, the better. But you can't always get what you want. When she attempts to return a powerful fae she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secrets - and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side - leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she may not have many more...

Mercy Thompson is back at it again with more supernatural craziness that finds her and lands right on her head. This poor woman is forever right smack in the middle of drama that is not hers. This time around, she’s got a book that the bad faes want and they’re doing the most trying to get it back. On top of that, Samuel is going through some pretty serious stuff and Mercy will not give up on him. She has a lot on her plate this week and while she dodges the bullets that the villain is throwing her way, she’s got Samuel’s issues to deal with along with the issues of Adam’s pack not accepting her as his mate and a part of the pack. I really love Mercy’s personality and I also really love how she handles everything that is thrown her way.

She’s got a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. I love that she doesn’t stray far from her moral compass on life decisions and when she doesn’t get things right, she accepts her mistakes and is quick to make things right. She may need some distance from her problems for a little bit but she doesn’t let things fester and I honestly love her a little more with every book that I read.

This book was another good one and I liked it a little more than the last book because Mercy and Adam still rock my socks. I loved seeing how they dealt with Samuel, how they dealt with their mating bond issues and the issues within the pack. They dealt with all of that stuff together. They give each other space when it’s needed but know that ultimately, they’re a pair and they’re together and they have each other’s back. When Mercy shot Henry in his throat, I about fell out laughing screaming…

Because Mercy don’t play around and she ain’t about to let Adam fight any more battles for dominance with some silly ass people who don’t know how stupid they are. I was really surprised how mad I got at Mary Jo with all of the shit she let loose. What the hell was that about? Mercy should have left her ass dead. I mean, she comes around in the end but I sure was pissed at her and wanted Mercy to coyote kick her dumbass in the head.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. I enjoyed all of the drama, the pack politics, seeing Adam kick ass but also seeing the depth of love that he has for Mercy. It’s true love y’all. My heart hurt for Adam and everything he went through when he thought Mercy was in her house but I loved how Mercy got through to him and was able to be there for him. I also liked how Mercy comes back and handles her business with all of them dirty bitches that tried to control her with their pack voodoo. She came back and was all…

Mercy Thompson is the real deal and I love how people keep right on underestimating her and she just keeps slaying the day. Rock on with your bad self, Mercy…I can’t wait to jump into the next one.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia BriggsBone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2), Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: February 3, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 303
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.

I feel like I’ve really hit my stride with this series and each book is filled with more goodness that I didn’t know I needed in my life. Mercy Thompson and everyone in her world have carved themselves a space in my heart and I want to continue this journey with them until I’m all caught up and then I’m probably going to want more.

Bone Crossed is the fourth book in the Mercy Thompson series and in this one, Mercy has once again found herself in some hot water. Marcilia, the vampire Queen knows that Mercy is responsible for the death of one of her vampires and that won’t go unpunished. So when Stefan pops up in her living room all injured and looking more dead than usual, Mercy is on edge. She’s under the protection of pretty much all of the important werewolves in the area so it won’t be easy to get to Mercy herself so Marcilia goes after the people that Mercy holds near and dear.

Hoping to escape the vampire Queen’s wrath, keep her loved ones safe and keep a low profile, Mercy goes out of town to help an old college friend with the ghosts in her house. When she gets to Spokane, she didn’t really expect to find a ghost haunting her friends house but there is definitely some crazy supernatural madness going on there and because a young kid is in the direct line of fire, Mercy knows that she will do whatever she can to help these guys.

This was another great story from Briggs and while it’s not my favorite, there are still lots of good stuff here. I really liked when Mercy tells Adam the following:

“Thank you, Adam,” I told him. “Thank you for tearing Tim into small Tim bits. Thank you for forcing me to drink one last cup of fairy bug-juice so I could have use of both of my arms. Thank you for being there, for putting up with me.”

By that point I wasn’t laughing anymore.

“Thank you for keeping me from being another of Stefan’s sheep—I’ll take pack over that any day. Thank you for making the tough calls, for giving me time.” I stood up and walked to him, leaning against him and pressing my face against his shoulder.

“Thank you for loving me.”

His arms closed around me, pressing flesh painfully hard against bone. Love hurts like that sometimes.”

This scene was such a great one and I just adore the romance that blossomed between Adam and Mercy. I’m glad that she finally made her choice and feel that it was the right choice. There is nothing but love between Adam and Mercy and it’s one of the highlights of the entire series for me. I love seeing how far Adam will go to protect and show Mercy that she is loved and I love seeing Mercy trying to be a good mate for Adam. Between all of the craziness of their lives, they still find time to go on dates and be cute together. I just love it.

The villain felt a bit forced in this one. Like, when he’s first mentioned, he’s made out to be this big, bad monster and yet after all was said and done, turns out, he wasn’t all that. Haha. That was probably the weakest part for me but I did enjoy everything else enough that this book still gets a 4 out of 5.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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