Genre: Paranormal Romance

DNF Review: Elemental Mating by Milly Taiden

Posted July 18, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

DNF Review: Elemental Mating by Milly TaidenReviewer: Holly
Elemental Mating by Milly Taiden
Series: ALFA #1
Published by Intermix, Penguin
Publication Date: July 18th 2017
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dnf

Their existence was a secret the government stumbled upon. In exchange for continued autonomy, the paranormals entered an alliance with the government. Now they are A.L.F.A.: Alpha League Federal Agency, sworn to protect and serve humanity.

Brilliant scientist Melinda Caster has discovered a new strain of the Zika virus that stimulates synaptic growth in embryos, causing neuron development beyond normal human levels. Way beyond, like ESP-levels of cognitive abilities. When the lab is broken into, Melinda realizes that someone has been keeping tabs on her research and wants it for themselves. A happy accident destroys critical data before it can fall into the wrong hands, but unfortunately that makes Melinda and her perfect memory a target.

A.L.F.A sends in jaguar-shifter Agent Parish Hamels to discover who is after the virus and why. The beautiful scientist acts like catnip to his senses and throws his mating instincts into overdrive. And then she disappears along with the only sample of the virus…. Now Parish must canvas the darkest areas of the supernatural underground to rescue Melinda, and what he discovers is beyond a paranormal’s worst nightmare.

I found Elemental Mating while browsing NetGalley and was intrigued by the premise. Alpha shifter vs nerdy scientist? GIMME! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped it would be.

Melinda Castor is a research scientist who discovered a new strand of virus that seems to give those infected supernatural powers (ESP, telekinesis, etc). Parish Hamel is an A.L.F.A. (Alpha League Federal Agency) agent and a jaguar shifter. He’s assigned to watch Melinda and keep her – and her research on the virus – safe. When Melinda is attacked and her lab broken into, both Hamel and Melinda race to find out who is after her information..and more importantly, what they want to do with it.

Since Hamel is essentially a Black Ops solider for the US government, I expected a certain level of competence from him. Sadly, he seemed like a bumbling amateur. He didn’t guard Melinda when he should have, ignored critical evidence in favor of flirting with her and, in general, put them both in danger when he could have avoided it. Melinda wasn’t much better. She constantly put herself in danger without considering the consequences. From following a wild jungle cat into the woods after dark to trusting the suspicious janitor with vital information, she didn’t often employ common sense.

Around Chapter 15 or so, a demon possession happens and Melinda is whisked off to Hell. Aside from some subtle hints here and there, it really came out of left field (both the demon possession and the trip to hell).
As much as I wanted to like this, I just couldn’t read any farther once a woman in Hell introduced herself as “The Head Harem Ho.”

This may be a case of the book just not being to my taste. I may have been looking for something a little more serious. Elemental Mating was just too campy.

DNF

dnf


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Guest Review: Dragon Home by Mell Eight

Posted July 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Dragon Home by Mell EightReviewer: Tracy
Dragon Home by Mell Eight
Series: Supernatural Consultant #5.2
Also in this series: Dragon Consultant, Dragon Deception, Dragon Dilemma, Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure
Published by Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: June 21st 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romance
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four-stars

With Rios happily mated and planning an entire future, Aqua can't help but feeling left out. The brother that was always been his chief playmate and best friend is going to leave him behind, which isn't at all acceptable. The obvious answer is to leave first, so Aqua packs a bag to go on an adventure. But this adventure isn't anything like his last one and the chances of him returning home alive dwindle every moment.

Aqua’s brother, Rios, found his mate and now he’s off every day with Nixie and Aqua is left with no one.  He shouldn’t be jealous of Nixie because Rios is so happy, but he is.  When Aqua is moping around the house one morning his Uncle Willy told him that he needed to make friends and he wasn’t going to meet any if he stayed at home moping.  Aqua immediately packs a bag, turns into his water dragon form and heads off on an air current to seek adventure.

Aqua doesn’t know where he is when he realizes that he’s hungry.  He stops in a desert to eat but he gets ready to leave he’s conked on the head.  A family of fire salamanders – led by the oldest brother – ties him up thinking he’s a spy.  Aqua tries to tell them he’s not but they don’t believe him.  When he thinks everyone is gone he meets a silent member of the family.  Ash is an albino salamander.  He can’t create fire and can’t go out in the sun or he’ll burn.  Ash explains that his sister Safara had dated a nearby dragon but when their older brother went to meet the dragon he had brought Safara back with him and they were then at war with the local dragons.

Aqua decides that the only way to work things out is to talk it over with the local dragons.  He takes Ash with him and heads off to play peacemaker.  Unfortunately, what he discovers is something he can’t fix jut by talking.

This was such an adorable story.  I just loved it and would have given it 5 stars had it been a little longer.

Aqua was a good kid/dragon kit and had such a good heart.  He just wanted to be loved and feel like he was a part of something.  Yes, he had his brother and Uncle Willy but he needed more.  Finding Ash and his family situation was a huge turning point in his life and it warmed my heart to see him so happy.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the story because the revelations are worth reading. Now I did put this under M/M but Aqua and Ash are young and the only thing they do is hold hands – just FYI.

As much as I want to get the stories of the other dragon kits from the first few books this was a wonderful interlude and definitely worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Ancient Heat by Kira Shayde

Posted July 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Ancient Heat by Kira ShaydeReviewer: Tracy
Ancient Heat by Kira Shayde

Publication Date: June 10th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 332
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three-stars

She's trapped in another woman’s body…and the other woman is a werelion.

Nicole Abramson gains more than razor-sharp claws and a taste for raw meat. With a latent telekinetic talent, she’s a weapon to be used in a millennia-long war, but will she serve or resist? Fighting for her life, Nicole rails against the thief who stole her ordinary and safe life, even as she seeks comfort from the woman’s intended mate, the gorgeous Sander Evans.

Although drawn to her outspokenness, Sander keeps Nicole at bay while he defends his clan. Werelions and humans don’t mix, yet he can’t deny the passion igniting between them, particularly with her body in heat. As the danger around them amplifies, they’ll need more than courage and strength to fight for their newfound attraction—and their lives.

Nicole wakes up in a strange room, in a strange bed, with a strange man in her room.  To say she’s freaked out is putting it mildly.  When she finds out that she’s in someone else’s body, all hell breaks loose.

Apparently her brain/soul was put into the body of a shapeshifter named Marseille who is “engaged” to the alpha of the Werelions, Sander.  When he finally believes that what Nicole is saying is true he’s pissed off, to say the least.  They head to Nicole’s house (about 3 hours away) and find Sander’s intended living quite happily in Nicole’s body.

It seems that Marseille never intended to mate with Sander – she was just there because the elders had a plan that involved Nicole helping their kind win a war against their enemy, the Followers.  Everyone is mad but despite that Nicole and Sander start getting closer.  Or do they? Every time Nicole thinks they’re on the same page, Sander pushes her away.  Nicole cries and then he feels bad and then the cycle happens again.

Nicole can definitely help the werelions with the enemy but when she starts to fall in love with Sander she’s confused.  What will happen when she gets back in to her human body – he’ll hate her.  Can they even be together if they survive an attack by the Followers?

There were a lot of good things about this book. I liked the premise, and the writing was definitely engaging.

Unfortunately there was just as much bad as good. The heroine of this story annoyed the ever-loving shit outta me with her whining and constant pity parties. While the hero was better he was still a bit of a bastard at times.

Werelions actually think that humans stink.  Like, they have an odor that can hardly be tolerated. Sander says he has feelings for Nicole but if she goes back to her human body what will happen?  When Nicole asks Sander if he had a choice of being with Marseille in Nicole’s body or Nicole in Marseille’s body, would he overcome his aversion to humans to be with his intended his reply is ridiculous.  He says – would you have sex with a dog?  Seriously?  He thinks humans are dogs but he’s falling in love with Nicole? Ugh.  My brain was just fried by that point.

Between Nicole’s ups and downs and her supposed telekinetic abilities that no one except the elders even knew about, including Nicole, it was all a bit much.  I do have to say that the author’s imagination is pretty darned creative.  Her Werelion/Follower war was inventive and that’s what kept me reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Retro Review: Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day

Posted July 12, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Retro Review: Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa DayReviewer: Casee
Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, #2) by Alyssa Day
Series: Warriors of Poseidon #2
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 6th 2007
Pages: 284
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four-stars

To rescue the world from an overwhelming evil, Poseidon's warriors have risen from Atlantis. Chief among them is Ven, serving as the King's Vengeance by birthright and by battle challenge. None can conquer him - except perhaps for one human female....

The Warrior...Ven's mind is filled with duty. He must serve as Atlantean liaison to the humans in a war waged against the vampires. A sword is his weapon - not diplomacy. But on a mission to recover the Nereid's heart - a ruby of immense power - it will take every ounce of strength he possesses to resist the sexual allure of the beautiful witch chosen to work with him.

And the Witch...Erin's heart is filled with vengeance. She lives only for the chance at revenge against those who murdered her family. Now she must partner with a legendary Atlantean warrior whose dark desire threatens to crash through the barriers built around her emotions - and her heart. Caught in the trap of shifting alliances, how long can Ven and Erin resist their awakening passion?

Dark forces beware: Atlantis is awakening.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.
Holly: This review prompted me to buy the first two books in this series…where they’ve been languishing for ten years. I think it’s about time I pulled them out.
This review was originally published 11/20/2007
It was this book that prompted me to blog about this. Though I did (and still do) have the series blahs, I still read this book. I even liked it. Because it’s been a few weeks since I’ve read it, I’m going to do a quick review.
Ven and Erin must work together to retrieve Nereid’s heart, which will save the life of Riley and her unborn child. Riley is mated to Conlan, Ven’s brother (Atlantis Rising). Ven finds himself torn between putting Erin in danger thus saving Riley’s life and refusing to let Erin retrieve the heart which would kill Riley and her baby. Of course it doesn’t take Ven long to realize that Erin won’t stand aside. Not only will she not let Riley die, she has waited years to face the vampire that killed her family. She also gets another shock when she finds out that her sister, Deidre, was not killed that night but actually turned vampire against her will.
I enjoyed this book once I really let myself get into it. There were several glimpses into the relationship between Alaric and Quinn. Both have major baggage and I’m highly curious to see how that will play out. Day also set the stage for Justice’s book, which will be the next full-length novel. I’m really anticipating Justice after how she left it. She introduced more shapeshifters, gave us more of a look into Drakos/Daniel, and showed more of Jack (tiger shapeshifter).
Alyssa Day has created a fascinating world here and I look forward to reading more about it in the future.

4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Guest Review: Drakon’s Plunder by N.J. Walters

Posted July 4, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Drakon’s Plunder by N.J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Plunder by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #3
Also in this series: Drakon's Promise, Drakon's Prey

Publication Date: July 3rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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four-stars

Life is not going well for archaeologist Sam Bellamy. She's stuck in the middle of the ocean on a salvage boat with people who want her dead. It wasn't her gift for being able to sense objects of power that got her here, rather her need to make a secret society called the Knights of the Dragon pay for killing her mentor. Sam doesn't believe in dragons, but the Knights do, and if she can get one of the sacred artifacts they're searching for away from them, she'll consider it payback.

Ezra Easton is content to run his marine salvage company and live alone on his private island. He may be a four-thousand-year-old water drakon, but he's civilized enough to know just because he pulls an injured woman from the ocean, doesn't mean he gets to keep her...

When she wakes up, she has a few tall tales to share, and it seems the Knights are after her. But this drakon won't give up his treasure.

I have really been loving the Blood of the Drakon series, and book 3 is a solid addition to the story.

This time, the heroine is Sam Bellamy, an archaeologist working on a salvage dive sponsored by Karina Azarov. You might remember that Karina is the head of the Knights of the Dragon, an ancient organization whose purpose is to enslave dragon shifters (drakons) for their blood. Sam has her own agenda in working with the Knights, and when she finds an artifact the Knights are desperate to get their hands on, she steals it and sneaks away in the night. When she gets shot during her escape, she’s saved by water drakon Ezra Easton. As in the earlier books, Ezra isn’t sure who Sam is or whether he can trust her, but the Knights are definitely hunting her, and she did steal something important from them, so Ezra decides to play the ignorant rescuer while he tries to learn more about Sam.

I’ve really liked all the heroines in the series, but Sam is definitely my favorite so far! She is incredibly smart, and I loved her practicality and quick mind. For instance, when Ezra first shows her his shifting abilities, she is the only heroine to have doubted what she saw. Come on, wouldn’t you think something was wrong with your brain if the sexy guy kinda sorta holding you captive (they’re on an island and she has no way to leave on her own) suddenly changed into a dragon?! Of course, as Sam learns more she accepts the situation, but she remains curious and thoughtful about it. She’s also the only one to really consider why these drakon brothers are suddenly falling in love at the same time, and she has excellent instincts about how to handle the Knights as well. Without Sam, I probably would have given this book a slightly lower score; I enjoyed her that much.

These books are not reinventing the wheel. The brothers are all similar to each other. They’re all possessive, all domineering, all hot for the heroines instantly, and all sex gods on earth. Ezra isn’t much different, which is fine because these books have sucked me in. I am interested in how the brothers will manage to stop the Knights (because we all know they’re going to stop ‘em), and I’m VERY interested in the final brother, Nic, who I’m hoping is more complex than his playboy image might suggest. I haven’t heard yet when the next book is coming out, but I will eagerly wait for it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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