Reading Challenge: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge

Review: Heart by Audrey Faye

Posted November 29, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Heart by Audrey FayeReviewer: Holly
Heart by Audrey Faye
Series: Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #2
Also in this series: Alpha
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 3, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A note from Audrey: Some series can be read out of order - this isn’t one of them. Start with Alpha and welcome to Ghost Mountain!

Throwing things can have really unintended consequences.

Lissa chose to stay, to stand with the tattered remnants of her pack as they try to make themselves whole again. She somehow didn’t expect it to try her patience quite so much.

Which means it might be time for a meek bookkeeper to take matters into her own hands.

Before her wolf does.

Heart (Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #2) by Audrey Faye immediately picks up where Alpha, book 1, left off. This series should be read in order. Much of what drives the main characters is fleshed out in the first book and shouldn’t be missed.

Lissa is trying to decide if she’s going to stay with the Ghost Mountain pack. She’s been traumatized and abused for 6 years, and her son has been in danger that whole time. They have a new alpha, but she isn’t sure she can trust what her wolf is telling her. Not anymore.

Hayden knows Lissa is the heart of their pack. They can survive without her, but he doesn’t want them to. He won’t pressure her, though. If she needs to leave to feel save and finally heal, he’ll help her pack her bags. He just hopes it won’t come to that.

Even after reading Alpha, I didn’t quite understand what this series was about. There is very little external conflict. This is all about these shifters trying to deal with their trauma and heal. There is little to no action, it’s a lot of introspection and careful steps as they try to move into the light. Now that I understand that, I can read on in the series with a different perspective. I did struggle a bit with this book because I wanted something to happen. Once I adjusted my expectations, though, I was able to appreciate where things are, and where they are going.

There is no quick fix for the type of trauma these shifters suffered, and I love that the author is exploring pack dynamics and the strength it takes to survive. I’m very much looking forward to the next book – and to (hopefully!) seeing the romance develop more between Hayden and Lissa.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters

four-stars


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Review: Alpha by Audrey Faye

Posted November 22, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Alpha by Audrey FayeReviewer: Holly
Alpha by Audrey Faye
Series: Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #1
Also in this series: Heart
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 5, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 322
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A pack broken.
A pup in danger.
A submissive wolf who will fight with her last breath.

Hayden Scott doesn’t know his stroll in the woods is going to start with a backpack full of watermelon and end with him the new alpha of the Ghost Mountain Pack. A very traumatized pack, and those are only the shifters he can see. Too many are missing, hiding in the woods or worse.

His wolf doesn’t care. He has a pack. One with maple-syrup-covered toddlers, a ten-year-old boy who smells like wolf right up until he shifts, and a brave woman with green eyes and serious trust problems who defended her pup with nothing more than a tree branch and sheer guts.

The walk ahead won’t be easy, but he has a list.

Burn down the den.
Deal with the evil still stalking the woods.
Call Mom.

Alpha is the first book in the Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters series, though it feels more like a prequel. There is no romance in this book, which is good because it wouldn’t have worked in context. I’m happy there will be more books in the series, since this was very much the start of their story and I want more.

Hayden Scott is on a backpacking trip with two of his packmates when he comes across a submissive wolf in a showdown with her alpha. Though she’s submissive, she’s brave and she’s trying to defy her alpha to save her son. Hayden steps in and ends up becoming the alpha of the Ghost Mountain Pack. Though he had no plans to become an alpha, he knows he can help this very damaged pack.

I enjoyed Hayden very much. He was a dominant alpha, but also understood that leadership is more than teeth and claws – it’s kindness and equal rights for all. I loved his interactions with the pack’s children and how quick he was to show that he, too, can be vulnerable. The submissives are very traumatized, but they weren’t afraid to reach for more, which I loved.

There isn’t a lot that happens in this book in terms of action. The story is very slow moving, as Hayden gets to know his new wolves and what they need from him. It wasn’t boring or tedious, however. I’m very much looking forward to learning more about this pack and seeing where things go with Hayden and Lissa – and all the others – in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters

three-half-stars


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Review: Into the Light by Anna Carven

Posted November 10, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Into the Light by Anna CarvenReviewer: Holly
Into the Light by Anna Carven
Series: Dark Planet Warriors #3
Also in this series: Dark Planet Warriors, Dark Planet Falling, Out of Darkness
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 27, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 251
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Abbey

When your mate is a Kordolian General who's betrayed the most vicious Empire in the Universe, things tend to get a little heavy from time to time. For the last six months, Tarak's had to divide his time between Earth and space, dealing with various... problems. But he's home now, and he tells me he's not going anywhere. That's good news, because our baby's on the way, and I'm dying to get out of this boring, stifling limbo they call the Diplomatic Zone.

Tarak

Now that Earth is surrounded by my warships and the Kordolian Empire has been held at bay, I can give my full, undivided attention to my mate. Pregnancy has made Abbey even more beautiful, and I am in awe of the growing life she carries inside her. But I must be ever-vigilant, because the shadow of the Empire lingers, and I must protect what is mine, at all costs.

Warning: This book is a science-fiction alien pregnancy romance. It contains swearing, violence, sensual (pregnant) sex scenes and silver aliens with fangs. It's definitely recommended for readers aged 18 and over.

Into the Light is Book Five in the Dark Planet Warriors Series. It will make more sense if you've read the other books first, although that's probably not absolutely essential.

Into the Light (Dark Planet Warriors #3) by Anna Carven takes us back to Abbey and Tarek, the couple from book 1, Dark Planet Warriors. Book 1 was written in alternating first person POV, book 2 in alternating third, and this one goes back to alternating first. There is a continuing storyarc running throughout the series, with a lot of twists and turns and backtracking and forward jumping. Though the author says these can be read as standalone books, I disagree. They should definitely be read in order.

Abbey is pregnant and decides she needs to be with her off-the-grid aunt after the hospital tries to pressure her into signing her rights to her genetic material away. She and Tarak travel to the family desert compound, where Tarak decides to set up base. Amid assassination attempts and kidnappings, they have to figure out their future.

This story progresses the overall series story-arc, and gives us a little more insight into where the humans are at in terms of technology and evolution. It also showcased some of the challenges the Kordolians are facing without a home planet. I enjoyed those aspects, though I would have preferred a story featuring a new couple.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Dark Planet Warriors

three-half-stars


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Review: Dark Planet Falling by Anna Carven

Posted November 8, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dark Planet Falling by Anna CarvenReviewer: Holly
Dark Planet Falling by Anna Carven
Series: Dark Planet Warriors #2
Also in this series: Dark Planet Warriors, Into the Light , Out of Darkness
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 15, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 259
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The Prince

Prince Xalikian Kazharan has a dilemma on his hands. Now that the Kordolians have landed on Earth, he somehow has to convince an entire planet of Humans that his people mean them no harm. It's easier said than done, especially when one's race has a reputation for brutally conquering the Nine Galaxies. Perhaps this stubborn female journalist called Sera Aquinas, who thinks she can just walk up to his front door and ask for an interview, might be able to help him.

But first, he has to gain her trust, and that's not so easy when her presence drives him to distraction.

The Journalist

Sera Aquinas doesn't trust the charming amber-eyed Prince when he says he doesn't want to take over her planet. As a hardened journalist, she's seen her share of duplicity and corruption. So when Xal tells her the Kordolians are looking for Human females, she thinks he's messing with her. Seriously? Who would believe that lame excuse?She has to admit however, that Xal is one fine looking alien, and a part of her is curious. It's absolutely far fetched, but what if he's telling the truth?

What if Humans and Kordolians are compatible?

And when it comes to Xal, why does her body keep betraying her when her head is telling her to get the hell out of there?

Warning: this book contains swearing, violence, sensual sex scenes, silver aliens with fangs and a little dose of insta-lust. If you're sensitive to any of these things, you may want to think twice before reading it. It's definitely recommended for readers aged 18 and over.

Dark Planet Falling is Book Two in the Dark Planet Warriors Series. It will probably make more sense if you've read the other three books first, although that's probably not absolutely essential.

Dark Planet Falling by Anna Carven is the second book in the Dark Planet Warriors series. I enjoyed it much more than the first.

Sera is a journalist who wants the scoop on what the Kordolians are really doing on Earth. They claim they don’t want to take over, but their reputation proceeds them and Sera isn’t buying it. So she decides to go ask them. She doesn’t really expect it to work, so she’s shocked when she gains entry. She’s even more shocked by the beautiful alien who is very deadly, but seems to lack knowledge about Earth, who requests that she help them.

Xal has been in exile on his planet ever since he tried to murder his mother – the evil Empress of Kythia. When Commander Tarak asks him to leave Kythia to be the face of their race on Earth, he agrees, but he has unfinished business on Kythia. When the Empire sends a battle cruiser to threaten Earth, Xal asks Sera to join him onboard their own battle cruiser so she can witness how he, Tarak and their warriors are trying to save Earth, not harm it.

I really liked Xal in the first book and I was glad to learn more about him here. He had his reasons for trying to overthrow his mother, and my heart broke for him. It was interesting watching him navigate Earth politics.

I didn’t really like Sera at first. She wants to find out what the Kordolians are really doing on Earth, and I get that, but the “creative license” she took with her story wasn’t very well done. I liked her more as the story went on. She was honest and forthright, and I really liked how capable she was.

The romance was sweet. I loved how Xal treated Sera. He was overprotective, but also respectful of her and her skills. I’m glad I powered through the first book. This is shaping up to be a great series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Dark Planet Warriors

four-stars


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Review: Dark Planet Warrior by Anna Carven

Posted November 3, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dark Planet Warrior by Anna CarvenReviewer: Holly
Dark Planet Warriors by Anna Carven
Series: Dark Planet Warriors #1
Also in this series: Dark Planet Falling, Into the Light , Out of Darkness
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 230
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Book 1 of the Dark Planet Warriors Series

Abbey

Some scary looking aliens have just boarded Fortuna Tau, our little asteroid mining station. Kordolians, by the looks of things. What the hell do they want with this floating rust bucket? What are they even doing here?

Come to think of it, I've never seen a Kordolian up close before. They're huge and intimidating, with strange silver skin and pointed ears. They have freaky nano-armor, and they're packing a serious arsenal. We stand no chance against them.

When I encounter their General, I find him insufferable. Arrogant. Domineering. He won't tell me anything. I guess that's what happens when your race is kicking ass across the Nine Galaxies. You get pigheaded.

So why do I keep running into him? Why does he keep looking at me like that? And what's with this weird feeling I get when he's around?

Tarak

Sucked into a wormhole during a fierce skirmish with an enemy ship. Spat out near a human mining station in a remote corner of the Nine Galaxies. Stuck with weak humans who operate with inferior metals and technology.

This mission couldn't get any worse.

We need to fix our craft, kill the cursed Xargek, and get out of here before the wormhole collapses. I don't really care about these humans. Their existence makes no sense to me.

So why has this strange human female captured my attention? She's messy, awkward, and she babbles nonsense half the time. These humans are crazy. I don't understand them at all, especially this female. Why do I keep coming back to her?

I need to leave this place before I go insane.

Warning: This book contains swearing, violence and steamy sex scenes. It's recommended for readers aged 18 and over.

Dark Planet Warriors by Anna Carven in the first book in the Dark Planet Warriors series. It was originally written as a serial. I read the combined version. I tried reading this early last year, but the writing wasn’t working for me so I set it aside around the 40% mark. Recently I read another book set in this world and decided to go back and try again. It worked a little better this time around. I still struggled with the writing, but I ended up really liking the second half of the book. I don’t think the book was edited when it was combined, and it suffered for it.

Abbey is working on an asteroid mining station when a Kordolian battle cruiser lands and requests aid. No one knows what they’re doing in this sector, but Abbey wants nothing to do with them. They claim they aren’t there to take over, but Abbey doesn’t trust them – even if she does find their leader more attractive than she should…

Tarak wants to get his battle cruiser fixed and get off the mining station, but when he realizes they were followed by an alien race of over-grown insects, he knows he can’t leave the weak humans to fend for themselves. When Abbey is hurt because of his actions, he vows to save her – even if that means taking her to his home planet where they have superior medical technology. Kythia isn’t the safest place for humans, but Tarak won’t let anything happen to Abbey. Lord help anyone who tries to harm her on his watch.

Tarak is the commander of the Kordolian army, and an elite warrior himself. He’s used to being obeyed, or forcing submission if necessary. So he was kind of a lot at the beginning. The more time he spent with Abbey, the more he warmed up. I thought he was really cute with her. I also liked Abbey. She was level-headed and practical. There was an element of insta-love/lust, but I didn’t stress it too much. Once I got to the second half I really enjoyed the story and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Dark Planet Warriors

three-half-stars


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