Tag: Fantasy

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


Tagged: , , , , , ,

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


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea

Posted November 1, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Beauty and the Beast by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #1
Also in this series: The Princess and the Pea
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: No
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Pages: 272
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Once upon a time Elle made a mistake. A small miscalculation sends her through the roof of an enchanted chateau. Stranded until her broken leg mends, Elle is forced to rely on the good will of the sour chateau owner —the cursed Prince Severin.

Prince Severin—the commanding general and staunch supporter of his brother the crown prince—is cursed to look like a beast until a maiden falls in love with him. However, he has given up all hope of shattering the curse after several painful and failed attempts to break it. As such he has only disdain for Elle, leaving her to the devices of his bossy servants. This suits Elle perfectly as she dislikes the entire royal family, Severin included.

Unfortunately for the unsuspecting pair, the chateau servants are determined to break the curse and spend the majority of their time pushing Elle and Severin together. After bonding over gardens, animals, and terrifying squirrels Elle and Severin show signs of friendship, and perhaps something more…

But not all love stories can end that easily. After all, Elle is not what she seems, and Severin’s life is placed in danger when hostilities flare between his brother and the monarchs of a neighboring country.

If they really want the love of a lifetime Elle, a loyal liar, and Severin, an indifferent beast, will have to use every trick they know to survive.

I’ve read some other novels by Shea and I am a total sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I snagged this one from KU even though I had to DNF the first book in the prequel series (Apprentice of Magic). I enjoyed the way this was presented. The basic bones of the B&tB story are here, with some fun twists to make it the author’s own. I liked Elle and Severin, and the way their friendship developed. I didn’t really love the main conflict, and how he rejected her, but it didn’t kill the story for me.

I find these to be long reads and all the filler kind of makes for a difficult reading experience. Plus, I hate how the author sort of coyly drug out Elle’s reasons for being at the Chateau in the first place for the entire book. I had figured it out early on, and the constant hinting at it was frustrating.

While I enjoyed this and the previous novella, I don’t know that I’ll continue with the series. None of the other blurbs really appealed to me, and I’m not interested in the overarching storyline.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Timeless Fairy Tales

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: The Princess and the Pea by K.M. Shea

Posted October 27, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Princess and the Pea by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
The Princess and the Pea by K.M. Shea
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #0.5
Also in this series: Beauty and the Beast
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 1, 2018
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: No
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

What if the true makings of a princess have nothing to do with where she’s from and everything to do with who she is?

She may hate her nickname of “Warrior Princess” but Lis stakes her reputation on her ability to protect her client’s treasures no matter what she faces.

But this job is different.

When the royal family of Torrens hires her to guard the fabled Pea of Primeorder jewel it starts out like any other job. The king is kind of eccentric (and possibly delusional) and Prince Channing is strangely pleasant towards her, but otherwise everything is normal.

Until she learns about the thief.

The legendary thief Apex has sent a letter declaring his intention to steal the Pea of Primeorder. Lis knows this is either the vainest thief in the world or there is more going on then she’s been told. But a job is a job. Lis will pass this test at all costs even if she has to stuff the jewel in her mattress while she sleeps.

But eccentricities of the Torrens royal family only intensifies as Prince Channing starts asking Lis strange questions. Like...would Lis stay in Torrens after her contract is over, and if they could learn to fight together. (What kind of royal asks that?)

A Prince, a Warrior, and a Pea. The Kingdom of Torrens will never be the same.

This novella is a prequel for the Timeless Fairy Tale series. It is not necessary to read the books in the Timeless Fairy Tales series prior to reading this story. However, if you have read that series watch for the name drops and hidden Easter eggs!

I found the Timeless Fairy Tales series while browsing Goodreads and decided to give this novella a try. I loved the premise of a kickass warrior princess, and I’m happy to report she was everything I was hoping for.

Lis has made a name for herself as a mercenary. Although she’s of common origins, she’s been labeled the “Warrior Princess” because she’s such an excellent fighter. When she and her protégée, Vorah, are hired to protect the Pea of Primeorder jewel, Lis figures it will be a job just like any other. But when she arrives at the Kingdom of Torrens, nothing is quite as it seems. She’s determined to protect the Pea at all costs.

I really liked that Lis was a true warrior, and her friendship with Vorah. The two of them were fabulous and totally made this story worth reading. The romance was kind of unnecessary. I didn’t really feel like Lis was truly in love at the end. I’m honestly not even sure why it was included. The friendship between Vorah and Lis, and how kickass they were, made the story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Timeless Fairy Tales

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: The Monster Mash by Angie Fox

Posted October 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Monster Mash by Angie FoxReviewer: Holly
The Monster Mash by Angie Fox
Series: Monster M*A*S*H* #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 340
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ancient gods. Modern war. And a star-crossed couple who could use some divine intervention.

The day I was drafted into the army of the gods, all I knew about being a MASH surgeon was what I’d learned from Hawkeye Pierce and Hot Lips Houlihan. Now here I am, Dr. Petra Robichaud, in the middle of an immortal war, assigned to a MASH camp with a nosy sphinx, a vegetarian werewolf, and an uptight vampire who really needs to get a life.

At least they’re all too busy with their own dramas to discover my secret: I can see the dead. It’s a forbidden gift, one that can get me killed, so I haven’t told a soul.
Until the arrestingly intense Galen arrives on my operating table, half-dead and totally to-die-for. When his spirit tries to slip out of his fatally wounded body, I impulsively slip it back in. Call it a rash resurrection. One I’ll live to regret.

Now Commander Galen of Delphi knows my secret, and he’s convinced I’m part of an ancient prophecy—one that can end the war for good. But taking a chance could cost me everything. And it would be easier to convince him to leave me alone, except now the prophecies are starting to come true…

Warning: This novel contains a hefty dose of danger, drama, practical jokes, pet swamp lizards, brooding demigods, adventure, romance, and heart—in a MASH camp where everybody knows your business.

*The core of this book was originally called Immortally Yours, published by St. Martin's Press in 2012. The author has rewritten it into the way she always envisioned the story to be, which means it is now a romantic comedy instead of an angsty book. Oh, and there are a lot more pet swamp lizards, too.

Petra Robichaud has been conscripted into the war between Heaven and Hell. Assigned to a MASH unit as a surgeon, she’s biding her time until she makes enough rank to get some interesting cases. When a patient lands on her table and she accidentally saves his life by binding his soul to hers for a brief period of time, she knows her life will never be the same. She can see spirits – not just the ghostly kind, but the essence of people as well.

As soon as Commander Galen of Delphi realizes what Petra can do, he knows she’s the one who will fulfill the prophesy and end the war. Convincing her of same may take some time…which is why he makes sure she can’t ship him out as soon as she realizes he knows her secret. Now he has a limited amount of time to make her realize she is exactly what the world needs, while also keeping her abilities a secret, lest the higher ups realize what she can do and kill her to prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

This book was previously published under the title Immortally Yours, which I didn’t realize until after I finished it and saw the author’s note about it. The premise was interesting, and I liked aspects of it, but the writing was really choppy and uneven. Things would be smooth and then bam, the dialogue wouldn’t make sense or would seem really choppy. I also struggled with the way Petra held herself back. We weren’t told until later why she had trust issues, and the novel is so lighthearted that it didn’t make sense in context. She just came off seeming rude and selfish. I understood a little better once her “deep, dark secret” was revealed, but even then the author didn’t really sell me on her angst.

I would have rated this higher for the romance alone, because I really liked Galen, but the way Petra acted kind of killed it for me. I also didn’t like how things ended, with a sort of pause. I understand this is a continuing series, but eh. It didn’t really work for me.

I read the blurb for the next book and I have zero desire to read her rekindling a romance with an ex – especially since we were told her “love” for Galen supposedly saved the world in this book.

While not a terrible novel, a lot of it didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Monster M*A*S*H*

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , ,