Tag: Shifters

Guest Review: The Howling by Erin McCarthy

Posted June 26, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Howling by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Tracy
The Howling by Erin McCarthy
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 100
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two-stars

For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

Liv has been having dreams for the past six months about wolves.  In the dream it seems to be her as the central figure, but it’s set in the 19th century so she’s confused.  She chalks it up to nerves because of her impending wedding.  A wedding to Scarborough, the brother of the man who disappeared on her six months ago, along with all her money.  Scar had been there for her and when he’d asked her to marry him, she thought it was the best idea.  After these dreams she’s thinking that maybe marrying him wasn’t such a great idea.

Sebastian, the man who broke Liv’s heart, didn’t just disappear.  He was attacked and left for dead and has been recovering and in hiding since that time.  Now that Scarborough is out of town he can finally talk to Liv and tell her how much he loves her, and they can live happily ever after.  But when Liv finds out who she really is, and what exactly happened to Sebastian, Liv’s life changes forever.

This was a super short book that is a reprint.  It was previously in an anthology called The Beast Within but is now being republished as a standalone novella.  I didn’t realize when I started reading that this was a reprint and lo and behold, I’d read it before.  I did finish it the second time so that’s a point in its favor.

The story almost feels like you’re being dumped into a book that’s already in progress.  I didn’t like that at all and while it wasn’t confusing, I did find it frustrating.  This can’t really be termed a romance novel because the H/h are really already in love and have just been separated.  More of a reunion story, imho.

The scenario that Liv found herself in might have been more interesting if this had been a longer story.  Add Sebastian in first, have Scar come along and take over, then have the H/h reunite.  That would have been awesome.  I also think that because this was so short that not a lot of depth was added to the characters and that was disappointing.

In the end I found this to be just an ok read.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Guest Review: Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright

Posted June 5, 2018 by Tracy in Features, Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Wild Hunger by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Tracy
Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright
Series: The Phoenix Pack #7
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
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four-stars

When half–wolf shifter Frankie Newman receives an e-mail from a family member she didn’t know existed, a secret is revealed: as a child, Frankie witnessed her father killing her mother…and then himself. Frankie was torn from her pack by her mother’s human relatives, and the trauma was erased from her memory. Realizing that she’s been lied to her entire life, she’s never felt more alone. Until she catches the scent of an old friend—warmly familiar and intoxicating.

Trick Hardy, enforcer of the Phoenix Pack, can sense the rush of mutual attraction when he sees Frankie again. He knows immediately that she’s his true mate. But he also knows that, given her fragile state, he needs to tread with care—no matter how fierce his surging desires.

As aroused as Frankie is by Trick’s darkly dominant air and simmering desire, her priority right now is her past—not her future, no matter how tempting. But as more secrets emerge and Frankie’s life is threatened, Trick must do everything he can to keep her close and safe. After all, it’s their destiny.

Frankie was raised by her maternal grandparents and uncle after she witnessed her father killing her mother when she was 3 years old.  She’s actually half wolf shifter and half human, but her family kept her away from her wolf family her entire life as they view them as uncivilized.  They also lied to her about who exactly her parents were and how they died.  When Frankie is contacted by her aunt Lydia she’s shocked.  Lydia wants to see her because Lydia’s mother, Frankie’s paternal grandmother, is dying and would like to see Frankie before she dies.  Needless to say, Frankie is pissed off at her human family for lying to her her entire life.

Frankie agrees to meet with Lydia but some others in the pack go along to the meeting.  One of those is Trick who knew Frankie when she was just a toddler.  When he sees her again he knows immediately that Frankie is his mate.  Trick was always open to finding his mate and knew that whenever he met her he wouldn’t fuck around.  He’d just go up to her and tell her and they’d claim each other – easy peasy.  When he realizes it’s Frankie he knows he needs to tread carefully as she’s not ready to hear that she’s his mate.  She’s already dealing with a lot by just finding out that she has other family that she knew nothing about.

Despite Trick saying that he wasn’t going to lay the whole “mate” thing on Frankie it doesn’t mean he can keep himself away from her.  He shows up at her house and as Frankie feels so comfortable with him she doesn’t have any objections about them getting close.  She soon figures out for herself what’s going on and she’s not opposed to the idea at all.

Unfortunately, as she gets more enmeshed in the Phoenix pack the more curious she is to find out about what went wrong with her parents.  When she starts to have a few dreams about what happened she doesn’t like what she starts to figure out about her mom and dad.

This was another great story in the Phoenix Pack series.  I’ve loved this pack since I started reading about them back in 2012.  Wright has a wonderful way of writing shifter romances that I just love.  They dynamics with the pack are always great to read about and adding in a new character who’s as cool as Frankie was a bonus.

Trick was perfect for Frankie.  He could take things slow with her until she got used to idea of being mates and I loved his patience.  In the past he had been with both men and women and he was up front about that with Frankie.  He didn’t want her to hear from others about the men he’d been with, especially as one of those men was in the Phoenix pack.  The fact that he’d been with men before did cause an issue at one point in the story but not between Trick and Frankie.  Once those two were together they stuck like glue, I’m happy to say.

There was also another part of the book where Trey, the Alpha of the Phoenix pack was dealing with someone who wanted to create an alliance with the pack, but Trey wasn’t having any of it.  Trick got caught up in this and it caused some issues as well.  Luckily Trick dealt with this quickly and efficiently.

Overall this was a great book and a wonderful addition to the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Posted April 9, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. AikenReviewer: Holly
Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1) by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #1
Also in this series: Light My Fire, Dragon on Top, Bring the Heat, Bring the Heat
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: September 1st 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong...

Annwyl the Bloody is sister to the evil king of the realm. She’s been fighting his troops for years, slowly gathering support to form a rebellion meant to overthrow him. When she ends up on deaths doorstep outside a dragon’s den, she doesn’t expect to live. Either her brother’s soldiers will kill her, or the dragon will. But she isn’t going to go down cowering. She’ll go out as she lived, fighting for all she’s worth.

Fearghus the Destroyer is an antisocial dragon. He prefers being alone in his den to dealing with humans or other dragons. But Annwyl the Bloody intrigues him. Not only does her reputation proceed her, but she’s the only human he’s ever met who doesn’t cower from Dragons. She’s fierce and bold, and he can’t stop himself from wanting to heal, take care of and spend time with her. He knows if she wants to defeat her brother he needs better training. She has to learn to control her rage.

When Fearghus tells Annwyl he has a Knight who can help her hone her skill with a sword, she’s skeptical. But she can’t deny the man has skill. Still, for all of her attraction to the Knight, she prefers the company of the dragon.

This was such a good book. I loved how bloodthirsty and kickass the heroine was. She wasn’t a shrinking violet who needed to be saved. I loved Fearghus the dragon. He was so cute. Every time he and Annwyl snuggled I got all melty. I struggled more with her relationship with the Knight. They had a contentious relationship that didn’t really lend itself to softer feelings.

View Spoiler »

Still, I really enjoyed the story, the heroine and the dragon. This was a great start to what I hope will be a great series.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler

Posted September 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Her Dark Half by Paige TylerReviewer: Tracy
Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops series #7
Also in this series: Her Perfect Mate, Her Lone Wolf, Her Wild Hero, Her Fierce Warrior, Her True Match
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
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four-stars

Trevor Maxwell
Coyote shifter with an attitude
Covert operator
Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner

Alina Bosch
Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
Hired to spy on her partner
Motto: "Never be deceived again."

Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they're going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side...

Alina was working for the CIA when she was recruited to the DCO (Department of Covert Ops).  She was hired by the director, Dick Coleman, and partnered with Trevor Maxwell specifically to keep an eye on him and report back to the Dick.  She didn’t realize that would be her mission when she took the job and frankly doesn’t feel all that great about it.

Once Alina starts working with Trevor she starts to think that something isn’t right.  Dick told her that Trevor was one of the shifters that killed the former director, John, but she’s starting to think he’s got it wrong.  She doesn’t necessarily trust Trevor but she thinks he might be more on the up and up than the Dick is.

Trevor doesn’t trust his new partner.  He certainly isn’t going to tell her that he thinks that Dick had something to do with John getting killed.  He’s trying to investigate without anyone knowing – especially Alina. His instincts are telling him to trust her but he just doesn’t know.  The longer they work together the more he realizes that Alina can be trusted.  He ends up telling her everything and not only do they work better as partners but they finally act on the sexual tension that’s been brewing between them since day one.

This was a wonderful semi-conclusion to the on-going story arc.  We learn so much about all of the bad guys and what they’ve been up to.  The shifters that went on the run in the last book show up again and then of course we have the relationship between Alina and Trevor.

The romance in this book really took a back seat to everything else, imho, but that was actually ok.  I think if the author had tried to work too much of the romance into the story it would have been imbalanced as there was SO much going on.  The story really needed to focus on finding John’s killer and outing the bad guys.  That being said, the parts with Alina and Trevor and their romance were made all the sweeter when it was just the two of them.  I really liked both characters and thought they were perfect together.

I truly liked the book a lot until I got to the epilogue.  I wanted to scream and tear my hair out after reading it as I found it so frustrating.  I can’t even give you a hint as to what it was but if you have been reading the series and then read this book you’ll understand what I mean.  I really wish the author would have just laid that particular issue to rest but she didn’t. Hopefully the storyline won’t get too monotonous with the same stuff happening.

I really enjoy reading the X-Ops series and recommend it if you like shifter romances.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Bring the Heat by G.A. Aiken

Posted August 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Bring the Heat by G.A. AikenReviewer: Tracy
Bring the Heat by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #9
Also in this series: Light My Fire, Dragon on Top, Bring the Heat, Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1)
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
Format: eARC
Pages: 416
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four-stars

HE SAYS . . .

I, Aidan the Divine, am . . . well, divine. My name was given to me by the Dragon Queen herself! I’m a delight! Cheerful. Charming. And a mighty warrior who is extremely handsome, with a very large and well-hidden hoard of gold. I am also royal-born, despite the fact that most in my family are horrendous beings who don’t deserve to live. And yet, Branwen the Awful—a low-born, no less—either tells me to shut up or, worse, ignores me completely.

SHE SAYS . . .

I’ll admit, I ignore Aidan the Divine because it annoys him. A lot. But we have so much to do right now, I can’t worry about why he keeps staring at me, or why he always sits so close, or why he keeps looking at me like he’s thinking about kissing me. We have our nations to save and no time for such bloody foolishness . . . no matter how good Aidan looks or how long his spiked tail is. Because if we’re going to win this war before it destroys everything we love, we’ll have to face our enemies together, side by side and without distractions. But if we make it out alive, who knows what the future will hold . . .

Our story takes us to the ongoing battle between the God Chramnesind’s followers/Zealots and the rest of the world.  They’ve been taking over/killing anyone who won’t claim Chramnesind as their God and that’s anyone who gets in their way.  Annwyl, her children aka The Abominations, her husband Fearghus and his entire family are fighting along with any nation they could get to fight with them.  Despite that it seems that the Zealots are winning the fight .  Things during the opening battle start to go all wrong…Annwyl is sucked into a well that suddenly disappears, mountains start collapsing and witches are singing spells all around them.

Branwen the Awful is fighting with members of the Mì-runach when the mountain they’re standing on collapses.  They manage to get away and plan to get back to their battalions but are intercepted by Brannie’s cousin Keita the Viper.  After being told by her aunt, Queen Rhiannon, and her mother that she must go with the Mì-runach and protect Keita while she heads to the Eastlands, Brannie is pissed.  She wants to get back to her men but ends up “protecting” Keita instead.

While they travel and run into trouble after trouble we read about what’s going on at the front, on the queen’s mountain, Annwyl who’s in hell, and with other characters. Brannie and Aidan, who are great friends decide that as a diversion they’ll sleep together but it means nothing and when Brannie is done, she’s done – no questions asked.  Of course Aidan is going to agree to anything he can in order to be with Brannie (we can tell he loves her).  But when it comes time to call it all off are either of them truly ready to say goodbye?

This was another fabulous story.  I loved how Aiken made this pretty much a fight for your life with a love story thrown in.  It’s tough and gritty and there’s not a lot of romance.  I don’t expect romance, however, as I know that most of the dragons in her stories aren’t the sweet, romantic types.  If she had tried to throw sappy romance into the story I would have been greatly confused. Lol.

The battle scenes as well as the behind the scenes plotting was awesome.  The dragons of Garbhan Isle, the Iron Dragons, the Daughters of the Steppes, the Eastlanders (whatever they are) added so much to the story and made it interesting, intriguing, humorous and sexy.  If you’ve loved the Dragon Kin series then you won’t want to miss this book.  If you haven’t read the series then I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book as you’ll be damned confused.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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