Tag: Shifters

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
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
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
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
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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Guest Review: Her True Match by Paige Tyler

Posted March 6, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her True Match by Paige TylerReviewer: Tracy
Her True Match by Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops series #6
Also in this series: Her Perfect Mate, Her Lone Wolf, Her Wild Hero, Her Fierce Warrior, Her Dark Half
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

After a long game of cat-and-mouse

Feline shifter Dreya Clark picks the wrong penthouse to rob and ends up arrested by sexy detective Braden Hayes. But Braden isn’t the only one who’s been watching the cat burglar. Agents from the Department of Covert Operations swoop in to offer her a deal. If she wants to stay out of jail, she’ll have to work with them—and pair up with the hot cop. Great.

Danger throws this unlikely pair together

Braden isn’t thrilled about the DCO meddling in his investigation. He’s been chasing Dreya for years. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, fur flies and temperatures flare. But when danger closes in on them, their game of cat and mouse turns deadly-serious, and they’ll have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

Dreya is a cat burglar.  She has been for the past 10 years and loves every minute of it.  She doesn’t do it for the money – she does it so that her feline shifter side gets the rush it needs.  Of course she doesn’t know she’s a shifter – she just calls herself a freak.  She’d previously stole a huge diamond from an ex-senator and almost got herself killed.  She hid for a bit but then came back into DC and was back at thieving only this time Braden Hayes, burglary detective, was there waiting for her.

Braden is so excited that he finally has proof that Dreya is a thief.  He can’t believe what he’d seen when he was watching her on the monitors but as much as he’s amazed by her he can’t let her get away with stealing.  Unfortunately while he’s in the middle of interrogating her 2 federal agents show up and take Dreya away.  Braden, not one to give up easily, ends up following them.

Dreya is actually being recruited by the DCO and they end up recruiting Braden as well and making them partners.  Though she’d been avoiding him for years they trust each other and this makes all the difference when they have to watch each other’s backs.  While partners they find that they attraction they’ve had for each other turns to love.  They are happy they found each other but a villain of the worst kind may tear them apart.

This was a great addition to the X-Ops series.  I really liked both Dreya and Braden and thought they made a great team.  I loved how Braden didn’t hold Dreya’s past against her and just moved on with life.  That’s a good man right there.

Dreya and Braden’s story was just part of the book.  We also got to read about a facility in Maine where members of the DCO were infiltrating a possible lab that was making hybrid shifters.  That was incredibly interesting and exciting while keeping me on the edge of my seat. We also read about ex-Senator Thorn who is on the Committee that runs the DCO and his lackey, Dick Coleman.  Those two are a nasty pair and they really showed their evil colors in this story.

The book ended with a bang (literally) and it made me want to pick up book seven immediately.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before we find out what happens next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: San Francisco Wolf Pack Box Set by Kristin Miller

Posted January 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: San Francisco Wolf Pack Box Set by Kristin MillerReviewer: Tracy
San Francisco Wolf Pack Box Set by Kristin Miller
Series: San Francisco Wolf Pack
Also in this series: Beauty and the Werewolf

Publication Date: December 5th 2016
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three-half-stars

From "falling in love" to "it's complicated," New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller brings you three, full-length, deliciously hot paranormal love stories with sexy alpha heroes and the strong-willed women who bring these werewolves to heel.

The Werewolf Wears Prada

Melina Rosenthal worships at the altar of all things fashion. Her dream is to work for the crème de la crème fashion magazine, Eclipse, and she'll do pretty much anything to get there. Even fixing up the image of a gorgeous, sexy public figure who's all playboy, all the time. Even if he's the guy who broke her heart a year ago. And even if Melina has no idea that Hayden Dean is actually a werewolf...

Beauty and the Werewolf

Billionaire werewolf Jack MacGrath has almost everything—the respect of his peers, a mansion in San Francisco, a private jet, and fast cars. But without a mate, Jack's in trouble. Then he sees her. Gorgeous, demure, proud...and his enemy. Isabelle Connelly is werewolf royalty and falling for anyone lesser — to say nothing of a rival pack — would be, er, unseemly. Now she must choose between her duty to her family and her pack...or her perfect fated mate.

What a Werewolf Wants

Private investigator – and werewolf – Ryder McManus doesn’t believe in marriage. But then he never expected to find his fated mate, Josie, at his best friend's wedding festivities. When Josie and Ryder are together, the chemistry heats up. While he’s trying to stop the wedding, she’ll do whatever it takes to give the couple a dream day. But the secret he’s trying to expose might just ruin everything.

The Werewolf Wears Prada

Melina interviewed Hayden Dean for an article a year ago.  They sat in Starbucks and had a great time.  He then asked her out to an awards ceremony that he was attending that night and she was so excited.  He then stood her up and she was not only heart-broken but pissed as hell.  Now the magazine she works for has assigned her to write a behind the scenes look at none other than Hayden Dean.  The last thing she wants to do is hang around him but what choice does she have.  If she does a great job on the article her dream of working at the parent magazine will come true.

Hayden was captivated by Melina when he first met her – of course he was as he realized that she’s his mate.  Unfortunately, things in the city were going haywire and he had to do what his alpha father asked – that included standing Melina up.  Now that she’s back in his life he wants to make things work but he also wants to keep her safe.  He’s up for alpha of the San Francisco pack now that his father’s died but there are those who don’t want him in the position as he’s not a born werewolf.  He must find out who is behind all of the friction and keep Melina safe while doing it.

This was a very cute novella.  I really liked both Hayden and Melina and thought their chemistry was off the charts.  The situation with the rogue wolves who didn’t want Hayden as their alpha (along with all turned werewolves) was pretty intense at some points.  I thought it was a novella that was well done.  It had a great blend of romance, intrigue, suspense and the paranormal.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Beauty and the Werewolf

(This part of the review was previously here posted on Book Binge.)

Isabelle is the daughter of the Alpha of the Irish Wolf Pack. She is a painter and makes quite a bit of money on her paintings. Unfortunately when she first started she showed her dad a painting that she created and he reacted badly – telling her that painting was a waste of time. She was going to be the pack alpha one day and she should spend her days studying tradition and pack policy! Wow, what a kick in the gut. Isabelle didn’t give up her dream, however and continued painting in secret. Now her father is dying and she wants to show him all of her paintings at the same time hoping for his approval. She has been searching high and low for the last 10 or so paintings and finds out that there’s one up for auction in San Francisco. Her father doesn’t have much time left so she heads to SF to buy her painting back.

At the auction in SF Isabelle finds she has a competitor for her painting and she finds out his name is Jack McGrath. Her father hates the McGrath’s and has never said a nice word about any of them. Jack knows almost instantly that Isabelle is his Luminary – his fated mate. He’s not only excited to find his fated mate but if they bond it will stop his fast downward spiral towards death. In this world shifters live to be about 300 years old unless they find their fated mates and then they can live as long as 1000 years. Isabelle isn’t thrilled that Jack managed to buy the painting out from under her but then Jack says he’ll give her the painting if she attends a gallery event with him. How can she refuse when she’ll get her painting back?

What begins as a simple companion date soon turns into more and soon Jack and Isabelle are falling in love. Her father, however, needs to give his approval or Isabelle will have nothing to do with Jack, no matter how much she loves him.

This was a cute novella. It was a quick read but quite a bit happened in a short period of time. It didn’t feel rushed either so that was nice.

I really liked both Isabelle and Jack in this story though I would have loved to get to know both of them more. I also appreciated that Isabelle didn’t feel the fated mate connection right away. It made Jack work for it and put a little spin on it all. Jack was intriguing enough to keep my attention as he tried to make amends for all of his ancestors wrong-doing.

Isabelle’s father was a real piece of work but he eventually redeemed himself in a big way. I was happy that he loved his daughter enough to let her be happy even after he died. Isabelle’s friend Neil was overprotective and I couldn’t quite figure him out. On the one hand he was great to her but he proved he could be a real bastard when it came to Jack but took it so far overboard it was ridiculous.

A quick read but a nice little paranormal romance. This is the second book in the series but it read perfectly well as a standalone.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What a Werewolf Wants

Josie’s sister, Carrie, is getting married.  Josie and her matchmaking service set them up and now their wedding and the few events leading up to it will be filmed.  Josie is excited for her sister but also excited about the show and what it will do for her business.

Ryder McManus is a turned werewolf and his best friend, Mitch, marrying Carrie.  Ryder is set on breaking them up.  They hardly dated before they decided to marry and Mitch hasn’t even told Carrie that he’s a werewolf!

Obviously Josie and Ryder butt heads on the issue as Josie thinks that Carrie and Mitch are perfect for each other.  She believes that Ryder is too jaded to see love when it smacks him in the face because of his job as a private investigator.  She sets out to prove that Carrie and Mitch are perfect for each other but while she’s doing it she starts to having feelings for Mitch as well.  Of course when both Carrie and Josie find out what Mitch and Ryder are the wedding might be off for good.

This was a great story and my favorite of the three in this set.  I loved Josie and Ryder together and their duo pig-headedness.  Seriously, the pair were hilarious in their stubbornness toward each other and what they were each trying to accomplish.  Mitch knew that Josie was his fated mate – his Luminary – but he knew that that didn’t even guarantee that they would work out. He was so jaded but that made it all the better when he finally realized how wrong he’d been about Carrie and Mitch and of course his feeling for Josie.

Their chemistry was off the charts and I just loved them together.  I loved shifter stories and I love stories that revolve around weddings so to put the two together was like a dream come true. Lol

Rating: 4 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Eventide of the Bear by Cherise Sinclair

Posted February 22, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Eventide of the Bear by Cherise SinclairReviewer: Judith
Eventide of the Beat by Cherise Sinclair
Series: The Wild Hunt Legacy #3

Publication Date: January 26th 2016
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five-stars

All her life, Emma longed for someone to love. Instead, disaster sees the brand-new bard banished from her people for long lonely years. Injured saving a child, the werebear has to steal food from humans, breaking shifter Law. The territory’s Cosantir and his lethal grizzly warrior catch her in the act. To her surprise, she’s healed and welcomed. Obviously, they don’t know her past. But oh, she can’t resist being around other shifters—especially the captivatingly powerful warrior. Maybe she can stay…just a little while.

As a grizzly warrior, Ben is ordered to house the pretty werebear until she heals. His littermate abandoned him, his home is empty, and he’s been alone for a long time. Intelligent and sweet and lushly curved, Emma is a delight…even if she is oddly reticent about her past. Although having sworn off females, he’s sorely tempted by this one. Damned if he doesn’t want to keep her, secrets or not.

Females were trouble. Years past, one split Ryder from his littermate. Now the panther shifter is returning to Ben, bringing his cub with him, a four-year-old he stole from the abusive female. To Ryder’s annoyance, his brother is sheltering a wounded bear. A female. Even worse, she’s beautiful and gentle and loving—damned if he’s going to fall for that act again. But when the dark of the moon arrives and death reigns supreme, he’ll discover that not all females are alike.

In a world filled with hellhounds and pixies, can three lonely shifters and one silent cub create a new family together?

Ms Sinclair is mostly known for her Shadowlands and Masters of the Mountain series.  However, those who like her writing in any genre have come to appreciate her paranormal Wild Hunt Legacy series in which she has created an entire society where shifters of varying breeds live together under the guidance and direction of Cosantirs, individuals gifted by the gods with the power to bring order out of chaos.  There is an entire vocabulary that has been created and the stories are fascinating as readers observe how shifters order their lives and live in small, out-of-the-way communities that even have human citizens.  Once of the greatest dangers to these communities is the presence of hellhounds, mystical demon/shifter creatures who live off their kills, especially magical beings like shifters.  And it is in doing battle with one of these to save the life of a child that our heroine comes in contact with a shifter community after years of being banished over a clear misunderstanding.  Lonely, hurting, close to death in many ways, Emma welcomes the acceptance of the Cold Creek community and the care and kindness of Ben, a bear shifter who fights hellhounds but lives a lonely existence after being abandoned. Throw in Ryder, a panther shifter who has taken possession of his daughter, a child he never knew about, and who is a long-time friend of Ben.  Now the Cold Creek household contains three adult shifters with great emotional burdens and troubled pasts and a child who has been mistreated, ignored and abused by her natural mother.

It is the unusual mix of personalities, histories, and emotional burdens that drives this story.  Emma is attracted to both Ben and Ryder but is sure that she is unworthy of either of them.  After all she had been shunned from her home community so there is possibly no hope of any kind of relationship with either of them when the full story of her immediate past comes out.  Yet Emma is a woman of deep kindness and loves with no hesitation.  She is one of those persons who gives without measure and especially when Ryder’s child needs her.  The back stories of these characters weaves in and out of their immediate context and the reader recognizes that something of a crisis nature has to happen in order for these three to resolve their relationship impasse.

Ms Sinclair is best known for her stories that involve the BDSM community as she is herself involved in that lifestyle.  Yet whatever the genre of her tales, there is the underlying goal of bringing her characters to the point of recognizing their own worth, of coming to full maturity where they are interacting with partners/lovers with respect and mutual desire for genuine caring and loving.  The attraction of this series for me is experiencing a society that embraces all kinds of shifters in communities that also include some humans.  Not that the human society knows about and accepts paranormal creatures.  Such is not the case.  But the community of Cold Creek and others in the story point out that it is possible to merge both human and paranormal societies in special circumstances.  Were we so good at pulling that off in real life.

This is a really fine read and one that Ms Sinclair’s fans have waited for.  It is also a great place to begin reading her work.  Each of her books are stand alone stories but in this series the first two books help to get the reader started appreciating the unique society in which these stories take place.  Readers will love Emma and feel her sense of unworthiness because of her unloving and critical mother.  Ben and Ryder are lovable in their own way, especially as readers experience Ryder’s growing joy at being a dad.  This is one of those books paranormal romance fans will find it difficult to put down.  I know I did.  Do yourself a favor and get this one.  It’s a keeper.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.

five-stars


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