Category: Reviews

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: Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles

Posted November 17, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Wrecked #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Length: 8 hours and 38 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love. I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.
That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.
Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.

Ford, Bell, and Violet were like the Three Musketeers. They did everything together. Bell tagged along with them most of the time. When Violet died in a horrible accident, Ford fled Anchor Island. All he could think about what that it was his fault. His fault that he killed his girlfriend. His fault that his best friend is in the hospital. Never mind that a deer ran into the road. He’s at fault.

When Ford left after Violet died, Bell was destroyed. Devastation doesn’t even begin to cover what she felt when she found out that her sister died and she lost Ford. It’s taken her a long time to find peace with the situation, but she does find it. When Hunter calls Ford to tell him he needs to return to Anchor to help the family business, Bell is once again torn apart. It’s taken her a long time and much soul searching to find her happiness.

I don’t generally care for the dead girlfriend’s little sister trope. I think it’s pretty cliché. Catherine Cowles definitely made it work in this case. Ford and Bell weren’t just best friends; they shared the same soul. It’s all very Megan Fox/MGK minus the blood. Their relationship began when Bell was so young. To Ford, she was a part of him.

These characters were just so well-rounded. When Ford arrives back on Anchor, he is forced to confront how his decisions back then how it wrecked Bell. He’s determined to win her back (friendship at this point) which means he needs to look inward to finally figure out why he left everyone he loved.

This was my first book by this author and I’m really looking forward to reading the series. Yay for new-to-me authors!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Out of Darkness by Anna Carven

Posted November 15, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Out of Darkness by Anna CarvenReviewer: Holly
Out of Darkness by Anna Carven
Series: Dark Planet Warriors #4
Also in this series: Dark Planet Warriors, Dark Planet Falling, Into the Light
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 17, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 250
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The Kordolians are loose on the asteroid mining station Fortuna Tau, and first-rank mechanic Jia Morgan has become caught up in the thick of things. Under the careful watch of these steely-eyed silver warriors, Jia and her team have been tasked with repairing the hull of the Kordolians’ Alpha-Class battle cruiser, Silence.

The problem is, their alien technology is far, far beyond anything she’s seen before, and whatever they try to weld to Silence’s black hull just won’t stick. When Jia goes in search of a tool that might actually penetrate the warship’s impossibly strong Callidum exterior, she find herself being aided by a most unlikely source. The hard-faced warrior who’s decided to accompany her walks on silent feet and carries a big, big gun.

He’s equal parts scary and attractive, in an otherworldly sort of way. But although Jia finds this Kordolian fascinating, she’s not even going to try and get close to him, because, well, he’s a freaking Kordolian, and Kordolians aren’t exactly known throughout the Nine Galaxies for being nice and warm and fuzzy. Instead, she’s going to do her job and fix their warship, because that’s the only way these intimidating warriors are ever going to leave Fortuna Tau. Hopefully, they won’t break anything, or anyone, on the way out. Oh, and there’s also the small matter of these flesh-eating insect-aliens called Xargek.

Apparently, they bite.

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

Out of Darkness is Book Four 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.

Out of Darkness (Dark Planet Warriors #4) by Anna Carven runs concurrent to the first book, Dark Planet Warriors, which I thought was strange since things have progressed quite a bit since then. I didn’t love the overlap at the start, but it was actually good to see where things went after Abbey and Tarak left Fortuna Tau, the asteroid mining station.

When the Kordolian warship comes limping into Fortuna Tau, Jia is one of the mechanics tasked with making repairs so they can get back into space. Unfortunately, the humans have inferior technology and Jia is one of the stationed on Fortuna Tau who can problem solve enough to figure out a solution under pressure.

Kalan isn’t happy to be stuck babysitting a bunch of humans, but orders are orders. Besides, hunting the Xargek will keep him occupied…until he’s forced to work with Jia. Then he’s just confused. She’s a human, but he wants her. And he feels very protective of her. When the Xargek infestation gets out of control, he knows he has to get all the humans off the mining planet ASAP, but his biggest priority is Jia.

I liked Jia a lot. She was very capable and level-headed. The romance was sweet and I liked that Kal recognized her strengths. I also really liked Kal. He was a good match for her. The Xargek (insect-like aliens) were gross and gave me the shivers, but I liked that they weren’t easy to kill.

Overall a good entry to the series, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the second book.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Dark Planet Warriors

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

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


Tagged: , , , , , ,