Tag: Amber Kell

Guest Review: The Changing Years by Amber Kell

Posted July 10, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Changing Years by Amber KellReviewer: Tracy
The Changing Years by Amber Kell
Series: Out for You
Also in this series: All Bite, No Growl
Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Publication Date: June 1, 2015
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Series Rating: three-stars

The most important show of strength is to embrace one’s true nature.

The death of his ex-wife grants Shaun McKellan custody of his only child, and the chance to know his son after years of separation. Now a full-time father, Shaun thinks his life is finally complete…then he meets the Alpha running the town where his son attends school.

Grant Thornlin has always resisted the temptation of other men. As the Alpha, he must be strong and give his pack the impression he has invincible power. Falling for a blond, blue-eyed artist with a half-shifter son has bad idea written all over it.

How can Shaun show Grant that loving another man doesn’t have to affect his position as Alpha?

Tracy’s review of The Changing Years (Out for You) by Amber Kell

Shaun McKellan was once married to a shifter but while his wife was pregnant with their son she met her mate. According to shifter law mate trumps marriage so they divorced and his ex-wife and her new husband raised their son, Kerry. Shaun longed for his son every day but his ex-wife didn’t want him to imprint on the child so he stayed away, receiving emails and picture updates of Kerry on a regular basis. Now Kerry is 15 and going to be living with Shaun for the first time. His mother died in a car accident and the step-father can’t handle the boys half shifter aggression.

Shaun and Kerry are so happy to be with one another. They get along perfectly and Shaun is extremely happy. He goes to the local shifter high school to try to get him enrolled and meets Grant, the local Alpha. Shaun, who is bi-sexual, is immediately attracted to the man but tries to focus on Kerry during the meeting.

Grant is not gay. At least that’s what he keeps telling himself because his inner wolf is trying to get out to attack Shaun and make him his. Grant and Shaun finally act on their attraction but Grant isn’t willing to put his place as Alpha in jeopardy by coming out to his pack and Shaun isn’t willing to go back in the closet for anyone, even Grant.

Of the Out For You books that I’ve read so far this is definitely my favorite. It had a wonderful flow to it and kept me turning pages.

Shaun was a great guy and a great father. I felt so bad that he hadn’t been able to be with his son for his whole life and wanted to slap his ex-wife (but, ya know, she was already dead so…) for keeping them apart. I guess I understood the imprinting thing when he was little but as he grew that was just an excuse. I loved how he was with Kerry and frankly wanted a bit more page time between the two of them but of course it’s a romance so I got why that didn’t happen.

Kerry was a good kid. He was smart and seemed to have a good sense of humor. I couldn’t tell from the story if he was aware of his dad’s sexuality before he moved in or not but he didn’t have a problem with it at all and that was a point in his favor.

Grant was a interesting character. I was a little peeved that he knew that Shaun was his true mate after they had slept together but didn’t bother to tell Shaun. Instead he avoided him even though he wanted nothing more than to be with him. I was happy that he finally decided to come out and that his pack would either accept the coupling or not and if not they could leave town.

In the end a really good story that I enjoyed reading. I have no idea if the author will give us more from these guys/family in the future but if she does I’d love to read about them.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

This title is available from ARe. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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What I Read Last Week

Posted December 12, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 8 Comments

Well it’s a rainy Monday here in So. Cal and I’m home with a sick child.  She’s just a lump on the couch the poor thing (my youngest). So far I’ve gotten some much needed reviews written – thank heavens!

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to be able to attend a So Cal Blogger/Author gathering.  We met at Renee’s house for a potluck and it was Renee, KB Alan, Nico Rosso, Zoe Archer, Vivienne Westlake and me.  It was a small group but we had a great time talking and of course having our book swap.  It was a good time.

So on to what I read – it will be brief as the queen bee on the couch over there is calling for attention. 🙂

I started off the week with Any Given Christmas by Candis Terry.  This was a cute contemporary about a professional football player coming to terms with the possibility that he’ll never play again after an injury.  You can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was Bicycle Built for Two by Jeff Adams.  This was a cute m/m about two men who meet at a charity bike event.  They hit it off but they live in two different cities.  Besides the location of their romancing the book but just sweet.  There was really no angst and I liked that about the story. 3 out of 5

Next was a very short story called Hollow by AC Ruttan that is a bit of a take off on Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. It was ok but just really short.  2 out of 5

Mate Test by Amber Kell was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week.  It was a novella about a man who thinks he’s being sent to a planet to make a mineral deal but he’s really been signed up for the Consort contest for the King.  He’s blind of a sorts but he’s bonded to a dragon so the dragon helps him see.  The romance was more of an instant attraction and besides feeling the attraction and doing the contests there just wasn’t a lot of “romance” per se.  3 out of 5

Next up was Men Under the Mistletoe by Josh Lanyon, Ava March, KA Mitchell & Harper Fox.  This was a 4 novella anthology about men, their loves and all had a Christmas theme.  You can read my review here.  4 out of 5

After that was Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender by Vivienne Westlake.  This was the story of a woman who fell in love and then when the man went off to war she was never contacted again.  She was convinced the man never loved her by his best friend and she ended up marrying the friend.  Now years later the husband has died and the love has come back to try to win her love.  They find they still love each other as well as finding some deceptions in their pasts from people they trusted.  It was great little story at only 55 pages.  3.75 out of 5

Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke is the second book in the Abandoned at the Altar series and it was a good one.  Two people who think they know what the other’s about but really they have no idea.  It was a good story and was well worth the read. 4 out of 5

Last for the week was Holiday Kisses by Jaci Burton, Shannon Stacey, HelenKay Dimon and Alison Kent,  another great anthology from Carina Press.  The stories are all sweet and again, all based around Christmas.  I posted this one on The Book Binge site so when it posts I’ll let you know. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Lawe’s Justice by Lora Leigh
A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries
Love, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas

Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted May 23, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 11 Comments

I can’t believe how fast this school year has flown by. Of course while it’s happening it doesn’t seem like it’s going by quickly but now that it’s the end – wow. My oldest daughter’s last day of 7th grade is on Thursday – how the hell did that happen? Seriously, wasn’t I just posting pictures of the first day of school and wondering how she’d grown so fast? It’s crazy. My youngest is quite put out by the fact that her sister’s last day is this week because she doesn’t get out of school until the 10th of June. I can just imagine how fun it will be to try and get her up every morning when her sister gets to sleep. Ug. lol

Diet and exercise – I was bad this week and didn’t do any exercise routine at all. I did, however, go on a 90 minute hike on Saturday morning with my youngest and not only was it great exercise but it was fun and a beautiful day to boot. Here are a couple of shots I got with my phone. There was a lovely small waterfall at the top of the trail and I thought I had gotten a picture of it but apparently I had accidentally switched my phone to video mode and I got a jumble of nothing instead. 🙂
I did lose 1.8 pounds this week which brings my total lost to 4 pounds. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Yeah, I just keep telling myself that.

I read a lot this past week. Mostly because I was sick for 2 days and when I’m home, in bed, with what felt like the Bubonic plague, there’s nothing to do but read. I hated being sick but it was nice to have quiet alone time. It’s amazing how much I can read when the kids aren’t around. lol I also read quite a few shorter books so it seemed like I read more. 🙂

First up was Mate Hunt by Amber Kell. This is book one in the Dragonmen series. It was the story of Joriah who is sent to a mate hunt on the dragonworld so that he can A)find a mate and B)get away from his brother who supposedly wants him dead. Joriah ends up finding not one but 2 mates. This story had some good potential but it was so short the world and emotions weren’t explored fully. 3.25 out of 5

Next up was The Clearing by Heather Davis. I read YA novels that often but I got this one at RT and I’m so glad I did. It was the story of Amy who goes to live with her great aunt in a small town after she has some abuse issues with her ex-boyfriend. She ends up meeting Henry in a clearing near her aunts house and they become friends and start to fall in love. But Henry’s not exactly in the 21st century. On Henry’s side of the clearing it’s still 1944. The story tells of their friendship, their sweet romance and the difficult choices that have to be made by both Amy and Henry. It was a really great book though I have to admit the last chapter threw me a bit. I understood why the author wrote it the way she did…except for one aspect of it that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around and thought about for days afterward. A really good read. 4 out of 5

My next read was Dark Enchantment by Anya Bast. This is book 3 in the Dark Magick series and it was pretty darned good. The story was about Charlotte, a human accountant, and Kieran who is from the Seelie court. Kieran bonds with Charlotte to get her to Piefferburg so that the dark fae can delve into the memories of her ancestors. A good story just like the first two in the series. You can read my review on The Book Binge here. 4 out of 5

After that I picked up Lord Langley is Back in Town by Elizabeth Boyle. This is the story of Lord Langley who is back in town. lol Kidding, ok, he IS back in town but he’s trying to clear his name and falling in love at the same time. I’ll post my review on Wednesday.

Feral Craving by Jenika Snow was a short story about a woman who is looking for something in her life but doesn’t have a clue what that might be. She gets invited to a weekend party by her friend and during the weekend meets Killian and has a wonderful night – but on the second night he seems quite different. Maybe because there are two men who just look alike? It was good erotic read but not too in depth with the characters 3 out of 5

A Lot Like Love by Julie James was my next read and it was a good one. The story of an FBI agent who gets roped into playing boyfriend to a rich woman so that he can get the bad guy and she can get her brother out of prison. It was a great story and I really liked it. It had James’s humor as well as some great romantic moments. 4 out of 5

Love Ahead, Expect Delays by Astrid Amara was my next read. This was the story of a man who has to drive his grandmothers Geo Spectrum to her from Seattle to Colorado at Hanukah. He invites his boyfriend who’s not thrilled about the Geo but agrees to go. It was a story of everything that can go wrong, will go wrong which normally isn’t my favorite thing to read but Amara really did a great job of working Austin and Zach’s relationship issues into the story along with great humor. 4 out of 5

Next was Ice Cream on the Side by Wren Boudreau. Architect Dylan meets Michael Gilmore and start a relationship but there are some strange things happening. First a dead body shows up…and it’s a guy that Dylan dated. Then another friend of Dylan’s dies and Michael almost gets killed. Now they just have to figure out who wants everyone out of Dylan’s life. A cute story. 3.75 out of 5

Anchor by Jorrie Spencer was next. I bought this one not realizing that there were a few other stories in front of it in the series but once I started reading I didn’t feel like I needed to read those others to know what was going on. Yes, there were a few times where previous knowledge of the town, etc. would have helped but not too much. This was the story Mala who had been having stories about wolves since she was a child. She always thought that they were just dreams but then she finds out that everything was real. She ends up in Wolf Town trying to help find an evil wolf shifter and falling in love with the alpha, Angus. I liked the dream portion of this story as well as the interactions with the different people that Mala had but the I felt the romance part of the story was definitely on the light side. 3.25 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was The Perfect Stranger by Anne Gracie. Yes, I’m slowly making my way through this series – just 1 more book to go. This was Faith’s story and I really liked it. It was definitely on the darker side compared to the previous books but really good. Faith had eloped with a man and married him but after a month finds out that the wedding was a sham and that he was already married with 5 children! She runs from him but ends up pretty much living on the streets until she runs into an ex-soldier. The ex-soldier, Nick, says he’ll marry Faith in name only but once they’re married she’ll go straight back to England (they’re in France) so that he can complete his journey. Faith agrees but then reneges and ends up traveling with Nick and of course, eventually falling in love. It was a sweet story and quite emotional at times. The resolution to Nick’s issues was a bit out there for my liking but the book was good overall. 4 out of 5

Pack Rogue by Crissy Smith is a novella that is book 4 in the Were Chronicles series. This was the meeting and mating of Kiley – a rogue/were/P.I. – and a visiting Alpha, Austin. The series itself deals with the were’s possibly coming out to the humans but the stories are SO short that we really never get total resolution at the end of the books. The romances are short and sweet but the rest of the story needs more too it imho. 3 out of 5

Last on the list was St. Nacho’s by Z.A. Maxfield. This was a great book about Cooper is trying to outrace his demons by hitting the road on his motorcycle – which he’s been doing for three years. He stops in Santo Ignacio, California and ends up working for his room and board…and falling in love with Shawn, the deaf busboy at Nacho’s. But his past calls and he has to head back to help a friend and ex-lover deal with similar demons. It was great read and I can’t wait to read the next in the series. Too bad I have books 1 & 3 only. lol I’ll get #2 soon and work on that. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Hidden Embers by Tessa Adams
Devil’s Own by Veronica Wolff
Dark Enchantment by Anya Bast

Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 25, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 8 Comments

Happy Monday!
I hope that you all had a great weekend and a wonderful Easter – if you celebrate it. We do and we went to a lovely service followed by an egg hunt. Unfortunately it was lightly raining off and on so they had to have the egg hunt indoors but it was still fun. 🙂
You can hear her thoughts by the look on her face…really, mom? You HAVE to take a picture?

Such a ham!
Today I will start an exercise program. Yes, I’ve said this a couple of times in the past few years and have fallen down on the job each time. So what made me make the decision to start and stick to it this time? A mirror. lol The story: my sister was so nice and bought my girls dresses for Easter and had them sent. On Friday I got the package and when I opened it I realized that she had also sent a dress for me. She’s so sweet! I went to try it on and….it was too small. So I went to the store to exchange it and was trying on several different dresses. Besides the fact that one size was too small and the next looked like a big sack on me, there were strategically placed mirrors in the fitting rooms so that you could easily see the back and the front of yourself at the same time. Confession: I don’t look at the back of myself – ever. There’s just nothin’ back there I care to look at, thank you very much. I couldn’t help but look though and while I was changing I caught a glimpse of myself and let’s just say I didn’t like what I saw. So – today I start back to eating healthy and I’m also going to begin an exercise program that I have called Slim in 6. I’ve tried this program before and it’s not worked. Ok, it’s never worked. Not that the program itself doesn’t work (I wouldn’t know since I’ve never gotten through the entire thing…or even close to it) but it goes something like this. The program contains 3 dvd’s which you’re supposed to do every day, 6 days a week. The program consists of doing the beginning dvd for a week or 2…dvd 2 for about a week or so and then dvd 3 for the remainder of the 6 weeks. In the past I have done 1 day of the 1st dvd and not gotten any further because I’ve not been able to walk or move for about a week afterwards! lol I shit you not. Even though it’s the beginners dvd it’s a lot of work and I’m really out of shape! So…I’m attempting to do the Slim in 6 but it will probably be more like Slim in Six…teen hundred. I’m going to power through and see what I can do because I really need to get fit. I’m not in a hurry but I need to do something. I’ll keep you updated.
So let’s get back to books…what did I read this past week?
I started the week with a Tracy’s TBR Challenge read called Fantasies: New Year’s Eve by Cassandra Gold. This was the story of Eric who is the manager of a resort in Hawaii. He’s trying to recover from the pain of finding out that his lover was married and has decided that he will never again date one of the customers of the resort. That’s until Dexter shows up. Dex wants Eric almost immediately but Eric is determined to stay away. This was a pretty short book and things happened pretty darned quickly – which I expect in such a short format but it still didn’t set well with me. Eric seemed so extremely immature and I almost felt like I was reading about a high schooler rather than someone in his 20’s. Then there was the Big Mis that didn’t work for me and overall it was just ok. 2 out of 5
Another Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Kissing Orion by Amber Kell. This was another short that had a cop, Aaron, who is trying to investigate a drug issue in the area and goes to a club to see its vampire owner, Orion. Orion knows immediately that Aaron is his mate. He’s extremely possessive – to the extreme imho – and very demanding of Aaron’s time. The investigation continues but it comes to a highly unsatisfying conclusion that really sets us up for the next book. IDK, it just wasn’t working for me on the whole. 2 out of 5
Speaking of Amber Kell – Kris has an interesting post up about guilty pleasures.  Check it out.
My next read was for my monthly TBR Challenge and that book was A Texan’s Lucky by Jodi Thomas. This was a great western historical. I really love Thomas’s writing and this was no different – she really knows how to pull the whole cast together in her books. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
Next up was Darkfire Kiss by Deborah Cooke. This was one I read for The Book Binge. Rafferty’s story was a little different from the others as his firestorm (mating) consisted of darkfire and it really was wreaking havoc on the Pyr in general. A really great book that takes us in a whole new direction for the dragon shifters. 4.25 out of 5 I’ll let you know when my review posts.
Next up was Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney. This was the story of several different couples and people who live and/or visit the small town of Clongarvin, Ireland. Hannah and her friend Adam are really the main characters but we get into the lives of everyone and how everybody’s story intersects. You can read my review here. I’m also giving away 2 copies so be sure and leave a comment on that post if you’re interested (you have until Friday the 26th at 7pm pacific). 3.25 out of 5
Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg was the YA coming out story of star quarterback Bobby Framingham. His team is ready for the playoffs and he’s getting scouted by colleges but his life is in turmoil. He finally comes out to his best friend about the fact that he’s gay and instead of keeping his word and keeping quiet the friend tells two other friends. Not only that but someone Bobby trusts to keep his secret ends up writing a newspaper article about Bobby being gay and the cat is out of the bag. Bobby has some hard times but he has the support of his family and most of his friends. It was a good book that I very much enjoyed. 4 out of 5
Last for the week was The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason. This is book 2 in the Regency Draculia story and as you can guess, it was Dimitri’s story. He, though he will deny it for what seems forever, has got a thing for his ward, Maia. They are both stubborn and argumentative but they have a very strong attraction to the other. I’ll be reviewing this one this week so I’ll write more about the book then. 🙂
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!

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What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Posted June 15, 2009 by Tracy in Features | 15 Comments

Another late post but this one wasn’t my fault…no, really, it wasn’t! We were having computer problems at home and things were wonky. Our back-up recovery drive wasn’t working and it was pretty much not letting us do anything else. So. Frustrating.

Anyway, I read a lot this week and read some pretty darned good books:

First up: How could I end last week’s reading with It Happened One Autumn and not immediately pick up The Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas? I couldn’t! I grabbed that puppy up and devoured it in a day. Sebastian and Evie were a wonderful couple and I loved reading about their story. 4.25 out of 5.
Oh, btw, if you’d like to see a wedding between Ana and Sebastian check out DIK for the next few days. Will the wedding actually happen? We’ll have to wait and see! Here’s the first post.

I of course then marched right into Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas. I really loved this whole series. The men, the women…sigh…just good romance. Daisy and Matthew were wonderful together and frankly, while I found Lillian a little annoying about the whole deal I just ignored her and moved on, as her sister did. 4.25 out of 5

Next for me was ChildsPrey2: Winter Song by Barbara Sheridan and Anne Cain. I read book 3 in this series a couple of months ago and this is book 2 in the ChildsPrey series. This is a novella about Jun and Koji, fellow band members and good friends. Koji has been in love with Jun forever but with Jun’s depression about his failed marriage things aren’t going the way Koji would like. He decides to book a little getaway for them to get Jun away from his house and to hopefully get Koji into Jun’s bed. This was a very sweet m/m story and I very much enjoyed it. 4 out of 5

My next read was Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick. This was a book that I read for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when the review posts.

Finding Farro by Amber Kell was next. This was the next alphabetical short installment in her Moon Pack series. Definitely better than some of the other books. It was supposed to be the story about Farro and I assumed him finding his mate. The story was more about the Alpha of the pack, Silver, and his mate Anthony. While there was a story line did involve Farro it was a tad disappointing to not have more of him in it but still pretty darned good. 3.75 out of 5

Another Amber Kell short was Bonding with Graven. A vampire, Graven, is looking for his mate and Steerl is taking his sister to a gathering to see if she is his mate. Turns out that Steerl is the mate. This was a very short story that was just ok. It was a very abbreviated story (16 pages) so it was hard to make a decision about the story or the relationship one way or the other. 3 out of 5

Raw Footage by Katie Allen was story that I started a while back and finally finished this week. It was a story about 2 neighbors coming together to try to save one of their brothers. Cute, hot, sexy. 3.5 out of 5

Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready was my next read. I jotted down some thoughts about the book and will post them in a couple of days.

A Weaver Wedding by Allison Leigh was next. I was sent the book for a Tell Harlequin discussion and have decided that it will be my Year of the Category Challenge Read for the month. I love how that works out. lol So I’ll post my review for it on the 23rd.

Let’s see my next read was Cowboys Dream Too by Morgan Q. O’Reilly. This was another read for The Book Binge I started it a while ago but finally got around to finishing it this weekend. I’ll let you know when the review posts.

And last but by no means least was Chrissy Munder’s Drive Me Home. I had read some reviews of Chrissy’s books over at Well Read and after reading an interview that Jen did with the author I purchased this book. I have to say I really, really liked it. It was soooo not a story that I would normally read but it was great. Eric is the main character and the book is told from his point of veiw most of the time. Eric is completely screwed up from the deaths of his father and brother and an ensuing court case involving his sister-in-law and niece. He’s roamed around and managed to land in Las Vegas where he becomes a limo driver. He finds himself attracted to 2 men, so very different from each other, and the book is more or less about him trying to figure out who he cares more about. There were definite things about the book that I didn’t care for but I loved Chrissy’s writing and descriptions of Las Vegas as well as descriptions of Eric and what he was going through. I would definitely recommend this one. 4.25 out of 5

Happy Reading!

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