Tag: Fantasy

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted December 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 340
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!!

The third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles takes us back to Gertrude Hunt, the magical Inn run by Dina DeMille. At the end of the last book, Sean Evans, Dina’s love interest, returned. This book is much more romance-heavy than the previous two, though the romance is still the secondary focus.

Dina, Sean, the Inn and additional characters ward off an attack from a religious group of fanatics. The Draziri, an alien race bent on exterminating the Hiru, another alien race who has never done them any harm, are attempting to infiltrate the Inn to fulfill their unholy quest. They don’t care about keeping their existence a secret or who gets in their way. Dina just rescued her sister from a dangerous situation and doesn’t want to put her back into the thick of battle, but no one comes to Gertrude Hunt and threatens her family or her guests. Dina will do whatever it takes to save the Hiru and repel the Draziri assault.

I love everything Andrews’ writes, but this may be my favorite series they write. I love the magic of the Inn and the strength Dina shows as she forges a new family and protects her guests and those she cares about. This is my favorite book of the series to date. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Dina, Sean and Gertrude Hunt.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Innkeeper Chronicles

four-half-stars


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Review: Rebel by Audrey Faye

Posted December 1, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Rebel by Audrey FayeReviewer: Holly
Rebel by Audrey Faye
Series: Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #3
Also in this series: Alpha, Heart
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 318
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!

A baby alpha who absolutely doesn’t want to upend her pack—and is going to do it anyhow.

Kennedy is a badass and she knows it.
She’s also scared. That she’s too strong. Too fierce. Too much. That her pack won’t be able to hold her, no matter how much she wants to stay.
We’ll just see what her pack has to say about that.

Rebel by Audrey Faye is the third book in the Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters series. This is a series that should be read in order. The growth of the pack as a whole will lose impact if you don’t see where they started.

Kennedy is a 14 year-old with a very strong wolf. The entire pack knows she’s an alpha, and she’s afraid she’s going to lose her pack because of it. She’s afraid her wolf won’t be able to accept Hayden as alpha. As they heal, her wolf only gets stronger, and that means she may have to leave. But with the help of another very strong wolf, and the support of her pack, she’s able to create a Baby Pack of her own. As she navigates what it means to truly be an alpha, she also sees where her pack needs to go to finish healing…even if that means she’s going to have to leave sooner rather than later.

This is a series about a healing pack. It isn’t very often we see the focus on pack dynamics to this degree, and I’m loving it. There is very little external conflict in these books. It’s all about this pack healing and realizing their potential. I really enjoyed Kennedy and the other teenagers in the previous books, and I’m glad to see more of them here.

I like how the message – that submissives have power – is conveyed, and how the teenagers see the future better than the adults sometimes. I do feel like Hayden isn’t really living up to his role as Alpha. I understand that he needs to be holding the cape of others so they can shine, but he very much feels like an afterthought. I would love to see him front and center, taking a more active role in the future of the pack. That’s not to say I want him to take over, but it feels like he’s being sidelined and it doesn’t really work in context.

That aside, I love how the pack is coming together and figuring out their strengths. This journey is all about empowerment and healing and I’m here for it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters

four-stars


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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, Rebel
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


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Review: Alpha by Audrey Faye

Posted November 22, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Alpha by Audrey FayeReviewer: Holly
Alpha by Audrey Faye
Series: Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #1
Also in this series: Heart, Rebel
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


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

Posted November 1, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

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


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