Tag: Fated Desires Publishing LLC

Guest Review: Enforcer’s Redemption by Carrie Ann Ryan

Posted December 17, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Judith’s review of Enforcer’s Redemption (Redwood Pack #4) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Adam Jamenson has suffered through the worst loss known to man. The only reason he lives day-to-day is to ensure the safety of his Pack. As the Enforcer of the Redwood Pack, it is his job to protect all in his path, though he was unable to protect the ones he held dear. The war with the Centrals is heating up and Adam must try and grit through it in order to survive. Though the broken man inside of him may not want to…

Bay Milton is a werewolf with a past. And a secret. She’s met the Redwood’s Enforcer only once, but it left a lasting effect. Now she needs to find him or everything he had thought he lost, may be lost again.

Together, they must struggle and find a way to fight their pasts and present in order to protect their future. But the Centrals have a plan that might make their path one of loss and destruction.

I came upon this series quite by accident–trolling All-Romance eBooks one day–and I have to say I was hooked.  I have always liked wolf-shifter paranormal romance and this book was fascinating right from the start.  The Jamenson family is reportedly the most power family in No. America, with dad the alpha of the Redwood Pack, largest and most powerful pack, and target of the the greedy, power-hungry and evil Central pack whose alpha dreams of the day when he will be the most powerful alpha on the continent.  He has even aligned himself with a demon whose object is to use anything and anybody to create a portal through which he and his minions would ultimately have unfettered access to the human world.  The first three books in this series were about Adam’s older brothers and their adventures as they found their mates, all of whom were human to begin with.  The last thing Adam Jamenson wants is another mate.  The Centrals were responsible for abducting and murdering his pregnant mate years earlier and his grief has continued on unabated.  From time to time he has left the confines of pack land in order to wander in the hope that he can find some kind of balance in his life, some kind of closure, some kind of hope that the pain and sense of loss will someday be less intense.  It is during one of those sojourns Adam meets Bay Milton, engages in a “one night stand” that he subsequently puts behind him and forgets.  Now he is faced with Bay once again, and it appears that he and Bay have created more than just an erotic memory.

This novel is not one that is easy to read in the sense that it is about a terribly injured individual coming face to face with the absolute necessity of moving on, if not for Bay than for his child.  The emotions run hot and cold between these two, and while the pack and Adam’s family are open to her presence, Adam just can’t seem to get his head around the fact that he has no alternative but to claim Bay and bring her and their child into his life.  I think one of the reasons I really resonated with this novel is because I work with families who are dealing with grief quite often and I recognized the issues that Adam faced, the pain he tried to avoid, the memories he sought to drown with work or wanderlust, the unwillingness to leave his past relationship in the past.  Bay wasn’t the only factor that was challenging him:  he had his job as enforcer to deal with, the increasing danger from the Centrals, the memories that he didn’t protect his first wife and child, and his deep sense of anger at himself for failing.  It is the kind of residual fall-out that is so often present when a loved one dies violently.  Adam’s struggle is one that intrudes on our own circle of friends and loved ones way too often!

I read and review a lot of books and it gets more and more evident that there are writers out there and then there are writers–those who really know how to craft a story beautifully, know how to put characters together and design them as realistic people with the strengths and weaknesses we all recognize as being a part of us all, and who know how to make the individual strands of a story come together to make a fulfilling story that entertains as well as often is thought-provoking on many levels.  Carrie Ann Ryan is one of those who has found the secret to doing a novel well, who manages to get it all right and make it all hang together.  This is a novel that those of us who like this series have been waiting for–we met Adam early on and knew of his pain and anguish and many of us wondered how the author was going to resolve the multiple dilemmas in his situation.  Well, Ms Ryan pulls it off and it is a really terrific paranormal romance in every sense of the word.  There’s sexual tension between Adam and Bay, tension between Adam and his family, tension between the Redwood Pack and the Centrals, tension between Bay and some of the Redwood Pack members.  So it is a book that will keep the reader on the edge of  the chair pretty much throughout the novel.

Shifter romances are a dime a dozen, but good ones aren’t as plentiful as one would think.  This is one of the goods one.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Fated Desires Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Review: Charmed Spirits by Carrie Ann Ryan

Posted November 23, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Holly‘s review of Charmed Spirits (Holiday, Montana, Book 1) by Carrie Ann Ryan.

Jordan Cross has returned to Holiday, Montana after eleven long years to clear out her late aunt’s house, put it on the market, and figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Soon, she finds herself facing the town that turned its back on her because she was different. Because being labeled a witch in a small town didn’t earn her many friends…especially when it wasn’t a lie.

Matt Cooper has lived in Holiday his whole life. He’s perfectly content being a bachelor alongside his four single brothers in a very small town. After all, the only woman he’d ever loved ran out on him without a goodbye. But now Jordan’s back and just as bewitching as ever. Can they rekindle their romance with a town set against them?

Warning: Contains an intelligent, sexy witch with an attitude and drop-dead gorgeous man who likes to work with his hands, holds a secret that might scare someone, and really, really, likes table tops for certain activities. Enough said.

Jordan Cross left Holiday, Montana right out of high school and had no intention of coming back. She was always treated with disrespect from the town – children and adults alike – because she’s a witch and has no desire to relive that nightmare. When her grandmother – her only remaining relative – passes away, she has to return to settle her affairs and sell the family home. Her plan is to clean up the house and get it listed as quickly as possible so she can get out of of dodge. Unfortunately the house is in worse shape than she expected and it isn’t going to be the quick job she thought it would. Add to it that sexy Matt Cooper, her high school flame and the love of her life, who wants to help her restore the house and well..things are more complicated than they seem.

Matt has been in love with Jordan his whole life. He was really hurt when she disappeared from town without a word, but he can’t deny he’s glad to see her again. He really wants to take up where they left off, but Jordan is determined to keep him at arms length. Considering he has a secret of his own – once a month he turns into a ghost during the full moon – he really shouldn’t push it..too bad he can’t help himself. She is everything he ever wanted. This time he’s determined to have her.

With the town mayor determined to run her out of town and the rest of the residence not doing much to stop him from it, Jordan knows she can’t stay. Except Matt and his family are awfully appealing. If only there was a way…

Let me start out by saying I loved the premise of this book. I’m not a big fan of witches, but the idea here was cute. I liked that she was out in the open about her craft – even if she did suppress it most of the time – and I thought the other paranormal elements were good. I expected a lighthearted romance with a bit of paranormal.

Sadly, it wasn’t executed very well. All the characters were over-the-top, and not in a good way. Jordan was sarcastic and biting most of the time. I think she was meant to come off as strong and independent, but that was spoiled by her attitude and the way she hid from her gift and from Matt. Her constant need to run also worked against her. I would have preferred she be up front with Matt from the beginning and confront her enemies.

I was also very frustrated by Matt’s refusal to accept the way the town treated Jordan as something she couldn’t live with. Though I wanted her to confront her enemies and stand her ground, I completely understood why she didn’t want to live there. Because his brothers were there and he hadn’t ever lived anywhere else, it was like he didn’t consider leaving. Aside from that I enjoyed him. he was a stand-up kind of guy. I did think it was a little ridiculous that no one had realized he turned into a ghost once a month. Especially since it had been happening for eleven years…

I enjoyed the scenes that focused on just the two of them. Unfortunately those were few and far between. They both acted wishy-washy and silly most of the time.

The way the town kowtowed to the mayor is what really ruined the story for me. Uh..how is it legal that he can demand someone be arrested without cause? Or tear down a house someone lives in and is in the process of renovating? Stuff like that really annoys me. I have a hard time setting aside disbelief when it comes to technical things like the law and Ryan really went over that line with this book. The actions of the residents of the town were juvenile and ridiculous. The end almost made my head explode.

Spoiler Alert:

The town needs a new mayor after the current one – and his sister – are brought up on chargers. Ryan set it up so Matt would be the one to take over, but in the end he announces the town decided Jordan should do it. Because they trust her. Only there was no confrontation or scene showing any kind of redemption on the part of the town, so that made no sense. Throughout the book the town treated her with suspicion at the best of times and downright hostility at the worst. How is it that they “trust” her then?

Having said that..I did think the premise was a good one and I wouldn’t mind reading another of the books to see if she improves, hence the 2 stars.

2 out of 5

This book is available from Fated Desires Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided an honest review.

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Guest Review: A Taste for a Mate by Carrie Ann Ryan

Posted October 22, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of A Taste for a Mate (Redwood Pack #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Jasper Jamenson’s only responsibility to being the Beta of the Redwood Pack, second son of the Alpha, is to protect the Pack from themselves and the human world. After a century of selfless service, his brother’s new found mating forced him into taking a good look into his life. He isn’t sure he wants a mate, but fate may have other ideas.

Willow Delton is a skinny, bakery owner – the type most woman love to hate. Being without family, she finds herself alone to the Greek god with green eyes who saunters into her bakery every morning. Her desire to follow him, to be with him, overrides every rational sense she possessed.

Jasper and Willow are drawn together, despite every nuisance that works against them. But evil beyond even Jasper’s supernatural compensation will make war against him, by going after the only thing in his eternal life he desires – Willow. Is Willow’s heart enough to overcome Jasper’s soul to save her life? A fight he cannot win, but to save her life – he must.

I like all romance fiction but I particularly like wolf shifter stories.  I recently came across this series on All Romance eBooks and began the series a few months ago.  Now I have progressed to Book Two in the series and continue to be really entertained by the characters, the pack problems with a neighboring pack who are trying to obliterate the Redwood Pack, and the family interaction of the Jamenson family with their powerful parents, six sons, and one daughter.  The oldest sons are nearly a century old while their baby sister is only 23.  So there are lots of dynamics in the story that have to do with life experience and the wisdom and learning that is gained.  Jasper, the second son whose story is featured in this novel, is almost 100 years old and is the Beta.  Now that his oldest brother, the Heir, has found his mate and is expecting a child, Jasper knows that the time has come for him to get serious about finding his mate.  No matter how an author sets up the scenario, no matter who the author builds the life and dynamic of a shifter population, all of them seem to have this instant awareness of someone–a scent that is instantly identified as being one’s mate.  Both the human and the inner wolf seem to agree.

But it is somewhat a shock to Jasper when he becomes aware that the shy and slender bakery owner, the human bakery owner, is his mate.  He is reluctant–actually he really doesn’t know how to approach Willow with his reality, with his new knowledge of their coming relationship or with who and what he is.  How will she accept him?  How will she feel about living in his pack?  So begins their story and almost from the first their involvement brings the evil of the Central Pack into their personal lives at a level and intensity that is completely unexpected.  In fact, their intrusion into Jasper and Willow’s courtship forces Jasper to “claim” Willow with the mating bite even before he has fully explained what that will mean for their relationship and her future.

This is, without a doubt, a love story and it is filled with their warmth and attraction to one another.  But the evil of the Central Pack is never far away and their intent to destroy the Redwood Pack, especially the Alpha and his offspring, keep intruding and putting every member of the Jamensons at risk for their lives.  The raids on the Redwood Pack den also force Jasper to move beyond his carefully crafted construct of his life and move out of his comfort zone when  Willow’s life is once again put in danger and the future of the entire den is in question.

So while this is a love story at its most basic, there is also suspense, danger, demonic evil and power that threatens to exceed even the most powerful Alpha in the Americas.  It is not a really comfortable novel–I don’t think the author intended it to be a fireside comfort book.  Rather, it is a paranormal tale that is guaranteed to interest and engage the imagination, to keep the reader on the edge of the chair, and to make sure that the reader doesn’t want to miss a single word.    There is a balance here between the loving and erotic, the family and warmth of community over against the hatred and evil of the Centrals.  It is most evident that this is about the dark side as it wars with the light, the evil at its most horrid fighting to take over goodness.  It is beautifully written and with a well constructed plot and characters that are each one unique and interesting.  All in all, it is a very entertaining read and one that will please and satisfy those who like a paranormal novel that has some teeth to it.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:

Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place

This book is available from Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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