Time to Get Paranormal: Angel’s Honor by Erin M Leaf

 

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/series/117290-angel-shifters

Blurb
Raphael had no idea what he was getting into when he went to Castle Archangel to study the People’s oral history. He didn’t expect his wings to suddenly change from brown to the purest white—the mark of an Omega, the destined mate of the Alpha. There has never been a male Omega before, not in all the millennia angels have flown the skies of Earth. However, when Raphael meets ebony-winged Gabriel, the true leader of the People, he knows he wants this man more than anything. Change is not always bad.

When Gabriel’s wings suddenly turn to startling ebony, he must deal with the knowledge that he is an Alpha, a leader of the angels. When he discovers that his destined mate is a man, he must accept that being Alpha of the People means accepting more than he’d expected. When their current leader challenges him, accusing Gabriel of committing one of the People’s most dishonorable crimes, Gabriel must fight: for his honor, for his mate, and for the survival of the angels.

Be Warned: m/m sex

Review

As you can see, I’ve been on an Erin kick! I’m not typically a fan of angel stories but I liked this one quite a bit.

I LOVED the change in form our MCs undergo and the GFY aspect of this was really well done. The flying and having sex – super hot!

The story was a bit too short for me to feel invested in, but for a short story it did well.

I skimmed the second book – it’s M/F and it didn’t work for me at all.

I’m interested in book 3 so I might pick that up.

I’ll definitely be skipping book 4 as it is m/m/f which I generally don’t like much at all and especially given how much I disliked book 2 I’ll be giving that a hard NO.

Recommended for angel fans.

3.5 of 5 stars

 


Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: The Bureau by Kim Fielding narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Bureau-Audiobook/B07FB87WNZ?qid=1533351357&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ZB9XMTGMAM0FQQVEZ38X&

Blurb:

This collection contains the first three Bureau novellas:

Corruption

Once a proud demon of the night sky who carried nightmares to humans, Tenrael has spent decades in captivity as the star attraction of a traveling carnival. He exists in miserable servitude to men who plunk down ten dollars to fulfill their dark desires.
Charles Grimes is half human, half…something else. For 15 years he’s worked for the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs, ridding the country of dangerous monsters. When his boss sends him to Kansas to chase a rumor about a captive demon, Charles figures it’s just another assignment. Until he meets Tenrael.

Clay White

Someone – or something – is murdering young men in San Francisco. Clay White has been fired from the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs, but he’s determined to track down the killer. When he comes across a vampire named Marek, Clay assumes he’s caught the perp. But the encounter with Marek turns out to be more complicated than Clay expected, and it forces him to deal with his own troubled past and murky psyche.
As Clay discovers, sometimes the truth doesn’t come easy – and the monsters are not who we expect.

Creature

Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who – or what – he is. Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream – to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs – all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him.
Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man – and what a monster truly wants.

Review

Book reviewed here previously

This is a collection of stories that introduce the Bureau of Tran Species Affairs.
The stories are a little dark, somewhat film noir-ish, but interesting. I read and enjoyed Creature, (my favourite of the 3), as a standalone, so when I saw that Joel Leslie was narrating the trio of stories, I was more than happy to experience the collection. The stories connect, but are definitely self-contained standalones.

What can I say about ‘a Joel Leslie performance’ that hasn’t been said before? He brings life, character and a wealth of acting experience to the stories he narrates; so much so, that one becomes personally invested in the characters. In this case, he made me want to take Tenrael (Corruption) home to care for. And John (Creature), you could almost ‘see’ how he bloomed under Harry’s care – I could feel the affection and emotion he felt for Harry, life (such as it was) in general.
Joel Leslie, simply put, is a pleasure to listen to.

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane Narrated by Gomez Pugh

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/familiar-angel-by-amy-lane-8950-b

Blurb

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.
In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I’m having a tough time reviewing this.

On the one hand, I enjoyed it – as I do nearly every Amy book I’ve ever read, and like those of hers I’ve read a million times.

Amy is very good at giving us clear, crisp writing with just the right amount of show versus tell. The back story for our boys is delivered in a bits and pieces with only small amounts of flash backs to fill in the gaps.

We’re shown the budding relationships between all 3 boys with telling glimpses rather than overt smacks to the face. Sometimes, however, the subtlety got a bit too murky.

It’s obvious that Suriel and Harry are falling/have fallen for one another, but I really missed that moment when it happened … and the reasons why they have to be apart are a little vague and I wasn’t always sure why the things that happened … did.

I loved the cat-ness in this story! The back and forth and the human manifestations of the feline persona were priceless!

The chemistry between Harry and Suriel isn’t as “warm” as some of her other couples, and – in fact – if we get to see the other brother’s stories – I’m sensing a lot more heat between them and their partners already than I did between Suriel and Harry. Instead, theirs felt more like a blanket than a fire – if you know what I mean. They wanted one another, and the passion was talked about – but I don’t know that I felt it much.

I absolutely loved the world building and the “moral of the story” with big Cass and all the “powers” and magic.

I’m really looking forward to the next books in the series!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

I Loved Gomez’ interpretation of this!  He was easy to listen to and made me love the story even more than I had when reading it.  I definitely think our mood influence our opinions of things and I must have been feeling better this time around because I loved this – full stop!  Highly recommended with no reservations!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Passion Punched King (Balance #2) by Lisa Oliver

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37058692-passion-punched-king?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

King Zagan, Commander of the legions of the damned and one of the higher echelon in the Underworld, never fancied a mate. Demons weren’t that way inclined. But when Botis met the Archangel Raziel and their relationship actually worked, Zagan was intrigued. Of course, it wasn’t as though he planned on claiming anyone, but tangling in the sheets with a forbidden angel was a vice he could and would enjoy. Or so he thought.

Anael has always considered himself the annoying younger brother of angels like Raziel. As the angel of love, passion and sexuality, he could see love connections that others couldn’t. When he saw his connection with Zagan he was so excited. Not only was he part of the big “Mating Scheme” devised by Head Office, but he snagged King Zagan, the secret crush he’s had for centuries. Now if only things could go right for them both.

A marriage proposal from Lady Zoltus is just the first sign of trouble for the new couple. When Lucifer sticks his nose in and detains Zagan in the Underworld, leaving Anael to roam earth alone, more secrets are uncovered. After a confrontation Anael starts to question if anything he does is right. Will these two ever find their HEA?

This book is a continuation of the Balance series although it focuses on a new couple. It advisable to have read book one, The Viper’s Heart (Raziel’s and Botis’s story) to gain a sense of context for this one. MM intimate experiences divulged in the pages. Suitable for adult readers only.

Review

If you are a fan of the author you’ll definitely want to pick this up. I love Lisa Oliver’s sense of humor and her ability to create totally wacky characters and situations. There are some OTT moments in this book (and the series) and I don’t love it as much as her Cloverleah series, but I still devour these books just as quickly as her others.

 

Zagan is a trip and there are plenty of funny and sweet moments in this to balance the craziness.

 

Highly recommended to fans of the author/series and a cautious recommendation if you are new to her – there might be others that are better to start with – though this is really good.

 

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Damned If You Do by Marie Sexton Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Damned-If-You-Do-Audiobook/B072M8CXVC?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8AAJH9PKA4MTZ50HSS77&

Blurb

The path to temptation is paved with a hellish amount of paperwork.

Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn’t catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.

Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He’s cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon’s quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.

The problem? There’s the revival foreman who watches Abaddon’s every move. Then there’s the mystery of Seth’s many unusual talents. Lastly, there’s Abaddon himself. He’s beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.

But Hell’s agenda isn’t negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn’t play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.

Warning: Contains a Bible-quoting twink and an irreverent devil who’ll do anything to avoid going “back to the office”. Also, snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.

Review
(Book Reviewed Here Previously)

Abaddon is one of the many devils whose task it is to persuade humans to give up their souls to the devil through any means of temptation. He’s not very good at it. In fact, he’s behind on his quota and about to be demoted.
He has only 2 weeks to “catch up” so he decides to go for quality versus quantity. Certain souls are “worth more” in that they are harder to tempt to the dark side.

When Abaddon goes to the human realm in search of his soul he finds one so bright it’s nearly blinding, Seth. In addition to being blind, Seth also plays every musical instrument like a pro, travels with his brother in a tent revival and happens to perform healings as well.

There’s no soul more pure than Seth.

The problem is, Abaddon begins to like Seth and not only doesn’t he want Seth to be just another soul haunting Hell, he wants to BE with Seth… but that’s impossible…

**

Wow! This was so surprising! It was hysterical – first off. Sure, I’ve seen bits of humor in Marie’s writing in the past –but this was a whole new level of humor. It’s funny left and right and very, very clever.

Marie’s version of Hell is pretty hysterical:
“…rows of cubicles. They stretched as far as the eye could see. Anybody who lost their soul in a wager or an ill-taken deal with a devil wound up here. There were no computers, but plenty of old-fashioned manual typewriters- always with stuck keys and worn-out ribbons – and a never-ending streams of forms to be filled out in triplicated and filed away.”

Each soul has a relative value and some as some are more easily attained:
“A politician’s soul isn’t worth the paperwork that comes with it. Besides, we already own them all.”
“All of them?”
“Ninety percent of lobbyists, plus every congressman, senator, and president since the fifties.” Baphomet shrugged. “Except Carter.”

As far as the other side goes, Seth is chock full of Biblical quotes. If I had a complaint at all it’d be the quotes. I had to skim them after awhile there are quite a few. They’re used to make a point and never to really preach so much as to show the opposite side of Abaddon’s arguments, but the language and all grew a bit tedious.

That being said, I still really loved this – so much! But… I’ll warn you right now, I cried reading this. OMG. There are parts of this that just sucker punch you into the ugly cry. It’s a very, very heartwarming story as well.

There is almost no “heat” – it’s almost a fade to black but there are still moments of beautiful passion.

I ADORED the ending – it was a bit predictable (at least the what but not the how).

All in all this is a funny, sweet, witty, surprisingly moving story about finding true love and being true to yourself at the same time.

Highly recommended!

Audio

John Solo can be hit or miss for me. While I like his voice, he doesn’t always hit the right notes for me as far as inflection, accents or pacing. However, he absolutely nailed this!

He does a tremendous job of giving both Abbadon and Seth voices that suit their characters and he handles the humor and the high emotions well.

While his “James Earl Jones” imitation could use some work, he did a fair approximation. 😉

If you’re a fan of “devil vs angel” stories and enjoy some humor – this is the story for you. Listening absolutely enhanced my enjoyment and I can highly recommend this!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Finder’s Keeper (A Heart’s Gate Story #1) by Shira Anthony Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/finders-keeper-by-shira-anthony-8812-b

Blurb

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

This was really, really, really good.

I’m a sucker for a lot of magic and make believe in my science fiction and this has it in spades! First, we have the magic holder who doesn’t know how special he is, then we find out his mentor is another “undervalued” magic holder and the situation seems to unmanageable but with only a bit of imagination – it’s all managed!

The world building is fantastic and I hope we get to see more from this world as there was so much time spent creating it. We also get to meet a lot of interesting people and I hope to re-visit them in the future as well.

The chemistry is very sweet between Kit and Zane and while I wasn’t always super keen on all the tails, for the most part, it really works!

Highly enjoyable fated mate romance with a lot of great world-building and creativity!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Kenneth Obi is a new to me narrator and he does a pretty good job. That’s what I kept thinking as I was listening to this audiobook. He does a nice enough job, but there was SO MUCH he could have done that I was a bit disappointed with the relative lack of drama. The voices he chose for Kit and Zane were opposite of how I’d pictured them and that kept me off balance for a bit as well.

He nicely differentiates all the many characters and he does give them unique voices, but he didn’t do as much as he could have with all the wildly creative members of this cast.

It was a nice way to enjoy the story however and recommended overall.

4 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small

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Holidays: Hell takes a Holiday by Kiernan Kelly

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hell-takes-a-holiday-by-kiernan-kelly-7852-

Blurb

Despite a major setback, Lucifer has no time to feel sorry for himself. Running Hell is a monumental task, even though he’s taken steps to modernize it with technology like closed-circuit cameras and security systems.

As he struggles with his infernal issues, an unannounced visitor threatens to break his black heart. Lucifer hasn’t seen Uriel since his Fall, but he remembers how much he loved Uriel and how betrayed he felt when Uriel didn’t stand with him during the War.

Uriel has been sent to inspect the changes Lucifer has made and report back to Heaven. Lucifer has no choice but to give Uriel a guided tour of the Nine Circles, and all the feelings come rushing back.

Uriel hasn’t forgotten Lucifer either, and they pick up where they left off—with enough sizzle to rival the hottest of hell’s fires. But their reunion will be short-lived, unless Uriel relinquishes his halo—which Lucifer is unwilling to let him do.

Review
Quite a nice little story for this time of year. I thought it was a nice take on sin and sinners. Although I never thought I’d feel sorry for Lucifer having too many souls to deal with! Uriel is sent to hell on a fact finding mission but what he finds is so much more. Lucifer takes Uriel on a tour and I loved the way the author describes the circles of hell. Trouble is they can’t deny their love for each other. It’ll be a new kind of torture when they have to part. What has the ‘Boss’ got in store for them after all he knows everything, so why send Uriel down to hell? I liked the humour of this story. It is a nice short read with a bit of Christmas spirit thrown in.

3.5 stars out of 5

3.5-stars-small

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

Spooky Review: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/familiar-angel-by-amy-lane-8950-b

Blurb

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.
In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

Review

I’m having a tough time reviewing this.

On the one hand, I enjoyed it – as I do nearly every Amy book I’ve ever read, and like those of hers I’ve read a million times.

Amy is very good at giving us clear, crisp writing with just the right amount of show versus tell. The back story for our boys is delivered in a bits and pieces with only small amounts of flash backs to fill in the gaps.

We’re shown the budding relationships between all 3 boys with telling glimpses rather than overt smacks to the face. Sometimes, however, the subtlety got a bit too murky.

It’s obvious that Suriel and Harry are falling/have fallen for one another, but I really missed that moment when it happened … and the reasons why they have to be apart are a little vague and I wasn’t always sure why the things that happened … did.

I loved the cat-ness in this story! The back and forth and the human manifestations of the feline persona were priceless!

The chemistry between Harry and Suriel isn’t as “warm” as some of her other couples, and – in fact – if we get to see the other brother’s stories – I’m sensing a lot more heat between them and their partners already than I did between Suriel and Harry. Instead, theirs felt more like a blanket than a fire – if you know what I mean. They wanted one another, and the passion was talked about – but I don’t know that I felt it much.

I absolutely loved the world building and the “moral of the story” with big Cass and all the “powers” and magic.

I’m really looking forward to the next books in the series!

4 of 5 stars

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(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Blood Divine Audiobook by Greg Howard Narrated by Gary Furlong

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Blood-Divine-Audiobook/B074CM2Y5V/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1505921935&sr=1-1

Blurb

Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield, the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him, and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.

Review

This was a really excellent urban fantasy story. Our hero Cooper Causey is
a really likable curmudgeon, hiding away from the world in a series of
meaningless sexual encounters, before he’s dragged into a supernatural war
and his own past.
Cooper is a refreshing protagonist, in that he feels very original and
well rounded, largely free of well worn tropes. It’s nice that he and his
love interest are both in their thirties, as the genre seems overpopulated
with innocent young things.
When his beloved grandmother goes missing he discovers his bloodline can
be traced back to angels and the special properties of his blood has made
his family a target for fallen angels that are basically vampires. The one
weakness of the story was a rather large and lengthy exposition on the
entangled histories of his family and the supernatural beings that left my
head spinning a bit, but I was still able to follow along.
At his side is his first and only love, his dead older brother’s best
friend, Randy. Cooper made a clumsy pass at Randy years ago after his
brother’s funeral and they haven’t spoken since then. Randy is now a cop
and recently divorced, and of course Cooper’s love isn’t nearly as
unrequited as he thought.
There’s minimal sex in the book but it’s more than made up for by the
powerful chemistry between the two men, and the strong plot and
characterization.
The last section of the book takes some unexpected twists and turns that
were pretty exciting and things end very satisfactorily but left me really
hoping for a sequel to see what happens next.

Gary Furlong does a warm, well rounded reading, bringing the different
characters to life and enhanced the experience.

5 of 5 stars!

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

The Angel on the Northern Line by Catherine Curzon

Pride Publishing Presents
https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-angel-on-the-northern-line

Blurb

 
When your average, run-of-the-mill retired superhero Latin teacher meets an angel on the underground, it’s not only runaway trains that spark.

Christian Winter used to save the world. In World War II, when good and bad was a simple matter of whose side you were on, life had seemed so much simpler. Back then it was easy for a superman to see the troops safely home. Back then it was easy to be Mithras.

Long since retired to teach Latin in a London school, the man who used to be Mithras wants nothing more than a cup of tea and a quiet life. All that changes thanks to a runaway train and a red-headed Scottish angel on the Northern Line whose eyes are bluer than a summer sky, and who just happens to have a thing for chaps in tweed.

Swept along by Freddy Rose’s passion and enthusiasm, Christian’s efforts to resist the Scottish angel’s attractions aren’t exactly heartfelt, but can the passionate angel and an encounter with a very important lady tempt Mithras back to a life of adventure?

Review

I found this a very enjoyable short story. Christian Winter is weary and heart sore. His days are filled teaching Latin and trying to forget his past. I felt for Christian. He still has his super powers but doesn’t want to use them since the war. Meeting Freddy on the Northern line was a little escape. Until he saves the train and has to leave quickly before he is identified. So beautifully written. I understood his reluctance after the war to still be the hero he once was. Freddy is quite a character more like a cheeky imp than an angel! They are gorgeous together so passionate. I started out wondering which direction the story would take and was pleasantly surprised with super heroes were part of the norm. The ending took me by surprise but left me smiling. Perfect for a quick read.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review