Categories
2.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Audiobook Book Demons Enemies to Lovers Fairies Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Little to no angst m/f Magic Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat second chance at love Standalone Virgin

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark Book 18 ) Audiobook by Kresley Cole Narrated by Robert Petkoff

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Wicked-Abyss-Audiobook/B06XP2HB3J?qid=1496623431&sr=1-1

Blurb

This fairy tale doesn’t end with a kiss….
A spellbinding Immortals After Dark tale from number-one New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole!
The terrifying king of hell…
As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster – just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.
Meets his match.
Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for eons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.
Can two adversaries share one happily ever after?
As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

Review

Normally, I don’t include the few m/f books I read on this blog, simply because it’s not my main reading these days.  However, I was so annoyed I wanted to review this and I figured – if you’re a fan of the series, you might want to know…

First I want to complain about the price. I bought the audiobook because the e book ws $14! The paperback was $8! That’s ridiculous. I don’t blame the author but the greedy publisher in this case.

Second, I want to say how much I love this series and this author and it pains me to tell you how much I disliked this book.

The story arc is absolutely stalled at this point and while we can anticipate that Nix’s story is likely the culmination, these last few have not moved things forward.

In this story , filled with characters I’d not really heard of, save the sorceri at the beginning, and Nix, of course, we have a loose approximatin of “Beauty and the Beast” and for that, I was pleased. Beyond that, we literally get pages and pages and PAGES of the two of them snarking at one another then having sex.

I was totally bored.

While I loved the narration and thought it was a decent way to enjoy this, I found myself wishing for the book so I could skim.

The narrator is excellent and the 2.5 stars I give this really go to him, because the story itself was not that enjoyable.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Book Contemporary DA Enemies to Lovers Fairies Fantasy Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mild/low level heat Morgan Mystery NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Rating Review Copies Standalone vampire Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Surrender the Dark (The Dark #1) by Tibby Armstrong

release day review

Penguin Presents
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/547506/surrender-the-dark-by-tibby-armstrong/9780399593352/

Blurb

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

Review

I’m going to start off by saying that I think the writing and the characters in this story are excellent and creative. I’m going to follow this by saying that though I enjoyed the world-building and the “magic” – it was a bit too dark for me and the romance wasn’t “sappy” enough to satisfy my tastes to make me want to continue with this as a series.

The fantasy/paranormal lover in me really enjoyed the “powers” and magic in this story – I LOVED the part where Benjamin can “see” again, I thought that was really creative. The author has done a great job of creating these characters and making them fully developed.

What I didn’t “feel” was the romance – it’s there – but I didn’t feel that connection as much as I wanted and as a result this is a book that won’t go on my favorites list. Truly, in this case, I think it’s a case of personal preference. I wanted a more focused relationship building and I think the “mystery” or the “action” really takes center stage here, more than the romance.

Who I think will enjoy this: fans of dark, “non-sparkly” vampires, mystery lovers, fantasy/paranormal lovers, tragic hero lovers.

Who should pass: fans of the “sappy” romance, people who want their romance to be the main focus of the book.

Because it is well done, I’m going to give this 3.5 of 5 stars, but I probably won’t be back for book two.

(The “feel” from the cover really suits this story!)

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Categories
4.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Demons Established Couple Fairies Gay Heat Index Little to no angst m/m m/m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter vampire

Scenes from Cloverleah (Cloverleah Pack #9.5) by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Scenes-Cloverleah-short-stories-featuring-ebook/dp/B01M6ADJBY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1489596848&sr=1-1&keywords=scenes+from+cloverleah

Blurb

Cloverleah Pack Book 9.5
This is NOT a standalone.

There have been a lot of things going on in the Cloverleah pack, and if you have been following the series, you will know there were a couple of things that happened that didn’t quite make it in the story line. These four short stories are my way of filling in those gaps.

If you want to know the back story for these characters, the titles are below:
Griff and Diablo – The Runaway Cat
Josh and Vadim – Watching Out for Fangs
Kane and Shawn – The Reluctant Wolf
Kurt, Luke and Tobias – Tangling with Bears

 

Blurbs/Reviews:

 

RELUCTANT KING
Griff and Diablo: Our two men have finally got the chance of a three-day break before they are due to get married in New York. Diablo wants Griff to meet his mom, but they’d only been there long enough for lunch, and Diablo starts to think he’s made a huge mistake.

Review

Really cute, explains a little – nice and sappy 😉

JOSH AND VADIM’S EUROPEAN GETAWAY
Josh and Vadim’s wedding had Josh crying in the aisle, but Vadim’s the planning expert and he has a wonderful holiday planned for his mate. Unfortunately, it seems Vadim can’t go anywhere without his past coming to haunt him, and this time Josh is under threat.

Review

A little excitement, a little smexy times, a little romance – fun!

KANE AND SHAWN: THE IMPORTANCE OF HOPE
Shawn knows Kane has a bee in his bonnet about something; he just doesn’t know what it is. It’s time for some serious talking, and maybe, just maybe these two men will find a sliver of hope among the darkness that’s been surrounding Cloverleah.

Review

Poor Kane. But… there’s something exciting coming up!

BABY OLLIE
Kurt, Luke and Tobias: Tobias always said that once the pack was safe he was more than happy to entertain the idea of having children. But the Fates had another plan in mind and when a baby cub rescued from Roland’s lab has trouble settling in with the San Antonio pack, Luke makes a plea that can’t be ignored.

Review

Absolutely my favorite of the bunch! I love, love, love Luke so much! This was adorable. I really hope we see more of these guys in the future!

 

Overall, a must for fans, not a standalone – fun!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Contemporary DA Demons Fairies Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Hurt/Abuse m/m Merpeople Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Purchased Shifter vampire

Angel in Black Leather Pants (Cloverleah Pack #9) by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Black-Leather-Pants-Cloverleah-ebook/dp/B01M0R5C9G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487539675&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+oliver+cloverleah+9

Blurb

Adair was tired of waiting. He knew he had a mate, although they’d never met, and his waiting wasn’t made any easier watching Tobias snuggling close with his two mates. He’d thought a lot of the smaller wolf at one time. All he had was the company of his two brothers, and endless patrols trying to keep the Cloverleah pack lands safe. A trip to Claude’s with his brothers one night has some unexpected, but pleasant consequences, and after an initial misunderstanding, Adair is suddenly thrust into the world of magic, and the demands of a relationship.

Vassago’s never had a chance to be proud of who he was. As the second son of the king of the djinn, and being a lot smaller than his father or brother, Vassago spent a lot of time on the human realm, avoiding his family and those who had nothing better to do than bully him. After spending a horrible nine months trapped in Jake Poindexter’s body, he knew he had to find his potestatem before he could claim his mate. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. When help is offered, he’s hesitant to take it, but the lure of finally being in his mate’s arms was too strong to ignore.

The troubles hitting Cloverleah are falling thick and fast. Insane plans of wiping out all paranormal life isn’t confined to a few errant humans. It’ll take the steadfast nature of a wolf shifter, who still has a habit of saying the wrong thing, and the magic of a djinn who’s struggling to believe in himself, before these two will find their HEA.

Warning: Contains M/M adult content. If this isn’t your preference, please don’t buy.

All of the books in the Cloverleah Pack series can be read as standalone. However, to fully appreciate the relationships between secondary characters, it might be wise to read the series in order.

Review

Book 7 reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/watching-out-for-fangs-cloverleah-pack-book-7-by-lisa-oliver-review/

Book 8 here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/tangling-with-bears-cloverleah-pack-series-book-8-by-lisa-oliver/

OOOOO I love Vassago!

While it looked like Vassago might have been a sneaky, almost bad-guy in the last book, we find out that he’s really, really not. He’s super sweet and very misunderstood in his own world and amazingly powerful.

Adair, if anything, seems to follow the Kane “Stick my foot in my mouth at every turn” pattern and ends up making Vassago mad more often than not. However, both these guys end up being really sweet together – as you’d expect.

There’s a lot of fun “powers” in this – djinn can do almost anything really – and that was a great addition to the Cloverleah pack. (The markings Adair gets are hysterical!)

It was great seeing Luke and Kurt and Tobias again – as well as the other couples. I really like Vadim and we got to see a lot of him, as well.

This was another great addition to the series with a few surprises and lots of magic!

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book Contemporary DA Fairies Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan mpreg Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Race/Species Difference Shifter

A Tiger’s Tale (Arrowtown #1) by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Tigers-Tale-Arrowtown-Book-ebook/dp/B06XGYW1K4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489689147&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+oliver+tiger

Blurb

Seth Carmichael never did anything wrong, but instead of working at the local library, he was running for his life. His herd was hunting him and with few resources, Seth’s options were fading fast. Until, that is, he heard the rumble of a motorcycle. Peeking through the tree he was hiding in, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Had salvation come in the form of a badass biker?

Ra (no last name and proud of it) was a tiger on a mission. He’d scented his mate and then the little rabbit ran away before his teeth could engage. Ra heard the gossip around Arrowtown; he knew his mate was a hunted man. But if the sweet man was on the run, he needed someone to look after him; Ra figured he was the right man for the job.

A meeting, a mating and yet another meeting. What should have been a straight forward relationship turned into so much more on their very first outing as a mated couple. Now Ra has to count on the strength of his mate and the help of his friends, if he and Seth are ever to have the HEA they’d planned for. And what was with all these Fae turning up out of the blue?

Warning: Contains a tiger who keeps putting his foot in it; a tiny lop-eared rabbit who is stronger than he looks and a bunch of friends who’ll hide a body, no questions asked.
(M/M, Shifters, true mate, MPREG, HEA)

Review

Yay! A new Lisa Oliver and a NEW series!

This does not appear to be linked to any of the other “worlds” Lisa has given us and is definitely a standalone – for now.

Though you don’t get this from the blurb – I was worried about it myself! – Ra and Seth have only just found out they’re mates when Seth is forced to run from his herd for being “mated” to an animal who is not a rabbit.

When we meet our characters they are just now beginning the process, however, and it’s pretty funny. Ra – no last name- is a big, bumbling, buffoon of a Tiger shifter and he seems to do everything wrong.

Seth, meanwhile, is sweet, but a little scared of Ra’s animal, and also very worried about both their safety.

What I enjoyed about this, is with one notable exception, everyone is a bit flawed. Seth isn’t perfect and Ra certainly isn’t. Seth’s mother isn’t bad, but she’s not good either. Ra’s buddy’s while helpful, aren’t always doing the right thing either.

Lisa is really good at having our MCs and the secondary characters shift and act like their animals – so that was fun. Plus we get a bit of a twist thrown in around the 70% point that really shakes the story up.

This was highly enjoyable, well-written, and very satisfying!

4.25 (rounded to 4.5) of 5 stars

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Categories
3 stars Action/Adventure Book Contemporary DA Fairies Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter vampire Virgin

Fae For All (Cloverleah Pack #6)by Lisa Oliver

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Fae-All-Cloverleah-Pack-6/dp/1512181471/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487538283&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+oliver+cloverleah+6

Blurb

Book 6 The Cloverleah Pack
Can be read as a standalone

Jax Cooper never planned to meet his mates. A strong wolf shifter, who keeps his Fae heritage hidden, all Jax wants to do is keep his pack safe and his secrets tucked away. But when men turn up from another pack, all intent on stealing the two men Jax knows to be his, then Jax’s wolf has a hard time controlling himself.

Aelfric and Fafnir have been together for three hundred years. Not that unusual for two Sidhe Fae princes. Having known since puberty that their third destined mate was a wolf shifter, they are overjoyed when Dean, the sweet Omega from the Cloverleah pack gets in touch with them to let them know some possible mates have been found. Hurrying to the Cloverleah Pack, the two men not only find their mate, but also find out that the Cloverleah pack is in trouble – and it’s coming from all sides.

Trying to keep his head, and his mates, Jax has to rely on his friends from the pack to keep things safe. Between two other packs, vampires, the Shifter Council and the Fae Council all trying to intervene in what should be a simple mating process Jax has to wonder if keeping the two beautiful men, destined to be his, is worth losing his life over.

Warning: This is an m/m/m story – it contains strong language, some violence, and acts of male on male sex. This work of fiction includes a beautiful blond Fae with a tendency to have tantrums, a strong wolf shifter who would never describe himself as a nice person and a dark haired Fae who is desperately trying to hold them all together.

Review

As with the others, though technically this is a “stand alone”, I think it’s really a must read in order kind of series. Each book in the series has the same characters and builds on the same over arching theme with the Cloverleah pack and makes more sense read in order.

Jax, who recently we met as one of the wolves with a crush on Troy, is a half-breed Fae who was exiled after he shifted for the first time. He’s known forever that he’s had two Fae mates somewhere in the world (part of a triad) but he also “knows” they’ll never accept a shifter for a mate because the Fae are so prejudiced against shifters and other paranormals.

Fafnir and Alefric are already mated to one another but “saving themselves” (in terms of penetrative sex) for their third. When they meet Dean, they’re excited to begin their search for their wolf partner in Cloverleah.

It takes a bout of jealousy for Jax to show his cards, but admitting to being their mate is not enough. There is a lot of bad water under that bridge (on both sides) and to make matters worse, there are parties on both sides (fae and shifter) who want to see this triad fail.

**

You all know how much I love this series, but I have to say, this triad really didn’t work for me.

I love Jax and as his powers changed and grew, I loved him more. He’s a great character with a lot of amazing potential and I really wanted someone to love him as much as he deserves.

When a triad is formed (in any book) with two parts of that triad already in place, the biggest “hurdle” to overcome is making the reader believe the new addition is not only equal but needed in the triad for it to be whole (and improved). Fafnir and Alefric had been together 300 years and while they claim they’ve been “looking” all that time – they never actually sought out any wolves. That felt really suspicious.

In addition to that fact, as the story unfolds, Alefric acts like a complete douche bag for 97% of the story. Seriously. Even by the end, I have to admit, I never liked him, nor did I feel like he was interested in the triad beyond making Fafnir happy.

While I still loved seeing the other couples and enjoyed the new Fae elements that were added to the series. I really, really didn’t love this triad. I wanted – so much! – for Jax to finally find the love he needs, and while it looks like Fafnir , at least, is a good first step at that, I never did forgive Alefric or feel that he groveled enough or even proved himself in the slightest.

So – for the action and story I’d give this a 4.5 of 5 , but for the romance a 2.5 of 5 – rounding to a 3 of 5 overall. I was still glad to (re) read this, but I’m disappointed in the romance.

3 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book Contemporary Extasy Books Fairies Fated Mates Gay Heat Index Homophobia Insta Love Little to no angst m/m Magic Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter

Catching A Bit Of Irish (Wolves of Stone Ridge #13) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Books Presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/catching-a-bit-of-irish/

Blurb

Out of the Cage: A bit of Irish magic isn’t always a good thing!

Frederick Reb Drunger is accompanying his alpha and the alpha’s mate on vacation. He’s one of the wolves charged with protecting them while they all enjoy the sights of Ireland. He never expects to discover his mate is a human friend of the local Irish pack. That should make him easy to claim, since Daithi Murphy knows all about shifters. Except Daithi already has a boyfriend, Evan, who’s extremely possessive and not at all happy when Reb wants to get to know his mate. When an Irish goblin targets Reb, can he find the culprit behind the attacks and convince Daithi it’s worth uprooting his life and moving to Colorado with him?

Review

This is a fun one because it introduces one of my favorite characters: Frankie! It’s interesting because it takes place in Ireland and we get a new paranormal element that throws a wrench in the works.

It’s a nice departure from the hunters story arc and a nice few days with Decal and Lark being relaxed as well.

Since Daithi knows about shifters, there’s not a whole “reveal” and the romance moves quickly with only Daithi’s ex causing troubles for the pair.
I really enjoyed this and especially loved meeting Frankie for the first time.

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Fade to black/No Steam Fairies Fantasy Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Holiday m/m Mild level angst Morgan Paranormal Part of a Series Secret Identity Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words)

Pixies and Paperwork (Advent Calendar 2016) by Cassia Rose

14976042_10157666458050414_2062317784_o

 

Dreamspinner Presents  

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbug-7705-b

 

33003486Blurb

Micheal Donovan’s family has kept the peace between mortal and magical realms for generations, but Micheal skipped out on glory for other plans. He finished school, got a nine-to-five, and tried to fit in. When his cousin meets an unfortunate end on All Hallows, Micheal abruptly inherits the position of Riftkeeper, along with all the prestige and responsibility he didn’t want. Estranged from his family, Micheal never learned the details of the job. All the grumpy, ancestral spirit now possessing his goldfish can tell him is that a mistake could be catastrophic. Micheal isn’t feeling the holiday cheer, and coworkers’ attempts to encourage him only add to a headache of magical proportions. To make matters worse, Ryan Nickles, Micheal’s colleague and cubicle neighbor, has assembled enough Christmas decorations to attract more pixies than Micheal can hide.

When Micheal’s attempts to find the Winter Court on the week of the solstice leave him with nothing but a bad cold, he fears he’ll be the first Riftkeeper to break ancient contracts. He’s too stressed to handle Ryan’s attempts to get him into the holiday spirit, but Ryan might know more about the magic of the season than Micheal realizes.

Review

You know how holiday meals are? When you skimp on breakfast and nibble a little all day while smelling all the deliciousness from the kitchen wafting your way? Just waiting for the Big Meal when you can gorge on all the yumminess?

Well, this is a little like that, only instead of a Big Meal to reward and satiate, you end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich… that’s half-eaten. That’s not to say you didn’t like it and it’s mostly filling – but it wasn’t what you were waiting for and it’s not satisfying so you’re still hungry even though it’s gone.

The world building is tremendous. We learn about Riftkeepers and The Winter Court and pixies, and fairies and Spirit Guides. Michael is suffering through learning to be the newest (and unwanted position of) Riftkeeper while trying to do his human job at year’s end all the while battling a cold and some sort of magical interference that makes his head ache. The author does such a tremendous job of describing his agony that I felt like taking an aspirin for him!

Then we get some really delicious sexual tension between him and Ryan as well as some funny “Scrooge”-type anti-holiday-ness and all of this if overlain by a sense of urgency as Michael fights to find the needed information to appease the Queen.

Just when it looks like all things are doomed and the world is about to be lost we’re shown the Way AND our MCs begin to realize they might be more than cubicle-mates when *Poof! The story ends. *sigh

Just when I was starting to feel relief from the headache and our MCs had finally found one another, the story ends. Without even ONE KISS!

So… on the one hand this was a really lovely story but it left me absolutely unsatisfied.

3.5 of 5 stars

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