Time to get scared:Blood Veil (Mission book 2) by Megan Erickson

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34741287-blood-veil?from_search=true

Blurb
When Celia is attacked at her apartment by one vampire, and rescued by another, her life turns upside down. Idris, Athan’s brother and the one who was supposed to be the king until their father’s cruel lies were exposed is Celia’s unlikely rescuer, dark and brooding he scares her as much as he intrigues her.

Idris is surprised by the seemingly human female he has been following for a while at his brother’s, the new king, command. After the events of book one and the fall of their father, their clan is at potential war with the Valarian clan. Celia, the Valarian king’s daughter, is taken as ransom in exchange for peace between the clans. Unaware of her bloodline or family, having grown up as an orphan, Celia faces the discovery of a family she always craved, only to have that dream shatter in blood and violence. Stuck in a web of lies and on the run, Idris must protect her at all costs despite his hate for her father.

Review:
Another great book in the Mission universe!
This book has all the clichés of vampire books you can think of plot wise, and it works so well anyway! Just like her Werewolf shifter novels: ‘The Silver Tip Pack’ series, Megan combines wit, humor and geekiness in her writing for an action packed, smoldering hot read you can’t put down!
Ever since I read the first book in the series I was anxious to see what happens to Idris, Athans’s brother. And like all her heroes, Megan wrote so much emotion and tenderness into his big strong body you can’t NOT fall for him. Celia is sweet, sassy and feisty, just like Tendra from book 1, and her compassion for others shines through every action she makes.
Megan created a believable, working vampirical world, and I like her ability to combine fantasy and supernatural into everyday life. She always brings a small twist to the story that truly makes it unique.
Enjoyed it very much and am hoping to hear more about the vampire shenanigans in Mission City.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5

Time to get scared: Blood Guard (Mission book 1) by Megan Erickson

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34444705-blood-guard?from_search=true

Blurb
When Tendra arrives home after her bartending job in Mission city, she doesn’t expect to meet a vampire. Said vampire also claims to need her in order to save his vampirical clan, by marrying his brother, the future king. Athan’s clan only feed on consenting humans, without killing them- a notion their enemies do not share. They want Tendra dead before she makes it to Athan’s brother, to share the power in her blood that has been growing in her bloodline for ten generations, and to her future as his queen. Hard to believe as it is, Athan shows her proof she cannot ignore and whisks her into a dangerous journey through the secret underground vampire tunnels of his clan to their family compound outside Mission city. He must protect her at all costs for she is destined to his brother, to save his clan and the human world from being enslaved to the other vampire clans.
But, with every minute they spend together the pull Athens feels for Tendra gets stronger, and the close proximity they are forced to share is not helping him keep his desire for her in line with his duty to his brother, his king, and his role as the head of guard.

Review
For the last two years I have only been reading M/M romance, and if anyone can lure me out of it for some M/F it’s Megan Erickson! She is one of my favorite authors, with a geeky infused writing style I adore! This book was a pleasant surprise, much like her M/M Shifter books: The Silver Tip Pack series (a genre I Never liked for its cliché-ness). I think Megan’s greatest talent is taking a cliché genre and writing a book that while it has many of the characteristics to make it a cliché is still refreshing and enjoyable. Not every book is a unique masterpiece, but having the ability to read a story in a plotline that have been so thoroughly chewed and re-chewed that I, as a reader well versed in this genre to the point I was sick of Twilight wannabees, loved the book is amazing to me. I credit it to the humor, banter between characters, fluidity of the plot and putting little twists throughout the story.

I love Tendra’s personality, she is independent while still being dependent on Athan for her survival, and is realistic in that sense but she can and will protect herself when needed. Tendra is a badass heroine that does not spend days mourning what she lost while still understanding she is in a new situation and learning to deal with it. Athan is both though and soft, with a gentleness and emotional depth I credit to Megan’s M/M writing. The fast pace the story starts out at does not mean the characters get it on within the first chapter, another strong point to me. I feel like they really see each other before sex gets thrown in the mix. The fantasy world setting is interesting and believable and well rounded.
If you love the supernatural romance genre, vampires and great characters you should definitely read this book, it is everything Twilight and its look a likes wanted to be and are not with a splash of humor and sass.

Number of stars:
4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: The Calling by M.D. Neu

Nine star Press
https://www.amazon.com/Calling-M-D-Neu-ebook/dp/B078HGXBX7/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519394410&sr=1-1&keywords=M.D.+Ne

Blurb
Being a nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is “Called” to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking The Calling—a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.

There is more to this nobody, this only child of long-deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long-dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?

Review
My first thoughts when I started reading this book was where is this going. The reader is left to ponder the mysterious circumstances of Duncan feeling the pull to come to San Jose. When I did get more into the story I was equally intrigued and impatient to know what happens next. So much happens, changes and becomes revealed I couldn’t stop until I found out more. The Author provides a lot of details which helps the flow of the story. To be honest after reading the blurb I was expecting a paranormal a story but not necessarily vampires. It was a good surprise especially as I found this story to be an interesting new take on it. The whole hierarchy and customs are well developed making it a credible scenario. I especially liked that although we understand a lot has to happen for Duncan and Kirtus to be together, it’s kept off page. The romance between them is written very well and feels a natural development. The conclusion ties up a lot of lose ends nicely but frustratingly opens the door to more books.I only say frustratingly because I hate the carrot of the next story dangled in front of me if I can’t read it yet!

5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Trust by Kylie Scott

Amazon Link

Blurb

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

Review

I’m not sure what grabbed me – exactly(ahem- the cover- ahem) – but I was really glad I’d chosen this!

I’ve not read m/f for a long time – especially not someone who isn’t on my short list of m/f authors that I continue to read now that I’ve found m/m. What I liked about this was the really “friend” to “lover” feel this had that really felt like two friends not a “guy friend” and a “girl friend”.

I thought the whole entrée into sex for the first time felt really authentic and I was glad to see the couple back up from that and take their relationship as a “couple” from the beginning.

There was still some very heavy-handed YA themes in this and I definitely wouldn’t read this if you’re not a fan of YA romance – because it absolutely felt like a YA romance. But it did have a really “realistic” feel to it as well and I was glad to see that they neither glorified nor shied away from the whole sexual aspect of their relationship.

The mystery/action part of the story was okay – it definitely wasn’t my main focus – but it served it’s purpose of giving our characters some motivation and depth.

All in all this was a pleasant surprise and for fans of YA m/f romance I’d definitely recommend this. If those aren’t your thing – this isn’t something that will appeal.

4.5 of 5 stars

 

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Ghost (Executioners #1) by J.M. Dabney

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Executioners-Book-J-M-Dabney-ebook/dp/B073WH7WFJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501109910&sr=8-1&keywords=ghost+dabney

Blurb

Gideon Jane earned the name Ghost for his reclusive nature when he joined a group of guys in Powers, Georgia in a band called Executioners. It had been his way of settling into small town life after living in New York for the past twenty years. He loved the band and his small organic farm. What he didn’t love was being single, but it appeared it was his new reality. He didn’t want his ex back, although he did want something. What that was eluded him until the evening he walked into Nightingale’s Books.

Small town girl Harper Sage knew pain, and she’d lived with it—she had the scars both mental and physical to prove it. It would’ve been easier to hop in her car to find safety and anonymity, but Harper stayed to prove she was stronger than hurled fists and bruising prejudice. She found herself within the safety of a close-knit group of rough bikers and bar bouncers. That didn’t mean it was all perfect.

What’s a girl to do when she craves normalcy and acceptance: she just smiles. Choices are made, some with dire consequences and others that bring her closer to her dream. Will she make the right decision or finally discover escape is her best option?

Author Note: This book contains scenes of violence and descriptions of self-harm.

Review

I was both really dreading this and anticipating the hell out of it!

I KNEW Harper’s story was going to be rough – everything leading up to gave the impression that she knew nothing but pain in her life – well, this shows just how awful her life has been – worse than I thought. My heart ached for her and I was so, so pleased for her to find someone who could love her like she needed to be loved.

I thought the author handled the sex scenes very gracefully and with a lot of tenderness and dignity while not pulling any punches nor sacrificing any sensuality or emotion without being clinical or abrasive.

4.5 of 5 stars
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Copy Purchased for Review

Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead Audiobook by Christiania Miller Narrated by Marie Rose

audiobookreview

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Somebody-Tell-Aunt-Tillie-Shes-Dead-Audiobook/B00L91UHX4?ref_=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl&qid=1494787315&sr=1-2

Blurb

A little magic can go a long way — to really screwing up a girl’s life!

Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that’s what her cards tell her and they’ve never been wrong. She’s evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.

Suddenly, an aunt she’s never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She’s still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara’s magical meddling for her death.

When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie’s ready to kill her — literally. It’s the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara’s body.

Review

Warning! This review may contain spoilers!
There was the bones of a really good story here, with magic, witches, ghosts and demon possession of other people’s bodies. Unfortunately it was kind of buried under an attempt at what I can only define as chick flick horror comedy?
The first almost 4 hours of this book is dreadfully dull, as we follow Mara through her life in LA, her problems with her landlord, money shortage, going to Wicca fairs, seeing her ominous dreams etc. Then aunt Tillie finally dies and Mara is off to Wisconsin and our adventure starts.
This part of the story was interesting. I loved the story behind the witch house, the house that would protect itself by turning destroyers into plant life, the dead ancestor, the possession of innocent bystanders and the untrained witch trying to save the world.
Unfortunately, there is way too little of the good stuff and way too much of the boring, also there are too many contradictions about the main character, Mara. Her mother left when she was a child – apparently to save her, we never get the conclusion to that bit of story arc, but I presume it will continue in the series onwards – so she was never trained as a witch. A fact that she complains about frequently to aunt Tillie, and yet she somehow knows how to do rituals to switch souls and send the undead to the underworld? That did not make sense to me. Why not cut the boring and mundane parts of the story and use that on educating both us the reader and Mara the witch on the specific brand of magic lore in this universe?
Most of this book would work fine as a YA novel. But there are some graphic sex scenes and some graphic violence in the later parts of the book, that will probably make it more suitable for an older audience. Although there is sex in this story, it is not a romance. The potential love match is spoiled by a demonic possession, so he kind of runs away – understandably so – but again, this is a series, so it is probably not the last we have seen of Paul.

All in all, this could have been great, but ended up only being good. But there may still be potential enough in the ending, that I may continue at a later point with this series.

The narrator did an ok job, but didn’t bring much to the story and there were quite a few glitches in the technical production, where it was clear that parts of the story had been redone as the acoustics were very different for a paragraph and then changed back again.

 3 out of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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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Copy Purchased For Review

Practice Makes Perfect 
(Scientific Method Universe )by Kris Ripper 


Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Perfect-Scientific-Method-Universe-ebook/dp/B06ZZ1FZSX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493584756&sr=8-1&keywords=kris+ripper+practice

Blurb

Paul Sorenson signs up for the BDSM and Dating workshop because his best friend threatens an intervention if he doesn’t. He figures if nothing else, at least it’ll be nice to sit in a room with other kinky queer folks.

The location’s not quite as accessible as it was supposed to be, but there’s a ramp down an alley and a door his wheelchair fits through, so he’s definitely seen worse. Also, there’s a no dating rule, but since Paul has a bad habit of rushing into things and steamrolling every obstacle in his path, that’s not such a bad thing.

Then he meets Ally Jennings. And all bets are off.

Ally loves the workshop, even if she feels like the least experienced person in the room. Meeting Paul is the icing on the cake. When he looks at her, she feels like he gets her, and that’s…never happened before.

He’s dominant, she’s submissive, and everything from kissing to talking about their families feels perfect. But when Paul pushes for commitment, Ally hesitates, and each of them feels betrayed.

They’ve only known each other for two weeks. They should probably just write the whole thing off and go their separate ways, except they can’t stop thinking about each other. Falling in love was the easy part. Building a relationship takes a hell of a lot of work

Review

This book is part of the Scientific Method Universe and whilst you may get more enjoyment knowing the backstory to some of the characters (Hugh, Truman, Will, Molly, Adam and Beccs) I don’t think it’s necessary. The stories in Scientific Method universe are BDSM this one is quite light. The BDSM and Dating workshop is a discussion group so please don’t let the BDSM put you off reading this lovely romance of two people finding ‘the one’.

Ally Jennings has low self confidence and with the encouragement of the other members of the group comes out of her shell. She has hardly any experience in BDSM and is a shy about exploring it. Paul on the other hand is confident and quite focused when he knows what he wants. They are attracted to each other from the start and it is lovely to see both sides of their nature.

Kris Ripper is excellent at writing the interplay between characters and there is potential for lots of stories lines and to emerge from the characters in this workshop. Paul’s disability is portrayed sensitively. To be honest there were times I forgot he was in a wheelchair he was just Paul, and that was what Paul was looking for someone who saw him first and not the chair. He found that with Ally.

A sweet and lovely romance and I look forward to reading more about them in other Scientific Method Universe books.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

Black Balled Audiobook by: Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir Narrated by: Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Black-Balled-Audiobook/B01GQS1W4M/ref=a_listener__cco_1_9_i

Blurb

Two dominant males, two worthy adversaries, in a business that takes no prisoners will soon learn that fate refuses to be ignored.
My name is Troy Babilonia, but I’m best known as Babu, a renowned literary critic with my own online column. I’m followed by thousands! I’m a living god in the literary world. I have no filter, and for that my flock of humble followers are forever grateful. If it weren’t for me, they wouldn’t know what to read. I have zero tolerance for weak-minded attention seekers, nor do I have respect for the self-proclaimed geniuses of the indie world. My advice to all indie authors is to never break the cardinal rule in this cutthroat business. Ever.
My name is L. Blackburn, and I’m an indie author. My extraordinary genius was loved and worshiped throughout the literary world until one egocentric critic tried to obliterate my career. It seems I broke some “cardinal rule”, and now I’m paying the price for it. But I don’t plan on going down without a fight.

Review

When an indie writer goes too far in the comments section of a snarky
reviewer who has made a career out of gleefully destroying writers, things
escalate into an unhealthy obsession between both men. Very different and
fun, performed by the always excellent Joel Leslie. I can’t express enough
just how unique the book is. This is a romance, but both men are self
absorbed, shallow misanthropes who don’t really change all that much. They
don’t become better people, they just fall madly completely in love. If
you like your leads to be nice this won’t be for you, but if you can get
down with quirky, dirty-sexy protagonists, you’ll dig this.

6 of 5 stars!

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Copy Purchased For Review

Traded Audiobook by Rebecca Brooke Narrated by Honey Scarlett and Leeroy Will

audiobookreview


Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Traded-Audiobook/B01L046YTA/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1493524453&sr=1-1

Blurb

I’m a pawn, a piece of chattel, a toy–used and forgotten.

When you’re done with me, you can walk away with no regrets. That’s how my husband sees me. I try to be the best wife possible for him. After all, he took me on when no one else would. Now–he’s in debt and owes more money to the loan shark than we can possibly repay.

But, don’t worry, he’s come up with a solution, it’s just not one I was expecting.

…I’ve been TRADED.

Review

 This was a disappointment. Based on the blurb I was expecting a delicious dark romance with some dub-con sex and a bit of a twisted Stockholm syndrome leading to some sort of happy ending. Yum!

Unfortunately, what I got was an incredibly boring fairytale with a ridiculous cinderella plot, vapid characters and a bit of sugar kink.

There’s a feminist saying that a women needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle. While that may hold true for most women, not so for our heroine, Elena. No, sir! Elena marries one douche bag and the second she gets a chance to leave that relationship she needs another. There is no way this woman can exist on her own.

She is in a bad marriage with a verbally abusive douchebag. We are led to believe that her doormat personality is a product of his doing, although I never believed that.
If we are to put any stock in her own memories of the day after they got married, Dominic was already a complete and utter bastard then and yet she still hoped to marry him and was happy that she did.

When the douchebag husband finds himself in gambling debt he cannot pay, he decides to trade his wife in lieu of payment. Enter our hero, Ashton, probably the worst loan shark in the world. He accepts trades, he gives second (and third chances), none of his ‘clients’ have any respect for him – understandably so – as he has the impulse control of a 15 year old, both when it comes to his temper and his sexual prowess – seriously if these two have intercourse that last more than 3 thrusts before he “can’t hold on anymore”, I missed it!
He cannot resist a damsel in distress and decides to lower the payment owed in return for 3 months with the wife. Except that his plan is to pamper and spoil her and show her “how a man treats a woman”.

Elena, being the shallow creature that she is, takes to new clothes and spa days, like a fish to water and after 2 weeks of pampering, all the mental scars of years of abuse is happily erased by Ashton’s magic dick. There’s quite a few sex scenes with some very very mild BDSM, mostly bondage, a few spanks and a small amount of anal play.

Both main characters are shallow and annoying, same goes for any secondary characters. And I really couldn’t care less about any of them. Ashton has no character development at all, Elena has some, I guess, but mostly it seemed that she just changed men and learned how to say the word f*ck. I only finished this book because I was given a review copy. Had I bought it, I would have put it down less than 30% in.

I can only surmise that the author did no research on anything before writing this novel, or at least none of the things that goes on in the silly plot of this book felt believable: Not how the slide into an abusive relationship work, not the psychology of recovering from it, not how a crime family works or how a loan sharks operates, not how body guarding works, not how to manage a restaurant, not how auditions and rehearsals for musical theatre works and certainly not on how police work with regards to kidnapping, organized crime or man slaughter.

The narrators of this book did their best, but there is only so much you can do with the material they were given. I was quite impressed I couldn’t hear them roll their eyes. I enjoyed the way it was produced, that the male narrator did all the male voices and the female all the female voices, regardless of whose point of view we were following.

 1.5 out of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review