Time to get Paranormal: Chasing Destiny (Silver Tip Pack book 2) By Megan Erickson

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33795022-chasing-destiny?from_search=true

Blurb
Bay has had his fair share of hardships, as brother to the Alpha of the Silver Tip Pack. He almost died when a usurper took the opportunity the alpha was away on a rescue mission to try and take over. Upon his brother’s return he discovers the one person he cannot forget, his best friend Nash, was still alive all these years after he disappeared when they were boys. The news is as unsettling as the fact Nash has been lost again, with no hope of returning, sacrificing his life to buy Dare and his team time to get back to safety when the Noweres attacked.

Now Bay is restless, choosing to go outside the safety of their compound for Reese’s long though dead tribe. New intel says there are possible survivors there and Dare. As alpha, must see if they can be allied with, for the sake of his mate. Bay expects to find some lost wolves barely hanging on and not the small, yet strong, community who is more that capable to defend itself. And he was not expecting to find Nash again, after mourning him twice and giving up any shred of hope, the one person he has always loved. But the years Nash was away have damaged his body and soul, and unlocking the secrets of his past might lead to an enemy much worse than the Undead Noweres and their single minded need to kill.

Review
This was a book I was anxiously anticipating after book one, and Nash and Bay’s story was as thrilling and emotional as it was hot. I loved the expansion of the world Megan created with the addition of Reese’s tribe and their leader Pace. I also adored how intricately she wrote Nash’s back story, it’s raw and sad but also adds a whole new dimension and a ruthless enemy for our group of heroes. We also get a look as how they live in this dystopian future after all the humans died in the virus and the Noweres appeared.
Bay and Nash share an unbreakable bond, one that time and pain could not erode, and the Friends-to-Lovers theme is strong in this book. The added bonus of the shifter dynamics, the pack bond between them makes their love almost visceral. Nash has been found and is slowly getting his strength back, but the past scars he carries are deep and he keeps pushing Bay away. Bay, the fun loving optimist that he is, doesn’t let him get too far despite his attempts of running away. They are fun to read about with an air of longing in every touch and moment between them, and they are smoldering hot together.
When Nash’s fate in those lost years is revealed Dare has to reevaluate the world he lives in and what he thought to be facts. Nash is not the only one holding secrets, Pace has some of his own and in order to survive they have to work together and trust each other, not an easy feat when testosterone and egos are at play. I loved them so much, especially when the horrors of Nash’s live are discovered. You just feel so much for him, for all of them really- thrust in a cruel violent future fighting against bloodthirsty monsters and evil beyond human comprehension.
This book is almost like a detective story, were you gather tidbits of information and try to put the puzzle pieces together. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, an MMF according to Megan’s FB group post and more of this world.

Number of stars out of 5
4.5 stars

 

Purchased for review

 

Audiobook: Beneath The Mask by Victoria Sue Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/beneath-this-mask-by-victoria-sue-9191-b

Blurb

Enhanced World: Book Three
Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. The hurt and betrayal of his mom’s abandonment and his father’s fists are secrets buried deep beneath the ugly scars on his face, and he doesn’t trust Jake, his new regular human partner, with any of them. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable nonspeaking enhanced child make that child a murder suspect.
Tempers rise and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is the third book the Enhanced series and I think it’s best read as a series. You could probably figure things out, but you’d be missing an awful lot.

If you’ve read the first books, you have an idea of what the Enhanced are and how they and the humans have historically interacted. Jake and Gael have some similar concerns as they pair up. Just as Finn and Talon had to learn to work together so do they. (I was a big Gael fan in book 1 and he did not disappoint here!)

The story is a lovely mix of Gael and Jake learning to work together and love one another as well continued action as we meet more bad guys.

I think fans of the series will love this and love Jake and Gael as a couple and if you’re new to the series, you should probably start with book 1.

Highly recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

 

Jo my gahd!  I love Jake’s voice!  I make no bones that I’m a big Nick Russo fan, and I’ve always enjoyed Victoria Sue’s books, and I’ve previously enjoyed this series narrated by Nick – a lot! – But…. I thought Jake’s particular character was fantastic in a way that really made him stand out.

Nick is only getting better with all his narrations and I’m so glad to see him whenever I do as narrator, because I know I’ll enjoy the book and that he will (most likely) improve my enjoyment of the book more than just reading it.

This is a tough story – lots of people/characters/voices and Nick nails it!  

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

Overall
5 of 5 stars

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Release Day Review: Forged in Fire (Asheville Arcana #2) by Ari McKay

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/forged-in-fire-by-ari-mckay-9518-b

Blurb

The magic touch.

Ever since Harlan Edgewood was bitten by a possessed werewolf, his monthly shifts have been agonizing. When he meets Whimsy Hickes—a mage who specializes in transformation—the attraction is mutual. But Harlan believes his curse is too great a burden to inflict on any romantic partner.

Fortunately, Whimsy thinks he can help.

When Harlan is provoked into an unexpected change, Whimsy uses his magic to help ease Harlan’s pain, but with an unexpected consequence. While he’s shifted, Harlan’s wolf claims Whimsy as his mate.

As they draw closer, suspicious events in the Asheville magical community escalate. Shifters are disappearing, others are murdered, and Harlan’s curse makes him an obvious target. It will take all of Whimsy’s magic to force back the rising evil—and if he fails, Harlan will lose not only his life, but his very soul.

Review

Loved this!

Whimsy is so wonderful and I loved that he had his own mo-jo powers and wasn’t a wimp! Harlan is also terrifically old-fashioned and adorable and I thought the sexual chemistry between these two was off the charts!

While I grew a wee bit tired of Harlan’s “woe is me” attitude I was grateful for his willingness to put faith in Whimsy and their relationship.

The “mystery/action” elements in this series are interesting and captivating without stealing the central spot light from the romance.

I loved book 1 and this was just as good! (Reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/audiobook-out-of-the-ashes-asheville-arcana-1-by-ari-mckay-narrated-by-andrew-mcferrin/)

Looking forward to more in this series!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Recent Release: How We Survive (Reclaiming Hope #1) by Michele Notaro

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35400508-how-we-survive?from_search=true

Blurb
Nate~
With the world in chaos around us, the only thing I could do was try to keep Felix safe as we searched for our older brother. We’d been traveling for over two years, searching Ministry camp after Ministry camp and trying to steer clear of the Rebels. I didn’t know what to do when we ran into a whole group of shifters with guns. But then, the huge, gorgeous guy that found us did the unthinkable…

Tre~
At first I thought the two young shifters were trying to sneak up on me, but I soon realized they were only passing through. I was going to send them on their way until I heard the others coming. What was I supposed to do? How else was I supposed to save them? The delicious man and his brother would’ve been killed had I not claimed him.

Will Nate and Tre be able to work together to keep themselves and their packmates alive? Or will they let the cruelty of the outside world tear them apart?

***How We Survive is the first book in the Reclaiming Hope series, but is a standalone novel. Each book in the series will feature a different couple, but the couples will show up throughout the series. It’s a paranormal shifter romance between two men with explicit language and graphic sex intended for Adults Only.

Review

This was so good!!!! It’s a dystopian/war type story which I usually avoid like the plague, but the romance is so sweet and the shifter world is really well-developed and captivating that when a friend recommended this I couldn’t put it down!

It’s dark and not super happy, but there are moments of light and I’m hopeful that book 2 will have some more happiness in it as well.

If you’re looking for a real shifter-centered romance where the MCs act like shifter and not just happen to shift now and then – this is for you.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Imperfect Match by Jordan Castillo Price

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39290871-imperfect-match

Blurb

A man whose future is assigned – A heart that yearns to be free.

Lee Kennedy’s destiny is controlled by the Algorithm. It’s the reason he’s still in college, regardless of his good academic performance. He’s switched his major repeatedly and stalled on his Master’s thesis, but there’s only so much longer he can hold out. Because once he graduates, the Algorithm must be triggered.

Everyone in Lee’s family has allowed the Algorithm to match them with a spouse. As has everyone on his block. His neighborhood. In fact, everyone he’s ever known. Pairing with his own chosen match seems inevitable…until, at his sister’s wedding, he meets Roman.

The waiter lives in the Taxable District, a run-down neighborhood that’s only a brief train ride away, but feels like another world. The seedy District is governed by different standards—different expectations—so it’s not exactly a surprise that Roman isn’t married. But it’s definitely a shock to taste his lips.

One forbidden encounter has Lee reeling. He questions everything. His past. His future. And especially the Algorithm. He longs for the freedom to choose not only his own partner, but his own destiny.

When defying the Algorithm will cost everything—family, home, and even livelihood—is Lee strong enough to take another path?

If you enjoy journeys of self-discovery with a futuristic bent, you’ll love this standalone character-driven adventure.

Review

I want to start out by saying I’m a giant Jordan Castillo Price Fan and so when I see that she’s written something I immediately grab it up! I have to say that if this hadn’t been written by her I would have skipped it based on the blurb – because that sort of dystopian stuff just isn’t my cuppa tea in general. Add to it my intense fear and worry about where our country is going right now and I just can’t handle reading dark stuff – even if there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I think fans of the author will (in general) love this. Fans of darker romances (meaning the world around them is dark, not their emotions etc.) Many people loved this and I encourage folks to read those reviews ☺

No rating.

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Audiobook: Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. Narrated by Jack Wesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/off-the-beaten-path-by-cari-z-9368-b

Blurb: 
When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely

Review:
(Book reviewed here previously by Mary)

I’m always looking for a new twist on a shifter story and this did not disappoint.
With the way the world is is could see werewolves being treated in manner described in this story. Used when it suited the Government but kept isolated out of fear. The world building is superb. The treatment of the werewolves is so unjust they gained my sympathy immediately and I was so pulled in that I was sorry when I came to the end of the book. I felt connected with Wade and Henry. To have the Government take your child and never to see her again would be heartbreaking. He is strong in his determination to get her back. Henry is pulled in so many directions. He has his duty to his pack as Alpha and to his role as an elite black ops soldier. I liked the way both Wade’s and Henry’s situations were explained without taking too much time away from the crux of the story, the burgeoning relationship between Henry and Wade and Ava not being able to shift back. I hope Cari Z has plans for a sequel or a series.

The only problem I had was that it is written from both Henry and Wade’s points of view in alternating chapters. This did throw me a bit and I kept checking who’s POV I was reading. However I was so captivated by the story it didn’t affect my enjoyment. If you are a fan of shifter stories I wholeheartedly recommend Off the Beaten Path.

(Review by Morgan)

I agree with Mary, but I want to add that sometimes this was really hard. I’m sure there are some allegories between this story and “real life” camps that strike home.

I think, depending on your frame of mind, the hate and distrust and the making people feel isolated and different can really strike a nerve given our political times.

Audio

I thought Jack Wesley (new to me) did a great job. He was easy to listen to, did a nice job with the emotion, and helped differentiate the characters.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Audiobook: Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Hemovore-Audiobook/B075XSR8GL

Blurb
Mark Hansen thought working as artist’s assistant would be glamorous,
especially if that artist was a vampire. Black tie events, witty repartee,
gracing the pages of the local style section. Didn’t happen. Not even
once.

Jonathan Varga is an enigma. True, he’s quiet, generous, and scrupulously
polite. But he has zero social life, refuses to be interviewed or
photographed, and insists he can only consume feline blood.

Why supermarket blood won’t suffice, Mark hasn’t asked. He’s rarely at a
loss for words – he can dish an insult and follow it with a snap as quick
as you can say “Miss Thang.” But one look at Jonathan’s black-as-sin gypsy
eyes, and Mark’s objections drain away.

So he endures the perpetual grind of their routine: Jonathan hiding in his
studio, swiping black paint onto black canvases. Mark hurling insults
while he buffs the office to a shine with antiviral wipes. Each of them
avoiding the other in a careful choreography…until a blurb in Art in
America unleashes a chain of harrowing events neither of them could
foresee.

As secrets from Jonathan’s past are brought to light, it becomes clear
that all his precautions weren’t nearly enough.

Review

I’ve read many of Jordan Castillo Price’s novels and they’ve never failed
to thrill and this is no exception.
I love that this doesn’t follow the predictable conventions, with a middle
aged and not gorgeous protagonist. He’s very human and all the more
appealing because of it.
The world building is fascinating with a unique take on vampirism as a
blood born virus. It has a high mortality rate, but if you survive you
look like a Michaelangelo sculpture for eternity as well as drinking
blood. I love the vampire culture that’s built up throughout the book.
With vampire soap operas and mention of an influential vampire movie
starring Demi Moore and John Travolta released years back, you can see how
the vampire virus not only changed the world but created a subculture that
is both foreign and familiar.
There is a strong subtext of vampire’s treatment in society comparable to
how HIV+ people are treated with fear and prejudice. Moments where our
vampire hero Jonathon tries to pass as “V negative” resonated with me with
how LGBT people also sometimes have to pass as straight for their own
safety.
Our protagonist Mark has been Jonathon’s personal assistant for years,
crushing on the reclusive eccentric vampire artist seemingly without hope.
When a murderous vampire ex lover from Jonathon’s past goes on a
destructive cross country rampage the two men go on the run. The truth of
Jonathon’s past and his feelings for Mark are revealed.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Spooky! Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1) by Megan Erickson

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Daring-Fate-Silver-Pack-Book-ebook/dp/B01M10HZDM/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1508001635&sr=1-2&keywords=megan+erickson+silver

Blurb

We all have tragic backstories in today’s world.

I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.

When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.

As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first…

Review
Wow! This is an INTENSE story. I had to take this is shifts because the tension is so high and my emotions would run away with me. (An excellent thing for an author to be able to do – BTW.) As I’d been expecting – from reading the blurb and other reviews – this was not your typical, furry, funny, sweet shifter story. First, it’s got zombie werewolves in it – so there’s that! The mate pull is viscous and sometimes cruel and though the romance in this story is top notch and very emotional, the secondary story – living in this horrible zombie world – is hard to read.

I really enjoyed some of the mini-politics that happen in these post-apocalyptic worlds where everyone is fighting for their lives but I have to say that I tend to avoid these types of stories for a good reason – they are tough emotionally. When people/werewolves are under stress they don’t always act like nice folks.

In any case, the writing – as usual – is excellent, the world building is thorough and complex, the romance and smexy times are scorching and very compelling.

You definitely have to brace yourself for this and be prepared for something atypical, but if you’re a shifter romance fan I think you should give this a try. If you’re a dystopian/apocalypse type fan – you’ll want to give this a try as well.
(When I’ve recovered I’m moving on to book 2…wish me luck!)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Spooky Review: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3) by Jordan L. Hawk

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Hexslayer-Hexworld-Book-Jordan-Hawk-ebook/dp/B075J6XQXR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507144694&sr=8-1&keywords=hexworld+jordan

Blurb
Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.

Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.

Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.

Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.

It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.

Review

I love this series by Jordan L Hawk! It’s not my typical style, so that’s a surprise in itself, but Jordan is an amazing writer so it’s not really a surprise at all.

This series takes place in the past, with a lot of magic and is in a world where shifters (familiars) and witches are part of the main population. In fact the witches are the police and pretty much everything is run with some form of magic – but – it’s still a very harsh world and magic doesn’t necessarily preclude technological advances. It’s fascinating!

We’ve met Nick before, but you don’t have to read these books in order (necessarily) to read this one. However, I do recommend it, not only because they are so good, but because it gives a lot of background.

In this story – Nick – who hates witches – for a variety of reasons – must bond with one in order to help the ferals (unbonded familiars) who are his passion.

Poor Jamie is a “war hero” with a hole in his heart the size of New York. He can’t help but be attracted to Nick even though everything in him screams to stay away.

This is a wonderful enemies to lovers romance, with a mystery and a lot of action. We also get some social commentary and a look at how society manages “the good of all at the price of one”.

The “monster” at the end of this nearly broke my heart – but it was a wonderfully sweet and happy ending. I love these guys together and I think this just might bump book one out of line as my favorite in the series.

I literally laughed and cried and held my breath while reading this – if you’re a fan of the series or the author you won’t want to miss this. If you’ve never read anything by the author I’d suggest this series as it’s wonderful and not as long as some of the others, but I’m sure you’ll want to move on to those as well!

Highly Recommended!

5 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!)

 

   

The Half Wolf by Jay Northcote

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Half-Wolf-Jay-Northcote-ebook/dp/B075WYY8HF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506536970&sr=8-1&keywords=half+wolf+jay+northcote

Free on KU!

Blurb

Mate, family, pack, home… can Quinn and Kellan have it all?

Quinn grew up feeling out of place in the small town he calls home. Yearning for something he can’t name, he’s always felt different but never known why.

Kellan is part of a nomadic shifter pack. When they set up camp in the woods near Quinn’s town, the humans are unwelcoming and suspicious of the newcomers. The moment Kellan catches sight—and scent—of Quinn, he knows Quinn is special. But for the first time in his life, Kellan can’t trust his instincts. Quinn is human, and Kellan is a wolf shifter, so how can they ever be mates?

Their bond is instant and exhilarating. It breaks Quinn’s heart to know their relationship can only be temporary. Love isn’t enough when pack law forbids shifters to mate with humans. Tension explodes between pack and humans, and when Quinn discovers a shocking truth about himself that changes everything, he fears he’ll have to choose between the only life he’s ever known and the man he loves.

Length: 65.000 words approx
Standalone story

Review

It’s great when authors extend their comfort zones into new territory and (I think) this is one of those cases. Jay is a great writer and who always delivers a solid story with a lot of chemistry and feels. In this case, we get that and some rather interesting social commentary on how anyone “different” is made to feel less-than and whether it’s on purpose or not – prejudiced against.

In this world, shifters are known to humans, and are treated poorly by most. (Which is crazy when you consider how that could backfire!) But – in an effort to avoid more bloodshed, both parties are attempting to keep the peace.

Quinn is a human – but special – and he has no bias against shifters, but rather a fascination with them.

Kellan, who is passing through town, falls for Quinn – and while it’s not a typical “mine, mate” type of thing – his attraction goes above and beyond the norm.

Unfortunately, the two societies cannot intermix (I’m not sure why) and so the two star-crossed lovers angst over how they can be together – until a surprising twist allows them more freedom.

**

I thought this was very entertaining and a lot of fun. The writing is sharp – as usual – and the pacing quick and kept me turning pages.

I wanted to know more about the society and what had happened in the past to create the situation the boys found themselves in – as well as what was going to happen to them in the future.

I loved the HEA and I hope Jay writes more from this world in the future!

4.25 of 5 stars

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