Time to go Dark: Dax’s Desire (Avanti Chronicles Book 5) by Hannah Walker

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29873466-dax-s-desire?from_search=true

Blurb
The Avanti have made their way to Berinias, the capital and heart of Landran society. Not only is it King Kastain’s home ground, but it’s the seat of the Conclave’s power.
Dax finally gets to see Kastain in all his glory— regal, confident, powerful and downright sexy. As events unfold, Dax and Kastain realize everything happening with the Derin, with Martellon, Nestor and Teriva, is linked. Their enemies draw closer and the plots and machinations of the Conclave deepen. They just need to work out who is behind it all and what they hope to gain.
Kastain finds himself turning to Dax, the one person he seems to be able to count on more than anything. The bond between the two leaders is stronger than they expected, and they long for rare times alone so they can explore it. Instead their time is taken up trying to work out which Chieftains they can count on and who is attempting to undermine them at every turn.
When plots and betrayals run deep within the heart of the capital, who will succeed and who will pay the ultimate price?

Review
And the storyline continues!

With each of the previous books we have seen the political posturing of all the groups and in this story it all centers around the King , the Capital and the Avanti. Some questions are answered and more are asked. And while all of this is going on another of the Avanti finds the love of his life.

King Kastain and Avanti leader Dax are both strong personalities yet when they get the chance to be alone they really are both soft and caring men. With all the political intrigue weaved through the story there is also comic relief and also truly hot sex scenes.

Many questions are answered but nothing is truly solved. The story does end in a HEA for the couple, but those of us who are following series are waiting impatiently for the next book and the next set of clues to the ongoing storyline.

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Dragon’s Heat (City Dragons Series, Book 1) by Lisa Oliver; Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Dragons-Heat-Audiobook/B07C9ZR9XY?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=WF804XH5TG09H67DKAWF&

Blurb

Jon Erskine had made a good life for himself as one of the top forensic accounts and systems analysts in the country. He doesn’t mind working with paranormal clients – after all, he’s a shifter himself. However, he could do without all the slurs and derogatory comments. Not all shifters are wolves, bears, or other predators. Still, his expertise and reputation is solid, and Jon is more than capable of holding his own. That is, until Dirk Hollingsworth runs from his office.
Dirk is running out of time. He has to find out who’s been stealing from his company before his father turns up for his wedding in three weeks time. Acting on the recommendation of a friend, Dirk turns to Jon, or at least thinks about it. That is, until he catches the man’s scent in the doorway of his office and does a runner. Not the proudest moment for one of the proudest of all shifters, but Dirk has a responsibility to his clan and catching the tantalizing scent of a dog isn’t going to change anything. Or so he thinks.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This was a really sweet, funny, and sexy story of a pair of fated mates making the other “better”. Sort of a “Romeo and Juliet” thing again where the two shouldn’t mate but – of course – they have to!

There is very little angst, a fair amount of smexy times and some nice feelz.

Highly Recommended to fans of the author, shifter romances and low angst/fated mate stories.

3.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Sean Crisden is awesome! I was so glad to see he was the narrator for this. Such fun! He does a great job with alpha characters and I thought he handled the emotions, the various characters and humor wonderfully.

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

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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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

Time to Laugh: How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24843427-how-to-howl-at-the-moon?from_search=true

Blurb

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.

Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.

Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.

Review

This is a book I think everyone will love, or at least all of the dog lovers out there. When a dog is loved and bonded to a human, they can develop the “spark” and become a quickened. What they call the ability to become human.

Eli Easton has taken a great idea and woven a love story, some laughter, and some suspense together to create a story that keeps you turning the pages to see what happens. Characters have their dog personalities, so happy friendly dogs are happy friendly people. Working dogs are intense and somewhat controlling people, etc. And Mothers are nosey and try to be controlling.

The suspense hinges on keeping the town obscure, while pot growers are trying to set up new locations. The new guy in town has rented a cabin just outside of town and stops at the diner to eat before heading there and of course he smells like pot. It just gets more complicatedly funny from there…..

Overall a happy and sweet story that gives you a “come cuddle with me” feeling.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Forgiveness (Forbes Mates #4) by Grace R. Duncan

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/forgiveness-by-grace-r-duncan-9470-b

Blurb
Ben’s love can help Eric find the forgiveness he needs… if Eric can accept it.

Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.

Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.

When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?

Review

This is such a great series!

 

I adore this “world”. It follows the classic shifter “rules” but has this element of “real” to it that makes it feel a bit more authentic without removing the shine of the magic that comes with being able to shift.

 

The characters are very well developed and I really appreciate seeing the same characters interact with one another as the series proceeds.

 

In this case I thought Eric was a little annoying in his insistence to resist Ben when clearly everything in his vicinity is showing him that Ben is nothing like his first “mate” – but…. I was glad to see Ben and Eric together for the story rather than fighting their attraction apart.

 

The chemistry and tenderness these two share was really great and I loved them as a couple.

 

Highly recommended to fans of the author and the series and though I think you could easily read this as a standalone I think it is MUCH better as part of the series in order.

 

4.25 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Tried and True (THIRDS Book 10) By Charlie Cochet

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tried-true-by-charlie-cochet-9070-b

Blurb

When THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner—literally—would shake both their worlds. Now four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional… and fallen deeply in love. Now their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….

With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.

Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there come hell or high water….

Review
(Book reviewed here previously by Beth)

Charlie Cochet has ended her series on a huge rush! Nonstop action up to the end! The book starts 3 weeks before the wedding and it’s seems that every time Dex and Sloane turn around they are in a life and death situation. If not them, then it’s someone close to them.

We are taken on a roller coaster of emotions throughout the story, with your heart in your throat action scenes. The chemistry between Dex and Sloane is explosive both in and out of the bedroom. Everything is tied up nicely, with the shocking surprise on who is the head bad guy. We even see a brief scene, where Dex is caught purring. The story concludes with the wedding that is well done and tasteful and leaves the reader with tears in their eyes.

I have to say that Charlie Cochet could not have done a better job of telling the ending of this series. Yet left it open enough that if she wanted to continue it she could.

Review by Morgan

I have to agree with Beth. This is a great ending to an amazing series. I’ll admit to both being really sad the ride is over and grateful at the same time, because I just can’t watch our boys go through any more trauma!

This is a fans’ book and only to be read as part of the series, but fans will HAVE to read it.

Audio

Thankfully Mark Westfield has been able to narrate the entire series as much like Daniel Radcliffe became the face of Harry Potter, so does he become the voice of Dex and Sloane.

He adds so much to the experience with sound effects and accents and overall it’s just an amazing trip!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: The Supers by Sean Michael Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview
Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-supers-by-sean-michael-9498-b

Blurb
Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building, an abandoned hospital, together. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real

Review

Book reviewed here previously:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/spooky-the-supers-the-supers-1-by-sean-michael/

There were a couple of surprises when I started this audiobook. The first was that this is not a usual Sean Michael style of story and the second was the way it picked up pace and changed direction half way through. For the first couple of hours I thought ok this is a gentle romance about ghost hunters. The characters are all lovely and I can see each of them getting their own book. Then it changes and I sat up, took more notice. Ghosts haunt Blane. And don’t get me started on the yucky bite on Blaine’s neck. Sean Michael throws everything into this plot line. Possession, reincarnations, wronged gay lovers and crime mystery. What more is left for future books. Sean Michael didn’t disappoint on the sexy times either in this half.

This is only the second book I’ve listened to narrated by Kenneth Obi. He does quite a good job with the characterisations. Each one has a distinct voice which fits well with how they are portrayed in the story. All of them except for Flynn have a young carefree hippie vibe about them (am I showing my age by that remark?). Which is distinctly different from the other book I listened to narrated by him.

Number of stars 4 out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/mage-of-inconvenience-by-parker-foye-9390-b

Blurb
Can they find the magic in a practical union?

West is on the run from his werewolf pack, but if he cannot renew his magical defenses, he won’t get far. What he needs is a mage….

Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family, and one day, his legacy will include his mother’s vast library of spell books—and the knowledge he needs to correct his past mistakes. But his inheritance comes with a stipulation: he has to be married before he can collect. What he needs is a husband….

West and Julian can help each other, and at first they don’t want anything further. But as they dodge meddling cousins, jealous rivals, and an insidious drug, it becomes clear that their lives are entwined in ways they never imagined—and they’re in greater danger than they thought possible

Review
I’m a sucker for this kind of trope where they make a bargain then fall in love. This one is a little different. They are a Mage and a Werewolf for one. There is a lot more than just a will, dare I say motherly interference after she has passed away (I don’t mean as a ghost just spells left behind). Julian puts up a front of ampretentious young man to all those who meet him. Only those close know how insecure he can be. West was on the run from his father that’s why he’s hiding. As the story progressed and I got to know both characters I found myself drawn more towards West than Julian. Julian needs not only to marry but to form a bond, which he doesn’t really believe in. West does believe in bonds but needs Julian’s skills. The majority of the story is dealing with interference and the bond growing between them. Julian’s two cousins and West’s family cause trouble for them in different ways. The problem I have is that it seemed like the bond just appeared. There is no sex in the story so either the bond grows out of affection or it’s a subtle fated mate situation. Also considering that West is hiding from his family, apart from his brother there is no mention of them at the end. Overall not one of my favourite stories but good enough.

3 of stars out of 5

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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