Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Prophesy Book II: The Bringer of Wrath (The King & Alpha Series #2) by A.E. Via narrated by troy duran

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Prophesy-Book-II-The-Bringer-of-Wrath-Audiobook/1515944298?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=Z5DDAPSHSPWA0FAQEAEA&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_1515944298

Blurb
Shifter and Vampire True Mates story.

Alek’s older brother, Justice—the Alpha Zenith—was the first shifter to mate with a vampire in many generations, and it was believed the rare, fated pairing would stop at him. But, it hadn’t. Aleksei ‘Alek’ Volkov was second beta, next in succession to the most powerful shifter in the world. He was proud of his title and he took his duties seriously. It was all he had. Until his true mate literally showed up on his doorstep.

While his brother—the overachiever—excelled at having a vampire as a mate, Alek wasn’t that optimistic he would. He wasn’t averse to love, and he’d often thought of how different his life could’ve turned out if he’d ever experienced the emotion. His life was a mess and he’d worn a mask of stability for a majority of that time, only showing his siblings and pack what they needed to see—a strong Volkov alpha. Not the damaged man he was, with a tortured soul and a rogue wolf.

Alek dropped his heavy head in his hands. Now, for some reason, I’ve been granted a true vampire mate. And not just any vampire. The intimidating Belleron Liatos. Lord High to the King and the leader of his army.

Belleron ‘Bell’ Liatos had come to the states for one reason—his best friend and Vampire King, Chadwick Bentley. He certainly didn’t come to be pounced on by a wolf that could act independently of its master. Not only was his destined cherished a complicated and confused man; but he was also unaware of the powerful presence that lurked in the shadows of his soul. Bell didn’t know he’d be the key to unlocking an exceptional triad that would play a critical role in fulfilling the prophesy.

This story DOES NOT contain or even mention MPREG.
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very HFN.

Warning: This book is M/M paranormal: If you DO NOT like alpha men shifting into large wolves, or vampires feeding from their destined beloveds, than this may not be the novel for you.

Review

I love this series and I love this book! I don’t have enough superlatives to explain how much, but the world building is fantastic. Just enough uniqueness to make it stand out in the world of paranormal romance, but enough familiar themes to keep a die-hard fan like me appeased.

There were times when I definitely felt like this should be labeled as a ménage, I should warn you, however. The character building is so strong that the “beasts” inside Alec take on their own personalities and the way the author describes their interaction with one another and with Bell sometimes felt like separate beings at times… a lot of the time.

I found the explanation for Alec’s situation really well done and the way Bell manages him and his issues was also really good. I also loved that Bell never felt as “submissive” to Alec as I maybe sometimes felt with Wick and Justice.

There is a TON of smexy times, but definitely less than book 1 – which for me – was a good thing.

After having listened to book 1 on audio I can say I hope the author uses the same narrator and I can’t wait for it to make it to audio!

I think you need to read book 1 to really appreciate this, but I bet it’s fine as a standalone if you haven’t.

(I didn’t feel this was an HFN, FWIW – it felt very complete to me.)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Troy Duran is AMAZING!!! I loved this so so so much! He does a terrific job with the “triplets” as well as all the other millions of characters. So recommended!

6 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Guppy Prince (The Silver Isles #1) by C.W. Gray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48762373-the-guppy-prince?from_search=true&qid=clE8TpRERa&rank=1

Blurb

Dover Rees is a guppy tailed merman and the youngest child of the King of the Southern Silver Isles. Despite the lofty title, he fits in better with the other guppy tailed working class than with his royal siblings. Dover spends his days secluded in his creek, successfully avoiding the King’s court and all the judgmental nobles there. Then, the most wonderous and horrible thing happens. He hears the mating call and knows his alpha is waiting for him.
Ben Elliot is just a human trying to get by in a small tourist beach town. He has his art and a few good friends, and that should be enough, right? Wrong. Coming home to a quiet house and an empty bed starts to wear on him, but none of the omegas he knows appeal to him. Until a storm knocks him off his fishing boat and he’s rescued by a mysterious, blue-haired omega.

Together, Dover and Ben forge a bond strong enough to stand against the storm of corrupt lords, court politics, and a cursed king.
Author’s Note: Around 47,000 words. This is a paranormal, merman, mpreg insta-love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There are a few potty mouths, so beware. 18+ readers only, please. It is book one in The Silver Isles series.

Review

This was just too much.  Too sappy.  Too long.  Too much side story.  Too many characters.  Too many cheesy jokes.  Just too much.

 

I loved the idea but it quickly grew tiring.

 

Not recommended.

 

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Bachelor Thief (A Paranormal’s Love #28) by Charlie Richards

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48837439-the-bachelor-thief?from_search=true&qid=ksMHh1alKD&rank=1

Blurb

Into the Paranormal World: When a confirmed bachelor stumbles into the paranormal world, he must reconcile how his connection with a gargoyle will affect his life.

Attain Walsh knew something was odd at Nicholas Lindson’s ranch. Ever since his best friend married Sandra, things have turned…strange. Wanting to get to the bottom of things, Attain begins to show up unexpectedly. He’s shocked to stumble across Nicholas making out with someone other than his wife. The idea that his buddy was a cheat had never crossed his mind. Unable to help himself, Attain confronts Nicholas…and learns that the marriage is a sham. Both Nicholas and Sandra have separate partners. Not only that, but his friend’s partner—Bodb—isn’t human. He’s a gargoyle. When Attain meets more of them, he’s shocked to find himself attracted to one of the huge beasts—a dark-blue gargoyle named Ssimeas. Then he learns about mates—someone the gargoyle considers the other half of their soul—and Ssimeas claims that Attain is his. But Attain is a confirmed bachelor. He has no desire to be anyone’s soul mate. Can Attain convince the gargoyle to leave him alone? Or will the male’s flattering pursuit sway him into turning his life upside down?

Review

This is a new Charlie Richard’s based on her paranormal gargoyle series. It is pretty much as you would expect. The main character who falls for the gargoyle identifies as straight and has a very conservative family. There is not a lot of plot nor relationship building. It is pretty much exactly what the other gargoyle stories are. However if you enjoyed those, you’ll enjoy this. I should note however that the female in the story is awful and unnecessarily so I don’t think she behaved in any way like a normal person. And it absolutely detracted from my enjoyment. I would round it from 2 1/2 to 3 stars but only just barely I did feel that this was egregious. Three stars.



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Alpha Knows Best (Shifter Kings #1) by Aja Foxx

GoodReads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47415169-alpha-knows-best?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Shifter King Montgomery Beck has been doing his duty to the high council for the last twenty-five years as he waits to claim his mate. When the time comes, he doesn’t care who he has to fight to get Fagan. The sweet little omega is his and he’ll defy anyone who gets in the way.

Fagan has spent his entire life in a monastery being trained to serve whatever master he is given to. The day before his twenty-fifth birthday, someone comes for him and he’s shown a world he has no knowledge of, but one he should have been taught about from birth. When he’s introduced to a shifter fate says is his, one who speaks to him in his soul, Fagan has to decide if he believes the shifter king’s outlandish tale or if the man is just plain crazy.

When their worlds collide, Beck and Fagan go up against those who are trying to keep them apart, but there are forces at work who want Beck out of the way so Fagan can be turned over to the master he was trained to serve. The things they discover as they fight to stay together will shake the very foundation of the paranormal world.

Review

This was a fun series to stumble upon! I like the new world we’ve got here with blind omegas and Shifter Kings. It’s predictable and mpreg so if those aren’t your thing…

The smexy times were good and Fagan eventually comes into his own. Beck is a great but humble Alpha and the conflict is reasonable.

All in all, fun and a great find!

 

Recommended

3.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Surfing with a Seahorse (Beneath Aquatica’s Waves #6) by Charlie Richards

Extasy Books

https://www.extasybooks.com/charlie-richards/978-1-4874-2649-1-surfing-with-a-seahorse/

Blurb

World of Aquatica: When a seahorse shifter discovers his mate in a big handsome human, he must extricate him from his small controlling boyfriend.

Colton Martinez is a seahorse shifter and lives a comfortable life at World of Aquatica, a shifter owned and operated marine park. When a number of others find their Fate-given mates, he doesn’t give finding his own much thought—until he scents the most alluring aroma in a big, handsome human named Waylon Davison. Discovering his mate has a boyfriend doesn’t deter Colton. Instead, he lifts Waylon’s wallet and, with the help of friends, plans his strategy for wooing the man. After learning his human is disturbingly cowed by his boyfriend, Colton realizes Waylon has more to overcome than the shock of discovering that shifters exist. Even if Colton can convince Waylon to dump his jerk of a boyfriend, can he convince his human that entering a pairing with a man chosen by Fate isn’t a new prison?

Review

This was very meh. I totally didn’t ever bond with Waylon and felt kind of skeeved out that he had a boyfriend for the first half of the book.

There just wasn’t much to this that hadn’t been done before and I was disappointed there wasn’t more about Colton being a seahorse as part of the story. Maybe mpreg? Anyhow…

3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Reluctant Wolf (Cloverleah Pack #1) by Lisa Oliver Narrated by John York

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Reluctant-Wolf-Audiobook/B07TVQBCXP?qid=1564958306&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MF003FMEDHYEPD52T0WZ&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

Kane Matthews, Alpha of his small wolf pack in Cloverleah has been raised to believe that mates are not possible for gay men and has lived his life accordingly. Kicked out of his home pack years before because of his sexual orientation Kane has built a solid and comfortable life for himself in the small town of Cloverleah.
Imagine his surprise when an unscheduled visit to the small town’s diner unleashes a flood of emotions in the man he didn’t think possible – not least of all, lust. But finding out it is possible for wolf shifters to have gay mates is just one of the things that Kane has to overcome if he is to have the forever future he has been hoping for.

Shawn Bailey never expected to find his mate. He is just too different – an “Other” who has the power to instill fear in any other shifter. After spending ten years on the run from his Alpha father he spends most days just trying to stay alive. When a
chance encounter brings him face to face with his mate Shawn has to decide if the man in front of him is worth staying for.

But with hunters, Alpha challenges, Kane’s parents and a smitten Alpha from another pack all interfering in Kane and Shawn’s budding romance, not to mention some surprising answers about Shawn’s own unique talents can these two true mates find the happily ever after they are looking for?

Warning: Some people may find the content of this book objectionable. Includes m/m, graphic sexual situations, a short BDSM scene, strong language and shifter/magic themes.

Review

In my quest to give good books/authors/series more “press”, I’m reviewing books that I’ve loved and missed giving a formal review.

I’ve reviewed some of the later books in this series, but this is the book that started it all and this is a series you really need to read in order.

The over-arching premise is that Cloverleah (and it’s “sister pack” in San Antonio are special shifters (and others) who end up working together against common enemies. (I think something big is coming up but I’m not sure.)

It starts with Kane separating from his pack and joining with other gay wolves to make his own tiny pack. Even though, typically, we’d have one alpha, there are several in his pack and it somehow works.

Shawn is a Shifter Guardian (explained in the book) and that means he’s got some super extra special talents that get used A LOT (which is awesome!).

In addition to the over arching theme of banding together in a unique way, we get one (or several) enemy to be vanquished in each book as well as one couple (or triad) falling in love.

Shawn and Kane are two Alphas but they are equals to the core. Their love is sweet and fierce and tender all at the same time. I have to say that I don’t remember the other books in the series having nearly so much sex as this book – but Shawn and Kane have a LOT of sex. Most of it’s pretty hot, but I did skim it the second time around reading this.

For me, I love the magic and paranormal aspects in this series. Lisa Oliver remembers that these are unique beings and so they do unique things all the time. It’s wonderful! They also really love one another and are amazingly sweet to each other.

The BDSM stuff is hardly noticeable and is mostly a vehicle for people to meet in a gay club. Occasionally there will be reference to a Dom or a sub from the past, but none of the couples really do that on page.

I highly recommend this series to Paranormal Romance fans! (Please look past the covers, and know that as the series goes on the writing improves and the dialog gets smoother!)

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

John York is a new to me narrator. He does a fairly nice job with this and I didn’t get annoyed too much by his narration. Somehow he finds a way to make the lack of contractions and the stilted dialog that Lisa’s earlier works were plagued by fade into the background – which is excellent. I was definitely worried how that was going to play out.

He does a nice job trying to distinguish the many, many characters and for the most part he does a nice job.

I didn’t love his voice or accent and he definitely isn’t my favorite narrator, but he does a good job and this was a fair way to enjoy this series.

3.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Stalking My Mate (Assassins Inc. #5) by Stormy Glenn

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45454417-stalking-my-mate?from_search=true

Blurb

Stalker

I was stalking my mate and I had good reason. He was bonded to someone else, but that didn’t absolve me of my duty to him, or my obsession. Making sure he was happy and safe, even if it wasn’t with me, was just something I had to do. When I discovered he wasn’t, all bets were off.

Jojo

I’d given up the dream of a mate in exchange for the life of my son. It was an exchange I willingly gave to have Tommy with me. When our lives were threatened, escaping with Tommy was my only option. I just wasn’t sure where we were going to escape to or who could help us, but someone had to. I’d already lost my mate. I couldn’t lose my son.

Review

This is a fun series.  Each story is pretty quick with some hot smexy times a little action and usually a fair dose of humor.

 

In this case the comic relief comes from Bob – he’s a great character! – rather than the two MCs. 

 

I wish there was more shifting in these stories – it feels more like a reason to have fated mates more than anything else – but overall it’s still enjoyable.

 

3 of 5 stars


Purchased for review

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Stealing His Heart (Connoll Pack series book #1) by Bru Baker

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stealing-his-heart-by-bru-baker-10269-b

Blurb

Danny’s parents raised him to believe his wolf was a curse. He’s part of the wealthy and powerful Connoll Pack, but only nominally. He abandoned that world to volunteer with supernatural kids, and he isn’t looking for a mate….

Max is a shifter who is also a detective. He’s working a case that could make or break his career. Danny’s caught up in the case he’s on, and he’s also irresistible. They’re a bad match—Max, an Alpha having trouble with his new powers and Danny, who trusts Alphas as far as he could throw one. But they can’t get enough of each other, and they might bond before they even see it coming.

They could be amazing together, but they have to get past a few obstacles—especially since someone close to Danny might be involved in the thefts Max is investigating.

Review
This is a cute shifter romance with a lot of humor and playful banter going around. It’s shifters, so there’s the whole mating thing, which is always fun, but it’s done surprisingly sweetly with a lot of emphasis on learning to know and trust each other, instead of just starting a relationship based on insta-lust and hoping for the best.

What’s a bit atypical in this story is that we get (some) werewolves who aren’t proud of their heritage, and actually look down on their animal half and try to suppress it or ignore it. In most shifter stories that sort of bigoted attitude is usually reserved for intolerant human antagonists and is not internalized by weres the way it is here.
Danny is raised in one such family and has the emotional scars to prove it. He’s used to fending for himself, so it was nice to see Max care for him and help him out. I liked seeing Danny get “adopted” so enthusiastically by Max’s family, which made for some heartwarming moments as well as unexpected revelations.
The mystery surrounding the thefts that Max is investigating is well-written and a nice way to introduce an element of danger and suspense into the story.

Stealing His Heart is the first book in a new series and it is set in the same universe as the Camp Howl series. We get brief glimpses of characters from the first series and references to Camp Howl as well, which I really liked. It’s always nice to see how the MC’s from previous books are faring.

m/m, gay, paranormal, shifter, finding family, fated mates

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I loved this!  I thought this was one of Bru Baker’s better stories!

I love their chemistry, the secondary characters and how their feelings for one another manifest.  I love the “mine/mate” feel to this.

Highly recommended!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Retro Review: Shattered Secrets (In the Shadow of the Wolf #1) by R.J. Scott , Diane Adams

Blurb

Rob is a cop and has just passed his thirtieth birthday, being promoted to a special police task force specializing in wolf / human cases. He sees it all. The seedy underbelly of city life, the fights, the murders, and the parts of human / wolf interaction that people would rather ignore. He meets a young man, Jamie, at a club and embarks on the hottest one night stand of his life. Little does he know that his lover is a shifter. He has no worries with wolves, but interspecies relationships are not on his to-do list.

When a case involving kidnappings of young werewolves lands on Rob’s desk the ugly face of the werewolf sex trade is something he has to deal with. With Jamie seemingly at the centre of it all can Rob push past his prejudices and keep his lover alive?

Review

I’m not sure why I hadn’t read this before but I love RJ Scott and have enjoyed Diane Adams work in the past and I ran across a mention of this somewhere… you get the picture.

 

In any case I really enjoyed this!  There are a few plot holes – like the “I don’t want to date a shifter because we wouldn’t be equals” that are small and don’t really interfere with my overall enjoyment. 

 

There is a fair amount of hot smexy times and “mine” / mate feelz.  There is an exciting crime to solve and some shifted times as well.

 

Overall I read through this quickly and can’t wait to move on to book 2!

 

Highly recommended to shifter fans!

4.25 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: His Consort by Mary Calmes Narrated by Scott Smith

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/his-consort-by-mary-calmes-9995-b

Blurb
A new life in New Orleans is all Jason Thorpe had hoped: his quaint little store attracts a devoted staff and his warm, loving heart grants him a loyal circle of friends. He’s perfectly content, having left behind the chill of a confusing and danger-filled night in Washington, until he discovers something unbelievable lurking in the steamy darkness of the shadowy streets of the Vieux Carré, something that turns out to be terrifying… and utterly mesmerizing.

The prince of the vampyrs, Varic Maedoc, is visiting New Orleans when he finds out the man who once helped his counselor is there in the Quarter. He thinks to simply meet and thank Jason—until he lays eyes on him. Varic’s devoted himself to protect the honor of his race, and he’s never wanted a mate before… but he immediately knows he must have this man, and no one else will do.

Varic may want to bring Jason safely into his world, but someone who doesn’t like the human’s soothing influence on vampyrs has deadly plans that would disrupt Varic’s dreams. Now, unable to tell friend from foe, Jason finds himself wondering how to hold on to the prince’s heart when he’s fighting for his life.

Review by Karen (book reviewed here previously)

I don’t think anyone can bring the soulmate/fated mate vibe to a story as well as Mary Calmes can. There’s no doubting the all-encompassing, blissful feelings that well up between Jason and Varic. I loved that they are so drawn to each other from the first, but even more that it’s not just about chemistry or power, but true love and appreciation of the other person that makes them so strong together.

I’m impressed by the amount of detail that went into the world-building and the setting of this story, bringing into it such history and a great cast of secondary characters. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them in a follow-up story! We get to know Jason really well from the first, whereas our prince remains far more enigmatic. It takes a while for him to make an appearance “on page”. The author sure understands how to build up anticipation!

Jason is an incredibly endearing hero, strong and capable, but with a soft heart underneath. Varic, he who has it all and has had it for what seems like an eternity, needs to swiftly adjust to what it means to have a modern-day man for a mate, and how vulnerable that makes him feel. It’s not as easy as he might have expected, but his devotion to Jason never wavers.

The story is excellently paced with various vampyr political intrigues to muddy the waters for our heroes. Danger lurks in unexpected places and it’s hard to know who to trust. I didn’t see the threat coming at all! It was brilliant! Though less so for our MC’s, of course…

This was such an enjoyable read, I was totally swept away by it. It was all so intense! Loved it!

Number of stars out of 5: 5

Audiobook Review by Morgan

Well- let’s just say that I wasn’t as enthralled by the story as Karen was. I’ve been a big fan of Mary’s in the past and have really enjoyed her paranormal stories as well as some of her contemporary romances. Lately I’ve been re-visiting them and I think that while I still quite enjoy them – I maybe don’t love them like I used to.

This story kind of exemplifies the good and the bad in a Calmes story. She’s amazing at world building and not afraid to use terms and words that are unique. These can totally make the reader feel like they’re reading about something real or historical or otherworldly because it’s so complex and thorough and well-documented. However, the odd names sometimes feel bulky and as a reader I sometimes faltered over them. As a listener it was certainly made more easy but it still brought me out of the story and that isn’t a good thing.

Another Calmes trait is her clueless “aww shucks, who me?” MC that everyone adores and yet never knows his own worth. On one hand I really love that guy, on the other the repetitive nature of this guy has grown a bit tired. His counterpart – the more aggressive/kinetic/powerful MC is also a familiar face and in this case I never warmed to Varic at all. He wasn’t nearly as much of the story as Jason and I never got to see the two fall in love or really to understand why they did (unless it was a vague paranormal mate/consort thing that they couldn’t control – it was confusing.)

The secondary characters in Calme’s stories are always fun and well developed and they were here as well. I was just not that enthralled by them as I had been in some of her other books – probably because they were expected.

Just as I felt with her Change of Heart series – I think the world building was too much and the violence was OTT and the relationship rushed and non-romantic.

I’m afraid I’d give this a 2 of 3 stars and I can’t really recommend it.

As for the Audio –

Well – Scott Smith is one of those guys – I can’t say I like him but I tolerate him and he’s easy enough to listen to. He definitely tries with the accents and he tries to say all those new words well – but he’s still not great at pacing or emphasis or non-dialog passages.

I’d give him a 3 of 5 stars.

Overall 2.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review