Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: The Witch’s Blood (The Ellwood Chronicles #3) by Michele Notaro Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Witchs-Blood-Audiobook/B08424F8VD?pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=CTDFBBHYFYFWE3S28MVZ&ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_B08424F8VD

Blurb

I’ve been living with this burden for years, but my secret has finally been revealed and I feel like I can breathe again. I’ve wanted to ask—to beg—for help, but the spell that’s held me captive wouldn’t allow it. With it out in the open, I’m more determined than ever to break the seal from my chest so I can truly be free.

But what if my seal has something to do with one of the most feared prophecies of the millennium?

“A broken seal breaks the fragile hold…”

What does that mean? How am I connected? And why do I find myself so deeply drawn to Julius when I know my viramore, my soulmate, is out there somewhere? It’s not fair to either of us for me to lead Jules on, but it seems that my vampire companion is fierce in his determination to help me.

The Witch’s Blood is the third book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of the overall story as we follow Emrys, Julius, Sebastian, and Ailin on their journey. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.

Recommended Reading Order:
The Enchanter’s Flame
The Witch’s Seal
The Enchanter’s Soul
The Witch’s Blood

Review

What a great series! I loved finally finding out the truth behind Emrys and seeing the story for the whole Ellwood clan come together.

Michele Notaro is great at combining humor, magic, smexy times, and feelz.

This is really not a standalone, but I never read “The Witch’s Seal” and I still feel like I’ve gotten all that I needed to from the others in the series.

Highly recommended to fans of the series.

Audio

 

I enjoyed Kenneth Obi’s interpretation of Julian and Emrys.  This was a great way to enjoy the story.

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Legally Mated (Mercy Hills Pack, Book 5) By: Ann-Katrin Byrde Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview
Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Legally-Mated-MM-Gay-Mpreg-Romance-Audiobook/B081J32ZVJ?qid=1574031789&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=MKHBKK38AZ47EWAS7JF7&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

More than a century ago, the Segregation Laws made enemies of humans and shifters, and imprisoned the pack behind their enclave walls.
Laine wants Garrick. He wants him out from behind those walls and being what he was meant to be – a brilliant lawyer. He also wants to claim Garrick openly as his partner, but with the prejudice on both sides, he’ll never get what he wants. Unless he can pull off something spectacular.
Like getting Garrick admitted to the Bar.
Garrick’s spent so much of his life keeping secrets, he doesn’t know how to open up to another person. Even if it’s Laine, the human lawyer who stole Garrick’s heart and made him want things he could never have. But Laine’s pushing too hard, and there’s another lawyer, one from Washington, holding out the promise of truly eliminating the laws keeping shifters locked behind walls. If they could bring those down, then maybe some of Garrick’s dreams could become reality. If only he could make Laine see….
All while an unforeseen gift of history creates rumbles of change in the packs, and drives Mercy Hills to an announcement that will rock shifter society to the roots.

Review

You have to be tenacious with these stories but they’re all really good.

I think the author could use a strong hand with editing and the stories would be improved, but I do love the characters and their journey to growth.

This story did not emphasize the MCs as much as I’d wish but their story was sweet in the end. For this, I had to mark it down in ratings – I read these for the romance and that wasn’t as much the focus as in the other books.

I’ve really enjoyed watching where this band of shifters has gone over time.

I love Nick J Russo and so listening to these (long) stories is very enjoyable.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Wishing on a Dream by Michele Notaro

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48705196-wishing-on-a-dream?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=jBg850pafy&rank=1

Blurb

I can’t really complain about my life; I have a job I love and a best friend that fills the void of my nonexistent family, but sometimes I’m lonelier than I like to admit. Especially with the holiday season approaching, I can’t help but wish I had someone special to share it with.
My friend gives me a snow globe with a man and a snowy owl inside, and for some bizarre reason, this man starts showing up every night when I close my eyes. It’s… not real, but I can’t seem to get the guy out of my head. It probably shouldn’t surprise me that my brain conjures up the perfect man in my dreams… well, almost perfect if he’d stop claiming to be a warlock. But the crazy thing is that all of it—that he—feels so real.
When I start falling for the man, the warlock, I can’t help but wish that what we have in my dreams could be a reality. I know it can’t, but at least when I’m asleep, I can be with him—with Alaric.
Although this book is part of A Snow Globe Christmas series, it is a complete stand alone and it isn’t a requirement that you read the previous books to follow along. We wish everyone a happy holiday season.
Review

I loved this!  It was magical and sweet and full of surprising moments.  For me, the story was fresh and offered a new twist on a familiar theme – sort of like a genie trapped in a bottle.

 

It was fun watching these two fall in love and watching “Ric” explore the modern world.

 

Highly recommended!

 

5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Book 4) by SJ Himes

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42974635-mastering-the-flames?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Guilt-ridden after the massacre of his family, Isaac Salvatore turned to binge drinking to escape the pain. Now twenty-four years old, Isaac is a recovering alcoholic woefully out of practice in the magical arts, leaving his fire affinity hanging on the edge of disaster. After a month of rehab, he returns to Beacon Hill and his family, determined to remain sober, learn to control his magic, and figure out a plan for his life that doesn’t involve drinking.

Constantine Batiste is the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Born in ancient Gaul, the bastard son of a Celtic king, his long life has been shrouded in tragedy and horrors. Recent mistakes have left him wary and determined to guard his clan from all foes. When two of his clan members fall victim to an ancient evil, he summons the Necromancer of Boston for aid. Accompanying his older brother to the Tower is the handsome young fire mage once wounded by Constantine’s arrogance, and their encounter reignites an attraction that burns within both Constantine and Isaac.

The answer to who is targeting the vampires of Boston is buried in the dark, early days of Constantine’s transition to an immortal life. Isaac finds himself saddled with a painful insight into the evil cutting a swath through the supernatural population of Boston. While his brother, Angel, takes over the hunt to find and stop the threat to the city, Isaac struggles to find a balance between helping his brother and finding his own purpose and place in the world, free from his brother’s shadow.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan, but mastering the flames that burn between him and Constantine soon becomes the most important thing in his life, even as an ancient evil seeks to destroy them.

Review: There are some series that are worth waiting for as long as it takes for the next story. This is one of those series and this book was worth waiting for!
This is not a standalone (and is not meant to be).
The excellent world-building continues – Isaac, Angel’s alcoholic brother, has finished with rehab. He’s still trying to find his purpose and relearning how to use his power – he’s a fire mage – but lack of confidence, self-blame and regret seem to be holding him back. One person he hasn’t forgotten is Constantine, the Boston vampire Master.
Ms. Himes gives us more of Constans, (as he was known in the BCE time period), background and how he became what he is. Constantine’s past is cleverly tied into the current mystery of the present day murders makes the story all the more interesting.
The romance between Isaac and Constantine develops naturally (they had kissed in the previous book), much to Angels’ annoyance. Both Constantine and Isaac work well together, and it’s nice to see them work their way to being a couple.
The story is well researched, well written and an excellent addition to the series; (it may tie as my favourite with book 1). Old friends/family like Angel, Simeon, Eroch, Daniel, Ruari all have prominent roles in the story, without overshadowing the main couple ☺
There is a hint that there may be another Salvatore making an appearance! I can’t wait!!!

4.5 stars out of 5
Reviewer Name: Dee


Copy Purchased for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves Duet book #1) by Joanna Chambers

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47167640-gentleman-wolf?from_search=true

Blurb
An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf

Review

Chambers skillfully and masterfully weaves a story of fantasy in a delightful historical setting. This is one of two books and has a HFN/Open ending that is not a cliffhanger but you would have to wait for January 2020 for the second installment in the series.

Much like in her Enlightenment series, the research put into this book is meticulous and her language rich. This is one of the things I like most about historical romance, and when done well it can pull you centuries back in time. Chambers paints a vivid picture of 18th century Scotland, alongside a werewolf tale that feels both mainstream and uniquely different. Her choice of cover art is by the fabulous artist Felix d’Eon, who does lgbtq+ art in his unique old school, humorist style and representation of ALL the letters (check his out, you will not regret it). An artist I have been following for a few years and admire, just goes to show how meticulous Chambers is in her world building and authenticity.

I rather enjoy shifters when they are well written, and I find there are so many that follow the same well-worn path I have to be very picky about what I choose to read. This story has all the classical elements yet keeps it fresh and intriguing. Lindsey is a very relatable, yet surprising character, and I was rather fond of him from the start. His miserable beginning at the hands of a cruel master is contrasted by the happy, almost vain man he became a 100 years later. His meeting with Drew Nicol is a perfect clashing of wills and passions and the opposites attract in an almost painful way. They are raw and sensual, extremely HOT together, and Drew is the most soulful character you just want to sooth and hug. They both fight against their most secret wants and instincts, and ultimately have to make some very hard decisions.

Lindsey is on the run from a dangerous individual, and in their game of cat and mouse Drew inevitably gets tangled up. Nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted, they have to face the consequences of Lindsey’s actions, and I cannot wait for the second book to bring this story to its conclusion.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Omega Released by Tanya Chris

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43815174-omega-released?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Growing up in the Hinterlands hasn’t prepared Benjy for life in North Leland where the alphas grow to an alarming size and he’s expected to get a job. He’s never been farther than running distance from his den until the morning his father drops him off in the city to be claimed by the first alpha who‘ll have him. Of all the things Benjy isn’t prepared for, finding his own mate is at the top of the list.

Fortunately, JT has all that covered—a bed to sleep in, a job at the library he’s in the process of opening, even matchmaking services. There might be wolves in North Leland who disapprove of JT’s wild omega ways, but he knows all the hottest alphas and he for sure knows how to take care of himself. He can take care of Benjy too, even when Benjy goes into his first heat. But could any of North Leland’s alphas really be good enough for his precious potato?

Review: This is the third in the Omega series, but this is the first one that I have read. It reads very well as a standalone, though I think I may have missed out on the world-building from the earlier books, (not enough to detract from the story).

Benjy is a very sheltered, naïve wolf shifter who is brought from his backwater village to a town to find an alpha mate. He was so adorably clueless about so many things, being so sheltered. He is paired up with JT, a more worldly omega, and his eyes are opened to a whole new world or freedom.
Once I understood the type of world the story is set in (half modern, half technologically behind), I really started to enjoy the interactions between Benjy and JT and the different couple pairings – 2 alphas, an alpha and beta, etc. There is also an interesting sub-plot involving the pack Alpha (Marta) and her sons Angel and Devin.
There is a bit of social commentary – e.g. people should be free to love/marry who they want and anyone can stand up for what they believe in – everyone has a right to their opinion. I didn’t find the messages are preachy; they are woven into the story seamlessly.

A unique story that I enjoyed it a lot.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Kennard’s Story (Cronin’s Key IV) by N.R. Walker

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43572632-kennard-s-story?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Kennard and Stas have been enjoying being newly bonded mates, hidden away for the last six months in Stas’ cabin, deep in the forests of Northern Russia. When they get a visit from Alec, Cronin, Eiji, and Jodis, Kennard and Stas decide to return to London where they get news of a supernatural disturbance in India.

Excited for a new adventure, the band of friends embark on a journey like they’ve never seen before. Following a trail of snakes and serpents, they slip through gates into timeless dimensions all over the world, leaving them without their vampire powers. Even Alec is powerless as they follow a trail of gates and doorways to their final destination.
But the bad guy isn’t who they think it is, and Kennard will need to draw on his past to save their future. Because history is never what it seems…

Review:
When we left Cronin and Alec (Cronin’s Key III), Kennard had found his mate, Stas. The cosmopolitan, city vamp and the Russian lumberjack vamp; talk about opposites!
The story starts off with the 2 men still in their honeymoon period, getting to know each other in and out of bed (mostly in ;)). Kennard is now much happier having found his mate, even willing to wear non designer clothing (gasp!).
We also get to catch up with the rest of the gang – Cronin, Alec, Jodis and Eiji, with Alec giving hilarious driving lessons to the others.
However, the book is called Cronin’s Key IV for a reason – another adventure awaits them – with most of story centering on the latest mystery. Unfortunately, this is what I found to be a little disappointing. To me, the mystery was convoluted, mixing Greek/Roman mythology together with ancient Mayan, Indian, Persian and other cultures. It seemed like NR Walker was trying a bit too hard to create an adventure which seemed a bit rushed. However, I did like how she wove in Kennard’s backstory and made it the ‘key’ to completing this mystery.
So, while I did like the overall story, I think I would have liked a simpler adventure and more emphasis on Kennard and Stas, especially blending their very disparate lives together.

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Vampire’s Determined Mate by Alice Cain

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43783897-vampire-s-determined-mate?from_search=true

Blurb

Dominic has lived more centuries than he cares to count. He’s seen empires rise and fall, watched humanity grow and evolve and explode into war time and time again. He’s seen the best and the worst that the world has to give, but the past century has been the hardest.

Faced with an unknown illness, Dominic is running out of time to reconcile with his sentinels—the werewolves he considers his sons—but getting sidetracked by his deliciously sexy neighbor for a few years won’t hurt. He believes that excuse right up to the moment his empathic link to one of his sentinels goes haywire.

Pierce didn’t mean to fall for the sweet, much younger man across the hall, but he sure isn’t going to say no to their developing relationship when Dominic is the one seducing him.

Yet when the young man disappears, tracking Dominic by his cellphone might just be the weirdest experience of Pierce’s life. Can a human with an adult daughter, a responsible job, and a secret kink for biting really be dating a vampire?

Surely Dominic’s belief in the supernatural is simply a personality quirk…because there’s absolutely no way vampires and werewolves can exist. Right?

Review

Ugh! Remember how glowing I was about book 1? Well – this was very disappointing. First, it’s only a little about Dominic the rest is the folks from book 1 – which is fine but we really get almost none of Dominic’s romance and that’s very disappointing.

Also there is a huge plot hole in how Dominic blurts out his Vampire status.

Plus even now that I am done I don’t know why he was sick – so if it was explained it didn’t stand out.

Also the side story of Mac is now officially convoluted and all the lovely simplicity and thoroughness I was excited about in book one has gone. This book is too short for all the twists and turns and it did not make me very happy.

Also who picked the cover? It’s about a millennia old vampire or a 42 year old human – the colors, the model, the pose – all wrong.

2.75 rounded to 3 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Love and Payne by Charlie Cochet (THIRDS Book 13) narrated by Mark Westfield

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-and-payne-by-charlie-cochet-10194-b

Blurb:
When THIRDS agent Osmond Zachary foils an assassination attempt on an anti-Therian politician his life is in danger. Austen Payne, a lonely and lethal TIN operative, must keep Zach alive. Thrust together with Zach’s plethora of relatives, can Austen keep him safe while struggling with his feeing for Zach and guarding his own heart?

Review of book by Neta (posted previously)

I have to confess I only read the first THIRDS book, Hell & High Water, so I read this book almost as a stand-alone. In regards to that I did not feel like I was missing too much information and even though I am sure reading all the previous books would have given me more background I can definitely say reading it on its own is no issue.
I do have to say that despite the popularity of this book series I did not get into it when I read the first one and # 13 did not change my mind even though I am a big Paranormal/Fantasy/Shifter fan.

I would say the biggest issue I have is believability, mainly in the world of the book. I like the background and evolution of Therians, as explained at the beginning, but when it comes to the various government agencies I feel like they are more prop then substance. I also think the mystery of the assassination attempt, and the subsequent hiding Zach was just not detailed enough. You have skilled agents, and advanced technology and yet the discovery of the perp is delayed and only comes as an afterthought. It’s almost like they intentionally miss the clues so it can prolong the ending. I feel the plot writing is underdeveloped and unbalanced, in a way that does not let me fully get into the story.

I enjoyed Austen and Zach as characters, but I feel the growing attraction between them took too much of the story. Sure it was fun and sexy at times but I felt the story needed more action and more emotional depth. They have known each other for four years, and while Zach is very interested, Austen has been keeping his distance but could not seem to stope checking in on Zach and coming to his aid whenever something happened to him. You do get the feeling of an almost Friends-To-Lovers (my favorite trope) vibe though they are not truly friends as Austen repeatedly pushes Zach away. I just kept going back to thinking I wish I believed the plot itself, and not have it as some sort of stage setting for Zach and Austen to get together. Because when you have these elements in a story they must work together with everything else. I feel like had the action and thrill been better and the world more complex this would have been a 5 Strat book for me.

Number of stars out of 5: 3 of 5 stars

Audio Review by Morgan

 

 

I still like this series quite a lot.  It doesn’t have that hook that it did but I really enjoy the shifting and the world Cochet has built is still full of funny lines and neat powers.  I’m a bit tired of the drama – so that makes the story more of a 3 than a 4 for me. 

The romance was nice and I loved the growly “mine!” in bear language this time around.

The audio by Mark Westfield is definitely the best way to appreciate this entire series.  He does such a nice job with the “sound effects” and doing his best to give everyone a unique voice and character.

I was glad I waited for the audiobook!

3 for the story and 5 for the narration – 4 overall

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Book Gay Gay m/m Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter

Recent review: Course Correction (Rogue Rescue #1) by Mia West

Good reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42377594-course-correction?from_search=true

Blurb

Playing it safe has gotten him everything – except the one guy he’s always wanted.

As leader of a covert unit of rescue swimmers, following the mission plan is a matter of professional survival for seal shifter Nate Landry.

But recent closure on a colleague’s death has Nate recalculating his own trajectory.

It could use a little nudge and a whole lotta juice, and he only has to glance across the cockpit for just the right source of turbulence.

Following orders has kept him sane – until the guy giving them goes full throttle.

Chopper pilot Gil Espinoza has successfully kept his thing for Landry on cruise control for eight long years.

That the guy once chose a fellow shifter over Gil stung like hell but kept him on course.

Problem is: the good lieutenant just laid down new coordinates, a radical turn into uncharted waters.

And if there’s one thing Gil can’t do, it’s ignore an order from Nate Landry.

Review

I LOVE the series from which this is a spin off. https://www.goodreads.com/series/156186-grizzly-rim

I mostly adored this book as well and cannot wait for more! However, there were times when I was a bit lost as to why these two waited 8 years and until the end of the book to hook up… I was never convinced of a good reason and their actions didn’t match their thoughts and that kinda made me frustrated.

There is lots of dirty talk. Lots of feelz some cool shifting and lots of UST.

This can be a standalone but I don’t recommend it.

There is a fair bit of “action” but most of this is about the relationship which I love!

4.5 of 5 stars


Purchased for Review