***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
When Houston Legend’s bride was killed at the altar before their vows, he wallowed in agony. As painful rumors and truths came to light, he wallowed in anger moving to adrift as his heart hardened. Unfortunate circumstances left Lara Boone, a damaged mother to a small daughter with no husband and no desire for a man in her life, wallowing in her own anguish.
Over late night cards and too many drinks, Stoker Legend loses half the family holdings to new neighbor Till Boone. The only negotiation Till will entertain is how soon Stoker can convince his son to marry Till’s daughter. An angry Houston’s obliged to do anything to secure his family’s legacy, even if it means marrying a woman he’s never met and claim her babe as his own.
Standing in front of a preacher with a tad of resentment for their fathers neither bride nor groom wanted to celebrate their somber, funeral-like wedding. Afterward, Houston realized the depth of Lara’s personal nightmare and vowed no force on earth would keep him from avenging his new bride or claiming his new daughter as he and Stoker greeted Lara as the new Legend matriarch.
Yuma, the well written villain of the piece was a threat on the page or looming in the distance. The remaining personable and distinct secondary characters supported the story and other characters well. Houston was quite the standout as the swoon-worthy hero women wanted and men wanted to be. Lara was no slouch displaying the type of clarity, grit and steel spine that built a nation.
The broken, damaged leads managed to fall in love as they traversed adventure, danger, deceit, heartbreak, shame and a madman’s revenge to find their way out of the dark to joyful new dreams and a new future as a family. This new to me author pandered to my innate penchant for stoic, protective heroes and weakness for cowboys. It’s a great rainy day read but a tad too intense for the beach.
Few knew the reason Dr. Zoe Hansen changed jobs, apartments and friends was she’d caught the attention of a stalker. She was safe while he was out of the country. But he returned and Zoe became his hobby again. Red Stone Security’s resources, specifically former SEAL Sawyer McCabe step up to guard Zoe’s body…er life. Then her stalker is found dead and Zoe’s arrested of his murder.
Though cleared of the murder charge, it was obvious someone framed Zoe which meant her life could still be in danger. Receiving mystery mail means it’s not over and Sawyer’s not leaving Zoe’s side as the smoldering embers they shared become flames. Being influentially despicable bought Zoe’s stalker many enemies and plenty of false friends as the police uncover suspects galore.
Lively Zoe runs the gamut of emotions and has excellent chemistry with agent du jour, Sawyer in this nicely written and vividly woven tale. The reader is quickly invested in an illusion of a love affair at its most terrifying. It shakes a strong, capable and independent woman to her core first she lives with fear then fights to keep her friends, love and on her terms. Definitely a series favorite!
The previous outing left Vhypher escaping after stealing the Daemon blade that held the vicious Daemon King and his horde, a high level mage switching sides and be-spelling half of Tighe’s soul in a clone leaving only seven Feral Warriors to help their brethren and protect humans from the draden. Things got complicated when Tighe found himself seeing through the clone’s eyes and saw… her.
FBI agent Delaney Randall’s hot on the trail of an elusive serial killer that specializes in women and children. Having been that child, Delaney didn’t want another in that position. Though she escaped the mad man he must’ve done something to her because now she’s glimpsing new murders as he commits them.
It was bad enough Tighe was helpless to stop the murders he saw through the clone’s eyes but somehow Delaney’s hijacked them. His brethren’s sure Delaney’s death will restore the visions to him. Tighe’s too protective to let that happen though Delaney dredges memories he’d rather forget. When they meet, Tighe’s story ensures Delaney thinks he’s the killer on drugs. And woo hoo is he sexy!
This outing had great intrigue and the likeable leads chemistry was explosive in this cat and mouse tale. Delaney’s comfort zone of only black and white threatened the HEA a few times but softness did what softness does. The secondary thread of chasing the blade could’ve been tedious but had a twist or two of its own and was infrequent enough to create its own degree of excitement for its chapters.
For former hacker, Sami Steel secrets are a way of life and the best part about playing soldier is anything involving medic Tace Justice, especially their late night sparring sessions. Since he recovered from Scorpius, the smoldering Texas cowboy’s different. He’s harder and more predatory. Tace was done wondering if strength, speed and cunning would be the only changes, he wondered about Sami.
Sami knew she couldn’t keep acting indifferent toward Tace to her friend, his latest bedmate and the world when he set all her parts fluttering. They couldn’t happen and after last night’s session she wanted to tell him everything. Their sparring also left Tace rattled so he jumped at an assignment away from camp. Unaware of their changed status, Jax assigned Sami as Tace’s back-up.
This busy outing teased out several meaty threads including secret alliances, resolving three overlong pieces, uncovering a traitor, smacking own major enemies in stellar skirmishes and gaining an ally. The tired ‘we’re marooned on an island so let’s fall in love’ vibe made favorites Tace and Sami’s romance fall a bit flat in places for my taste before finding its footing in this satisfying read.
***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Kensington through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
Not quite ready to share her theories with her sister Crows, Erin decides to check them out on her own first. Raven Stieg Engstrom isn’t too pleased when he’s asked to watch out for banthe tiny, gorgeous, funny, chaos-magnet of a Crow, Erin Amsel. As it turns out she could use a bodyguard. It seems everybody she ever met and some she hasn’t are trying to kill her.
Stieg may be the angry pile of muscle many think he is but he’s terrifyingly protective when it comes to Erin. Because it would be fun to annoy Stieg and keep her sister Crows from asking questions Erin decides she’ll be Stieg’s houseguest. The more the pair are together, the more they want to be together. Erin and Stieg were a good couple, especially after Stieg realized she’d taken liberties with him.
Meanwhile, Raven’s, Crows and the rest of the Nine have met and decided the only one among them all that has a chance of stopping Gallveig’s return and continuing to live was Erin. They just haven’t had a chance to tell her. Erin suspects she knows who is responsible for Gallveig’s imminent return which will bring about Ragnarok and whose ever really ready for an apocalypse?!?
Wrapping the Ragnarok arc Gillvieg had no intention of living her existence in Hel. Given the high stakes, the clans were cooperative and a few of the gods checked in with support. All bets are off and nothing’s off limits as Erin and Stieg suit up in full warrior mode on their quest. This reader loved that the hero moments were plentiful and more than fierce, they were formidable.
However, the sheer number of obvious scenes designed to stress the incessant cuteness of Erin’s antics were too much, too one-note and crossed the line into annoying silliness more often than not for this readers taste, affecting my overall enjoyment of the outing. Based on ratings, this opinion is a minority.
While Mina looked at lingerie in preparation for her wedding to Blue, newest Red Stone Security agent, Ivan Mitchell looked at lingerie shop owner Julieta Mederos. Ivan was enchanted by the petite beauty from the moment he saw her and it doesn’t hurt that she’s Lizzy’s best friend. Noticing Jules pale at the bridal shower, Ivan quickly finds out she’s being stalked and assigns himself as her protection.
Though Jules had been noticing Ivan she wasn’t certain they were looking at each other the same way or for the same reason. Now that they’re seeing things eye to eye she’s grateful for his help. Ivan’s sure the explicit texts and vandalism incidents at Jules’ shop are connected and attaches himself to her side.
Distracted by everything, Jules brings Ivan into the bosom of her family. They’re charmed, especially when they find out about his Ranger background and how seriously he’s taking the threats to Jules’ life. Meanwhile, her stalker is more than a little upset that there’s now a man in Jules’ life and steps up his elaborate plans to solidify his own future with her.
Though he ignored her and resented his neglectful father who seemed to dote on his adoptive daughter, Sophie Nash crushed on stepbrother Special Ops soldier Chase “Fiddler” Daniels during his annual visits when she was a pre-teen. A dozen years later he doesn’t recognize the just his type woman when she wakes him from a much needed sleep.
Dear old dad sent Sophie to Chase for protection against her problem. No sooner does Sophie get her tale of fear, possible murder and a threat by Androv, a threat on the HOT watch list, than Chase’s apartment explodes with them in it. They barely escape to the nearby forested area with their lives and pursuers that won’t give up since Maggie took proof and needs Chase to help her retrieve it. In Paris!
With Androv’s best assassin on their trail with knowledge of their destination and no official help from HOT, Chase is mostly on his own in protecting Sophie as the flames between them become blazes. Beautiful, innocent, self-conscious Sophie has no idea of the explosive secrets on the flash drive she stole or how far Androv would go to get it and her back in his possession where they both belonged.
Unable to officially assist or investigate or not, the Hostile Operations Team isn’t sitting on the sidelines when there’s a damsel in distress that means anything to one of their own, even if it means giving up much needed vacation. Especially if the threat is already on their radar and Androv most definitely is. Mostly because now that they know what he’s up to.
Skirting the edge of taboo may never have been this exciting as the outing fits the series mold and doesn’t stint on romance, action, intrigue or the lusciously delicious and intoxicatingly dangerous Ian Black in addition to the usual sexy alpha warriors of HOT!
A dozen years ago Pacific pack enforcer Josh Neelan was turned and didn’t know how to cope so he left Roseburg and Michelle Slattery without a word. Before Josh left, Michelle planned to tell him how she felt and that she was a witch. Now a police officer with a personal stake in a missing person’s case, Michellle has to ask the pack to help track down the victim while resisting Josh’s charms.
Michelle refuses Josh’s offer to let the pack handle it but learns Mages are suspected of being behind a rash of kidnappings and deaths of witches and weres across the continent. With Michelle calm about the otherness of the wolf lifestyle, she and Josh found time to mate as the mystery of the kidnappings and murders deepened.
With the Cascadia pack ruling family mated off, this outing spins to its allies and connected pack, Pacifica by introducing a new threat. Leads Josh does well in the spotlight and his lady choice, Michelle is strong and independent without being irritating. Cameos from Cascadia Wolves and (presumably) De La Vega fan favorites and new characters fanned the all hands on deck urgency of the read.
The city is blanketed by council coyotes with one goal. They’re to capture Mica Toler, best friend of the heavily protected wolf/coyote breed, Cassie Sinclair. Mica’s security is breached and she’s escaped her kidnapped but hasn’t reached safety by the time wolf breed Navarro Blaine ditches his assignment and gets to her side for protection until transport’s arranged or mete out punishment.
Safety is a temporary illusion as the coyotes are resolute and single-minded in locating Mica, interrupting the interlude with Navarro. The coyotes are successful in separating the elite breed force from their principal but Mica has Navarro and his recessed genes do nothing to stop his determination to protect his woman. The coyotes are just as determined to get the upper hand at the expense of the human.
For the reader it’s been more than a dozen outings since Mica interacted with breeds so this outing with Navarro, supposedly rekindling a desire they’ve been fighting comes across as false. Snippets of remembering childhood antics, glimpses of teen-aged crushes and a stolen kiss before sex gave the read a pedophilic vibe for my taste. An insta-lust relationship would have felt more honest.
***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by the author in exchange for an unbiased review***
After ten years of captivity and constant torture, an almost feral Cort shows specks of civility thanks to his roommate, Theya. Trading surreptitious glances and accidental touches skirts the edges of their platonic relationship. Their domesticity is marred by fairies and carvers trying to arrest Theya and Jeri’s determination to force Cort into the pack Alpha role Jeri abandoned.
While Dar hosts a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Jeri, Trish and Mikhail make decisions about their relationship as our intrepid rebel species pack plan a rescue mission when Theya is captured causing Cort to surge toward his humanity. A glimpse in Fairyland and a visit to the traditional carver camp leads to someone valuable ending up with the rebels and insinuates battles to come.
Meanwhile pack member Mikhail’s familial issues are highlighted after he locates his missing younger brother, Soren. Rescued by alone in the world earth carver, Trish, Soren’s been living as her pet. Returning to pack land, Mikhail, Soren and Trish’s reception mirrors Dar and Beth’s giving this reader a sense of deja vu and a wonder on the quick resolution of some conflicts.
For this reader’s taste this outing had a case of sophomore slump. Lacking was a sense of urgency tying the installments and seamless transitions between two sets of major characters smoothing the flow. However, easily accessible characters, rapid pacing and the battles quickly exposed blatant bigotry and power mongers along with their insidious betrayals as a bit more this corrupt world is revealed.