Category Archives: Fantasy

Obsession Untamed by Pamela Palmer

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.
Rating:4.5stars

Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

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.
Rating:4.5stars

Unconditional by Lauren Dane

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.
Rating:4stars

Wolf Unbound by Lauren Dane

With her anchor not an option and done mourning the mate she lost, Cascadia enforcer Tegan Warden’s ready to leave the protective shelter of her family and her pack. Tegan knows she needs someone specific for her sexual needs as she re-enters the dating world. Detective Ben Stoner’s not a wolf but she’s howled since their erotic encounter at Club DeSade where their needs were definitely met.

Over coffee, they realized they’d known of each other for two years but hadn’t met, Ben worked with her brothers and had been to the house and she was on Cade’s personal detail. Making a date, Ben rushed to make a meeting with Cade and Lex, and both immediately noticed Tegan’s scent on Ben. With an accidental mating by the end of their first date Ben and Tegan have the Warden’s up in arms.

While the primary thread was Tegan and Ben’s relationship and everything it entailed, all things Pellini, the threat, thugs, tricks, plots and plans owned the secondary thread. Before packs could spring their meticulous trap designed to completely ensnare and neutralize Pellini loosed a multi-pronged attack shaking Cascadia and the wolf community to its core, leading Cade to declare open war!
Rating:4stars

The Carver’s Magic by B.L. Brooklyn

***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by the author in exchange for an unbiased review***
The supernatural community wasn’t very fond of the unique powerful, multi-blooded Carvers, but they’d defeated them once, changing their fates and would do it again. Carvers were forced to give up their children to be raised by humans until they were 18 in hopes that delay in learning their magic would keep them from realizing the full potential of their power.

When young Carvers Shane and Beth were taken to spend time with their biological families neither were receptive to hearing that they were the future of Carver domination and should seek out their carver mates and join the fight. Having learned bits of magic on their own, Beth and Shane decided on tamping down their powers and masquerading as human in the world they knew.

Bartender Shane looked forward to seeing a shy, tiny, dainty, human every Friday at the Amber Line but not her take no prisoners sister, Beth. Uncomfortable that Cory’s drawn the attention of a swaggering wolf and Beth has drawn his ire. With a clientele of fairies, werewolves, witches, vampire and a smattering of humans, Shane’s even less pleased when the sisters become his new workmates.

Beth is annoyed at having to bartend weekends at the Amber Line to protect Cory, Beth had pledged her heart to high school crush, werewolf Dar, while he healed from an accident. Afterward, Dar acted like Beth didn’t exist and the years hadn’t brought change. Dar still acted like Beth didn’t exist even while forcing the wolf’s attention from Cory and ignoring her.

Their human boss and customers are oblivious to the supernatural influx during sisters first weekend. Dar upsets Beth’s equilibrium by coming both nights, Cory’s infatuation with Shane may be coming to an end as she’s assigned to work the closed door vampire area and Shane’s off-kilter after seeing the fae police, his father’s emissary, an obsessed werewolf and learns Beth’s a carver too.

Readers will find an intriguing tale of supernaturals positioning for a species war, where enemies stand shoulder to shoulder, secrets and deception reign and no one can stand on the sidelines. The characters and the well paced story are easy to invest in and the multi-layered, exciting world had this reader saluting this author’s heady debut.
Rating: 4.5stars

Protecting His Witness by Katie Reus

Seven years ago former SEAL Vincent Hansen was looking forward to starting a new job with Red Stone and getting engaged to grad student Jordan Alvarado. But before he could ask her she disappeared. Jordan had seen the serial arsonist working the area, trying to escape his latest target with her unconscious friend and tried to stop him.

The case was so sensational and complex she was put in the witness protection program and now that the suspect and his accomplice are dead, Jordan’s left the program and tracked Vincent down. But somebody somewhere made a mistake because someone’s certainly stalking her now.
Rating:3.75stars

Styx’s Storm by Lora Leigh

Storme Montague is on the run from the Breeds & the Council after her scientist family is killed by a Coyote Breed as she looked on in terror. Now she’s trapped and her only escape is accepting help from her mortal enemy in the form of charming Scottish coyote enforcer Styx Mackenzie. Storme knows accepting help from Styx doesn’t mean she has to trust him or fall for his charms as she holds onto a secret that could shatter the entire Breed community.

For this readers taste, 75-80% of the read wasn’t enjoyable and felt like a betrayal with the lack of continuity; leaps of logic; bigotry; snits & mediocre storytelling. I found Storme more exhausting than dislikable and Styx’s smarm – I mean charm got to be wearing within four pages (I swear I got that he had blue eyes and liked chocolate the first 50 times I was told in this poor outing).

***SPOILER ALERT***
reasons this outing even made Storme dizzy.

Luckily I learned survival skills at 14 (driving a car, fighting & shooting, etc.) that have helped me elude the Breed and Council people looking for me over the last 10 years. During my time on the run, I’ve joined a pure-blood/breed hate group but I don’t know if my enemy is Breed or Council.

I’ve also learned to hack computers so I can find all the Breed and Council secrets, even the ones my Council buddies don’t tell me. I even have the names of the spies at Sanctuary but I haven’t had time to learn to read this pesky chip from Dad. Dad did always like Breeds best but I’m traumatized by witnessing his death at the hands a Coyote Breed.

My father was afraid of the council people he worked for and his last wish was to free breeds. With his last breath, he gave me a chip to give to someone and said they’ll have a code phrase so I’ll know he sent them.

More headscratchers? My inept past lovers didn’t do a good job and Styx will know I’m still a virgin. What braintrust knows the phrase and led a team chasing me for 10 years thinks the only way to gain my cooperation is either bully or screw it out of me? (WTF?)
Rating: 2.75stars

Lion’s Heat by Lora Leigh

Lion Breed Jonas Wyatt wasn’t certain if Merinus had brought him heaven or hell when she hired her pregnant best friend, Rachel Broen as his assistant of Breed Affairs. Merinus knew Jonas was treading a very fine line to being eliminated even though he didn’t and brought Rachel onboard to stop it. Grudgingly, Jonah accepts Rachel and tries to ignore the signs of mating heat.

Months later, Brandenmore goes too far to get what he wants by beating Rachel and taking her daughter hostage in exchange for files in Jonas’ possession. What Brandenmore didn’t know was although Jonas had not claimed Rachel as his mate he’d claimed her daughter while Amber was still in the womb and put their lives ahead of his own.

Cocky in his scheme Brandenmore proves to be as manipulative and diabolical as his adversary. Hhe uses Amber to bring Jonas to heel and takes a path of no return that alters lives. Brandenmore escapes to ground unaware he has a traitor in his midst. Still a man of many secrets, Jonas calls in his ultra lethal and secret Ghost team, the elite of breed guards and assassins, to protect his mate and child.

With the revelation of Rachel as Jonas’ mate, Sanctuary shifts priorities while they await the inevitable spy to surface. Unknowingly identified as a breed mate and being held prison gives Rachel reason to be irate as she continued to fight the attraction that bloomed for Jonas the moment they met. Soon the effects of Brandenmore’s elixir affect Amber fueling Jonas with an unprecedented urge to kill.
Rating:4stars

Bengal’s Heart by Lora Leigh

Someone’s framing Breeds for a series of murders and they seem heavily invested in keeping Breed advocate and investigative reporter Cassa Hawkins (I so want to say cub reporter) involved. Cassa’s source regularly feeds evidence that the original dirty dozen of mastermind breed creators and torturers are dying using their own perfected methods used on the breeds..

Cassa knows what lines she can’t cross without losing her coveted access. Jonas is well aware her investigation threatens to spill a few secrets that cannot be aired in public. But her most closely guarded secret is one that notorious Bengal Tiger playboy, Cabal St. Laurents shares as well, that they’ve been unclaimed and unacknowledged mates for over ten years.

Though eavesdropping Carra heard enough to know it was a great story and when corroboration landed in her laptop, she knew she had to follow the lead of a lifetime to shape the story for the Breeds if nothing else. But Jonas is wily, bored and determined, he got the information as well, albeit not as straightforwardly and sent Cabal to keep his mate in line by whatever means were necessary.

For this reader’s taste, neither Cabal nor Lois Lane Cassa did well under the pressure of a star turn and it’s possible a cape on him wouldn’t have been out of place. This couple took the traditional “F***” or Fight method of communication to the extreme. It was both tedious and exhausting! This pair has an HFN not a HEA and will snipe until one is so exhausted they’ll murder the other to stop it.

Also, for my taste the romance piece would’ve been better appreciated as a novella or a secondary romance rather than the main event. He was uncharacteristically tame and she was insufferable! The mystery piece of the assassin’s identity, visits from a few recurring coyotes, a huge hint to Jonas’ comeuppance and if enforcing doesn’t work out the comedy duo of Rule Breaker & Lawe Justice can get an agent.
Rating:3.5stars

Miami, Mistletoe, & Murder by Katie Reus

miami-mistletoe-murder

Even though tattooed Red Stone Security agent Travis Sanchez was glad his last assignment didn’t cost him his job, he wasn’t happy when he left his boss’ office. With the holidays rapidly approaching an no family locally, he’d rather work instead of taking the forced vacation. With no need to go to the office he can’t easily stop at the coffee shop to see barista Noel Baskov.

Sidetracked from getting in his truck and going home, Travis takes the opportunity to help Noel as she rushes past him to help a teen in trouble. Hearing the details, it quickly becomes obvious Noel’s rushing headlong into Red Stone Security type trouble. At the scene the problem becomes even more complex when death and revenge are part of the backdrop of the budding romance.
Rating: 4stars

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