St. Louis crime lord and renegade sentinel assassin Bas Cavrilo still remembers the first and last time he saw gorgeous clairvoyant Myst. That was the night they created their daughter Molly until Myst dropped 2 month old Molly at his apartment and disappeared again. Now Myst is back and Bas is demanding to know why, especially since Molly only recently survived a kidnapping by his enemies.
Bas listens as Myst explains being sold to the Brotherhood as a teen after a vision she’d create an Armageddon weapon, her escape and years of being their prey. Bas contacts The Mave, Lana to provide protection for Molly at Valhalla while he and Myst seek answers. Lana and Bas’ time as more than friends is long past but piques both Myst and Wolfe’s jealously when Lana agrees to help.
Brotherhood leader Stella’s confident it’s time for the weapon. As her minions search for confirmation the rumbles are heard in Valhalla and Stella plans beyond the step of eliminating Highbloods. Meticulous planning, a breach and a deviation from protocol are the perfect storm to position Stella for even more power when she stumbles onto things she can’t recognize. But then the big guns take aim.
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.
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.
***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.
Vampire Charles Alexander Ward hates his king, Roman D’Angelo, and vows vengeance for the death of his magic mentor. Through magical help, Charles learns vampire secrets to use against Roman and the perfect tool for the king’s downfall would be paranormal author Evelynne ‘Evie’ Farrow. Charles would ensure Roman never forgot he’d been bested him whenever he saw his Queen.
Two days ago, Evie was in the coffee shop scribbling notes and hoping to be inspired enough for another best seller when he came over, looking and acting like one of the heroes she never tired of writing, A sultry, sexy, smoldering vampire even his name, Roman, conjured ideas of vampires. Evie decides lust time is over since Roman thinks he is a vampire and she needs to be protected from his enemies.
While the many tried and true tropes used and fairly good characters gaining powers supported a solid outline of a paranormal King finding his Queen, for this reader’s taste the pacing, multiple POV’s and storylines plus too much explanation did not. Sometimes confused and unable to connect to the characters wasn’t the outing was not this reader’s idea of a good time.
Perhaps its foundation story jitters urging caution on a second helping of the series for this reader. (Overwritten to the point of confusion on the too many threads, also the foundation story read like the series bible.) Perhaps it isn’t jitters. (There was intrigue, a good heroine and the hero wasn’t too stupid. Also the foundation laid out the direction, rules and parameters of this series world.)
Recovering from Namid’s teeth and claws retaliation, invited and welcome elements descend on Lakeside Courtyard as well as the unwelcome and uninvited, all striving to find a new normal. Among those is Montgomery’s malevolent, manipulative, conniving criminal brother, Cyrus. His arrival is chosen to be the measured answer to the Elders all important question, ‘How much human will we keep?”
Properly despicable villain Cyrus’ presence disrupts the courtyard’s serenity, his poisonous schemes and mischief aggravate familial strife, causing a ripple effect of hard choices, aggression and the need to discipline and reject him. With their soft underbelly exposed to the enemy and a mandate from the elders, the harmonious community is forced to consider how much human they would tolerate.
Payback from the Others escalate as Cyrus’ schemes become increasingly desperate in his determination to have things his way at any cost. Each gard working to their own strength was vividly portrayed as Cyrus refused the Other’s form of rehabilitation and went much too far inciting their predatory instincts. As the cost is weighed of their experiment even the Elders realize they have much to learn.
For my taste, the majority of this busy read was ‘soft’ and ‘filler-ish’, settling characters and wrapping threads but a thrilling, nail-biting conclusion was the payoff. Lovable Skippy was heroic as he awkwardly learned, Meg and Simon moved closer to an approved mating and the strong secondary characters waved goodbye in excellent cameos while the outing left plenty of questions for an exciting finale.
*** Complimentary copy of this read furnished by Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
For 500 years dragon twins Zed and Zander Lorens have shared a curse. Immortal, unable to shift and the recurring nightmare of their worst torment, Zed perpetually hibernates in the dream realm while Zander occupies the human world. Rena McHale’s recurring nightmare burns her alive but one night it’s different, escape with the word mine ringing in her ear.
With the deadline looming there isn’t much time to convince Rena she’s meant for Zed, Zander’s hopeful for the first time in centuries. Rena’s flabbergasted as she looks up and literally sees the man of her dreams as Zander walks in asking for help to save his brother. One look at Rena and Zander’s certain Rena’s Amoveo and can break the curse.
Zander tries to teach Rena about her Amoveo heritage and keep his distance at the same time as they make their way to the Amoveo ranch. Their relationship gets more complex when neither Zander nor Rena can ignore the volatile attraction between them and Zander’s old enemy appears to be the opposite for Rena and a bone of contention for their future.
Cameos by some Amoveo fan favorites link the series but it’s not necessary to read the previous series to enjoy these new characters as dragons are introduced. Rena and Zander are great complementary characters and their journey introducing the dream-walking, shape-shifting hybrid Amoveos is well done for new fans.