Tag 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

Fated by Lauren Dane

Enforcer Megan Warden wants to be mated more than anything except maybe not being trapped in a car for hours on her way to a wedding with her mother and grandmother lamenting her lack of a mate. Layla’s anchor, Dr. Shane Rosario was raised human not wolf but made sure he came to the wedding to see Lay. When Shane and Megan’s eyes met, he’d never be happier to be a wolf.

With the war settled, danger non-existent and all the Warden siblings mated this emotional outing was good but this reader missed the danger, excitement and tension that had been the series norm. It was difficult for this reader to see strong, self-assured Megan askew, likable Shane brought huge human elements to the tale as he had no idea of pack-life or familial bonds.
Rating: 4stars

The Carver’s Problem by B.L. Brooklyn

 

***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.
Rating: 3.5stars

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

Between a Wolf and a Hard Place by Terry Spear

*** Complimentary copy of this read furnished by Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***

Ah, Victorian Days are upon Silver Town again! Green Valley wolves are visiting and the McTire cousins are chasing a new ghost for an upcoming show. Brett and Ellie seem headed for a dream mating until Brett makes a suggestion that’s taken all too seriously. When Brett gifts a family heirloom to the sisters for the inn in time for the celebration, the last thing Ellie and her sisters expect is a new ghost!

Unfortunately, Victorian Days this time around wasn’t the best time this reader ever had in Silver Town. The meandering mystery and unsteady romance complete with pseudo obstacles as the couple figured it out felt like so much filler. Though Brett and Ellie are likeable, sparkled as secondary wolves and have chemistry, for this reader’s taste this outing missed out on any real heat between them.
Rating: 3.5stars

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

Building From Ashes by Elizabeth Hunter

It’s highly recommended Elemental Mysteries is read before digging into the back stories of fan favorite, Carwyn and new character Brigid. Though it brackets A Hidden Fire, what could be confusing here is thoroughly explained in the previous series.

After years of alternating abuse and neglect, Brigid Connor showed no surprise or alarm when big, shaggy earth vampire priest Carwyn ap Bryn’s came into her bedroom and saved her. Carwyn’s belief is one loves and protects family first and last every time and there was no question Brigid needed a better family. Carwyn helped her into one but knew he couldn’t help with what Brigid had to face next.

While 1000 year old Carwyn, lover of American wrestling, bad jokes and Hawaiian print shirts was a lonely and an intermittent fixture in her life, Brigid had the hard part of growing up and through emotional damage and rebellion as a very sheltered human in a vampire world as she ripened to be a full character to appreciate.

This reader had difficulty releasing Carwyn and Brigid’s combined past through changing times and situations (possibly affecting the rating). To this reader’s taste, the author can be counted on to ignore a casual, steamy, sex-riddled hookup in favor of a fumbling, bumbling old fashioned ROMANCE between fully fleshed characters. The intrinsic humor and wit of the characters ensure a fun read.
Rating: 4.25stars

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

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