Top Ten Tuesday: Its My Birthday!

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 July 17: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

This is a great idea for a list. I’m going to keep my selections to under 200 pages. I’m also going to try to limit the selection of books that are part of series to a minimum so that you don’t have to have read a ton of other books to know what is going on.

Ten short stories that I enjoyed.

  1. The Egg This is one of my absolute favorite stories by Andy Weir.  It is super short and available on his website if you want to check it out.
  2. Annie's Day Another short story by Andy Weir that is also available on his website.  This one has a great twist and is a bit longer.
  3. Spock Vs. Q (Star Trek: Spock Vs. Q, #1) If you are a Star Trek fan then I highly suggest you get your hands on this audiobook as it is so much fun!
  4. Dead Trees Give No Shelter Sticking with the Star Trek theme. Wil Wheaton who played Wesley Crusher on Next Generation has written this short story that is pretty good and available for purchase on his website.
  5. Chasing Sam (Vegas Mates, #1) I know I said I would stay away from series but this is a novella that is the first book in series.  It was really good if you are into shifter stories.
  6. For Love of an Angel (The Fallen Warriors #1)  This is another first in series about angels this time.  I only ended up finishing three books and all of them were novellas.  I should check into getting the last three books.
  7. Genesis This is a dystopian novella that has a great twist at the end.  I even got my husband to read it and he enjoyed it!
  8. Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi This book was amazing!  It is the longest title on the list but it is a compilation of short stories by the great John Scalzi.
  9. Alpha & Omega (Alpha & Omega, #0.5) This is another series book but is a prequel to the Alpha and Omega series.  If you are going to read this spin-off series then I highly suggest starting with this one because the next book will make a lot more sense.
  10. A Very Levet Christmas (Guardians of Eternity, #11.5) Alright, this book is something like 11.5 in its series but it was a cute Christmas read featuring one of the beloved characters from this world.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s list and if you were wondering what the blog title is about it is my 44th birthday today!  I’m scheduling my post so today is actually May 8th so I don’t know if I have plans or I might even be at work.  Anyway, I thought I would share. Have a great week.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Quick Reads Under 250 Pages

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

March 21: Read In One Sitting Theme: ten of the shortest books I’ve read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc.

Back when I first got my Nook I was all hot and heavy into the free books offered on B&N.  Also, the first year blogging held a Novella November in a blatant effort to cheat at my reading goals for the year. Now I’m all about quality over quantity and have been reading fewer shorter books, but they are still over on my read shelf on Goodreads.  For the purpose of this week’s lists I am going to share with you 10 short stand-alone books I’ve read under 250 pages, perfect length for an afternoon read on a rainy spring day.

Ten short stand-alone reads under 250 pages.

  1. The Egg 4 Pages (go read it here): This is a very short story and I almost didn’t include it as it should only take you a few minutes to read.  The reason it is on this week’s list, however, is because it is so good.  I’ve included the link so you can go read it for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.
  2. The Little Prince 83 Pages: This was a sweet little story that has definitely earned its place as a classic for a reason.  It is simply charming and everyone should take the time to read this at least once in their lives.
  3. The Diary of Adam and Eve 95 Pages: My first and only time ever reading Twain.  Absolutely loved it and this week’s list reminds me that I should try to fit in more of his work.
  4. The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World 112 Pages: This is more of a coffee table book than an actual story.  Still, it is interesting and beautifully illustrated.
  5. Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi 142 Pages: This was such fun!  A book of short stories by Scalzi is sure to brighten your day and maybe even open you up to a new perspective.
  6. Einstein's Dreams 144 Pages: I actually read this book after the last one on this list, also by this author.  While it didn’t hold up to the level of the later work for me, it still was a fascinating read.
  7. Genesis 150 Pages: Don’t want to give anything away on this one but there is a major twist at the end.  I read it in a couple hours and I bet you could too.  Perfect for a plane ride or car trip.
  8. Yesterday's Kin 192 Pages: I don’t remember much about this one except for it was intriguing and I quite enjoyed it.
  9. The Alchemist 197 Pages: This was only a three star for me, still I see the value in having read it.  My husband actually requested it from the library and enjoyed it so much that I read it quickly before returning it.
  10. Mr G: A Novel About The Creation 225 Pages: This was bloody brilliant in my opinion.  So much fun and I’m sure quite scandalous to those who are uptight in their religion.  Made you think though about just who God might actually be though.

 

Well, there you have my list of ten short reads.  What short stories or books do you recommend?

 

ARC Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John ScalziBook Genre:Science Fiction, Short Stories, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 12/31/16 by Subterranean Press

Pages: 144  Price:$40.00 (!) Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The ex-planet Pluto has a few choice words about being thrown out of the solar system. A listing of alternate histories tells you all the various ways Hitler has died. A lawyer sues an interplanetary union for dangerous working conditions. And four artificial intelligences explain, in increasingly worrying detail, how they plan not to destroy humanity.

Welcome to Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi.

These four stories, along with fourteen other pieces, have one thing in common: They’re short, sharp, and to the point—science fiction in miniature, with none of the stories longer than 2,300 words. But in that short space exist entire universes, absurd situations, and the sort of futuristic humor that propelled Scalzi to a Hugo with his novel Redshirts. Not to mention yogurt taking over the world (as it would).

Spanning the years from 1991 to 2016, this collection is a quarter century of Scalzi at his briefest and best, and features four never-before-printed stories, exclusive to this collection: “Morning Announcements at the Lucas Interspecies School for Troubled Youth,” “Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back,” “Important Holidays on Gronghu” and “The AI Are Absolutely Positively Without a Doubt Not Here to End Humanity, Honest.”

My Review:

I am fairly new to the genius that is John Scalzi.  Redshirts was my first introduction, followed by Locked In and I have Old Man’s War signed and waiting for me up on my to-read bookcase.  I had an opportunity to met him in Chicago last spring after BEA and am so glad I did.  I love this man’s humor and writing style. When this book of short stories popped up for review on Net Galley I put in a request and promptly crossed my fingers in hope that I would be approved.  About a week later I received an email that it was waiting for me over on the site!  Made. My. Day.

Then life got in the way and having like two months to read this short collection of short stories I put it off for a month before diving in.  Most of the stories have been published someplace before and Mr. Scalzi gives us a little intro to each story sharing its inspiration or when in his writing history they came into being.  One of them even shares how you can find the story being read by Mr. Scalzi and his friend Wil Wheaton at a library on YouTube.  (How delightful! I had to watch it twice.)  This is simply a fun little book filled with witty stories from a great mind and I found myself laughing out loud as they brightened my day.

The only drawback to this book that I can see is the price.  It is listed as $40 for a hardcover version, but perhaps that will change.  I know it would have prevented me from picking up this one no matter how delightful it might be.  If it is too much for your budget to absorb I suggest suggesting it to your local library for purchase.  If you are a huge fan of Mr. Scalzi, though, and collect everything he has written then this is going to be a fabulous addition to your home library.

My Rating: 5 Stars

The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven

Book Review

 


The Draco TavernBook Genre:Science Fiction, Short Stories, Audio Book

Book Series:N/A

Released: 11/1/2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks

Pages: 304  Price:$22.99 Audio

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audio book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

When a tremendous spacecraft took orbit around Earth’s moon and began sending smaller landers down toward the North Pole, the newly arrived visitors quickly set up a permanent spaceport in Siberia. Their presence attracted many, and a few grew conspicuously rich from secrets they learned from talking to the aliens. One of these men, Rick Schumann, established a tavern catering to all the various species of visiting aliens, a place he named the Draco Tavern. From the mind of best-selling author Larry Niven come twenty-seven tales and vignettes from this interplanetary gathering place, collected for the first time in one volume. Join Rick and his staff as they chronicle the seemingly infinite alien species that spend a few moments pondering life and all its questions within the Draco Tavern.

My Review:

I have been in a science fiction and science fact mood audio book wise lately.  Mainly because I’m not in the mood for sex scenes and I feel like with the NF ones if I don’t pay attention for a chapter it isn’t the end of the world.  This one was quite good and I would like to now try the Ringworld series by him.

This book was a series of short stories set in the same location and were chronological I believe so the world built with each chapter.  The interactions with all the aliens were quite fun and intriguing.  With aliens it is always such fun to imagine different species that have evolved different from ourselves.  The stories in this book had a very Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy feel, but just a tad more serious or rather less wacky.  I loved the idea of a bar on Earth where races from all over the galaxy come to interact.  Imagine what kind of thing you would see, learn and experience.

The narrator was well-selected and had a pleasing voice that fit the main character.  Each chapter was a stand alone story but they all blended nicely.  It was a great listen and if you are looking for a science fiction audio book that’s not part of a series and only about 6 hours long this one is a good pick.

My Rating: 4 Stars

On the Hunt Anthology by Ivy, Zanetti, Duvall, Jayne

On the HuntIvy’s The Sentinels #2.5, Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome #0.5 , Duvall’s Immortal Guardians #5.5, Jayne’s Underworld Detective Agency #6.5: Release Date 8/25/15

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review

Ivy’s Site,  Zanetti’s Site, Duvall’s Site,  Jayne’s Site

Book Synopsis:

Four of today’s most intriguing paranormal authors entice readers deep into the shadows, where vampires, immortals, and other supernatural creatures heat up the night…
ON THE HUNT by Alexandra Ivy Mika Tanner has loved Bailey Morrell, a beautiful Healer, since childhood. But his duty as a Sentinel, a supernatural guardian of an ancient race, clashed with her rebellious spirit. Now a dangerous new anarchist group not only threatens life as they know it—but any chance of their being together again…
SCORPIUS RISING by Rebecca Zanetti While searching for a meteorite, Nora Mendina is arrested by her sheriff ex-husband—who’s only gotten hotter than the Nevada desert since she last saw him. When the meteorite breaks open, the few survivors gain extraordinary powers, unleashing a crazed super genius killer. Can Nora and her ex stop the murders…while igniting a new love affair?
PHANTOM EMBRACE by Dianne Duvall Immortal Yuri Sokolov was born with the ability to see spirits, yet he’s never seen one as lovely as Cat Seddon, the woman who haunts his home and his dreams. But amid their star-crossed love, a new danger may have Yuri facing a different kind of eternity.
STAKE OUT by Hannah Jayne Vampire fashion designer Nina LaShay has a lot on her plate—just two days until fashion week and the model who was flirting with her photographer boyfriend is now a corpse in her studio. But when dead turns into undead and dangerous, Nina must find out who’s responsible…before the beautiful baby vamp takes too many bites out of the Big Apple.

 

My Review:

On the Hunt by Ivy

Still enjoying this series by Ms. Ivy and this short story was a nice little addition.  This is  Mika and Bailey’s story as these two former lovers find their H.E.A.  We also learn more about the Brotherhood organization which is the slated bad guys in this world.  The mysterious Wolfe also plays a key role in this story and I so hope he gets his own book someday.  I must stay I did see the trap coming from a mile away and a little bit of the solution was a tad on the bit-too-easy side.  Still lots of fun, tough heroine and yummy hero that paired together nicely.  It was only around 110 pages though, so only time for one real romp in the sack but it was a good one.

Story Rating: 3 Stars

SCORPIUS RISING by Rebecca Zanetti

 This is a short prequel to a new series by this author.  I’m not sure what I think.  It reads more like a contemporary romance, of which I generally am not a fan, but it also feels like it is going to break out into some paranormal elements in the next book. If I see it offered on Net Galley I might try it, but then again maybe not.  I did try her other spin-off series set in a biker bar and it just didn’t work for me.  This one I think has more potential.   Lots of hot sex scenes in this short story and some of them lean more towards the edgier erotica romance books.  Great lead male, this author always writes strong sexy alpha males.  The lead female is alright, gave into the alpha male a little too quick for my taste.  I like the tension and power plays to last a bit longer than this one, but it was a short story so that probably has some to do with it.  It is an interesting premise though and a fun start to the story.  Enjoyable, but I’m not sure I want to continue especially if the ‘monster’ she is setting up ends up being what I think it will be.  So not a fan.

Story Rating: 3 Stars

PHANTOM EMBRACE by Dianne Duvall

This book is a part of the Immortal Guardian’s series that I adore and overlaps the timeline of the last book.  I don’t want to give away anything that might spoil the last story or this one, so this is going to be a tough review…  This is Yuri’s story and I had forgotten what had happen to him in the last book until almost reaching the end of this story and then I’m like ‘Oh Crap, no!’.  Yuri and Cat were very sweet and it was an interesting twist to have the heroine be a ghost, something I’ve not read before.  Of course that leads us to the problem of how to get these two together and Ms. Duvall used two interesting strategies, both being what you might guess.  Over all I’m delighted that Yuri got his H.E.A even if it is an unconventional one.  I’m also happy that Cat who has been alone for so many years now has someone to spend eternity with.  Sweet and steamy story that so far is my favorite in this anthology and makes me desperate to read the next book that I have waiting on my Nook for review!  Thank you Ms. Duvall for giving us this closure on this character.

Story Rating: 5 Stars

STAKE OUT by Hannah Jayne

I tried the first chapter of this short story by an author I’ve yet to read.  I liked it, the heroine is funny and the characters seemed likable and reminded me a bit of Molly Harper’s style of story.  I decided to stop at a chapter though, because I would like to read this series in order.  I don’t want any of the relationships or back story spoiled.  So I’m going to leave it and hopefully come back after having finished the previous books at a later date.  Looked promising though and made me want to give this series a go.

Not Read.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Various Short Stories by Andy Weir

As many of you know The Martian was my favorite story of the year and it was also a reader’s choice winner over at Goodreads.  I spent the morning reading many of the short stories he has published on his website, http://www.galactanet.com/writing.html.  (In my opinion) Mr. Weir is a very talented writer and I suggest you take a few moments to visit his site and read some of these stories for yourself.

Anyway, since I read them and wrote up short reviews I thought I would share them with you in a single review post.  I have linked the title of each story directly to its page at his site, but you can also review them at Goodreads too.

The Egg

5 Stars

Loved this short story. Found on author’s website. Makes you think and beautiful. Would wish it was longer, but its pretty great the way it is.

Annie’s Day

5 Stars

Brilliant. I had to read this short story twice. Once I knew the twist I had to go through it again and read it from the perspective of knowing “who” Annie was. Until I knew that thought it was kinda creepy, so read to the end and then you will get it. Very clever!

Antihypoxiant

3 stars

I liked this one too. Less than the others I’ve read, but it still makes you think. This story is much more a character piece then a twist ending, but it has that too. This author really seems to click for me, I can’t wait to read his next full length book.

Bored World

3 Stars

Probably my least favorite so far. Kinda wish it was expanded though. Maybe if the story was longer I would have enjoyed it more. I want to know more about the Omnipotent character and would have enjoyed seeing what other havoc they could have created.

Meeting Sarah

4 Stars

Another good one. This author has mastered a twist ending. Very sweet story, enjoyed the ideas it presented and it definitely had heart. Starts off not knowing where the hell you are going, but by the end you are smiling and wanting to re-read to make sure you’ve caught everything.

The Real Deal

5 Stars

Wow, another great short story by this author. I’m going to have to read more of them. I started off rolling my eyes a bit but ended in tears. So beautiful. Love.

The Chef

4 Stars

Wow. Really a different piece. Demonstrates the talent this author possesses. A much darker story, do read this one twice.

There are a few more, but I’m going to save those for another day.  Enjoy and happy reading!

Novella November: Mini-Reviews #1

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I’ve been busy  reading novellas the past few days so I thought I would post my first batch of mini reviews.  These are going to be structured differently than my normal reviews.  For the really short novellas, under 100 pages I am going to post them like this, several books to a review post.   All of these are being read on my Nook, maybe next year I will clean up my Kindle.  Anyway, I will try to include a page count and what the novella cost along with short review.  So here we go my first batch of mini-reviews.

 

Angel Romance

Pages: 47

Free download, but I can’t find it anymore…

2 Stars

Synopsis:

Tears of an Angel:
Sometime one conversation is all it takes to turn someone’s life around. Jeff Matheson is stuck with a job he doesn’t want, coworkers he doesn’t like, and a boss that doesn’t respect him. Just when he feels like life can’t get any worse, life seems to find a new way to keep him down. All of that changes when he meets a beautiful young woman with a secret past and he’s forced to confront the troubles that plagued his life.

Rock ‘n’ Rolled:
Mickey Williams is one of the last great rock and roll legends. The only thing that’s harder than his music is the way he parties. He’s playing Madison Square Garden, and the most difficult thing is proving to be getting him there. If he can pull himself away from the alcohol, and make it to the show, he just might make history. This short story is about sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Riptide:
Richard’s always had things go his way in life. He has more money than he knows what to do with, a house someone could get lost in, and more cars than he could drive in a year. Yet, something’s missing in his life and he yearns for more than is being offered to him. His travels take him to a secluded beach along the Mediterranean Sea where the waves are said to be out of this world. It turns out that the waves are truly out of this world, and he finds himself in a fight for his life. When a mysterious woman emerges from the water, is she there for him, or in spite of him?

Selena Knows Best:
Selena Somerset is well respected in her field, a strong speaker, and someone that’s been through almost everything you could imagine. Rather than admit defeat, she fought back and bettered herself, before she ended up face down in an alleyway and pumped full of heroine. Now she offers her stories and lessons to help others overcome their own personal problems. It’s at one of these conferences where she meets a determined young man looking to make all her dreams come true. The problem is that they aren’t her dreams.

My Review:

wasn’t real crazy about these short stories. They were alright, but I must confess I skimmed the last two.  They just couldn’t keep my interest.  Perhaps they were just too short for me to connect with the characters.  The second one was the best I thought.  The main character for pretty well-developed and had depth.

First Ink

 

Pages:52

$1.99 for Nook.

3 Stars

Synopsis:

Rush

Women in his bed, celebs and rockers in his chair and a killer bank account at his disposal, life is pretty freaking swell. Then she walks back into it again. With her mismatched eyes, perfect pink mouth and a laugh that still haunts him, she gave him nothing but marvelous misery. Now she wants his hands on her again. Not for pleasure, but for pain. For Ink. A bleeding heart to match the one she left him with five years ago.

Addison

She can’t forget him. No matter how hard she’s tried. The pain she caused him in the past eats at her daily, and she can’t move on with her life. But she has a plan, a hope for redemption – a way for him to take his revenge out on her flesh. But it’ll only work if he lets her inside his exclusive world, under his famous artist’s needle and into his bed—and heart-once again.

My Review:

I think I like Ms. Wright’s paranormal series better.  This wasn’t bad, but just not my cup of tea.  There was good tension, and chemistry between the characters and as always with this author a couple of hot steamy parts.  It was interesting, but I would have liked it to have been a little longer or maybe it was just something else that didn’t catch me.  I was almost more intrigued by the tension between the friend and guy that worked in Rush’s shop then that between Addison and Rush.  B&N bills this as a New Adult and I’ve often found that I’m just not into that age group anymore.  Guess I’m just getting old, tired of the supposed “drama” between young people anymore…  Just wanted to tell each of them to get over themselves about the incident that drove them both apart.

 

2105

 

Pages: 18

Free

4 Stars

Synopsis:

SHORT STORY – Demetra, an alleged test pilot finds herself in 2265, but how did she get there, what do The Watchers want from her…and will she find her way home, back to 2105.

My Review:

This was a very short, 11 pages, but interesting story. Quite creative and rich in detail for its length. There is an interesting twist at the end that I did not see coming that really made the piece and bumped up the star rating. I must look to see if this author has written anything else. Fun read perfect for a commute or waiting for an appointment. Free Nook download.

Origin Series
Pages: 16

Free

3 Stars

Synopsis:

Jarl’s day is about to become a confusing ride of strange uncertainties.

This is a science fiction short story of 1,770 words. It is part one in the ‘Origins’ series of stories which connect with one another in unexpected ways.

My Review:

This is just strange. Short and felt like it needed some more fleshing out. Not sure what the heck was going on, but it did make me curious. So I looked up the next title in the series and saw it was free so I went ahead and downloaded it. If it gets better I might continue and read them all, as they are free, or I might stop there. I need to know more about what is going on in this world before I make that call. Guess it can’t be that awful if it made me wanna read the next…

Layla, The Origin’s Two

 

Pages 23

Free

3 Stars

Synopsis:

Leyla has been looking forward to this momentous day for 15 long years. Will it live up to expectations? Or will it end with terror and tears?

This is a short story of 1,880 words. It is part two in the ‘Origins’ series of stories which connect with one another in unexpected ways.

Review:

Still strange, but learning more about what is going on. Kind of a different type of sci-fi. I still haven’t made up my mind if I like it or not, but hey it is free and only 17 pages long. Really who am I to complain. This story starts off in the same setting, but just a little bit earlier. We learn a little about the mystery in the previous book, but I still don’t know what the heck is going on. I am still intrigued though and might just have to download the next installment.

 

Micheal: The Origin’s Three
Pages: 11

Free

3 Stars

Synopsis:

Michael’s capture is unlike anything he was taught to deal with in military training. Is it even possible to escape such a situation? What did they want with him?

This is a short story of 2,600 words. It is part three in the ‘Origins’ series of stories which connect with one another in unexpected ways.

Review:

Well I guess I must like this series more than I thought, I went ahead and downloaded them all.  I mean why not they are all free and the story is getting better, makes more sense with each book.  Each one takes just a few minutes to read, maybe half an hour at most, but each part reveals just a little more of what is really going on.  Kind of a fun different type of story.  The action is still good and there is this mystery as to what is really or not really happening that grabbed me and I want to see this story through to figure just what the hell is going on.  If you like sci-fi definitely give this little serial a shot I think you might be surprised.

 

 

Mini Reviews: 6 Short Stories…

… AKA Catching up!  I noticed today that the gracious librarians in a community not far away has consented to lend me the next two books in my current series. So today I have decided to clear out some short stories on my e-readers.  I am going to be giving them mini-reviews in one post because it just seemed easier, and I’m lazy…  So here they are my day of rainy-day-waiting-on-the-next-library-book-reading.  All cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit the book’s page there.

A White Cougar Christmas

Southern Shifters 3.5

Owned on my Kindle

Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:

Restless and alone on Christmas Eve, Niki decides it’s time to scratch the itch and heads into a nearby town for some action. Once there, it isn’t sex she finds, but a fight instead, that is until tall, dark and handsome intervenes…

Dean recognizes the stunning but surly Cougar for what she is the minute she gets close. Now it’s up to him to show her just how far a night of passion can go

Review:

This was a very short read, downloaded free for my Kindle.  It wasn’t much more than a sex scene, well done, but not much about the world it is set in.  Alright as a stand alone being there wasn’t much going on besides these two hooking up.  End of book hints there is more to come for these two characters in future books. Still writing was good and I think I will need to check out the other books in the series.  Reminds me of Laura Wright and Alexandra Ivy’s writing style.

Ethan's Mate

Owned on my Kindle

 Rating: 3 Stars

(Abbreviated) Synopsis:

Ethan Hale is a vampire with a mission. Together with his three brothers and a few other unmated members, he fights with The Vampire Coalition to protect humans from fallen vampires. His life is fairly simple. If he has a problem…he solves it. If it’s an evil problem…he kills it. But his uncomplicated life is about to end when his mate unexpectedly calls him to her.

Brianna Cole is weak, her life force fading away. She thinks she is suffering from a rare form of leukemia. Little does she knows that her illness is much more complicated. She’s dying because she has not united with her vampire mate and given him his soul that she has been guarding since birth.

Review:

This was an interesting novella, reminded me a bit of Lara Adrian, Laura Wright and a couple of other better known series.  My biggest complaint is the cover,  but it is fairly typical for the genre.  I like the world and will look into the next titles in the series.  Full of insta-love, so if that annoys you might want to skip this one.  I liked the world building and hope to learn or about it in future books.  The love scenes were pretty graphic, probably on the edge of erotica, but I’ve read worse.  Over all I recommend it, especially since I was able to get it for free, not that I know if it still is…

The Wold who stole Christmas
Xmas Tales 1 – Legendary Lovers

 Rating: 2 Stars

Synopsis:

Once upon a Christmas time, Santa’s daughter Holly had to choose between two men—a love sick Jack Frost, or a tightly disciplined werewolf name Furio.

Sure, she could melt the powerful Elemental’s lonely heart but can she bring out the animal in a wolf afraid to love again?

Free Book. Paranormal romance, short story, Christmastime, North Pole Setting.

Review:

Not a bad story, kinda on the cheesy side.  Would be fun to read one snowy evening around the holidays when you want to steam things up a bit.  Was nice that there was an actual plot and not just gratuitous sex, not that that isn’t always a bad thing…  Like I said short, sweet and steamy.

Prey
Montana Wolves #1

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

BBW erotic romance novella, and the first book in the Montana Wolves series

Photographer Amalie Baptista is appalled by the hunting of wolves in Montana. She hopes that photographing these savagely beautiful animals will call attention to their plight, but her mission ends abruptly when she’s attacked by one of the animals she’s sworn to protect. When a gorgeous stranger saves her from certain death, she can’t seem to fight the attraction…but giving in could be giving up life as she knows it.

Alpha male Liam Albrecht is breaking every rule for the curvy, captivating Amalie, risking his place within the pack and his own life to protect her. As discord among the clans reaches a fever pitch, he must find a way to save her from the monsters among them.

Review:

This was a nice novella and introduction to this world.  The story was well-rounded and complete.  The synopsis says it is an erotic story, but I didn’t think it was any more graphic than most of the other paranormal romance books out there.  The writing was good and the characters believable.  I look forward to seeing where this series goes,  I believe I will be adding the next one to my to-read list.

HowlSpirit Moon #1

Rating: 1 Star

Synopsis:

Jane is a recent college grad who has a strange gift- she sees things in her dreams. After she wakes up from a dream of her boyfriend cheating, she realizes she’s in need of a change. A man leaves a magazine on the counter of the cafe where she works, which helps to finally land her a job in her field. Who want’s to work in a cafe with a master’s degree?

Jane sets out from St. Louis to a ranch in Montana where she meets Nathanial Ellis, the enigmatic and distant father of the child she is hired to tutor. The little girl, Morgan, is haunted by the death of her mother. After a false start, Jane and Morgan realize they have a lot in common. If Jane can rationalize her sensual dreams about the beautiful young man, and help Morgan deal with the death of her mother, she might be able to stay on at Bear Creek Ranch. That is, of course, if the wolves don’t get her first.

Review:

Unfortunately this story didn’t work for me.   The story started off good, but lost me somewhere along the way.  The writing wasn’t bad, but the vocabulary felt off and at times, the formality of the words used and the tone of the writing wasn’t consistent.  It threw off my reading of the story at times.  I also didn’t care for how the author broke up the story.  I thought it could have gone on a little further and still have set up a cliffhanger for the next installment.  This one just felt unfinished.  Characters were alright, but felt off as well.  Will not be continuing.

TUR

Elsker Saga #.5

Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:

Inga Andersson is the envy of every girl in Asgard. On the surface she has it all — great friends, a job as Odin’s personal fight choreographer, and a happy ever after with her realm’s hottest assassin. But when evil invades Asgard, her perfect world comes crashing down. Someone is planning to kill off the gods, and Inga’s best friend Ull is first on their list. With the Norse apocalypse a nanosecond away, Inga has to decide how she’ll spend her final moments of freedom. Because from the moment this battle begins, Inga’s happily ever after will be nothing more than a memory.

Some things are worth fighting for.

Review:

This was kinda a different type of paranormal, or really supernatural story.  It is set in the world of Norse mythology.  Fans of the Thor movies might really like to give this one a try.  I thought it was well done, filled with humor and action.  There was great comradely among the characters and the lead female was an interesting mix of strength and more traditional feminine interests.  Might give the longer books in this series a go if I am ever in the mood to read something a little different but still comfortably within my typical reading tastes.

And now I am all caught up in my reading pledge, only a little bit of cheating…  My next books in the Chicagoland Vampires series arrived at work, so off to see what happens next in that series that has captured my imagination.