ARC Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Book Review

 


Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #10

Released: 3/7/17 by Ace Books

Pages: 352 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Silence Fallen (A Mercy Thompson Novel)

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

My Review:

I must confess I did not care much for the last book in this series, nor did I the last release in the spin-off series Alpha and Omega…  So while I knew I wanted to read the next book, after all, many of the books in these two series I have adored, I was a little hesitant when I dove into this one worried that I would not enjoy it as I had earlier books.

That is why I am thrilled to report back that this current release delivered big time for me!  I LOVED this book!  It might be the pain meds talking or the fact that I am trapped at home recovering from major surgery but this book was exactly what I needed right now.  An action-packed roller-coaster ride full of danger, drama, and justice.  There was little missing from this book and I had such fun as I watched my favorite little coyote work her magic on a whole new continent.

This book is set up a little different from previous books but the author gives us plenty of warning and help to figure things out as the story jumps not only back and forth between Mercy and Adam but in the timeline as well.  Personally, I don’t think it would have been that hard to follow without the notations at the beginning of each chapter but it was nice to have the reminder of what sequence the following action fell in.

After all the drama with the Fae it is the Vampire’s turn to create havoc for the supernatural creatures of the world and of course, Mercy and Adam’s pack seems to have a big old bullseye painted on their back.  Perhaps they were cursed at some point in time to receive all the attention from other species looking to control the world.  I loved this peek into the complex vampire social structure with all the polite power plays.  I also enjoyed seeing Mercy mess up all their well-laid plans.

This was a phenomenal addition to this series and it left me wanting more.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

My Rating:5 Stars

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How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Book Review

 


How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Naked Werewolf #1

Released: 2/22/11 by Pocket Books

Pages: 371 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon  How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Northern Exposure

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

My Review:

This book has been sitting on my to read shelf since 2012, it was the fourth oldest book on my shelf over on Goodreads.  I have finally read it and how it moved up in my reading schedule is about how I thought it would happen.  I found book two at a library book sale and decided to go ahead and buy book one and start this trilogy.  It was just as good a read as I thought it would be and worth the wait.

I love Molly Harper, hardly ever get approved for her ARCS, but that’s okay as I know I will read them eventually.  It has been a while since I read a title in the Half-Moon Hollow series but I always keep an eye out for one of her titles.  This series has nothing to do with her vamp world but it holds within its pages everything I love about a Harper book.  Humor, wacky situations, strong female lead, great friendships, and a little mystery to set all these elements to motion with.  If you want a guaranteed good read I highly suggest giving one of Ms. Harper’s books a try, you won’t be disappointed.

This book had a fun start with the lead character Mo moving as far away from her parents as she could and remain in the United States.  Of course this took her to Alaska where she quickly learns she isn’t the kookiest character in town.  Playing on the men to woman ratio stereotype Mo soon has some of the locals vying for her attention.  Well, all except for one that is.  Of course our hero Cooper is the odd man out as he gives Mo nothing but a hard time, until they jump in the sack about half way through the book.

The story follows a fairly typical romantic comedy arc as these two work to end up together and figure out what is going on in their community.  I was surprised at how this book tended to have a bit more serious tone to it and for a bit I wondered if it was really going to work out between Mo and Cooper.

This book was great, just what I was in the mood for and I am excited to dive into book two, already having ordered the last…  I’m going to take a quick break though as I did score a review book I’m excited about too and its release date is coming up. If you are looking for something fun, a little quirky, and a sweet romance to boot then I suggest giving this book a try.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Wolver’s Reward by Jacqueline Rhoades

Book Review

 

XLRiver-cover (2)Book Genre: Paranormal Romance

Book Series: #7 in the Wolver’s Series

Released: 3/17/16 by Author

Pages: 275  Price: $3.99 for E-Book

Links: Author’s Site, Goodreads

Source: I received a review copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Fate has played River for a fool. Again. He thought he’d earned the respect of a decent and admirable wolver pack. He was grateful for it. He was content…until they took it all away, and left him alone and angry. Again.
Yet Fate rewards him with another pack, one that needs his survival skills, and one where he meets the girl of his dreams, but River is no longer a fool. The beautiful Rebecca is an Alpha’s daughter. She can never be his and she knows it, too. But knowing the outcome, changes the game, and both River and Reb decide to play this one on their own, but different, terms.
What Fate knows, and River must learn, is that happiness comes when you least expect it, and finding a love worth fighting for is what brings a Wolver’s Reward.

My Review:

This is another review where I am not sure how I feel about the book yet and will hold off allotting stars until I work everything out in the review.  I adore this author and truly enjoy all of her series regardless of genre.  The Wolver’s is one of her earlier ones and it seems hard to believe we have been with this world for seven books already!  I have to confess this author is the one that won me over to shifter stories, before this series I was strictly a vamp fangirl.

So in this latest addition to the Wolver’s series we revisit a character that was introduced in book three as a young man.  Seems hard to believe that enough time has passed for River to be all grown up, so either there was a time jump or I am remembering him as younger than he was in book three.  Of course we also have a visit from everyone’s favorite match maker/meddler Eugene Begley to get the ball rolling for this story as he has with the others.  His is a fun character and I would love to see a prequel of how he ended up with such a vital role for the Wolver community.  I bet he has some interesting stories to share.

Back to River and Reb… I just have to come out and say it.  I struggled with River for a good part of the book.  In the end the author was able to win me over to him, like she always does, but I spent much of the book in a love/hate relationship with the character.  Perhaps hate is too strong of a word, more annoyance.  I so desperately wanted to knock that chip off his shoulder in the first half of the book and around the middle to end I wanted to knock some freaking sense into him.  Then I would switch and really identify with him and want to make everything better for this independent wolver.  I admired him throughout the entire book but so wanted to adjust his personality half the time.  Of course I believe some of my issue with him is I see some of his characteristics (anger, fear of abandonment) in myself, the very ones I seem to be struggling with lately.

Then there is Reb, who was a very sweet character and only annoyed me with her hang-ups over swearing.  It did lead to a cute running joke between her and River, but I would have been so tempted to up my cursing vocabulary if I were to interact with her in real life.  I think Reb was the perfect match for River though and was delighted to watch them come together.

This book also featured some fun supporting characters which is a trademark style for this author.  Ms. Rhoades excels at creating a community for her stories that you can’t help but fall in love with.  The danger felt a little more subdued in this story and it was more of an inner struggle that the characters needed to overcome to reach their H.E.A.

Over all this was a great addition to a well established world.  Probably not my favorite, but I still had a fun time and know I grew a little as a reader having some of my personal flaws reflected in the characters.  That is one of the things I love about reading fiction, the stories we escape to hold a mirror up to our own lives and let us see ourselves and others through a new set of eyes.  We can then take those experiences and see how we can learn to better ourselves.  If you are a fan of Ms. Rhoades you will not want to miss her latest addition to one of her original series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Vampires Never Cry Wolf by Sara Humphreys

Vampires Never Cry Wolf

Book #3 in the Dead in the City: Published 3/3/15: 320 pages

I borrowed this book from my library

Author’s Site

 

Book Synopsis:

Sadie Pemberton is the DJ at the hottest vampire club in New York City, and she loves her freedom almost as much as she hates werewolves. She has no desire to tie herself to anyone for eternity—even the deliciously sexy Killian Bane—werewolf prince and heir apparent who has been sent to patrol the city.

But Sadie bears the mark of the moon—the mark that Killian has been looking for, the mark that’s meant to reveal his perfect mate. How can the fates be so cruel? Even more importantly, how is he ever going to change her mind?

My Review:

This is probably my favorite book in the series that I’ve read thus far.  This one really clicked for me and I think it had to do with it being a bit less serious for much of the book.  Sure the tension ratcheted up at the end, but the majority of the story was centered around the pairing up of this fun couple.  The writing style is also starting to remind me of some of my favorite authors like Alexandra IvyJacqueline Rhoades, and even Kerrelyn Sparks.  If you enjoy any of the previous authors I highly suggest giving this one a try too.

I loved this couple!  Killian was so much fun; strong and cocky, yet realistic and vulnerable as well.  Humphreys did an excellent job of creating a crush-worthy male lead with this one.  Then there was Sadie who was typical to this series in that she held a twist in her turning or heritage that made so much more than met the eye.  This author does a great job of taking diversity and bringing it to light for us to examine. The problems might be paranormal ones, but the parallels can be drawn for our own reality.  I appreciate the questions this author brings up about tolerance and choosing to be progressive and change for the greater good.  I love the lessons she is teaching us through her highly entertaining story.

Like I said much of this story followed a more light-hearted plot, dealing with relationship drama.  There was great tension between these two, some still corny lines and plenty of steam.  Near the end we got to deal with the major drama between the two races, but like most romance everything comes together at the end.  There are some great relationships, romantic and platonic, to explore in this world and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

My Rating: 5 Stars

ARC Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Dead Heat
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #4 in Alpha & Omega series : Published 3/3/15

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

Author’s Website ,  Amazon, Barnes & Noble 

Book Synopsis:

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire. 

My Review:

Another great addition to this spin-off series in the Mercy Thompson world.  I have to say it again, I almost enjoy Charles and Anna’s stories more than Mercy and Adam.  Tough call though, cause the are both great.  Charles just seems to tip scale in their favor and adds a little something extra to make this series just a bit more enjoyable.

It had been a while, okay only a year…, since I’ve been in this world and it took me a bit to figure out the ‘rules’ again.  The story though gave me enough details and clues that I was quickly on familiar ground again.  We are still dealing with the Fae aftermath from the last book that ended on one helluva cliffhanger and we are waiting for the shoe to drop and the war to break out in this book.  We get to witness just how very terrifying the Fae can be It will make you want to reevaluate all those fairy tales you might have enjoyed as a child.  I know I’m never going to think of them in the same light ever again.

There are several different threads of plot going through this story.  We get to witness a piece of Charles’s past, a mystery/crime dealing with the Fae and a lot of time spent in the barn trying out horses…  Now this is the only plot point that cost the book that fifth star from me.  Not that I didn’t enjoy the angle, it just could have been condensed a bit to make the story move along better.  I have a horse, have been around horses, been to horse shows and still I find them boring and reading about them even more so.  Still to bigger horse people than me this might make the story for them, simply a matter of personal taste.  Personally I found it a bit like going to class and wanted to get back to the action.

I did love that we run into a former flame of Charles’s in this book.  It was interesting to see how Anna handled it and how it affected their marriage.  We also got to work with a FBI agent from a former book and while it took me a bit to remember her, I hope we get to see her again.  The book ended on a bit of a sad note, bittersweet, but sad and I found myself with tears in my eyes for the turn of events.  I like how the author handled the situation and that it helped bring Charles and Anna closer together.  I also appreciate how several of the smaller plot points were revisited at the end and we got to see how some of the people affected by the Fae and other creatures were not forgotten by Charles.

The series still excites me and I look forward to seeing where it goes next, along with Mercy’s story line too.  Looks like we will have to wait a bit before returning to this world, but that’s alright somethings are worth the wait.

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

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.

ARC A Very Levet Christmas – 4 Stars

A Very Levet Christmas
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

#11.5 in the Guardians of Eternity series, release date Sept 30, 2014

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

Book Synopsis:

A gargoyle of Levet’s charm and intelligence should not be facing a solitary Christmas. True, he may appear a little unconventional, not to mention unconventionally little even for a gargoyle. But what Levet lacks in height he makes up for in loyalty, and being banned from the festivities surrounding the Queen of Weres’ new pups is quite unfair.

So when a beautiful Christmas angel begs for help in fulfilling her duties, Levet has nothing better to do than agree. Armed with a magical wand, Levet confronts Damon, a pureblood Were intent on seizing the throne. Challenging the King will put the pups at risk and drive away Damon’s potential mate, Gia. Who better to convince Damon to choose love, not war, than a gargoyle expert in “amour”? With a little magic, and a lot of Levet, this may yet be a truly wonderful Christmastime.

My Review:

Perhaps a little early for a Christmas story, but hey I don’t get to pick the release dates or when they show up on Net Galley. This is one of the authors I enjoy and own most of her books. This was a sweet little addition to the series and the novellas that center around Levet are always such fun.  He is the much-needed comic relief in a world that could become much too serious and heavy with out his quirky personality.

As with the other novella centered around Levet, this in not a love story for him.  The story is the bringing together of Damon and Gia.  Ivy has cleverly shared this story as a tribute or in the spirit of the Christmas Classic by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.  This will be a lovely tale to read around the holidays on a cold winter’s evening, perhaps when you are stuck at home during a storm.  It is quite short, only 55 pages for the story itself, and I was able to finish it in a couple of hours.  We get to see a glimpse of character’s from past novels in this world and are there to welcome Salvatore and Harley’s new family to the world.

The story while fun on its own, is probably going to be appreciated by fans of the series more than those who are new to the series.  There isn’t much back story, so new readers might not know much of what is going on or the context of the events taking place.  Still a fun read, and I’m thankful for having been granted to privilege to read and review it before its release.

 

ARC Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley – 2 Stars

Silver Wolf Clan

 

Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book 1 in the Silver Wolf Clan Series: Release date 8/4/14

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

Loving him will be legendary…if she can survive it.

What happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.

Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.
Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?

My Review:

This novella wasn’t quite what I was expecting from the synopsis.  I thought that it would be told mainly from Morgan’s perspective, or have more of her in the book, but it didn’t quite work out like that.  Much of the story was told from Greyson’s POV and for the first third of the story Morgan was noticeably absent.  Not a big deal, but not what I was expecting.

This was a quick read for me and for the first half of the book I felt like I was missing out on a lot of what was going on.  The story jumped ahead in the timeline at odd intervals and it often took me a bit to figure out how much or even that time had passed.  One moment Grey was unsure of the pack the next he was an unofficial member.  It would have been nice to read a bit more about the bonding that went on between them all.  We could have learned more about the rules in this shifter world along with Grey.

Once Morgan comes back into the picture the timeline starts moving at a more regular pace, but again I still felt as if I was missing parts of the story.  When Morgan finally meets the pack we learn of whole conversations and decisions they made in their relationship after the fact.  It might have been nice to have been shown rather then told about them.

I did like the characters and the world seemed interesting, I just wish there had been more there.  I could see the chemistry there, but just wasn’t given enough to bond with the characters.  The action was well written, but some other scenes were a little convenient at times.  The series has potential, but I’m not sure if I will be continuing on.

Wolver’s Gold by Jacqueline Rhoades – 5 Stars

Wolver's Gold (Wolvers, #5)Cover thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #5 in The Wolvers series

I own a copy of this book on my Nook.

Book Synopsis:

Finding gold where you least expect it…

Lone wolf and Special Investigator for the ubiquitous Eugene Begley, Challenger McCall is sent to the town of Gold Gulch to take care of a problem that might involve the exposure of the wolver community. For McCall, it’s like stepping back in time – a hundred and fifty years back in time.
Gold Gulch is a tourist attraction where the wolvers take their work so seriously, they continue their Victorian lives long after the tourists have gone home. Much like their 19th century counterparts, the women are overworked and underpaid.
Rachel Kincaid is one such woman. Exercising the only power she holds, she has become a wolver oddity; a spinster who refuses to mate. Why would she, when she already has to take care of the short-staffed hotel, its restaurant and her ne’er-do-well father? Angry and bitter, Rachel decides she deserves a better hand than the one she’s been dealt and finds herself drawn to the handsome new sheriff, Challenger McCall. Why shouldn’t she, for once in her life, enjoy the same freedom as the Soiled Doves on the hill?
Things get complicated when Rachel’s wolf awakens after a long sleep and the town’s women seem to awaken along with it. Papa’s gambling debts leave them on the brink; the pack is at risk; and the women rebel. Oh, and don’t forget the murders. If ever a pack needed rescuing, Gold Gulch is it, but as the girls up at Daisy’s Bouquet point out, – A smart woman needs to look after herself!

My Review:

Had to give this book 5 stars, not because I loved every minute of my marathon reading of this in just over 24 hours, but because it evoked such a strong reaction in me.  I got very wrapped up in the story-line and characters, even needing to give myself little time outs when I would get so worked up over what was happening that  I wanted to smack the characters up side the head.   I did enjoy the book, wouldn’t have given it so many stars if I didn’t,  but there were parts of the story that were not an easy read for me.  I think that just comes from my personal history though.

Wolver’s Gold is part of a series, but would work nicely as a stand alone title.  The rules of the world are the same, but the author has taken the series in a totally different direction in this book.  Gave it a fresh and different feel while keeping it true to the world she created.  I believe there is only one character that was in other books in the series, so feel free to pick this one up if you want to give the series a try.  This is one of the few authors that I enjoy though, that I will buy anything she writes, even without reading the synopsis, and know I’m going to get a good read.

I was a little surprised with the direction this book went,  started it without reading its synopsis, the story had a way different feel then the others.  It almost came off with as a historical, but managed to keep one paw in modern times, then there was this western element thrown in too.  Now I must confess, westerns and historicals are two types of books I will usually shy away from.  Just not a fan most of the time.  This one was an exception, though,  the romance and paranormal elements overrode any historical or western elements to the story enough that it was able to keep my interest.  So if you are a fan of any of the aforementioned genres (historical, westerns, paranormal, romance) you might want to give this one a go.

So what got me so riled up about this book.  The men mostly.  The pack in this book is stuck in the 1800’s and runs a tourist town where they can hide their pack and basically suppress women.  The author explains in the beginning how this is what life was like to many women in the wild west, and I appreciated the forewarning and information she provided.  It still got my hackles up and pissed me off how the men were treating the women of the pack as second class citizens with no rights.  I grew up knowing men like this, hence my perhaps overblown reaction to a story….  Feel bad for my husband who had to live with me while reading this book.  I’m glad the author tackled this subject though, cause even thought this was in the context of this is how it used to be, there are too many women out there in the world that this is their reality.

Alright, done with what I found difficult about the story.  There was plenty to love about the story too.  I LOVED Challenger.  He was such fun and played the fish-out-of- water well as he got used to living in this piece of the past town.  I also loved reading how he would get Rachel so worked up.  They were a great match.  The author teased me along for most of the book though.  Kept me wondering if how they were going to end up together or if they would.  There were moments where I wondered if it would all lead to heartbreak for Rachel.   I also loved Rachel.  Enjoyed watching her wake up to the reality she lived in.  Such a transformation.  So proud of the growth and changes she made.  One other character I enjoyed was the school teacher, Washington (last name, the characters were so formal using Mr. & Miss all the time I forget his first name).  I would so love to see him get his own story.  The chemistry between him and Challenger was great, a fun bromance.

The story and plot moved at a good pace, there was plenty of fun situations, some steamy scenes, and on the edge of your seat action.  It was a fun read that made you think, for the female readers a story to make you appreciate the world and society we now live in.  I hope you give it a try and like it as much as I did.

 

ARC Past My Defenses by Wendy Sparrow – 4 Stars

Past My Defenses (Taming the Pack, #1)Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #1 in the Taming of the Pack series, pub date June 23, 2014

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

Book Synopsis:

Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can’t outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he’d trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.

Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can’t escape the feeling they belong together.

They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak’s Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him

 

My Review:

I’d like to start off by saying I wish this book had a different cover.  There is something about the cover that didn’t click for me.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I almost didn’t request it over at Net Galley.  Then once I was approved for the title, that cover held me off again from starting it right away and it almost got pushed back in my to-read list.  I double checked the release date and decided I needed to start irregardless of how drawn to it or not.  The synopsis and cover just didn’t match up for me, I think.   The description lead me to believe it was going to be a funny light-hearted read, and the cover was all dark and brooding.

I’m so glad I decided to not judge a book by its cover and requested the title.  It was a blast to read.  Filled with a great mix of humor, witty come backs, great chemistry, a suspenseful mystery to be solved and a killer to be stopped.  For those paranormal romance lovers out there what it wasn’t filled with was lots of sex.  Plenty of teasing, but I don’t think I read one steamy scene in the whole book.  To me that was fine.  I read a lot of books classified as romance and perhaps I am getting tired of the sex scenes. (Gasp!  Say it ain’t so!  Calm down.  I think I just need a break for a while.)  Quite frankly I think the story didn’t need them.  The build up and bringing together of these two was interesting and fun enough.  I didn’t feel gypped by not reading about their time in the sack.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I am definitely going to be checking into more of her titles.  This was a fun ride.  Interesting set up and world she has created.  I am so glad that this is going to be part of a series.  Much of the story centered around Vanessa and Dane, but there was almost but not really a love triangle with Jordan the Alpha.  The story didn’t end so well for him and I would love to see him get his own book.  The chemistry was not only good between the two love birds but with Dan and Jordan.  Sure they were practically at each other’s throats the entire book, but I think there is a budding bromance in their future, especially if Jordan finds his own love.

We don’t learn a lot about the Were world here, like Dane we were kept in the dark a bit.  I hope that in future books we get to explore more of the pack structure and rules.  I don’t need a lot of details, but it would be nice to see behind the curtain a bit more than we did.

Only other complaint that I had was about Vanessa.  I understand it was part of her character to be this way, but I wish she had not doubted herself so much.  It got a bit annoying after a while.  Most of the time she was this tough werewolf with a smart mouth, then she would get all wrapped up in her head and over think everything.  I wish she would have had a bit more confidence at times.  Then again it did give her room to grow, but man sometimes I just wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her to stop over thinking.

This was a great read.  Surprised me quite a bit.  If you are a fan of Patricia Briggs, Molly Harper, Jacqueline Rhoades, Lynsay Sands, or Kerrelyn Sparks you might want to give this one a try too.