Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Reviewed by Jen

I have mixed feelings about this book, which I hate to say because I am such a huge fan of Nalini Singh. But the degree of Insta love here was just insurmountable. It colored my ability to enjoy the first half of this story to such a degree that it made it difficult to connect to the characters or the romance for a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that with shifters, a mating instinct requires acceptance of a quick connection. But the hero here is human and he was the biggest offender.

Let me back up. This is Bowen’s story. The leader of the Human Alliance has some serious issues to overcome. Not only was he shot up in a previous book, but his brain is in danger of shutting down because of the chip he had implanted. Bowen is deathly afraid of a Psy manipulating his mind and the chip prevented that. But now it is degrading and death is knocking on his door. [Read more…]

Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Reviewed by Sara

How to Marry a Werewolf is a novella that takes place after the events of Gail Carriger’s popular Parasol Protectorate series. The novella can technically be read as a standalone although there are some elements that might be a bit lost on a reader new to the world Carriger has meticulously built. However, the story and characters are written with enough depth and explanation that anyone with should be able to lose themselves in this fantastic story.

As the story begins, we meet Bostonian Faith Wigglesworth, who, after causing a scandal, has been banished to the British Isles with one job, she is to find herself a werewolf to marry. In America, the supernaturals are barely tolerated and in many cases viewed as abominations. Faith is being punished by a family that it is immediately clear are horrible. [Read more…]

Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

This last novella in the Dragos & Pia POV reminded me quickly of why I fell in love with the Elder Races in the first place. It’s been an age since the last time we had a full length book featuring these two, but Thea Harrison has given us a half dozen novellas over the years to keep us in the loop with their relationship and growing family. With this story, they are visiting Las Vegas to see Rune and Carling get married. Pia is very pregnant with baby number two –and everything goes to hell when someone with an axe to grind with Dragos kidnaps her to hurt him.

The book isn’t very long and I don’t want to spoil the particulars, but I will say that I really enjoyed returning to this world and these characters. Dragos is so fascinating to me. He’s the alpha among alphas, so much of a dragon, even when he’s wearing his human skin. Yet his love for Pia shapes him. He worships her; he would burn the world for her, and more to the point, he could. It’s awesome. I love Pia, too. She has her own brand of strength. Though her husband has been around for thousands of years, and she is less than 30, she has a lot to teach him about other ways to see life and the world. And the best part is that he listens. [Read more…]

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Reviewed by Joanna

Mo is the daughter of outrageously maniacal hippies, and so damaged by their overbearing nature that, at age twenty-nine, she relocates north to Alaska to get away from them. She needs a period of small-town living to feel normal, and settles into the little town of Grundy, working in the local diner as short order cook.

But Grundy has one resident who has an even stranger background than Mo does. Cooper is definitely not normal. He’s the naked werewolf from the title. At least he’s naked the day he turns up at Mo’s cabin with a bear trap around his leg.

Ah, I do love a good shifter story, particularly a refreshingly gentle sort of tale, as this one is. A few dramatic things happen, but really only as a background plot to allow the characters’ story to progress. The nutshell of this yarn is a woman with her own complicated backstory meets a werewolf, and they have a amusing time falling in love. [Read more…]

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

This sixth installment in Ann Bishop’s The Others series is like a spinoff and a reboot all in one. It feels almost just like the first book, with a kind, emotionally damaged heroine in a new terre indigene community where the monsters learn through her that some humans are worth not eating. There is a very very very slow-burn/ might-be-a-romance one day. And a cop who doesn’t want to be there, but feels compelled to do the right thing. The only things different from Written in Red are the names and the particulars of the bad guys who threaten the peace of the community.

The new heroine is Vicki. She is a frumpy human divorcee. She was emotionally abused by her ex to the point where she has terrible panic attacks, is largely intimidated by men, and thinks very little of herself. She inherited the Jumble in her divorce settlement. It’s basically a bunch of cabins surrounding a rustic main house where she can rent rooms along the lake community largely populated by Others. The almost-love-interest is Julian, an Intuit and former cop who runs the local bookstore. Wayne is the highway patrol officer sent in to investigate a dead body Vicki reports as the story begins. [Read more…]

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Jen

There is something so special about this series. Yes, I love the Mercy Thompson books, but the dynamic between Charles and Anna puts the Alpha and Omega series over the top for me. If you’re not reading them, go back to the beginning and start now. You’ll be glad you did.

You really don’t even need to be up to date with the Mercy books, though the main events of Silence Fallen are addressed inasmuch as it references Bran’s trip to help Mercy out. It’s with his absence that Charles has been put in charge of the pack, a responsibility he accepts but doesn’t enjoy. As the story begins, he gets a desperate call from one of the Wildlings—the wolves on the fringe of the pack—asking for help. It turns out that someone has kidnapped one of the old ones and her mate needs the Marrok to get her back. Charles and Anna step in to mount a rescue. [Read more…]

Review: Return of the Lycan King: Nicholas and Kristen by Candace Blackburn

Reviewed by Shelly

This is my first by Candace Blackburn and it’s not going to be my last. The first book in her Return of the Lycan King series is a winner. Fast paced, fun and just enough action to keep the pages turning – I found it to be a solid start to the series. I’m going to do my best to not give a spoiler because I really liked this.

When I saw the blurb for this, my eyes went big. I’m a sucker for damaged main characters and knowing it’s the heroine was the icing on the cake. The world building was good, I mean very good. Nothing over the top and all very subtle. The majority of the story is told from Kristen’s angle as the new girl on the block per se and we see the world through her eyes. It’s an interesting world. [Read more…]

Review: Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks

Reviewed by Jen

Eileen Wilks drops us right back into the action with this latest installment of her World of the Lupi series and thankfully, she begins with a great recap; otherwise, I think I would have completely forgotten what was going on. You see, the last book stopped right in the middle of the action: Lily and Rule had led a group of fighters into Dis to rescue Toby and some other Lupi children who had been kidnapped. They were in the middle of a big battle; Benedict and Cullen were seriously hurt… so was Rule. A dragon snatched Lily and THEN THE BOOK WAS OVER. This book is more like a Part 2 of that story, although it has its own arc set entirely in Dragonhome, which is where Lily is spirited away to. [Read more…]

Review: Fire’s Kiss by Brittany Pate

Reviewed by Ronelle

Embyr has finally found a place where she can settle peacefully, and while the life of a tavern owner might not be the most thrilling, it allows her to keep her secrets. That is, until she’s attacked by a hellhound and saved by one of the most feared men in history.

Ryder McLennon, the infamous leader of Death’s Horsemen, has spent 800 years hunting the vampire who killed his wife. He’s earned a reputation as a murderous madman and he’s fine with that. But what begins as a bid to add a beautiful—but more importantly, powerful—half-demon to his army soon becomes a battle to keep his heart at bay. [Read more…]

DNF Review: A Deep Dark Call by Rose Vane

Reviewed by Jen

I was really excited about this book. It was supposed to be a gothic style PNR, with an English-governess in Wallachia who falls for her enigmatic employer. The blurb promised a sinister manor house, a possible curse, and questionable circumstances surrounding the death of the hero’s first wife. I was expecting Rebecca meets Dracula or something. What I got was a story I had to put down three times in eye-rolling frustration before I finally walked away for good around the halfway point. It should tell you a lot that I couldn’t get any further, since the book was only about 43,000 words.

It started out with a lot of scene setting, which ok, the author was trying to set the mood. Wallachia is very different from London and wolves howl a lot. Lucy, the heroine, has some kind of Past which forced her to leave her home and strike out somewhere entirely new. At first, I figured someone must have deflowered her, especially since she wondered if her new employer was going to ravage her the first time they met (an idea she was clearly not adverse to) but since we later discover she’s a virgin, I can tell you that wasn’t it. [Read more…]