Saturday, October 21, 2017

Book Review: Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna

From The Blurb:
Prince Garrik is the Heir Presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire—a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown—who will take the throne after their father. 
Things come to a head when the Wytch King, who has grown increasingly impatient with the situation, demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt—with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves. 
Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering deep within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he’d thought long buried. 
Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?




Karen's rating:




And this...this is how you do dragons!

Now if it's not already clear let me start by saying..."I LOVE DRAGONS!!! Unashamedly, unapologetically love them." to me they are the most fierce, majestic, powerful and yes scary because...hey, big fire breathing creatures here, in all of mythology.

I've had this series on my wishlist for ages and was fortunate enough to have been gifted with the first three books in this series as part of a gift exchange last Christmas and while it's taken me until now to find the time to start reading this series...all I can say to that is good things come to he, or she as the case may be, who waits.

Gerrick is the heir presumptive to the throne of Altan (next in line for the throne)...except there's one teensy little problem in order to become the Wytch King he needs to come into his wytch power...he's 20 it should have happened by now and Altan has never had a king who didn't possess a wytch power...ask his Uncle. He's only to happy to explain this  to anyone who will listen...bitter much? Oh yeah.

For Gerrick this isn't about being king though it's about keeping a promise. A promise to protect his younger brother, Jaire from the pressures of ruling a kingdom. Something that even Jaire willing admits he has absolutely no desire or ability to do. Regardless of everything else Jaire, Gerrick and their father are all of a like mind on this issue...neither the kingdom nor Jaire would survive should he be made king as the Wytch Council would have happen.

It's in a last ditch effort to have Gerrick declared his rightful heir by the council that the king demands that Gerrick's wytch powers be forced to awaken defying the councils decree that forcing wytch powers or even attempting to do so is a punishable offense. Desperate to protect his brother Gerrick agrees to allow this.

Some wytch powers are not meant to be awakened and when Gerrick's awakened powers end in disaster. Kian, Gerrick's friend, lover and an apprentice healer flees to the Wytch's College in search of the Wytch Master Ilya in a last ditch effort to save not just Gerrick, but his brother Jaire and ultimately the kingdom of Altan.

Friday, October 20, 2017

ARC Review: Off The Beaten Path by Cari Z.

Off the Beaten PathBlurb:

When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.







My rating:





Ever since I read my first shifter book, I've been hooked. For some reason, Off The Beaten Path escaped my notice at first, but when it kept popping up in friend reviews on Goodreads, I requested a review copy from the publisher.

I was not disappointed.

This is not some fluffy wolf shifter meets human and they live happily ever after shifter book. No, as the title indicates, this shifter universe is off the beaten path, set in an alternate reality where shifters exists, after a government experiment gone terribly wrong, but are controlled by the human government, living in remote areas away from human cities, within confined compounds, with the pack Alphas required to serve as ultimate soldiers whenever the military requires them to utilize their extra strength and abilities to carry out the military's dirty work.

Additionally, some children are born as shifters to human parents, and when their true nature is revealed, they are removed from their human parents, severing the relationship, and relocated to a shifter compound, where they either can shift back to human or, if they can't, are destroyed.

Thus, we meet Ward Johannsen whose young daughter Ava shifted into a wolf during a stressful situation and was immediately taken by the feds to the nearest shifter camp. Unwilling to give up his daughter, Ward does everything he can to obtain her location, which just happens to be in the Colorado mountains. And it's winter.

Ward is rescued, nearly frozen to death, at the perimeter of the pack compound. Once inside, he's faced with the pack's Alpah, Henry Dormer, who only recently returned from his last mission and hopes to have a bit of time to recuperate before he's sent out again.

Both men are really strong-willed and not inclined to give up. Ward is unwilling to let go of Ava, even if the law says he has to, and he does everything in his power to get back to her, even if that means willingly walking into a werewolf compound and standing his ground. Henry too fights every day to ensure the security and well-being of his pack, even if that means that he himself suffers abuse and faces possible death.

See, the government doesn't really care about the werewolves it created, considering them dangerous and thus in need of being kept separated and hidden, but is perfectly willing to use the wolves' Alphas for its Black Ops missions. Henry's CO especially is a sack of shit, vengeful and vile, but Henry knows he has to follow the rules so his pack can get what it needs to survive.

Relationships between wolves and humans are strongly discouraged, though not forbidden.

Obviously, Ward's presence in the camp, and his having found the compound, breaks all kinds of security rules, and Henry has to take the blame. Still, Henry realizes that Ward's presence will likely help Ava shift back to human, so he is willing to give it a try.

ARC Review: Gummy Bears & Grenades by Charlie Cochet

From The Blurb:
THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancĂ©, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends. 
Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun. 
*** 
Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

Karen's rating:




'Gummy Bears & Grenades' is a brief interlude from the danger that is the life of the members of THIRDS...or it's suppose to be.

It's time for Dex's bachelor party and what a party it's going to be. I'm totally a THIRDS addict so of course reading this one was a no brainer. I dove into this one without hesitation and I loved if from start to finish. It was fun and funny and just so Dex.

As Dex and Sloane's big day draws closer the inevitable pre-wedding events are happening and this one is all about 'the bachelor party'...specifically Dex's, which explains why Sloane is being left behind or even worse being left to have an evening of bonding with his soon to be father-in-law, Tony and doesn't that end up being it's own adventure. Seriously, when someone tells you 'don't play air hockey with the man' it's probably wise to heed their advice...but after one stop to give his fiancee a very steamy surprise and a few drinks...like enough for even a Therian to get a good buzz, Sloane decides that a game or 12 of air hockey couldn't possibly be all that bad of an idea...lol!!! foolish man.

Meanwhile Dex is out with Ash, Cael, Hudson, Seb, Calvin & Hobbs and the rest of the gang dancing, eating booze soaked gummy bears and wearing gummy bear suits, having encounters with Wolf, avoiding hired thugs and just generally having a good time.

ARC Review: The Fireman's Pole by Sue Brown

The Fireman's PoleBlurb:

The flames of passion rise for the lord of the manor.

It’s springtime in Calminster village, but things are already heating up. Sexy firefighter Dale Maloney is new to the local station. When Dale backs the company fire engine into the village maypole, he attracts the ire—and attention—of Benedict Raleigh, the Baron Calminster.

Soon after meeting Dale, Ben breaks off his relationship with his girlfriend, and the sparks between Ben and Dale are quickly fanned into flames.

Unfortunately the passion between the two men isn’t the only blaze in the village. An arsonist’s crimes are escalating, and it’s up to Dale and his crew to stop them. Meanwhile, as they investigate, an unscrupulous business partner attempts to coerce Ben into marrying his daughter. The May Day parade is around the corner, but they have plenty of fires to put out before Ben can finally slide down the fireman’s pole.




My rating:





This book is pure fluff. Which, let's be honest, fits perfectly within the Dreamspun Desires titles. And the cheeky title - hahahaha!

Here we have Dale, a firefighter who recently moved into the little village of Calminster, still smarting from a bad break-up with his closeted, cheating ex, hoping to lick his wounds and put his hopes and dreams for that relationship behind him. Unwilling to be in the closet himself, he's open about his sexuality, but has no aspirations to find himself another boyfriend.

Called out for a fire on his first shift, he manages to rescue the homeowner, a sweet elderly woman, and draw the ire of his Lordship at the same time. Shortly thereafter, he backs the big fire engine into the maypole, which was originally erected by his Lordship's great-great-grandfather. So, having blown his opportunity for making a good first impression, Dale offers to fix the pole in hopes to calm down Ben, Lord Calminster, who is behaving like an ass both during the fire and after Dale's unfortunate mishap with the big fire truck and the maypole.

Don't expect any kind of realistic or believable relationship development - there's none.

Ben, the lord of the manor, has kept his own sexuality hidden to the point where he's got a girlfriend/beard. Of course, he takes one look at our hunky firefighter, feels the stirring in his loins and finds the backbone to break things off with the woman he's been dating.

Dale was a nice guy, and I liked him. Ben, once he removed the stick from his ass, was a nice guy too. I liked him fine as well.

It's just that nothing here between Ben and Dale felt anything close to realistic. Dale states that he's still hurting from the break-up and doesn't want to fall in bed with yet another closeted man, but then shortly thereafter dismisses that notion and jumps right in with Ben.

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