Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mini-Review: Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane #8)

Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane #8)

by Elizabeth Hoyt


Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.

Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior... and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

Themes: Historical
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 

 The long awaited story of Ms. Phoebe has finally arrived, with a vengeance to be sure.  I have been dying to read this one for a long time now, wanting to see Lady Phoebe come out of her shell and find her way into the arms of a truly sexy and bad ass (for that era at least) guy of her very own. Living the life of a sheltered lady is usually enough reason for me to want these ladies to have an adventure, but Phoebe’s disability had me rooting for her even more to find a way to spread her wings.  Fans of this series have also followed the harrowing story of Captain James Trevillion from villain to hero and every step in between as his life and way of thinking changes.  Hoyt has a way of making even the most mundane of adventures seem earthshattering and truly keeps life interesting for her characters.  I am curious where the story will be going next, but have my suspicions and am looking forward to it for sure. 

Phoebe and James have slowly become more and more dependent on one another as he protects her and keeps her safe from the world she cannot see around her, even as she has fought her gilded cage.  James has slowly begun to fall for Phoebe’s sweetness and sass, even as he warns himself from losing his objectivity.  Phoebe takes for granted he will always be there to protect her and spar with her, until the moment when he no longer is.  But when a plot against Phoebe’s brother puts her directly into the path of danger James will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, including giving up his own sanity or life.  Being forced into close quarters means that they have to each come to terms with their feelings and deal with the intense attraction between them, or risk losing it all when the danger passes.

Dearest Rogue is the kind of story that will keep you interested for every moment, especially as you see Phoebe growing into a woman and taking her stand.  Though the story moves very quickly, James and Phoebe’s relationship has been slowly blooming for a long time now and there is no denying the depth or sincerity of their love.  Phoebe may have always lived in the shadow of her family’s protection, but falling in love with a man like James is no easy road and she is willing to walk every step beside him.  James has led a life far more complicated than readers ever imagined and we get to see a lot of the reasons for his determination and anger in previous novels.  The best part of this story is that James finally accepts that, while he may not be the best match for Lady Phoebe on paper, he is the best and only man to make her happy, and he will beat any obstacle thrown between them to prove it and win her heart.  I enjoyed seeing couples from previous novels as well and seeing how well they have been living their lives.  I enjoy this series very much and continue to be amazed at the varied and ingenious ways that Hoyt brings her readers into the darker side of Georgian London and the highs and lows of the day-to-day living of that era.  One of my favorite historical authors, Hoyt manages to always put me right into the world her characters exist in and uses the setting not just as a place the story happens, but an integral part of the story itself.  Masterful as always Elizabeth, Carry On!

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

RevIew: Serving Pleasure (Pleasures #2)

Serving Pleasure (Pleasure #2)

by Alisha Rai 


Hungry for a touch…
Rana Malik is over being her family’s resident black sheep. She’s on a mission: ditch the casual hook-ups, revamp her bad-girl image, and fall in love with a proper Mr. Right even her conservative mama can’t find fault with. Not on the menu? The beautiful, brooding Mr. Right Now who lives next door, and all the ways he whets her appetite.
Starving for love…
Artist Micah Hale had it all–women, success, friends and family–until his world changed in a single act of senseless violence. Now struggling to conceal his scars and get his life and career back on track, he knows he has nothing to offer a woman except his body. He’s not looking for love…but he can’t control his craving for the sexy bombshell voyeur he’s caught looking at him.
Just one bite.
Their attraction boils over, and their defenses are stripped off along with their clothes. They promise they’ll walk away if it gets too hot. But it’s hard to do the right thing…when being wrong feels so good.

Themes: erotica, contemporary
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating:

 I have waited so long for this story, following up on my all-time favorite erotic romance ever, Glutton for Pleasure, and letting us see more of Devi and her passionate family.  This story revolves around the oldest of the three sisters Rana and her attempt to change her life to find the happiness Devi has found with her two lovers.  Rana was marked as the terrible big sister, judgmental and slutty in the previous novel, but we really get to learn more about her and her choices in this story reminding us that there is another side to every story. Rana and Micah are both pretty screwed up characters but their sensual connection and their obvious need to be together is one that we all wish we could find one day.  This series is turning into one of my favorite and I am really looking forward to getting Leena's story soon, hopefully.   In the meantime this one will definitely be going onto my frequent re-reads list alongside its predecessor.  Sexy, sweet, and loving Rana has finally taken a stand with her family so she can have her happy ending. 

Rana has been trying, so hard, not to give in to her natural impulses and sensual desires in an effort to change her life and earn her mother's respect, but resisting her sexy and enigmatic neighbor has become truly impossible.  When she finally finds herself face to face with Micah there is no way she can give up the chance to be in his arms, or his bed.   Micah has come a long way to escape his past, in hopes of rebuilding  his career, but his passion for his art has been MIA, until he finds himself wrapped up in the magic that is Rana.  When their relationship deepens there are no way they can deny that they each have issues, but both want to have a future together.  If Rana can find herself after being lost in her mission to please her mother there is a chance for her and Micah, but only if he too will embrace and overcome his distressing past.

Micah is a guy that has not found a way to get past the trauma of his life altering attack two years earlier.  He left his family in London and came to Florida in hopes he has a chance to find contentment in his life.  His passion for his art is rekindled when Rana enters his life, and determination to keep his muse, blends with his desire to have a woman as sexy and beautiful as her, even though he knows he cannot commit to a real relationship with her.  He needs her to keep the momentum going in his work, but the more time he spends sketching her and having her in his bed, the less able he is to forget their initial rules.  Micah's a good guy, but his biggest fear is being in love, even though he knows he will ultimately break her heart. 

Rana never believed that her voyeuristic tendency to spy on her neighbor would lead to the love of her life.  Her embarrassment at being caught is nowhere near strong enough to keep her from giving in to her desire for him.  She has turned over a new leaf, abstaining from sex for over a year, in an attempt to find her Mr. Right, but she gives in for her desire for Micah.  Her insecurities about her love life, her professional life, and her place in the world, all stem from some serious issues with her family, but when the issues all come to a head, Rana's sisters stand by her to the end.  Her love for Micah  is challenged several times, but in the end she is able to find a way to forgive him and have a way for them to be happy together.  I loved seeing Rana embrace her greatness and demand that those around her see her for who she truly is, whether they decided to love that person or not, even though it could mean losing the love of her life, she will stay true to herself and be the person she was always meant to be. 

Serving Pleasure, while certainly tamer than the previous novel in the series, was sensual, passionate and loving.  Bringing together two unlikely individuals with serious issues, Rai shows that only when you are true to yourself can you find someone to truly love you.  Micah is often an ass, but his sweetness and fears keep him from crossing into jerk territory.  He is dealing with the changes Rana is bringing about in him and his life, but until he is forced to live without her, he doesn’t really understand just how much he has come to love her.  Rana on the other hand is totally outgoing, determined to find her perfect match, but willing to embrace even the temporary chance to explore the depths of her infatuation with Micah.  Becoming his model and lover wasn't anything she ever planned and falling in love along with way was definitely a surprise, but she quickly embraces the experience and decides that maybe he just might be the one to make her happy. As always the sexiness and romance of Alisha Rai erotic novels keeps me coming back for more and more, but the love between her characters is what takes it even beyond simple erotic and into the stratosphere of the best romances around.   When the next novel is released you can bet I’ll be one of the first in line to get to read this.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't keep us waiting for years until the next novel releases. 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mini-Review: Home for Christmas (Sanctuary Island #4)

Home for Christmas (Sanctuary Island #4)

by Lily Everett 


Tis the season for family and love…
At least it's supposed to be. For Libby Leeds, however, the holiday season is just another reminder of things she'd rather forget. When she left Sanctuary Island as an orphaned child, she never thought she'd go back except in her dreams, dreams she's kept alive by writing monthly column of her fictional small-town life, until her publisher sends her back home for the holidays.
Owen Shepard is a fallen hero, wounded in action rescuing three of his fellow soldiers, but after a whirlwind of media attention, all this charismatic Army Ranger wants is to get back on his feet and make it to Sanctuary Island to be with his daughter in time for Christmas. What he didn't expect was to be put on a crash course with a columnist hiding her past. Will the magic of Sanctuary Island at Christmastime allow them to find healing together?

Themes: holiday, contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating:

 Wow what a story; full of love and sweetness Libby and Owen's tale of finding home and happiness is one that will warm your heart on the coldest of winter nights.  I have enjoyed this author's writing since the alter ego was created and the Sanctuary Island residents burst onto the scene.  The story brings in some interesting new characters, refreshes some older characters and shows the true love that can develop when the deepest of friendships are combined with true chemistry.  There are a lot of laughs and lots of dramas as well, but the most important part is the way these two people come together in their times of need against the world to become a family, one built on love instead of blood. I am looking forward to future stories on Sanctuary Island and learning more about all the amazing people that seem to call it home. 

Libby is way over her head when she is forced face to face with the lie she has been living.  Having to travel to her long ago hometown of Sanctuary Island in order to give Owen Shepard and his daughter the Christmas of their lives for their reunion. Owen's near death injury has left him both physically and emotionally damaged and definitely unavailable for any kind of relationship, but when he meets Libby on the ferry he feels an instant connection to her that he cannot deny.  As they both come to terms with the changes in their lives and work together to find a way to make their Christmas wonderful, the connection only strengthens, making Owen wonder if it is possible to have a future with Libby and his daughter, even though he is determined to return to his former life as a Ranger.  Only a Christmas miracle can allow these two people to understand how important love is and how much they need one another, but will the miracle arrive in time to bring their family Home for Christmas?

As with all the previous novels in the Sanctuary Island series, Home for Christmas is the kind of story that makes you wonder just how two people can dig themselves out from under the snow they’ve been hiding under to embrace life again.  Owen is definitely a sexy and intriguing individual, especially to poor sheltered Libby, but meeting him in person blows her world open.  He is dealing with serious mental and emotional drama as well as the physical that comes from being injured in the line of duty, but his biggest challenge is getting to know his young daughter, one he never knew existed until quite recently.  He knows he needs to be there for her, but he cannot seem to let go of his belief that he needs to get back to full health and return to the front lines.  His inability to handle life as a Dad as well as his new relationship with Libby is what makes him so sweet, like a big idiot we all want to cuddle until they can understand it.  Libby has obviously got her own issues, not the least of which is some serious family drama, but she is perpetually cheerful and determined to succeed in her mission to give Caitlin and Owen their perfect first Christmas as a family.  The passion between Libby and Owen was sweet, more background to their love, but there anyway.  I enjoyed this sweet romantic story and seeing all the previous couples, as well as a little side romance.  In the end the most important part was the coming together of family to defeat all adversaries and meet all challenges in their path.  Another lovely foray into the loves of the members of the Sanctuary Island family and I’m wondering whose story might be next. 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Friday, October 16, 2015

ARV Review: Barefoot with a Stranger (Barefoot Bay Undercover #2)

Barefoot with a Stranger (Barefoot Bay Undercover #2)

by Roxanne St. Claire 


Francesca Rossi might be the youngest in a long line of badass siblings, but this computer whiz would rather hack a database than pack a pistol for the family business in Barefoot Bay.  When an assignment forces her out of her comfort zone and into the field, Chessie decides to amp up the excitement quotient and has her first one night stand with a sexy stranger she’ll never see again.

Former CIA agent Malcolm Harris is fresh out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and knows the government is watching his every move, waiting for him to slip up.  But the only mistake he makes is to assume the sexy, sassy woman he seduces on the way to Barefoot Bay is a spy.  He learns too late that the beauty he’s bedded is really his best friend’s sister…and his undercover partner on a risky mission.

Chessie and Mal have to stay one step ahead of the CIA, navigate their way through a perilous country, and fight the insane chemistry that sizzles between them.  It doesn’t take long for this hacker and spy to discover the power of their unplanned partnership…and learn that falling in love might be the riskiest business of all.

Themes:  Contemporary
Rating:  4.5 stars
Heat Rating:

 I have long been a fan of Ms. St. Claire, voraciously reading everything she releases and falling more in love with her characters, her skill at building suspense and her ability to drag her readers right into the lives of the people that pour from her heart.  The Barefoot Bay series  and the spin-off Barefoot Bay Undercover series both hold special significance for me being set in an area I’m very familiar with and dealing with the kinds of drama and pain that are just too realistic to be completely called fiction.  Chessie’s story is one that I have been looking forward to since we met her in a previous series written by Roxanne, the Guardian Angelinos, where her family is introduced and we get to meet the whole fantastic group of beautiful overachievers and of course “Uncle Nino”, arguably one of the best characters to bridge these many series.  If you are coming to the party late, never fear you will learn plenty about this great family and still fall in love with Chessie and Gabe, but I promise you that if you go back and read the previous books revolving around the Rossi clan you will not regret it.  Barefoot with a Stranger is a work of art, truly bringing together all the best parts of romantic suspense and leaving you wondering how you will ever survive until the next book.  With the vivaciously sweet Chessie breaking out of her shell and finally demanding her place in life and the dark brooding Mal finally accepting that he doesn’t have to be the lone wolf forever, this story is truly one of redemption and discovery.  I can only say that if you are a Gabe fan be ready for lots of ups and downs and an ending that will leave you ready to kidnap Roxanne until she can tell you what’s going to happen. 

Chessie and Mal begin their relationship with a grand twist of fate throwing them in one another’s path before Gabe has a chance to introduce them and the fallout could be disastrous if they let it.  Heading out together on a mission makes things even more complicated as Chessie and Mal must depend on one another to stay alive and accomplish the most important mission they have ever been, one that could mean the ultimate happiness for Gabe or the end of his hope for the future.  I really enjoyed the flow of this story and seeing how Mal and Chessie work together to overcome the crazy twists that crop up for them.  Chessie definitely steps up and more than once shows that while she might be the quiet one in the family, she is a Rossi through and through and nothing will keep her from completing her mission—or from getting her man. 

Francesca “Chessie” Rossi has always been the Rossi that everyone protected and tried to keep in a bubble, but she has hidden in the shadows of her siblings and cousins far too long and is ready to find her own niche.  Her computer skills are second to none and she is determined to do whatever she can to help Gabe find the child he only recently discovered he has, but she never intended to be sent into hostile territory, especially not with a man that makes her crazy and continues to tempt her to forego her rules and succumb to the attraction between them.  Sweet and obviously loving, Chessie’s easily underestimated by all those she encounters, but at her core she is made of titanium and there is no one that will prevent her from keeping those she loves safe, even if she has to fight them every step of the way.  I really loved getting to know more about Chessie, even as she learned more about herself and discovered that she has maybe even been underestimating herself.  I also enjoyed seeing Chessie as she explored her attraction to Mal, bringing him around and making him love her more each day, healing his heart and showing him that being together makes them better than they could ever been alone.

Mal was an interesting guy in a lot of ways; a hero who fell on his sword for a woman in need and did time for a crime that he never committed.  Being on the other side of the law has given him a unique view of the world and a chip on his shoulder that would make anyone wary of trusting.  He begins the story as a bit of an ass, but quickly we begin to see that though his motives are sometimes questionable, he usually has a reason for taking any step he takes.  The curve ball that gets thrown into his life when he comes to Barefoot Bay to assist his old friend Gabe and instead finds himself faced with an intense attraction to Gabe’s sister, shows us how he really handles emotional upheavals and what kind of man he is—noble to a fault.  Obviously it could go without saying that Mal is sensually overwhelming a lot of the time, but for Chessie he seems to be the most powerfully attractive man she has ever encountered.  As we see him kicking butt and using his brains and brawn to keep both himself and Chessie alive and safe on their dangerous mission we fall more and more in love with Mal and the way he is able to deal with all the shit that comes at him.  I was thrilled for him in the end when he found a way to trust and really show his feelings, but I know he will remain just as much a badass as always, if maybe a little bit squishier on the inside due to Chessie’s love.

Barefoot with a Stranger is one of those stories that sucks you in from the very first moment and leaves you dying for more as you turn the last page.  Full of vivacious characters, flawless storytelling, and the obvious love between the characters, Roxanne manages to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will be around the next corner and how the H/h will cope with the next disaster.  Chessie is one of the best female leads I have found in a while, her strength and vulnerability matched perfectly by her wit and intelligence, she is simply the whole package.  Chessie really grows in this story as she discovers her abilities are not actually restricted to cyberspace and she can kick butt as well as the next guy (or gal).  Mal too is a great character, though at times readers will find themselves ready to punch him; he is the kind of guy that has been through so much all his life, but really just needs to embrace the love offered to him and find a way to accept that while his past definitely sucked, his future doesn’t have to.  A lone wolf finding his perfect mate, Mal is ready to be the true man he is ready to be once Chessie shows him his true place in the world—right by her side. The passion between Mal and Chessie is some of the hottest I have experienced in a while, but the love between them is what leaves a warm lasting comfort to the soul.   I and many of the other fans of this series are dying to read Gabe’s story and I am pleased to say it is coming next, sometime in early 2016 according to Roxanne, but the important moments in this story for Gabe will leave readers ready to tear their hair out.  The message I always share with new Roxi Fans remains true: “if you don’t want to go insane waiting, don’t read the Epilogue.” Because of course that is where Roxi likes to give us hints to the future stories that will make any true fan rabidly crazy waiting.  Barefoot with a Bad Boy is coming soon though and I for one will be first in line for a copy!

*eARC provided by author for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mini-Review: Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss #3)

Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss #3)

by Nalini Singh


Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.
Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.
When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Themes: contemporary
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating:

For previous fans of this series we have waited and wondered for a while when and if Noah would ever find his HEA and the woman that could settle his fears and heart.  Kit has been an important part of his life for so long that we might not have expected she would be the one to do it, but Noah found his mate for sure.  This story was so full of pain, heartbreak and forgiveness that I cried about 70% of the time I was reading it.  That being said the writing and storytelling skill that Singh fans have come to expect from any of her works is definitely found in every scene and it makes the love between Kit and Noah all the more perfect for its pure imperfectness.  The flaws that exist in all humans is what keeps us all wondering if we will find our perfect match, some more dangerous to our souls than others, and Singh brings that to life with Noah's life and love.  This story continues the lives and loves of the outrageously sexy and sensual rock stars that have personally all captured my heart and I cannot wait to see where the series goes at its continues and we get to learn more about Abe and his past.  

Noah and Kit's story is full of angst, betrayal, forgiveness, and drama.  The story revolves around their horribly troubled relationship and the way they each have to come to terms with their pasts.  Thrown in with all of that is a stalker that is currently after Kit.  There is so much going on in this story that giving any details would be major spoilers and the story is too good to do that to my fellow readers.  I'll just say that the fears and traumas of Noah's past and his not-so-smart way of handling things often causes him to push away Kit and break her heart to keep his secrets safe. 

All in all this story was one that will break your heart, again and again, but the things that the readers experience alongside Kit and Noah could just as easily be a story you are hearing from your best friend.  Noah is a good guy, but he is beyond lost as he deals with the emotions and horrors of his life to this point and dealing with the emotions that his love for Kit brings out leave him flounder more often than not.  His fear of losing her is the only thing strong enough to make him work through his issues and find a way to be the man she needs him to be.  Kit on the other hand is the kind of woman that all of us can relate to--hopelessly in love and unwilling to give up, no matter how many times Noah breaks her heart.  Her compassion and understanding, her willingness to forgive, along with her passion and love for Noah is what brings him back to her again and again even though he tries to resist her.  The passion between Noah and Kit, though palpable, was not the most important part of this story.  Instead it is the obviously deep love they each have for one another and how that love saves them both and gives them a chance to have a future together.  It was great to see the previous band members with their women and seeing how they come together to support each other shows they are the truest type of family.  I am greatly looking forward to Abe's story in the near future and I cannot wait to see him find his personal and emotional equilibrium and hopefully his HEA with the woman of his dreams.  Keep the hits coming Nalini, making your fans the happiest on earth.

 *eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Review: Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians #6)

Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians #6)

by Dianne Duvall 


The Immortal Guardians protect the innocent in secret. Sometimes the secret gets out...

U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.
Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive...

Themes: vampires, Other,  paranormal
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating:

I honestly cannot understand how one woman can come up with so many unique storylines that still tie into a greater and hugely imaginative story arc.  The skill of Dianne Duvall is astounding and there is no way to deny that she is one of the great voices of this generation of authors.  Duvall’s Immortal Guardians are individuals that you can easily believe exist somewhere in the world, keeping us safe from the unthinkable in the world and as we meet more and more of them and see them falling in love, she takes readers on a crazy ride of vampires, conspiracies, aliens,  and Others (still truly undefined).  I found this series quite by accident but it was one of the greatest accidents I’ve ever experienced. The story arc has developed through so many changes that I cannot recall just how everything developed, it was such an organic and natural process, but Ethan and Heather’s story brings a nice symmetry to a few things and brings some fun new characters in to the world of these amazing men and women.  If you haven’t read previous stories you will definitely miss some of the great underlying details, so I recommend reading the entire series ;), but you will get plenty of backstory so don’t feel like you’ll be lost if you just read Ethan’s story.  I am dying to see where Dianne takes all of this next and cannot imagine just how much more she can bring to these people, but I know whatever she does will be magical.

Ethan is going about his business, killing a pack of vampires, when he stumbles across a beautiful, sensual, and surprisingly efficient woman in the woods, one who saves his life when he falters under the assault of the many vampires.  Heather has been seeing this night and this man in her dreams for almost a year now, but she never actually believes she would find herself embroiled in a vampire battle. When she welcomes the gorgeous vampire that has inspired other, more erotic dreams, into her home, she never imagined how much her life would truly be altered, but Ethan pulls at her body, heart, and soul.  Ethan is just as attracted to Heather, especially when he learns of her special abilities, but keeping her safe is his highest priority.  They find themselves swept into a dangerous game between the Immortal Guardians and there newest and most deadly enemy, and only Heather and Ethan can keep danger from escalating to epic proportions.  Once the danger passes, can Heather embrace the opportunity for eternal life and love that Ethan is offering her, despite the dangerous life he leads?

What can I say about Ethan?  He is the perfect man! Just alpha enough to want to always protect his woman, but willing to let her spread her wings and find her way in the world.  He worries constantly about the danger she is placed in, but he allows her to be a part of his world.  He is sweet, loving, sensual, and gorgeous.  It is obvious that Heather never saw him coming or she might have been better prepared for the sensual assault he conducts on her senses and her heart.  It was interesting to see him find love after his relationship with Lisette ended and his behavior when that happened.  It’s obvious that he still loves Lisette, but with Heather’s entrance to his life, Ethan begins to understand the difference in loving someone and being deeply and eternally IN LOVE with someone.  He shows Heather at every turn that he is a man she can find happiness with, one that will treasure her for her differences, encourage her growth, and protect her with every molecule of his being.  His sense of humor and silliness also give this deadly and dangerous warrior a more human side, one that make him seem like an every man at the times he isn’t kicking serious ass.  I almost wish his story was longer just so we’d get to live more days with Ethan. 

Heather is similarly an awesome character.  From the very moment we meet her we wonder just what her story is.  She can kick ass with the best of them, carries a James Bond gun (!) and can read people’s minds, but she is a quiet and sweet personality under all her bravado and courage.  The dreams she’s been experiencing night after night for over a year have left her exhausted and confused, but she continues to confront the experience every morning, and when she finds herself thrown into a world she never imagined ran alongside her normal human world, she is suddenly faced with decisions that could alter not only her life, but the entire world.  Heather is the type of woman that I really love to read about.  She has fears, but she refuses to let them keep her from getting shit done.  She battles alongside her man and her new friends, determined to do her part to keep the world safe, but in the long run just wants a calm life with the love of her life, now that she has found him.  Her interactions with her father were also interesting, standing up to him when needed, but obviously Daddy’s little girl through and through.  I really related to Heather in a lot of ways and found that I liked her more with every appearance on the page.  I look forward to seeing more of her in future novels as she grows and changes within this extended family. 

In the end Shadows Strike was a story about two people finding love during turmoil and danger.  The dangers they find themselves in and the action packed battle scenes keep the story moving along as the team of Immortal Guardians, led by David and Seth, fight to keep the Other from creating Armageddon.  Ethan is the sweetest and most loving guy, deadly and dangerous to his enemies.  The dichotomy of the different sides of him makes him a truly great character and an individual that readers can relate to and fall in love with.  Heather was at time just as kickass as Ethan and the other immortals, but when she is with Ethan in the quiet moments you can see the true compassion and empathy that she feels towards others and the love she has developed for her Immortal.  Heather’s connections surprisingly play a very important role in this story and the prevention of disasters, and she comes into Ethan’s life at just the right moment.  The passion and love between Heather and Ethan is off the charts and there is no denying that they are a perfect match in every way.  It was wonderful to see Ethan get his HEA after the bruising his heart took when Lisette met her love.  I cannot wait to see who meets their match next and find out just where this crazy author is taking us on the wild ride through her imagination and the world of her sensual and deadly Immortal Guardians. 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ARC Review: A Silver Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #17)

A Silver Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #17)

by Terry Spear  


Fans of shapeshifter romance will be thrilled to spend Christmas with the Silver Town werewolf pack...

C.J. Silver is eager to help the new she-wolves in town renovate the old hotel in time for the holidays, especially if it means spending time under the mistletoe with the alluring Laurel MacTire.

The bustle in the long abandoned hotel attracts the attention of human ghosthunters out to prove the place haunted, but the bigger problem is keeping them from discovering the werewolves in Silver Town. CJ and Laurel have to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Working together is a surprisingly hot holiday treat for two attractive and clever wolf shifters.

Themes:  Werewolves, Shifters, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating:

The Silver males have returned to steal our hearts and make us wish that we could find some sexy werewolves of our own hiding in the snowy mountains.  I have been a fan of this series since the beginning and have never found a story I didn’t in some way love, and this holiday inspired story is no exception.  I have long wondered just what type of woman one of the Silver cousins would find to claim for his own and Laurel was an inspiration.  She’s fiery, sweet, and independent, which counters well the heart and loyalty of CJ and his brothers.  If you haven’t read the other stories in this series, fear not, you will get caught up quickly and fall in love with these characters as much as we longtime fans did a long time ago.  This series continues to be one of my favorite about shifters and with each successive couple the love becomes more intense and the subplots and mysteries that accompany the romance gets more interesting as well. I am looking forward to seeing whose story will be next.  All in all a great read with a holiday theme that makes the love between CJ and Laurel as well as the familial relationships more emotional and sweet.

CJ and Laurel have been circling each other for a while, and CJ’s persistence has led Laurel to question her desire to leave Silvertown.  CJ wants her to stay and settle down, preferably as his mate, but he refuses to push things too quickly, afraid to scare her off.  When Laurel finds herself in need of help that can no longer be denied, CJ is right there to help her out.  CJ was the perfect mix of Alpha strength and silly sweetness that marks him as one of the lighter sided werewolves.  His playfulness and obvious lovability makes him impossible for Laurel to resist, even as she is worried about the truth of the past coming out and making their lives more complicated.  I enjoyed seeing all the different sides of CJ and of course worried right along with him that Laurel wouldn’t be able to find it in her heart to accept him as her mate.  Laurel was an intriguing female.  A wolf that has led her own little pack of her sisters for a long time, finally coming to terms with the fact that she needs help.  She had her own unique secrets that led CJ on a merry chase, but once they finally accept the love between them there is no denying they have found the perfect mate in one another.

The overall storyline of this novel was jam packed with mysteries, secret identities, hidden truths and some seriously intense relationship building.  CJ’s determination to find a way to keep Laurel for himself ran right alongside his silliness and desire to teach her about the lighter side of life, dragging her away from work to teach her to play as a wolf and a woman.  Laurel becomes a really great characters when she begins to unwind and embrace all the greatness that accompanies being part of the pack and having a mate.  The families in this story were all interesting and lead me to wonder if they will be the next round of stories we receive.  The supporting characters, both single and mated from previous stories, are essential for this story and come with their own measure of weirdness and challenges.  Can’t wait for wherever the series goes next, but for sure I will enjoy every step along the way. 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.