Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Wolf Unleashed (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team #5)

Wolf Unleashed (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team #5)

by Paige Tyler 

Wolf shifter Alex Trevino has fallen hard for veterinarian Lacey Barton. Getting her to agree to a date is a lot of work—and winning her heart proves even harder.
Lacey can’t deny her crazy attraction to Alex, but she has no intention of letting herself fall for him. In her less than stellar experience, men don’t stick around.
When Lacey’s sister is kidnapped, it’s up to Alex to crack the case—and prove to Lacey that he isn’t going anywhere.
Themes: paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
 This interesting series about a group of alpha wolves, all coming together to serve and protect the humans of their town, in this case Dallas, just keeps amazing me and I find myself wondering where these crazy stories will lead next. The series has had some heartbreaking twists and turns, the previous book especially, but Alex and Lacey’s story was no slouch when it comes to emotion and drama.  Alex is the kind of male that every woman wants to find for herself; he’s sweet, kind, sexy, strong, loving, and protective, and of course he’s as alpha as it gets without being a jerk about it.  And the most important thing is that he’s absolutely nuts about Lacey and works his tail off to get her to agree to begin a relationship with him.  While he knows there are bound to be problems for them, mostly the fact that she has no idea he is a werewolf, but he’s determined that she give him a shot.  Lacey is so not interested in starting anything with Alex, but the harder he works the more she wonders if they might be able to at least have a fling.  But circumstances as always are against the couple, until tragedy strikes and Lacey has no choice but to trust Alex and his men with the most important person in her life.  I enjoyed seeing Alex and the guys in action and of course the sweetness of Alex’s chasing Lacey, but the best part of this story was when Alex could come clean with Lacey and show her the real him.  Lacey was a little bit hard-hearted, especially for an animal lover—which of course all vets are—and I was surprised that she made him work so hard for even a chance at a date.  The passion between them is obvious to everyone around them even as Lacey pushes him away, but when she finally gives into the heat there is no way that Alex won’t burn her up.  I enjoyed this story a lot and look forward to seeing where the series takes us next.  The characters and the amazing connections between these wolves and their “One” is something that I wish I could find myself and, of course, Paige’s skill at bringing together two so different individuals is her true skill.  I’m looking forward to the next story and wondering just where the next wolf with find his mate. Keep up the great work Ms. Tyler!

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1)

Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1)

by Rebecca Zanetti 


Under siege. That's how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can't outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he's been trying to keep at arm's length is in danger...and he'll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She's making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There's a lot Ryker isn't telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn't catch up to them first...4

Themes:  paranormal
Rating:  4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
 The Blood Brothers series is a spinoff series of one of my favorite Rebecca Zanetti series, the Sin Brothers.  These men have been used and abused since they were children where they lived in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the mad scientist that kidnapped them and the dangerous military commander that used them to run missions.  This series is slightly different in that the brothers were kept separate from others of their kind and experimented on psychologically.  Now that they are grown and on their own they band together to find and protect those in need of their help, though of course getting paid for what they’re good at is also a plus.  Ryker met Zara when he took a few jobs with her law firm and seduced her into his arms.  Though she knows their relationship is purely physical she can’t help the pull she feels toward this amazing- though sometimes scary—man. When his past comes back to haunt him, Zara finds herself caught up in their deadly conflict, but Ryker isn’t going to let anything happen to her.  Ryker is the kind of alpha man that can become annoying quickly, but he has so many redeeming qualities—and is hot as hell—that we are willing to forgive his outrageous behavior.  I loved seeing Ryker find the softer side he has always kept hidden as his feelings for Zara made him truly vulnerable for the first time.  Zara was determined to help Ryker solve the crimes piling up around them and won’t let him push her to the sidelines as she demands her due as his lover.  Sadly, she has fallen in love with the bastard and she can’t find it in her to let him go, so when she meets his family and learns the truth of his past, she has to work through all the drama of their present in order to ensure they have a future together.  As with all of these amazing enhanced brothers, the passion between Ryker and the woman that has captured his heart is palpable no matter what is going on around them.  I loved seeing these two circling one another and trying to find a way to make their lives combine so they can be together.  I also adored getting to see the Sin Brothers make an appearance and seeing the way Rebecca was able to weave the two series together into one great experience.  For those that haven’t read the Sin Brothers series, I suggest you run out right now and do so, mainly because they are AWESOME, but also because you will have more of the backstory and Deadly Silence will be much more enjoyable that way. Another masterpiece of epic proportions for Rebecca and I cannot wait to see which brother falls in love next; and of course I cannot wait to see the evil bitch that destroyed their lives get her punishment. Keep up the sexy magic, Rebecca! 

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Undiscovered (Amoveo Rising #1)

Undiscovered (Amoveo Rising #1)

by Sara Humphreys 

He's the man of her dreams
A long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she's the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who-and what-she really is?
She's the end to his nightmare
Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a "human divining rod" and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition...

Themes:  Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
 I have waited and wished for this series to return for a long time now, and though it is technically a spin-off series, we did get to meet up with some old friends and see more of the Amoveo legend I have come to love.  The original series introduced a group of shape-shifters, following a legend that was extremely unique and I loved that entire series and was so sad to hear it was ending, so when I ran across this story in the catalog I’m not afraid to admit I squealed like a little girl.  Not only am I a huge fan of all of Ms. Humphreys works, I am THRILLED that she was able to return to this world and introduce an all new set of characters.  This story began about 500 years ago, when Zander and his brother Zed were cursed, leaving Zed trapped in dragon form deep below ground, and Zander was cursed to travel the world with no end to either his curse or his life in sight.  The curse’s time limit for saving himself and his brother is coming to an end, quickly, when Zander connects in the dream realm with the woman that he thinks can save them both, his brother’s mate.  Tracking her down is the easy part, but convincing her to help him will be a lot more complicated.  Rena runs a private investigator’s agency, using her special gift to help her become one of the most successful in her profession.  When the dangerous and deadly looking Zander arrives in her office one afternoon the connection between them immediately pulls at her, but the task he wants her to undertake is going to be near to impossible, especially when she can tell that he is lying to her.  Willing to give him a bit of leeway, Rena sets off with Zander to find a way to help him find his brother, but as the truth of his mission unfolds, the danger and passion that circle them is increasingly volatile.  It’s obvious to Rena that she and Zander are destined to be together, even if he claims she belongs to his brother—if she’s going to be anyone’s mate, it will be Zander.  But as their time runs out, a deadly enemy from Zander’s past, someone that Rena never imagined would be a danger to her, returns to take his ultimate revenge on the brothers, unless Rena and Zander can prevent it.  I LOVED Rena.  She was a kickass, sexy, smart heroine and I haven’t met a character so well written and developed in a long while.  Zander was obviously a complicated guy, but once he stopped denying the truth right in front of him, he became the hero he was always destined to be.  The heat and passion between this foxy lady and sexy dragon was off the charts hot, and I often wondered if they were going to set the world around them aflame.  I was thrilled that they were able to find a way to reach their HEA and admit the love that developed between them, but mostly I enjoyed seeing them working together to work through their problems and overcome all obstacles.  I cannot wait for book 2, which will hopefully be Zed’s story, where he might finally meet his own true mate.  I hope there are many more in this series to come and that Sara is able to keep the world of the Amoveo alive, in one form or another, for a long time to come.  Another sensual masterpiece, filled with drama, emotional turmoil and the angst of a man denying his destiny and a woman trying to grab hers and hold on with both hands.  Great work, Sara!

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

review: A Mate for Christmas (Moon Shifter #7)

A Mate for Christmas (Moon Shifter #7)

by Katie Reus 

It will take a miracle to survive the holidays...
After recently losing her parents, packmates and a sister, Noel Cordona isn’t even close to being in the holiday spirit. It seems that everyone around her is moving on and happy, but she can’t seem to get it together. When an unexpected kiss changes everything she thought she knew about her packmate Nathan O’Neill, she feels alive for the first time in a year. She’s too broken for him though. At least that’s what she tries to tell them both.
But Nathan’s been waiting patiently for Noel. He’s not going to lose faith now. With a little holiday magic, he can help her overcome the weight of her grief and show her that opening her heart to him is the best Christmas gift he could ever give her.

Themes: paranormal, holiday, novella
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Reus strikes again with a sweet but sensual story of love during the happiest time of the year between two individuals that have been hiding their feelings for entirely too long. Fans of this series know that times have been rough for the Cordona pack in the last few years, with a change in leadership, preceded by the tragic death of most of their pack, and the influx of new mates and magic into the pack, times they are a changing. Noel has had it harder than some, which has made her blind to the love offered by one of the sweetest wolves in her pack.  Nathan once offered his heart, so when it was rejected, he gave Noel the space she needed so badly, but he never gave up hope that she would come around.  There’s just no way he could give up on the woman that he knows is his mate and the other half of his soul, even when he dies a little bit inside every time she looks through him.  Noel finally gets herself together enough to see that Nathan has always been there and she is finally able to embrace the chance at love with him.  There was of course a lot of emotional difficulties in this story as Noel came to terms with her losses and how they truly affected her life, but the love and passion between Nathan and Noel is undeniable and I was thrilled to see them work everything out and find their HEA.  It was also nice to see the previous couples going about their daily lives, including all the changes that are coming to their pack and the expansion of their family, allowing for even more love and support for everyone.  I am dying to see what comes next in this series, however I have never read anything by Katie that I didn’t love so I am willing to wait for her magic to produce the next great story in the Moon Shifter series.   Keep the magic alive Katie and these wolfish antics and love stories coming!

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review: Must Love Wieners (A Rescue Dog Romance #1)

Must Love Wieners (A Rescue Dog Romance #1)by Casey Griffin

First in a wickedly funny new series brimming with mystery and romance!
Piper Summers works like a dog juggling three jobs to put herself through veterinary school—driving taxis, delivering pizzas, and singing telegrams. Thankfully, Piper has her devoted dachshund Colin to help her keep things in line. That is, until she gets fired...and someone throws her a bone that is too good to resist.
Aiden Caldwell is an Armani ad come to life—a billionaire CEO who’s just adopted a dachshund from the rescue center where Piper volunteers. He’s hot on Piper’s tail to be his personal dog walker...but he may be after more than a walker for his wiener. The gorgeous, spirited Piper is everything he’s ever wanted from a woman—and more. But can Piper ever love, and trust, a man who has never learned to open his heart—or has she bitten off more than she can chew?
Themes: contemporary, rom-Com
Rating:  3 stars
Heat Rating: 
 Let’s be honest, what true romance reader out there could resist a title like this, not to mention the utter cuteness of the cover. I came across this story cruising netgalley and it looked like something I would love, and while there were some moments, overall it was a fun and interesting read. Griffin keeps the suspense up, giving us multiple connected (?) disasters for the heroine to handle and even as her world seems to be falling apart around her she finds love with a billionaire; so really can life be that bad? I enjoyed the plotline very much, never knowing what crazy antics Piper would get up to next and even with all her insecurities and hang-ups I like Piper a lot. One dislike for me was the way the story came exclusively from Piper’s POV; one of the reasons I prefer to read stories written in third person is so that we CAN see the relationship develop from both sides of the story, so having only Piper’s feelings displayed and developed left me feeling a little bit let down. There were plenty of laughs, even through tears, as Piper and her posse worked to unravel mysteries and to help Piper get back on her own two feet. The relationship aspect was greatly underdeveloped in my opinion, with very few scenes in private between Piper and Aiden where the world wasn’t burning down around them.  I would have given a higher rating if there had been more time for Piper and Aiden to develop and grow together in love, because even if you fall in love at first sight, getting to the point where you can trust one another enough to open your heart and share your feelings takes time. If you are looking for a sweet romance with lots of wit, sarcasm, sweetness, and just a little bit of mystery and silliness, Casey Griffin’s Must Love Wieners if a great place to start, but those that prefer deep or dark romances might need to look elsewhere.  I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series and reading more about Piper’s friends and seeing if they can overcome their own problems in order to find love.
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mini ARC Review: Barefoot Dreams (Barefoot Bay Undercover #4)

Barefoot Dreams (Barefoot Bay Undercover #4)

by Roxanne St. Claire

 A wedding day in Barefoot Bay is always joyous and exciting, but when the groom is none other than superspy bad boy Gabriel Rossi, the frenzy factor is high. Maybe that's the reason his beloved bride-to-be, Lila Wickham, wakes on her wedding day in a cold sweat from a bad, bloody dream.

As much as she wants to wipe away the memory and focus on the happiest day of her life, it soon becomes apparent that the dream heralds unhappiness—and tragedy. Terrified but determined, Lila knows she only has hours to take action against the daunting odds facing her son. But she's not alone anymore—she has Gabe at her back. And when it comes to defending the people he loves, there's no one fiercer than Gabe Rossi.

One single day, one embattled couple—one last shadow to dispel before they become the family they were always meant to be.
Themes: Contemporary, Novella/Epilogue 
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 

Gabe is BACK! 
Okay, so for those of you not familiar with Rocki’s work, that might not mean much to you, but for those of us that have been fans for years and have followed Gabe as he popped up randomly in different stories and series through familial connections, Gabe’s HEA is a very important matter.  Gabe and his Lila have had a REALLY tough time reaching their HEA, along with their son Rafe, and when I heard we were going to be getting a chance to see their wedding as its very own novella my joy knew no bounds.  The story is a short one, but we get too see all of Gabe’s family, couples that came together in previous reads as well as learning tidbits about their lives now.  And of course the infamous and fabulous Uncle Nino is back on the scene cooking his Italian favorites and keeping his large family in line.  The story had lots of action as Lila and Gabe rush through disaster after disaster, trying to keep their son safe, on the way to the alter and ultimately finding a way, together, to make sure that nothing mars their happy day.  Gabe is always the sexy, dirty mouthed bad boy that we all have fallen in love with, but we also get to see another, sweeter side of him as he deals with his 5-year old son Rafe and the shenanigans that only Gabe Jr could find himself caught in.  Lila is sweet, funny, and a little bit scattered as she races to make it to her big happy ending, but thankfully they are able to get everyone safely through the day and find a way to get to the altar. I loved seeing this little glimpse of this new family, as well as all the other characters that have been my friends the last few years, not just from Barefoot Bay, but also from Gabe’s large family.  I am hoping that we will see more of his family now that he has settled into wedded bliss on Barefoot.  I understand that the next few stories in the Barefoot World will be coming soon and like the last small trilogy, will focus on the second chances that sometimes come along for the silver foxes in the world.  As always I thank Rocki for her hard work and imagination in writing Gabe and Lila’s happy ending and of course for the chance to read it ahead of the publication.  Keep the magic alive Roxanne!

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ARC Review: Sinful Scottish Laird (Highland Grooms #2)

Sinful Scottish Laird (Highland Grooms #2)

by Julia London

A young widow puts her sexy suitors to the test in New York Times bestselling author Julia London's scintillating return to the idyllic Scottish Highlands.
Widowed and forced to remarry in three years' time or forfeit her son's inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly and unwillingly bewitched.
Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy's brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.
Themes: historical  
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
 Returning to the Highlands, amid the treachery, scandal, and dangerous time of Rebellion, Julia London brings us the second in her Highland Grooms series.  This story comes many years after the ending of the first story and actually follows the oldest son of the couple from book one, Cailean Mackenzie.   I was a bit surprised when I realized this would be Cailean’s story, but it was a happy surprise in the end.  I enjoyed getting to know Cailean, even if a good majority of the time he was being a typically stubborn Scottish ass and seeing Daisy find herself despite all the weights on her shoulders, whiel  the expectations of society reminded me that some women just can’t be kept down. Daisy and her son, along with some extended family, have come to Scotland to escape the money grubbing suitors that have graced her halls ever since her late husband put her on the marriage block upon his death.  She waits for her first love to return to her and in the meantime has no use for the men that surround her, until she meets the riveting and sensual Cailean Mackenzie. Cailean is beyond irritated that an Englishwoman has encroached on his solitude in his little corner of their family lands and wants nothing more than to see her gone, especially since the last Englishwoman he gave his heart too obliterated it.  Cailean tries to stay away from the slightly crazy but stunningly beautiful and sweet Daisy, but the pull is too strong and he soon finds himself facing the truth that he will have to release the woman he has come to love if they are either to have a chance at happiness.  Cailean was a bit of an ass through a good bit of the story, but then again most stubborn Scottish men share that trait—even to this day—and the alpha males are even worse.  As he slowly began to lose his heart to Daisy, the walls he built around himself made me feel sorry for him, knowing that he was letting past hurts and fears keep him from claiming the woman he loves—not to mention the little boy that has stolen his heart.  Daisy has done everything she can to make a decision that will allow her some happiness at the same time as giving her son what he needs to be happy and to thrive.  She thought her long lost love was the answer to that hope, until she meets Cailean and begins to wonder if perhaps the brash and bold Scot is the man of her dreams. 
I loved getting to know Daisy and Cailean, even if I was exasperated with their stubborn unwillingness to see what was right in front of them the whole time.  Daisy was definitely a woman well before her time, asserting her independence in a time when women the world over (for the most part) were treated simply as property of the men in their lives.  She was once forced into a marriage of duty, instead of marrying her love, but now that she is older and wiser there is no way she will marry anyone that doesn’t love her.  But in the meantime there’s nothing to keep a young, vital widow from having a little fun with a big burly Scot, now is there?  Daisy has a passionate nature and refuses to hide it from herself or Cailean, determined that he will be her lover, but she certainly never planned to fall in love with him.  Cailean likewise is taken aback by the passion and sensuality of this wild English flower and her sometimes inappropriate behavior.  He knows that she is trouble, but the more time he spends with her and her son, the deeper he finds himself sinking into the quicksand he saw around them but was unable to avoid.  He wants nothing more than to take Daisy to his bed, especially since she seems to understand it can never be more than physical between them; however in the end he is sunk and gives his heart to her.   Even their love doesn’t seem to be enough to overcome the dangers and obstacles surrounding them, until some sage advice from his father finally brings Cailean to the conclusion that the matters of the heart will always be more important than any others he faces and only with the love of his life by his side will he ever be happy.
Duty or Love seems to be the common problem that faced both Cailean and Daisy, much like other couples during that time in our history.  The Scottish Rebellion was a long-fought and bloody battle, that left many families without their men as well as without their lands, but stories like these remind us all that even in the bloodiest and most tragic of times, there was still love and life went on for these people despite the trauma and tragedy.  London’s skill at bringing these histories back into the minds and hearts of readers and showing us the sweeter side of those times, is nothing short of amazing and an important task for a writer to undertake.  So many authors gloss over the darkness of history, focusing simply on the frivolousness of the society and ignoring the soldiers, warriors, and common men that were the most important of that time, but London brings everyone back to the most important realization—history was made by the people, all the people, that lived through those times, and none should be made to be forgotten or ignored.  Daisy and Cailean had a rough time finding their footing together and building a life was sure to be even more difficult, but their love was strong enough to overcome everything and give them a chance to truly become a family. Cailean was a protective, sexy, and sweet warrior that needed only to be reminded that sometimes love comes in the most unlikely of packages and if you overlook it, your life will never be a filled with color or vibrancy as if you had given your heart away. Daisy was a kickass heroine, once she finally came to see the men around her for what they truly were and stood up to them for the sake of her son and also for her own heart.  Love Cailean was no easy trail for Daisy, but the joy at the end when he finally gave his heart to her made all the pain and sadness along the way worth it.  I cannot wait for the next story in the series, Hard-Hearted Highlander, which will revolve around Cailean’s younger brother Rabbie and his own bumpy road to happiness.  If you like a good historical romance, with some subterfuge, danger, and passion, Sinful Scottish Laird is the perfect way to get your next fix.  Thanks for the magic Julia.

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