“Swan Prince” by Erin Lark is a m/m paranormal story which features Oliver, a swan shapeshifter, who is injured and seeks refuge in the barn...more3.5 stars
“Swan Prince” by Erin Lark is a m/m paranormal story which features Oliver, a swan shapeshifter, who is injured and seeks refuge in the barn of a compassionate man named Bastion who shows and boards horses and cares for rescued ones. The appearance of a naked mute man with an injured shoulder is disconcerting to Bastion but even more disturbing is his sense of connection to Oliver, which he fights against since he senses that the other man’s presence is only going to be temporary at best. Oliver must find a way to juggle his obligations to his flock with the leanings of his heart but his biggest obstacle may be finding a way to share his well-guarded secret with a human who may not accept him for who he truly is.
This sensual paranormal story features two intriguing males who each have plenty of obstacles to overcome and it was delightful to watch their relationship flourish, particularly combined with the evolution of Oliver’s interactions with the mare, Kiba. There are entertaining twists on the standard tales of shapeshifters but a few of the details are a bit murky to me, including the issue of the neighbor and the disposition of the leadership of the flock and how the flock exists throughout the year. I'd also like to see the relationship between the two main characters deepen a bit more. I enjoyed reading about a type of shapeshifter that I don’t normally encounter in the stories I have read and I’d be interested in reading more about Oliver and his flock as well as Bastion and his horse farm.
A copy of this title was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Meredith has FINALLY had her babies...and they are quite a surprise! Great to see the guys stepping up as fathers and I enjoyed the remarkable powers...moreMeredith has FINALLY had her babies...and they are quite a surprise! Great to see the guys stepping up as fathers and I enjoyed the remarkable powers being displayed by various beings. Great scene where everyone is trying to calm Mistral down...yelling is not helpful when someone is already upset! I was saddened by the developments at the end although I understand why they happened, and it was fascinating seeing the changes that Meredith has wrought in those around her. The intense love displayed is a nice contrast to the machinations of both faerie courts but the post-partum changes make Meredith pretty irritating since she seems to burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Nonetheless, this is a yummy addition to the series and I hope there are more tales sooner than later.(less)
“Her Special Forces” by Sophia Roslyn is an exciting romantic suspense tale featuring veteran Kacey O’Donnell who is having trouble dealing w...more4.5 stars
“Her Special Forces” by Sophia Roslyn is an exciting romantic suspense tale featuring veteran Kacey O’Donnell who is having trouble dealing with the aftermath of her tour of duty as well as the personal tragedy she has also suffered. Her searing connection with SEAL Nathan Weatherly has to be re-evaluated when he finishes his twenty year stint and comes looking for her. Kacey has had plenty of emotional blows in her life and is close to the end of her reserves for coping but she is driven to help search for the kidnapped daughter of a prominent politician, even though she may not be able to handle the additional complications of having Nathan back in her life, especially since he is asking for more than she is willing to give.
This searingly emotional and action-packed story provides an intense and entertaining read. I adore the plucky kidnap victim although I admit that I viewed some of her capabilities with a bit of skepticism and it was heart-wrenching to be reminded of the horrific costs paid by those who are serving on the frontline. There are some fairly stilted phrases used by the characters sometimes but the overall tale is an exciting roller-coaster ride that highlights the camaraderie and loyalty fostered between those who have undergone the specialized training and extreme peril that shape the warriors who put their lives on the line for others. I enjoyed my first introduction to an author new to me and will be on the lookout for other tales that she pens.
A copy of this story was provided to me for an honest review(less)
“Zen Doodling Mandalas” by Carolyn Scrace is a wonderful and inspirational book that encourages all of us who are prone to idly scribble loops and cur...more“Zen Doodling Mandalas” by Carolyn Scrace is a wonderful and inspirational book that encourages all of us who are prone to idly scribble loops and curves and lines when we are caught on hold or stuck waiting in a place where we are unable to politely take out a book and read!
The author has beautifully illustrated pages that center around the mandala, or sacred circle. Ms. Scrace indicates that Buddhist monks create intricate mandalas with sand and then destroy them to symbolize the impermanence of existence, putting the sand into water to share the blessing. It is a remarkable application of art and the book carefully details the way to start with parts of the whole and build upon each aspect to make a masterpiece of artwork. There are instructions on utilizing color to enhance the effects created but I actually just had a ball doodling on pieces of paper. I can see how one can meditate and free oneself from the cares of the day by getting lost in the curves and flow of this exquisite artwork that allows even a non-talented person such as myself to create a fun and multifaceted piece of art.
“Bleeding Heart” by Melissa Graves is an adult m/m paranormal novella that centers around a human medical student named Brian Preston who forms an una...more “Bleeding Heart” by Melissa Graves is an adult m/m paranormal novella that centers around a human medical student named Brian Preston who forms an unanticipated connection with a desperate vampire he meets at the blood service center where he works. The young male who calls himself Kyle is fleeing a horrific experience and he serendipitously ends up at a site that caters to humans who want to experience vampire feedings. The two slowly establish a connection that deepens as they explore a relationship but it is fraught with not only the complications attendant with being two males in a human-vampire relationship but the specter of Kyle’s past which may do more than just end the blossoming romance before it can truly form, it may end someone’s existence.
This fascinating and evocative story is both frustrating and mesmerizing for me. I thought it was a great storyline and it was delightful to watch the two main characters explore an intimate relationship that deepens gradually but I was disconcerted by the use of the present tense to tell the story and found it to be a bit jarring. This story establishes a great framework with a complex system that is in place to deal with the needs of vampires and I think the author did a wonderful job of creating intriguing primary and secondary characters who all have their own stories to tell. There are multiple threads that I would love to see developed in subsequent stories since this story provides a very entertaining sensual and suspenseful read and I would love to read more about this world.
A copy of this title was provided to me for an honest review(less)
“Favorite Obsession” by Nancy Corrigan is Book 3 of the ‘Royal Pride’ series. Josh Conway is a human with ties to the shifter society, not le...more4.5 stars
“Favorite Obsession” by Nancy Corrigan is Book 3 of the ‘Royal Pride’ series. Josh Conway is a human with ties to the shifter society, not least of which is his guardianship of his niece Megan and the complications with Megan’s twin, Molly. Josh is frustrated by his exclusion from the shifter-human matings that are allowed for male royal shifters since he and royal Mira have formed a connection, with the approval of her cats, yet the Council is ordering her to take a mate. There are complications due to the conflict between the single-shifters and the royals with their multiple animals, the need for secrecy to keep the existence of shifters from becoming common knowledge, ex-lovers and the past traumas each has experienced. It will take divine intervention for Josh to find a way to survive his courtship of the complex yet alluring Mira and convince the shifter world to accept their bonding.
This erotic paranormal tale provides an intriguing twist on shifter tales with its focus on a schism within shifter society itself. The heartrending backgrounds of some of the characters make this a poignant tale that is counterbalanced by the intense relationship that forms between Mira and Josh. Those who are squeamish should be forewarned that there is a fair amount of violence that forms the natures of the hero and heroine but it is still a compelling story. The author does a nice job of establishing enough background that this story can be read as a stand-alone but the connections are so intriguing that I definitely would like to read the stories that lead up to this one and am anxious to read subsequent tales that explore further the remarkable events that take place in this story, particularly if the twins are spotlighted.