For me, one of the big draws of a Shelly Laurenston book is the unabashed camaraderie between the characters. They fight and love and fight some moreFor me, one of the big draws of a Shelly Laurenston book is the unabashed camaraderie between the characters. They fight and love and fight some more and have their comrades backs when the chips are down. Plus, there's the whole crazy friends thing. People who get off on creating a little mayhem before heading out to drinks make me laugh.
Needless to say the various characters and clans introduced in this series hit all my happy buttons. They're crazy. They fight like madmen. They have issues they need to deal with. Oh, and there's that whole pesky gods and monsters thing. It's no wonder they're all willing to live large and do the things that make them happy.
So. Kera and Vig. Kera has a few adjustments to make to her new life. Vig is probably the sweetest borderline stalker in the history of stalkers. He's might be unmatched on the battlefield, but he gets a little tongue tied around his lady. Yeah, he's seriously sweet and scary at the same time. Gotta love that.
I liked the crazy. I liked how casual the warriors were about the carnage they caused. I liked a lot about this book. Norse mythology is nice and twisted and I imagine there will be plenty more crazy times down the line.
I'm always down for honorable, yet surly, ex-military dudes (or ladies. I'd be cool with that.) thwarting bad guys from completing their dastardly schI'm always down for honorable, yet surly, ex-military dudes (or ladies. I'd be cool with that.) thwarting bad guys from completing their dastardly schemes and hurting good people. In that sense, this book hit the spot. I was a *tiny* bit disappointed in the lack of treasure hunting, though. Mostly because I was totally in the mood for some danger and romance on the high seas. Or on a tiny island. Well, wait. I got the danger and romance and the tiny island. So, yeah. I guess I just wanted more treasure hunting.
Anyway. Our hero, a surly former SEAL with some deep-seated emotional baggage, has the hots for Maddy. Which would be totally cool and everything except that aforementioned deep-seated emotional baggage makes him kinda relationship-adverse. Naturally, this means he fights his growing emotional attachment to Maddy with everything he's got.
Truth, Bran. It doesn't matter how hard you fight it, the heart tends to win. Especially when your special lady friend ends up in a not-so-fun hostage situation and you're terrified you're going to lose her.
While I didn't read book 1 in this series prior to picking up this one, I had no problems following along with who was who with the background characters and what their part in the overall scheme was. Oh, and Mason and Alex? That totally needs to happen. Because those two are going to be crazy explosive together. No joke.
I have to get this out of the way first - I am deeply enamored of the whole Graeson/Cam dynamic. DEEPLY. He might have messed up with his interactionsI have to get this out of the way first - I am deeply enamored of the whole Graeson/Cam dynamic. DEEPLY. He might have messed up with his interactions with Cam, but the sparks they throw off when they're together make me giddy.
*draws glitter hearts around them*
So. This is a spin-off of the Black Dog series. I've only read one book in that series (although I have several percolating on the ereader) and there is some character cross-over, but nothing that will detract from the story itself if you're not familiar with them. Suffice to say, the world is laid out pretty cleanly and the mysteries of who and what populate it are revealed fairly quickly.
Cam has her own mysteries and those aren't as easily unearthed. She's fascinating in her deep sorrow as she wrestles with an old grief. I ended up getting a little wibbly when she touched on the bond between pack members for a moment only to have it ripped away. *sniffle*
There are quite a few questions left unanswered, plus the whole Graeson/Cam thing. Which, again... YASSSS. Book two needs me to read it. IT NEEDS ME. I can feel it.
I probably won't surprise anyone when I say I got a kick out of this book. Cyborgs, guys. It has cyborgs. Well, A cyborg. But that's neither here norI probably won't surprise anyone when I say I got a kick out of this book. Cyborgs, guys. It has cyborgs. Well, A cyborg. But that's neither here nor there. I do enjoy a rousing round of one on one time with metal.
So. Lonely, heartbroken Aeron rebuilds the man she loves after he is killed protecting her from an alien attack. Which is totally normal. Right? If the man you loved gets killed, you should totally use his spare parts to enact AWESOME VENGEANCE against those who took him from you.
Seriously. I'd do it. If you had the brain power and the money, why wouldn't you create an anatomically correct version of your dream man. I might pause at sending said man off to kick some alien booty, but we do what we have to do.
Did I mention the cyborg part? Because YASSSSSSS! The more cyborgs the better!
Tick couldn't have picked a more uninterested woman than Lauren. Which could have been a recipe for disaster for the poor guy since she doesn't pick uTick couldn't have picked a more uninterested woman than Lauren. Which could have been a recipe for disaster for the poor guy since she doesn't pick up on social cues and he's too much a gentleman to push once she declines him. BUT... it works. Lauren doesn't go for loud and uncouth (*cough*Striker*cough*) and Heath's steady, undemanding presence settles into her brain until she's forced to notice him.
That massage he gave her might have helped a little, too.
Lauren is Lauren and she's as focused on her work as ever. I didn't really care for her sister (those two have an interesting relationship, to say the least), but it seems the single-mindedness when it comes to work runs strong in their family because Hailey will do anything to succeed in the goals she set for herself.
Some interesting theories about the Grenavinians surface and I am CURIOUS how that will play out. The inhabitants of that now-dead planet have a few secrets they might not even know about. Which makes sense since most of their secrets would have gone down with their planet. Still, secrets and bubbling backstory. I like them.
Things are getting a wee bit tangled for those from the WS. And for those from the ES, come to think. Danger, heartache, and betrayal are just a few oThings are getting a wee bit tangled for those from the WS. And for those from the ES, come to think. Danger, heartache, and betrayal are just a few of the problems our heroes (and heroines) have to face.
When Griff ends up imprisoned during the botched rescue attempt, he has to rely on his wits and the sexy shifter he was sent to save. Might I just say there were some interesting allies that arose. I'm not quite sure what to think of one of them and whether they're trustworthy or what their endgame is. Things could get very complicated down the line.
Right. Griff and Shar. After years of captivity, Shar is desperate. Her link to her sister has been severed and she's running on empty. Meeting Griff and finding out why he'd come is almost too good to be true and their connection complicates (there's that word again!) things. Because Shar is hot for Griff and he's hot for her and this isn't the best time to be getting kissy-faced.
But you can't deny attraction. Even when the timing's all wrong and you're from two different worlds.
We get to delve deeper into the politics of the ES and see how things haven't changed since the Veil rose. It's a crazy, messed up world, but there are people working on making changes. Big, complicated changes. Which, of course, are the best type.
Fallen superheroes are kinda a weakness of mine. I don't know what it is about strong heroes who have to fight through their broken dreams, but they WFallen superheroes are kinda a weakness of mine. I don't know what it is about strong heroes who have to fight through their broken dreams, but they WORK for me. Hard. So hard.
Cam is certainly broken when Bex reconnects with him. He's surly and is pretty much a recluse. Having Bex around reminds him there are things worth fighting for in the world. Which is funny because before he was a powerhouse who would rush in to save those who needed saving. His defeat at The Scourge's hands broke more than just his body, but Bex brings all those desires to be strong back.
While Cam is fighting against his wants, Bex is dealing with being treated like she barely has a brain at her job and being told to back off on the big stories she wants to tell. Which really doesn't work for her. She knows there's a story in Gold Bay and she's determined to dig until she finds it.
Throw in a dangerous villain, a sexy time or two, and a power that flares up at unexpected moments and you have something fun here. (and that cover.... *fans self*... so pretty!)
Bleu's story is one that feels like it's been a long time coming. He's been the fierce, quietly tormented force behind the elven throne since book 1 aBleu's story is one that feels like it's been a long time coming. He's been the fierce, quietly tormented force behind the elven throne since book 1 and he comes across as harsh at times and utterly dedicated to his prince. When we met up with his sister, we saw another aspect of his loyalty, but he had a hard time showing softer emotions.
Which makes him admitting to finding his mate a rocky journey. Well worth it, but rocky.
So. Taryn. The lady has some issues she needs to work through. Understandably so. I mean, she was held captive for THREE CENTURIES. She's endured, but her sanity is holding on by a thread. Being free isn't all it's cracked up to be, either, since she has to hunt down her brother and try to stop him from causing even more damage to their people and others Hell.
To say she has a tough road in front of her might be understating it.
Good thing she has a certain persistent elf to keep her grounded. And on her toes. And wanting things she thinks she can never have.
We get to revisit more than a few couples we've met before and get introduced to some new faces. All in all, it's a rollicking good time. With dragons. And Elves. And sexiness. *slow thumbs up*
I'm a bit of a sucker for the idea that a perceived betrayal could have been so much more sinister. It makes my brain all mushy. I mean, for a child tI'm a bit of a sucker for the idea that a perceived betrayal could have been so much more sinister. It makes my brain all mushy. I mean, for a child to grow up believing her mother had abandoned her only to find out years later that she'd been dead the entire time... yikes. That's gotta be rough to work your head around.
Nicky has to deal with a whole slew of emotions where her mother is concerned. The sledge-hammer slap of longstanding betrayal becomes grief which becomes the desire for justice. With her somewhat messed up family dynamics, Nicky really doesn't have anyone to lean on, either. Her father is wrapped up in his own grief and her sister is... I don't know. She's just not very supportive.
To say Nicky has some issues with forming lasting relationships and friendships might be understating it. She's wary of Cullen because of her work with at-risk youths and his position as a detective. She's prickly and defensive and it takes time for those walls to come down.
The deeper she and Cullen and she delve into the mystery of her mother's murder the more dangerous it becomes. It doesn't help that Nicky has a tendency to go off half-cocked and take matters into her own hands, either.
A satisfying mystery with a decent romance (I did think the romance side of the story moved a little quickly at parts, but grief can make you weird, man. Weird. So, yeah...), I found myself liking the twists and turns this book took.
Aww. I felt for Troy. He's the peacemaker of the family who has the ability to become whoever someone needs him to be. And nobody sees HIM because heAww. I felt for Troy. He's the peacemaker of the family who has the ability to become whoever someone needs him to be. And nobody sees HIM because he can change himself so easily. His easy going attitude hides plenty of depth and it was tough seeing him push down his own wants to make sure everyone else was taken care of.
Buuuuuut... Nicole wriggles through his defenses. She asks questions and gets to know the side of him most people--including his family--aren't even aware exists. The two of them were seriously cute together. And sexy. Because, you know, the sparks. They had them. In bed. In a closet. Wherever. They had them.
We got to revisit Tory's siblings and their significant others, which is always fun. We got to see Nicole stand strong against her family apathy towards her man. Plus, we got the smokin' sexy times. Which is always appreciated.
Basically, this was a great ending to the Thompson & Sons series. Big, strong men falling for strong, confident women make me happy. *slow thumbs up*
Book 2 picks up directly from book 1 and Tilt is still dealing with her ex and his douchebaggery. Her daughter's request for some help with the ghostsBook 2 picks up directly from book 1 and Tilt is still dealing with her ex and his douchebaggery. Her daughter's request for some help with the ghosts in her dorm seems like just the thing Tilt needs to get away from the crazy.
Except, Tilt seems to find crazy no matter where she goes.
Ghosts, a haunted house, and a pretty fierce mothering instinct put in appearances this time around. Fun with enough mystery to keep me intrigued.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The mystery of who or what was haunting Lake Jasper was dark enough to satisfy even my cold, dead heart. Fra I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The mystery of who or what was haunting Lake Jasper was dark enough to satisfy even my cold, dead heart. Frankly, the mystery packed more of a punch than I was expecting and I liiiiiked it. A lot.
That said, it did take me a while to get into Tilt as a character. I felt like I was dropped in the middle of her situation and had to be patient enough to wait for answers as to what she was capable up. It turns out she's capable of quite a bit. Her psychic abilities are strong and, now that she's been outed as a medium, she's not afraid to let people see what she can do.
Bottom line: I liked the book. Enough to read book 2 right after.
Man, Konig needs a good throat chop. I just.. *makes ragey eyes at him*... I didn't trust the guy in book 1 and I think even less of him in this book.Man, Konig needs a good throat chop. I just.. *makes ragey eyes at him*... I didn't trust the guy in book 1 and I think even less of him in this book. That Marion's lack of memory means she has to trust him to an extent kills me.
Come to think of it, Marion's whole situation kills me. Finding out how she ended up the way she did... actually, it fit with what we know about this world. I think the thing I keep circling around is that the Marion she was before was a whole lot less likable than memory-less Marion. Seeing her interact with those who knew her before is eye-opening. (and I still want to throat chop Konig. Just on principle.)
Then we have Seth. The clues to who and what he is are laid out pretty clearly throughout the book, so the big reveal was less a shock and more a "holy crow! how is this going to fit into what's coming?!?!"
Basically, I'm having a lot of fun with this series. The backstabbing and politics keep me on my toes. (they keep Marion on her toes, too. Except, she doesn't even know the half of what's going on yet. Yikes!) The hints and glimpses of characters we've met before is a kick. I can't wait to see how this plays out in the next book.