The idea of a “mere human” trying to make it through culinary school without the most important ability in this story’s world – magic – made me curiouThe idea of a “mere human” trying to make it through culinary school without the most important ability in this story’s world – magic – made me curious to read this novella. Mainly because anyone who tries to achieve things without having all the necessary tools, whatever they are, fascinates me. It’s like the underdog trying to win the race, and I am all about supporting the underdog. So Aimes, with his need to prove that he is a good chef even without being able to enhance his dishes magically, had my support before the story even started. Then I found out there are other factors that work against him, and I was glued to the pages.
Aimes lives in a world that admires the fae, and where most people have at least some fae blood running in their veins. Aimes doesn’t. He is a pure-blooded human and his peers despise him. But when they attack his older brother’s honor by saying that Markl wasn’t as successful as Aimes says, that he never made it to the palace, Aimes gets angry and determined to prove them wrong. It makes him desperate enough to attempt the retrieval of fae mushrooms for a particular dish – instead he ends up in a fae hollow, prisoner of Lord Keanewyeth Ordioral.
Lord Keane has been a prisoner in his hollow for centuries. There are certain rules he cannot break, but he is determined to protect Aimes anyway. Contrary to what Aimes and his cohorts believe, pure-blooded humans are rare and precious. Lord Keane is immediately attracted to Aimes’s beauty – but fights his feelings because he doesn’t want to get too closely involved and endanger Aimes. Lord Keane has very powerful enemies and when they come looking, it will take everything he has plus everything Aimes has plus their working together for them to survive. All while not breaking several fae rules that make it almost impossible for them to succeed. Very suspenseful!
If you like stories about humans struggling in a world filled with magic, if two men who might have never met but for the stubbornness of one of them to prove his worth, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, set in an imaginary world, and full of surprises, then you will probably like this novella.
One of my favorite types of stories is reunions and/or second chances. And with Quinn returning to his hometown in Colorado as the new sheriff, only tOne of my favorite types of stories is reunions and/or second chances. And with Quinn returning to his hometown in Colorado as the new sheriff, only to find out that his best friend from high school from eighteen years ago, Danny, is a teacher and his new neighbor, the scene is set for an entertaining read. There was more to it than that though: even though ‘Old Town New’ takes place only about ten years ago – before high-speed Internet and smartphones – the lack of all the technology we take for granted now makes it feel like a historical. The realization how much the world has changed since then was both scary and funny. The other element that surprised me, in a good way, was the mystery around Quinn and why he has really returned. I won’t give any details about that in this review, so as not to spoil the surprise, but it added some great suspense and depth to the story.
Danny may be a respectable history teacher now, but he’s led a wild life. He was the only one of his friends who survived a serious car accident a few years after high school graduation, and it has changed his life. Not just because he still has a few physical twinges to deal with, but also because the guilt has shaped his outlook on life. The only reason he has returned to the small town is that his father became sick and needed his help. All Danny can do is take it one day at a time.
Quinn used to be a bad boy, but has turned into an exemplary cop and now sheriff. Honest, determined to catch the bad guys, and unwilling to “let things lie” just because everyone else has accepted the status quo. There are a few who don’t like him being back and representing the law, but Quinn is determined to make it work. He is like a breath of fresh air for the town, but especially for Danny. Quinn won’t let Danny hide or fade away, and he will do whatever it takes to make Danny happy.
If you like second chances, if stories set in small towns are your thing, and if you’re looking for a read full of charming little details, quirky characters, and lots of hot loving, then you will probably like this novella.
While pirates in real life are dangerous and scary, their fictional counterparts can be startlingly attractive. Whether it’s the excitement of playingWhile pirates in real life are dangerous and scary, their fictional counterparts can be startlingly attractive. Whether it’s the excitement of playing with fire or the idea of giving in to “uncivilized” behavior I am not sure, but I have to admit that fictional pirates have some fascination for me. And the gorgeous specimen in this story, set somewhere in the eighteenth or maybe early nineteenth century, is no exception. To see him paired with a young, entirely innocent doctor who thinks of himself as a civilized man was not just fun but very hot.
Stephen is a doctor, a man of refined taste, professional and personal ambition, and he is convinced that rational thought and arguments, if not good manners, will win the day every time. When he finds himself taken prisoner by pirates, with the captain demanding his medical services, Stephen is outraged. But he is a doctor first, so he does as he is bidden, only to find out that the captain, or “beast” as Stephen calls him in his anger, has other plans. Stephen resists the man’s advances with everything in him, knowing that the feelings the pirate raises in him are illicit and sinful. And anyway, he is a prisoner and being held against his will!
John is a fiercely independent man. Not unrefined or incapable of civilized behavior, he prefers to be in charge of his own fate, beholden to none, and free as a bird. The doctor fascinates him, and he is determined to seduce “the butcher” into his bed. While there is a little force involved in the beginning, this quickly morphs into manipulation – not much better from Stephen’s point of view, but it does set the tone as something less brutal and violent than noncon. John’s goal is to convert Stephen to see things in a new light, to get rid of the silly moral views of the society of their time, and to listen to his body’s needs rather than his brain’s directives.
If you like stories with lots of physical activity that goes from somewhat forced kisses to full-out bedplay, if two men from different worlds discovering they are not so different after all sound interesting, and if you’re looking for a read that is closer to fantasy than reality, entertaining, and very hot, then you will probably like this novella.
A lustful demon, used to a variety of partners, who suddenly finds out he is mated, is one half of the very hot pair the author sets up in this fun shA lustful demon, used to a variety of partners, who suddenly finds out he is mated, is one half of the very hot pair the author sets up in this fun short story. It has just enough mystery and suspense to make this a very entertaining read. And the additional material that is contained in this second edition makes the slightly cryptic events even more enjoyable.
Daimon is a lust demon and a bit selfish, Okay, he is very selfish. Living in a mansion of his own and used to not caring much about the world around him, he is somewhat overwhelmed when a new neighbor suddenly draws him into some very strange goings-on. Not just that, it also turns out that Daimon is mated to the guy who seems to be on the wrong side of the law. It’s all a bit overwhelming and Daimon needs to keep his wits about him if he wants to figure it all out – not easy when he is constantly distracted by his lustful thoughts (and actions!).
Gene is in a very difficult position, looks like he is on the wrong side of the law, and tries to do the best he can. I can’t say more without spoiling the surprise, but I think his role and predicament were really well done and added some nice twists to the story.
Leland is the Lycan who needs rescuing, and is a very cute secondary character. It was nice to see parts of the story from his perspective as he waits for his mate to find him.
If you like paranormal stories where demons interact with Lycans, if a lust demon seems like an interesting character to you, and if you prefer your reads to be very hot, you will probably like this short story.
What a lovely story! ‘Loving Djinni” enchanted and delighted me in equal measure, starting with the laugh-out-loud humor of the first half of the nove What a lovely story! ‘Loving Djinni” enchanted and delighted me in equal measure, starting with the laugh-out-loud humor of the first half of the novel all the way to the deeply emotional part of the second half, which is when David and Sharu realize they are falling in love.
David may want everyone to believe that he is a serious art dealer, but underneath the civilized veneer he is a bit of a scoundrel. He trades in antiquities, but not all of them as real as the paperwork he forges makes them out to be. David is a nerd who loves art and respects history, but he wants to make money too - lots of money if at all possible. His ex has dumped him for being boring, and David decides to accept a contact’s invitation for a trip to Egypt – just to prove he is adventurous after all. What he gets as a result is the adventure of a lifetime, a djinni who grants him three wishes, and a moral dilemma about what to do with them.
Sharu is an ancient djinni, immortal and immensely powerful, and a bit of a prankster. As a result, he was bound by someone who turns out to be a historical celebrity and has been a prisoner of the lamp he resides in for millennia. The curse has curtailed his powers so he can only use them to fulfill three wishes for each master who finds the lamp, and he hates it. Sharu’s purpose in life has become to do as much damage to each master as possible by goading them into making stupid wishes, or by misinterpreting what they say as much as possible.
David and Sharu’s relationship is not an easy one. David, as a modern man, has difficulty dealing with the magic aspect, but hates whoever did this to Sharu for locking up a sentient being. Sharu is more than mistrustful, believing all humans are stupid and cruel. He only slowly begins to see that David is different, and that is when their relationship changes from hostile to carefully trusting and eventually loving. There are a few bumps along the way, misunderstandings to deal with, and the matter of Sharu vanishing as soon as David uses his third wish becomes a real problem.
The tone of the story changes as the relationship develops, and I found that fascinating. Initially, the humor is snarky and sarcastic, and while both characters’ sense of humor still comes through even when they are battling the threat of never being able to share their lives, it is a softer sort of humor. The depth of their despair was very touching, and the relief I felt when the solution came along was immense. I felt close to both of them, and really wanted them to be happy despite the odds.
If you like fantasy stories with lots of magic and a touch of humor, if two men who are separated by a curse sound exciting, and if you’re looking for a read that is funny, sweet, romantic, and has an energy all its own, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. It’s adorable and goes straight to the “read when cheering up is required” stack.
Now that Will and Leon have overcome the issues of their past and Will is pregnant, I was sure this third part of their story would be less stressfulNow that Will and Leon have overcome the issues of their past and Will is pregnant, I was sure this third part of their story would be less stressful and even more entertaining. Well, it was and it wasn’t. The fact that Will and Leon truly love each other and want to protect their growing family from any outside threats made them allies, and I loved that. Will’s pregnancy and how he dealt with it was as fun as I had expected. Of course there were still issues to deal with, and that is where the stress definitely came in. I could have strangled Will’s mother and her stupid friends several times over. So while there wasn’t any threat to Will and Leon’s relationship, there were enough problems for them to deal with to keep up the suspense. I do suggest you read the first two books of the series before this one (or the review), because you’ll miss essential details without that background.
Will is finally happy. He is in love with his lion shifter mate, their past of mutual misunderstandings has been dealt with, and the baby Will is carrying becomes more real every day. But when his mother calls to let him know his father has died and that she expects him to come to the funeral, Will can feel his world collapse around him. Will is too nice to just say no, he keeps thinking that she is still his mother, and no matter how horrible she has been in the past, Will can’t just push her away.
Leon is helpless against this sort of emotional attack on his mate, and his lion has a very hard time dealing with it. He growls and paces and worries – but his unwavering support of Will is admirable. Leon is ready to kill the woman who stood by while Will was beaten by his drunk father as a child, but he also knows this is Will’s battle to fight. When he finally snaps and gets physical during an altercation at the mall, Will goes into early labor from the stress, but Leon can’t regret roughing up the man who verbally attacked Will.
If you like shifter billionaires who have to learn to support their mate’s decisions rather than making them for him, if you want to know how Will and Leon are doing once they have the baby, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining with a touch of tension as well as very hot, then you might like this novella.
The description of the New Haven Pack’s Christmas party at the beginning of this free short story made me grin. “Orgy” might be a better description,The description of the New Haven Pack’s Christmas party at the beginning of this free short story made me grin. “Orgy” might be a better description, although being “good” wolves, everyone was busy with their mate exclusively. Except for poor Pete, who sells video games for a living and remains unmated. This party with all its happy couples is so not the place for him to feel festive.
But then things take an unexpected turn with Fabio taking an interest, and Pete cannot believe his luck. He’s been crushing on the hunk of a man ever since he joined the pack, but he never thought his interest might be returned. It takes quite a long time and lots of “convincing” for Fabio to make Pete believe he is serious.
If you like short, cute, very hot stories set around the holidays, give this one a try. ...more
There have been hints about the New Haven Pack alpha’s high blood pressure and cholesterol levels before, but in ‘Fat-Free Alpha’ more of the detailsThere have been hints about the New Haven Pack alpha’s high blood pressure and cholesterol levels before, but in ‘Fat-Free Alpha’ more of the details of Carlos’s past emerge. As it turns out there is tragedy to be found there in the form of Reed, his estranged mate. I was more than a little surprised to find out Carlos is mated, yet not living with Reed. Granted, the bad blood between them over the death of their adopted daughter – entirely Reed’s fault – is a major obstacle. And yet… I would have thought they’d be able to work it out.
As the story develops it becomes clear there is more to the story. Yes, Carlos was angry and entirely blamed Reed, but by the time he returned from a mind-clearing run Red was gone. So they never had a chance to talk or work their way through their grief together. And when Reed turns up again they are too busy with reunion sex, Carlos making sure that Reed knows he is still angry, and fighting off the evil Starr Mountain Pack alpha who has been attacking the New Haven Wolves since the first book. Not that there is much talking once the threat has been dealt with.
If werewolf mates separated by grief and anger are your thing, if you want to see two mates face a reunion neither is ready for, and if you’re looking for a read that is filled with rage, regret, and a fight to the death, then you might like this short story.
NOTE: This book was provided by Evernight Publishing for the purpose of a review....more
Following the diabetic wolf in book one, the vegan in book two, and the gluten-challenged baker wolf in book three, this fourth installment focuses onFollowing the diabetic wolf in book one, the vegan in book two, and the gluten-challenged baker wolf in book three, this fourth installment focuses on Pat, a shifter who has lost his mate to cancer. The second main character is Jules, a shifter out for revenge – someone killed his mate and Jack won’t rest until he has avenged his partner. Both men have been through hell, but when they meet at a Weight Loser meeting since both need to get rid of a few pounds, they bond over something as tasty to them as a bacon sundae. The idea of that combination made me cringe a little, because it must taste a bit strange. Yet what would be a more appropriate treat for a werewolf with a sweet tooth?
It is a miracle Pat survived the breaking of the mate bond, but he has not dealt with it well at all. The New Haven Pack is trying to support him as best they can, but he has not been able to shift, nor has he been to any pack meetings since his mate’s death. He does finally decide he needs to lose all the weight he has gained from using food as a source of comfort, and that is when his life changes. Not because he loses any significant weight though, but because he meets Jules and is suddenly interested in a man again. And it’s not just Pat who notices – his wolf finally makes an appearance again.
Jules has to deal with having seen his mate killed, and his way out is focusing on revenge. The anger bottled up in him is significant and the only thing he focuses on. Not even Pat and Jules’s newly awakened feelings will stand in his way. The one thing he hadn’t counted on was finding the cold-blooded killer and having to face him with Pat right there. It’s a real test of Jules’s determination and Pat’s ability to take charge.
If werewolves with human health flaws sound interesting, if you want to see two grieving shifters pick up their lives after surviving tragedy, and if you’re looking for a read that is filled with sadness yet manages to turn two men’s lives around, then you might like this novella.
NOTE: This book was provided by Evernight Publishing for the purpose of a review. ...more
Building a different world is always a challenge. This one was interesting – it was close enough to the present that its discrepancies sort of sneakedBuilding a different world is always a challenge. This one was interesting – it was close enough to the present that its discrepancies sort of sneaked up on me. The book starts out fairly normal, just like a contemporary tale, then these elements of mystery and somewhat unexpected differences are introduced. I learned along with Sean, the main character who tells the story, and slowly found out about the Keepers.
Sean Riker is a very dedicated police detective, and tenacious to boot. Even when he finds out the criminal he has been after (Mitchell Yates) is not what he seems, it takes him a while to adjust. I didn’t find out a lot about what drives him, or what his real passions are. He seems to drift along a lot after discovering this new world. Not that I can blame him – it is the kind of discovery that would shake anyone’s world!
Yana, the real name of Mitchell Yates, is one of the Keepers, and remains somewhat mysterious even after Sean begins to spend time with him. There are more details now than there were in the first edition of this story, but I am still curious to find out more. He has spent twenty years doing this job, and is just as dedicated as Sean. He has grown up in a very peaceful environment, a total utopia compared to Earth. However, issues with fellow humans still exist, and his is called Jimmy. I was a little annoyed at the lack of fervor and passion Yana showed when Jimmy starts making inappropriate comments, but I guess that is just the way the Keepers handle things.
If you like stories with a leisurely pace, science fiction that is just far enough out of our reach to be interesting, and slowly developing relationships between two men who are surprised by their feelings for each other, then you might like this novel.