One of the most fun and entertaining Steampunk stories I have read recently, this is a charming tale about a man who wants nothing more than to designOne of the most fun and entertaining Steampunk stories I have read recently, this is a charming tale about a man who wants nothing more than to design interesting little (or not so little) mechanical creatures. Business is tough due to demanding customers, multiple competitors are eager to put him out of business, and he never seems to be able to find enough time to come up with ”the next big thing”. Set in an alternate London of the nineteenth century, this is a world where aristocrats still rule, the working class can thrive through hard work, and technology is focused on replacing pets and working animals with more “reliable” machine versions.
Clement owns a shop and is a very talented autosmith – read designer and builder of intricate clockwork designs. Most of them are pets and sound utterly delightful based on the few I got to see as I read this story. Clement’s creations are all individually handmade and that is both his biggest advantage, because they are all unique and of high quality, and his biggest problem, since the materials are expensive and putting them together takes longer than using automated methods. He has his hands full with demanding customers, a competitor who wants to take over his business, and the fact that he is not selling enough of his machines to pay his expenses.
I really felt for Clement. He is very creative and has some great ideas, but he is more of an artist than a businessman. It takes him a while to recognize and admit it, and when he does, it is almost too late. If it weren’t for his shop assistant and an unknown benefactor, Clement’s story would have ended very differently.
If you like stories with charm and lots of fun little details, if you think a man who is dedicated to his work still deserves a loving partner, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read set in an alternate past, then you will probably like this short story.
If there is such a thing as a science fiction fairy tale, this story is firmly in that genre. And not just because some of the details just don’t makeIf there is such a thing as a science fiction fairy tale, this story is firmly in that genre. And not just because some of the details just don’t make sense when looking for a purely scientific explanation (not that one is given). No, for me it was more the tone of the story and the subject matter that made me decide to look at this as more of a fairy tale or fantasy read. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a fascinating subject matter and probably worth a lot more pages if you wanted to explore it fully (as many others have), but this short version worked for me as well. It’s definitely thought-provoking.
Here’s the situation. You have Ash, a gay man of Asian descent prospecting for gold on a planet at the edge of the Milky Way. He is alone, so his straight friend who brings weekly supplies (across thousands of light-years!), brings him a surprise: Lin, who is a sex and domestic service robot, mumbling something about this one being slightly different. The issues this story then grapples with are whether or not sophisticated machinery like that can develop feelings and sentience, what happens when the physical characteristics aren’t completely human but all the rest of the robot is, and whether it is right for someone who was born human to “own” a being like that. Slavery with all its ugly implications came to my mind, and while the author doesn’t explicitly mention it, the implications are there.
The answer this story gives to Ash and Lin’s dilemma is where the fairy tale sets in for me. I loved what happened, but without any sort of scientific explanation and considering the other inconsistencies in the story, I had to suspend my disbelief by placing this on my internal “fairy tale” shelf. You’ll see what I mean if you end up reading this story. It’s certainly thought-provoking!
If you enjoy thought experiments of the unlikely kind, if the definition of who is human and deserves decent treatment intrigues you, and if you’re looking for a read with lots pf charm, a few unexpected twists and a fairy tale feel, then you might like this short story.
‘Windbrothers Desert’ is fantasy of the best kind. It pulled me into a world entirely different from my daily reality, and with its lyrical language a‘Windbrothers Desert’ is fantasy of the best kind. It pulled me into a world entirely different from my daily reality, and with its lyrical language and beautiful world building Sean Michael has created something special with this first volume. With mystical countries, the contrast between harsh slavery and luxurious living, and hints of magic, the scene is set for what looks to be an unusual and epic battle against a very dark evil. Initially, it wasn’t very clear (at least to me) what forces are at work, but it quickly becomes evident that cruelty, torture, and a ruthless disregard for life is what they stand for. Like always when a fantasy world fascinates me, I did not want the book to end – and I’ll warn you now that it’s quite the cliff-hanger.
The two main characters come from very different backgrounds, yet have a lot in common in terms of their inner strength. They start out as unwilling master and yearning-for-freedom slave, then become friends and may become more, as hinted at toward the end of the book. It’s an excellent slow burn that simmers in the background and elegantly avoids any hint of dubious consent.
Surial is banished from his homeland for reasons that only become clear partway through the novel, and he thinks it’s unfair. He feels ignored by his father, hates the family business he has to take care of, and wants nothing more than to return home. He leads the life of a solitary-by-choice rich nobleman and the last thing he wants is to own a slave. As soon as Kade becomes a member of his household things begin to change, no matter how much Surial intends to ignore him – or the fact that he now owns another human being, much to his dislike.
Kade comes from a proud warrior race, but has been a slave for years. His background only emerges slowly, and the connection to the bigger picture is as fascinating as it is scary. He has been horribly mistreated, and can’t believe how relaxed things are at his new master’s home. Kade works with horses and quickly seems to settle in, but escape and regaining his freedom remain at the forefront of his mind, no matter how nicely he’s being treated.
That escape attempt has all kinds of consequences neither man was able to foresee, and it becomes the first turning point in the way they relate to each other and the world around them. Both have their own trials as well as tests together, and each of them has a lot to learn. They are not the same men by the end of this first book as at the beginning, and I can only fear what trials may lie ahead of them in future volumes.
If you like well-built fantasy worlds that pull you in and make you forget where you are, if you want to now more about two men from vastly different backgrounds who face unspeakable evil as they become friends, and if you’re looking for a read that is fantastical, interesting, and only the beginning of what promises to be a captivating story arc, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. Bring on the next installment!
May/December romances are among my favorite tropes, so fifty-year-old architect Jared falling for a man fourteen years his junior sounded like a storyMay/December romances are among my favorite tropes, so fifty-year-old architect Jared falling for a man fourteen years his junior sounded like a story I’d enjoy. And I was right! ‘Never too Late’ has wonderful characters, some angst and drama, an unwanted second suitor for Jared, and some very hot post-recovery encounters in the bedroom.
Jared is not a happy man at the beginning of this story. Not just has he lost the lover of over twenty years to cancer two years earlier, he is also about to turn fifty – and now his doctor tells him he needs a hip replacement. Rather than be happy that the pain he suffers from can be stopped, Jared sees himself as a useless old man, no longer able to lead the active life he so enjoys. Luckily he has good friends who cure him of that notion and make him realize that he’s lucky his problem can be solved. The surgery and recovery that follow are not a piece of cake, but Jared is stubborn – and fit – enough to deal with the fallout. All the more because the paramedic he meets is a hunk and seems interested in getting to know him. Not that Jared thinks anything serious could come of it.
Steve is a hardworking paramedic and does not usually fall for his patients. But Jared is different, Steve knows what he wants, and doesn’t believe a mere fourteen years’ difference in age is an insurmountable obstacle. I loved his tenaciousness and persistence. He never went into “obnoxious” territory, but he definitely communicated his interest to Jared. He is also self-confident enough to deal with the unexpected “competition” for Jared’s affections in a pretty mature way. It’s still an intense situation, but Steve’s ability to deal was a very welcome change from some books I have read.
If you like May/December romances with a touch of drama, if you think that two men who meet later in life still deserve happiness, and if you’re looking for a light, entertaining, and fun read, then you will probably like this novella.
Like many fairy tales, the original version of this story, 'The Little Girl with the Matchsticks' by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen, iLike many fairy tales, the original version of this story, 'The Little Girl with the Matchsticks' by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen, is a very sad affair. It was first published in 1845, and that is roughly when this newer version takes place as well. However, 'The Match Boy and the Inventor' is set in an alternative, Steampunk-ish universe and has a far, far happier outcome. It is written with the period and its "mechanical wonders" in mind, but left me feeling as though I'd read a true fairy tale.
Vern is a poor match boy who tries to make a living in an unforgiving world. Different from the main character in the original story, he gets rescued and has a chance at a new life. His wonder as he discovers the delights of warm clothes, enough food to eat, and a beautiful room with a soft bed to sleep in pulled me right in. And when he begins to explore the mechanical world that his rescuer, the inventor Oren, lives in, I was right by Vern’s side. No wonder he has trouble imagining that his quickly deepening love for Oren could ever be returned in kind – Oren is an accomplished engineer. But Vern learns quickly, and even constructs a beautiful gift for Oren, although he cannot imagine having the courage to show it to him.
Oren had planned to rescue Vern, but is hesitant about admitting the depth of his feelings. He doesn’t want to take advantage of Vern, and it takes a threat from a man he'd thought of as a friend for Oren to realize he needs to act if he doesn’t want to lose Vern. Except – it is almost too late, and the final third of the book (which was added to the original version) was suspenseful enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. And when these two men do come together, they are very tender and gentle with each other, helping to illustrate not just their undeniable passion but also the depth of their mutual love and respect for each other.
If you like sweet fairy tales whose happy ending makes up for the initial angst, if you enjoy reading about men who are an unlikely match at first glance, yet fit together perfectly once they focus on what's important to them, and if you're looking for a sweet read with the slightly otherworldly feel of a Steampunk story, then you will probably like this novella.
In this second book of the ‘New Luna Werewolves’ series, recently changed omega Ash and his alpha luna mate again take center stage. They are joined bIn this second book of the ‘New Luna Werewolves’ series, recently changed omega Ash and his alpha luna mate again take center stage. They are joined by Calvin, the beta who kept insisting he wanted Dakota to start a pack, and things heat up considerably now that it’s clear there is not just Ash’s crazy ex who is out for revenge, but a group of human hunters as well. Not how Ash and Dakota had imagined spending their “honeymoon”.
Ash is delighted when Dakota asks him to marry him. It confirms the feelings he has for Dakota are truly returned, and making it legal in the human way is just what he needed to be even happier. He loves being a wolf and everything seems fine – until Dakota discovers a burned barn, some bodies, and traces of Calvin’s scent among the ruined building. Ash is not to be deterred though – he will support his mate all the way. I loved his determination and courage.
All Dakota wants is to protect his new mate, and to give him the life he’s never had before. Unfortunately it seems that Fate has other ideas, and Dakota faces one crisis after another. The barn and the bodies inside is bad enough, but when Calvin returns and tells Dakota what happened and how it is all his fault, Dakota has to accept that his refusal to start a pack is part of the problem that caused their current predicament. But that is almost irrelevant, because Dakota’s focus remains to keep Ash safe. Not an easy proposition when hunters are suddenly all over the place.
If you want to find out how Ash and Dakota settle into mated life, if danger and attacks intruding on what should be a honeymoon are your thing, and if you’re looking for a read that holds a few surprises, some suspense, and more than one hot encounter between the sheets, then you might like this novella.
It has been a while since I read the three original stories that make up this new, updated edition, and it was such a treat to return to this amazingIt has been a while since I read the three original stories that make up this new, updated edition, and it was such a treat to return to this amazing world of Greek gods trying to survive in the modern world. But it turned out to be more than just a return to a world and characters I liked. The stories have all been expanded – mostly No Enemy But Time - with spectacular results. They are now more like one longer novel with parts that link really well, and the significant additions have answered more than one question I had.
Canines, Crosshairs, and Corpses The idea behind this series is a look at what the old Greek gods would do if they were real, still around today, and forced to evolve with the times. At one point early on Hestia says to Hades that “Modern gods don’t simply sit about and eat ambrosia. That would be disgraceful.” – and that pretty much sums up the premise of the series as well as the tone. I love the idea of gods having to do what humans have been struggling with ever since we came down from the trees. Finding your own way in life is not easy, and if this first story is any indication, this series will not just be very cleverly designed but highly entertaining. Hades’s story fascinated me since I wanted to find out what he would decide, how he would deal with modern life, but it also made me laugh because much of what he goes through is so true and so “human” – and that makes it really funny.
Hades has a tough lesson to learn in this first installment, and from the moment he begins his journey into thinking for himself rather than accepting the role he was given, he discovers a side to himself he was never aware of. For a Lord of the Dead, finding out he may have feelings is a revelation. Figuring out a job is easy for him, and seeing him becoming a badass PI is pretty funny. He has a way to “speak to the dead” that gives him an advantage, and his problem-solving skills are excellent, so he’s pretty good at solving cases. It’s the more human side of things he struggles with, but Ti is there to guide him, even though neither of them realize that it’s happening. I did though, and I loved watching them.
Ti, short for Tiberius, has fallen on hard times, pretty much due to making some stupid decisions and a few idiotic mistakes. He ends up an alcoholic and homeless, and that’s when his life becomes endangered without him even realizing it. Hades figures it out and rescues him, and Ti cannot believe his luck. But then Hades tells him the truth of who he is, and Ti thinks he’s crazy – at least until Hades shows him a few things. That’s when Ti begins a journey to a different world view and becoming more mature. His emotional involvement may sneak up on him, but when he gets the message, he will do anything to protect Hades.
If you like stories with a great supernatural component, if you want to see not just an old Greek god deal with modern life, but watch him fall in love, and if you’re looking for a story that is as fantastical as it is funny and romantic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. I loved the characters, the way they deal with their relationship (once they notice they have one!), and the whole setup.
No Enemy But Time Just like the first story in this collection, ‘No Enemy But Time’ had a profound effect on me – both times I read it. Yet its tone and the emotions it made me feel could not be more different. Yes, the sense of humor is the same, with the gods of old trying to deal with modern life, even some of the characters return for an encore. But the essence of the story is far more serious and darker. I guess that is what happens when a fallen angel and a son of Hades get together, trying to make a life for themselves. With the added material, the context becomes clearer and the additional information made everything more poignant. And despite the fact that it lacks an explicit happy ending, something I am a huge fan of, I have to say it is an outstanding story. Probably because the ending is so in line with the story’s theme.
Zack and Michael must be one of the oddest couples ever. Zack may be the son of Hades, but he moved out of the Underworld to make a life for himself. He doesn’t go around torturing small children or killing anything, he gets involved in animal rescue. In short, he is a really nice guy. Michael being around must have something to do with that, so when sinister events begin to happen, and even his father begins to worry, Zack is understandably perturbed. Worry changes into iron determination when he figures out that Michael is threatened yet again. What Zack ends up having to do to save Michael almost destroys both of them.
I hate to admit it, but sometimes love really is not enough. What Angel Martinez has shown in this story is actually far more powerful. In Zack and Michael’s case, love requires Zack to do something horrible and painful, and while it is the only way to save Michael, it is a heavy price to have to pay. But nothing other than love could have made him do it and then live with the consequences. A very powerful message indeed!
If you like stories that challenge accepted wisdom about what a love story should look like, if you believe it is always darkest before the sun rises once again, and if you’re looking for a read that will put you through an emotional roller coaster before spitting you out and making you wonder what just happened, then you will probably like this one. I certainly won’t forget it anytime soon!
Dragons, Diamonds, and Discord ‘Dragons, Diamonds, and Discord’ is yet another fantastic story in the ‘Brandywine Investigations’ series with its Greek and other gods, supernatural beings from various myths and legends, and amorous problems set in today’s world. One of its most fun elements is the sense of humor around the gods of old trying to deal with modern life and having adapted rather well to the needs of the 21st century. But the aspects that attract me even more are the unusual pairings, deeply emotional love stories, and uniquely creative elements of the Brandywine universe. In this third story the focus is on Hermes, the god of commerce, communications, and thieves (among others) – who is, of course, the CEO of a vast international corporation and a few jewelry stores. The second main character is Fafnir, a centuries-old dragon with a lot of secrets and a deep desire to be left alone. Combine those two men, and you can be assured the sparks will fly.
Hermes, once he has drafted several family members to help solve the mystery of who is stealing from him, is stunned. But he is equally fascinated by Fafnir, and is determined to figure out what is going on. He does not believe in fate, and will not rest before he solves the mystery. In that way he is a lot like his Uncle Hades – who now lives as a PI and, I am happy to report, is back in several wonderful scenes of “the Greek gods” versus “assorted bad guys”. Hermes is exactly as I imagine he would be in today’s world. Fast, stubborn, scheming, always full of ideas, and talking like there is no tomorrow (god of communication, remember?). Luckily for everyone involved he is also loyal and doesn’t scare easily.
Fafnir is a dragon who has been killed countless times, but keeps returning to life as long as even one piece of his body is big enough for him to come back. He hates the eternal cycle; every time the hoarding fever starts, humans notice and subsequently kill him. And something is setting him off now, which is strange since he’s had the longest cycle ever and everything seems to be under control. He is also the complete opposite of Hermes: he likes solitude, is gruff and grumpy, and hates talking. You can imagine how much Hermes irritates him. But there is also a considerable attraction between the two men, and Fafnir is curious.
If you like stories with creative interpretations of the mythological world, if you enjoy opposite characters feeling attracted and figuring out how to deal with each other, and if you’re looking for a read that is as funny as it is emotional and romantic, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. The characters are fascinating, the mystery around what’s happening kept me interested, and the solution to Fafnir’s issue is brilliant and a wonderfully romantic interpretation of dragon lore. Bravo, Angel! Please keep these books coming!
Any story about a foodie and a chef has my immediate interest, and ‘Made with Love’ was no different. What you have here is a perfect romance betweenAny story about a foodie and a chef has my immediate interest, and ‘Made with Love’ was no different. What you have here is a perfect romance between two guys who work hard, like their food and wine, and won’t admit they are lonely – except perhaps to themselves. They are both too busy to do something about it, but when coincidence, supported by meddling friends and family, has them meet, they grab the opportunity with both hands and run with it. But nothing is ever as easy as it looks in a relationship, and a crisis hits before they know it.
Jake is a wine merchant who knows his stuff. He likes to eat too, so the new-to-him Greek restaurant his friend Scott invites him to try is right up Jake’s alley. He even loves the dessert – and not being a dessert man, that is a big thing. But meeting the chef is even better and Jake is immediately attracted to him.
Andreas works as a chef in his father’s restaurant, and while his food is great, his desserts are epic. He doesn’t usually leave the kitchen to talk to customers, but when his father insists and he meets Jake, Andreas is not sorry. He is of Greek descent, has three brothers, and family is important to him, so he introduces Jake to them once they have been together for a while.
Disaster strikes when Jake decides to have Andreas meet his friends, and they treat Andreas horribly. Jake can’t see the problem, Andreas gets upset, Jake thinks they broke up, and pretty soon they have broken up. Gah, the drama! Luckily the meddling friends and family come to their rescue and develop a plan that is too sweet for words. Loved it!
If you like foodies and chefs, if you enjoy reading sweet romances almost destroyed by misunderstandings, and if you’re looking for a read that is as fun as it is hot, then you will probably like this short story.
This fifth story in the ‘Desert Dragon’ series has a few nice surprises to offer. Coyote shifter Dan and raven shifter Kalo are still trying to returnThis fifth story in the ‘Desert Dragon’ series has a few nice surprises to offer. Coyote shifter Dan and raven shifter Kalo are still trying to return to Kalo’s home, but at least they are together now. They have figured out that they are mates and understand that whatever the reason for the urgency to return home, it involves both of them. None of what is coming gets any clearer in this book, but Dan and Kalo find a few allies, some more mysteries, and renew their determination to figure it all out.
Kalo is the worrier of the two, but being responsible for five dragons would worry anyone! Bipbi has been with him since childhood, but the four babies, two of them spirit dragons, are new and Kalo is still getting used to having them around. Kalo also wants to take care of his lover and mate, Dan, but he is learning that Dan has his own ideas about things.
Dan is initially just as confused as ever, but as the story develops, some strange occurrences seem to indicate that his memories may be returning. Running into Mik’s former team may help as well, and it looks like they have found a new ally.
If you like this series and its newest mated couple Dan and Kalo, if you enjoy stories about men who want to do the right thing but have no idea what that might be, and if you’re looking for a read filled with entertaining, cute dragon babies, a mystery that seems closer to being resolved, and some hot loving, then you will probably like this short story.
It has been a while since I read the books of the original Luna Werewolf books, so I was happy to see a new series begin. This first story is about DaIt has been a while since I read the books of the original Luna Werewolf books, so I was happy to see a new series begin. This first story is about Dakota, a somewhat reluctant alpha, and Ash, the human who ends up being Dakota’s mate without knowing the first thing about werewolves, never mind their slightly more volatile luna werewolf cousins. With Calvin, a beta eager for Dakota to form his own pack, Ash’s crazy ex-boyfriend, and some nasty hunters always up to no good, this promises to be another exciting series.
All Ash wanted was to get away from his abusive ex, Harris, so that he could live his life in peace. But just before Ash reaches his hometown in Texas, Harris catches up with him and tries to get him back. Ash is unwilling, Harris loses it and shoots Ash, and thanks to an unseen-by-them luna werewolf, Ash ends up rescued – but changed. When he wakes up to find his world has turned upside down, his first reaction is denial. He likes Dakota a lot, but he has no clue they are mates, and he has trouble believing it when he finds out.
Dakota is an alpha with a dark past, and when he finds out that Ash is his mate, he is reluctant at first. Not that he can fight his instincts, but he has reason to be careful. Not least because Ash used to be a human and Dakota has no idea how he will take the news that he is now also a werewolf. Even better – an omega able to get pregnant! I liked how careful Dakota was with his revelations, and that he made allowances for Ash not knowing “the rules” of behavior. Yes, Dakota was as possessive as the next alpha, but he was also understanding and amazingly flexible.
If you like luna werewolves, if two men who get thrown together by Fate and have to deal with the fallout sound interesting, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful and hot, then you might like this novella.
The blurb for this book sounded interesting - what with magic’s very existence at stake and three teenagers the ones responsible for reviving an entirThe blurb for this book sounded interesting - what with magic’s very existence at stake and three teenagers the ones responsible for reviving an entire guild of mages - and from the moment I read the prologue, I was hooked. What you have here is a mother who sacrifices her life to end an evil king’s reign and life, her elf companion responsible for getting her daughter - the Mages’ Guild’s last hope of survival – to safety, and the promise of an epic struggle a thousand years in the future. And while this is the first book in a series, it offers plenty of adventure, secrets, and the search for a hidden island to keep any lover of fantasy thoroughly entertained.
Tasis is a sixteen-year-old half elf who inherits his mother’s pendant when she dies, and has no idea what consequences will follow. It all begins with strange dreams and a voice that whispers in Tasis’s ear. His sister Zaree was adopted and is from a faraway land, and when he tells her what’s been going on, she remembers the legend of the dragon’s claw. A little research shows Tasis the truth of what Zaree said, and after discussing it with her and some more research, he decides to follow the voice’s demands to “find the dragon’s claw”.
Kelwin is an elf who has apprenticed with a herbalist, and is told it is time to leave so he can learn more. He does not look forward to traveling to the human-dominated parts of the world, but his teacher insists. Kelwin runs into Tasis and Zaree who are about to leave on their quest, and they decide to band together for an adventure that is as exciting as it is mysterious.
With all the signs, dreams, and voices these three young characters follow, this story firmly belongs in the realms of fantasy. The magic starts out very weak, but as the three teenagers progress in their search and their understanding grows, so does their command of long-forgotten secrets. As on any quest they face dangerous situations and learn new things, with me following avidly in their footsteps. More and more fascinated by what was going on. I loved that gradual reveal, and the slow growth of Tasis’s understanding and abilities.
If you like stories set firmly in the realm of magic and fantastical beings such as dragons and giants, if you want to follow a young man who is just beginning to understand himself and the world around him, and if you’re looking for a read full of mystery, danger, adventure, and a great quest for the truth, then you will probably like this novel.
From the moment I read the blurb for this book, I was fascinated with this world of city-states, strict laws that can result in magic-induced stasis fFrom the moment I read the blurb for this book, I was fascinated with this world of city-states, strict laws that can result in magic-induced stasis for the worst criminals, and a young man who is the ruler’s second son, but does not agree with some of the laws he is supposed to help uphold. As I was reading the story and got to know this world in more detail, it became apparent that most of the similarities are quite superficial. We may have some shared history - Latin was mentioned as a language of the educated and for spells – and the law against sodomy is in full force, but that is pretty much where the similarities end. This world has city states that trade with each other; there was no mention of war. Their technology is at the level of the early eighteenth century of our Earth. But the biggest difference is that magic exists and is used for all kinds of purposes, including medicine.
The story is about Ennek, the second son of the chief who rules Praesidium, the most powerful city-state on Earth, with an iron fist and no empathy. This first part of the trilogy focuses on Ennek’s awakening, coming of age, and the beginning of independent thought replacing his complacency and acceptance of the ways things are. Ennek’s back story only slowly emerges as things are set in motion that will change his life. There have always been hints that he is different as he grew up, but he never put two and two together, so to speak, until he is almost thirty. Once he does see the whole picture, very gradually he begins to develop the courage to think about a way out. But even his final actions are provoked, almost forced on him, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with the new situation in the second part of this trilogy.
I had trouble understanding Ennek. He is very passive throughout most of the book, and a lot of what he learns over the years gets ignored at first. Ennek is very good at compartmentalizing his feelings, but he does have a clear idea of what is right and wrong. He hates the idea of stasis, comes to understand that slavery is not the answer, and despises the wizard who uses people – including Ennek – to become ever more powerful. Ennek is not impulsive and not easily angered, and that is probably a good thing in his situation. While I can’t understand how it could take anyone that long to see the truth and act on it, I have not grown up in the repressive and cruel environment he has, and I can see how his past has made him the man he is.
If you like fantasy worlds that are different from ours, with laws and a history all their own, if you enjoy watching a young man come into his own – very, very gradually, and if you’re looking for a read that is full of mystery, suspense, emerging emotions, and a sense of an adventure just beginning, then you will probably like this novel. I definitely look forward to the next stage of Ennek’s journey!
Leaving a child, especially a very young one like Chase in this story, with someone else must be one of the hardest things to do for a parent. WhetherLeaving a child, especially a very young one like Chase in this story, with someone else must be one of the hardest things to do for a parent. Whether the carer is a nanny or a babysitter is just a difference of degrees of worry, I think. And when the deceased mother’s parents sue for custody on top of everything else, the situation comes close to a nightmare. That is what Hunter, a successful businessman, has to contend with when his current nanny gets married and he is up the creek, so to speak, without someone to watch over his eighteen-month-old son.
Hunter has already been through quite a bit. He used to party all the time, as did the mother of his son, but where he matured, stopped drinking five years ago, and started a successful business, Chase’s mother remained out of control and died in an accident. Of course her parents blame Hunter…. And thus begins his search for a permanent nanny in the hopes of keeping custody. The other reason is that he doesn’t really like to leave Chase in daycare, but what choice does he have? And even though Terry isn’t what he expected (Hunter has some very prejudiced ideas about what a nanny should be like), he is obviously qualified for the job – and extremely attractive to boot.
In walks Terry. It was supposed to be a one-time babysitting gig when Hunter’s babysitter flaked out without warning, but Chase loves Terry, and with an upcoming degree in childcare and nutrition, Terry knows he could do the job. Not to mention that he likes Hunter, but that is just a bonus. Neither of the men expect the attraction to continue to grow, and when push comes to shove, Terry is the one to decide he wants to stay on despite all the other career choices he has.
If you like stories about unexpected nannies who turn into more, if you enjoy reading about career men who have to figure out how to manage a child as well as a busy job and if you’re looking for a short, fun read with some hot loving, the you will probably like this short story.
In this second book of the ‘Battle Bunnies’ series, it’s Baxter who meets his mate, an alpha wolf who works for the council and goes by the name of DoIn this second book of the ‘Battle Bunnies’ series, it’s Baxter who meets his mate, an alpha wolf who works for the council and goes by the name of Dominic. But they face more than one issue: the evil scientists who experimented on Dominic caused a change that means he no longer has a scent – and without that, Baxter can’t be sure Dominic is his mate. And that results in the overprotective oldest brother, head of the legendary Battle Bunnies, to go into full protective mode and attempting to keep the wolf away from Baxter. Added to the external issues they continue to have, Baxter and Dominic have their hands full trying to mate and stay alive.
Baxter is just a little different from his brothers. My guess is they all are, considering that Bailey from book one is blind, but Baxter feels his differences more intensely than the others. He also doesn’t want the differences to go away. So it’s not just his piercings that set him apart. But when a half-crazed with lust alpha wolf comes after him, Baxter isn’t so sure he wants to stand out anymore. He can’t smell Dominic, but he does feel drawn to him – if only his stupid oldest brother would stop interfering! Given a few moments alone, Baxter is sure he’d be able to figure it out. But that is not meant to be.
Dominic knows that Baxter is his mate, he can smell him just fine. He hates how overprotective Baxter’s brothers are, and decides his only chance is to take extreme measures. The Solvency Rule may not be known to the bunnies, which doesn’t help, but luckily Bailey’s mate, Vey the gargoyle, is well aware how it works. He and Dominic’s brother make sure all goes as it is supposed to – until external events interfere and Dominic ends up fighting for his and his mate’s life.
I was pretty much ready to strangle Baxter’s meddling brothers and think Dominic was still pretty nice to them. These personal issues and the added external stress, new discoveries, and more mystery around the scientists and their experiments made for a very exciting adventure with some hints as to who is next. I can’t wait!
If you like a little humor with your paranormal stories, if two men who want to mate but are stopped by unwilling family and chaotic events are your thing, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, full of new mysteries, and some hot action between the sheets, then you will probably like this novella.