Full Throttle is the 7th book in the Black Knights Inc. series by Julie Ann Walker. This one focuses on Carlos (Steady) and Abby, the president’s younFull Throttle is the 7th book in the Black Knights Inc. series by Julie Ann Walker. This one focuses on Carlos (Steady) and Abby, the president’s youngest daughter, but the story is told from the viewpoint of five characters. The bulk of the story is told by Carlos and Abby. The other characters we follow are Penni, a secret service agent, Dan (The Man), and to a lesser extent, the main bad guy.
I really liked Full Throttle but I did find Abby’s perception of events from 8 years ago to be overdramatic. I hated how the reason for her angst filled guilt was dragged out until the very end. It read like what it was, a plot device. Also the reason Abby and Carlos had no contact for eight years is due to misinterpretation on both sides.
What I liked about Full Throttle is that overall it’s believable. Both the story and the characters are vividly portrayed in a way that feels realistic. The pacing is fast and the characters are likable. Carlos is badass, protective and charming. Abby is witty, smart and sweet. Together they made a fun and sexy couple. Their story is an entertaining journey as they run from the bad guys through the jungles of Malaysia. It gives a tiny taste of the romantic interest between Dan and Penni but we’ll have to wait for his story to see it really take shape. I found their part of the story to be interesting and entertaining as well and I look forward to seeing more of them in their own book.
Full Throttle can be read as stand-alone novel but for the best enjoyment I recommend reading the series in order. This book and the entire series is recommended to fans of romantic suspense.
*Review copy received from the publisher, SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca, via NetGalley....more
Exquisite Trouble by Ann Mayburn is the first book in the Iron Horse MC series. This novel is over the top in so many ways that you have to suspend reExquisite Trouble by Ann Mayburn is the first book in the Iron Horse MC series. This novel is over the top in so many ways that you have to suspend reality at the door. If you’re anything like me, you’ll roll your eyes often throughout. I found the heroine, Swan, to be rather clueless as times and hornier then a teenage boy. It annoys when a heroine gets so turned on that her brain is rendered useless, just from the presence of the hero, especially when they act in direct opposition to what their brain is telling them to do. I mean, she thought Smoke had kidnapped her and was letting him touch her intimately while she whimpered and writhed in a lust filled haze. If she were loose I’m sure she would have attempted to hump his leg. Have some freaking willpower woman! Unfortunately, this brainless haze of lust syndrome is often used in romance.
Looking beyond all of that, Exquisite Trouble is an interesting read. It is very much a part one and there is much left unresolved so you’ll need to keep reading to get the full story. The bulk of this story focuses on Smoke and Swan’s relationship. It is very steamy and includes a bit of BDSM. The sex scenes are abundant, so much so that I got tired of them. I would like to have seen a little less sex and a little more story. The characters are intriguing and I liked them together. Smoke really cared for Swam and made an effort to understand her. He’s possessive and protective, a typical alpha male.
The world is dangerous, seedy and dark. It delves into areas of stolen goods, the Russian mafia, and extreme survivalist compounds. The threat of danger is high and I think we’ll so more of that in future books. Exquisite Trouble ends with Smoke and Swan together but the overall plot is left unfinished. While not great, I liked it enough to keep reading.
*Review copy received from the Author's Assistant Agency....more
Claimed by Earth is the second book in the Watchtower Chronicles by Delwyn Jenkins. I haven’t read the first book in the series and don’t rec2.5 Stars
Claimed by Earth is the second book in the Watchtower Chronicles by Delwyn Jenkins. I haven’t read the first book in the series and don’t recommend reading this one without reading the first. It reads very much as a part two and doesn’t work well as a stand-alone novel. The world-building and backstory is practically nonexistent. It’s as if you are dropped into the world with no information and the characters do their thing. I had so many questions about the world, about the Watchtower Knights and Sebastian. About the witches and the school, the different terms for everything. Some things you can figure out yourself, other things you are left to wonder about. I can only hope that the world-building and details are present in the first book because they are sorely lacking in this one.
I liked Sebastian, the hero. He was protective, patient and caring. I wanted to know more about his history as a Watchtower Knight. What did he do while they were in exile? We get to know Mycah, the heroine, more. She has traumatic memories that she needs to overcome in this novel. It’s with the help of Sebastian’s loving care that she does that. Their romance is fairly well done and the highlight of the story. It is erotic, tender and sweet. I enjoyed seeing them come together. Though, I would have liked to have seen the results of their last ceremony. There was such a big importance put on the process that the end felt unsatisfactory.
Overall, I found Claimed by Earth to be a bit boring. It was an easy book to walk away from. Part of that is because I didn’t really connect with the story or the characters. Some moments are more entertaining, but ultimately it’s forgettable. In fact, the thing that I will remember most about this book is the lack of world-building. For this reason, I won’t be continuing the series.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from the publisher, Momentum Books, via NetGalley....more
A Cursed Bloodline is the 4th book in the Weird Girl series by Cecy Robson. This is the first book that I’ve read in the series and once I f3.5 Stars
A Cursed Bloodline is the 4th book in the Weird Girl series by Cecy Robson. This is the first book that I’ve read in the series and once I figured out who was who in the large cast of characters I had no problems following along. Though for the best appreciation of the book, I highly recommend reading the series in order.
I liked this novel and it made me curious to read the previous books. The heroine, Celia sure gets put through the wringer though, in more ways than one. Poor girl, I felt bad for her. All I can say is that it’s a really good thing her sister, Emma, has the power to heal, otherwise Celia would be dead many times over. I really liked Celia. She’s an interesting and likable heroine. The characters are all well done and I enjoyed the different dynamics amongst them.
A Cursed Bloodline is a fast paced story filled with action, danger and emotion. There is plenty of angst with deception, betrayal and tragic heartache. I felt for the characters, particularly Celia and I urged them on. The romance is rocky and intense. Celia has a spirit and strength of will that pulls her through the toughest times. I couldn’t help but admire her. The ending wraps things up nicely and leaves you wanting to find out what happens next. I enjoyed A Cursed Bloodline and I look forward to reading more.
A Cursed Bloodline and the Weird Girl series is recommended to fans of urban fantasy.
*Review copy received from the publisher, Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept, via NetGalley....more
Death Defying is the 3rd book in the Blood Hunter series by Nina Croft. I was a little leery about reading this one because I wasn’t sure I would likeDeath Defying is the 3rd book in the Blood Hunter series by Nina Croft. I was a little leery about reading this one because I wasn’t sure I would like the hero, Callum. He hasn’t exactly been portrayed as a hero type character in this series, more like a villain. After reading this book I’m more forgiving toward him but I still don’t believe he deserved a happily ever after role. He’s done some horrible things and stood aside while others did horrible things. He’s the leader of the Collective, the most powerful group of people in the universe and they stood by and basically condoned the Church in their efforts to eradicate the GM’s (genetically modified humans). Then there is the Meridian mines, he sent prisoners there to suffer horrendously until they perished, mining Meridian. All so his group could gain even more power.
Putting that aside, I liked Tannis as heroine and I’m glad she didn’t make it easy for Callum, for the most part. I’ve been intrigued about her character from the beginning of the series and I loved learning more about her history and seeing how it affected the character she is now. She definitely didn’t have it easy growing up. That’s part of what made her tough and formidable. At the same time she still has compassion and heart. She is honorable and protective of those she cares for. I really liked her and enjoyed reading along as she got her chance at happily ever after
Death Defying is well done and I’m glad that I read it because it’s a pivotal story in the series. Some major events occur, which rock foundation of the series. It’s much more somber then the previous books and the ending is rather bittersweet. Unfortunately, I can’t say more without going into major spoiler territory. Let’s just say that I’m unhappy with some of what takes place in this story but I’m curious to see how things progress in future books.
Death Defying is recommended to fans of the Blood Hunter series.
*Review copy received from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley....more
A Highland Werewolf Christmas by Terry Spear is the 15th book in her Heart of the Wolf series. This book focuses on Guthrie MacNeill and Calla StewartA Highland Werewolf Christmas by Terry Spear is the 15th book in her Heart of the Wolf series. This book focuses on Guthrie MacNeill and Calla Stewart. Calla recently left her fiancé at the altar and has gone to stay at the MacNeill castle for a couple weeks. Both Guthrie and Calla are on the rebound from previous relationships but they find themselves drawn and attracted to one another. I really enjoyed the banter between these two characters. Their romance is sexy, funny and sweet.
A Highland Werewolf Christmas is a fun and charming love story. I quite liked it. It’s a story you can easily sink into. It’s heartwarming with a bit of danger and suspense. The romance develops at a fairly quick pace but I still found it believable. All in all, A Highland Werewolf Christmas is a fun and entertaining read, great for the holidays. I would recommend it to fans of the series and anyone looking for a good holiday paranormal romance.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from the publisher, SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca....more
Deadly Pursuit is the 2nd book in the Blood Hunter series by Nina Croft. It takes place immediately following events from the end of the first book, BDeadly Pursuit is the 2nd book in the Blood Hunter series by Nina Croft. It takes place immediately following events from the end of the first book, Break Out. The main characters of this story are Jon and Alex. Jon is the one that Skylar, Rico and the crew of the spaceship, El Cazador, helped to break out of prison in the last book. Meanwhile, Alex has been living on the ship masquerading as Al, a boy. But Alex is really Alexia, a runaway High Priestess for the Church of Everlasting Life. She ran away to experience life but she knows she’ll soon have to return to fulfill her duty as a High Priestess. Alex is young, inexperienced and impulsive. After meeting Jon she finds herself yearning for things she never imagined that she could have. She has a vibrant personality that is just itching to burst free from the staid and obedient life she had been forced to live. It was nice to see her true personality emerge as she became more confident and independent.
Jon is an interesting and intriguing character. He is hardened by the life that he’s led and events from the past. He is attracted to Alex as she is to him but he doesn’t want any attachments so he does his best to keep her at a distance and push her away. But that doesn’t stop his protective instincts from taking over whenever Alex is in danger. He protects her with furious and deadly force. It is Alex that manages to thaw his frozen heart and gives him the will to truly want to live.
Deadly pursuit is a good story and a nice addition to the series. I liked it. The romance was a slow burning flame that gained momentum as the story progressed. I would have liked Jon to have been a little less reticent sooner but I still enjoyed how everything came together in the end. I also liked getting to know that secondary characters a bit more, mainly Janey and Tannis. Each story is an adventure and we get a glimpse at the end of where the next one is headed.
Deadly Pursuit is recommended to fans of Science Fiction Romance.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley....more
Burning Desire is the 3rd book in the Dark Kings series by Donna Grant. This is Kiril’s story and I really enjoyed it. Kiril is a Dragon King and hisBurning Desire is the 3rd book in the Dark Kings series by Donna Grant. This is Kiril’s story and I really enjoyed it. Kiril is a Dragon King and his love interest is Shara, a Dark Fae. The Dark Fae are enemies to the Dragon Kings. I always find it intriguing when an unlikely pairing comes together and this one doesn’t disappoint. Kiril was powerfully drawn to Shara even though he knew she was a Dark Fae sent to try and trap him. At least that was how it began, but Shara isn’t all bad and part of her rebels against the nature of the Dark Fae.
Burning Desire is a fast paced, interesting story set in a world that is both magical and dark. The romance was one I found myself rooting for. I liked Kiril and Shara and it was a joy to tag along on their journey to happily ever after. There is more than one storyline in play within this fantastical world that Donna Grant has created. We get teasing glimpses about Rhi and her mysterious Dragon King lover. I’ve had a theory from the beginning of the series of who it might be and I’m looking forward to eventually finding out if I’m right or if I’m totally off track. But, it looks like I’ll have to wait awhile longer to find out. It appears that Laith's story is next.
I really liked Burning Desire. The characters and the story held my attention and kept me intrigued for future stories. I cared about the characters and the world building drew me in. I look forward to future books. The Dark Kings series should be read in order as it has ongoing storylines.
I would recommend the entire Dark King series to fans of Paranormal Romance.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley....more
Thunder is the first book in the Stone Braide Chronicles by Bonnie S. Calhoun. This book is difficult to review because the story is rather hit and miThunder is the first book in the Stone Braide Chronicles by Bonnie S. Calhoun. This book is difficult to review because the story is rather hit and miss. It jumped around a lot. I would be reading a part that I found interesting and then it would jump to characters that I really wasn’t interested in, back and forth, back and forth. It got better when everyone ended up in the same place and the story came together but that wasn’t until near the end. The Company in the mountain was just a weird and disturbing plot. I found myself skimming those parts at times because I just wasn’t interested in reading about them.
I liked the main character, Selah, for the most part. She was tiresome at times with the frequent crying but overall she ending up being a strong and likeable character. I liked her love interest Bodhi as well, once he stopped being self-centered. It seemed he was rather, self-absorbed and conceited before he was sent away from his homelands. He showed definite character growth as did Selah, which was nice to see. I also liked some of the secondary characters such as the endearing urchin child, Amaryllis and Selah’s steadfast brother Cleon.
Overall, Thunder was good. Unfortunately the book just wasn’t cohesive. When there is more than one group of characters and storylines in a book, it’s important that they all are interesting and can hold your attention, otherwise you lose focus and the book loses momentum. I can only hope that the next book will focus more on one set of characters, as the series does have the potential to be better.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from Revell via NetGalley....more