Fury of Obsession by Coreene Callahan is the 5th book in the Dragonfury series. It took me awhile to get into this one. There are several plo3.5 Stars
Fury of Obsession by Coreene Callahan is the 5th book in the Dragonfury series. It took me awhile to get into this one. There are several plot lines running concurrently and it’s not until around the halfway point that things start to gain a cohesive focus. There are several main characters. On one hand we follow Gage, who is imprisoned and being tortured. On another is Ivar and his plot to infect an entire town with a deadly virus. Then there is Venom who is struggling to overcome loneliness and takes off on his own, where he meets Evelyn. Lastly, we have Evelyn who has come across hard times, recently fired from her job and burdened with her deceased mother’s debt to the mob. Desperate times, call for desperate measures and in the course of those actions she meets Venom.
I really liked Venom. He was a wonderful hero and really sweet with Evelyn. He wanted to woo her and win her over. He had yearned so long for a woman to call his own. Someone he could hold throughout the night, someone that could tolerate his toxic touch for more than a short time. I had no doubt in my mind that Evelyn was the most important person to Venom. And Evelyn was a lovely heroine, perfect for Venom. She was strong, sweet and smart. I really enjoyed their interactions together. Their romance was sexy and endearing.
Fury of Obsession had a lot of buildup and the subsequent conclusion felt a little quick in comparison. With the inclusion of the other plotlines the romance felt shortchanged. I would have liked to have seen a little more romantic development. Overall though, it was quite good.
I would recommend Fury of Obsession to fans of the Dragonfury series.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from the publisher, Montlake Romance, via NetGalley....more
Beyond the Darkness is the 3rd book in the Darkness series by Katie Reus. I loved the last book, Taste of Darkness, so I’ve been looking forward to thBeyond the Darkness is the 3rd book in the Darkness series by Katie Reus. I loved the last book, Taste of Darkness, so I’ve been looking forward to this one. Keelie Petronilla and Bran Devlin are the main characters in this story. They are both Dragon shifters. Bran is the Alpha of his clan and Keelie is the sister of the hero from the last book, Drake.
Keelie has been sheltered all her life. Guilted into going into protective hibernation for centuries, she remerged a year ago. She has since come to love the modern world and desperately wants to spread her wings and assert her independence. To accomplish this she moves out of her clan home and in with the Stavros wolf pack. It’s not long before Bran follows her. He has a mission, in more ways than one, though winning Keelie over is paramount. But danger is coming and Keelie and Bran find themselves smack dab in the middle of it.
Bran and Keelie first meet in Taste the Darkness. Bran found himself drawn to Keelie since they moment he first saw her. Keelie however, has no interest in being mated. She believes that being mated will be a constraint on her freedom and independence. Bran is determined to convince her that, though he wants to protect her, he sees her as an equal. He has a plan to court her and he won’t let anything or anyone stand in his way, including Keelie.
I really enjoyed Beyond the Darkness. It was good to see Keelie grow into the woman/dragon she was meant to be. She was a great heroine and Bran was perfect for her. I loved how he was with her. He was supportive and protective but he didn’t coddle her. The romance is steamy, sexy and endearing. The characters are nicely done and the plot flows smoothly from beginning to end. There was a secondary romance brewing between Bo and Nyx that I enjoyed as well. I’m looking forward to reading more about them in the future.
Beyond the darkness is an interesting and entertaining story. It’s a great addition to the series. I would recommend Beyond the Darkness and entire series to fans of paranormal romance.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from KR Press, LLC, via NetGalley....more
Figure of Speech by Dana Marie Bell is the 4th book in the Halle Shifters series. This is the story Chloe and Jim. Chloe has been having mat3.75 Stars
Figure of Speech by Dana Marie Bell is the 4th book in the Halle Shifters series. This is the story Chloe and Jim. Chloe has been having mating dreams of Jim for the last four years but he’s kept his distance all of that time claiming she was too young. It’s not until after Jim is changed that he learns about shifters and discovers that Chloe is his mate. But even when she’s in the hospital recovering from a brutal and debilitating attack, he rejects her.
I could see and understand both sides of the story but I really sympathized with Chloe. I felt the four years of rejection was glossed over rather quickly but like I said, I understood where Jim was coming from in regards to her age. She did have some growing up to do. She was only nineteen when they met and he’s ten years older than her. When he rejected her in the hospital he was also dealing with some heavy family issues, which Chloe wasn’t aware of until this book.
I really enjoyed Figure of Speech. My heart ached for Chloe having to suffer permanent effects from the attack. One of which is a condition that affects her speech called Aphasia. She has trouble coming up with the correct words at times and it gets worse when she is upset or stressed. Her brain mixes up words and what sounds correct in her head doesn’t always come out correctly. It’s the second book I’ve read with this condition, though in this one the condition is less severe. Chloe is learning to cope but it still upsets her and humiliates her as times. It was heartening to see her friends and loved ones give her their love and support. Jim in particular was very sweet with her.
Figure of Speech is a quick and easy read. The plot is interesting and the characters likable. I loved seeing Jim and Chloe finally come together and I found their interactions to be sweet and sexy. Spencer was a great side character, funny and endearing. There were a couple attempts at humor that I felt were unsuccessful. The ceramic “Elephant” scene in particular struck me as over the top and awkward. All in all though, it was a very good read.
I would recommend Figure of Speech to fans of shifter romance and fans of the series.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from Samhain Publishing, via NetGalley....more
The Master by Kresley Cole is the second book in the Game Makers series. This one is quite a bit different then the first book, The Profe3.5 – 4 Stars
The Master by Kresley Cole is the second book in the Game Makers series. This one is quite a bit different then the first book, The Professional. Mainly, the bulk of this story takes place in Florida, they don’t step foot in Russia. Another big difference is that there is barely any mention of the Mafiya, though the hero, Maksimilian (Maksim), is a Mafiya boss. I was curious about that part of his life and wanted to find out more.
The Master is a highly erotic story that centers around sex and the gradual forming of a romantic relationship between Cat and Maksim. I enjoyed their slow descent into falling in love. It wasn’t easy for either of them to open their hearts, made harder by the nature of their relationship and Maksim’s preconceived opinion of Cat. But, Cat’s number one rule is to not give out any information that could lead to her true identity, so she tells Maksim very little about herself and her past.
Cat is on the run from a husband that wants to kill her and has been for the last three years. She took a onetime Escort job, in place of her friend, as a way to earn some quick cash so she can leave town. She only allows herself six months in one place before she moves on and her time is up. But when she gathers her courage and knocks on that hotel door it’s Maksim that opens the doors and it’s not long before he derails all of her plans.
Overall, I quite liked The Master. The abundance of sex didn’t bother me as it was appropriate to the plot. Plus the sex was varied enough that it wasn’t repetitive. The romance was woven in as an undercurrent that dictated the flow of their relationship. I liked both Maksim and Cat and I really enjoyed seeing them come together. Cat was able to soften Maksim and bring light and joy to his life. Something he had been sorely lacking. And with Maksim, Cat was able to take a breath and relax, to feel safe for the first time since she went on the run. Their romance isn’t without challenges and obstacles but these two smart, proud and determined characters are up to the task. The journey was engaging, sexy and interesting. It held my attention from the beginning and I look forward to reading the next book.
The Master is recommended to fans of the series and fans of Erotic Romance.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from the publisher, Gallery - Pocket Books, via NetGalley....more
Midnight Promises by Lisa Marie Rice is the 5th book in the Midnight series. This one focuses on Felicity and Metal, (Sean). It starts off with an intMidnight Promises by Lisa Marie Rice is the 5th book in the Midnight series. This one focuses on Felicity and Metal, (Sean). It starts off with an intense action sequence that captured my interest and had me admiring the heroine, Felicity. She’s tough, super smart, a computer whiz, with a kind heart. She’s lived a bit of a reclusive life but deep down she’s always craved belonging. She was taught from a young age to hide and keep distant from others. In this book we see her open up and become a part of a whole group of people.
I really liked Metal as well. He’s a total badass but a complete teddy bear with Felicity. Their chemistry is smoking hot and their romance happens quickly. I enjoyed reading along as Metal and Felicity came together while working to uncover the plot of her attempted kidnaping. It’s a fast read that slows down of bit around the midway point before picking back up again. It fits within the series and I liked it better than the last book, Midnight Vengeance.
I must admit though, that I’m getting a little bored with reading the same basic formula over and over again. So much so that I stopped reading this book about halfway through and didn’t pick it up again for a couple of weeks. The heroes and the way they view the heroines are essentially the same in every book by Lisa Marie Rice, certainly within this series. It’s a formula that has worked well for her but it gets repetitive after a while when you’ve read all her published works. Fortunately, when I picked it up again I liked it quite a bit more and ended up really enjoying it.
All in all, Midnight Promises is well done. It’s fast paced with action, sex and romance woven together in a way that draws you in. I would recommend it to fans of romantic suspense.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from the publisher, Carina Press, via NetGalley....more
In For the Kill by Shannon McKenna is the 11th book in the McClouds & Friends series. This one focuses on Sam and Svetlana (Sveti). It is3.5 Stars
In For the Kill by Shannon McKenna is the 11th book in the McClouds & Friends series. This one focuses on Sam and Svetlana (Sveti). It is a very intense story, from the characters, to the plot, to the emotion. The romance is tumultuous and volatile, while the plot is dark, discomforting and dangerous.
From the get go, Sveti and Sam are at odds, but the chemistry is burning hot and the lure has finally become too great, for both of them. Their romance is rocky, full of arguments and sex. Sam goes from one extreme to the other and often, heartfelt one moment, domineering and abrupt the next. For Sveti it must have been like being on a raft at sea, floating peacefully one second, being tossed by rough waves the next. Sam spent the book trying to win her heart but also trying to protect her. Yet, when she does give him what he has been waiting so long for, he doesn’t take her seriously. I wanted to smack him. He should have known by then that she wouldn’t say something she didn’t mean, just to appease him.
I liked Sveti. She’s a tough character that has lived through some very difficult times. It has made her understandably leery of being vulnerable. Then Sam comes along and pretty much barrels through her defenses. She didn’t make it easy for him though and I liked that about her. It wouldn’t have fit her character to have it go any other way. She stood up to Sam and didn’t give into his demands. She stuck to her cause and didn’t let anything sway her. I didn’t always agree with her actions, but I admired her tenacity. She was a heroine I could root for.
I’m not sure how I felt about Sam. I liked him for the most part, but at times I thought he was a bit too much. He was so volatile and seemed to jump from one emotion to the next. He pretty much went through the whole spectrum of emotions in this book. He let it all hang out, raw and untempered. I say, more power to him and all that but the mood swings got frustrating.
Overall, In For the Kill it quite well done. The plot was interesting and held my attention. The characters were vividly crafted. It was easy to imagine the danger, the depravity and the anger. There is sex, romance and action all woven together in a tale that sucks you in and holds you captive.
I would recommend In For the Kill to fans of the McCloud & Friends series.
*ARC (Advanced Review Copy) received from Kensington Books, via NetGalley. ...more
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