Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Willows of Fate (Lands of Sun and Stone #1)

Willows of Fate (Lands of Sun and Stone Series, #1)Willows of Fate by Suzanna J. Linton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to begin?

First, lets start with a bit of praise. Willows of Fate is wonderfully imagined, well written and very, very well developed. In this first entry of the Lands of Sun and Stone Series, we encounter Desdemona (Des) who has come home to be with her ailing mother. Des is a troubled, she can see and hear things that no one else can. She is afraid to labelled crazy and who wouldn't be afraid. Especially, when you're the only one seeing knights in golden armor or mythical beasts. She soon finds out she isn't going crazy and there is a world of creatures and a land that outshines any fairy tale that she has read.

This story was a really great blend of subject matters. It hit on things like religion (polytheism vs. monotheism), betrayal, hurt, self sacrifice, gender equality and greed. In this installment of the series, the author spent a lot of time with world building and succeeds in creating a very convincing backdrop for her tale. I would have loved to have more interaction with the mythical creatures mentioned in the story as well as more displays of magic from the people of the Sun. The most important part of any story is how the characters work together. Here, both main and secondary characters fulfilled their roles well. The heroine (Desdemona) is a bit naive (in some aspects) and headstrong. She has finally found where she belongs and has found her purpose. The book concluded with an exciting rush to the end where their isn't a true happily ever after but the scent of one gently blows in the breeze. So, there is a sense of "this can't be it" because by the end of the book the author has hooked you. I am honestly looking for to what happens next.

~*~ Thank you to StoryCartel for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review ~*~

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: Bitter Ashes by Sara C. Roethle

Bitter Ashes (Bitter Ashes, #1)Bitter Ashes by Sara C. Roethle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a good start to the Bitter Ashes series but I just couldn't get on board with the story 100%. There isn't any denying that the writing is good and the world building is okay ... it was just that some aspects of the story was flat out confusing. Mainly, the confusion has to do with what the main and secondary characters are. Spent most of my time trying to figure out if they're fae, shifters/were or some other creature that I cannot imagine. Due to the uncertainty of species of the characters (the book states that they're Vaettir) I had to look this up to find out at least what the word meant. Without a clear distinction between the characters and their natures made it hard to stay focused. The story was entertaining but I found the heroine (Maddy) to be extremely naive and a bit annoying. The story presents other characters along with the heroine that are much stronger. Hopefully, as the series progresses her character will grow and be able to balance out the male leads (Alaric and James).

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: Wolf of His Heart (Salvation Pack Book 7)

Wolf in his Heart (Salvation Pack)Wolf in his Heart by N.J. Walters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just a quick note first. The cover art for Wolf in His Heart accurately depicts the main character Sage and I think that that's absolutely fabulous.

Now, this is book seven of the
  Salvation Pack Series

and the first time I've read any of the books. Honestly, I'm on the fence with this one. I liked it but there was something in the back of my brain going hurry up get to the point. I guess I expected certain things to happen with the main character that didn't. Not to mention I wasn't too crazy about the female lead.

Sage Gallagher is a 3/4 werewolf organic farmer and all the things the reader expects to encounter when it comes to male leads. He's tall, protective, well built and handsome with a heart of gold. Not to mention he has the patience of a saint. Unable to embrace the wolf luring under his skin, he sometimes feels inadequate compared to some of the full blooded males around. Heck, his identical twin (Reece) can shift but Sage just happen to draw the short end of the stick. His handicap doesn't get him down because he's more than capable of taking care of his mate and family if the need arises. Our female lead Rina is on the run. Banished from her pack for refusing a forced marriage, she finds herself alone and gaining the attention of one of the locale crazies. Forced to abandon the life she just started to rebuild for herself, she has no other option than to run from the men chasing her. Don't worry her rescuer is the wolfy farmer and he'll anything to protect her.

While reading you're able to feel the love and compassion but I got the feeling that the courtship between the two main characters was kind of lopsided. His character was overly indulgent while I found her's to be a little selfish. Its understood that the females lead's background plays a part in her behavior but in this instance it was a turn off. There's an underlying current that the hero isn't really good enough but he'll do. This was a solid read that neatly ties into the next installment.

Thank you to RockStarPR for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Treasured Find (Royal Pride #1)

Treasured Find (Royal Shifters, #1)Treasured Find by Nancy Corrigan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is really neat. Shifter PNR can be really monotonous. You know the same repeating ideas and situations. It’s refreshing to come across an author who takes a different approach to the subjects he/she is writing about. In this case, the difference is the shifters and the creation of their race/races. I've often thought about having shifters that could shift in multiple forms and the authors delivers on this with enough history and back story that isn’t overwhelming.

Nancy Corrigan’s Treasured Find book one of the Royal Shifters series is a damn good introduction. Royal Shifter, Rafe Alexander is on the trail of kidnapped shifter children but while on his search he never expected to come across someone as enticing as Jasmine (Jazz to her friends). He’s lived a long time and he just can’t believe that his goddess may have blessed him with the biggest gift of all – his true mate. Jasmine just wants to stay unnoticed. She knows the danger that’s around her and she would rather for everyone to just stay the hell away. Even her college sweet heart Josh is kept at arm’s length. Unfortunately, what we want and wish for doesn't always come true and we just have to play the hand that fate deals us.

Like most shifter males in a lot of different stories Rafe is tall, well built and handsome. His character is over protective and a bit domineering but this works for a heroine who is better suited for the damsel in distress than Mrs. Kick-Ass. Like always the chemistry between the two main characters is off the charts but the author did well to introduction some friction in the form of ex-lovers for bother characters. I really wanted to know more about the villain Jon because I think that his character needed a little more exploration. His character was off his rocker and would have loved more time with him. Besides the main characters, the kids were another highlight. Especially, the little girl. You’re left wondering how her character is going to impact the storyline in future installments of the series.

This was a thoroughly entertaining read and overall rating is 3.5.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: Hard Rules (Dirty Money #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Hard Rules (Dirty Money, #1)Hard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lisa Renee Jones just put the smack down with this one! Okay, folks ... let me take a moment and just breathe ...

So, this ticks off so many boxes for me:

1. Sexy Male Lead
2. Feisty & Smart Female Lead
3. Angst. Seems simple but I need that push & pull between the characters.
4. Low Down Dirty Bad Guys
5. Characters skating the razor's edge between good and bad
6. A fully developed story

You know how you read some stories and they are just predictable and a bit humdrum? As the reader, you're just reading to get it over with? Well, this isn't the case in this nice little tale (I say little but there isn't anything little about this) and I can see this particular series picking up a real following.

To me, a good male lead can make or break a story and the same goes for the female lead. Here in Dirty Money #1 not only is the reader introduced to strong leads but equally as strong secondary characters. Shane Brandon is the sexy, smoldering (yep SMOLDERING) and dominated male lead who commands the reader to pay attention. The second son of the Brandon empire is home to save the family business from his corrupted family members. But among them, who can he really trust?

The feisty lead, Emily is on the run. Who is she running from or what caused her to give up her former life? We never really find out but the author delivers snippets of her past throughout the story that will have the reader glued to the pages to find out what her deal really is. What's important here is how well her character works with her male counterpart. So often some characters are lacking while the other is fully developed. Well, this isn't the case here and the interactions between these two is just compelling. The tension between all the characters is just so palpable and delicious.

This read was smoky and sexy with plenty of blurred lines. The author placed such great elements in this one that makes it such a worthwhile read.

Thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: The Theory of Deviance

The Theory of Deviance (The Portland Rebels, #3)The Theory of Deviance by Rebecca Grace Allen
 My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Theory of Deviance by Rebecca Grace Allen, in my case, happens to be a unique read. It’s unique (at least in my opinion) because it openly questions faith/religion, ideas of sin and personal belief. I can definitely say when I opened this on my Kindle this story wasn't what I expected.

More than anything, The Theory of Deviance is a coming of age story and a story of self-discovery. Like most young adults Mickey (our hero) is trying to figure out where he fits in life and at age 25 he’s kind of a late bloomer. Stuck behind the wall of parental expectations and social appearances, how can he be honest and true to himself? You see, Mickey is a 25 year old bisexual virgin whose personal religious beliefs and the idea of disappointing his parents have him spinning in a merry circle. Unfortunately, he believes that he can confess away his bisexuality or find that one miracle woman that will satisfy both halves of himself. Then sometimes, yes sometimes life gives you just the right amount of lemons for that lemonade.

Krissy has some personal demons of her own. Suffering from mental illness (she bi polar) she to is looking for the place where she belongs … that one safe place where there isn’t any judgment. The last piece of this trifecta is Rafe (Krissy’s roommate with benefits) who has some parental issues of his own. He’s been Krissy safety net almost from the beginning of her diagnosis but he’s yet to find the love he deserves.

This is my first time reading anything by this author and I must say that she made a bold move by bringing religion into focus in this story. This story deals with subjects (that I believe) are at the heart of the LGBT community when dealing with bisexuality and family pressures. The story is classified a contemporary /new adult romance but unfortunately I didn't find it very romantic. I found this story to contain mild angst, memorable characters and a whole lot of naughtiness.

~~~ Thank you to RockStarPR for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review~~~

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Review: Dangerously Red

Dangerously Red (A Dark and Dirty Tale #3)Dangerously Red by Kristin Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Its such a beautiful thought, that a person's one true love will cross their path and each individual would be spared to grief of a lonely (possibly singular) existence. Once the fated lovers/mates cross paths then they will live happily ever after or at least that is what the fairytales would have you believe. Can these chanced meetings that result in insta-love really end in a HEA? I really can't answer that but Red really tried her damnedest to make that a reality.

Our Red is in a very complicated situation. She has to find a pack and obtain a mate all before her 25th birthday. She with the pack she wanted but the mate part is a bit complicated. She has two hotter than hades males clamoring for the job and all she has to do is choose correctly. Choosing the correct mate maybe the hardest task of her life and to find out who she chooses you're going to have read for yourself. What I can say is that the author has whipped up a fast paced conclusion to her three part serial (Dark and Dirty Tales ).

Both alphas (Reaper and his cousin Lukas) are intense male leads with appeal dripping from the pages and both characters are as different as night and day. Reapers is dark, large framed and just a big softy where Lukas is lighter in coloring, slighter in build and a definite control freak. These differences in style and appearance help to show the reader how the story will unfold. Though Red's (Ivy) choice is the focal point of this last installment, the other elements of the story aren't lost.

Dangerously Redwraps up with a tidy Happy Ending, but I can't help to think that there is possibly more to had from this story. Though you're left wondering what will happen to Lukas next. He is definitely the bad guy of this three part serial but I get the feeling there is more to be told about his character.

~~~Thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review~~~

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