Friday, February 16, 2018

ARC REVIEW Raz by J. S. Striker

Clan Legacy #10, From the last book Raz was in I wasn't completely convinced that he was a good guy, well as good of a guy a vampire whose second-in-line of command can be, so I was surprised when I found out this was his HEA. It can be read as a stand alone none of the past books have anything to do with this one. Good characters with a good plot and easy to read writing that you can read through in no time. Raz really did turn my opinion around on him.

Raz was satisfied with his place in vampire society a place that gave him just enough power but without all the responsibility and paper work of the higher up position. But a mission goes bad and one of their own turn on them and Raz is the only survivor. Before the betrayer died he told Raz he was hiding a deadly secret. Lucinda tells Raz to find out what it is and then they can figure out a way to deal with whatever the secret is.  Eva Thomason is struggling, not to make ends meet but with the fact she was left with her half brother's two teenage kids. Eva is half fox shifter who can't shift, she does have the extraordinary senses of a shifter though so she can tell when someone starts watching her house. Raz has been watching the house for a couple of weeks when he notices another presence around the house, Raz knows now is the time to act and the only way to keep the kids safe is to gain the trust of Eva. Eva has never liked vampires but the dangerously sexy Raz is showing her a side of vampires she never could exist. Raz convinces her to let him help with the kids but is it enough?

Overall, it was a good story. There was one part that was, WTF Just Happened! I can't believe Striker went there, wow. The sexual tension is good they don't have sex until the latter half of the book so there is a good build up to that, which is kind of funny Raz knows and Eva tries to deny it there is some teasing but in the end it pays off. The action was also very well done very exciting. The ending fell short with me a little, it was bittersweet but a HEA nonetheless.     

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

ARC REVIEW The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday

The Cowboy Who Came Calling is book two of Linda Broday's Texas Heroes series. Technically you can read this as a stand alone but I personally felt like I was missing something important about Luke. I didn't really care for the fact that he was in love with his brother's wife at the beginning of the book, it just seemed unnecessary especially how adamit he was about, pardon my bastardization of the bard here but the Cowboy doth proclaim to loudly even if it was only to himself, it almost seemed like he was trying to keep himself convinced he loved her and that there could be no one else but her even if he couldn't have her, even when he's fighting his attraction to Glory he's trying to convince himself that he can't lone Glory; cue the eye roll. Even with all that he is a pretty great guy a former Texas Ranger who was falsely accused and now is trying to right that wrong and get his job back. Glory Day is the head of the household with her father wrongly imprisoned and he's slowly dying, her mother is lucid on her good days, her extremely annoying little sister makes things harder than they need to be and the middle child Hope is the peacemaker and because of her father almost the whole town has shunned them. The Day family needs money or the bank is going to the farm away and to top it all off Glory is slowly going blind.

Glory thinks their luck might have changed when she sees a wanted sign in the general store. She knows she can track him all she has to do is capture him and the reward is all hers. Unfortunately she's not the only one trying to find him. Luke needs this thief alive so he can question him about who was behind his frame up, Glory and Luke find him at about the same time and when they are arguing the thief gets away but not before he grabs for Glory's gun and it goes off shooting Luke in the leg. Glory feels guilty for shooting Luke in the lag and brings him home to patch him up. It's Luke's turn to feel guilty when he finds why Glory had been out there looking for the bounty. The more time Luke spends with Glory the more he likes her and before he knows it despite trying to convince himself he can't love her, he does. He was the first to figure out Glory was going blind and he decides to put her needs before his own and help her and her family out. Luke soon realizes that her father and himself have more in common than he thought and that path leads straight to where he needed to go to clear his name. Glory keeps fighting Luke about everything but his perseverance and kindness win her over and as much as she doesn't want to love him, for fear she will lose him too, she still falls hard.

Overall, aside from some really annoying qualities the characters have it was an enjoyable story. The story was very intriguing and I wanted to find out what would happen next, but the ending just kind of happened and was a little anticlimactic and left some unanswered questions.         

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ARC REVIEW Eternal Mourning by Carrie Ann Ryan

Talon Pack#7, Carrie Ann Ryan is so good when it comes to clusterfucks. Her stories are so well planned and throughout you never know what's going to happen next. Her stories are also emotional they hit you in the right spot and her romance, oooo, so hot and steamy. Walker and Aimee's love story was so worth the wait. 

Walker is the healer for the Talon pack, he's no soldier he's doing what he was Goddess blessed to do. When someone is sick he want s to fix them that why he thinks he's being pulled toward Aimee, he knows she is sick. But he's lying to himself he knows the real reason he's drawn to her, more than a few seconds around her and everything else fades away. The fact that she is sick complicates everything. While Aimee knows she doesn't have the time she wants to make sure the feeling are coming from the right place from the heart and not out of pity because Aimee feels the same for Walker. Just when they think they have things figured out life throws them a curveball. That's just the tip of the clusterfuck iceberg the new big bad has was focused on Parker, but after another failed attempt he decides to go after their healer and the best way to get to Walker is to go through Aimee.

One thing I love is that with Carrie Ann Ryan you don't have to wait until the end of the book to get a teaser for the next book. Overall, it's another outstanding book for this epic series. Walker and Aimee just such a good story and Walker is such a sweetheart and Aimee is so much strong than she thinks she is; she's become one of my favorites. The ending seemed to wrap up real quick but it was still a nail bitter and edge of your seat excitement kind of ending.

Monday, February 12, 2018

ARC REVIEW The Luckiest Cowboy of All by Carolyn Brown

Happy Texas #3, Jace Dawson probably the nicest, caring, unselfish guys I've ever read. He's also great with his niece and nephews and he has a way with animals. So what did he do to deserve this? I enjoy Carolyn Brown's writing it's emotional and well paced, the characters are likeable for the most part, Carlene not so much but she grows on you. The situations isn't overly angsty and aside from the times you really just want to smack Carlene upside the head for being stubborn and kind of stupid at times the characters are fun. Especially Granny Hope who has a bit of a side story going on and Valerie, which I am glad to say she has gotten that stick removed from her butt and she is a delight in this book, and of course Lila, Brody, Kasey, Nash, and the kids they are awesome. I how Carolyn Brown doesn't depict a picture perfect small town, Texas small towns are often super judgmental, close minded, and very gossipy but at the same time very friendly and will go out of the way to help and I love living in a small Texas town.
Carlene and Jace feel in love in highschool, but unfortunately Carlene's Dad was in the military she had to move shortly after graduation. They kept in touch for about a week or two then Carlene cut off all communication. Jace's heart was broken and never became seriously involved with another woman after that. Nine years down the line Carlene inherited her Great Aunt's farmhouse and after spending her whole life moving first with her father then with her sister, who also was in the military, she decided it was the perfect place to put down roots mostly for her daughter Tilly. Carlene loved Happy Texas and the few years she spent there were the happiest memories. Her first day back and Jace shows up, she knew he would eventually she just wish she had time to prepare she wasn't ready to tell him about Tilly, his daughter. The reason Jace showed up was two fold, one he wanted to see Carlene and two he needed to tell her the house she inherited was sold to him a couple of months before her aunt's death. One look at Tilly and Jace knows she is his daughter, she is the spittin' image of his sister but with his eyes. It's a good thing Jace found out first because with how fast gossip spreads in that town can you imagine how pissed Jace would have been if he found out through gossip, heck I'm surprised they managed to keep it from Tilly as long as they did and when she does find out she adamantly proclaims she doesn't need a Daddy. Carlene has some adjusting to do as well, she so use to being the only one there for Tilly that suddenly having a big family to help when needed is a little overwhelming. It's a long journey for Jace, Carlene, and Tilly to become a family with lots of bumps along the way, the biggest one being Carlene herself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I don't know if I would have called Jace the "luckiest" he did miss out on almost nine years of his daughter's life, but he is lucky that he finally has them in his life again. I absolutely adored Granny Hope's side story.        

Friday, February 9, 2018

ARC REVIEW Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3. The strong and silent type does it for me yet again and this time he's great with animals and kids, it's official Otto has replaced George as my favorite Ruggle hero. It's so cute Otto and Sarah get so tongue tied around each other they usually end up saying the first thing that comes to their head like, "Your mouth is pretty" or long silences. I loved this one, not just for Otto and Sarah but it was almost non stop from the introduction of Sarah, formerly known as Alice- I like that name better, and Mr. Espina who was able to rescue her from a horrible marriage to a very bad man and her villainous brother to the very end it kept on going, aside from the brief down time Sarah had when she first arrived in Monroe and was getting to know everyone especially the viking/lumberjack, Otto.
For most of Alice's life she lived in a bubble, he father was overprotective but she managed to sneak out a bit and spend time with some of the staff, when her father died and her brother Aaron took over things became worse and now with the crime family, Jovanovic, in dire straights with the two main leaders in prison Aaron hopes to take over but first he  needs a way into the family, that's where Alice comes in. He plans to marry her off to the psychotic Logan Jovanovic. Lucky for Alice the mysterious Mr. Espina spirits her away before that can happen. Alice becomes Sarah and moves in with Grace, Jules, and Jules' brothers and sister in a dilapidated farmhouse in the tiny town of Monroe Colorado.

Otto is a gentle giant, and goes out of his way to help animals, he has a way with them. He also gets tongue tied around beautiful women so when he first meets Sarah it renders him speechless. Pretty soon Otto talks to her more than anyone else. Sarah has been sheltered so much she, like Otto, is tongue tied and is endeared and flattered by Otto, not to mention all the dirty thoughts she's had about him since meeting him. Sarah is in Monroe long enough to start feeling safe when her brother and Logan show up at the farm house. Luckily Otto was already on the way to the house. After they are dealt with Jules and Grace fill in Sarah on their story and Jules finally tells Theo the full truth of why her brothers, sister, and herself needed to disappear. While Grace and Jules stories are briefly explained at this part it might not be enough for some people to say this can be read as a standalone, personally I would read the first two books before this one. But it doesn't stop at that first attack and pretty soon the whole town is in danger. Sarah and Otto get separated and Sarah proves to herself that she is strong enough to survive this and with Otto at her side she can survive the night.

Overall, I thought this was the best one yet, the romance between Otto and Sarah is light and easy compared to the rest of the story and it kind of balances out. I loved how they were both the shy temperament but when the shit hit the fan they both proved to be strong when they have to be, they work well together. Just one question, How in the Hell did they find her in the first place and why were none of the characters asking that question????       

Thursday, February 8, 2018

ARC REVIEW The Last Wolf by Marie Vale

The Last Wolf is the first book of Marie Vale's Legend of All Wolves, it's also her debut novel. The Last Wolf isn't the last wolf in existence it's Silver's pecking order in the pack, she has the least amount of power, strength all because when she shifts she only has three good legs, and she is a runt. Unless she's paired up with someone she basically become a slave to her alphas. The Great North Pack is exactly what it seems it is the greatest and the strongest pack in all of North America. They have strict rules that must be followed to insure the safety of the pack it's how they lasted this long. Silver has only dreamed of moving up in the pack, she knows it hopeless until one day the stranger shows up.

This is not really your standard PNR werewolf/shifter romance. What really sets it apart from the others is that they are wolves, their true form is wolf they just have been blessed with the ability to transform in to human, the only stipulation is that for the full moon they have no choice but to be wolves. The book starts in England hundreds of years ago when the wolf packs were dying off because the human population was getting to great and they migrated to the new country. They bought land and set it up to where they would always have it and have a safe place to live without human interaction. Because this is the first book of a new series there's a lot of setting up and explaining of lore and how things work in the pack. But it makes sense how it is done and the reason is twofold, Silver has to explain how things are done to Tiberius as a new pack member and at the same time explain it to us the reader.

When the wounded stranger first appears asking for sanctuary the alpha turns him down because he is only half wolf the other half is something the wolves have learned no to trust, a shifter. But Silver sees a strong male who could help her gain rank in the pack and at the risk of everything she pairs with him. Tib doesn't realize it at the time but when Silver agreed to their pairing she no longer was pack and when he heals Tib and Silver have to earn their way in by fighting the alphas. Silver and Tib barely make it back in. They gradually go from friends to lovers but Tib's big secret is keeping him from fully mating with Silver. The secret is one that has the potential to break what little trust the pack and Silver have in him.

Overall, I love how primal they are as a pack they are first and foremost wolves and humans second. They are self sufficient for the most part and only interact with humans as needed. They do let pack members out for education and such but they always come back. I love how in depth the lore goes and the fact that the characters in the book make fun of the werewolf pop culture. Silver and Tib are quite the couple he makes a crappy wolf and she makes a crappy human but what they share goes deeper than that and really enjoyed them and I really enjoyed this world Vale has created, I look forward to more books.   

ARC REVIEW The Missing Wife by Sheila O'Flanagan

The Missing Wife is a story about a woman finding herself again. After about a couple of years being married to her husband realizes just how controlling he really is, and starts planning her escape because she knows he would never let her go willingly. Imogen plans for two years all the while her husband Vince continues to barade her for being useless and helpless without him. Vince is a narcissist he tears her down and then tells her she would be helpless without him, Vince has to be in control of everything and it goes beyond OCD, he controls every aspect of her life and if anything ever goes wrong everyone especially Imogen is at fault except himself. He needed to be the center of Imogen's life so slowly her friends all left and he distanced her from what little family she had left. Two years and Imogen gets the perfect opportunity to escape.

Imogen use to not be like this and she is determined to prove to herself that she is better than what Vince says. She goes to the south of France where she spend part of her childhood, it's when she was the happiest and when her time there ended badly she was determined to go back. She knew she would be safe there because she never talked about her time there with Vince, and she would lay down false leads in the opposite direction. Imogen spend quite a bit of time remembering her childhood and her time in the little town and also everything after it, and even her relationship with Vince and how that went all wrong. Even after all the times Vince claimed Imogen couldn't plan, she proved him wrong she planned well. She opened up a secret bank account she would set aside money in she destroyed her phone, she layed out a false trail. Slowly as time goes on she finds a temporary job, an apartment, and now she's making new friends Imogen is finally remembering what it was like to be Imogen. But Imogen still worries that Vince will find her after all Vince doesn't like being told no, he doesn't like to be proven wrong, and Vince doesn't know when to quit. 

Overall, this was a great read. I'm not normally one for women fiction, I do enjoy it every now and then and this was a great choice for me. It was emotional without being angsty, the flashback scenes were well placed and well done revealing what needed to be revealed at that moment. Romance is not the main focus, Imogen finally rediscovering herself after being lost for over five years and her husband trying to find her was the focus, but romance was there in the sidelines just waiting for her. It has a very satisfying ending it left me with a bit of a book hangover to where I just had to sit there and let my brain absorb what I just read. Top it all off with the imagery it was beautifully written.