Raisa Greywood-Wicked Fire

Raisa has gone back to her magical world of dragons, Sidhe, mages, and two-natured. I have been looking forward to Wicked Fire because I wanted to find out more about Drako and Morgaine, and this book let me do that, for sure.

So, for those who don’t remember, Morgaine is an ancient mage who has a hardon for the Archer family. She has done all she can to kill the entire family, down to Lily, who has 3 powerful husbands, including Myrddin, Morgaine’s old friend and teacher. Morgaine talked to a crazy dark elf named Teran and managed to get him to hold Lily prisoner. He did horrrrrible things to Lily.

For her pains, Morgaine ended up trapped in a stone, sentenced to be there until it turned into dust. She had no contact with anyone, although the king of the light elves would give her stuff every 10th anniversary. That included books, laptops, TVs, and radios. She could watch the world go by, but she couldn’t interact with it. It was a quiet existence, but not a terrible one, at least once she had the books and computer. She spent a lot of time researching and learning, which she loved. But then, there’s an earthquake, which destroys her prison. She gets picked up by a pair of elves, who tell her that the light king and the dark queen are going to give her another chance for redemption. She has to go kill Teran, who has escaped. And oh yeah, she has to do it without her magic, and if she fails, she dies. Meanwhile, she has to go from Cornwall to London in 6 hours to catch her flight. Now, Morgaine has been locked up in a stone for over a century, so trying to get from here to there is really hard for her. But, she manages to make it to New York, where she sees Lily and her husbands, who, of course, want to attack her.

So, Drako is the last dragon on Earth. He was bound to Myrddin for centuries, and now he’s bound to his many-times granddaughter, Lily. He’s a living tattoo on her back, but all he needs is a little magic, and he can be free. When Morgaine shows up, he tells Lily to free him, and he’ll handle Morgaine. After all, he doesn’t like her much either, since she killed all of his Archer descendants because Fergus wouldn’t leave his wife for her, or at least, that’s her story. So, Drako gets his freedom, and he takes Morgaine to his hoard. He says that he’s not interested in her, but he’s not about to trust her at all, because he knows that her story about having to get Teran is all bullshit. He figures that she only wants to get to Teran so that they can work together.

You know, finding out more about Morgaine made me really like her. I didn’t like her all that much in other books, mostly because she was cast as a villain in those books. But, her story makes me look back at her actions in the other books, and say ooooohhhhh, that’s why she did this. It was shitty, but it could’ve been worse, and I totally understand it now. I really like her now. This book gave her an excellent redemption arc, but really, I think that her redemption may have started much earlier. I’m going to have to go back and reread everything all at once, just so I can doublecheck.

I have liked Drako, but there were times in this one when I got really mad at him. I don’t know how much of why I got mad at him is the fact that he isn’t just out of touch, but that he’s hundreds and hundreds of years out of touch or how much he is acting on preconceived notions. I mean, yeah, he was there with Myrddin and Lily all those many years, but he spent a lot of that time kind of sleeping, and didn’t pay as much attention as he could’ve, so he’s still working on old behaviors. I can understand why he treated Morgaine the way he did at first, but when he started seeing stuff in her that was contrary to what he thought he knew, he just decided that she was lying and didn’t believe her or do anything to actually help.

I think that a lot of people failed Morgaine from the very beginning. I totally understand why she acted the way she did in the beginning. Even with being as strong as she was, she was innocent, trusting, and vulnerable. Everything could’ve been so different if she hadn’t been failed as she was.

There was one particular part that absolutely broke my heart and left me ugly crying.

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Yan was fascinating. And I’m really hoping that we’ll get a story of Yan and Omer, because I’m pretty sure that would be totally awesome. And Feather’s story too.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

K Webster-Cold Queen

Once upon a time, back in 1844, Hans Christian Anderson, who was a little twisted, wrote a fairy tale called The Snow Queen. In his story, the evil Snow Queen kidnaps Kai, who is eventually saved by Gerda. So, you might wonder what that has to do with K Webster and Cold Queen. Well, let me tell you. Once upon a time, right here and now in 2019, K joined several other authors in writing their own version of a fairy tale. Thus, this book was born from The Snow Queen. (At least I’m 99.8% sure it’s the Snow Queen.)

The world we are in is divided into quarters. Each quarter is named after the direction it is in. Elzira Whitestone is the Queen of Norta Icelands, Punisher of the Damned, Weathermaker, Cold Queen, dying queen. She has a younger sister named Yanna. Yanna is the only living member of her family left. She also does all kinds of searching to figure out what is killing Elzira and to try to cure her. Yanna has come up with some potions and tonics that Elzira takes every day, which are supposed to heal her, but she’s still very weak, can’t access her magic, and is probably going to die soon.

Enter Ryke Bloodsun, King of Souta Volcanoes, Truth Seeker. He’s on his way to a huge war, and he wants to marry Yanna so that he can have the support of Norta Icelands. So, he gets to their castle, tells our royal ladies what he wants to do, at which point Elzira tries to kill him. So, he does what any self-respecting warrior king would do, and he takes over. He sticks Yanna in a small room in the bottom of the castle and takes Elizra up to her room. His goal is to convince Elizra to let him marry Yanna, but of course, our cruel queen isn’t going to let him do that. And there’s just some thing about her that Ryke likes. He’s fascinated by her, and he wants to know more about her, including why she is as ill as she is.

This is a really interesting story. There was a lot going on in here. The story is just fantastic. There is adventure and intrigue, betrayal, love, hate, war, and just about everything else in between.

Ryke is brutal, intelligent, tricksy, and willing to fight for what he wants. It’s not like he lives to fight or fights to live or anything, but he will fight, he does fight, and he’s damned good at it. He’s also very, very good at finding out the truth, and he’s pretty sure that there’s a lot of truth that needs to be found out up in this joint. He’s not going to be all that nice about finding it out either. If people need to die, then they will die. He’s actually pretty practical if you ask me.

We really see two Elziras. One before Ryke and one after he has started doing what he does. It’s really interesting to me. When you meet the 2nd Elizra, you can see those echoes back in her at the beginning of the book, but she’s really just a pale shadow of herself then, almost a wraith, more than anything else. She is caring, to a point. She loves her sister, she cares about certain members of her staff, but overall, the only person she really loves at the beginning is her sister. She’s also loyal to a fault. She will do anything she can to protect her sister. I think that she’s also got some blind spots. I think that there are certain people she trusts too much, and she never questions anything those people do.

Like I said, this was a fantastic story. And there are more twisted fairy tales from other authors that will be showing up over the next few months. I’m really looking forward to them all.

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I love the name changes. I think that they are perfect.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go and check it out! Happy reading!

Kallista Dane-Chaos Born

I reviewed the first book of the Warriors of the Seven Stars on here back when it came out. The series is a reverse harem series, but Kallista is doing it in an interesting way. In each book, a new man is added in. So Chaos Born gives us the second man in Queen Melisandre’s harem.

OK, so here’s the way this story goes. A 1000 years ago, the Dark Lord was locked away by the Woman Clothed in the Sun and her mates. She went on and married King Vidos I and there was a Prophecy of Doom. A millennium later, Melisandre was born and after her father died, she became queen. Her vizier took her to see the Oracle and she found out that she was the culmination of the prophecy, The One Who Commands the Seven Stars. She was told that she would have 4 warriors by her side that she would be fighting with. In between hearing the prophecy and her first warrior, the Fire Born Drayke, a dragon shifter, Meli did what she could to train and become a warrior since she was going to have to fight.

So now, Meli and Drayke have destroyed the first item they were supposed to destroy, the Fire Flask, and it’s time to go back to the fortress and relax for a minute, before getting to the job of destroying the next one. When they get there, there is another man, one who tells Meli that he is the best warrior in all the land. Meli says that she’s a warrior and challenges him to a duel. He makes a wager, if he defeats her, she has to kneel and call him Master until sunrise. And of course, he’s going to win, because he really is the Goddess chosen warrior, and the best one ever. Meli tries to get out of their wager, but after Magnus, the warrior, thoroughly spanks her, she agrees to do what she already agreed on. But, she wants to warn Magnus that she has a lover waiting just outside who can turn into a dragon and she doesn’t want anything to happen to Magnus. That’s when she hears Drayke, who has been watching in the shadows. Magnus and Drayke are brothers of the heart, so Meli is basically fucked. And proper fucked, every which way.

I know, in book time, there isn’t a lot of time in between FB and CB, but I think the first battle has really matured Melisandre. I mean, it’s not like she wasn’t mature to begin with, but there’s a difference between knowing that you are going to have to fight and actually doing it, and doing it changes you and makes you more… mature, grave, serious, something, I don’t know. But that’s where she is now. While we see some Drayke in this story, it’s primarily Magnus’ story, so most of the interaction is with him and we get his backstory. His learning and training help Meli. Magnus and Drayke settle in well with Meli, and settle Meli in well with them. I’m really looking forward to the next book.

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OK, I totally think that Meli is going to have to sleep with the Dark Lord and claim him as one of her mates in order to defeat him. I don’t know why I think that, but there’s just something in the way that the Oracle is talking about the defeat that makes me think that’s what’s going to happen. I know we have at least 2 books to go, so I’m going to just keep reading so that I can find out.

I’m looking forward to how Magnus and Drayke are going to react to the sorcerer being added into their group. It’s one thing to share with someone you consider your brother, but to share the woman you love with a total stranger? Even if it’s something the Goddess has said must happen?

And OMG, the Vizier. When he came out with his personal story, I was like dayum, old man’s a freak! In a good way, though.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check out both books. Kallista has done a great job with this world. Happy reading!

Celia Aaron-Blood Prince

I guarantee that if Celia Aaron writes it, I will read it. Every.damn.time. I love her work so much. I’ve talked about before about how I think she’s a new chapter in Modern Southern Gothic fiction. She writes such layered stories with a lot of nuance. Her FMCs are strong characters in and of themselves, and she gives them a lot of smarts and stubbornness. Blood Prince fits in well with her style, even if it doesn’t take place in the South, unless, well, you consider the Underworld the South.

So, this is Celia’s take on the Helen of Troy story. For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Paris, the prince of Troy is asked to judge a beauty contest between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They bribe him and Aphrodite offers Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. That just happens to be Helen, Queen of Sparta, wife to Menelaus. As the story goes, either he went and kidnapped her and brought her to Troy or Aphrodite spirited her away. Either way, Helen and Paris end up together in Troy and madly in love. Menelaus, understandably, is really fucking pissed, so he and his allies lay siege to Troy. Eventually, Menelaus challenges Paris to a duel, and Paris either dies or runs away, depending on which story you read. Then, the Trojan Horse shows up.

OK, that’s the way that Homer told it. Celia’s version is slightly different. In her version, Priam, Paris’ dad, is the vampire king, and the vamps aren’t bad. Menelaus is a demon lord, and demons are bad. Menelaus bought Helen, a daughter of Zeus and full of magic, at an auction to be his wife. He did terrible, terrible things to her. We don’t know most of what he did to her at any point, other than killing her brothers and torturing her mother, we just know that it was terrible. When Paris was there and saw Helen in a rose garden, lightning struck, and they fell in love. He took her home to Troy, where they lived happily ever after, at least until Menelaus showed up and tried to get her back. Paris went to fight Menelaus and he lost. Then when Menelaus came to get Helen, she killed herself so that he couldn’t have her anymore.

Flash forward a few centuries and Elena, one of the maiden warriors of Artemis and her chief strategist, is out wandering through the streets of Paris. She runs into a huge guy who ends up taking her and shoving her in his car. Right before that happens, she sees the vampire prince Paris teleporting towards her, with a really angry look on his face. Last she knew, he was dallying with Artemis, so she can’t figure out why he’s mad at her. When she gets in the car, the man sticks some silver bracelets on her which block her magic and then tells her that, oh, BTW, he’s her husband.

Paris manages to help her escape, and tells Elena that she’s actually Helen of Troy. Artemis rescued her body after death, took her memories, and turned her into one of her warriors.

Elena/Helen is pretty damn kick ass. She’s smart, tricksy, wily, and a master tactician. She pretty much strategically outthinks everyone. Paris is more than willing to go with her plans because he knows that she’s not only the best at it but that she’s already thought through all the possible steps and problems before she finalizes anything. It’s like she already has seen every possible outcome and knows what definitely happen. It’s pretty cool. I love that Elena/Helen is so kick ass and that she is seriously fierce. She isn’t necessarily a damsel in distress. She definitely causes the distress. She’s confident and sure of herself and her power. The nice thing is that Paris isn’t threatened by that. He values her, her powers, and her abilities. He knows that if she’s by his side then he can’t fail.

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Oh, Iphi. I love her. She and Helen are a pair. I think that she’s just super fun, and not quite right, but in a good way. I would love to see a story about Iphi because I’m pretty sure that she would get into all kinds of good trouble.

Apollo is such a horndog. So funny. I wonder how many upset husbands he’s left in his wake over the centuries, because you know he has. Or maybe he just managed to charm them all, who knows. I feel like he’s one of those jackasses who is such a huge asshole but you can’t help but like him because he’s a charming fuck.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check this one out! Happy reading!

Kallista Dane-Fire Born

Once upon a time, there was a virgin queen. No, it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth I of England. No, her name was Melisandre, Queen of the World of the Seven Stars, and heroine of Kallista Dane’s latest book, Fire Born. This is the first book in the Queen of the Seven Stars series, and since it’s a reverse harem with 5 guys, I’m predicting at least 4 more books to come. Works for me.

So, Melisandre has just learned that her father has died, and at the tender age of almost 18, she’s now planning her coronation. Her vizier, who she sees as almost an uncle or grandparent, comes in, kicks her butt out of bed and tells her to suck it up because they have to go see the Oracle the day after the coronation, and her people need her to be Queen and not a lump in the bed. Of course, Meli doesn’t like that, but that was Antonius’s goal. He’s gruff, blunt, and acerbic, and she pretty much loves the old man. However, everyone knows that Oracles aren’t real, so she’s willing to humor him.

Meanwhile, in a cave, an old woman calls Drayke to her. She encourages him to walk through the fire. Melisandre is watching, in her dream, and she sees him walk through the fire and thinks that he’s dead. Right up until he burst out of the flame as a dragon. Now, I love this because drake is another name for dragon. I love things like that.

When Meli finally gets to the Oracle, she finds out that she is going to have to fight the Lord of Darkness, and to do that, she’s going to have the help of 5 mates. The dragon, the warrior, the mystic, the wizard, and the rogue. So, yeah, pretty much a D&D party. She’s going to have to train to fight so that she can lead the fight, otherwise the darkness will take over her world.

Six years later, Melisandre has been training, and she and Antonius have been studying the prophecy and the things that her ancestors have written about it. Now, the Oracle summons Drayke and tells him that it’s time for him to go to Melisandre and to start to fulfill his part.

I really like Melisandre. I think that she’s a avery strong woman. Kallista tends to write strong female characters, at least I think so. Melisandre is going to very much be the heroine in the story in more ways than one, I think. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as she goes to find more of her mates and as they all learn to interact with each other and how to share their lives together. I’m pretty excited for the rest of the books to come out. I’m hoping that Kallista doesn’t keep us waiting for too long.

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If there’s anything I’ve learned from Disney, it’s that you don’t trust the viziers, so I was kinda worried about Antonius there for a minute, but then he started sexing up the Oracle, so I stopped worrying about him overly much. I want to think that he and the Oracle are part of the group that trapped the bad guy in the first place, but I’m probably not right, but wouldn’t that be awesome?

I’m really interested to see how each of the guys is going to adjust to being added into the mate group. I mean, Drayke may be the only one who gets to spend any one-on-one time with Meli. Unless she goes off on a quest with each guy separately and then they get all get together at the end, but I don’t see how that would work very well. guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

That’s all I have to say today. Go on over to King Zon and take a look at this one. You won’t regret it. Happy reading! And don’t forget that we have giveaways coming up on the FB page this weekend!

Megan Michaels-The Dragon Warlords

Megan is making her first appearance here on IBtP with a trio of terrific tails. And before you say, oh Clara, you misspelled tails, trust me, I did it on purpose. The 3 books are all great with a wonderful storyline, but they also have a breakout star, the tails. OMFG, the tails.

So, these books take place on the planet Trexotera, which has dragons. Thing of those dragons as warplanes, but you know, living and breathing warplanes. When the Trexoterans go to war against other planets, they take their fire-breathing dragons and go. The warlords and Commanders also carry guns and swords. While they may fight with dragons and swords, the Trexoterans are advanced with all that scifi tech we all love. Trexotera is run by King Zorander Quinn and his Queen, Gossamer. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters and one adopted son. The sons are Drayce and Cloven, with Artemis being the adopted son. The daughters’ names are Rosary and Willow.

While the story takes place primarily on Trexotera, the planet Zelora is also important. That planet is ruled by Alastair Tempest, who has twin daughters, Satin and Thistle, and at least one son, Thunder. I’m pretty sure that there is at least one more, but I haven’t checked the first book.

So, with all that, let’s talk about the books, shall we?

The first book is The Dragon’s Secret, and it’s Satin and Drayce’s book. Satin’s quiet, shy, and retiring sister Thistle is supposed to go and marry Drayce, prince of Trexotera. Satin decides that she’s going to take Thistle’s spot and go marry Drayce. That’s because she has always wanted to be a dragon warlord and ride a dragon. Her father wouldn’t hear of it, so her only way to do it is to take her sister’s place. When she gets to Trexotera, Drayce meets her and punishes her. Then he marries her. And we get to learn about the awesomeness that is a tail. Tails and spanking, pure awesome.

OK, the way that this works is that when a dragon feels a person is worthy, they gift the person and they are then turned into a warlord. One of the things to prove that they are a warlord is that they get a tail. Yup. A very flexible and talented tail. The warlords use their tails when it comes to sex. Pretty much anywhere the tail can go, it does. And at the end of it, there is a little barb that pops out when the tail owning person comes. It locks into their partner for a few minutes. Then there are Commanders who are warlords who have a dragon patch, which is a section of skin that looks and feels like dragon skin. Drayce is a Commander, and Satin becomes one as well.

Then we have The Warlord’s Priestess. Thistle is now on Trexotera and she has a new Daddy. Artemis rescued her and he knew as soon as he saw her that she was the one for him. Thistle was supposed to be the shy, quiet one, but Artemis has found out that she has quite a bit of fire in her, once she finds out that she has certain magics and can help out the dragons and their warlords. Thistle, Satin, and their friend and fellow warlord, Wish, manage to help when it comes to a huge confrontation in the war that Zelora started. Again, lots of spanking and fun tail sex. I’m in serious lust with the tails. I really want one. I mean, yeah. Imagine all the fun you could have with it.

Finally, we have Cloven’s Only Wish. Cloven and Wish’s relationship has gotten deeper. He’s her Dom, she’s his baby girl. Wish is strong, stubborn, has some issues with her temper, and very independent. The war with Zelora has heated up and Alistair has threatened the royal women of Trexotera, which means that they are all being kept under lock and key and heavy guard, which is difficult for all the women, but especially Wish, who has worked really hard to be the warlord that she is. The fact that their men are going off to war without them is really hard on all the women, and not good things happen.

Yeah, I know, it sounds vaguely vague in places, doesn’t it? That’s because if I go too much into any one book, I spoil the next one. Oh well, that means that you have to go buy them and read them. I wouldn’t read them as a standalone. They are all interconnected and if you miss one, you are going to miss out not only on the overall storyline but also the full story on each of the couples. Overall, I like the series, a lot. There are a few places that I don’t like, but that’s pretty typical. For example, I don’t really like Cloven much in the second book, but Megan rehabbed him and I liked him in his book. Even though I liked him in his book, there were a couple of times that he made me mad. It may sound like I’m picking on Cloven, but that’s just because I read his book yesterday, so he’s fresh in my mind. I’m hoping that there is more to come, I mean, Rosary and Willow should have their books too, don’t you think?

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OK, I just have to say that I hate Alistair. I mean, he’s a serious prick. He hates his daughters, obviously, and he’s a jealous little prick. I thought that he was going to do terrible things to Gossamer, even more terrible than having her kidnapped and thrown into his prison. I’m pretty sure he’s not altogether in between the ears, especially after he takes the dragons.

The big punishment scene in Priestess wasn’t my fave. It wasn’t that it was hot, because it was. I understand why it was done the way that it was done, and it makes sense in the book, but for me, it took away a sense of support that I thought that the women needed. Of course, that may just be me projecting how I would feel on the characters. Of course, that’s just how I feel about it, and you may like it. And that’s totally awesome. There are probably parts that I liked that you didn’t. It all works out in the end, right?

Alright, I think that I’ve said all that I want to say today. Megan’s books aren’t on KU, but they are priced reasonably. Go check them out. Happy reading!

Lee Savino-Owned by the Berserkers

Lee’s back with her Berserkers. They are a bunch of Viking and ancient Celtic warriors who were changed into wolves by magic. They have three forms, the man, the wolf, and the monster. The Berserkers walk a fine line between being sane and crazed. The monster can eat away at their sanity. Because of that, most of the Berserkers have paired up in brother bonds, to help keep their sanity intact. It wasn’t until the Alphas found their woman and found out that she was something called a spaewife that they learned that spaewives can mate with them and can control the beasts. There were originally four sisters, but then the Berserkers found out about an abbey filled with orphans who are spaewives. So, they raided the abbey and took all the orphans with them.

In Owned by the Berserkers (Berserker is a fun word to type), we get the story of another one of the orphans, Fern, and her mates, Svein and Dagg. This book flashes back and forth between the present and the past. We get to see what happened at the raid and what’s currently happening.

At the raid, Svein and Dagg discovered Fern and carried her away. They knew that she was her mate and they decided that they were going to be very careful with her and woo her before they told her. All Fern knew is that she felt safe with them and that being with them held off her visions of the skeletal monster who wanted to have her. She got to spend just a few blissful days with them before that monster, the Corpse King, decided to attack. He managed to make Svein and Dagg crazy and cause them to do things they never would otherwise.

Now, Fern lives with all the other unmated spaewives and orphans. They live in a lodge on the mountain, isolated from all the Berserkers so that they don’t cause any problems. When each of the women goes through the heat that each spaewife goes through, she is mated to the Berserkers who are their mates. The women get to see some of the already mated women from the orphanage, but other than that, they are kept under close guard.

Fern has problems though. One is that her visions of the Corpse King are coming back and they are coming back stronger. All she knows is that she was safe with Svein and Dagg. And there are wolves that are howling around the edge of the mountain. She’s been feeding them on the sly, but she finds out that they are to be driven away after a blizzard. That’s when Fern knows that she has to do something.

Fern, Dagg, and Svein are going to be my second favorite trio, after Sage, Rolf, and Thorbjornn. Fern is an incredibly strong character. She knows that she has to do something and she goes out and does it, even after she’s been warned that the wolves howling at the mountain are monsters with nothing left of their humanity and that there’s a horrible blizzard on its way. She goes out and does it anyway and nearly dies from the weather, but succeeds at her overall goal. I was sad about some things in this story, because, well, they are sad things. I was also worried about some things. But, overall, I was hopeful and knew that Fern would be successful in her goals. She was too determined to win for her to manage to fail. If you haven’t read any of the Berserker books, you could read each as a standalone, I guess, since each is a story in and of itself, but they are all part of a larger story, and you will like them more if you have read the ones before it.

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I’m looking forward to seeing how Fern’s new power is going to fit in with the rest of the story. I do love that the women are powerful and that they are actually powers in their own right, not just because they are mated to a Berserker pair. I think that’s pretty awesome.

I’m looking forward to seeing Juliet’s story. I know that Jarl has something to do with it, so it’s going to be interesting to see. She may be the first Berserker bride without a flower name. Maybe she needs to have a name change.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out both the Berserker Saga, for how the story began, and the Berserker Brides for how the story is continuing. You won’t be sorry! Happy reading!