Nia Ferrell & Claire Marta-Morgan

This is the first book in a new series from these ladies, and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the series. This book was really intense, both in sexy, sexy times, because those are great, as well as the interpersonal relationships between Morgan, Aiden, and Zac. But, it’s also incredibly suspenseful and the story is compelling. So, let’s talk about the first book in the Guarded Hearts series, Morgan.

Morgan is a grad student in psychology who lives with her roommate Casey, who is in the ATF. Morgan is working on her thesis about sexual surrogacy, and to that end, she is actually going to take on a client and be their sexual surrogate, and use her experiences in her thesis. And so enter Zac and Aiden.

They are members of the Order of the Phoenix, a mysterious order that fights evil. They used to be based in Notre-Dame de Paris, but, you know, fire. So now, they are in Morgan’s town, renovating an old military school/base called The Citadel. And part of their new remit is to date, mate, and procreate. The problem is that the guys make the most socially awkward person you have ever met look like Casanova. I mean, they were out at a bar and there was a woman there who they took over their knees and spanked. Whoops. Not the best thing ever, so now they have to go to therapy. They are getting sensitivity training, and they are learning how to date, which means they are going to be seeing Morgan in her professional guise. They are partners, as in a team who work together, not as in two guys who fuck each other (although I truly suspect that is coming. Or at least I hope so), and so everything they do, they do together, including sexual surrogacy therapy.

When Morgan first meets the guys, she thinks that they are a couple, which kind of makes sense, because they have been partners and friends for a long time. That kind of long term relationship can form a really tight bond that could look like a love relationship, especially if they live in the exact same apartment and share a lot of space.

This is a PNR, but it isn’t heavy on the paranormal aspect. They talk about vampires, and the guys talk a lot amongst themselves about being who they are. They call their bodies flesh robes, which is kinda awesome. We don’t really know much about the guys and what they are, really. There are hints of various things, and I made a couple of guesses before we eventually learn more, and I was kind of wrong on all counts.

I love that the fire at Notre Dame is such a huge plot point in the book, since that’s such a current event. At least, I’m assuming that’s what triggered that particular plot point. But, I thought that it was really interesting to work it into the story. I’m sure that Claire or Nia will tell me about it.

I really like Morgan, I think that she has a really good heart, even when she is fighting against herself. She truly wants to help Zac and Aiden, even before she has feelings for them. She really wants to help pretty much every person in pain that she runs into, which is why she’s going into psychology.

Zac and Aiden are good men. They have such a strong moral center, and are so earnest. There is also a real innocence about them. Maybe innocence isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s kinda close. Purity maybe. Light? A combination thereof. And even when they get all kinds of dirty and filthy and imagine what’s going on as well as having all kinds of sex, they really hold on to that particular feature, which I think would probably be really hard.

Casey is fearsome, and her book is next. I can’t wait to see how her story goes.

aptopix_france_notre_dame_fire_87705-jpg-8a639-2560x1759

Harold gave me the fucking creeps from the very first time we saw him.

I’m pretty sure that certain things aren’t quite as finished as the Order of the Phoenix thinks that they are.

I’m surprised that Casey hasn’t beaten the absolute shit out of certain people as of yet.

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

Grace Goodwin-Hunted

Grace is back with the 17th book in her Interstellar Brides Program series. Hunted is an awesome addition to the series. And while no species will ever surpass my beloved Atlans, the Everians aren’t bad.

This book is different to the other ones in the series. Generally, we have a male who has been in service to the Coalition for years who is getting matched to a bride, but that’s not quite the case here. Instead, we have Vice-Admiral Niobe, who is the highest ranking person in the entire Coalition military force. The ONLY person who can override her is Prime Niall. She is half-human, half-Everian, and runs the academy, on top of other, more secretive kinds of things. After years of service, a friend of hers has talked her into undergoing the bride testing. And she gets a match. She’s matched to Everis, to Elite Hunter Quinn.

Now, as an Elite Hunter, Quinn is more like a military contractor. He’s not officially part of the Coalition, but he is employed by them. He’s currently supposed to be working on a secret base, but the Hive has taken the base captive, and he’s a prisoner. Years ago, he underwent the testing for a bride, but hasn’t been matched yet. Then, all of a sudden, a woman transports into the secret base he’s one, and singlehandedly kills three Hive members and is pretty much BAMF. She rescues Quinn and when he asks who she is, all she tells him is that she’s his mate. Which pretty much knocks him down with a feather.

OMFG, Niobe is way up in my personal fave heroine list. She is strong, fierce, talented, and maybe just a little bit scary. She is where she is because she worked really hard at it. She has earned every last bit of respect and responsibility that she has. She is tough and thorough. Her goal is to get rid of the Hive and to keep as many Coalition members safe and unharmed as possible. I think that it might hurt her a little bit every time someone gets hurt on her watch, and it’s always her watch.

I have to admit, as much as I like Quinn, there are times when I really didn’t like him and got really mad at him. I think that there are just times when he just doesn’t quite get it. And that makes things a lot worse. Even when he has things explained to him, he has to have them explained to them in about a zillion ways before it clicks with him. That is really frustrating to me, and I’m sure it really frustrated Niobe too.

I love the whole Everian aspect of this with all the hunting. That’s just a lot of fun.

forest-438432_1920

I am hopeful that we find out more about the Nexus and the Hive soon.

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

 

Maddie Taylor-Primarian Mates

So, Maddie has a SFR series called the Primarian Mates. It consists of 4 books, The Barbarian’s Captive, His By Command, His Rebellious Mate, and Defying the General. I reviewed Defying back when it came out. Each book follows a new couple, but the stories are all interconnected, so while they could all be read as standalones, it’s really better to read them in order.

Here’s the basic story. Earth has pretty much killed herself. Massive climate change has led to self-destruction. So, humans have sent out a ship filled with 300 women to find a new planet. The goal is to find someplace where the humans can go and resettle, or at least a lot of them. The Odyssey has been searching for 3 long years, and nada. But, then, miraculously, they found a planet. A team of scientists and military personnel went down to explore and take samples, because from space it looked good. And that’s when it all went pear shaped.

The Primarians are a patriarchal society. Even the least strong male is still all alpha and all in charge. What makes it even worse is that several years ago something called the Rain of Fire happened. Basically, a whole bunch of rocks fell out of the sky, killed many, especially females, and left the majority of females infertile. The females who can still conceive are much more likely to give birth to males more than females. The people of Primaria are slowly dying out. They’ve been looking for another species that they are compatible with so that they can start to rebuild their population.

In Captive, The Princip, or ruler, of Primaria is named Kerr. He and a bunch of his buddies are out on a hunting trip to their hunting planet, which just happens to be the same one the Odyessy found, and they all just happen to be there at the same time. The guys, who are all ginormous with ass-length hair and just happen to be dressed as barbarians, start chasing the women. They end up capturing 8 of them,Ā  including a botanist named Eva, who just happens to catch Kerr’s eye, and actually turns out to be compatible with him.

Command is the story of Magda and Rothke. She’s the captain of the Odyssey and he’s the head of the Primarian Space Fleet. Since they have found out that the human women are compatible and 8 women aren’t about to rebuild their population, the Primarians have decided that they are going to go after the Odyessy and get the other 292 women and mate them as well. Because if 8 are good, then 300 is like 40 times better, right? Still not enough to help repopulate the world, but if all the women get highly compatible matches, then it’s at least a pretty good start.

Rebellious is all about Eryn and Ram. She was one of the original 8 and Ram was the warrior that she was mated to. The problem is that they didn’t get along all that well. They had some serious issues. Now, she’s dissolved their mate-ship, and she’s gone back to earth to help set up the arrangements and treaties between Primaria and Earth. But all is not peaceful on Earth. Even though things have gotten worse since the Odyssey left, there are a lot of humans who don’t want to work with the Primarians and don’t want to go to the new planet. Because of course there are. They cause a lot of problems and Eryn and Ram get caught in it.

Defying is the story of Lana and Trask. Lana was one of the original 8 too. Trask is the high muckety muck in the military and Kerr’s cousin. They are also my favorite couple in the series, and this is my favorite book. Their book takes place over many months and deals with their mating and their separation. It’s terribly heartbreaking at times, and I just bawled my fucking eyes out while I was reading it.

The books, especially the first two, really deal with the cultural differences in between the Primarians and the humans. It shows up a lot in between Maggie and Roth, because she’s the captain and used to being in charge, and all of a sudden isn’t anymore.

On top of dealing with those cultural differences, there are also the personal challenges that each person and each couple has to go through. None of them have an easy journey. Even the easiest one, which I think Eva and Kerr’s story is, doesn’t go all that easily. Which, you know, I like because just because you have a high compatibility match doesn’t mean that you fall 100% in love immediately, and just because you are 100% in love doesn’t mean that everything is going to be nice and smooth.

Anyway, the books are all filled with love, passion, conspiracy, mistrust, suspicion, adventured, and misunderstandings. They are compelling to read and whenever I reread them, I get drawn back into them.

So, that’s all for today. You have choices when it comes to checking them out. There’s a boxset you can look at or you can get whatever ones you need to read. Happy reading!

Depositphotos_19099781_xl-2015

 

Aria Adams-Her Raven Mates

Her Raven Mates appears in the box set Fated Mates. Full disclosure, this is the only one of the stories in the set that I’ve read so far, but since I now own the book, I’ll be getting to the rest of the stories at some point, I’m sure. There are a lot of them, and they will be a welcome change when I need something quick and easy to read.

Eileen is living under a curse. She has been cursed to be a swan 23.5 hours a day. And that 30 minutes when she gets to be human aren’t at the same time from day to day, so she can’t even plan to have any kind of life. Her mother tells her that this is the only way to keep her safe.

Vir, Bran, and Morwain are brothers. They are also raven shifters who are currently cursed. They are ravens by day and men by night. They are trying to track down the evil warlock who cast this curse on them so that they can get back to their normal lives of being private investigators. But it’s not easy, and their enemy keeps finding them.

I will have to admit that as soon as I found out that the heroine’s name was Eileen, I was hoping for just one Come On, Eileen moment. What can I say, I’m a child of the 80s, and I remember so much 80s music. And Aria didn’t disappoint me. There is a spot when one of the guys says it, and it made me happy.

The novella is pretty short and a nice quick read. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Because it’s short, you get a lot of insta-everything and not a lot of background, but that’s just fine, Aria makes it work really well.

I love that the guys all have Celtic-ish name and are ravens, mostly because there are raven stories in Celtic mythology. Frankly, I think ravens show up in most mythology somewhere, somehow. They are gorgeous birds and wicked smart. Why wouldn’t you put them in your mythology?

Anyway, go check out the entire set, especially if you are into fated mate romances. No spoilers today, it’s too short a story.

animal-1868697_1920

Grace Goodwin-The Commanders’ Mate

We’re back in the main IBP ‘verse with The Commanders’ Mate. And with a title like this, you know that you aren’t looking at Atlans. That’s right. Today we’re playing with the Prillons. Two hot and hunky guys? Yes, please! And, we finally get to see Commander Karter get his HEA. We’ve seen him in so many other of the books. In fact, I think, most of the others, so getting to see him as the hero of his own book is awesome. The only character I’m waiting for more is Warden Egara. Grace keeps saying good things may be in store for our beloved Warden Egara, so I’m going to keep waiting.

While this is back in the main world, this book starts out different to all the others in this world. Every one of the other main universe books starts out with the testing, and we get to get into the hotness. We don’t know which male(s) the woman is going to match with, although we can get a really good idea as to the planet based on the testing. But, that’s not how this one starts out. This one starts out with Commander Karter and a disaster.

Karter is in a different sector of space than usual and is standing on a battleship that is not his own. Not only is it not his own, it’s destroyed and there are dead bodies and blood all around. The commander is gone, and not only gone, but dead. Luckily, most of his people are far away and safe. Karter has no clue what’s happened, why the other commander sent his people away, or why the ship he’s on is destroyed. There are 3 survivors, 2 are in Regen pods, and 1 is available to talk to. The only problem is that he’s Intelligence Core, and you know how intelligence agents can be. This one is no different. Mostly.

Ronan is the IC agent. Ronan who supposedly died 5 years ago. Ronan who is Kaed Karter’s best friend and Second.

Then, Karter gets the news. He’s been matched and his Bride is going to be teleported to the destroyed ship any minute. Karter freaks out, in a very masculine way, of course. Roman, on the other hand, is much less freaked,

Erica is an astronomer who has decided that she’s gone looking at the stars and is ready to be among the stars. So, she goes to be matched and finds her two Prillon warriors, Ronan and Kaed. Sadly, she teleports into a triage situation, and she helps to keep the wounded calm while they are waiting to be teleported.

I love Erica. Grace’s heroines all tend to be very strong women with fierce personalities, but there’s just something about Erica that I really like. She knows who she is, she’s comfortable in her skin, and she’s very happy being her. She also knows exactly what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to ask for it, or to tell people what she wants. Needless to say, I wouldn’t want to cross her. I don’t think that she’s one of those people who will yell at you, she will just get that deadly, calm, level, maybe even vaguely polite voice that will let you know just how badly you done fucked up. Frankly, that kind of voice frightens me more than the whole yelling kind of person.

I have always liked Karter. He’s a very honorable male who does what he thinks he has to for his people and the galaxy at large. He might have to make shitty decisions, but when you are at war and you are the commander of a battlegroup, you have to make shitty decisions and send out people who you know will die. It’s a choice that I’m glad I never have to make.

Ronan, poor Ronan, I felt so sorry for him. He’s spent time basically being a ghost, and that can be so hard on someone. Luckily, there’s someone who sees him and knows him.

astronomy-constellation-cosmos-2162

I love when Lady Karter shows her mates exactly what she’s made of and exactly what she’s going to do. She put both of them to shame at that point, and they both knew it. Then, later, when she had to do something about Kaed, she went about it the right way and made everything perfect. I really, really like her.

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

Raisa Greywood-The Jaguar Knight

Raisa has given us the last book in her Shifter’s Mates series, The Jaguar Knight. I am terribly sad that the series is over, and I’m really hoping that Raisa gives us some short stories in this another world or maybe another series in it. I can see all kinds of other stories in there. Hint, hint. I’ll be happy either way, because I can always reread the books.

This is the conclusion of Soledad and Markon’s story. It also wraps up some other things here and there. It works really well.

So, Markon has finally caught his wayward mate and has brought her home. They enjoy one wild night of passion, and when Markon wakes up, Soledad is gone. Again. He can’t figure out what he did this time, and his jaguar ain’t talking, other than to tell him that he’s a stupid alien. When Soledad’s sibs show up, he gets told what he did, but only after her sisters and brother pretty much threaten to show him his internal organs up close and personal. Turns out that there was a 6 foot tall picture of his dead mate hanging right over the bed. The bed that she died in. The bed that he spent his first night home in Soledad in. I would’ve cut and run too.

When Markon finds Soledad again, she’s on a jungle planet and they have a talk. And you know, reconcile. Sadly, that’s not going to last for long. They are attacked, Markon is seriously, seriously, seriously hurt and Soledad is gone.

Markon has the worst luck with keeping a hold on Soledad. Of course, it’s not his fault this time, but still, he doesn’t have his mate or know where she is at. He’s damned well going to find her though. And of course, the Athena and all of Soledad’s sibs are going to get in on the search too, because that’s what is going to happen. Soledad inspires loyalty, which is why the Athena will be there, and love, which is why her sibs will be there. Of course, since she is still that fucking pirate, she also inspires a lot of fear and hate, but hey, not everyone is perfect, right?

There are some very, very, very unpleasant things that happen here, and some things that make me really happy that I’m not subject to shifter justice, because, well, it sure as fuck isn’t pretty.

Markon is strong, if somewhat stupid sometimes, and I like him a lot. I like him more in this book than I did in the last one, mostly because he got his stupid head out of his stupid ass, which is what he needed. I think that all the chasing he had to do really made him get his priorities in place and get everything straight. The last time chasing her had to be the hardest one ever. I couldn’t imagine trying to find my mate after she had been ripped away from me that way. That would be pretty damn horrible.

It’s a good thing that Soledad is as strong as she is. Stubborn AF too. I think that she’s a little bit blind in this one. She jumped to a conclusion and it ends up bitting her in the ass. But, the fact that she’s so damn stubborn and strong really helped her out here.

Jaguar mother and cub on the bank of the Cuiaba River in Brazil

Can we just talk about Mikhail and Ardix for just a second? Because that was just brutal. Not saying it’s not deserved, and I don’t blame him for his actions at all, but fucking brutal, man.

I love Renata’s round-up at the end. It’s perfect.

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

Lee Savino-Tamed by the Berserkers

It’s been a while since we have had the pleasure of a new Berserker book from Lee, and Tamed by the Berserkers was totally worth the wait.

Of all the Berserker books, even my all time favorite, Kidnapped by the Berserkers, none of the books have wrung me out the way that Tamed did. Seriously, Tamed totally destroyed each and every single one of my emotions and left me completely empty. Lee just absolutely killed it when it came to this book.

Sorrel is one of the spaewives who was rescued from the Abbey. She was supposed to be mated to Thorsteinn and Vik and even wore their mating marks, but they dropped her off with the unmated spaewives and then went out on a long patrol. After spending a long while there, she was found off the mountain with an empty sling and another spaewife who was unconscious and had a bloody head. Now, she’s about to go on trial for what she’s done, and she has no mates there to protect her since hers abandoned her. But, just in the very nick of time, up come Thorsteinn and Vik ready to save the day and their mate. The guys come up with a plot and life happens.

Of all the heroes in all the Berserker books, I have never outright and flat out disliked one. At least, not until Tamed. I really didn’t like Vik and Thorsteinn in the beginning, and frankly, it took me a long while to warm up to them. It did eventually happen, but it took them a lot to make me forgive them for everything they did. I think Sorrel forgave them before I did.

I really identified with Sorrel for so many reasons. One is that she never really felt like she fit in with the rest of the spaewives at the Abbey. She’d rather be out in a pair of breeches with her bow, hiking through the woods and hunting. She really feels like no one understands her and like no one is there for her. The majority of the other spaewives make fun of her, especially since her mates abandoned her, and her very few friends are either mated or just can’t be there with her all the time. I can totally relate to feeling like you don’t feel like you connect with anyone and that you don’t belong anywhere. I can also relate to feeling abandoned by the people who are supposed to love you, protect you, and keep you safe for the rest of forever. I mean, can you imagine how hard it is for Sorrel to see all of the other orphans mated off happily to their mates while hers have abandoned her? I can’t imagine how heartbreaking and gutwrenching that is. See why I don’t particularly like them at first?

I can’t wait for the next books in this series. I think the next one is Sister Juliet’s story, and that’s going to be a really interesting one to read.

636644945194563959

When Thorsteinn and Vik told the Alphas that Sorrel wasn’t their mate? Yeah, that right there is what made me really not like them. I was only annoyed when it turned out that they left her in the unmated spaewives house, but that? That moved annoyed to dislike. The fact that they took her out and let her blow up things made me start to like them more. I saw that they actually saw her, and they were trying really hard to tame her but not break her.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check out all of the Berserker books. I love them so much. Happy reading!